Barack Obama | Human Rights Campaign | Joe Solmonese | News

HRC Moves Goal Post for Obama and LGBT Rights to January 2017?

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese sent out a bizarre email blast last night, on the eve of National Equality March weekend, that seems to suggest that LGBT folks should cut Obama some slack till the end of his second term to pass judgment on the promises he has or hasn't carried out. 

Folks around the blogosphere are scratching their heads.

Solmonese Writes Solmonese: 

But what has he [Obama] done? 

I've written that we have actually covered a good deal of ground so far. But I'm not going to trot out those advances right now because I have something more relevant to say: It's not January 19, 2017. 

That matters for two reasons: first, the accomplishments that we've seen thus far are not the Obama Administration's record. They are the Administration's record so far.... 

I am sure of this: on January 19, 2017, I will look back on the President's address to my community as an affirmation of his pledge to be our ally. I will remember it as the day when we all stood together and committed to finish what Senator Kennedy called our unfinished business. And I am sure of this: on January 19, 2017, I will also look back on many other victories that President Barack Obama made possible.

Read the entire email blast, AFTER THE JUMP...

Whatever its meaning, as a forecast of what Obama might say tonight at the group's annual dinner, it isn't encouraging. I've heard that what's coming tonight from Obama is an announcement of a push to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 2010, some recognition of David Huebner, the new gay ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, and some words against Question 1 in Maine. That's completely unverified, but it's what I'm hearing. I hope there's more.


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  1. That's it. Not another dime for HRC.

    And why would they want equality to come would put Joe out of a job.

    Posted by: acorlando | Oct 10, 2009 10:04:28 AM

  2. Why target the "end" of a SECOND term for a deadline? At this juncture, Obama is only guaranteed ONE term, and the time should be used wisely. Never count one's chickens before they've hatched.

    Posted by: Kit | Oct 10, 2009 10:06:46 AM

  3. So we should just sit quietly at the back of the bus until 2017?! Why does anyone donate any amount of money to HRC? Is this thier idea of advocacy? Really?

    Posted by: Wayne | Oct 10, 2009 10:10:05 AM

  4. Jo Solomonese received $338,400 in compensation in 2008 (see Of course, he wants to drag things out- by 2017 he will have made an additional $1.8 million or so...

    Posted by: homer | Oct 10, 2009 10:17:44 AM

  5. Once again, HRC proves they are a business - if we are actually able to be treated equally under the law, they will have to close their doors. Our continued oppression is good for their wallets. It is the only reason why they told Obama to wait months ago and it is the only reason why they're writing this claptrap now.

    At least with the fundamentalists we know they're not on our side. HRC just pretends to be, and then pulls crap like this - over and over and over again. And some of you STILL defend them.

    Enough already.

    Posted by: taodon | Oct 10, 2009 10:18:26 AM

  6. In light of this truly tragic e-mail, I sent the following to HRC this morning:

    After more than fifteen years of uninterrupted financial support, I now demand my monthly donations to your organization be immediately terminated.

    Thanks to Friday's (Oct 9, 2009) e-mail blast from Joe Solmonese, I see that the HRC's prevailing message to the LGBT community is to "sit on your hands and wait, preferably at the back of the bus --if not under it" for President Obama to finally make good on his numerous campaign promises.

    With an attitude like that, HRC is no longer the solution, but part of the problem.

    You won't get another dime out of me to fund your fawning efforts to stay on the White House's preferred guest list.

    Screw you, Joe.

    Posted by: ichabod | Oct 10, 2009 10:19:05 AM

  7. HRC is a self-serving organization that has done NOTHING to advance gay rights. They only serve to advance themselves, throw nice cocktail parties for their friends for the big suckers, oops, "donors" who contribute to them and pay for that nice, big fucking building they built for themselves to show how important they are.

    THEY DO NOTHING. Don't give them a dime, it just a waste of your money.

    Work at the state level to get things done. HRC doesn't even bother at the state level, b/c that's where the work is, and they don't like work. They like galas and black-tie events and big dinners where they can pat themselves on the back and then get bent for politicians who pay lip service to gay rights. Pathetic.

    Posted by: B-rod | Oct 10, 2009 10:19:48 AM

  8. What a loser he is. I wrote off HRC a long time ago.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Oct 10, 2009 10:55:16 AM

  9. Haven't you people been aware of what a useless insulting money-suck the HRC has been for EONS?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 10, 2009 10:56:24 AM

  10. Perhaps HRC supporters ought to keep that January 19, 2017 date in mind when making further contributions. Let's just hold off on those checks until then so we can fairly assess HRC's work. How does that sound, Joe?

    Posted by: Kelly | Oct 10, 2009 11:06:44 AM

  11. even the homophobes must be stunned! 2017??? you obviously don't care about the pressing issues of the LGBT community. Let someone else run HRC.

    Posted by: uselessHRC | Oct 10, 2009 11:07:11 AM

  12. Remember President Clinton's two year window to push his agenda with a Democrat Congress? All the Republicans need is control of one House and there will be NO GAY RIGHTS legislation. DO IT NOW

    Posted by: T Riggs | Oct 10, 2009 11:09:56 AM

  13. Does Joe really believe that a full dem majority govt. will go on forever?

    This is hogwash!

    Posted by: NYSmike | Oct 10, 2009 11:12:17 AM

  14. Ugh, why did he write this crap? He can't be serious? Do not listen to Solmonese. Write or talk to your local and state representatives. Persistance is key.

    Posted by: Ishaq | Oct 10, 2009 11:51:56 AM

  15. Not another dime to HRC - not ONE DIME ever again!

    How dare you Joe? How dare you ask me to wait until 2017 for rights that I deserve NOW!

    This email is utter bullshit and I am calling HRC to let them know - everyone should!

    Posted by: Keven | Oct 10, 2009 12:26:07 PM

  16. Wow. Delusional. I don't know what else to say. Oh, right, "ass kisser" comes to mind. So does "politically impotent".

    Posted by: DR | Oct 10, 2009 12:27:47 PM

  17. Yup, he's high and they long ago jumped the proverbial shark, this just confirms it. I'm tired of being told "wait".. if not now, when? Sorry but HRC, if you won't fight the battles you claim to fight, then we'll do it for you. Good luck in that job market.

    Posted by: Darren | Oct 10, 2009 12:28:19 PM

  18. This just confirms that HRC is a useless organization.

    Posted by: WRP | Oct 10, 2009 12:28:59 PM

  19. What happens if in 2010 the republicans regai control then all hopes of GLBT Rights goes out the door Why is the HRC so willing to let everything slide No battle was ever won by doing nothing except having tea and cookie photo ops Yes Obama will speak to the HRC but tomorrow will be playing golf far away from the March. HRC and Barney Frank dont want to put pressure of the President. Why not? Frank tells everyone not to come and he is leaving town Hrc has done nothing to push the March Great leadership Both should be on the dias tomorrow. Time for leadership changes

    Posted by: walter | Oct 10, 2009 12:31:21 PM

  20. We are protesting the President AND the overpaid "do-nothings" at HRC's dinner tonight. We do out direct-action with very little money, but we are very effective. If anything comes of tonight's ass-kissing dinner - it will be because of us. Demanding and using our anger and frustration is the only thing that makes results.

    Imagine what we could accomplish if we had HRC's $30 million per year? We don't wait for anything. Our actions get results.

    Look for us on CNN tonight.

    Posted by: QL Dallas | Oct 10, 2009 12:37:32 PM

  21. How many people who wish to be married will be DEAD by 2017? How many teenagers will have committed suicide by 2017? How many gay bashings will have occurred? How many soldiers dismissed from the armed services?
    How many fired from their jobs simply because they are gay, lesbian, or transgendered?
    And how much money will Joe Suckonthese have earned as the head of an organization that is supposed to be fighting for our rights?

    Posted by: Jefffrey | Oct 10, 2009 12:40:00 PM

  22. Dear Joe:

    Thank-you for your thoughtful Retirement Letter. Please wish your co-workers success finding new jobs. I agree with your assessment that there really isn't anything to do for our full equality but "wait."

    If Obama doesn't deliver on his promises by 2017, and if you're still seeking employment, maybe we should consider reviving HRC.

    Waiting Together for Equality,

    The LGBTQ Community

    Posted by: Brian Leitner | Oct 10, 2009 12:43:50 PM

  23. "Why is the HRC so willing to let everything slide"

    They're lobbyists. If they win, then they're also unemployed.

    The trick is to (1) present the illusion of progress so you don't scare away all your donors and patrons; and (2) to limit actual progress to a snail's pace so that these same donors and patrons continue to give you money.

    And that, folks, is how the federal government "works" in a nutshell.

    Posted by: John | Oct 10, 2009 12:47:52 PM

  24. Joe Solmonese is a starfucker. He has become so enchanted by the celebrities he meets that he has been transformed into a fawning Uncle (or should that be Aunt?) Tom.

    Screw HRC.

    Posted by: Ken | Oct 10, 2009 1:01:10 PM

  25. "I've written that we have actually covered a good deal of ground so far. But I'm not going to trot out those advances right now because I have something more relevant to say: It's not January 19, 2017."

    What the hell? I would love for him to "trot" out the list of accomplishments..... Are people still getting thrown out of the military under don't ask don't tell? Or is Joe speaking of the wonderful LIMITED benefits that partners of government employees receive? Because if this is the "good deal of ground" that we have covered so far then I have to say Joe and the HRC are so delusional. It is time to stop kidding ourselves and find another solution. It is obvious the HRC is not part of the solution....

    Posted by: Jeremy | Oct 10, 2009 1:01:37 PM

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