good deeds

In Defense of the Human Rights Campaign

While it’s the largest LGBT lobbying operation in America, a lot of people don’t know that HRC’s education and communications efforts are even more extensive. Their messaging in the media appeals to where the public will listen, not simply to what we think they should hear. HRC also houses a workplace equality project that may be doing more for ENDA, marriage equality and freedom to serve than could all the lobbyists in DC. The HRC Corporate Equality Index ranks corporations, including the Fortune 1000, on their policies toward LGBT employees, such as discrimination protection based on sexual orientation or gender identity and domestic partner benefits. This is not a glamorous or cathartic effort, nor one that attracts CNN cameras. In fact, it is painfully mundane. HRC staffers pan across the country meeting with — get this — HR representatives. They work methodically with LGBT employee groups and others to shift the thinking of corporate leadership, from executive suites to employee policy offices. HRC also publishes a buyers guide for LGBT consumers that pairs corporations with brand name products. It’s a model for all-American capitalist grassroots activism.

—Steven Fisher, HRC’s former communications and marketing VP, who “worked for Solmonese, who I believe is one of the savviest political operatives in Washington,” offering up some items to place in the organization’s “Positives” column [via]