WASHINGTON, DC — In a new book, LGBTQ Lobbying in the United States, authored by Dr. Christopher Pepin-Neff, LGBTQ researcher and Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Sydney and first lobbyist for Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal, provides an insider view of the fight for LGBTQ civil rights where he calls U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) the "unsung hero" of LGBTQ inclusive military service.
"As the first lobbyist in the United States hired to work for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I've had a front row seat to historic advancements in LGBTQ equality," said Dr. Christopher Pepin-Neff, LGBTQ researcher and Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Sydney. "House Majority Leader Hoyer was undoubtedly the 'unsung hero' of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal effort and really deserves more credit in the history books on the legislative effort, which has led to a more inclusive and fairer military for LGBTQ Americans."
Excerpt from the Pepin-Neff book:
"The repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" was House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's legislative victory, and Senator John McCain's defeat."
"Congressman Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, is one of the longest-serving members of the House of Representatives. In 2010, Hoyer introduced the last version of the "Don't Ask, Don' Tell" Repeal Act as a stand-alone bill in the House. He introduced the bill at a time when it was unclear if it could get through the Senate. As a result, he worked with Democratic Senate Majority Harry Reid of Nevada (disclosure: I used to work for Senator Reid) who was worried about making sure there was enough time on the legislative calendar for consideration and passage of the START treaty with Russia. Hoyer worked with Senate Republicans to get the numbers and led the passage of the bill in the House. This was a mammoth last-second approach, which worked."
In research for the new book, Dr. Pepin-Neff paints a vivid picture of how the LGBTQ community has achieved groundbreaking advancements over the past two decades. The study and book illustrate how much of the success is owed to the LGBTQ movement's legal organizations and demonstrates the overwhelming ineffectiveness of mainstream LGBTQ lobbying groups.
"Historic advancements in LGBTQ rights over the past two decades are now being written about in history books and taught in schools," said Dr. Pepin-Neff. "It's important we have a full understanding of how LGBTQ progress has happened, who the major players have been in achieving success to date and a hopefully a roadmap for the rest of the critical work left to be done."
Dr. Pepin-Neff concluded, ""President Obama and President Biden, for instance, are largely perpetuated as major, uninhibited advocates for LGBTQ equality. However, a one-dimensional narrative of uninhibited success isn't reality. The research is clear - activists pushing outside of the power structure are largely responsible in forcing progress on queer rights, not formal, mainstream lobbying organizations."
ADDITIONAL CONCLUSIONS FROM THE RESEARCH: view.publitas.com/032ebea6-1dbe-49b3-8a8c-84fd4d7d4ed9/book-backgrounder/page/1