POLITICS
05/20/2015 09:08 am ET Updated May 20, 2015

How LGBT Activists Won The PR Game: Cash, Culture And Community

What's the secret of the LGBT community's success, as they've moved toward societal equality? According to our most recent "Drinking & Talking" panel, part of it was simply smart activism. But the money didn't hurt.

The Huffington Post's own Jen Bendery joined three members of the gay community -- former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Victory Fund CEO Aisha Moodie-Mills, and Robert Traynham, a former press secretary for likely GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum -- for a wide-ranging discussion on how far the LGBT community has come over the years, hosted by HuffPost's Sam Stein.

As Moodie-Mills noted, "The [activists] took this to the streets and made it about people, not policy." Activism took many forms, but the most notable success the gay community had was just earning a mainstream presence in our popular entertainment. As Bendery pointed out, though, money still mattered, "I've always pictured it as a lot of gay men with money" -- and it was hard currency that made the difference in political fights like New York State's gay marriage ballot initiative.

"It's nice to have morality on your side," said Frank, but it doesn't hurt if when the "profit motive joins in, you're in good shape."

For the full "Drinking & Talking discussion, as well as links to other highlights, click here.

["Drinking and Talking" is produced by Ibrahim Balkhy, Christine Conetta, Brad Shannon and Adriana Usero.]

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