Activists Celebrate Successful Protest of HRC Dinner
50 Protesters Call on Supporters to Stop Giving Money to HRC
Boston – Fifty transgender and queer activists from throughout New England protested the Human RIghts Campaign (HRC) Annual Dinner in Boston on October 25th. The protest was organized by the “blogavists” of QueerToday.com and supported by several area organizations including the local Transgender Veterans Association (TAVA). Queers Without Borders brought twelve spirited activists from Connecticut who provided bullhorns, signs, and logistical support.
Protesters marched and chanted outside the Sheraton, and several activists conducted “flyer drops” inside the event. “We’re ecstatic about the success of this protest,” said local organizer Trevor Wright, “We came out in solidarity to call on donors to give to local organizations instead of HRC.”
The protest was called in response to HRC’s support for a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that did not include protections based on gender identity and expression, and their endorsements of conservative candidates over more progressive ones. Over 300 organizations including PFLAG and NGLTF continue to support the United ENDA document at unitedenda.org.
Queer activists believe HRC’s conservative endorsements divide the progressive coalition we need to enact broad human rights reforms. HRC endorsed Joe Lieberman, a staunch supporter of John McCain over his pro-marriage equality opponent Ned Lamont. HRC also endorsed Republican Susan Collins, dividing Maine’s LGBT community after Equality Maine endorsed her more progressive opponent Democrat Tom Allen. HRC endorsed Mary Bono who has received shamefully low scores from every major civil rights organization except HRC, and Al D’Amato a pro-life Reagan supporting Republican. Although HRC criticizes John McACain, they continue to give thousands of dollars to the Log Cabin Republicans.
Protesters have been greeting HRC dinners for two years now. In New York City elected LGBT official boycotted the dinner. In San Francisco the keynote speaker, the may or of Los Angeles, declined to attend due to protests by queer organized labor activists. HRC has also been met by protesters in Washington D.C., and many other cities across the nation, including Kansas City.