Calling for a boycott of the HRC

Looks like my fellow queer radicals are starting to raise a stink. Now, I do caution against the kind of infighting that many progressive groups get bogged down in. But I also think it is imperative that we call each other out on our own oppressive behavior, compliance, and downright disrespect.

That’s why I often have little love for the mostly wealthy and white focused Human Rights Campaign.

The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club in New York has penned a lengthy letter on why we, as a queer community, should be boycotting the annual HRC dinner this year. And because I know you might not have time to get through this whole monster, I’m going to break out a few of the best points.

…HRC has raised tens of millions of dollars from supporters of LGBT rights and produced very little with the resources it has…Year after year, HRC has held itself out as our voice in Washington and has been happy to take our money. Yet, when it should have been building support for comprehensive legislation to protect the rights of our people, HRC clung to ENDA. Finally, a few years ago, HRC agreed to add gender identity and expression to the bill, and as late as September 2007, HRC president Joe Solmonese was pledging unequivocally NEVER to compromise on that language. Within a month, Rep. Frank decided unilaterally, over the strenuous objection of nearly every voice in the community, to sell out and drop gender identity and expression from the bill, effectively denying any protection for people of transgender experience and potentially gutting the safeguards for millions of gays, lesbians and bisexuals who do not conform to gender stereotypes. Rather than keeping its promises, HRC backed the change…

…The HRC betrayal of the community this year is just the latest in a long line of sellouts. In 1998 HRC endorsed Alphonse D’Amato for re-election to the U.S. Senate over his then-challenger Rep. Chuck Schumer. This endorsement was a slap in the face to our community, people of color, poor people, and those who support a woman’s right to choose. In 2006, HRC endorsed Senator Joe Lieberman in his bid for re-election to the United State Senate, the same senator who now supports Senator John McCain’s campaign for the presidency…

“It is important to understand that without gender non-conformity protection, ENDA provides little or no protection to any of us. ENDA without trans inclusion would allow employers to continue to discriminate, fire and mistreat all LGBT people by claiming that they did not conform to proper gender stereotypes. Moreover, when we turn our backs on our trans brothers and sisters we are not building alliances with homophobes, we are giving credence to their hatred.” –Yetta G. Kurland, Civil Rights Attorney

If you are struggling for a nationally productive non-profit to support, I’ve had fairly good reactions to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Outgoing (unfortunately) director Matt Foreman, echoes similar ENDA/HRC criticisms

1 comment to Calling for a boycott of the HRC

  • kellibusey

    Please do not give your money to the org. that is fighting against you!
    Ok Lets assume someone is punching you in the nose, you should,
    a) Thank Him/her
    b) Give him/her money
    c) both a and b
    d) none of the above

    If you answered anything but d, please seek medical attention.