activists attack

Dear HRC, Go Fuck Yourselves. Signed, Gay Veterans

What’s been playing out in private conversations for months is now definitely — and defiantly — going public. The feud between the Human Rights Campaign (America’s most ineffective lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy group) and Servicemembers United (the DADT repeal group founded by gay veterans, and which once got paid by HRC to head up DADT repeal tours) used to be kept under wraps by common courtesy, and the unwritten rule among LGBT activists that they appear to be unified to the public. Except that’s a fat phony lie: most advocacy groups, even those you’d throw under the Gay Inc. umbrella, are exhausted with HRC’s foibles. And after HRC spokesflack Fred Sainz (pictured, top) released a statement attacking Nicholson for his “unproductive behavior” in demanding Valerie Jarrett meet with gay troops before her HRC dinner speech, a merry band of gay veterans have released this doozy of a reply. It’s the ultimate of fuck yous.

To All Concerned:

On Saturday, October 9, the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) launched a personal attack against Servicemembers United’s founder and Executive
Director, Alex Nicholson. The previous day, Nicholson, who is one of the nation’s leading “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal advocates, had called out the White House for its lack of substantive action and support this year on DADT and called on Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett to meet with DADT repeal advocates.

Instead of supporting the call for dialogue and greater White House accountability, the Human Rights Campaign’s official spokesperson made personal attacks and demanded
that our community heap gratitude and praise upon the White House for where we are today on DADT. This attack was unprofessional, immature, and unproductive itself, and
it was alienating and insulting to the entire LGBT military and veteran community.

Like Nicholson, and unlike HRC’s spokesperson or any of its leadership, each of us has served this nation in uniform and each of us has been directly impacted by DADT. We, as
27 of the nation’s most prominent DADT repeal activists of the past two decades have also worked to help make this discriminatory law a part of history. No matter the
disagreement on strategy, we will not tolerate an attack against one of our own. We are united as veterans to fight “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” with effectiveness, diligence, and
veracity. And we are determined to see legislative repeal this year, with or without HRC. Our brothers and sisters still serving in silence deserve nothing less.

Ahem: Signed,

Dan Choi
Westpoint Graduate, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Jason Knight
Hebrew Linguist, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Darren Manzella
US Army, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Steve Lorandos
Petty Officer, 2nd Class – Submarines, US Navy
DADT Repeal Advocate

Brian Fricke
USMC, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Brian Muller
Army Bomb Technician, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Alastair Gamble
Arabic Linguist, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Anthony Wilfert
Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Brett Edward Stout
USMC Russian Linguist, Veteran
DADT Repeal Advocate

Rob Smith
US Army Infantryman, Veteran
DADT Repeal Advocate

Keith Meinhold
Petty Officer, 1st Class – Aviation – US Navy
DADT Repeal Advocate

Justin Elzie
USMC Veteran, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Ben Gomez
Petty Officer, 2nd Class – Legalman, US Navy
President, AVER, San Diego

Mara Stewart
Petty Officer, 1st Class – Linguist, US Navy
DADT Repeal Advocate

Julianne Sohn
USMC Comms.Officer, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Julie Mendoza
US Air Force, Retired
DADT Repeal Advocate

Tanya Domi
US Army Veteran, Columbia Univ. Professor
DADT Repeal Advocate

Anu Baghwati
USMC Communications Officer, Veteran
Executive Director, SWAN

Jenn Hogg
Army National Guard, Veteran
DADT Repeal Advocate

Jarrod Chlapowski
US Army Korean Linguist, Veteran
Field Director, Servicemembers United

Larry Baxley
US Navy Intelligence Officer, Veteran
Former VA Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

Justin D. Ford
US Army Veteran, Straight DADT Repeal Ally
Former North FL Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

Walker Burttschell
USMC Veteran, Discharged Under DADT
Former South FL Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

Gabriel Knous
USMC Veteran
Former Orlando Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

Scott Spychala
USAF/ANG, Retired
Former IN Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

Pepe Johnson
US Army Field Artillery, Discharged Under DADT
Former WV Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

Rasool Mutawakkil, Jr.
US Army Veteran, Straight DADT Repeal Ally
Former Tampa Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

As we pointed out today, attacking Nicholson is part of HRC’s new strategy to distract everybody from its immobile Democratic friends and instead turn the attention not just to enemies who hold no public office (like NOM and the Mormon Church), but repeal advocates who are actually getting shit done. Nicholson, after all, is among the plaintiffs in the Log Cabin Republicans’ lawsuit that just had Don’t Ask Don’t Tell declared unconstitutional. The Human Rights Campaign could only hope, by tossing a penny into an abandoned swimming pool, to have such results.

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  • Cam

    HRC has to try to turn him into the enemy because if the DADT decision holds, HRC can’t claim any credit for it since the case wasn’t filed by them.

    They are shilling now for the party that they think will keep them relevent. But what they have to realize, is that politicians have no friends, only people they can use, if HRC allows themselves to become irrelevent the DNC will revoke their door passes so fast it will make their heads spin.

    Obama currently is nicer to his enemies than his friends, maybe HRC should take a lesson. They don’t even have to start fast, just criticize, oh I don’t know…ONE thing…you know, like OBama inserting additional hurdles into the DADT repeal that could enable it to go on indifinitly even if Congress passes it…you know, something like that.

  • David K

    There’s a lot of hate from the queerty writer(s) for HRC

    Out of curiosity, why should I dislike them?

  • Cam

    @David K:

    Lets look at this one instance. What did the person from the other group do that was aweful?

    He, is one of the leading advocates for the repeal of DADT, something that HRC says they support. He asked to speak with the White House rep and got attacked in print by them.

    Additionally, HRC released a memo a while ago basically telling gays to shut up and that we should not say anything or complain until after Obama had been in office for 8 years.

    HRC, attacked the origional lawsuits filed that ended up getting us marriage in MA, almost in Hi, and in the other states. The origionally attacked the Lawsuit against Prop 8. After it got a favorable decision they were on all the TV shows acting like they had pushed for it.

    They origionally attacked the current Lawsuit against DADT. They have attacked anybody who dared suggest that Obama should follow through on gay rights.

    They made an agreement with the White House behind closed doors saying that they would keep the gay community off their backs and they could ignore gay rights for a while. etc…

    All this for only 50 million dollars a year.

  • Dewayneinsd

    Ditto EVERYTHING Cam just wrote let me add one..

    HRC is so far UP OBamas ASS they cant SEE,HEAR,or DO anything unless Obama SHits

    Then they say thank you sir may I have some more!

  • Mark

    HRC are utterly ineffective.

    They have disgraced themselves repeatedly this year.

    Can anyone point out a single substantive thing they have done for LGBT rights since Obama got elected

    Good to see that HRC’s irrelevance is becoming more widely known.

  • Qjersey

    HRC (and GLAAD) are too busy acting like fanboys and fangirls chasing after celebrities rather than acting DOING what their organizations supposedly do.

  • Thomas Johnson

    You said 1. I have about 10.
    1) The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was sined into law.

    There you go. 1.

  • Mark

    “The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act”


    That act while good will not prevent hatecrimes or bullying. It is not an advance for our rights. It simply means that if we get beaten up or killed for who we are then the perpetrators will face more severe consequences. It will be cold comfort when we’re getting buried.

    Meanwhile we can’t get married. DADT is still not over. DOMA still exists. ENDA is not law.

    THOSE are the things that Obama’s administration could have done something about.

    Meanwhile Valerie Jarrett – the main speaker at HRC’s dinner just did an interview with the Washington Post where she made this little statement about gay bullyin victim Justin Aaberg’s suicide:

    “They were aware that their son was gay. They embraced him. They loved him. They supported his lifestyle choice. But yet when he left the home and he went to school he was tortured by his classmates”

    Is the HRC going to condemn Jarrett for this I wonder?

    Oh of course not. They are too useless.

  • the crustybastard

    @Thomas Johnson:

    The hate crimes law is merely a sentencing enhancement triggered only under certain narrow circumstances, and is equally applicable to heterosexual persons.

    Therefore, the hate crimes law does nothing to advance LGBT rights, which was the question.

    Try again.

  • Michael @

    The story is more complicated…and, for some time incestuous…than you reveal. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Nicholson’s life partner and SU cofounder Jarrod Chlapowski recently on HRC’s payroll as their “military spokesperson”? His cosigning of this letter is a bit like Michelle cosigning a letter defending Barack.

    OF COURSE, the attack by Sainz is indefensible and the Hilary Rosen Champagne fund is a $30 million-a-year joke that will hopefully soon crumble upon itself after becoming as financially bankrupt as they are morally bankrupt. What ennobles neither side is that this current spat was triggered by SU absurdly begging irredeemable Obama shill Valerie Jarrett to meet with them when she has repeatedly made it clear, including during an onstage interview at Netroots LAST YEAR, that she’s incapable of hearing, and even upon her death someone would have to shoot her mouth to keep it from parroting “Obama Luvs You” bull.

    And, the larger accountability good for the goose is good for the gander, too, so despite the good things SU has done [for which I have contributed money to them and promoted them in various ways], when is Alex going to take personal responsibility for often agreeing to FOLLOW HRC’s “Don’t Criticize Obama Too Much” script during most of the first five critical months of this year…including failing to reveal until months too late afterward that he knew the night before Gates February 2nd Senate dog and pony show that “it was going to be a difficult battle to get them to do what we wanted them to do, and that included putting repeal language in the [Defense] Authorization bill,”

    ….and agreeing to HRC’s insistence that the hundreds of gay vets brought to DC in early May not be used in any way to publicly protest Obama’s refusal to personally engage except to endorse Gates’ by then obvious “study and stall to death” con? Or he and Jarrod desist from Sainz-like attacks on anyone who dares disagree with anything THEY do?

    Finally, while I personally know some and admire most of the vets who signed this letter, it includes the insufferable assertion that the opinion on HOW to end the ban of anyone who’s been in the military is ipso fact MORE valid or ABOVE CRITICISM than that of anyone whose not been in the military. In addition to the insult that is to the nonvets who have fought and sacrificed for an end to the ban such as Sen. Gillebrand and David Mixner, its ILlogical extension is that someone with more years in the military would know the most, and, thus, enablers of Gates’ con such as ADM. Mullen and outright homophobes and ban supporters such as Marine Commandant Conway…each of which have “served this nation in uniform” decades longer than any of the signatories….are right and they are wrong.

  • Paul in Canada

    HRC is experiencing what happens when you puts politics ahead of people. Bye-bye!

  • Yellow Bone

    @Qjersey: But at least GLAAD has produced some positive results whereas HRC produced nothing. Less than nothing if you consider that DOMA and DADT were created under their watch.

  • J.

    Not to mention Log Cabin Republicans and SU have done what HCR hasn’t been able to with a fraction of their budget. Who’s their spin doctor? HRC really needs to get their act together….

  • oldgayvermonter

    Well, they do seem to have a lot of nifty awards dinners, and they are really good at mass fundraising mailings…

  • John (CA)

    I suppose the Human Rights Campaign and their bosses in the Democratic Party can soothe their collective conscience with the knowledge that they dutifully obeyed parliamentary procedure, respected precedent, and played by the rules as the majority party for a scant two years. For whatever that’s worth (which by my calculation is ‘zero’). And they will do this from the opposition benches for the next decade or so. Because they are headed back to 1994 next month. With the exception of New York, and possibly California, the donkeys are going to lose big time.

  • kenny

    Man this is ridiculous and out of control now our own community turning on each other.These morons from the Human Rights Campaign need to be making an actual difference instead of kissing the ass of the man who does not even support us to begin with he doesnt care about any of us.I dont know when people in this community are gonna wake up to the fact that Obama is no better then Bush was hes still fake hes still a liar he doesnt know how to keep promises he consistently makes excuses for his actions 2 especially trying to help our community in anyway.

    The HRC are doing nothing more then creating division and anger within our community and kissing Obama the hypocritical 2 faced bigots ass just makes them look worse then they already are.DADT is extremely important as are equal rights gay marriage and finding some way to help and protect our gay youth nowadays especially in schools.

    One thing these people though are not grasping is that the ONLINE hatred harassment and cyberbullying is also breaking these kids spirits and something needs to be done about that.People can disagree with me all they want to about this Ill respect the difference of opinion.I am just saying that I for one will NEVER be an Obama supporter hes just like any other politician sleazy manipulative and conniving.

  • John

    The fuckwits at HRC are damn lucky that the authors of this letter didn’t solicit signatures from gay vets in general or there would have undoubtedly been thousands of names on it. HRC is more than just worthless, it is a hindrance to DADT repeal.

  • Stephen Thorn

    After reading Dan Choi’s letter to HRC, I sent the following letter to Joe Solmonese, President of HRC:

    Joe Solmonese, President


    1640 Rhode Island Ave. N.W.

    Washington, DC 20036-3278

    October 13, 2010

    Dear Mr. Solmonese:

    Both my spouse, Frederick Carter, and myself have been members of HRC, and we frequently purchase HRC merchandise at your retail store in the Castro in San Francisco. I was extremely dismayed to read DADT activist Dan Choi’s recent letter to HRC regarding HRC’s personal attack against Servicemembers United’s founder and Executive Director, Alex Nicholson (see attached). My spouse is a disabled veteran who became permanently disabled while serving in the U.S. Marines. Consequently, I agree with Mr. Choi-people like Nicholson and Choi (as well as my spouse) know what it’s like to serve their country on the frontlines and then after making this sacrifice for their country faithfully, risk formal discharge simply because they choose to be honest with the military about their sexual orientation. Under the current circumstances I think HRC’s official statement to Mr. Nicholson- that the LGBT service members & veteran’s community should be thankful and praise President Obama and his Administration for where we are today regarding the repeal of DADT- is totally unacceptable. President Obama and his staff have not fulfilled their campaign promises to LGBT service members & veterans to repeal DADT; the fact that the president keeps claiming that he wants DADT to be repealed through Congress-instead of by Executive Order- is a cop-out on his part and clearly demonstrates his lack of commitment to his initial promise to LGBT service members and veterans. Neither President Obama nor his administration deserves our gratitude and praise; in fact, they are the ones the HRC should be critical of… instead of Alex Nicholson and his associates.

    Let me state for the record, I have never met nor contacted either Alex Nicholson or Dan Choi (or anyone else affiliated with them) before this incident occurred; however, I believe that HRC owes Alex Nicholson a public apology for demeaning his hard work to repeal DADT. From now on, every time I watch my permanently disabled spouse suffer unbelievable back pain-even after four back surgeries and countless trials with different pain killers- I will think of people like you and your HRC staff members who sit in their ivory towers really having absolutely no idea what sacrifices former service members like Mr. Nicholson, his colleagues, and my spouse made for this country.


    Stephen Thorn

  • scottyhouston

    The title of this thread pretty much says it all as far as I’m concerned.

    I’m a recently retired 23 year Air Force veteran who retired with honors and just after my 40th birthday. I was in my entire adult life until recently. I was in before the DADT policy kicked in back in 1993 and things have been horrible since then.

    Over the years I supported HRC through many, many donations (even when I didn’t have the money). I felt they were worth my time and energy because we needed a voice. Now I find that they are doing nothing. I was in D.C. in the Spring of this year to attend a Lobby Day on Congress sponsored by the Servicemember’s Legal Defense Network. One of the 3 days I was there a forum was held at The National Press Club in D.C. This forum had members from SLDN, Servicemember’s United and HRC. I was flabbergasted at the disconnect between these three organizations. It was such a push me/pull me situation. I couldn’t help believing that the gay community needs to figure out what it is as a whole and get the right people in place to speak for us.

    I’m CONVINCED that HRC as we knew it has run its course as an organization and is dire need of housecleaning when it comes to their president and other administrators. I stopped all support to HRC a year ago and redirected my time and money to SLDN! HRC is nothing more then a glorified fashion show and cocktail party with a president SEVERELY overpaid!

  • Mike

    The Hate Crimes bill was an expansion of the Hate Crimes tracking bill signed by George Bush 1 in 1991, So no Obama didn’t even get us Hate Crimes he just expanded existing legislation.

  • Sean

    Stopped supporting HRC four years ago. They’re a cocktail party, awards dinner machine, with ZERO credibility for me. (Although I liked hearing Cyndi Lauper sing “True Colors” that time in NYC, and sneaking into the Green Room to shake her hand. Good times, but just a party, people!) Support the org. of your choice (or many!), but make sure that your $$’s are actually supporting the effort to achieve our equal rights.

  • Sean

    And speaking of the mass fundraising mailers, after telling them a couple times in writing that I was not and would not be supporting them going forward, I now take the pre-paid return addressed envelopes from HRC and stuff them full of receipts from contributions to TRUE advocacy groups! Juvenile, I know, and wasting their postage money, but they just can’t seem to wake up and stop sending me the crap!

  • Griff

    I stopped supporting the HRC years ago after they sold my name and address along with their mailing list. They do little for the community except raise money for themselves.

  • oldgayvermonter

    @Sean: Thank you Sean! An even better way to get their attention is to mail them something HEAVY in that postpaid envelope…I like to use roofing paper, but anything that weighs a few ounces will cost them 60 – 80 cents, and they might notice that message – and be sure to enclose a message. If a few hundred p%*sed off folks do this they might have to downsize the hors d’oeuvres at the next black tie event. This is the same idea as the protest post cards after the mainstream press ignored the Gay march on DC back in the 80s(exact date long forgotten). Time, Newsweek, and the like got many of those annoying cards seeking subscribers with the simple message “YOU FORGOT THE MARCH”. Think how many more would have been returned in this age of viral social media!! (this also is a good way to let those criminal tarp-sucking “banks” where to put thier non-stop credit card offerings. They have to pay for every one returned!

  • scottyhouston

    @oldgayvermonter: OMG you just made my day oldgayvermonter!! That’s a great idea! I never think of these things! Can’t wait to try it out! haha!

  • Bonita Bizarre

    Like pretty much any PAC or other non-profit entity that outgrows it’s ability to be functional, HRC seems to be doing nothing lately (beyond endless parties, dinners and awards, awards, awards…). If they put as much energy and funding into actual Political Action for it’s members as it puts into funding celebrity stroke-a-thons, swag-bags, and cocktails parties celebrating the collective hallucination that they’ve accomplished anything significant in the last decade, they might actually HAVE something to celebrate. Meanwhile, they’ve evolved into a corporate behemoth, with a privileged few drawing massive salaries for doing little more than most circuit-party boys do (going coast to coast following the next big “look at me, I’m fabulous” politico dance-a-thon). The only substantive thing I can thing of them doing, is making the phrase “and the band played on” relevant in context of being gay again. Hardly worth the huge money suck they have become on the GLBT community.

    Spend your dollars supporting someone that has more actual effect on our status as citizens and human beings. I’ve been searching out more grassroots groups myself, with much lower DJ & cocktail numbers on their expense sheets…

  • scottyhouston

    @Bonita Bizarre: Bonita..I think you’re my new best friend!! You hit the nail on the head!! Well done!

  • TedinCalifornia

    I’m a young, broke college student, and I have no money to give to any charity or cause, unfortunately. But I’m certainly not going to give it to HRC. They’re as equally unaffective as the We We Can’t Obama administration. Seriously, people, what did you expect from Obama?? All he did was reinstitute all of Clinton’s players. We’re living in Clinton round 2, right after Bush Family round 2. What we need is a people to get involved, and elect accountable representatives. The Tea Party is insane. Let’s start our own more rational version, maybe the Cocktail Party? IDK, lame name I know, but the concept is important. We can’t just complain until the cow comes home. Hold tight to your money (they’ll feel that for sure) and VOTE! And beyond that, IDK, maybe pray to Adonis or the flying spaghetti monster.

  • Ed Gould

    I am really mixed on DADT. Would I like to see it happen? YES.
    I was in the Army 40 years ago and the honophobia then was bad. Having said that I do not see why anyone would join any of the services. The name pinhead comes to mind when you talk to most of the servicement. I could not stand any of the LIFERS (Back them it was the draft that made you go). I was lucky in that I got to work for US Civilians and they were civiliazed and genuinely nice people. I do not know if I could have lasted my time in the Army if it weren’t for them. The officers outside of my unit were without a bit of common sense that they should have been born with. It was like “I will serve the army and will not question anything”.
    As soon as I was given the option to move off post I took it and never looked back. The people in Germany were nice and also very friendly. My old land lady was sure I was part of the Al Capone mod when I told her I was from Chicago. She loved to kid me about it. The neighbors were just fine with us. Back on base the army hadf a field day doing witch hunts. I just could not get out fast enough. So why anyone would want to serve now has to be a little off and closet case’s. When I told the Army that the minute I got out I had a job paying 20 times what the Army was paying me they asked where they could that kind of money. I told them that besides going to school and having good grades helps.
    While I think Marriage is at the top priority, DADT is a close second or maybe third. HRC seems to not understand this and sold the community out. I will be rethinking my annual check to HRC after this disaster.

  • Robin

    You might be interested to know that the HRC’s wikipage has not been updated with regard to criticism over their opposition to the Prop 8 lawsuit in California, or their inadaquate response to the DOJ appeal of the Phillips ruling on DADT.

  • Mark

    Let me state for the record, as a former US Marine – and a gay one at that – that an executive order can NOT end DADT.

    Let me say it again. An executive order is subject to termination once the executive leaves office. Just like in March 2009 when Obama ended W’s executive order to prevent stem cell research.

    If Obama is no longer president in 2012, and DADT were to be ‘lifted’ by an executive order, you can be assured that Ms. Palin, or Michelle Bachmann, or some KKK-loving GOP warmonger will immediately strike that EO down and start ousting any military man or woman who was out at work.

    Only Congress can end DADT with legislation. ONLY CONGRESS. Learn how your government works, people, or you are no better than those god-awful Teatards.

  • the crustybastard


    Yes, only Congress can legislatively repeal an act of Congress.

    However, a federal court can hold an act of Congress unconstitutional, meaning such act is void and unenforceable. That’s what happened.

    And that means the next act of Congress (or executive order) that tries to do the same thing the same way will probably also be found unconstitutional.

Comments are closed.