Alex Blaze

Should Joe Solmonese resign from HRC over DADT?

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 13, 2010 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, gay rights, HRC, joe solmonese, LGBT, military, pam spaulding, repeal

I've often lamented, although I don't know if I've mentioned this on Bilerico, how I was one of the people who hated HRC before hating HRC was cool and the new haters don't really have a good reason to hate HRC other than a vague "DC elitists are screwing everything up for Real Americans" attitude.

trans_rights2.jpgBefore the 2008 elections, the main critics of HRC from within the LGBT community were the gay Republicans, who thought HRC was a Democratic org in disguise; the queer left, who thought HRC was just plain conservative; and transgender activists, who were directly betrayed by HRC's actions in 2004 and 2007. While I think that gay Republicans were wrong, each of these major criticisms challenged in HRC's goals and ideology. HRC becoming more effective at pushing their agenda wouldn't have solved any of their issues with the group, and many people within the community, both by parroting the HRC line on major LGBT issues and by dismissing any criticism of them as unproductive, actively sought to defend HRC's position as "the voice of the LGBT community." Now those people have become some of HRC's most vocal critics.

Even though these critics were marginalized by the gaystream, they developed a substantive criticism of the nonprofit industrial complex and how it functions when it comes to queer issues. In short: HRC would never become an organization that represents the community because its funding mostly comes from a small group of people who aren't representative of the rest of us. Their primary interest, like all corporations, is their own financial survival, so putting faith in them as the saviors of all the queers in America is misguided.

Fast-forward to last Friday, when Pam Spaulding, who's representative of the newer critics of HRC, called for Joe Solmonese to resign:

Joe Solmonese should do the honorable thing and step down. It is shameful to cash all those checks without the follow through on the job. The White House was never put under serious pressure; the late calls now in the e-blasts for the President to do something ring hollow after the toadying that has gone on for two years.

As we saw, Reid couldn't get it together in the Senate and the wingnuts will have more control in January. The watered-down repeal doesn't do much of anything at this point (even if it passes as a separate bill during the lame duck session -- good luck with that), and we're still dealing with all the GOP squawking by McCain and others who want a "do-over" of the Pentagon's implementation report. It's a big f'ing mess because there has been piss-poor leadership by those who are lobbied in government.

In turn it's the unelected, highly marketed, well-tailored representative of the entire LGBT community, Joe Solmonese of HRC, who also has to be held accountable for these failures. It's clear that those in power had no fear of the vast war chest of HRC being used to turn up the heat. No, the heat came from less well-heeled activists who didn't have the access to power, only voices and fearlessness to call out the purposeful foot-dragging and inaction.

That "heat" that came from folks who protested and got arrested once or twice was very effective but HRC was completely ineffective, even though neither tactic was successful (DADT is still law). Go read the whole thing; she never explains why she believes one tactic should be punished and the other shouldn't.

The 2008 elections changed two things when it came to queer people's reaction to the nonprofit industrial complex generally and HRC specifically. First, Prop 8's passage woke up a largely dormant LGBT population in California and elsewhere by letting them know that they were still hated. (Some of my favorite statements from activists who worked on Prop 8 asked where all these angry people were before the election, when, you know, it actually mattered.) In a few months, those newly-aware "Prop 8 babies" became ruthlessly critical of Equality California, that state's largest LGBT nonprofit, a sentiment that would carry over to HRC a year later.

Second, Obama was elected, and the solid brick wall blocking all LGBT legislation that was GWB's veto pen was torn down. In a dynamic that we've seen on pretty much every issue, by giving the Democrats the power to actually do what they wanted instead of jeering from the sidelines we found out just how much the Democratic Party and liberalism had rotted away since their glory days several decades ago. Liberals got mad at Democrats not because they were doing less than they were doing back in, say, 2004, but because they finally had the power to do a lot more and they weren't doing it.

That anger was directed to HRC by an LGBT public that was already frustrated by living in a country that had significantly advanced on the homophobia front but hadn't changed its legislation to reflect those advances because of 28 years of Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. Things should have been different, and if they weren't it couldn't be because of people outside of DC because those people are our friends, family, and coworkers, and they're generally fine with us having jobs. When it became apparent that Obama wasn't going to be that straight guy who's totally cool with discussing the best bathhouse in town or that straight girl at work who's just dying to meet your partner, the blame quickly went to anything "establishment." If anything, that should speak more to the distance and powerlessness lots of people feel when confronted with America's political process than it does about reality.

What's notable about this anger, though, is that it's decidedly not ideological. It's coming from people who have generally bought into the gaystream agenda without even questioning whether these big pieces of legislation (DADT repeal, DOMA repeal, ENDA, hate crimes) would actually benefit them personally. These are people who have personally felt pain and confronted unfair treatment because of their sexuality and subconsciously or consciously think that passing these bills will end homophobia itself.

That belief has been sold to a community in search of a quick fix by people who want to get support for their pet project but couldn't care less about things that would help people far from the halls of power (increased funding for HIV medication, money for queer homeless people, improving conditions of prisons for LGBT people, making school environments safer for sexual and gender difference, although that's gotten some brief attention this year).

Pam's resignation call is a good example: she doesn't have any problem with DADT repeal or its sudden, recent prominence in the LGBTQ agenda (remember that not even a year ago all the talk was about ENDA, not DADT), but she does link to posts about Joe's wardrobe and HRC's press release language as evidence of HRC's ineffectiveness.

Compare that to 2007, when many people in the community were calling for Joe's head (if Pam joined in this call in 2007, I missed it) because of HRC's position on cutting gender identity out of the ENDA. Folks weren't talking about HRC's effectiveness, since that can't be separated from the surrounding environment. But their goals and actions were fair game.

Anyway, this is all more interesting considering the love for GetEqual displayed in that post, which has its own directors with bloated salaries, has gotten a large (but smaller than HRC's) warchest that seems to be funding one demo a month, and is so open about sharing the same agenda with HRC that even their managing director says their work is little more than a supplement to HRC's.

But they've marketed themselves as outside the mainstream in much the same way as George "I'd rather have a beer with him" Bush did in 2000. So that counts for something, I guess.

So back on the title question, I suppose I just don't see a) how losing Joe would change anything since he'd be replaced by someone who'd do similar work; b) what changed just now since the essence of HRC hasn't really changed in the last 10 years; why HRC is particularly to blame for the Senate's failure on DADT when there there are so many other actors involved (like the Senators themselves and all those other orgs that sprang up to specifically focus on DADT).

Moreover, I don't really see what HRC could have done specifically on DADT repeal. While we love to say that HRC is just oozing money, they have a pretty small budget compared to most lobbyist groups, even lobbyists that don't represent commercial interests. According to their 2009 990, they took in and spent around $9.5 million in 2008, and that money wasn't just for DADT repeal (HRC has many other projects). The American Family Association, on the other hand, took in and spent around $20 million that year, and they're not even the biggest anti-gay org (Focus on the Family is much larger, although they spend their money on lots of different causes). HRC can't make like the health care industry lobbyists and dump $1.5 million a day into Congress to get a bill passed, and even the Religious Right in all its permutations is able to spend much more on lobbying.

Not that any of this matters since most of the people who want to discuss this don't have a say in the matter. I don't donate to HRC so they don't care what I think, but even if they did "Fire Joe" or "Put out angrier press releases on DADT" wouldn't be the first things I'd want to tell them.

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My main criticism of HRC has always been their economic privilege. Being a queer college student on scholarships, I can't afford to give money to any organizations. I drink water from the tap and eat peanut butter sandwiches three meals a day. So I don't really exist in the HRC's view. Not only do they constantly beg for money that I don't have to give them, all their events are for the people who can afford to pay $75 to have an L Word watching party (if they even had any events near my area, which they don't).

My second big criticism of the HRC is, of course, their deplorable record on transgender rights advocacy. At least GetEqual, in a recent e-mail they sent out about DADT repeal, blasted the "compromise" repeal language in the NDAA for leaving our transgender brothers and sisters in the dust. Nothing of the sort from HRC.

I read the discussion at Pam's and noted the depth of the anger directed at Solmonese and HRC. I agree with those sentiments but I don't see the point. HRC is open to reform and Solmonese will just be replaced by another overpaid clueless hustler.

HRC and most state Equality groups are so intermeshed with the Democrat party that they're inseparable. The problem is that the LGBT equality agenda, more often than not, is subsumed to the Democrats electoral needs. That's absolutely true in the federal sphere and in most states.

That interdependence comes with a high price tag, one I've mentioned before. HRC has been around since the 1980's and hasn't done squat.(The Hate Crimes act is fatally flawed and it's never been used. It's a crumb, a scrap that ignores the role of cult and political bigots who incite violence.)

HRC has collected millions and millions of dollars and has nothing to show for it. No ENDA. No inclusive CRA. No repeal of DADT and DOMA.

The reason is obvious. It's not a democratic organization. Without democracy to change leaders and correct errors of strategy and direction HRC just keeps on collecting money and doling it out to overpaid, totally unqualified staff. The more overpaid, the less qualified. The same problem haunted the effort to defeat Prop 8. EQCAs failure was as unnecessary as it was dismal.

We need a nationwide grassroots activist movement with regular conventions of members and delegates, with internal democracy and a strategy voted on by conventions, and a paid elected leadership.

Groups that don't meet these criteria, and that includes GetEqual and EAA, will eventually end up like HRC, EQCA and most of the state equality coalitions.

You hit the nail on the head, Bill. Without a little "d" democratic national movement organization that cna hold its leadership accountable and that can craft and buy into a national strategy, politicians have no reason to take seriously the LGBT Nation. They know better than we that ultimately HRC etal. don't represent anyone except those on the cocktail circuit.

One of the hurdles we face in deposing the Board elected Boards that junta the movement is our deep roots in the closet. Transparency, the great equalizer of people powered politics doesn't come easily among the tribe. While understandable given our history and the life and death stakes of the struggle, you can't sustain a liberation movement (let alone succeed), the members of which reserve the option to hide -- or worse yet as in the case of the NO on 8 campaign, where leadership reserves the right to hide that part of the movement that it considers embarrassing (like gay people). Attempting as they did to trade our "dignity" for "equality" -- whatever equality actually means 140 years after reconstruction and a century after suffrage, it was a lousy trade even if we had defeated Prop 8.

There is no doubt that a LGBT polity will at first be cumbersome and will make some mistakes. But how could the worst outcome of "no progress" be any worse than what we've got now.
Pastor Scott
West Hollywood,Ca

One of the hurdles we face in deposing the Board elected Boards that junta the movement is our deep roots in the closet.


The political closet is the last closet.

People who support the Republicans and Democrats end up subsuming our agenda to theirs. We want equality and Democrats and Republicans just want to get elected and get those big briefcases full of high denomination bills from lobbyists.

We had a chance to build a democratic nationwide activists group after defeating the Briggs initiative in California 40 odd years ago. The LA and Bay Area Committees Against the Briggs Initiative (LACABI and BACABI) and some people from the No on 6 group called a convention which was well attended to map out a national strategy. Unfortunately we divided bitterly on the question of including NAMBLA and we lost the chance.

Instead we got HRC. What a loss!

I'm with you Alex in having no real voice in the affairs of HRC since I do not send them financial support. I do think their name is just as deceptive as the American Family Association.

Kathy Padilla | December 13, 2010 1:12 PM

Historical footnote - the graphic above was designed by myself & Marcus Iannozzi for the vigil held outside the 2007 Philadelphia HRC Dinner protesting HRC's and Joe's decision to dump trans folk from enda - and his creative relationship to the truth when discussing his decision.

All their local HRC award winners, the Mayor & Congressmen who were on the dais wore them.

I think the pressure is on now because Joe and HRC has effectively given cover for the president to throw the GLBT community under the bus on not just DADT but EDNA, UAFA, and repeal of DOMA. I agree with Bill that Joe isn't the issue but all of HRC. They have decided to just become an arm of the Democratic Party and in doing so have forgotten they are supposed to be fighting for us and not trying to sell the latest disappointment to our community in pretty words.
I don't have problem with HRC allying themselves with Democrats as long as they don't let things go unchallenged. Unfortunately this is what HRC has done for the last 2 years. I think the GLBT community is finally waking up and starting to see what HRC truly is. It seems to be an excuse to get in the inside of the DC scene. And in doing so they compromise the fight for equality plain and simple

I am in agrreement with Pam Spaulding and have written as much on my own blog. However, my complaint goes beyond the current debacle on DADT, ENDA and DOMA. EVERY TIME in the past when I have called on HRC for assistance of some kind I have been totally blown off.

In fact one time, when former Virginia governor Tim Kaine and his Executive Order 1 (2006) were at issuing in a case involving the firing of a gay state employee, the HRC representative I dealt with said via e-mail that HRC did not want to do anything that might interfer with its good relationship with Mr. Kaine. The attitude was clearly one of screw the fired gay employee - access was far more important to HRC.

I stopped giving money to HRC years ago, but unfortunately, the organization continues to suck up funds that could be better spent on an organization that might actually do something rather than merely talk about it - and then send its leadership to another cocktail party.

I've called upon Pee Wee to resign, though I acknowledge that, by itself, that will do nothing.

The organization needs to shut down and disbanded - and its assets liquidated and distributed among state and local organizations.

Angela Brightfeather | December 13, 2010 2:53 PM

Joe Solomonese stopped becoming an issue when he was not let go by HRC after agreeing that Trans people didn't count in the ENDA equation. After that, so few calls for his "misspeak" at the Southern Comfort Conference and it was obvious that if he can misspeak once and they let him get away with it, then he was going to do it again, and again, and again, until someone called him out on it.

Then when Obama got elected, the select list for the cocktail parties held at the White House for Beltline insiders as chosen by HRC, sounded the bell loud and clear, that after what the LGBT Community went through for 16 years under Clinton and Bush, that those were the parties where invitations should never have been answered so that OBama knew exactly how our government stood when it came to equality for GLBT people, right from the start. They flocked to those tete-a-tete's to preen and brag about the "closeness" and to slap each other on the back, and then the Republicans tell Obama, sorry, that they are to busy. Now, look who really got what they needed. The GLBT Community was early on, sold down the road over a few cocktails and the lure of HRC providing "access" at first BArney FRank's table, then Obama's table.

How about when Obama was invited to speak at the HRC dinner and talk about how he was determined to pass ENDA and DADT legislation, but he still didn't like the idea of SSM? Why didn't that send up more signals? There were some complaints about his speaking there, but hey, didn't the rich and famous just love standing ont he tables and acting like a bunch of love struck fools, while Trans people were on the sidewalk? I thought that was great theater myself.

Every step of the way, it has been HRC guided by Solomonese that has been blinded by the quest for power, instead of the zeal and backbone needed to shake up the system and "represent".

But this is all a joke anyway. If Joe wasn't let go after dumping Trans people in ENDA, lying to them, and then having the GLBT Community accept that from HRC, then it's a little late to complain about him still being in the drivers seat after the race is over.

Exactly right. I stopped caring what came out of HRC and stopped giving money and volunteering time to them after the deliberately cynical manipulation of the trans community on ENDA, followed by the liberating nation-wide repudiation of HRC's equivocation. Moral cowardice appears to be the defining characteristic of an organization that deserves no attention and even less respect.

It's not JOE, it's HRC and Pam Spaulding and others continue to miss that point. There is no inherent power or influence in the Leader of HRC or HRC - it's a waste of money.

I agree with most of Bill Perdue's comment above. HRC is a branch of the Democratic Party and their lobbying is intended to help Democrats, not our community. They waste $50 million a year (average last 5 years) trying to make the LGBT community believe they are promoting our equality. Sadly, many in our community believe that and THEY fund the organization.

There are two problems here:

1) Some members of community believe HRC is worthy of funding despite no evidence or any results, even after 30 years and almost $600 million and

2) Bloggers like Pam Spaulding defeat any rational, valuable and objective analysis of HRC by simply suggesting "we should fire Joe."

Both are the result of ignorance.

The real conversation should be about firing HRC.

"What's notable about this anger, though, is that it's decidedly not ideological. It's coming from people who have generally bought into the gaystream agenda without even questioning whether these big pieces of legislation (DADT repeal, DOMA repeal, ENDA, hate crimes) would actually benefit them personally. These are people who have personally felt pain and confronted unfair treatment because of their sexuality and subconsciously or consciously think that passing these bills will end homophobia itself."

Couldn't agree more, Alex. It's unfortunate that everybody misses that point and keeps repeating the conversation about whether or not HRC/Solmonese should be kept around. The larger point, which many of us have been making, is that the agenda of the gay movement is deeply flawed and does little more than advance the status quo.

I'm mad, too. But that doesn't mean we throw out the baby with the bath water.

I'm mad that ALL this energy went into an effort that, while not completely dead, is definitely on life support.

While issues equally-more important to larger numbers of our community, get no attention. I realize DADT is a symbol, but we've expended remarkable capital on this symbol.

I'm mad that in this entire world, only the freaking U S Senate has the math that makes 42 equal to 51.

I'm mad that organizations of all stripes will now be called out because this (apparently) could fail.

HRC may have taken their eye off the ball. I don't really know. I'm not on CapHill. Folks I know, who are, say this isn't about gay lobbying at all: it's about raw political power, exerted at a time of alleged presidential weakness.

Because they can, and because he let them.

HRC has done much good in the last decade. Their business registry and scorecard are very helpful. It's an excellent starting point.

None of us may ever know, the train wrecks GLBT lobbying prevented. Our cause isn't exactly Mom/Apple Pie. We have stern enemies with deep pockets and holier-than-thou indignation.

Is HRC too big and "corporate" ? Maybe. I get tremendous help from their faith-based efforts, which are top-notch.

Let's all take a deep breath. Autopsies require cold bodies, which we don't yet have. Most of you sound as if you want revenge. I find that hilarious.

Revenge is a dish best-served cold.

If HRC has the gumption and credibility to survive, they will.

Sooner or later our community has to determine what works and what doesn't. Firing Solmonese isn't a solution to the troubles at HRC. Remarkably, a few have suggested that HRC has "done a great job." Besides raising money, what has HRC accomplished?

This angst with HRC and most of the LGBT-advocacy industry is the fact that we haven't seen results. this industry is about raising expectations and money, in that order. I hope after the "Compromise DADT Repeal" fails we finally recognize that politicians are not the only ones abusing us. We have given the LGBT-advocacy industry more than $1 trillion in the last forty years - what have they accomplished?

It's 2010 and HRC and none of the others have a "strategy to win." We should stop giving.

I watch and support AFER, HRC, GetEqual, EqCa, EqFl and President Obama.
I know that government moves very slow and those who cannot wait, start to criticize.

I think that there is a point that needs to be brought up here to help frame the entire article. For those who do not know, there is no love between Bilerico and PHB. If there was a bit of cooperation and communication between the two blogs, then this article may not have been written. It's just my outside observer thought on this.

I'm mad, too. But that doesn't mean we throw out the baby with the bath water.
You do if the baby was stillborn thrty years ago and currently is doing nothing but decomposing and attracting maggots, flies and worms.

I must agree with commentors who see HRC, itself, as the problem. I also agree that HRC perpetuates the kind of classist dichotomy which all too often goes unaddressed. Even at its best (a dubious concept), HRC consistently set itself apart from those persons it claimed to represent.

All alleged efforts HRC made on behalf of the amorphous LGBT community were a subterfuge for HRC's only REAL interest...insuring that wealthy gay men retain and maintain their wealth.

HRC's so called plan of attack never had room for trans individuals because the perception of being gender diverse undermined and threatened their core agenda of classism and hierarchical elitism, just as it stood in the way of HRC accomplishing its goal. Just look at the Barney Frank take on the bathroom issue as a paradigm for the HRC refusal to stand up for all its purported constituents.

Furthermore, HRC's insistence in portraying itself as the big dog...the one and only organization entitled to represent all of a flawed policy. No one group can effectively represent all of was never realisitic, but HRC pushed all other advocacy and activist groups to the side, claiming that only it was capable of representing us.

Which is why we should embrace grass roots activism as the most effective mover of significant change,and why a cadre of organizations will eventually be seen as the most cogent course forward.

The antiwar movement of the sixties was not so long ago...perhaps we should return to those was of the people, by the people and for the people..and we achieved some pretty amazing results.

Buffalo Joe should resign and HRC should shut down.

Rev. Donna Tara Lee | December 14, 2010 12:15 PM

When HRC gets serious about fighting for GLBTQ rights and not having fancy dinners or picture events with back stabbing politicians then and only then will it be an effective organization. I dod not see any member of HRC much less Joe out there with us marchers at NEM in October 2009. No, they had a big dinner for Obama the night before the march. WooHoo.

HRC has been a failure just like most of the state equality groups also are because they don't take the necessery action. Where are the calls for real resistance such as a tax boycott. Until we have full equality and rights are recognized fully over religios discrimination why should the GLBTQ community pay taxes? Hey Joe, lead a tax boycott.

As long as religios prejudice rules our countries policies towards LGBTQ civil rights when are we going to have marches, sit-ins and teach-ins at Focus on the Family? When are we going to court to have theirs and groups like them tax exempt status' revoked? When are we going to have sit-ins in places like the Fl. legislature where last year equality Fl. claimed a major victory because a bill repealing the ban on Gay adaption was discussed, not repealed, not even voted on, but discussed in a legislative session briefly before being tabled? That's a victory? Not in my book.

We need street actions, real politics, not this namby-pamby place nice. It has gotten us no where. Lets follow the cries of " Black Power " with cries of " Gay Power " and act accordingly. We need militancy, not groveling.v

Dennis E. Golay | December 14, 2010 12:24 PM

I agree that the real solution here is to fire HRC. Joe Solmonese's "retirement" wouldn't solve anything. The real problem is that the GLBT community puts its faith and trust in people and organizations that we do not control or have any voice in.

My partner and I did not renew our membership when HRC backed Mary Bono (now Mary Bono-Mack) in her re-election bid in 2008. Ms. Bono-Mack's only GLBT positive work is in HIV/Aids. On all other issues affecting our community, she has voted against us again and again.

Unfortunately, we were persueded to rejoin HRC the next year. We won't be making that mistake again. We exist on a retiree's budget and that small amount of money could be used to support more proactive organizations.

In addition, it has become painfully obvious that HRC caters to the richest donors whose real involvement seems to be in black tie events, expensive garden parties, and awards ceremonies.
While all that is fine activity ( I like a good party just like everyone else), we have more important and urgent work to do. Perhaps the richest of of us should get down in the trenches with the grassroots of us and do some real work.

Dennis, the cocktail parties and garden dinners arne't the problem. Name me one civil rights cause that doesn't do the same thing. And some folks like that sort of affair. Not me--give me a solid street rally any day. Or a phone bank. Or a direct-mail campaign. Or all of the above.

Focus and leadership are the problem. We have the power to change that.

The stillborn baby reference above was kinda distasteful. Point made. Grossly.

The same complaints, mostly from people who have done nothing for the cause themselves, but find excuses NOT to, were made aganst the very first public organization and publication-ONE.

Why do these people not start their own organization or support some other organization that they DO think is worthwhile. In our case, those who found fault with ONE, then found fault with the new Mattachine, DOB, etc.

I do not feel HRC is doing much, but they don't have my money, time or energy.

What I would wonder about, if I were a member, is why they think there is need for nother resource center for glbt people in San Francisco. Either they will duplicate services already there at the good Gay Center, the good GLBT Historical Society, etc, or they will merely seek fame by being in Harvey Milk's place.

Dennis E. Golay | December 14, 2010 6:09 PM

Ric, I think we actually do agree. The focus seems to be not on DADT, DOMA, ENDA and the like, but on throwing lavish parties and black-tie dinners.

The focus, as you indicated, is on all the wrong things. And I agree that parties are OK, but not at the expense of the difficult work we hope this organization would do on our behalf. HRC has done some good work, but I think we have the right to expect more.

Some folks want revenge. But I think many of us are just tired of empty promises and lack of leadership. I simply believe we need to step back and regroup.

Here is a survey on should Joe resign.

in my Opinion!
Joe Solmonese should not be at the helm of HRC!
He told a blatant lie to us at the 2007 Southern Comfort! No apology! No retraction! If you trust anything HRC has it mouthpiece (puppet) Joe say then shame on you! Gay inc.(HRC) really just wants your money to support their own salaries!Please give me a list of anything (Besides nice dinners & expensive suits) has accomplished! Just how many more lies has HRC made? This blog and most of the other LBGT Blogs experienced a backlash against HRC for the 2007 debacle!

Angela Brightfeather | December 15, 2010 5:13 PM

The real story about Joe Solomonese is that, as usual with many things about HRC, the ego overshadows the intent of the organization and it's ability to achieve it's general objectives. It has to take short cuts that just plain piss people off, like camping out in Harvey Milk's place and causing a rukus within, rather than a rukus without our GLBT community. It's the old "look at me" need imbedded in HRC that stands in stark contrast with an organization like NGLTF that asks local people, how can we help you this week? Need advice? Need a good lawyer? Someone will be down to visit in a week and help out. Not an organization that says throw us a party and we will come down and get your money and take it back to DC and give it to politicians who refuse to help you.

As to those who say take to the streets....I would love to join you more than I already do, but in the back of my mind I always have that website that I found and that if your really intent on civil action I would advise you look up first. Just browse in google for a few minutes on the subject of America, Concentration Camps,'s pretty scary how they are preparing for civil action now a days.

If we have to have organizations that front for us in DC, I don't know many people who don't complain first about HRC representing them and talking for them. Joe Solomonese is just an example of the reason why they feel that way.

Good analysis here:

When the going gets tough, the gay grassroots inevitably loses sight of what we are truly fighting for