HRC Gave $10K to ‘Republicans Who Care’

September 4, 2008

Cross Posted with permission from San Franciso, advocate Michael Petrelis reports

HRC Gave $10K to ‘Republicans Who Care’

Funny, I don’t recall a press release from the Human Rights Campaign or seeing anything on their blog about how their 527 organization, HRC Equality Votes, contributed a nice five-figure donation to the moderate Republicans Who Care group.

I would think a $10,000 donation from America’s supposed bi-partisan gay political organization, would be something to shout about because it shows, to a very small degree, how it isn’t totally beholden to the Democratic Party. But I can’t expect the P.R. department at HRC to keep the gay community informed about every little donation they make to GOP groups in a tight election year, right?

Thanks to the records at OpenSecrets.org, I now know that HRC Equality Votes not only made the $10,000 donation to the Republican group, but I also have learned, through this page that the donation was made on March 25, 2008.

Now what about the following the money and paper trail on Republicans Who Care? Well, they’re affiliated with the Main Street Fund, another moderate GOP group, which in turn is linked to the Republican Main Street Partnership. The Republicans Who Care have a pitiful one-page web site that was last updated back in January.

On the expenditures page for the Main Street Fund, the records show that the group spent $180,000 for broadcast media costs, and the money was used to hire Response America, a direct marketing agency.

And how does Response America tout itself and its clients?:

Response America has served as the direct marketing agency for some of the most prestigious national and regional Republican and right-of-center accounts in recent years. Our direct marketing strategies have raised nearly $100 million and generated over 1,000,000 new donors for our clients.

Our breakthrough voter targeting techniques combined with our firm’s nationally renowned creative and strategic firepower deliver the right message to the right voters at the right time. We know how to persuade and mobilize voters to win on Election Day.

Who are some of their current clients?:

McCain for President 2008
Republican National Committee
National Republican Senatorial Committee
National Republican Congressional Committee

HRC donors must feel so good knowing the organization they support has provided gay dollars to any GOP organization this election season, and that the recipient group is linked to Republican efforts to election John McCain.


Organized Tragedy

August 11, 2008


On August 5th HRC released a statement concerning the ‘Trans panic’ defense in regards to the murder of Angie Zapata, a transgender woman from Greeley, Colorado.

This is the statement from HRC’s Executive director, Joe Solmonese:

The murder of Angie Zapata, just 18 years old, is a tragic reminder of the hate and ignorance that threatens the transgender community every day. Even worse is that Angie’s alleged killer is using her gender identity in an attempt to justify his heinous, inexcusable actions. The shameful ‘trans panic’ defense is nothing more than a scurrilous attempt to blame the victim for this horrible crime.

What about the horrible ignorance from an organization such as HRC who continues to put out these hypocritical statements?

What about the heinous, inexcusable actions of HRC?

Since March of 2001 when HRC added the word transgender to their mission statement, HRC has supported hate crime legislation which excluded gender identity or expression each and every time the exclusionary piece of legislation was introduced to Congress, during which time there have been 94 horrific murders of transgender people reported in the USA alone.

According to the Transgender Law Center’s former executive director, Chris Daily during an interview he stated:

What we’ve found is the reason why so many transgender women, in particular, are so vulnerable to violence is due to the disenfranchisement that happens around employment, housing and school.

The fact is that given the opportunity, HRC has always supported legislation that does not include gender identity. The cost of HRC’s decisions to continue to do so is mounting in loss of jobs, education, the homelessness of our youth, and in a rising death toll. We continue to pay with our lives. What a way to educate Congress.

Please join us in Boston on October 25 and do your part in holding HRC accountable for their words, their actions, our lives.



When Joe So Speaks….

July 31, 2008

The Lemmings listen:

Since I stood before you one year ago, I believe that our community has made more progress and has done more to move this country in the direction of full equality than at any other time in our movement’s history.

Has it been without pain? No, but work as complex as social change rarely is. Has it been without sharp disagreements about how best to move forward? No, as evidenced by the people protesting outside tonight.

But here’s what I know. In any struggle for civil rights in this country, there have been occasions when different groups of people have marched down different roads. What is important to our ultimate success is that each of those roads ends at the same place. And while I regret the pain and distance that sometimes comes from taking different paths, I am more assured and more committed than ever that those of us outside this room and those of us inside this room are going to arrive at the same place – one that ensures that every member of our community, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender has the same rights and the same protections as every American. We may differ in how we get there, but we will get there together.

We are fortunate to live in a country that allows us to speak out passionately and forcefully about our beliefs. I welcome that passion and I respect it.

Joe So is saying that both groups of people who are inside the dinner and outside protesting are struggling for the same thing and he is right. Both groups are struggling for equality. Joe So also says that both groups will get there some day and he is right about that too. What he never says is that HRC will help us to get there and that we will all arrive at the same time. We can’t get someplace together and be on different paths.

Just for the record, I don’t lie awake at night wondering if our community has gained the respect of Joe So. The arrogance he displays is maddening.

I hear there might be a meeting between 6 angry transgender activists and Joe So. You know what I think of that? I think it’s a complete waste of time. Unless Joe So publicly states that HRC will ONLY support a single ENDA bill which includes both sexual orientation and Gender Identity, there is NOTHING he can say to stop the anger. No matter who HRC hires, no matter which transgender person they get to speak at their dinner party, fund-raisers. DO WHAT’s RIGHT or shut the F_ck up.

Doin't be a Lemming

Don't be a Lemming


Are you Sure or are you HRC Positive?

July 29, 2008

So, lets do a little recap here. There was lots of wonderful news of solidarity surrounding the protest of the HRC gala in San Francisco. Just check out the you tube videos on this blog alone. All wonderful, powerful statements as to why protests have been staged at various HRC events across the country as well as the involvement of other GLBT national organizations and labor unions. I am very proud of the work our community did to organize this whole event and I want to thank you all here and now.

We need to keep our focus and momentum going!

Because, now we have the diversion of videos of the two transgender people who gave wonderful fluffy speeches, Meghan Stabler and Diego Sanchez.

We have a story that’s caught fire, from a lesbian woman who has allegedly been assaulted by HRC security guards. All these things are wildly compelling but my question is: where is Joe Solmonese’s speech?

Surely, the president of the largest national gay and lesbian organization gave the speech of a lifetime considering all that is happening in our communities. Doesn’t anyone else find it odd that HRC would choose to produce 2 videos of the token transgender speakers rather than that of their own president?

Now that HRC has hired a transgender person and named her associate director of diversity, replaced Jamison Green and Donna Rose with Meghan Stabler and Diego Sanchez on the HRC business Council, wouldn’t it stand to reason that Joe So would have something to say concerning HRC’s policy towards an inclusive ENDA? No big statement’s Joe? You mean after all this hoopla of hiring and replacing council members you’re not going to change your policy to (and follow my language folks) ONLY support an ENDA that includes both sexual orientation and Gender Identity?

KEEP the FOCUS PEOPLE and when you HRC supporters start spouting at the mouth, be certain that you are sure about what HRC policies are and that you’re not just being HRC positive.

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Video was produced, written and edited by Dina Boyer.
Please check out Dina’s videos on Youtube link http://www.youtube.com/user/rebelgirl42
And check out Dina’s pictures on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/rebelgirl/


Disruption inside HRC Dinner In SF

July 28, 2008

Check these links for the story.

Alleged Brutal Assault at HRC Diiner

Vice President of Harvey Milk Club Dragged Out of SF HRC Dinner


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Video of Protesters

L.A. mayor Won’t Cross Picket Line

July 27, 2008

In an article written on July 27 By Lisa Leff, Associated Press

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pulled out as keynote speaker for a gay rights group’s fundraising event scheduled for Saturday night following intense lobbying from transgender activists angry over the group’s stand on a federal gay rights bill.

Villaraigosa was scheduled to headline the Human Rights Campaign dinner scheduled for Saturday night in San Francisco. San Francisco city officials and many prominent gay rights leaders already had agreed not to attend the event, which has been billed as a fundraiser to help defeat a November ballot measure that would again ban same-sex marriage in California.

The Human Rights Campaign is one of the nation’s most prominent gay rights organizations and the Washington-based group already has given over $500,000 to defeat the same-sex marriage measure. But many transgender activists and their allies have been angry at the group since the fall, when its leaders agreed to support a federal job discrimination ban that protected gays, lesbians and bisexuals – but not transgender people.

Kudos to the Mayor and all the other elected officials who chose to
NOT attend the dinner. It’s nice to see Democrats with a backbone.

When Villaraigosa agreed to appear at the dinner at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, he was unaware that the San Francisco Labor Council had urged its members to boycott the event, which would have put the Democratic mayor, who is mentioned as a possible 2010 gubernatorial candidate, in the position of having to cross a union picket line, according to Szabo.Some activists were planning to hold a counter-gala outside the hotel on Saturday night.

“We made a commitment and we understood the controversy, but we are now aware the Labor Council had voted for an official boycott,” he said. Szabo added that Villaraigosa searched for a way to be able to fulfill the obligation before alerting the Human Rights Campaign late Friday night that he was canceling his appearance.

The Mayor saw this as a labor dispute and he wasn’t about to cross a
picket line and piss off the labor unions. Good for him and thank you
Pride at Work and the San Francisco labor council.

The Human Rights Campaign was part of a broad coalition of civil rights groups that promoted a job bias measure introduced by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., that originally would have included protections for transgender people. After Frank concluded the bill would fail unless the transgender safeguards were removed, many groups opposed the amended legislation while HRC continued to back it.

The bill passed the House and its supporters are working toward a vote in the Senate.

It’s supporters? And what supporters might they be talking about
here? Surely HRC is not STILL supporting a sexual orientation ONLY bill.

Brad Luna, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement issued Saturday that the protest “has nothing to do with organized labor” and that the Washington-based organization was committed to the civil rights of transgender people as well as gays and lesbians.

Unfortunately, the actions of HRC have only shown that they are committed to obstructing rights for a large portion of the LGBTcommunity. The last time I checked, employment discrimination was a labor issue but this is just one of the many reasons why our community is outraged, another outrage in all this is that the leadership of HRC still believes they are entitled to raise enormous amounts of money from a community that they have yet to fully support.

“And as we have an open dialogue about the best way to move forward, let us never forget that we are still a community of brothers and sisters standing as one to advance equality for all GLBT people,” Luna said.

Brad, don’t ever, EVER refer to me or those in our community whom
you refuse to support, as “family.” We are not your brothers and sisters.
MY family doesn’t treat me as a second class citizen nor would it EVER
support and defend an organization that does.

Inside the Picket Line at HRC fund raiser.


San Fran HRC Dinner Boycott

July 26, 2008

All I can Say is WOW!