Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Human Rights Campaign | Jason Bellini | News

HRC: Daily Beast Story an 'Outright Lie, Recklessly Irresponsible'

Hrc Last night, the Human Rights Campaign's Michael Cole released a statement to us regarding the report by Jason Bellini posted on The Daily Beast alleging a deal with Congress to delay 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in order to push other items on the LGBT rights agenda.

Said HRC: "This story is not only an outright lie, it is recklessly irresponsible.  HRC never made such a deal and continues to work with congress and the administration on a full range of equality issues including a swift end to the military's shameful ban on gay servicemembers."

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  1. If a few Congress members would step forward with some details, would put a nail in that org's coffin. I don't believe every rumor I hear or read, but there has been enough murmuring over the years to make me a bit suspect of how HRC funds are spent... from payroll to political contributions.

    Posted by: sparks | Jun 5, 2009 7:09:56 AM


  2. I would not put it past HRC to make some sort of compromise. As a 46 year old gay male, I have seen this organization screw their own kind year after year after year. Frankly, I am ashamed that they are even associated with our community. Joe needs to get out of our way and take his organization with him.

    Posted by: Jack | Jun 5, 2009 7:54:17 AM


  3. Washington is all about making deals behind the scenes. It would be nice to think we could get everything we wanted right now but that is not realistic. Having said that I don't know if this story is true or not.

    Posted by: Johnny | Jun 5, 2009 8:24:59 AM


  4. The Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of over 750,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

    I am proud activist and HRC supporter since 1993. I have been blessed to serve on various boards and committees within the organization. HRC is a shining example of commitment and action. I have witnessed the organization at work firsthand leading the charge for full equality. I proudly stand behind the mission and vision of the organization

    Posted by: Pete | Jun 5, 2009 8:34:40 AM


  5. Yes Washington is about making deals behind the scenes, but HRC's priorities are messed up and who wants them negotiating deals on our behalf anyway?
    They are a complete failure of an organization. I could give them SOME leeway when we had a GOP House, Senate, and President. But today? Give me a break.
    They are not only worthless, they are a burden.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jun 5, 2009 9:06:28 AM


  6. Well, now that we know that HRC is behind it - AS USUAL - does this mean we can get off Obama's back? After all, if the largest gay lobby in the nation tells you they don't want to lose their jobs so keep the faggots oppressed, if you please - would you ignore them?

    Posted by: taodon | Jun 5, 2009 9:49:41 AM


  7. gee pete, how much did HRC pay you to post that little propaganda piece?

    Posted by: alguien | Jun 5, 2009 9:51:29 AM


  8. Ugh. Another example of the HRC's corporate-like mentality. For an organization that claims to have the entire communities' interest at heart, a little transparency would be nice. It's beyond me why people continue to follow this organization like sheep.

    Posted by: Will | Jun 5, 2009 10:05:15 AM


  9. Ryan, when you say HRC's priorities are messed up, in which ways are they? I am asking to try to understand why HRC is seen as ineffective to many people because I don't want to blindly support them.

    I understood their priorities to be ENDA and the Hate Crimes bill and they are making deals and arrangements on Capitol Hill to get them voted on and passed.

    Posted by: Johnny | Jun 5, 2009 10:31:24 AM


  10. HRC is useless. They're just bloated fund-raising party queens. You'd be sick to your stomach if you know how much money people work at HRC makes. On the other hand, they seems to have a corner on the market for pretty party boys. You know what I'm talking about if you have visited the building or see their DC Pride Booth. Besides Results the GYM, HRC have all the pretty ones. I'm sure all of them work out at Results anyway, so really it's the same boys.

    Posted by: This is kinda a good thing. | Jun 5, 2009 10:38:26 AM


  11. As a DC resident and a victim of a Hate Crime last year, I sought out HRC to build awareness that our community in Logan Circle (or around 14th/P) was being ravaged by these awful crimes. You know what they sent me, a letter to donate money. They are not my voice.

    Posted by: Christophe | Jun 5, 2009 11:34:03 AM


  12. HRC doesn't "make deals" with Congress. They lobby Congress, very ineffectively.

    For the last 7 years I've had an offer on the table to HRC: $5,000 immediately if they can show me 2 things they have ever accomplished (not tried to do) that benefitted their constituency. That offer is still open.

    Posted by: jmdrwac | Jun 5, 2009 12:03:09 PM


  13. I've had some insight into the professional hacks and fundraisers that constitute this organization--they are worthless. If I'm wrong please point me toward a single federal level victory they've achieved (presumably their mission). ENDA should have been a done deal ten years ago. The action is at the state level. State level organizations are where donations are best spent, as they don't have the high salary overhead and marketing costs of an organization like the HRC. Oh--and they actually get shit done.

    Posted by: leman | Jun 5, 2009 12:05:15 PM


  14. Johnny,

    I could rant for hours, but I will TRY to focus for you. :)

    I think ENDA etc were good goals to have during a GOP administration. You can imagine a lot of people, including conservative leaders, supportive of the idea that people should have a right to work and only be fired because of merit.

    Unfortunately they have failed at this. I think HRC is trying to use the current political climate towards achieving the one goal it should have been able to pass 5 years ago. This, when it happens, will be the SOLE piece of federal legislation that is favorable to GLBT and the one victory that HRC will be able to claim.

    Unfortunately they are suppressing other gay rights issues so they can score one victory, and that is regrettable. Especially when issues like DADT can be resolved by this Congress, and no one will move on something like DADT unless there is someone outside of Congress steering it through.

    They are wasting their opportunity for something larger, and once ENDA passes, I think Congress and the President will say "leave us alone for awhile, we already gave you ENDA."

    Posted by: Ryan | Jun 5, 2009 12:11:10 PM


  15. Michael Cole is happy knowing that he is a mouth piece on a road to nowhere with a GREAT clothing allowance.

    Posted by: 2nd Class Citizen | Jun 5, 2009 12:50:37 PM


  16. Thanks Ryan. I do see how HRC can be seen as ineffective due to not having any substantial victories. Also if they are bloated and wasteful then obviously I don't support that and for that reason alone I would stop donating to them. If there are other lobby organizations that can be more effective than HRC then I hope they can make an impact and show us and HRC how it should be done.

    However, what about the idea that LGBT rights/equality is a very polarizing issue. In the recent past, how could HRC succesfully lobby the congresspeople (Dems & Repubs) who had no intention of supporting anything LGBT related because of either their own beliefs or the views of the constiuency they represent? 2009 has seen a lot of progress for equality but 5 years ago in 2004, 13 states banned same-sex marriage, and a Federal Marriage Amendment was proposed. In that environment I don't see how HRC or any lobby group could be successful. Is this a misconception on my part? Meaning a good lobbyist can get anything passed at anytime?

    As public opinion shifts on all types of LGBT issues, HRC will finally score some victories. I guess I can't see though how HRC was supposed to be responsible for shifting public opinion as well as lobby congress. Shifting public opinion comes from a variety of sources not just HRC. Again though if a good lobbyist can get anything passed at anytime then I guess this is not a valid point.

    Lastly, what LGBT organizations would you, or anyone else reading this, recommend donating to?
    GLAAD? GLSEN? Lambda Legal? etc. Living in California, most of my donations have gone to Equality California and fighting Prop 8. I'm sure my donations will continue to them for the next couple years. But I am curious about other effective, national LGBT organizations to donate to.

    Posted by: Johnny | Jun 5, 2009 1:35:35 PM


  17. Well Johnny,

    In my opinion, the more money people donate to HRC, the more likely Congress will view that organization as the most representative of us. As you see from today's news, this has negative consequences in a variety of ways.

    I am a lawyer, and I think Lambda Legal is smart and effective, but I think we should step away from the courts right now while we have so much favorable opinions on key issues.

    I agree with Leman above that state level agencies provide the best value. Change can be best effected on a state or ordinance level. Something around half the states have enacted ENDAs because of the efforts of local lobbyists (this goes to your point about polarization; successes happen, just no HRC successes). This leads to a separate, but related, reason why I am irritated by the HRC's obsession with this one act--IMO they should be working on issues that CANNOT be addressed at the local level.

    The legislative enactments of marriage in the NE have been so encouraging. These are the groups that deserve our funding.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jun 5, 2009 2:34:16 PM


  18. Don't you see that ENDA, housing, and hate crimes protection are more important and fundamental because they affect us all, rich and poor, all races, all genders -- not just the few who want to couple and the even fewer who want to kill for their country?

    Posted by: Q | Jun 5, 2009 10:02:50 PM


  19. Well, let's see...they sabotaged hate crimes last year, didn't they? Because protection for gays without transgendered wasn't "progress." I had lost my patience with them sometime before then but that was the last straw. Here we have actual progress being rejected because it wasn't enough progress. Fuck that. People have lives to live. For HRC it's about the big building and the status of being The Gays with Access. If Obama solved every gay problem in his first 100 days, why would anyone be writing HRC a check? It's not in HRCs best interest to have any gay issue resolved and over with. Ever. Their existence is dependent on gay being the new black.

    Posted by: KJ | Jun 6, 2009 11:11:19 AM


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