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. what time is his big speech tonight? anyone know?

    Posted by: barry | Oct 10, 2009 1:05:42 PM

  2. Really alarmed byt this... loath though I am to quote Ronald Reagan, his quotation "If not us, who? If not now, when?"seems to apply! Get moving on reform while you still can!

    Posted by: Sean R | Oct 10, 2009 1:44:57 PM

  3. Of course HRC is doing this!

    That's why they don't matter. That's why they are truly irrelevant.

    They are just a bunch of parasites, sucking up money so that they can put on their next black tie fundraiser.

    Posted by: RedCedar | Oct 10, 2009 2:05:07 PM

  4. One major thing i think obama HAS to address: if he can't repeal DADT, then why the hell hasn't he signed an executive order? I keep hearing he can do this, but he hasn't. i wanna know WHY. very confused on that

    Posted by: Liz templin | Oct 10, 2009 2:06:18 PM

  5. I'll defend Obama until my face is blue, but it's pretty clear to anyone who pays attentio that Joe Solomonese is an idiot with an ego that rivals Andy Cohen.

    Posted by: Aaron Rowland | Oct 10, 2009 2:07:15 PM

  6. Once again, members of the GLBT are being horse-traded for other political means. If we wait quietly in the back of the bus, we'll never be invited to the front. By waiting "for the right time" to repeal DADT, it will never come.

    I paid my taxes - I want my rights, now. No more excuses.

    And HRC - no more money for you. And I've written them to complain about this memo - you should too!

    Posted by: steve | Oct 10, 2009 2:23:49 PM

  7. All you queen need to calm the fuck down.
    Did any of you actually READ the email or was it just TL;DR. Joe is only saying that when the Obama administration is over, then he can look back at his accomplishment and not only 9 months into his term. Right now though, unless Obama does something soon, I see him as a one term wonder.

    Posted by: Aiden Raccoon | Oct 10, 2009 2:24:20 PM

  8. "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."

    If they do indeed push to repeal DADT that will be progress worth applauding, even more so when DADT is repealed.

    Posted by: RedCedar | Oct 10, 2009 2:53:41 PM

  9. Well I've had it.

    I put it very bluntly on my blog and I made a Boycott The HRC graphic if anyone wants it.

    F**K Joe Solomese

    F**K the HRC

    And quite basically F**k anyone who supports them because you are only supporting our own rights being delayed.

    Posted by: Wolfie | Oct 10, 2009 3:00:11 PM

  10. But, but, but, Obama sounds so pretty. What's substance got to do with it. Personally I think Solmonese ought to apply for the job of Obama's proctologist. His lips seem so firmly attached to that area of the president's anatomy he's perfect for the job.

    When will people realize the HRC is a front for the Democratic Party and puts the party ahead of the rights of gay people?

    Posted by: cls | Oct 10, 2009 3:10:03 PM

  11. Yet another disappointment from our "leaders" at HRC. Is he assuming we have 7 years to wait for our rights to be recognized? Is he kidding? We have an burning issue and we have to wait until 2017 to deal with it? I agree with ICHABOD and I am terminating my financial support as of today of this sorry ass organization. It should be renamed: HRC, Hopeless Rights Campaign!

    Posted by: daniel | Oct 10, 2009 3:14:20 PM

  12. Here is what I wrote to HRC:

    "2017...REALLY??? That is beyond despicable! I will never support or defend this organization EVER! Why don't you all just align yourselves with the Westboro Baptist Church. HRC has become nothing more than a corporation looking out for its bottom line. This comment by Joe Solmonese just made me lose my lunch. I'm guessing tomorrow he will also defend the Justice Department brief comparing homosexuality with incest and pedophilia because the President has asked him to. We are never going to win this fight with the HRC's "help." Grassroots is our only hope. I just ripped off your stupid equality sticker from my car. If you want to help us gain equal rights, do us a favor... DON'T! HRC does not speak for the gay community anymore."

    Posted by: Mario | Oct 10, 2009 3:20:41 PM

  13. Thanks Joe for making me absolutely not regretting canceling my HRC membership last spring.

    Posted by: Qjersey | Oct 10, 2009 3:40:11 PM

  14. Rather presumptuous of Joe to think that Obama will be around until 2017...I won't be supporting his re-election if he doesn't move on our issues. I don't expect them all in one day, but christ, move on something.

    Change will not happen, unless there is a call for it. We must keep demanding equality.

    Posted by: narishkeit | Oct 10, 2009 3:48:00 PM

  15. Why do we always let Democrats do this to us? They push us off; always with a different excuse. We always have to be the people who give something up for the current agenda, yet when it comes to vote they call on us! Why cant two people who love each other cannot hold each others hand at the last moments of life in a hospital room?

    Posted by: jake | Oct 10, 2009 4:06:48 PM

  16. Mr.Solmonese:

    I advocated for civil rights in the 60s, and women's rights (ERA) a little later that decade and through the 70s. I've been advocating and waiting for my gay/lesbian/transgender rights for the last 40 years. I'm an advocate for any and all civil rights for all people. I would like to live the remainder of my life as a first class citizen---sooner rather than later!

    You're a wimp on our behalf! Get out of our way!

    Posted by: cybearsage | Oct 10, 2009 4:25:10 PM

  17. I belong to the Lou Sheldon school of Congressional political action.

    Several years ago I was on a panel at the Americans United for Separation of Church and State national conference. My panel was preceded by a panel which had the homophobic Rev. Louis P. Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition.

    Repeatedly he said when you are in political power you can do whatever you want to do, "That's the way the cookie crubles."

    Most of what we are asking for are really minor matters for the Congress to handle especially when the Democrats have such a large majority in the Congress.

    All Nancy has to do is have the appropriate committees in the House hold a couple of hours hearings in the morning, vote it out of committee and send it to the floor, limit the time of debate, pass it and send it to the Senate where the same procedures take place a few days later. The Senate passes it and sends it to the Prez the next day for his signature.

    There doesn't have to be a long drawn out debate. Just do it and let the Rebulicans and the RRR howl.

    That's the way the cookie crumbles!!

    Posted by: Jerry Sloan | Oct 10, 2009 4:53:05 PM

  18. If only Solomonese spent as much time and energy on his job as he did on posing for that photograph.

    Posted by: Mark | Oct 10, 2009 5:57:14 PM

  19. HRC and Joe Solmonese are delusional. 2009 was our best hope for any progress. 2010 is an election year where nothing controvesial will happen. (DADT repeal and ENDA aren't really controversial but still seem to terrify congress anyway). Don't even talk about DOMA repeal.

    2011 may start with a Republican House just like 1994.

    2013 may start with a Republican President.

    2017 may ALSO start with a Republican President, who may block any progress until 2025.

    Who here is willing to wait until 2025 for DOMA repeal?

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 10, 2009 6:12:39 PM

  20. Anyone read what Barney Frank just said about the march?

    Frank , in an interview with The Associated Press, said he considers such demonstrations to be "an emotional release" that does little to pressure Congress.

    "The only thing they're going to be putting pressure on is the grass," the Massachusetts Democrat said Friday.

    Am I alone in thinking, "FUCK YOU!"?

    Posted by: Terry | Oct 10, 2009 6:18:25 PM

  21. Queer Liberaction will force the President to do something TONIGHT. Watch CNN. Thank us for protesting and demanding our rights. We know how to play this game - angrily - and we will WIN.

    Posted by: QL Dallas | Oct 10, 2009 6:28:52 PM

  22. I guess we'll see. If any of you watches via Internet, here's the URL for tonight's address:

    I was rather ready to jump on the bandwagon and be just as angry, but really, to read the letter thoroughly exposed a lot of holes in the arguments being made against HRC and Joe Solomonese. I am NOT an HRC supporter, nor have I ever been, but I'm not sure what the head scratching is all about. He's just basically said, "we're still workin' it." Nothing, NOTHING at ALL was said about waiting until Obama's second term was over to achieve results.

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | Oct 10, 2009 6:58:38 PM

  23. So it's "not January 2017"?
    Great! Next time the HRC wants a donation, that will be my response.

    On most of Obama's gay rights issues, he has nation-wide majority support.
    ENDA? VAST majority support it.
    Sexual orientation hate crimes legislation? VAST majority support it.

    I can be somewhat sympathetic to a statement that the health-care package is more important so gay rights will be accomplished next year, but to push the dead-line back to a date WHERE OBAMA's NEXT TERM is NOT guaranteed???

    It sounds like HRC is more interested in getting gay support for Obama's next term rather than making sure Obama makes good on his promises in THIS term.

    Posted by: foundit66 | Oct 10, 2009 7:15:39 PM

  24. I've said it before and I'll say it again; organizations like the HRC exist soley for the prestige, power and money which we happily continue to funnel into their coffers with the hope that we as GLBT (a)mericans will ultimately be treated as equals under the constitution.

    Anytime you here them say "let's just take it slowly" should sound off alarms. Truth be told, it's in their best interest to prolong the struggle as long as possible. Like most politicians, I don't think they would know what to do with themselves in the private sector if they were actually forced to work; maybe become a lobbyist.

    Personally, I find the HRC and their ilk offensive as they try to manipulate our community with false promises. If there were ever a third rail in politics, they are it.

    Posted by: Keith | Oct 10, 2009 7:19:43 PM

  25. I suspect very few people will be getting calls from HRC asking for donations, just a thought.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Oct 10, 2009 7:27:04 PM

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