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    November 06, 2007

    Welcome back to the movement, HRC

    Posted by: Chris

    With the House poised to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act despite, rather than because of, the nation's largest glbT group, the Human Rights Campaign has belatedly remembered that the vast majority of its constituents would greatly benefit from passage of historic civil rights legislation. As a result, HRC has reversed itself -- I've lost track of how may times -- and once again actively supports passage of ENDA even if it does not include "gender identity" as a protected category.

    The policy reversal, which will probably have about as much (or as little) impact as HRC's fence-sitting has up till now, came complete with all sorts of ass-covering. First, there as a joint letter from the Leadership Conference for Civil Rights that included HRC, the NAACP and a number of other top civil rights organizations, that backed the compromise ENDA that could come up for a vote as early as tomorrow.

    The letter's take-away quote:

    It is “beyond dispute that transgender employees are particularly in need of those protections,” the letter says. “They face far more pervasive and severe bias in the workplace and society as a whole,” the letter says.

    “As civil rights organizations, however, we are no strangers to painful compromise in the quest for equal protection of the law for all Americans,” it says. “From the Civil Rights Act of 1957 through the almost-passed District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007, legislative progress in the area of civil and human rights has almost always been incremental in nature.

    Hmm. Sound vaguely familiar to anyone else?

    HRC also pushed the release of a poll it conducted almost two weeks ago, which shows an overwhelming majority of "LGBT Americans" favors passing ENDA even if transgender protections are removed. And the knee-slapper from the Advocate's coverage of the poll:

    HRC president Joe Solmonese said the poll numbers weren’t immediately obvious to him or the organization before they conducted the polling.

    “There were so many people out there speaking so emphatically about where the entire community was that I thought maybe we should get a sense of it, and that’s why we did the poll,” he said. “So it was surprising to me, but I think it really speaks to the fact that there’s a big diverse community of GLBT Americans all across the country.”

    No, Joe. It speaks to the huge disconnect between the left-leaning professional activists who run HRC and the 300-odd organization in the "United ENDA" coalition and the consituents that they supposedly represent.  It is a gap that has long been a subject of this blog, and it will be interesting to watch whether Matt Foreman, who led those trying to cover-up the community's real views on the subject, will own up to their mendacity.

    Note the similarity between HRC's poll results and the unscientific results of the poll from this blog and Gay News Watch (below). In HRC's poll, 70% backed a gay-only ENDA, while in our little survey, 73% did.  Similarly, the HRC poll showed 20% only supported ENDA if trans protections were included; 28% of our survey respondents felt similarly.

    It speaks volumes that HRC sat on their poll, knowing what the community really wants, until the House Rules Committee set ENDA up for a vote and then, at the 11th hour and 59th minute, literally one day before, HRC jumps on the bandwagon.

    That's not leading; that's called following.


    For a complete news summary on ENDA, click or bookmark: gaynewswatch.com/enda

    For a complete news summary on transgender rights, click or bookmark: gaynewswatch.com/transgender

    For a complete news summary on gay rights, click or bookmark: gaynewswatch.com/legalcivilrights



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    1. HRC Reverses Itself on ENDA from Keeping Up With Jonas on Nov 6, 2007 6:21:36 PM

      Everyone deserves the right to change their mind. Ideally it doesn't happen too much, especially when it comes to supposed leaders of the gay rights movement. With a sexual orientation only version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) alive ... [Read More]


    1. Andoni on Nov 6, 2007 5:28:29 PM:

      In politics, it’s called jumping on before the train before it leaves the station. Actually, the people in the know will always recognize that HRC actually jumped on too late. It was chasing the train out of the station. Or running to catch up with the parade, etc. How embarrassing it would have been for ENDA to pass with no support from any of the so called gay leadership. HRC was neutral and 350 LGBT organizations were against it! It would have passed IN SPITE OF our gay organizations. Think about that for a minute and all its repercussions.

      If it passes Barney Frank gets all the credit in my mind.

      As for HRC, their modus operandi is to take credit for everything good that happens in the LGBT community. In fact I used to regularly get pissed at them for holding a press conference in DC to take credit for everything good that happened in Atlanta……..when they were no where in sight when the work needed to done.

      PREDICTION: if ENDA passes, look for HRC to hold a press conference to take credit for its passage. Ah yes, things are back to normal, now.

    1. Double T on Nov 6, 2007 6:11:43 PM:


      Look at the bright side, right? It could be worse.

      Hillary could be in the White House.

      HRC could become a Cabinet Position.

      Secretary of LGBT Issues and the Deputy of Human Pain, Hilary Rosen addresses the nation via live television from her fully federally subsidized office on Rhode Island Ave.

      And people say I don’t have a sense of humor. LOL.


      Seriously. HRC screwed up big time. They upset both sides of the fence. Normally I would expect a lot of fallout over a SNAFU this large. Lucky for them, we’re dealing with the gay community and we have short memories. Hell, we can’t even remember the name of the drag queen who stole all the money from last years Pride/Rodeo/ Circuit Party – insert any event.

      Forget and Forgive, or maybe just Forget and Forget.

      My prediction for what will happen to HRC is ………..what were we talking about?

      Oh look, it’s almost happy hour.

    1. Andoni on Nov 6, 2007 8:10:28 PM:

      Great post! Loved it.

    1. Andoni on Nov 6, 2007 8:10:45 PM:

      Great post! Loved it.

    1. adamblast on Nov 6, 2007 8:45:00 PM:

      Well, the HRC dismayed me several times during this run-up to success, if that's what this is. Pam Spaulding and her trans friends are right when they accuse the HRC of lying. They didn't just flip-flop twice, they made promises they had no intentions of keeping just to mollify people for a week or two, and deserve to lose more trans support for it. That said, I too am glad at least some gay rights organization got on board in time.

    1. adamblast on Nov 6, 2007 8:48:34 PM:

      I must say, as well, that Joe Solmonese is not only a transparent Clinton supporter but a clone as well, down to the unsavory triangulations and parsing of truths.

    1. Dennis Chase on Nov 10, 2007 3:16:08 PM:

      ENDA passed in the US House of Representatives IN SPITE of NGLTF and HRC. It is past time that we as gay people take a long, hard look at our self-appointed leaders.

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