lead by example

What’s It Say About Joe Solmonese That He Skipped Congressional Hearings On Uganda to Hit Sundance?

Should Joe Solmonese get flack for hitting up Park City to attend a Sundance Film Festival movie panel? Blogger and Queerty‘s favorite blowhard Michael Petrelis thinks so!

“The top honcho at the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese, was unable to attend Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s congressional hearing on Friday regarding the Anti-Homosexuality Bill pending in Uganda’s Parliament,” he writes about the HRC head, seen here at Sunday’s panel (not napping, we believe).

This is true! But to be fair to Solmonese, who is a Sundance regular, he was taking part in a panel hosted by GLAAD, which, after canceling this year’s Queer Lounge at Sundance, was really the only place for queers to gather. Aside from the lobby at 8: The Mormon Proposition screenings.

And it’s not like Dustin Lance Black, who narrated 8, will be among those harping on Joe for some business-slash-recreational jaunt: “I’ve seen how [LGBT] people have attacked me, attacked Cleve Jones, attacked the [Prop 8] case — and I’m not going to turn around and do the same thing to these other organizations. I want to support them. I want these other organizations to do well. I want HRC to succeed. I want Joe Solmonese to be the best leader we’ve got. I want Equality California to change and grow and do well. So I don’t think it’s wise to be attacking each other in any situation. We might get into some fights behind closed doors, but that’s healthy. That’s the way it should be.”

(Sorry, that was a great quote from Black that we needed to squeeze in somewhere, and this post was the most fitting.)

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  • Cam

    Of course he went there. He is all about seeing and being seen. There is much less glitz at a congressional hearing than at a place like Sundance. That is the only reason he is in that job. He would go to an Anti-Gay Rally if it was held in a nice enough hotel.

  • Eric

    Perhaps he had already scheduled to go to Sundance well in advance of the hearing being scheduled? I don’t know just a thought.

    Perhaps Queerty should take note of Lance’s quote…

  • Brian NJ

    What is he supposed to spend his $400,000 HRC salary on, a few Ugandans? Please! He has to get in his vacation time before joining the Obama Administration.

  • FakeName

    Joe Solmonese is already probably the best leader we’ve got. And that’s the problem.

  • Ethan

    Joe is head of HRC an American organization fighting for Gay rights in America. Prop 8 is an American issue, the movie was about what happened in America…. duh.

  • TommyOC

    I agree with Dustin Lance Black on everything he is quoted to have said… except this part:

    “I want Joe Solmonese to be the best leader we’ve got.”

    No. I DO NOT WANT Joe Solmonese to be the best leader we’ve got. He’s not a leader at all. He’s a talking head. He’s the pretty face and the guy who gets the posh accommodations while insisting “we gays” have it so bad.

    I want Joe Solmonese to go find gainful employment with something NOT gay-related.

  • schlukitz

    Someone please tell me…yet again…

    Jope Salmonese is fight for exactly what, besides a salary raise?

  • schlukitz

    Typo: Fight should be fighting

  • Ethan

    Pathetic Joe and HRC bashers, nothing better to do but bash…
    Won’t get out and do better just bash, yell and denigrate… Adding nothing productive to the cause, just tearing and gnashing of teeth.. so sad.

  • schlukitz

    No. 8 · Ethan

    Pathetic Joe and HRC bashers, nothing better to do but bash, yell and denigrate

    And, of course, your bashing of the pathetic Joe and HRC bashers will move mountains and get us the civil rights we have been waiting for HRC to deliver for some 40 years now. Damn, such ingratitude and impatience.

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

  • Ethan

    No. 9 Schlukitz


  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @No. 8 Ethan

    Sorry Ethan but I gave up on HRC back in 1995/6 when they determined that the fight for marriage equality in Hawaii would be bad business for HRC’s agenda of attempting to get DADT repealed, fighting DOMA before it was passed, and getting more HIV/AIDS funding. They failed miserably with DADT and DOMA; a great success with HIV/AIDS funding.

    The problem that I and so many others saw was that HRC thinks too small. In order to achieve greater HIV/AIDS funding, HRC became apologists for the Clinton DADT plan and later DOMA. Many left HRC and started new organizations. Thankfully in Massachusetts, they did not listen to HRC (or Barney Frank for that matter) and went ahead pursuing marriage-equality. And I say thankfully because after 22 years, my hubby and I were able to get married. Now I just need DOMA dumped so that my marriage is recognized in North Carolina — someday.

    HRC has its place and receives strong contributions because HRC was there when guys were dropping dead by the dozens every week due to HIV/AIDS. And those who contributed then and continue to contribute today, know that HRC plays an important role as a smoozer. When HRC’s efforts for greater HIV/AIDS funding stalled, ACT-UP sprung up to kick ass. Then HRC came in to get the funding through Congress.

    Wanting HRC to grow some bigger balls and succeed pushing President Obama back into Candidate Obama’s passion for “Change You Can Believe In” is not pathetic bashing; it is angst to pushing for full civil rights.

  • Brian NJ


    We are impotent, and Joe Cinderella is what, potent? He can’t even bring himself to say ONE WORD critical of the Administration for putting us last on the to list. He praises Obama to this day!

    Your admiration for his virility means your standards for male virility must involve hugging kitty cats and writing in your diary. Scissoring with Joe, who is buying time until he gets his Obama reward for silence — THAT is pathetic.

  • hephaestion

    Joe got a lot o’ ‘splainin’ to do!!!

  • merkin

    “I don’t think it’s wise to be attacking each other in any situation.”

    Somebody please get Dustin Lance Bareback a movie to write, because “activists” like him we don’t need.

  • Brin NYC

    You have to be very stupid to give money to HRC. They are useless.

  • Sug Night

    What does it say about him? That it’s time for him to GO.

  • Sug Night

    The PROP 8 movie will be seen by folks who already are on our side, so what’s the point except to rub elbows with other A-List LGBTs, see/be seen, party, ski – all on the company’s dime? We need a voice at the Uganda hearings, but it won’t be his voice apparently. All together now – “GOODBYE, Joe”.

  • Cam

    No. 8 · Ethan said..
    Pathetic Joe and HRC bashers, nothing better to do but bash…
    Won’t get out and do better just bash, yell and denigrate… Adding nothing productive to the cause, just tearing and gnashing of teeth.. so sad.

    Poor Pathetic Ethan and the HRC defenders. Nothing valid to say to defend HRC so you have nothing better to do but Bash the HRC critics. You won’t get out and do better, just bash, yell, and denigrate. You add nothing productive to the cause, just tearing and gnashing of teeth….so sad.

    So seriously, Joe is out there to hob nob…he doesn’t have anything to do with the film, and yet he is avoiding DC during important legislation AND the State of the Union Address. THOSE are things that HRC is supposed to be working on….so I at least hope he got a nice giftbag for once again picking a party over our issues.

  • Brian NYC

    @TommyOC: Joe Solmonese is a “pretty face?” Are you kidding us? Eye exam, please.

  • Brian NYC

    @Ethan: Let me help you Ethan:


  • schlukitz

    Ethan, I do not doubt that your comment no. 10 is very sincere and has something to do with something?

    I just can’t seem to figure out what?

Comments are closed.