Lane Hudson

HRC ends exclusion of Gravel

Filed By Lane Hudson | July 13, 2007 8:06 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Human Rights Campaign, Mike Gravel

For the past two days, I've been urging for the inclusion of former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel to be included in a presidential forum being sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign and Logo Network. This afternoon, HRC announced that Gravel would indeed be included in the forum. This is a welcome development.

I did not advocate for Senator Gravel's inclusion because I believe that he will be a serious contender for the Democratic nomination. I sought it for two reasons.

First, any logic that leads to his exclusion is flawed. Each of the nationally televised debates thus far has included Gravel. Large forums, as recently as yesterday's NAACP Presidential Forum, have included Gravel. In addition, he is an incredibly outspoken advocate of equality.

Second, while the progressive blogosphere has been able to coalesce around many issues and affect change, the smaller world of LGBT bloggers had yet to firmly come together to affect a decision by one of our national organizations or a policy that directly affects us. I believed that this was a moment where we could identify an injustice and work together towards correcting that injustice.

Ultimately, both goals were accomplished. Senator Gravel will be a part of the forum and will add a valuable perspective that no other candidate will. Also, the LGBT bloggers have reason to be proud for helping to reverse an injustice committed by those whose mission it is to advocate for us.

In addition to giving major kudos to the Human Rights Campaign for having the wherewithal to reverse its decision, I'd like to congratulate the work of the bloggers who helped in this small, yet significant effort: Queerty, Pam Spaulding, Sara Whitman, Alex Blaze, Bil Browning, Michael Crawford, and any others I forgot to mention.

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This was, truly, the work of the bloggers. I spoke to a couple HRC folks who let me know they were working to included Gravel just because of the pressure from the blogosphere. Slowly, but steadily, we're coming of age.

Thanks for helping to lead the charge, Lane.