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HRC Responds

Jim Burroway

October 14th, 2009

HRC president Joe Solmonese responds to accusations that he gave President Barack Obama a pass until 2017:

Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was the reaction some people had to my comment that on the last day of President Obama’s term, we will be able to look back on many accomplishments in LGBT rights. I still find it hard to believe that anyone thought I was saying that we should be content to wait patiently for our equality. What I said—and what I believe in my heart—is just the opposite.

We all worked hard to elect a President who supports our rights and now that we’re in a position to make change happen, the last thing we should do is wait.  Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and DOMA are still on the books and an inclusive ENDA has yet to become law.  Real families are left without protections and people living with HIV and AIDS aren’t getting the care they need.  Students are being bullied in school because they’re different and bi-national couples are treated like they’ve never met.  While we’ve started to turn the tide, it’s clear that our community has a lot of reasons to be angry and impatient, and I’m thankful to the tens of thousands who joined us in Washington this weekend to demand a change.

So while I steadfastly believe that we will have accomplished an awful lot by the time President Obama leaves office, I know that wishing won’t make it so.

…That is why our confidence in what we will accomplish under this President is not misplaced.  At the end of the day, it is confidence in ourselves.  I have confidence in the LGBT community and the people who support us.  We will claim the equality that is our birthright, day by day, vote by vote, law by law.

The entire statement is here. In effect, Solmonese hitches his success squarely on the Obama administration. Time will tell whether that’s a wise choice.

Comments

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Burr
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

Sounds like some CYA backpedaling, but maybe he’s getting the message. :P

Lindoro Almaviva
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

Well, he is presuming that Obama will be re-elected and that he will have 8 years to get stuff done.

Unless Solmonese has a direct line to someone with 100% accuracy on what the future holds, he is just blowing smoke up our ass and he is expecting to get a pass on it.

As I said, they are no longer fighting the establishment, they now ARE the establishment and therefore it is time for groups like ACT-UP and the like to pick up the slack.

Jim
October 14th, 2009 | LINK

Has anyone read “Congressional Odyssey: The Saga of a Senate Bill” by T. R. Reid? It is amazing how much work it takes to get one thing through congress. Think about it!

bruce
October 15th, 2009 | LINK

how much i agree with starting up an organization like Act Up. It is time we start making our voices heard to congressman like Boehner. We should show up with signs at his office, home, and Capital Hill every time he makes a rediculous statment like he just made. It is time that the congressman understand this is not a choice. We will and should be heard and it is time for our leaders to lead or step out of the way!

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