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Gravel Pissed Over HRC Diss

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel has “steam coming out my ears” after the Human Rights Campaign and Logo neglected to invite him to their groundbreaking gay debates.

According to HRC spokesperson Brad Luna, America’s so-called “largest gay non-profit” excluded the former Alaska senator because Gravel failed to meet their $100,000 fund threshhold. Gravel, meanwhile, tell us that’s bullshit.

Gravel called us from California to pass along a little note:

That this kind of censorship should come from the community that I am the greatest advocate. It is not absurd, it’s to the edge of stupidity. That they would set up a criteria of not having enough money raised – all political scientists recognize that money is the corruption of the political system.

They [HRC] are saying I’m not greedy or corrupt enough to meet the stands set by Hillary and Obama and Edwards.

You hear Edwards saying he can’t get his arm around [gay marriage]. Is that the garbage HRC want to put before the people? It brings into question my whole judgment of the gay community. If they want to go with the links of these people who don’t deliver… If the gay community wants them, they deserve them.

Gravel’s repeatedly come out for equal gays rights – as he did at a recent Queerty event – and recently marched in San Francisco’s gay pride parade. John Edwards, meanwhile, sent his wife.

Sure, Gravel may not be the leading democratic candidate, but HRC’s definitely shown their true colors – they’re more interested in moderate, wealthy politicians than those willing to rock the boat, as Gravel has done. Unlike some of the candidates, Gravel supports gay marriage.

Gravel also virulently opposes Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and recently lambasted Clinton’s description of hubby Bill Clinton’s discriminatory policy as a “transitory”. But, apparently, HRC’s much more interested in accepting big money crumbs than a candidate dedicated to the human rights cause. Shocker.

[Note: If CNN and MSNBC can invite Gravel, why can't Logo - the gay network - invite Mike Gravel?]

It sounds to us like some of you are mighty pissed at HRC right now. If you’re inclined to let them know, give them a ringer: 202-628-4160. We’re sure they’ll love it.

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Jul 11, 2007
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

    • Gregg

      This entire “debate” is a fucking joke, as the choice of Melissa Etheridge as moderator shows. This is simply fluff entertainment aimed at winning gay votes with no substance. It is completely unsurprising, though still disgusting, that they would not invite Gravel.

      Sadly, I foresee this pandering working on the weak minded throughout our community.

      Jul 11, 2007 at 11:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • doodles

      Does it matter? did people really think he was a presidential contender? sure he would prob bring out issues the other two may dodge but after seeing his rant when he came to NYC, and I asked him a simple question on his gay agenda and his completely diverted the question to taxes? Count me out. He, like most of the other silly 3rd-tier contenders should just go back to their respective states

      Jul 11, 2007 at 11:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Graywolf48

      I agree 100% with Gravel. Unfortunately, he will not be the Democratic nominee, nor apparently the Democrat’s largest fund raiser, but he does bring a lot to the table. I will not support HRC, and this is one more reason why. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, “if this is the way we treat our friends, then we don’t deserve to have any.”

      HRC owes Mr. Gravel an apology and a chance to respond to those who were at the debate. As for Obama, the gay community should beware, they’ll get nothing in return for their money and support. And we all know what Clinton #1 gave us, from Hillary we can expect more of the same.

      I’m only one man, Mr. Gravel, but I think you should have been there as a representative for the Gay community. I cannot presume to apologize for the gay community, but as an individual, please accept my personal apology. HRC, you’re an embarrassment and make the Log Cabin Republicans proud.

      Jul 11, 2007 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey

      Whatever, who cares, he’ll probably drop out before the primaries even start.

      But YES, Melissa Etheridge…what a joke. They should have gone with a gay or lesbian politician who is no longer in office… but then there’d be no “star power”

      Jul 11, 2007 at 11:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bryan

      This is so incredibly upsetting and just another reason I am no longer a member of HRC.

      Jul 11, 2007 at 12:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack Jett
      Jack Jett

      Can someone explain to me why folks keep giving money to the HRC? Mike Gravel has stood up for the gay community more than any of the others.

      Perhaps they would have included him if he had a better set of abs.

      Again, does anyone know if it is true that Joe Solomese is a heterosexual?

      Jack Jett

      Jul 11, 2007 at 1:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Heather_L_James

      Wow, what does it matter who Joe Solomonese sleeps with? Isn’t that the whole point of all of this? That it doesn’t matter who you get your rocks off with? On to the point of the Gravel diss; you know I luvs me some idealists, but people we live in the real world. There is no way big time contenders like Hillary and Obama, with everything to lose, are going appear in a forum on LGBT rights issues with someone like Gravel, who has nothing to lose. These people have an election to win and they aren’t going to risk it for what amounts to four percent of the electorate. I don’t know if anyone has noticed this, but other that Dennis Kucinich, NONE of the Democratic presidential hopefuls has a single line on any of their websites regarding LGBT issues. Really, go to their websites and click the issues heading, you wont find ENDA or Matthew Shepherd or marraige equality ANYWHERE. Let’s come back to the real world for a minute and realize the fact that anyone is talking about this in a public forum is huge. Is it the best case scenario? Hell no, but it is something. Oh and lastly, I was at a dinner with J.S. on the eve of Cleveland Pride last month and I really don’t think he is a breeder, but I didn’t ask.

      Jul 11, 2007 at 1:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ronhudson

      I am disappointed about this news and will write both the HRC and LOGO to ask them to include Mike Gravel in the debate. Thank you for sharing this sad news so that we can advocate for what is right.

      Ron Hudson
      The International Carnival of Pozitivities (ICP)

      Jul 11, 2007 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WWH


      Jul 11, 2007 at 1:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mrm717

      I stopped giving to the ineffective leadership of HRC and their local afffiliate, the Triangle Foundation, years ago. I would encourage others to do the same and to let them know why you are doing so.

      Jul 11, 2007 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack Jett
      Jack Jett

      Ms Heather
      Let me tell you why it matters. HRC is a huge money maker, that for some reason the gay community has been bamboozeled into thinking they are the be all and end all. They have not been. There is a huge segment of the gay population that doesn’t like the way they handle issues…like this one………So hell yes, it matters if a straight man is running this organization. A straight man is no more qualified to run a major gay organization than I am qualified to run a major black womens rights group.
      HE HAS NOT WALKED THE GAY WALK OR TALKED THE GAY TALK. This is the reson they are starting to loose money and power.

      As far as the exclusion of Gravel….it is not about his ability to win, it is about his challenge to the other candidates to make them stand up and speak out about our issues.

      It is also about INCLUSION…something that I know for a fact that HRC is totally inept at.

      You will not hear much about the exclusion of Gravel because of the corporate fear mongering that these groups elicit. Blogs, Mags, etc, stand to loose a shitload of advertising revenue if they lash out in anyway. They will be shunned as well.

      That is what makes QUEERTY SO FUCKING AWESOME because they don’t hold back. They stick up for the underdogs and under pigs (like myself).

      Jack Jett

      Jul 11, 2007 at 2:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • omargosh

      Heather_L_James complains that only one candidate has anything about LGBT issues on their websites, and in the same breath supports the desires of deep-pocketed candidates to try to shut out such supportive voices that, heaven forbid, might have the effect of influencing their own stances should the “3rd-tier” candidates gain more standing in the polls via increased airtime. But then again, Heather_L_James also public states that she believes Joe Solmonese to be gay after having feigned offense that others dare to make such conjectures.

      The HRC’s behavior isn’t surprising considering their past endorsements of less-than-supportive candidates when fully supportive candidates already exist. How do they believe to have gain any leverage with such actions? This whole thing is just a show, considering that both HRC and NGLTF have already released detailed analyses of the candidate’s positions on various issues, but I just don’t know for whom, because it certainly isn’t for gay voters.

      Jul 11, 2007 at 2:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hisurfer

      Count me in with the ones who don’t care. I don’t have much faith that this debate will shed any light on the candidates positions for me. On the off chance that it does, I want it to keep the focus on candidates who have a fighting chance.

      So Gavel says he’s a ‘friend of the community.’ Thanks. But if he hasn’t raised more than 100G and he only polls in the single digits then it doesn’t really seem like this or any community is rallying behind him now, does it?

      His “little note” makes me even less likely to consider him. While I refuse to vote for a homophobe, and I am active in gay politics, I am not going to decide who I vote for based on gay issues this round. war, terrorism, global warming, suburban sprawl, environmental degradation, health care … marriage ain’t even on the list. Gavel turned me off with his suggestion that ’cause I’m queer I better support him, or otherwise I’ll “get the candidates I deserve.”

      Jul 11, 2007 at 2:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nycstudman

      JackJett: HRC alwys had money, but when did it have power? Can you name one single piece of legislation that passed Congress due to HRC? Neither can I.

      As for comments about “3-rd tier candidates,” people it’s JULY 2007! Who at this point in time had heard of Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton? The fact that Hilary & Obama are considered “front-runners” now probably actually DOOMS their candidacy. Remember Howard Dean??

      Jul 11, 2007 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Macariah

      An absolute travesty especially for someone as gay friendly as Senator Mike Gravel. It is time for all of us to bring this discourteous and blatant political hypocrisy against a true friend of LGBT people. The HRC must be made to see the error of their ways and apologize to Mr. Gravel with an invitation to the debates.

      I called the number above, after several attempts I got through. I was told to send an email to Field@HRC.org send them your comments and while you’re at it send it to Andy Humm of Gay USA so they can report this unfortunate oversight or blunder by the Human Rights Campaign and Logo networks.

      Jul 11, 2007 at 4:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Leland Frances
      Leland Frances

      “other that Dennis Kucinich, NONE of the Democratic presidential hopefuls has a single line on any of their websites regarding LGBT issues” Heather, Heather, Heather. Totie Fields stands a better chance of getting the Dem nom for Prez than Kuncinich and she died with only one leg. As for the others, while true we aren’t listed among their top “issues” [in truth, overall virtually no minority groups are], if you’d put down your large Starbucks sippy cup for a moment you might have been able to concentrate long enough to discover these among the press releases on the official sites of:


      Clinton Campaign Announces Launch Of LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee. Pull quote: “I am proud to have the support of such distinguished leaders in the LGBT community,” said Clinton. “Together, we can move our nation closer to the promise of fairness and equality that all Americans deserve.”

      Statement from Hillary Clinton On Gay & Lesbian Pride Month. Pull quote: “For six long years, the Bush Administration has only seen the families that matter to them. It’s been a government of the few, by the few, and for the few. And no community has been more invisible to this administration than the LGBT community.”


      National LGBT Leaders Endorse John Edwards For President. Pull quote: “I am honored to have the support of so many well-respected LGBT leaders,” said Edwards. “They work hard every day to make our country a better place and I am proud to join with them to fight for equal rights for all Americans.”

      Edwards Statement On The Military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy. Pull quote: “It is long past time to end the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy and to allow openly gay men and women to serve in the military.”

      John Edwards Statement On New Hampshire’s Recognition Of Civil Unions. Pull quote: “New Hampshire’s decision to recognize civil unions and grant gay and lesbian couples the same rights granted to heterosexual married couples is an important step in the fight for justice.”

      Edwards Statement On Surgeon General Nominee. Pull quote: “Dr. James Holsinger’s anti-gay writings and beliefs suggest that he will undermine, not advance, the cause of equality and fairness in health care.”

      Though I know he has mentioned gays in a couple of speeches, I could find no similar press releases on Obama’s site regarding gay equality. There were several gay grassroot support groups listed, and gay rights references in the supporter blogs, but we are apparently not important enough to be included elsewhere.

      As for Gravel. I loathe the Human Rights Champagne fund with a capital LOATHE, but they were totally right to exclude him, and I wish mainstream debate hosts would, too, and Ron Paul on the Repug side. They just suck up time that could be used by candidates with an actual chance to be required to give more definitive answers regarding whatever. The recent Dem debate at Howard University turned into a joke [two if you count Obama's AIDS joke] when time allowed for one-minute answers ended up being reduced to 30- SECOND answers! A Presidential campaign deserves more time and focus than fucking Speed Dating. Of course, if Tavis SmileFuckYou and three other non-participants not wasted the first 15 minutes jacking each other off on camera there might have been more time for candidate questions and answers.

      Jul 11, 2007 at 5:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexa

      I get your point about the time wasting, Leland, but it’s a cop out. Either they treat it as a serious debate and only invite candidates who have a chance of getting nominated and hire a real moderator (I love Melissa, I adore her, but just no), or they treat it as the fluff it is and let all the candidates in – or at least include those that have shown us support.

      Jul 11, 2007 at 6:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • A M K
      A M K

      I agree with Gravel!
      HRC isn’t for LGBT rights, less the money is there for them!
      But this is typical of HRC! If you want to be a board member, just remember to have you $100,000. ready to by your position.
      If you seek legislation on your own, HRC will buy off the politicians, so that they won’t support or push for trans inclusive rights. Wisconsin was just 1 example a couple of years ago, The Gender Equity Bill LRB 1940!

      Jul 11, 2007 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mike c
      mike c

      Wow, are you kidding me? Jack Jett- you asked:

      “Again, does anyone know if it is true that Joe Solomese is a heterosexual?”

      Yes, Joe Solmonese is gay. But first, let’s work on spelling his name right before we launch our conspiracy theories, eh? Sometimes (and i say this as a gay man) i can only shake my head at the gay nazis like yourself. Whether you like HRC or not, your ignorance is no help to gay rights.

      But anyway, about Gravel- congrats to him, he’s been supportive of gay rights. But raising $100,000 is a pretty low threshold when running for President. Do you folks want Lamar Alexander too? While some of these fringe candidates may have good ideas, they need to gain a bit of pragmatism and find a realistic way to achieve their goals instead of wasting our time with personal glory campaigns.

      Jul 12, 2007 at 9:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mrm717

      It matters a lot who Joe sleeps with when the HRC board remove two female leaders in a row and replace them with a “straight” male who would make such shitty decisons as Joe has.

      Jul 17, 2007 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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