As you may know, Cleve Jones (AKA Emile Hirsch’s ‘character’ in Milk) has called for a gay March On Washington in October. Of course, the proposal spurred considerable debate and Cleve recently answered the criticism in a blog post on Bilerico.
Over at Slog, however, Dan Savage (right) has proposed an action much smaller in scale but, he thinks, larger in impact:
Here’s the idea: one gay or lesbian couple—a couple currently denied their rights under DOMA—shows up at the entrance to the White House grounds. A different couple every day. They ask to speak to the president about DOMA. They’re refused. They sit down. They refuse to leave. They’re arrested, carried away by the police. Couples would be recruited from all over the country, demonstrating that gay marriage isn’t just an issue in liberal California or godless New England, and the media in each couple’s home city and state would be notified in advance of their arrest. The occasional famous couple—Rosie and Kelli? Ellen and Portia?—would participate to pull in celeb media. But most of the couples who come to D.C. to get arrested would be average folks. The couples would need support, legal and logistical, and we would need someone to organize media outreach and maintain a website. The website would include a photo and profile of each couple that comes to D.C. to get arrested, collect all the press, and be used to recruit couples willing to travel to D.C. and get arrested.
The action would be small scale—it would be human scale—and it would go on and on and on. It would demonstrate better than another gay march just how seriously we take this issue: we take it seriously that we’re willing to travel to D.C. and get arrested. It wouldn’t be a one-day event that the White House could ignore or bluff its way through with some lame statement about its “commitment” to ending DOMA. The couples would keep coming. Every day an arrest. Drip, drip, drip. Members of the White House press corps would see couples getting arrested every day on their way to work. Gibbs would be forced to address DOMA on a near-daily basis. The president would be asked about the issue again and again.
My boyfriend—who doesn’t do demonstrations (or interviews or photos or anything public)—is so upset about the DOMA brief that he’s willing to go to D.C. and get arrested. So am I. We can’t be the only couple that feels this way.
What do you think? One couple getting arrested every day for a year?
Although the mainstream media and the White House press corps has recently shown a surprising willingness to push the administration on LGBT promises made during the campaign, I’m not sure they could follow 365 days of two people being uneventfully arrested. I do, however, like the local media angle, which might be more valuable than the national media.
I also know that if I found myself in DC, I would sure as hell show up every morning to see the day’s arrest – and I bet I’m not the only one.