On Bil's post, HRC's Solmonese Resigns: Staffers Angry at News Timing,, which discusses the timing of the news that Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, is not renewing his contract in March, Tim K suggests that the controversy about the organization and its president presents a choice of reasons why:
"You sort of have your choice here. Either HRC (and Solmonese) is as useless as many of the comments here imply, or HRC (and Solmonese) has one of the worst PR staffs of any advocacy organization of its size in the world. Ultimately, I'd argue, if you're politically effective but lousy at managing the public's perception of your work, then you're either not as effective as you think, or not going to be effective very long. Whichever the case, it's probably time for a change in leadership."
While, as Bil notes, Solmonese's tenure has been marked by many high points in LGBT rights, there have also been low lows, particularly the organization's declaration that it would never supportive employment laws not inclusive of trans people and subsequent support for non-inclusive laws. It also seemed as if HRC was pretty much ready to throw in the towel on DADT until Lt. Dan Choi and GetEqual chained protesters to the White House fence on two occasions, and many of the other victories we have seen on marriage, DADT and state protections came from other smaller, leaner, more aggressive but well-financed organizations.
What say you, Projectors? Is the problem here perception, or reality? Did Solmonese, as head of the nation's largest LGBT advocacy organization, with its $35,000,000 budget, flub the PR job and not get proper credit for the organization within the LGBT community, or did he, in fact, generate more heat than light with the organization during his tenure?
Jillian Weiss is a member of the Board of Directors of GetEqual.