Matt Foreman: Some Ideas To Make The HRC Suck Less

Imagine if HRC’s political donations were actually in sync with those of Gill Action’s Political OutGiving program and the Victory Fund’s work to elect LGBT people to office.

Imagine if organizations with deep understanding of specific issues – the needs of gay families, bullying or anti-LGBT violence, work in communities of color or faith, marriage equality, etc. – could partner with, rather than compete with or work around HRC on their specific priorities.

Imagine if the grassroots, grasstops and financial clout of the LGBT community was brought to bear in a focused way on our top priorities.

Imagine if HRC partnered with Equality Federation organizations and local groups to build their collective power, lists, fundraising bases and expertise.

Imagine if information and leverage points were shared honestly so that our community could start playing legislators and policymakers the way they play us now.

– Amid complaints that the Human Rights Campaign undermines movement unity through unnecessary secrecy, uninformed policy stances and taking “credit for things in which they’d never even been involved”, longtime LGBT activist Matt Foreman envisions a more effective HRC with Bilerico.com.

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  • Cam

    Don’t forget that they lash out and spend lots of time attacking anything in which they weren’t involved. Including in the beginning, the lawsuits that got us marriage in multiple states and the lawsuit against DADT that had a hand in pressuring Congress.

  • the crustybastard

    The principle purpose of HRC is NOT gay advocacy. Their principle purpose is helping HRC staffers get beltway jobs.

    They’re very successful at helping themselves, just not…you.

  • Mike in Asheville

    While I am not a fan of HRC (gave up on them back in 1995/6 when they determined that the marriage equity fight in Hawaii was counter productive to their agenda of the “right” LGBT issues to advance), it is silly to not recognize what they do right.

    Indeed it took ActUP to light a firecracker in jump starting a governmental response to HIV/AIDS epidemic. But it was HRC who marshaled through the actual legislation necessary to authorize government spending.

    All the grassroots efforts that spring up to address issues not being addressed is exactly how HRC began, how all organizations begin, someone’s idea to make things better. Once, though, that effort takes hold, issues that involve the government, DADT, DOMA, HIV/AIDS funding, anti-discrimination, anti-bullying, et al., they ALL REQUIRE AUTHORIZED LEGISLATION. It is a critical and necessary role — NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT THAT ROLE.

    Stop wasting energy that should be devoted challenging our enemies — FRC, AFA, NOM, GOP, bigoted Churches, et al. HRC is not the enemy. And when HRC fails to get involved in an area you deem important, join/create the new organizations that do. It will take dedicated groups and umbrella groups to achieve civil rights equality. Do, don’t whine.

  • jeff4justice

    @Mike in Asheville: Amen Mike. That’s what I did.


    Rainbow Above The Sutter Buttes Movie

    LGBT Group Debuts In Yuba-Sutter

    LGBTs Persecuting LGBT Activists: STOP IT!

    Though I did do some bitching too:

    Big Gay/LGBT Groups Ignore Rural Gays

    The LGBT equality movement should be approached in a variety of ways as I point out in these commentaries and videos.

    Also we cannot solely focus on politics. We must also focus on building community for LGBT people especially those in more isolated areas. Equality is essential but it won’t immediately make things better for LGBT people overnight.

  • Cam

    @Mike in Asheville: said.. “HRC is not the enemy.”


    Actually when they expend valuable resources attacking other gay advocacy groups, opposing lawsuits that helped us get rights in many states, and attempting to deflect any criticism of politicians that THEY feel shouldn’t be held accountable for anything….

    Then yes, they are working against gay rights.

  • Reason

    @Mike in Asheville: It takes a bright person to realize that everyone has a role role to play. HRC has positioned themeselves to play the role of Obama administration and congressional sidekick. As you stated that is an extremely important role as it coordinates with the powers required to bring change to actually get legislation passed and policy’s changed. HRC has to walk a fine line as to not piss off the allies that we all need. The outside groups can fill the enthusiasm gap that brings outside pressure to the administration that makes these matters urgent. If HRC played that role they would alienate the people in power, instead they win the administrations trust by protecting them from criticism. The outside pressure still forces the administration to work with HRC to get things done quicker to avert the crises at hand. In the case of DADT the administration intended to repeal it but without the outside pressure that made it a crisis on the hill, at the white house gate, in the GBLT community, and in the media they wouldn’t have had a reason to make it a top prority over the thousands of other crisis that they face. HRC access allowed them to provide the administration valuable information that they used to craft a brilliant strategy to get DADT repeal across the finish line. No organization espesially the White House can get these things done alone. The only critism I have is that some groups should have focused more pressure on the hold outs that mattered than the people that were already on board.

  • Steven

    Someone should tell Matt Foreman that HRC is a gay organization funded by gay money. It is not a “LGBT” organization serving “LGBT” people. There is no such thing as “LGBT people”.

    Once upon a time, Foreman understood that it made absolutely no sense to tether gay rights to the rights of cross-dressers and transsexuals, even if we might support “trans” rights as a matter of principle. For this, he was stalked and attacked by a motley group of unstable transsexual thugs. He caved and now supports the ridiculous notion that gay there should be no federal gay rights protections unless straight men who wear dresses for kicks are included. HRC will never be effective so long as it insists on forcing the world to accept the fiction that gay men and women are inextricably linked with transsexuals in a war on their own genders.

  • WillBFair

    Imagine if HRC, or any other queer group, hired smart people who could make strong arguments for us. And there are plenty of arguments that would shred our opponents in three seconds. They’re just not being made by our dingbat leadership.
    Now imagine that the gay community stopped obsessing over looks long enough to actually recognize competence.
    Now imagine that Gaga put on sixty ponds, rolled naked in honey and cracker crumbs, then sang Born This Way at a national Klan rally.
    All three events have equal chance of happening.

  • ewe

    I must continue to hope HRC is on my side.

  • Jice

    Ha! I wish we had, only, a “silly season” instead the nationwide year-round circus currently in place. One could even argue it’s a traveling circus, with respect to the dinners, parades, awards ceremonies, and such…

  • Riker

    @WillBFair: That last one actually sounds pretty plausible.

  • Matt

    @Steven: I don’t think HRC was ever really the organization for you in the first place, might I suggest GOProud? I’m sure they’d never make the mistake of considering themselves equals to those disgusting trans freaks.

Comments are closed.