HRC Ditches Illinois’ Sorta Gay-Friendly Republican for Homo-Loving Democrat Alexi Giannoulias

If you can’t count on the Human Rights Campaign to effectively lobby lawmakers to actually effect change, at the very least you can, say, use their Corporate Equality Index to decide whether your contribution to climate change should be backed by the gay-friendly Chevron or the gay-hating ExxonMobil. And then there’s HRC’s recommendations for who you should vote for, which, with Rep. Mark Kirk, it just proved you shouldn’t really trust either.

We know HRC loves its flip-flopping. It played The 180 Game with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, backing a trans-free version before later deciding that was a dumb idea; it only cost the organization its only trans board member.

And now HRC ss flip-flopping on its endorsement of Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk (pictured, top), the Republican Navy Reserves veteran who wants to take over Roland Burris’ U.S. Senate seat, the one vacated by now-President Obama. Instead of throwing Kirk its support, HRC is backing challenger Alexi Giannoulias (pictured, right), the Democratic state treasurer. All because Kirk voted against adding the compromised Don’t Ask Don’t Tell amendment to the Pentagon’s spending bill. Nevermind that he did vote for the spending bill, with the amendment attached, becoming one of just a select few Republicans to do so.

Kirk, who was once accused of being gay by opponent Andy Martin, originally secured HRC’s backing through his votes against Constitutional amendments banning marriage and for ENDA.

And now he’s lost it — not just because of his original position on DADT, but because Giannoulias has made the gay vote a priority, courting both local and national activist groups, as well as voters with some very bold moves; he’s also engaged in direct criticism of Kirk’s falsified military record.

And it’s paying off.

Not that Giannoulias doesn’t deserve HRC’s endorsement, or your vote. He sounds like he does!: “As the next senator from the great state of Illinois, I will lead the fight for equality — for marriage equality, for an end to DOMA, for employment non-discrimination, and for immigration reform that treats same-sex couples fairly.”

It’s just that we’re tired of turning our head from left to right every time HRC comes to regret an earlier decision. And we’re also plain exhausted from seeing HRC bow to the Democratic machine every chance it gets.

And it doesn’t hurt that Giannoulias loves his gays:

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  • Derek Washington

    Why does anyone care what they think anyway? And since my boys at queerty hate the Democrats so much, what are you proposing? One more thing, the idiots at The Firm are not part and parcel of the Democratic party, please stop trying to tie them together.

  • Andrew


    We get it, you hate Democrats.

    Guess what? It’s a choice between eventual change Vs. persecution, YOU choose.

  • John k.

    Are you kidding? Kirk voted against repealing DADT. Giannoulias presumably would have voted for it AND the underlying bill. We’re now so caught up in criticizing HRC that we even fault it for endorsing the candidate that supports more of our right? Bad form.

    When they endorsed Kirk, he had not yet voted against the pie e of legislation that is currently HRC’s biggest legislative focus. They’re not supposed to take back their support once he does that? You mean to tell me you’ve never regretted supporting. Politician who said he supported you and then threw you under the bus? This is how this all works: You make the best decisions with the infomyou babe, and you change those decisions as the info changes. Info changed, and HRC changed to support the better candidate, period.

  • John k.

    Sorry, typing on my phone and made some pretty big errors.

    Sentence toward the end should say “with the info you have”

  • Cam

    I’m confused on this. Ther are plenty of people that support a politician and then change that support because of something the politician does during their term in office. As anybody who has read my posts here knows I am no fan at all of HRC, but I can tell you that they would most likely have gotten crap on this if they HAND’T switched their endorsement of somebody who voted against that amendment. I’m not sure I see the sites issues with their actions this time.

  • whatever

    @Andrew: I never thought of it that way. Queerty loves to play to whiny victim, as do some gays. It’s hard to do that when there is progress being made. So, I can understand their support of people who will perpetuate their sense of victimhood.

  • whatever

    Hey, queerty. You forgot to mention the best part. Alexi is a huuuuge ally of Obama. :)

  • Brutus

    “And now he’s lost it — not just because of his original position on DADT, but because Giannoulias has made the gay vote a priority”

    Why on Earth are we criticizing this? This is the sort of move that Queerty, and Queerty posters, have been advocating forever.

  • davii

    Lol, I think that HRC should know more about the people they support, but I wouldn’t begrudge them for their decision to rescind their support. I understand that they weren’t thorough in their initial assessment and, sorta pussyfooting.


    Can I be the first to offer my services as a Senate Aide???? :-p

  • Brutus

    You know what, I wasn’t going to renew my membership, but I’m putting a check in the mail to HRC tonight just to spite Queerty.

  • STOPHRC.com

    HRC has a long history of endorsing anti-choice, pro-war, and Republican candidates such as Susan Collins, Joe Lieberman, and many others – often over their more progressive counterparts – who have halted our march towards progress time and time again.

  • Brutus

    @STOPHRC.com: While that may be true, there are many strategic factors that must be taken into consideration, including likelihood of electoral success, maintaining agenda control, and quid pro quo actions. I wouldn’t be so hasty to make facial judgments.

  • Jimmi

    You know, it is no secret that The Right bashes us as much as the left did. Clinton was quick to make DADT and DOMA up just when everyone in Gaydom thought he was our friend. But some of you kids may be too young to remember that.

    The HRC is a lobby group not an Equal Right’s group. They are lawyers who will play the “Wait Until The Time is Right game.” Z If you lazy bitches want your Civil Rights–you better get out on the streets and demand them.

  • trickstertara

    @Jimmi: Age isn’t an indication of political ignorance. Plenty of us Under-30s (and even some Under-20s) are well aware of how Clinton pretended to be our ally and then stabbed us in the back when it could do him the most good. And those that weren’t certainly got a clue when his wife went on LOGO talking about how she was “really enthusiastic about civil unions..!” If there’s a person I meet today who thinks Clinton was Best Friend of The Gays!, they’re usually straight and in their forties.

  • Cam

    Blog active just outed Rep. Mark Kirk, apparently the guy is not just a flip floper on gay rights, he’s also a hypocrite. This is the blog written by the guy who made the movie “Outrage” about Charlie Crist among others.


  • SteveMD2


    HRC was instrumental in the DADT potential repeal going as far as it has.

    And I was on the steps of the capital with the HRC people along with Sen Lieberman in that famous foto when we went lobbying. before anyone bitches – where were you. I don’t always agree with Sen Lieberman, but he sure did the right thing on DADT. And it surprised me, because orthodox jews usually are bible thumpers, only not quite as bad as the christian taliban.

    And I was a repub who changed when I saw what the bush wing of the party was about.

    And what matters more then anything else is political power, and full support from the people we elect.

    The alternate is the American Taliban take over, and we become a Christian theocracy that is a mirror image monstrosity of saudi arabia.

  • Doh

    People or orgs responsible for DADT moving forward this year include

    a) Nancy Pelosi who called oout the president after Gates speech

    b) Murphy who pushed for it in the House as well

    c) Democrats in Senate who did similar in response to the president

    d) groups like Service member and Get equal

    People not deserving — HRC. They were caught several times off guard and had no response to the president maneuvers to move the issue off the stage this year. That’s the reality.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    I guess HRC is gonna tell us why they are silent while news reports are saying that the Senate isn’t gonna act on ENDA before the election.

    I guess they have another cocktail party to go to.

    HRC didn’t do squat to get DADT repealed. In fact their treasurer signed off (publically!) on DADT repeal getting put on the back burner in 2009.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    @Andrew: The Dems deserve criticism. GOProud deserves even more so for supporting Kirk and Brown (both of whom voted against DADT repeal)

  • D'oh, The Magnificent

    @Tom in Lazybrook: And there was the now infamous letter saying that we would be happy with gay rights if we wait until 2017.

  • tjr101

    What was HRC thinking endorsing Mark Kirk to begin with? All Republican candidates for the senate will vote the party line once they’re in office, ALL OF THEM. Mark Kirk would just be another NO vote just like Scott Brown.

  • rudy

    @Cam: Thanks for the link which everyone seems to be ignoring and explains so much about Kirk and the situation he’s finding himself in over his imaginary military award.

  • alan brickman

    Hrc would get more done washing cars……

  • D'oh, The Magnificent

    By the way, on topic, my problem is not with whom HRC supports, but in the fact that they require so little of the politican once they are office. That’s the real problem.

  • Derek Washington

    DADT repeal began to pick up speed when Dan Choi went on television and outed himself. After the national equality March many activists put the pressure on their reps, the white house and Gayinc. Of course, now they firm is trying to take credit and plant a donate now flag on the issue. They only got involved when they sensed the tide turning and realized there was a photo op to be had. Buggers.

  • Cam

    HRC did not push DADT. What HRC did, was see which way the wind was blowing and finally decided to put their large membership list to use so they could claim to be a part of what happened.

    If, as some people claim, HRC WAS helpful in getting the people in office to vote to repeal DADT this time, then just imagine how much they could have accomplished if they had actually started pushing for gay rights a year ago instead of being grugingly forced into it by “Get Equal” and others.

    They were afriad of what people would think of them on the off chance that Get Equal and the protests were able to get DADT through. They were nearly as grumpy about being pushed into it, as the White House was.

  • Jimmi

    @trickstertara: Political ignorance knows no age.

  • jen chicago

    Mark Kirk did not vote for the spending bill that included the DADT language. Only five Republicans did–including Judy Biggert (an Illinois congresswoman with a much more conservative record than Kirk.) If you want to talk about flip flopping, go look at Mark Kirk’s record on EVERYTHING. Cap and trade, where to put Gitmo detainees on trial and let’s not forget his exaggerated military record.

  • Sine

    This may have been a stupid call, but I don’t pay enough attention to illinois senate seats to care.

    People that leave comments here (and often the bloggers themselves) tend to ignore that there are political realities that transcend the political ideal.

    If HRC backs a gay candidate because the candidate promises to vote properly on gay issues, I don’t care what party they are. When they betray that promise, then yes, HRC damn sure better switch their endorsement. That’s not a flip-flop, that’s an advocacy group properly representing the group they’re advocating for.

Comments are closed.