Accused of defrauding donors of any real LGBT rights progress, the Human Rights Campaign today released one of its much-discussed, never-seen “road maps” to equality. This one explains how HRC is going to help repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. It notes “the pressure must increase on all fronts to abolish this discriminatory law.” This is funny, because the only ones feeling pressure right now are HRC’s leaders, not lawmakers. But hey, HRC has five bullet-points worth a gander.
Not surprisingly, they are all things we’ve heard before:
• Continued Presidential Leadership
• Congressional Action in 2010
• Gates/Mullen review
• Strategic Partnerships
• Voices of Veterans
For an organization accused of having little to no transparency, this road map isn’t good enough.
Or maybe HRC’s problem isn’t its lack of transparency, but that the organization, in fact, has nothing to even hide. Because for all its pomp about its reach in D.C., and how it has the ear of lawmakers, there’s a very real possibility that legislators don’t care much about what Gay Inc. has to say. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made that clear already in her independent move on DADT. And Rep. Barney Frank, the gay congressman who you might assume HRC has the closest ties with, continues to dump on the organization’s public image.
While HRC stands aside and applauds President Obama for merely talking about DADT (while, laughably, “calling on” him to act), it’s Rep. Frank who’s telling it like it is: The White House “muddled about when we should move,” he tells the D.C. Agenda‘s Chris Johnson. “I do hope in the next couple weeks, he’ll make it clear that he wants us to act this year as well legislatively.”
Moreover, when HRC isn’t misleading supporters, it’s outright lying to them. In today’s “road map” release, the organization insists, “The path forward has always been the Department of Defense Authorization bill — which was the birthplace of DADT in 1993 — and it will move through Congress as early as April and be on the President’s desk by year’s end.” Sorry. Whose path forward “has always been” the Defense bill? Because HRC only found out about it in November, after Frank told them about it.
Then again, the Human Rights Campaign is the same organization that, under the leadership of Elizabeth Birch, decided it must sit on its hands about all LGBT equality legislation until the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed. Yes, the same Employment Non-Discrimination Act that HRC was willing to support without transgender protections. Yes, the same Employment Non-Discrimination Act that Joe Solmonese stands accused of advising Obama to push forth before even touching DADT. And yes, the same Employment Non-Discrimination Act that has, uh, yet to pass.