Reports: Joe Solmonese To Leave HRC

Jim Burroway

August 27th, 2011

Pam Spaulding reports that Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, will announce his resignation from the post he’s held since 2005, on Tuesday. She also says that the change will herald the beginnings of a larger staff shakeup at the organization that has been criticized for its timidity and coziness with political leaders. Pam hears that Solmonese’s replacement has already been named, someone from outside the HRC who has worked with the organization as a paid consultant. But another source told Chris Geidner at Metro Weekly that “a full candidate selection process will take place” to find his successor.

Geidner also reports that the HRC’s board had originally scheduled a conference call meeting for August 29, the day before Solmonese’s planned announcement, but moved up the conference call to today after Spaulding broke the news in an exclusive report.

Update: Kevin Naff at The Washington Blade says that the HRC will release a statement later toady, which will reveal that Solmonese is giving six months’ advance notice. Naff also says his sources deny that Solmonese’s resignation will foreshadow a change in direction or staff at HRC. They also deny moving up the announcement because of Spaulding’s report, claiming that they decided to make the announcement later today because of the hurricane.


August 27th, 2011

“Naff also says his sources deny that Solmonese’s resignation will foreshadow a change in direction or staff at HRC.”

So then, what the HELL’S the point? I mean REALLY!


August 27th, 2011

Pam’s site is interesting and often breaks news, although sometimes she can seem a little thin-skinned or quick to judge, but then it’s a blog reflecting one person’s opinion, not a news organization. The HRC for some reason reminds me of that whole Log Cabin and GOPride thing.


August 27th, 2011

IF they ever want my money again, they sure as better change their direction. Perhaps fewer underwear fa$hion shows, more grassroots work? Nah, gotta pay the rent on their fancy building and dozens of six-figure employees.


August 27th, 2011

Good riddance.


August 27th, 2011

I’m on board with all of the responses. I received a fund-raising mailer from HRC this past week begging me to begin donating again, with a pathetic “I just want to know why” (using a handwritten font to imply a personal touch)… the mailer inside had all THEIR possible reasons already laid out in a bubble-test fashion… obviously “because we’ve become a sycophantic cheerleading squad for one party while siphoning money out of your pocket and looking the other way” wasn’t really on the list.

I started filling in what I really thought, but by the time I was done, you couldn’t read anything on their idiotic mailer anyways (the “other” space had room for about 25 characters).

Given the fact that they’re trying to stuff their own answers down my throat, I figured “what’s the point” and chucked it in the shredder.

But not before I noted that they took credit for every pro-gay turn of events over the past year, without mentioning others who have been engaged in the fight. That’s right, folks, Joe got all that done for us, and no other groups (Lambda Legal, anyone?) was there to share the burden.

Here’s the thing. The whole point of advocacy groups is to make sure that our voice is heard strongly and consistently — something that is sometimes tough to do when left to individuals with wandering attention, and who maybe aren’t 100% current on what’s going on.

So, it’s a doubly injuring betrayal when a group like this turns out to be little more than a PAC for one party, and when it deliberately turns a blind eye when our government acts against our interests — not only are people living with the false idea that they’ve already gotten that message out to their representatives, the representatives conclude that they can get away with whatever the HRC allows. And this is all done with our own hard-earned money. And in this economy, frankly, Joe’s suits have started to look a little expensive for what he’s been able to achieve.

In short, with “friends” like the HRC, we’re worse off than if we simply did it ourselves. Until the HRC comes back to its intended purpose, I’ll continue to do my own hell-raising with my representatives. I’ll make sure my donations come with strings attached, and I’ll contribute to heavy lifters (like Lambda Legal) who do the real work.

Andrea D

August 28th, 2011

While Andrew said it about as well as I ever could I just want to add this:

Good riddance! Maybe if they get some new leadership the HRC will stop pretending that Bi and Trans folk are invisible and stop throwing the Transfolk under the bus in the way they operate. I mean it’s doubtful but hey a girl can dream right?

Donny D.

August 28th, 2011

MsRowena wrote,

The HRC for some reason reminds me of that whole Log Cabin and GOPride thing.

Or maybe the recent GLAAD thing?

Donny D.

August 28th, 2011


enough already

August 28th, 2011

I used to support HRC wholeheartedly, including substantial donations.
The day they threw the “T” in our alphabet soup under the bus is the day I dropped them.
Not one cent since.
Not one single second of my time.
I scrubbed their decals off my truck.

Solmonese has done nothing, less than nothing, to promote our cause. Under his ‘leadership’, the HRC has become nothing but a group of overpaid apologists for an that wing of the Democratic party which only cares about the gay vote.

Good riddance to him – and, frankly, I doubt that organization is even worth saving at this point. GetEqual and ActUP! have done more for our human and civil rights than HRC ever did, and Lt. Choy and Pam Spaulding have done more by themselves than Solmonese and his six figure salary ever managed.

We are about to lose 2012. The mentality which the HRC under his ‘guidance’ now has is a big reason why.


August 28th, 2011

No loss. Can we get him to leave sooner? Hope his replacement is someone who isn’t a political ass-kisser. We need someone more like Get Equal who will be vocal, demanding, and in their face. Then maybe I’ll support HRC, because I certainly won’t now.(BTW, why are they wasting so much donated money on a magazine that serves little purpose except for patting themselves on the back. Wouldn’t that money be better spent for aggressive lobbying purposes?)

Scooter J

August 29th, 2011

The press release that was attached to the formal resignation annoucement was an ABSOLUTE joke. (Insert picture of a vodka bottle with Solomnese’s face on it–perfect for the next HRC martini party).

He is of the same ilk as the professional money raisers and spenders here in California who also grossly exaggerate their purpose and role in effecting LGBT change.

Changing the bobble-head at the top is a good start, but changing the cocktail culture that has become synonymous with the HRC will be quite a different challenge.

In any case, I salute the change and look forward to a time when I can rejoin the Federal Club of an organization with a purpose, a plan, and a passion for progress.

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