Does HRC Owe Alexander Nicholson (And All Gay Veterans) A Huge Apology?

The spat between the Human Rights Campaign and a slew of gay veterans grows deeper. After HRC’s spokesman Fred Sainz (pictured, below) lashed out at Servicemembers United founder Alex Nicholson (pictured, bottom), a number of gay veterans signed on to a letter lambasting the Gay Inc. group. And as Queerty‘s commenters show, the backlash is only growing against HRC for going after the guy who’s actually willing to criticize the establishment.

Here’s commenter 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to LGBT service members & veterans to repeal DADT; the fact that the president keeps claiming that he wants DADT to be repealed through Congress-instead of by Executive Order- is a cop-out on his part and clearly demonstrates his lack of commitment to his initial promise to LGBT service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

Here’s commenter scottyhouston:

The title of this thread [“Dear HRC, Go Fuck Yourselves. Signed, Gay Veterans”] 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!

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