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SHOCK: HRC Losing Cash Donors Because of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Strategy

joesolhrc1

In a revealing letter to the Human Rights Campaign obtained by Queerty, a donor to the organization reveals he’s withdrawing his financial support for one big reason: HRC’s misguided strategy on letting elected officials off the hook on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to push through other legislation. Previous accusations claimed HRC’s Joe Solmonese was advising the White House and senior Democratic legislators to take a relaxed approach to DADT. Now, irrefutable evidence HRC is throwing military personnel under the bus.

The donor, whose name was redacted in the letter forwarded to us (we’re opting to use the pronoun “he” for clarity’s sake), has two major complaints about HRC: 1) It is advising the White House and legislators that they need more support in repealing the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which has the effect of stymieing the ability to gain more support; and 2) The funds HRC collects to battle against DADT are not actually being used to do so.

It’s unlikely Solmonese & Co. make significant strategy decisions without without consulting HRC’s inner circle — doing so would risk their cash faucets. But it appears Solmonese has been advising legislators either without consulting its top tier of donors, or despite it.

The letter’s author is among HRC’s Federal Club, which requires annual donations of $1,200 to $4,999.

Also: According to a date stamp on the email, the letter was forwarded around at least as early as May 9, which if you do your math, is before the first report of HRC’s punting on DADT surfaced from reporter Jason Bellini, who filed the report earlier this month. That means HRC members have been aware of the org’s strategy on repealing DADT before the rest of us.

And now, amidst renewed charges (this time from the military newspaper Stars & Stripes) that Solmonese has been telling legislators to hold off on DADT while legislation like ENDA goes through, comes our publishing of the donor letter, which offers pretty irrefutable evidence that HRC is telling Washington how to play with our rights — even if Solmonese denies it.

Dear [Federal Club co-chairs]

[Partner name] and I are suspending our federal club membership due to HRC’s opposition to moving H.R. 1283 (the Military Readiness Enhancement Act) forward in this Congress. I am aware that HRC has recently discouraged several key Senate offices from introducing MREA, and am concerned that HRC may be similarly discouraging other members of Congress from co-sponsoring the legislation. The White House is saying that MREA needs more support in Congress before the President can publically do anything; many members of Congress are saying that the President needs to do more publically before they will come on board. HRC’s private, de-facto opposition to the current MREA effort is contributing to this catch-22.

HRC, in recently years, has raised a lot of money by fundraising on the DADT issue (vis-à-vis Sgt. Eric Alva), but the funds raised are clearly not being used to repeal DADT, and – sadly – part of those funds appear to be used to functionally advocate the continuation of DADT, at least in the short term. That HRC would refuse to invest resources to support the passage of MREA in this Congress is unsettling. That HRC would actively work to undermine the efforts of those of us who are waging this critically important battle is offensive. (I am attaching to this email a .pdf copy of a May 1 HRC Public Policy Committee email with minutes from its April meeting, and the agenda from its May meeting. These documents conclusively evidence that DADT is not on the HRC legislative agenda (despite 140 of our Congressional allies having the political courage to co-sponsor H.R. 1283).)

[Partner name] and I donate a significant percentage of our income to organizations fighting for the rights of LGBT soldiers. I am deeply troubled that our investment is being devalued by HRC.

We support HRC’s efforts on hate crimes legislation, and other very important federal initiatives. Indeed, we are grateful for those efforts. And, we truly respect and appreciate each of you for your years of leadership to our community, locally and nationally. But on this matter we must speak out. We make this promise to you: we will immediately renew our federal club membership when HRC shows*by its actions* that it fully supports passage of MREA in this Congress. Until then, we are diverting this $1,200 directly to those to want the ban to end now.

In your capacity as HRC fiduciaries, we ask that you please influence HRC to cease its efforts to undermine the repeal of DADT in this Congress.

Respectfully,

[Name of former HRC Federal Club member, outside Washington DC]

We’ve put a word in with HRC to see if we can ID the letter writer. We’ll let you know what we hear. And let’s be sure: This donor isn’t the only one abandoning support.

(Photo: LCCR)

By:           editor editor
On:           Jun 23, 2009
Tagged: , , ,
  • 58 Comments
    • grayyoung
      grayyoung

      f*** solomonese i want to serve openly… plus the repeal of dadt has more public support than the repeal of doma a lot more

      Jun 23, 2009 at 11:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      Two things…

      1) How do you validate the integrity of the story if you don’t even have the name of the person. You can rely on a third party source, but that isn’t always the smartest idea.

      2) When you said big donors I figured you were talking about someone more substantial. $1,200 on the national scene is like $10 on the state scene. Its a petty amount of cash. Hell, its less than JOE Blow makes in a week.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 11:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @grayyoung: But not more than ENDA which is the real focus right now. Not to mention, ENDA is a stepping stone for the repeal of DADT because the government looks really bad when it forces the private sector to do something it isn’t willing to do.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marianne Seggerman
      Marianne Seggerman

      Why doesn’t “he” do what I do – join the Leadership Council of the Task Force. I have a lot fewer misgivings as to how mu money is being used (or misspent).

      Jun 23, 2009 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)
      Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)

      Lol! Look at that picture of Solmonese. Was that the same pucker-lipped face he had when he walked out of the Oral– Excuse me, Oval Office with President Obama?

      Jun 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @galefan2004: You said “@grayyoung: But not more than ENDA which is the real focus right now. Not to mention, ENDA is a stepping stone for the repeal of DADT because the government looks really bad when it forces the private sector to do something it isn’t willing to do.”
      ______________________________________________

      The trouble is ENDA could be argued against in court if Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is still in existance. All a company has to argue is “The Federal Government and the Military legally discriminate because they say that gays are bad for an organization.” This would be a powerful argument to a court. Additionally, why can the government write omnibus bills that cover thousands of codes and bills and yet we are told that we can only push one little gay rights step at a time. ENDA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell are basicallythe same thing, tie them together into one bill and send them through for Goodness Sake.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF
      Tim in SF

      You know, I am not even upset with HRC over this particular issue. They’ve obviously done some political calculus, and their math tells them that right now at this particular point in time, some issues are better than others on which to be focusing our money, time and energy. Fine.

      But, I am outraged, lo-these-many-years-later, for the HRC endorsement of Joe Lieberman against PRO-GAY liberal progressive Ned Lamont for CT Senate in 2006. I’m still quite fucking furious. So if this is the issue with which we can take down HRC, then PASS THE AMMO.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 12:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)
      Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)

      @Tim in SF: PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS TIM!

      That election was three years ago! Get back to reality and focus on the fact that HRC is letting the Obama Administration get away with Carte Blanche while squandering millions of our hard earned dollars on black-tie galas, political fundraisers, awards shows, silent auctions, and millions of other functions irrelevant to our rights. Basically they took millions of our dollars and threw a big party!

      Joe Solmonese should have been booted a long time ago but apparently he has been pulling enough tricks on 13th Street in DC to avoid pissing off the gay establishment. He is just as bad as the Democrats in power. ENDA and Hate Crimes are important but they PALE IN COMPARISON TO DADT.

      I cannot fund an organization that tells Congress to wait while hundreds of MISSION CRITICAL military personnel are booted while America is at war. Get with the picture or get out of the way. Put your money in an organization that is REALLY bringing change like the Repeal 8 movement!

      Jun 23, 2009 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Henry
      Henry

      I could not give $1,200 to HRC even if I wanted to. However, I did not renew my membership as I have caught on to what HRC has been doing to undermine our community. I am VERY disappointed by HRC’s actions.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InExile
      InExile

      Last year I made my last donation to HRC and do not plan to resume this year or next. HRC needs a new leader who is a fighter for equality, who can stand up to right wing nuts effectively. Joe Solmonese comes across as weak and passive when he debate right wingers in the mainstream media. We need a high riding bitch to represent us that is smart and strong enough to counter the right on all of their arguments against equality. Mommy Dearest maybe?

      Jun 23, 2009 at 1:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SM
      SM

      You know the Democrats cannot even get the Democrats to grow a spine on Health Care so don’t take your issues so personally. If the Democrats back down on Health Care. Obama may be a one term President. You all can have a Republican back.

      START HOLDING YOUR CONGRESS ACCOUNTABLE TO ACT LIKE DEMOCRATS!

      HOW MANY TIMES DO PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY IT!

      Here are Obama’s words.. STOP LISTENING TO THE NEWS SPIN and LISTEN TO HIM…if you don’t..its your own fault.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Neil
      Neil

      According to The Washington Blade, Joe Solmonese’s salary
      package for 2008 was $338,400 and he had a staff of 151
      full time workers and a budget of $41.4 million —-

      AND THEY LOST TO PROP 8 IN CALIFORNIA BECAUSE THEY SAT ON
      THEIR THUMBS!!!!

      Jun 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dennis
      Dennis

      @SM:
      Many on this site would rather have a rethuglican as POTUS…the more drama, the better. More vicious shit has been said and posted on this site (in articles and threads) against the current administration than on any post about Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh, Robertson, or any other genuine enemy of LGBT people and causes.

      A more nuanced view of Obama’s strenghts and weaknesses related to advancing our cause is almost impossible to maintain on this site, far better to screech and froth at the mouth…doesn’t require as much thought, or analysis.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 2:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dennis
      Dennis

      @Dennis:
      And, I agree that HRC is experiencing the karma of their previous bullshit and inaction…they have a short window of time to get their shit together, and become much more responsive to the communities’ needs and correct demands for actual progress on our issues…or Joe Solmonese IS going to need those puckered lips to find himself a new job.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF
      Tim in SF

      @Captain Freedom (HRC doesn’t speak for me): PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS TIM! That election was three years ago! Get back to reality and focus on the fact that HRC is letting blah blah blah…

      Harsh words for someone with whom you basically agree (re: HRC is bad) but only disagree on the particulars (reasons for why HRC is bad).

      Want to know why gays cannot get anything done politically? Because we can’t work together. Your rant above is a case in point.

      You’re saying that my beef with HRC is invalid because it is years old and that there are fresh insults so I should drop the old stuff and be mad and the new stuff or… something… I don’t exactly know what you’re saying because your writing is hysterical.

      The rest of what you wrote is a rant on HRC’s latest sins. Not sure why you’re telling me this, because I’m pretty clear that I’ve found HRC to be loathsome long before today. I won’t give a dime to HRC and haven’t for years because HRC has ALWAYS been SHIT going back to the NINETIES when it was HRCF. And if you don’t know that, it’s because you don’t know your fucking history. Which, also, is a reason fags never get shit done.

      Take your self righteous indignation and shove it up your ass. You have NO place to lecture me.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 2:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Dennis: you said “Many on this site would rather have a rethuglican as POTUS…the more drama, the better. More vicious shit has been said and posted on this site (in articles and threads) against the current administration than on any post about Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh, Robertson, or any other genuine enemy of LGBT people and causes.

      A more nuanced view of Obama’s strenghts and weaknesses related to advancing our cause is almost impossible to maintain on this site, far better to screech and froth at the mouth…doesn’t require as much thought, or analysis.”
      ______________________________________________________________

      Nuanced…you mean nuanced like the Clinton Adminstration? i.e. “Just be patient and we’ll get to you.” Only to wait 8 years and get…NOTHING, except the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell mess, and then DOMA signed into law even though Clinton was approximately 16 points head in the polls. So forgive the gay community if we tend not to trust people that release a DOJ brief comparing our relationships to incest who then tells us to be paitent because they are working FOR us.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joe
      joe

      Its amazing all this bullshit on these blogs these days. At a time in history when LGBT issues are gaining momentum all LGBT people should be coming together – instead we have all this fighting between groups – which makes us look weak. And that’s exactly what the religious right and Republicans want. Division within a group will lead to it being conquered.

      While I do support the repeal of DADT – I firmly believe that Anti-hate Crimes and Marriage equality will benefit a larger majority of the LGBT community at this time. Not too mention that the economy needs to be fixed – Obama inherited a hujge mess from Bush and his cronies.

      Everyone is acting like a bunch of two year old kids. Grow up.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 2:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)
      Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)

      @Tim in SF: OKay so maybe I was a little overreactive. I say this because for a second I wanted to make sure you weren’t another “airhead gay” who is oblivious to reality and what is going on. Clearly you passed the test.

      Now as far as HRC I agree with everything you just said. I am glad that you are up to date.

      However, I am starting to think its not just Solmonese who is the problem. It’s the entire HRC. They are a failed organization that is dated and more in line w the Bill Clinton cabinet years. They are only effective and self-promotion and throwing fag parties.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 2:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)
      Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)

      @joe: Hey Joe, I’d like my $10 a month back. I don’t approve of you using my money to throw black-tie affairs and parties for all your friends in D.C. Gays have more public support behind us today than blacks did when they were granted all their rights and yet our politicians are lagging behind.

      Come to San Francisco. You will see millions of outraged Californians who don’t care for HRC, EQCA, or any of these organizations but just want their marriage rights back. Talk to my friends who are activists who subscribe to every gay organization out there. They are all pretty tired of the constant newsletters from HRC bragging about some event that they were not invited to and could care less about.

      When you’re ready to stand up for us and our rights, we’ll be waiting. Until then, HRC DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ME.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)
      Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)

      @Tim in SF: Again, please accept my apologies Tim. That was over the top.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sameres77
      sameres77

      HRC has NEVER spoken for me. They’ve been shady for a long time and I’ve felt the powers that be are in it for power not to actually advance GLBTQ issues. This just helps to confirm my long held suspicions.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF
      Tim in SF

      @Captain Freedom (HRC doesn’t speak for me): However, I am starting to think its not just Solmonese who is the problem. It’s the entire HRC. They are a failed organization that is dated and more in line w the Bill Clinton cabinet years. They are only effective and self-promotion and throwing fag parties.

      YES! I AGREE 100%! More if it were possible! They are the gay version of the DLC!

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob In Sacramento, CA
      Bob In Sacramento, CA

      This organization that deems to represent Gays deserves about as much continuing support as Obama does. It didn’t make any difference after all who won the election when it comes to Gay rights because with Obama we have asomeone who’s against marriage rights and for seperate but (un)equal rights, who stays silent about DOMA unless forced to talk about it by the press, who continues a policy of disallowing AIDS/HIV activists and those simply with HIV/AIDS from coming into this country from elsewhere and who has done less than nothing about DADT except to say that he’s working on it, a crass and transparent attempt to stave off Gays from donating to the DNC and fleeing from the democratic party’s ‘big tent’. So while that tent collapses all around, so-called leaders of the Gay community are invited to a nice lunch at the White House and they accept and are willing to sit there while the chairs are pulled out from under them by Obama.

      Talking out of both sides of his mouth is a game he expects us to play but but most of us won’t play any more. That court filing recently was the most disgusting and insulting filing to come from an administration’s Department of Justice and damaged any attempt to overturn DOMA too. When you compare Gays in effect to criminals, you don’t have much chance of ever overturning DOMA nor an argument any longer for doing so. Obama is the gift that keeps giving to republicans and homophobes alike and HRC tells us to be patient? This struggle isn’t about Obama but about us and equal rights. It’s only about him in the sense that he made promises he’s failed to keep. It’s no use telling us he’s working on DADT and discussing the issue when that issue has been talked to death. You’re either for it or against it and you’re either going to keep your word or not and now and not some time in some distant future when it’s politically convenient for you. In the meantime, good people and patriots like Daniel Choi who should have a right to serve their country get thrown out of the military and we get a token month to celebrate Gay pride, some diplomats get equal rights and federal workers get them too but without all the benefits their heterosexual co-workers get. So much for Obama’s fierce advocacy of Gay rights and so much for the HRC that believes that waiting means soon when in fact like Martin Luther King said, “Waiting means never”.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Konrad
      Konrad

      HRC has it s faults but I’m not giving some rich guys the right to set priorities and strategies. Sorry, he might be right; he might be wrong. But we don’t need these decisions left to rich funders.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)
      Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)

      @Tim in SF: For every dollar that went to HRC we could have been running a national ad blitz promoting gay families and exposing Americans in all 50 states to gay couples and their kids. We could do what organizations like NOH8 and Courage Campaign are doing in SoCal but on a national level. Gays are very business savvy and tend to understand that in order to win people over we have to work like an advertising agency in promoting ourselves and what people have not to fear.

      HRC is run like AIG. A bunch of old fruits with no plan and a big mouth and lots of money sucking on the Obama Administration for another bailout in the form of crumbs and self promotion.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF
      Tim in SF

      @Captain Freedom (HRC doesn’t speak for me): Again, please accept my apologies Tim. That was over the top.

      You were rude, I responded in kind. I think it zeros out.

      Look, you’re clearly angry and justifiably so. I just think all this typing in a Queerty comment thread is not the most effective channel for your energy. So, to you, I humbly offer this suggestion:

      Every other day, I make three phone calls, one to my representative in the House, Madame Pelosi, and one to each of my senators, Boxer and Feinstein. The calls are very quick and go like this:

      “Hi there. I would like you to pass on a message to the Speaker (or the Senator) for me. I am a constituent, I live in the 94117 zip code. I am in favor of single payer, and I’m in favor of the immediate repeal of DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Can you pass that along for me?”

      To which the person on the phone always says something along the lines of “I’d be happy to. ” They sometimes ask for my name and address, which I’m happy to give. It takes less than five minutes to make all three calls, and please believe me when I say that these phone calls are effective. They add up. The offices keep a tally by their phone and record the numbers. Legislators start to freak out when they get a lot of calls. It tells them we are paying attention. And your five minutes is far better spent on the phone than it is writing a check to HRC. Or any other A-Gay Group of professional queers.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)
      Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)

      @Tim in SF: When I said “over the top” I was referring to me, not you. We’re both justifiably mad but I think we realize we shouldn’t be mad at each other but at this asshole @joe: right here. I think we should definitely get involved w the politicians in DC but keep in mind that is not enough. We need to get involved on the ground.

      Prop 8 won’t get overturned by politicians in DC or some far-and-away leader. It will get overturned by grassroots activism and people waking up and voting.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • janice josephine carney
      janice josephine carney

      I am a disabled Vietnam Veteran and a transgender person. As a trans woman I know how quick Solmonese and the HRC are with tossing “trannys’ over board. At this years SLDN lobby day I had a conversation with a fellow Veteran that agreed with the HRC’s decision to drop transgender Protecions from ENDA. I wonder if that gay Veteram still agrees with HRC? If a ENDA that just protects white gay men was proposed Mr. Solmonese would say OK . we will come back for the rest of the LBT population.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Cam: I don’t agree with you. I don’t think the majority of companies will challenge ENDA. They gain nothing by challenging it. It outs them as homophobes (which cost them money), and it cost them money to challenge it. I’m not going to be naive enough to say that certain companies aren’t completely homophobic, but I feel that the vast majority of homophobic discrimination in the work place comes from a boss (or a person doing hiring) that is anti-gay instead of the entire company being anti-gay.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF
      Tim in SF

      @Captain Freedom (HRC doesn’t speak for me): When I said “over the top” I was referring to me, not you. We’re both justifiably mad but I think we realize we shouldn’t be mad at each other but at this asshole @joe: right here.

      I know what you meant, I’m just saying that I’m not offended. We are both clearly mad and both clearly mad at the right people. :-) Your anger at HRC and “over the top” comments towards earlier me reveals an anger which is completely justified. So I’m not offended, because I understand. I’m with you. Are you hearing me?

      And yes, I find Joe’s comments stupid and useless, but I’m not really all that mad at him, either. He’s a guy with an opinion with which I disagree, which I think covers a whole lot of our country right now. (and truth is, I kinda skipped over his comment after reading the first line. No reason to descend into that kind of stupidity).

      I think we should definitely get involved w the politicians in DC but keep in mind that is not enough. We need to get involved on the ground.

      Definitely. But I just want to emphasize, here, the effectiveness of those three phone calls. I just made them right now and I ask you to do it, too. Please, Captain Freedom, do it for me. Humor me. Make the three calls right now and then tell me how you feel. It usually puts a smile on my face for an hour or so and I’d like to know it does the same for you. It’s SO easy and SO effective!

      Prop 8 won’t get overturned by politicians in DC or some far-and-away leader.

      This is true on Prop 8. But the three issues I call on are Single Payer, DOTA and DOMA, and that is definitely in the purview of the House and Senate. Try it! Give the fuckers a call! They work for you.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)
      Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)

      @Tim in SF: I would call them but am at work (don’t tell). Pelosi has the power to end this all but she’s showing no backbone.

      We had Ellen Tauscher and then she got appointed to the Cabinet. My guess is Obama didn’t want her to give us rights so he took her out of Congress! Lol!

      I think the most effective way to get the Democrats in line is to go to safe-D districts, find those who are not standing up for us, and run openly gay primary challengers against them. We have only THREE people in Congress and two of them are bending over the President. One of them (who shall go unnamed) is bending over barebackwards.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SM
      SM

      @Captain Freedom (HRC doesn’t speak for me):

      Captain Freedom…I think you are very smart :)

      Jun 23, 2009 at 4:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF
      Tim in SF

      @Captain Freedom (HRC doesn’t speak for me): I think the most effective way to get the Democrats in line is to go to safe-D districts, find those who are not standing up for us, and run openly gay primary challengers against them.

      I think you and I read the same books. Hitting an incumbent in a safe blue district from the left in a primary is often an effective means of getting the incumbent to move left. You mentioned Taucher – I don’t know how closely you’ve followed her career but a couple years ago she was absolute shit – very conservative. It was only after being threatened with a primary that she started to come around to the progressive side of things. And let me emphasize this: it was only with the threat of a primary challenger.

      The same thing is happening with Sestack and Specter. Specter is suddenly moving to the left – way to the left – because of the threat from Sestack in the upcoming primary.

      And, yes, I contribute to those campaigns with money I can ill afford to spend. I probably spent a thousand dollars in the last cycle. In the last few months I even got my own act blue page up, though that didn’t raise a lot of money.

      Still, and at risk of sounding like a broken record, calling your representative regularly is a very effective strategy. Doing it from work is hard, though. When I was working, I did it from my cell phone (had the numbers in my address book) on my lunch break.

      We have only THREE people in Congress and two of them are bending over the President. One of them (who shall go unnamed) is bending over barebackwards.

      Were you as sickened and disappointed as I was with Barney Frank’s reversal?

      Jun 23, 2009 at 5:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark Snyder
      Mark Snyder

      The bigger problem is that HRC continues to endorse pro-life, pro-war republicans and conservative democrats over true progressives. IE lieberman over lamont.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)
      Captain Freedom (HRC doesn't speak for me)

      @Mark Snyder: What gets me the most is that ANYTIME someone criticizes them (I mean they’re ONLY spending $30M of our hard earned dollars) they accuse us of infighting and not doing enough to stop the Republicans.

      Its ironic… in 2009 we’ve seen Steve Schmidt, Meghan McCain, and Cindy McCain come out for gay marriage. At the same time we saw the NY GOP Senate leadership allow their caucus to vote on marriage. We saw John McCain shift his position on DADT. We saw Dick Cheney come out for marriage.

      I’m not a Republican myself but I think we should stop aiming all our anger at them, especially because they no longer control the government.

      Truth is, I don’t see any infighting. The only person I see anger geared at is Joe Solmonese for his self-aggrandizing failure to lead a sinking ship called the SS HRC.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com
      Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

      @Captain Freedom (HRC doesn’t speak for me):

      No biggie, but, actually, House DADT repeal lead Ellen Tauscher is apparently still waiting for her State Department appointment to come through, not Cabinet.

      MA Congressman Patrick Murphy is expected to take the lead which is GREAT because not only is he straight and HATES DADT but is, I believe, still the only Iraqi vet in Congress, who was one of O’s military advisors during the campaign. No one’s going to tell him he doesn’t know what the military generally or young troops specifically are like.

      YouTube seems to be hung up at the moment, but when it’s back, you can scroll down on the page at the link below for an inspiring example of his nailing banshee Elaine Donnelly to her homohating cross during a DADT Congressional hearing last summer.

      http://www.leonardmatlovich.com/dadtbeforeafter.html

      .@Cam:

      We are not served by ignoring the good that came out of the Clinton administration any more than we would be by ignoring the bad. Did you know that in a twist typical of the upside down world of DADT that gays in the military, thanks to an Executive Order by Clinton, DO have “hate crimes” protection while civilian gays, as you know, still don’t? Did you know that in another twist, per another of his orders, the discovery that a servicemember is gay during a security clearance check cannot be used to discharge him/her? And, that, through another order, gay employment discrimination is banned in federal hiring?

      Finally, it’s time for the President to stop listening to the dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park of the Pentagon. To recall what he himself said in 2007: “America is ready to get rid of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. All that is required is leadership.” To remember his own better angels and freeze discharges immediately. And, then, for him to become a “drum major for justice,” leading Congress to fully repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

      Please help that day arrive sooner by calling the White House at 202-456-1414 or e-mailing the President at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.

      Thank you.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Well thank you TIM in SF & Captain Freedom for burying the hatchet. If more Gay people & Gay groups could apologize and sincerely accept apologies like you two we might get somewhere….

      Jun 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      I pulled my support along time ago when HRC pulled the EDNA crap with the Trans community. As an LGBT activist I am not going to support an organization that dismisses gender issues because they fear something will not pass. As an LGBT activist I know what it is like to be on the “outside” looking “in” and I am not going to marginalize our trans family because of my own personal gain.

      HRC is a sham and who ever feels like they are supporting all of our rights is lying to themselves.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dennis
      Dennis

      @Cam:
      No, not like Clinton…Jeebus Cripes, can we not be a bunch of screechers on this site who have NO CONCEPT of learning from our mistakes and yet at the same time, not getting all hysterical each day that Obama does not make some public statement praising the gays…It is NOT 1998 anymore, and we have more public support for all of our rights than we did a decade ago…we are also recognized as more of a political force to be reckoned with than in the past….we can and should use all of this to our advantage.

      How about the possibility of new, intelligent, tactical actions? Pressuring the DNC, and the adminstration, and HRC and ALL of the rest of the friggin’ DC establishment is absolutely the right thing to do…if we are tenacious, and tough, and committed, and persistent, we will have many real gains for our cause during this administration.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 8:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J.Lowrot
      J.Lowrot

      @Marianne Seggerman: Right on! I’m a proud Task Force Leadership Council member for several years now. And I also support Lambda Legal.

      Only effective organizations get my money.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Skott
      Skott

      wow, galefan – what an ignorant thing to say. $1200 is quite substantial in the world of 501(c)(3) organizations. Joe Blow makes more than that in a week? You are living in an isolated, apparently privileged world. Your comment is crude and makes you look like a jerk.

      @galefan2004:

      Jun 23, 2009 at 8:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • michael
      michael

      I seldom come to this site anymore. Queerty practices journalism like a pissy, old bitter alcoholic queen sitting at a bar and bitching all the time. I am completely for holding the DNC, Obama, HRC all organizations responsible for their actions and their promises. But this must be done in a mature, adult fashion. As I posted on another story we need to study the way great men and women, such as Dr. King led their movements. They were done with integrity and respect but they did not cower and used their anger as a powerful motivator and they did not act like victims. My problem with stories like this is that they cannot be fact checked and so they are basically crap. Queerty, you act like you don’t like Perez Hilton but the reality is your a lot more like him than you wish to see. Your becoming an embarrassment to the gay community and a liability to the movement. Grow the fuck up.

      Jun 23, 2009 at 8:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gene Elder
      Gene Elder

      And Rememeber: “Art,like the Alamo, has to draw the line somewhere.”—Gene Elder, the HAPPY Foundation, San Antono, Texas elder4tomato@yahoo.com

      Jun 23, 2009 at 9:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jasPER flat
      jasPER flat

      HRC is a waste of energy. They take more than give, hurt more than they help, plot more than they organize.

      Don give HRC any of your money, don’t listen to any of their propaganda, don’t allow them to speak for you, don’t wait around for them to accomplish anything. BTW, when has HRC accomplished ANYTHING?

      f u hrc.

      oh, and it looks like hrc employees have been adding their comments above – funny how they never expose this fact. Queerty u know it’s happening, how’bout doing something about it.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 1:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      LOL@InExile:

      Don’t fuck with me fellas. This ain’t my first time at the rodeo!

      Jun 24, 2009 at 1:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • boq
      boq

      funny how gays keep blaming the boogeymen, “right” whe it is libereal democrat BO who compares gays to incest and pediphlia. uh….. ok. dense community. thwn again this ia a comm who think an alcoholic lesbo MSNBC liar pundit is thei Rushbo.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 2:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @galefan2004: you said “@Cam: I don’t agree with you. I don’t think the majority of companies will challenge ENDA. They gain nothing by challenging it. It outs them as homophobes (which cost them money), and it cost them money to challenge it. I’m not going to be naive enough to say that certain companies aren’t completely homophobic, but I feel that the vast majority of homophobic discrimination in the work place comes from a boss (or a person doing hiring) that is anti-gay instead of the entire company being anti-gay.”
      _______________________________________________________

      What I am saying is that a company that is sued by an employee for sexual orientation discrimination can make a legitimate argument to the court that the case should be dismissed because the federal government mandates and defends such discrimination in the military as they feel it is bad for the organization, therefore how can Congress mandate that a company protect somebody who is suing for dismissal on those grounds. Even if only one company does it, it could weaken ENDA by having the court agree with them. There is no reason not to package the two together into one bill which states “No discrimination against LGBT in public or private or Military capacity. End of story.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 10:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com: You said “We are not served by ignoring the good that came out of the Clinton administration any more than we would be by ignoring the bad. Did you know that in a twist typical of the upside down world of DADT that gays in the military, thanks to an Executive Order by Clinton, DO have “hate crimes” protection while civilian gays, as you know, still don’t? Did you know that in another twist, per another of his orders, the discovery that a servicemember is gay during a security clearance check cannot be used to discharge him/her? And, that, through another order, gay employment discrimination is banned in federal hiring?”
      _______________________________________________

      Michael, your point is well taken, however the numbers of dismissals from the military for being gay shot through the roof AFTER Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was initiated. It was not followed, an angry ex would tell a persons commanding officer that the person was gay and they would end up getting kicked out even though they had “Told” nothing. The fact that federal employees are not prevented from being hired because they are gay is nice…however I would say that signing DOMA into law when he was so far ahead in the polls absolutly negates that. It’s sort of like having somebody mug you and then drive you to the hospital….I would have prefered they not mug me in the first place. We need to stop being so grateful for any little crumb. It would be like a woman in 1925 saying, “Well sure, they won’t let me vote, but at least they outlawed beating me so I should be grateful.”

      Jun 24, 2009 at 10:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BombasticMo
      BombasticMo

      HRC lost my cash years ago. Despite being one of the biggest organizations out there, they don’t seem to do much (except swagger and beg for more money).

      They also don’t really seem to care about a lot of HUMAN rights, and instead just look out for the rich gay white guys who agree with them 100%.

      Omitting the inclusions for transgendered people on the (ENDA or Hate crimes?) bill was a pretty big red flag.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 10:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Skott: Apparently you didn’t get the JOE part of that comment. As in, sadly this is less than we pay the dude to run HRC every week. I’m not exactly privileged, but you really don’t need to be. The average American that is working a minimum wage job can send in $1200 a year if they have nothing else to spend money on (after bills if they can budget well), and the majority of gay men have nothing else to spend money on. Hell, I know people that spend more than $1200 a year on clothes.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 10:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Cam: What you fail to realize is that while anti-discrimination laws look very good on paper, the majority of the challenges are as expensive as hell and impossible to prove. That means very few people actually sue. However, the threat is always there and the companies realize it, and companies don’t like getting sued (it gets their names in the paper for very bad reasons and cost them money and time they don’t really have). Basically, the threat of being sued is enough. Also, I would love to see the private sector argue that the military doesn’t do it. Because, if the private sector had all the rights of the military, they would all be enforcing their own laws as well.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LM
      LM

      @Neil: We lost the fight against Prop 8 in California due to poor leadership by Equality California. HRC donated almost 4 million dollars to defeat Prop 8 but didn’t run the campaign.

      Jun 24, 2009 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • roxieL
      roxieL

      in my city, we have anti-panhandling posters with a photo of a headless/legless person holding a cardboard sign that says “DON’T GIVE WHERE IT CAN’T HELP!”

      Give where it *CAN* help:
      Servicemembers Legal Defense Network provides legal counsel to LGBT service members so that they can either stay in the military or AT LEAST get an HONORABLE discharge if their career can’t be saved.
      http://www.sldn.org

      American Veterans for Equal Rights is a social and support “veterans service organization” (listed in the VA.gov VSO directory) created by and for LGBT veterans and their supporting allies to help LGBT veterans gain access to their VA benefits, discharge upgrades, etc., and to provide a social community for veterans who are all too frequently ostracized by other VSO’s.
      http://www.aver.us

      Jun 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phil
      Phil

      @Captain “freedom”. I’m sure the whistle blew by now at work, did you make the call now? I did? Did you, Mr. superhero?

      Jul 11, 2009 at 3:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phil
      Phil

      PS. Joe is the most adorable bottom in history. Who wouldn’t tap that?

      Jul 11, 2009 at 3:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Phil:

      Just puked in my mouth.

      Jul 11, 2009 at 3:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • One Who Knows
      One Who Knows

      HRC sounds like a cult gone mad with power, greed, and ego. Maybe they should disband. Educate, Empower, Agitate. It’s up to the activists, and not money to move repeal of DOMA and DADT. Get off your butts, and use your voice. These people are greedy, and power hungry. End of story. Write the Republicans in the Bible Belt, and try to educate them on the issues. Quit giving the HRC any publicity. All these off shoot groups need to unite for one cause: EQUAL RIGHTS NOW FOR EVERYONE! Use your voice if you have one. HRC going on tour with other people’s money?

      Jun 25, 2010 at 6:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • One Who Knows
      One Who Knows

      Obama can sign a stop gap today to stop the releases of the GLBTQ military personnel. Write him. You know his address.

      Jun 25, 2010 at 6:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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