You either love Larry Kramer or you despise him. Either way, he is very controversial.
Mr. Kramer sat down with Alisa Solomon of the Village Voice and fired away.
For the entire interview, check out http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0450/solomon.php
Here are some exerpts summarizing significant parts of that interview.
When asked about the November, 2004 elections and the Human Rights Campaign Fund, Larry replies that he "was appalled when (he) heard the idea dribbling out that we should pull back instead of carrying on or pressing even more". he "neer saw an organization exist so long, raise so much money, and do so little." "Their annual budget is $25 million. . . they get a lot of money from rich people in the heartland." "A good lobbyist is not an ass kisser." "Ther's a great deal of feeling that all they (HRC) do is pay to go to parties in Washington, to be on the circuit, to be seen, as if that amounts to much."
Talking about the gay ballot issues, Larry feels that it was not just gay marriage, but gay issues generally. He strongly supports gay marriage. But that might be the extent of him and HRC agreeing on anything. He blasts HRC's support of this administration's Social Security proposal.
In general, he feels that while so many of us are out of the closet, we're still invisible. "Don't (gay) people know how to speak up?"
There are several questions about ACT-UP the militant group founded by Mr. Kramer in the 1980's to get the US government involved in AIDS research. He feels that one of the great contributions of ACT UP was "articulating demands for universal health coverage." He feels that we , as a movement, should be more proactive. He feels that rich gays, while generous with their money, are safe generous, and "it's time not to play everything so safe."
Larry raises some pertinent issues. HRC is cleaning house and needs new blood to get our message across. But in my opinion, nothing is instant. We need to find openings and take measures that build upon what achievements we've already won. And that takes time. To speed all this up, perhaps some coordination and channeling of resources into a unified message, that appeals to mainstream America about fairness, would achieve success. Where the new HRC is headed, is anyone's guess.