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    November 29, 2007

    GNW 5: Foot-shooting edition

    Posted by: Chris

    UPDATE: At the end of the post.

    Gnw_lighthouse_logosmall Here are the Top Five most popular stories over the last 24 hours on Gay News Watch, along with an Editor's Pick from me at the end:

    1. Sheilakuehl Churches boycott schools over new Calif. gay bias law: QUICK LOOK: At least two churches are encouraging parents to keep their children home from school today and tomorrow in objection to new California antidiscrimination laws that protesters... (MORE)
    2. Silencedeath Silence on HIV linked to infection rise in gay, bi men: QUICK LOOK: An HIV/AIDS epidemic is re-emerging in the United States among homosexual and bisexual men who are no longer frightened about the deadly disease and are returning to... (MORE)
    3. Godaddygirl Go Daddy parody of Larry Craig axed for Super Bowl: QUICK LOOK: Three months after Go Daddy Group Inc. said it might pass on advertising in the 2008 Super Bowl, the Scottsdale domain-name registrar notorious for its racy ads said... (MORE)
    4. Frenchdragqueen French drag queen arrested in string of 18 deaths: QUICK LOOK: A 68-year-old man has been arrested by French police on suspicion of murdering 18 people, most of them homosexuals, between 1980 and 2002, officials say. The suspect,... (MORE)
    5. Moroccanbride Bride arrested after Moroccan gay wedding protests: QUICK LOOK: A wedding for a well-known gay man in Morocco ended with the colorful 'bride' behind bars, along with five other wedding guests, and sparked riots and calls for authorities... (MORE)


    • Donnarose2 Last two transgender members quit HRC council: QUICK LOOK: Two transgender members of the Human Rights Campaign quit yesterday, saying the group's support of an employment nondiscrimination bill that excluded transgender workers... (MORE)

    It's difficult to decide which form of activism is more self-defeating, the religious extremists who are keeping their children away from school to protect them from a gay rights law that hasn't even gone into effect yet. Or, on the other hand, transgender activists like Donna Rose resigning from the Human Rights Campaign because the organization was willing to go only 99 yards and not the full 100 in support of trans inclusion in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

    Solmonese It appears the anticipated showdown between Rose and HRC Prez Joe Solmonese at the recent Dallas Black-Tie Dinner never materialized. A report about the event in the Dallas Voice only mentions that Solmonese received a "thunderous" ovation when passage of ENDA and hate crimes came up. Rose claims in her resignation letter from the HRC Business Council that she failed to receive any response for a meeting with Solmonese after the whole trans-ENDA debacle.

    I'm not surprised. I know personally how prickly Solmonese can be toward his critics; he's refused to meet with me or even acknowledge my "hello" at the gym or at restaurants since I first criticized him on the editorial page of the Washington Blade.

    Still, except for its dramatic flair, Rose's resignation does her own cause no service, disengaging from the very group she wishes to lobby.


    Paul Schindler is is reporting today in Gay City News that Solmonese's refusal to meet with Rose was the "last straw" in her decision to quit the HRC Business Council. Reading the blow by blow, it's difficult to decide who's the bigger drama queen:

    Brad Luna, an HRC spokesman, took exception to Rose and Green's characterization of Solmonese's silence, noting that the group was in frequent back and forth communication with them about the possibility of a meeting. Rose acknowledged that she had been in email touch with HRC staff, but insisted that Solmonese made clear by not responding personally that he was not interested in a meeting.

    Luna noted that Rose did not seek to talk to Solmonese when both were in Dallas this month for an HRC dinner, to which Rose responded, "I don't think Joe wants to talk to me. I've heard Joe has taken exception to some of my comments, which I can understand. But as leader of a group like HRC, you have to be able to talk to people."

    Just when it seems HRC and Solmonese could not mismanage the HRC-transgender issue any worse, they somehow manage. Luna, the HRC spokesperson, only barely escaped his own meltdown with the LGBT press, after ignoring for weeks requests from a number of journalists for more information on that HRC ENDA poll.

    You have to ask whether the folks at HRC's fancy national headquarters are so bunkered down that they don't care about all those they're alienating, or whether simple arrogance is at work. Either way, it's way past time for some major league fence-mending.



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    1. Double T on Nov 29, 2007 4:03:46 PM:

      Fear not. Joe S. does know exactly who you are. And from time to time, he does "stop by" to read this blog.

      But you never heard that from me.

    1. Citizen Crain on Nov 29, 2007 7:17:46 PM:

      Aww shucks, Double T, don't give me goosebumps. You know how jealous that makes my boyfriend...

    1. Double T on Nov 30, 2007 2:44:37 PM:

      Glad to make your day.

      Say, tell us something about life in Argentina.
      Is there life?

    1. lazyfriday on Nov 30, 2007 5:16:36 PM:

      1) C2: JS shunning you at the gym? BARF. Who cares? But I agree with your personality profile of him.

      2) President Solmonese reads this blog? Not surprising. Why doesn't he instead spend some time on the Hill remaining "fully committed" to a trans-inclusive ENDA? Or, better yet, spend some time saving the hate crimes bill from spineless Dems whose campaign coffers HRC keeps full. JS doesn't make over $200K to read blogs. He pays assistants $25K to do that.

      3) It is unconscionable for Mr. Solmonese to ignore a former Board of Director and Business Council member who has raised thousands of dollars for HRC (I heard that the requirement to be an HRC Board member is to raise $50K per YEAR). I assume Rose lived up to that requirement. Further, any Business Council member-- each of whom invaluably contributes to bringing corporate sponsorship and recognition to HRC-- deserves a prompt response for a meeting, especially in times of crisis. Like all non-profit executives, it is Mr. Solmonese's job responsibility to maintain communication with board members & advisory council members.

      4) As for C2's criticism of Donna Rose's resignation. Maybe we would do well to remember that HRC completely reversed its own organizational policy on ENDA. Thus, Rose’s resignation is – understandably – about the organization’s complete reversal of its trans-inclusive position. The ENDA debacle, and others, show that HRC peddles in non-transparency and inconsistency. We can disagree all day about the wisdom of supporting a non-inclusive bill, but at a minimum, any community member should be seriously disturbed by HRC's behavior because it calls into question how the organization is governed, managed, and structured. If the Board can reverse its publicly stated policies, what are we to believe with regard to HRC's organizational positions? Are we ever to rely on the Board's pronouncements? Evidently not. Evidently Board members can’t even rely on the Board’s positions.

      5) I believe HRC does some excellent work (i.e. the work that Rose and Green did on the Business Council has led to significant change in corporate America for LGBT employees). But, if the organization's own policy-making process is incomprehensible after the first major LGBT political battle of a Democratic-controlled Congress, how can we be confident in its behavior when much more is at stake in 2009 when we hopefully have a friendly President & Congress? HRC is weak and meek. I hope every other national LGBT organization realizes that they need to step it up in D.C...now.

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