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Has HRC Sold Out Gay Servicepersons?

Timothy Kincaid

June 4th, 2009

Many of us have been wondering why the President has not taken steps to protect service men and women who are being expelled from the military when they are needed most. And we wonder why Congress isn’t proactively responding to the change in administration to throw out the hugely unpopular Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell policy. With overwhelming majorities of Americans offended by the mistreatment – and even a majority of Republicans opposed to DADT – why does it still exist?

Jason Bellini, reporting for the Daily Beast, has a surprising explanation. He says that HRC told them to wait.

Now HRC may think that their Hate Crimes lobbying is vastly more important than the lives of an estimated 231 gay military folk who have lost their livelihood, pension, and homes since President Obama took office. I don’t.

And if HRC is cutting deals behind the back of other groups like the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network so that they can get their legislation passed first, then I have no use for them. And neither will the new young activists who are rising up to take the fight for their liberties and freedoms into their own hands. The more that HRC appears to be a secretive, back-room dealing, insiders club, the more they will be blamed for the failure of the “establishment gays” to win rights, freedom, and equality for the community.

Update: HRC is denying the story

“This story is not only an outright lie, it is recklessly irresponsible. HRC never made such a deal and continues to work with congress and the administration on a full range of equality issues including a swift end to the military’s shameful ban on gay servicemembers.”

Trevor Thomas
The Human Rights Campaign

Comments

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Marlene
June 4th, 2009 | LINK

This does NOT surprise me whatsoever!

Remember that HRC was the organization that told us in the transgender community that *OUR* civil rights had to be put on hold until sexual orientation (read gay men!) got theirs first!

This once again shows that rich, white gay men who have this delusion that now they consider themselves part of the establishment, the rest of us will just have to wait our turn! BULLSHIT!!

Since the start of the movement *40 years ago*, gay men have always thought themselves superior to the rest of the LBT family!

It’s time for those of us under the establishment boot to tell HRC to go to hell until they purge these elitists from their ranks and get those who want to work for FULL inclusion to replace these bastards!

Pomo
June 4th, 2009 | LINK

I supported HRC this year. Mostly because they were offering these cool tote bags with your membership. But if they’re doing things like this, I won’t support them ever again. Any right for queer people is a boost to us all. And if we can get military types to accept us, thats a big help to all of us.

Lindoro Almaviva
June 4th, 2009 | LINK

I had heard that. i had heard that the HRC had cut a deal so the Matthew Sheppard act could be passed.

Now, do you see my point why I am not willing to ONLY use a soft approach with the government? When we are too soft, we are used and abused; we see the carrot dangling and we start walking like good donkeys. I am not willing to be used as a propaganda item for politicians who want to appear that they care. Not anymore.

Lindoro Almaviva
June 4th, 2009 | LINK

Marlene:

While i understand your feelings on the matter, let it be known that not all gay men have the same attitude. The gay movement will forever owe a debt of gratitude to Drag queens and trans people for THEY were the ones who started the movement.

The first punches in the Stonewall riot were not given by the butch leather daddies or bikers, but by the “sissies”, the Drag queens and the transgendered people. Now THAT is having balls of steel (no pun intended hon).

steve
June 4th, 2009 | LINK

i want to hear directing from joe S mouth–as an equality circle member of HRC– i will wait b4 i act..I really hope this isn’t true!!!!

Jb
June 4th, 2009 | LINK

Read this from the blog of Michelangelo Signorile:

While Bellini had unnamed sources, I, however, have a named source saying exactly what Bellini reports, someone I interviewed several weeks ago on the show: Aaron Belkin of the Palm Center, the research institute that focuses on the military and sexuality, located at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Belkin writes often for The Huffington Post and interacts with members of Congress. (I have including a few-minute clip from that interview here as well). I didn’t see or know about the Bellini piece when I interviewed Joe (it either had just posted or wasn’t up yet), but I did ask him about what Belkin claimed. Belkin was relatively certain in what he told me:

AB: “…Our major national gay rights organizations — it would be one thing to say nothing, but there is pro-active lobbying on the hill for Congress not to consider [the "don't ask, don't tell"] issue. And so the community has been appalling on this issue.

MS: Have you seen any response from any of those groups, and I guess we’re talking about the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, other Washington groups?

AB:…We’ve heard from so many offices that not only are they not doing anything but they’re pro-actively lobbying against consideration of the issue. I feel very confident in saying that.

http://www.signorile.com/

K
June 5th, 2009 | LINK

Here we go again: Another civil war within the community, more opportunities wasted to work together towards progress.

Frankly, given the jealousies, political naivete, and just plain foolishness among gays and lesbians, I sometimes wonder whether we deserve to win anything.

Focus, people, learn to work together instead of attacking each other.

John
June 5th, 2009 | LINK

There has been silence and inaction on just about every one of Obama’s promises to the gay community. The pressure at the grass roots level has been building for a while. The White House seems surprised by the increasing level of anger among Obama’s gay supporters. We need to keep up the pressure on the White House and Congress.

We also need to keep up the pressure on HRC and other such organizations. HRC says that Solmonese didn’t give the White House a pass on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. If that proves to be a lie, HRC will suffer greatly. It could very well result in their implosion.

On the other hand, if HRC hasn’t given the White House permission to ignore Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, why are they being so quiet right now in advocating for their gay constituents? What are they doing? Do they put a higher priority on supporting Obama than they do on achieving equal rights for gay Americans? In some ways, I think that HRC has been even more silent than the White House on some of these issues.

Gay Americans want results, not inside the Beltway chumming up with politicians. And yes, I am an HRC member…for now.

Mike C.
June 5th, 2009 | LINK

I felt a little guilty not renewing my membership with them because of the lack of pressure on this issue. Now I don’t feel guilty at all.

Update on “Don’t Ask” and HRC’s Back Room Deal
June 23rd, 2009 | LINK

[...] this month Jason Bellini reported HRC derailed the repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in favor of fast-tracking other bills they [...]

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