The HRC Wants To Make Money Off Of Your Gay Wedding: Savvy Or Slimy?

In a new marketing campaign, [called “Millions for Marriage Equality,” the Human Rights Campaign] writes, “Instead of the usual toasters and cake mixers, HRC is partnering with couples across the state of New York and all around the nation to create HRC Wedding Registries where couples can encourage their friends and families to support the work of LGBT equality in honor of a wedding celebration.”


HRC actually wants to use same-sex couples’ wedding registries as their corporate credit card.

HRC knows no shame—and this crosses a very big line.

At The New Civil Rights Movement, we support marriage equality as a concept because it’s the right thing to do, and because we believe in supporting our community. We focus on the morality of equality, not the financial benefits that accompany equality because people marry for love, not tax benefits. Positioning marriages as vehicles to make money is shameless. To have HRC, “the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization,” look at marriage equality as a cash cow, an opportunity to add to their coffers, not a civil rights issue but a money-making opportunity really is offensive.

– David Badash of The New Civil Rights Movement criticizing the HRC’s new wedding registry donation program. Badash dislikes that “The site isn’t even hosted by HRC, but by their marketing partner, Convio.”

In response HRC’s Press Secretary, Michael Cole-Schwartz wrote, “Many couples request that in lieu of gifts, people celebrating their wedding by donating to a charity and our program is no different than other organizations including Empire State Pride Agenda that is running a similar program. We have had a wedding registry feature available for years and it has been tremendously successful judging by the reaction we get from couples who were thrilled to be able to contribute in this way.”

He also adds that the HRC spent $1 million to employ 30 statewide field organizers and mobilize 150,000+ constituents to contact their Senators; the HRC will need more money for upcoming marriage battles too.

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  • Dave

    It’s a bit crass, but it makes sense for one simple reason: so many gay couples have waited so long for marriage that we simply don’t need all of the household crap that makes up the bulk of wedding gifts. We bought all that stuff years ago.

    On the other hand, having been to so many gawdawful wedding showers, weddings, baby showers, christenings, and kids’ birthday parties over the years–gift in hand–it’d be awfully nice to force people to buy me useless junk for a change.

  • atypicalG

    I discovered the Million for Marriage thing quite recently because I was wondering what the HRC had available for weddings. Kind of a “in lieu of a favor, we donated ___ to the HRC in your name.” Badash, this is CLEARLY a marketing move by HRC – how do you think the organization is able to EXIST? They need MONEY. Shameless?? No. Good business sense.

  • gregger

    This from the organization who publicly derided; the couples that filed the lawsuit that got Prop 8 declared unconstitutional, the organization that filed suit to end DADT, and legal action that had part of DoMA declared unconstitutional. Oh, that’s right after each success HRC had their people out on the street fund raising saying that HRC was behind the actions when they were an impediment to those legal actions. The only thing that shit organization wants to do is raise funds, throw cocktail parties and galas, and deride those who actually do something.

    When my partner and I marry, since we have everything we need, we’ll ask for donations to Lambda Legal, the Trevor Project, and Housing Works. Fuck Joe Solmonese and HRC with Michele Bachmann’s dick.

  • Ray

    Fuck the HRC. I’m so sick of those begging assholes always after money and for what? I guess they need to throw another expensive party and give awards to celebrities because that helps homeless gay kids and creates equality in their diseased minds. At this point I don’t even think getting rid of Joe Salmonese and his house boy will get the stink off the organization. Let the whole damn thing go under from lack of fund and start over. I was hoping Get Equal would rise up and take the place of the HRC. Well careful how you phrase your wises. It seems that organization has been taken over by a bunch of politically correct little prissy heterosexual white bitches that made a name feeding off the actions of gay soldiers chaining themselves to the White House fence. Now that’s over all they want to do is respectfully kiss the asses of our enemies like the HRC.

  • the crustybastard


    GetEqual is too white and heterosexual?

    Gosh, I’d never thought about it but you’re right — how dare they!

    Thanks for bringing these important issues to my attention. You’ve really turned me around on the subject.

  • Allen D.

    I agree with Ray. Ok, so they spent a million to pay people to contact senators (and yet, don’t they ask US to do that for free in the emails they send us 3x a week???). Doesn’t change Joe’s $340,000 salary. That’s just disgusting.

  • nowliveit

    I think it’s a smart move by HRC. An HRC with lots of donations will be more able to stand up against the unlimited supply of funds from the H8ers.

    And I think it was smart marketing for this New Civil Rights Movement to get attention and traffic to their site. I went and read their ‘About’ page.

  • Cam

    Considering that HRC came out against pretty much every single lawsuit that ended up getting us marraige in the first place, AND they attacked other groups for advocating for marriage calling it too soon and a waste of time….for them to do this is pretty sickenly shameless.

    ….yeah, about us coming out against all those lawsuits that got us marriage, well, since the community won them anyway, can you give us some more money now?

  • Tony

    HRC?!?! Are they still around? Has no one told them we’re on to them and won’t be sending them anymore money?

    I can create more change on my facebook page, go away already.

  • TMikel

    It is entirely improper to EVER state that a gift is needed – Miss Manners. It is tasteless in the extreme to tell one’s friends and family what to give for any occasion. One is to be delighted that friends and family cared enough about the occasion to give one anything at all. For HRC to attempt to make money off of the nuptial celebrations of the LGBT community is inexcusable, crass, and offensive. So you get six toasters and seven dozen mismatched towels – if your friends know you at all, they already have an idea about your tastes and needs. If they don’t know you that well, why the hell did you invite them to your wedding?

  • QJ201

    Screw HRC. A few years back they had their field workers on the streets of Hudson County trying to enroll members and I told them off, basically, “you guys roll into town and didn’t bother to contact any of the THREE local LGBT organizations, all of which need the money more than you fat cats.”

  • gregger

    @nowliveit: I would give money to almost any other group. HRC has repeatedly smeared people and organizations that have worked hard, at their own expense, for equality. Meanwhile HRC throws galas that do nothing but fund-raise for HRC (to keep Joe’s salary flowing which is a hell of a lot for the little he does) and to tell the nation how wonderful HRC is. I’ll give to NFP groups that actually do something and that have a more than 70% of actual usage of the monies raised for something other than overblown salaries and the next fundraiser. As of 2008 a full 22% of the funds HRC raised go to the next fundraiser. That is an unacceptable number.

  • Sienna

    This is the deal with HRC: They take in $40 million each year and deploy maybe one-tenth of that amount where it will actually do some good. I am glad that they spent $1 million in NY b/c that may be all we get out of them for 2011. The rest of the money is wasted on paying for an expensive building, salaries, overhead, and federal initiatives that can’t go anywhere b/c HRC refuses to hire the appropriate lobbyists and also routinely destroys its own chances of success by insisting that gay legislation be tied with unpassable “trans” legislation.

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