Human Rights Campaign Building Vandalized


The Human Rights Campaign headquarters in D.C. was vandalized over the weekend. The damage, in pink paint, included a message that read "Quit leaving queers behind" and was captured by blogger Leslie Ewing early Sunday morning.

A group called 'Queers Against Assimilation' later took credit on the blog Lez Get Real, calling the action an act of "glamdalism". They also left a sort of manifesto, which you can read in full here.


  1. Amused says

    LOL! That’s funny. Funnier still because they sound like they expect to be taken seriously. They do have a point, though. What good are the HRC besides being glorified party planners? They should branch out to do weddings and bat mitzvahs, too.

  2. says

    I really see no bad press. It’s obvious we are IN FIGHTING we all know that. Perhaps this will make the HRC actually stand up and take notice that mnay people are pissed off and they need to start to do some changing.

    Most of the comments around the web have not been overtly condemming of this action

  3. Dback says

    Folks have the right to criticize the HRC if they so choose. When they start vandalizing stuff, however, it damages our ability to point out when our buildings or people are attacked by right-wingers and homophobes. It evokes in me the same disgust when every now and then someone “fakes” being gay bashed or attacked. We need to be better than this.

  4. jimmyboy says


    Yepp, it looks like a security camera

    Anyway; the group responsible would do better by funneling its energy into trying to turn donors against HRC for HRC’s “WAIT……….WAIT………..WAIT” stance

  5. Jeff In Boston says

    It’s obvious much of the mob mentality around HRC in being engendered in the same spirit (and with the same intellectual basis) as the screamers at the health care town hall meetings.

  6. Gregsy says

    why does no one understand that money = power, especially in a recession?

    instead of marching, and vandalizing, and in-fighting, and party planning, just oppose people/things financially.

    as a gay youth, i will never, and have never given my money to the HRC. i would never vandalize it, because that’s foolish on several levels. but because i disagree with HRC practices, I don’t give them my money. It hurts them more than having to hire a cleaning crew to chip off glitter paint residue.

  7. Randy says

    Having read their note, I have to say they don’t seem to have much to offer other than whining and foot-stomping, and bashing the HRC.

    While I agree that HRC is assimilationist and elite, the vandal group didn’t actually bother to tell us what they want, or describe a plan to get there. They wasted their opportunity.

    I also agree with previous posters that this now means that when vandalism is a hate crime against us, now we also have to prove in the court of public opinion that it isn’t community in-fighting. Stupid. :(

  8. Esurnir says

    I have to admit that those vandals speaks for me. What does the hrc does ? My friends are forced to live in Australia instead of the states because no one is able until now to get doma repealed, and the hrc is part of the problem not the solution. They are an extension of the democratic party to cash in on your dollar. And their role for the democratic party is to give the media a pictures of gays cheering the president so that the average Joe liberal sympathetic to our cause thinks that gays overwhelmingly support Obama.

    I seriously hope this campaign of vandalism won’t stop because the hrc. The Obama administration and the DNC failed us. If they wanted they could have passed everything they wanted in the past few month. A stop loss order the same day they order the stop of the use of torture, they had a blank card for the first few month and decided to play like if we were in 2010 midterm campaign. I don’t see any gay rights achievement coming from the hrc. They aren’t behind the lawsuits against doma and they have no part in new englands victories. They are parasites and are just here to divert our efforts in useless gimicks and vouching for the president in the mainstream media.

    It’s time we pull those leech off our back.

    And those act of vandalism are useful because the main advantage of the hrc is that they can pretend for now they represent the lgbts opinion to the media. Vandalizing them show to the media that “no they don’t represent everyone”.

    And the proof that it work:

    the white house was forced to give a speech to an hrc dinner before the march in order to save their credibility and reduce the impact of the march. Reduced today as a “left fringe” event. The Obama dinner speech was against us, not for.

  9. kujhawker says

    @wolfie, yes we can fire the HRC. We stop funding it. We convince those that fund it to stop giving to it, and give them alternatives to give to. We turn HRC into an irrelevant organization, by individual or new groups doing the lobbying that HRC is currently doing.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if an HRC lobbyist went to a senator and he said well 10 people came lobbying at my door from other groups saying they represent the community.

    We withhold cash and support and HRC will either go away or change itself into something relevant.

  10. says

    “What good are the HRC besides being glorified party planners?”

    So I’m assuming YOU’RE responsible for the federal hate crimes protections you’ll be getting in the near future. And YOU defeated the federal marriage amendment…twice? And you’ve helped elect pro-equality candidates for decades? Also, if you had an ounce of understanding of Washington politics you’d know the infrastructure that HRC has worked to build for decades so all things that are going to happen over the next decade can happen for YOU. Change doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re so impatient, run for office.

  11. crispy says

    The 2-3 commenters here who support petty vandalism can barely tap out a proper sentence without making multiple spelling errors and breaking just about every rule of grammar. Is “ignoire” like some anarchist version of “ignore”? WTF?

    I don’t know if this means anything. Just thought I’d point it out.

  12. Trace says

    Sorry Anthony.. I dont buy it.

    HRC is not responsible for the hate crimes protection.. Part of the lobbying effort I am sure.. but not responsible.

    HRC did not defeat the FMA..again.. part of it but I see no evidence that they in some way were the ones carrying the water.

    HRC, at least in my state is virtually silent in electing pro-equality candidates. And speaking of their infrastructure.. they have been co-opted to become part of the problem because they fail to represent the rank and file and represent those with money.

    Finally, any gains we have seen lately, mostly all on the local level, come from state organizations, not HRC. People are better off putting their money in local organizations that still have an ear to the ground, listening to what their constituents want.

    And this comes from an ex federal club member who got tired of getting these missives from Joe that demonstrated how out of touch they really were with the reality on the ground. HRC has the potential to be a true ally to the LGBT community. But until their leadership is changed and they start listening.. No one should support them. Look at their dinner on Saturday night. Obama gets up and gives them the same pablum he has been spouting since his campaign and they acted like he was giving them manna from heaven. Come on, they need to start acting like they give a damn.

  13. mcc says

    The Republicans aren’t the enemy. The religious right isn’t the enemy. The heteronormative laws and attitudes in our society are not the enemy. The HRC is the enemy, Obama is the enemy, Barney Frank is the enemy, the Democratic Party is the enemy. HRC needs to stop wasting its time pushing for gay-friendly legislation and join with us in concentrating on what really matters, which is to say, destroying the HRC.

  14. Amused says

    @anthony: I’m as responsible for those (mostly hypothetical, at this point) advancements as you or the HRC are. You’re damned right I’m impatient. For all the money that’s come through their coffers, the ineffectualness of the HRC’s lauded “infrastructure” is pathetic. If you think the HRC serves the LGBT Americans over their own interests, you’re delusional. They endorsed an out gay candidate’s OPPONENT in the last election!

    Enjoy your high society circle-jerks, stooge.

  15. Jeff In Boston says

    We’ve always had all parts of the spectrum here in Mass. where I’ve done activism for 25 years. The Left fought the Right and the Middle, at times. But I can tell you if ANYONE would have defaced a community organization’s building, there were have been condemnation from all sides. This is from the right wing’s playbook, and it says a lot about anyone who shrugs their shoulders and says, “Eh, they deserved it.” Fight your real enemies, people. If you don’t like HRC, do what people have always done: start your own group.

  16. Brian Leitner says

    HRC has very little to show for the $300 million the LGBT Community has given them. They are only trying to drag things out as long as they can = so they can keep making +$300,000 salaries.

  17. Miaulement says

    I want to say that I hate the vandalism, symbolism would have been better, but I agree with the manifesto and everybody who’s commented here, in essence saying they don’t want to play using DC’s corrupt rules, “how things are done in Washington…” and “change doesn’t happen overnight…” The way things are accomplished in Washington is shameful, and when something is WRONG it should be fixed – let the fine-tuning take the rest of Obama’s administration. From equal rights for all citizens and humane treatment for all who live here to intelligent environmental policies – CHANGE IT OVERNIGHT.

  18. says

    I may grow frustrated with the compromises HRC makes, despite their obviously good intentions, but vandalism is juvenile and pointless. Now money that could have gone into advocacy will be spent to repair and clean…dumb.

    Do I limit my contributions to HRC because of some of their positions? Sure. But I keep contributing because that gives me a voice within the organization, albeit a small one.

    I can see the usefulness of both grass-roots work for LGBT equality and the “inside the beltway” work that HRC is doing. I just wish sometimes they would be a bit more aggressive in dealing with our “friends.”

    My great hope is that the largely younger group of folks that gathered in Washington this weekend will not see that as the end of their advocacy, but that they will make themselves known to their local government officials, state their case and GET INVOLVED. We can only make change if we are in the process, whether that is at the precinct level or the national level.

    Two cents offered.

  19. Jessej says

    Stop supporting HRC and start giving your money to LGBT orgs that get shit done like the Victory Fund. They elect LGBT public officials so that we have a voice in the places where the decisions are made…and these representatives are actually part of the democratic process and not selected by a board of rich white fags who run the HRC.

    The HRC doesn’t speak for the gay community and as long as they seem willing to push the goal posts back constantly and negotiate away our equality, we deserve what we get for pouring money into their war chests that get blown on outrageous dinners and parties. Obama and others need to know they can negotiate all they want with HRC, but HRC doesn’t speak for me.

  20. Jeff In Boston says

    Jesse, NOBODY “speaks for the gay community.” Just because someone speaks for you doesn’t mean they speak for a majority. We’re too diverse for that. So, support the groups you want to support and don’t give to HRC. It’s so simple. Trying to silence your opposition instead of working to support groups who do speak for you is so right wing.

  21. says

    I’ll probably get murdered for saying this, but I spent a summer in law school working at the legal department at HRC…*GASP* And I didn’t work at that organization as an insider, or even a contributor (I have never donated money to HRC). I came as a law student that cares about progress and issues that affect our community.

    I’ve found that you can say what you want about Joe or whomever else is the “face” of HRC, but I worked side-by-side with people who are committed to equality. These are bright, creative people. Most of them could be making much, much more money working in the private sector. But they choose to work endless hours for a lot less pay so that all of us can be happy and left alone. And they go into work and see their building vandalized. They see the people they’re trying to help defile and counteract their efforts. They might even frequent this blog and see their supposed allies and friends ignoring the work they do. My colleagues were people who did not choose to make activism their hobby, but rather their livelihoods. They don’t simply show up at a march once a decade to get off on some emotional catharsis. They fight every day, for us, and none of it is glamorous.

    You have every right to withhold contributions to HRC and to disagree with how the organization is run. You can even condone people vandalizing its building. But the truth is, everyone I met in that organization is just like you and me. They’re frustrated, and their tired, and their impatient. But they’re fighting.

    Though some might see that work as a “high society circle jerk” or a bunch of lavish parties, the truth is, there are thousands of people, not just at HRC, who spend their lives working for this, and take this movement seriously. And they don’t ask for your thanks, but they don’t deserve your vilification.

  22. says

    HRC runs off of about $30-40 million a year, or at least did before the economic free fall. $30-40 million a year. Half of that $30 million could employ hundreds of field organizers a year, organizing house by house, county by county, state by state, for GLBT equality. However, HRC doesn’t believe in the little people. It thinks it accomplishes its goals by going on TV and spending money at the cocktail parties.

    It is a useless organization that actually runs counter to progress, because it tells the administration and democrats that not only *is* it okay to wait on certain aspects of equality, but that they *should* wait on those aspects, without regard to the opinions of the GLBT communities. I’m loath to think they actually do this on purpose; their general disdain for regular, glbt people almost certainly gaurantees the fact that they don’t understand and don’t know what common, gblt people want. After all, they don’t represent us, they only represent those who are able to give tens of thousands of dollars a year to them — inviting *them* to the cocktail parties, too.

  23. Jeff In Boston says

    Here, here, Anthony. If HRC is as widely hated as the posters on some blogs insist they are — and perhaps they are — they will eventually go out of business. If, on the other hand, they have a large pool of support amongst people who might not agree with all they do (or do not do), they will continue to grow and thrive. They aren’t wholly representative of the community, to be sure. But they do seem to be representative enough of their members and donors, and none of us has the right to dictate to those people how to act or think.

  24. Jeff In Boston says

    “regular GLBT people” Define that, please. Do you have a breakdown of the HRC membership that says most of them are not “regular” people? If so, please share a link with the rest of us, so your term makes some sense. If not, this is the meaningless mob language of the town hall screamers.

  25. Bryan says

    I was wondering what the shock troops would do while the homonormatives whored for cheap champagne and cheaper promises.

    Not much, as it turns out. Graffiti that can’t be read from 20 feet away? Feh. Have these youngsters no design sense?

    Speaking as a gay man, I believe we’re nearly extinct. I see nothing but a lot of overdressed straight arrivistes who just happen to suck cock as a hobby.

  26. Alan says

    The people that claim the HRC and the Democratic party are our “enemies” need a reality check. Just because you don’t agree with an organization 100% doesn’t give you the right to claim that they’re somehow elitist or disconnected, frankly it just makes you sound ignorant for trying to diminish the efforts of the HRC to increase our visibility in mainstream DC politics. Going on parades and doing “grassroots” work may make you feel good, but the reality is we need representatives in DC that work within the system. If you don’t want to give money to the HRC, fine, no one is forcing you to, but to just categorically say everyone in the HRC is an “enemy” is ridiculous and counter-productive. Resorting to this immature class warfare type of mentality is self-defeating, and the fact is all of us in the LGBT community want the same things, we just have different ideas on how to get there. The real enemies are the Republicans, the religious right, and those that work with them; they actually want to TAKE our rights away not just stall or delay them.

  27. says

    @kujhawker: 10 people did sit and Senator Harry Reids office and tell him that we represented the feelings (no one appointed us, so, we could never say we “represented” anyone)of a large number of LGBT people. I was there as was Cleve Jones, Lt. Danm Choi, Robin McGehee, Kip Williams and others.

    And we did it as volunteers.

    Btw, no one from the march would ever do something as STUPID as vandalize HRC. That would go against everything we stand for. Proof of that is that no incidents were reported by DC police before duting or after the march in relation to the event.

  28. mcNny says

    MCC is right when he says Barney Frank is an ENEMY.
    FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS he has been the chairman of what many say is at least two or three committees. And in politics we know that that power can be used to more legislation as well as trade votes on issues.
    He has more often than not dragged his feet and most assuredly has not used his influence to get thongs done.

  29. mcNny says

    So many posters here are as reactionary and WRONG as the actions of these anarchists.
    300 million? Hysterical. Hype. Untrue and just Glen Beckian.

    You can give ur money where u want. U can give it to NY’s ESPA who needed 12 years to get a gay rights law on the books–though now has a hellofa great Speaker as an ED.
    AND lamda legal oh yeah they don’t want to litigate now cause the climate is not favorable.
    And for the record I did not nor anyone at my table where a tux and tickets were $250.
    And HRC also attracts and employs our straight allies as well as the faith based community and civil rights leaders which has taken time and boots on the ground to cultivate.
    But come to think of it. Maybe these vandalists picked the right target.
    HRC believes in the assimilation of all into the fabric and rights of this great Nation.

  30. Mark says

    Wow. This means for a few hours HRC Headquarters actually looked like it belonged to a Gay organization.

    That whole HRC dinner reminded me of Poe’s Mask of the Red Death.

  31. John in Boston says

    Ditto what Esurnir said @ Oct 12, 2009 10:43:39 AM

    And some of the most obnoxious people on a personal level I’ve ever met have been and are ‘progressives’

    Jeff, you in Boston? You telling me there’s a shortage of a-hole ‘progressive’ and ‘radical’ trustafarian fags and guppies in the Back Bay, south end, Brookline, Cambridge, et al.,?

  32. grego says

    What a weekend! As for the HRC’s activism, I dont know what happened. I’m mad as hell with every lost day; but the HRC? They’ve grown quiet, diluted and distracted. Is HRC worried about offending corporate sponsors?

    What Joe’s HRC need to do is abandon its methods of the past and get damn angry and fighting mad and speak from the heart.

  33. Jeff In Boston says

    LOL @ John In Boston

    Oh, no. You can’t swing a copy of “Rules For Radicals” without hitting a smug, self-centered progressive here. We’re thick with them. But there are many good ones, as well.

  34. Greg G says

    All the spears thrown at HRC contribute to weakening any power and influence the HRC has. True, the HRC have not fought as hard and fast as we all would like. But to say the organization does nothing to help LGBT equality is incorrect. Disagree with their approach, their leadership – and push for change in leadership. That’s all fine.
    But what do the naysayers propose instead of HRC?
    I’d like to hear some proposals on how to accomplish what the HRC has been unable to do all these years.. please enlighten me so I can better understand.

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