Signorile: Pressure Works

In a new column in The Advocate, Michelangelo Signorile notes the divide between the grass roots and the Human Rights Campaign evidenced by action that has been taken by the administration only when pressure has been applied. He also has some suggestions for HRC:

Montage "The group has its work cut out for it — both in trying to bridge the
divide between the organization and much of LGBT America and regaining
the trust it needs from the grass roots and the Net roots if it wants
to work together. It can start by really representing the mainstream
LGBT thinking on Obama and his promises instead of heaping praise on
the president and falling back on its access-at-all-costs strategy,
which has never worked. And HRC should acknowledge to the White
House that the grass roots is very organized, isn’t happy, and will be
marching again. HRC can be a facilitator of that truth rather than
apologizing for the administration. Rather than looking increasingly
irrelevant, our big D.C. lobbying group could actually make itself look
much stronger."


  1. stephen says

    Sometimes it takes a REVOLUTION!!! HRC & Administration would be mistaken to underestimate the general level of frustration of Gay Americans.

    We’ve been down this road before… once you recognize that equality is a civil right, the conversation should only be, how do we accomplish this asap. Anything less makes you a duplicitous politician.

  2. Lankyguy says

    The HRC is only interested in it’s own goals. It’s not wise to confuse it with the LGBT community at large, nor to think they have the communities best interest at heart.

    The lack of representation is is why Net roots and grass roots organizations are sprouting up and growing; they are needed.

  3. Zach says

    A largely astute analysis, but the HRC should only represent the concerns of the base, not shift its stance. Bashing elites and insiders is popular (and often justified), but the current structure of the HRC is advantageous to operating within political circles. It has its role to play, just as grassroots organizations and radicals also have theirs.

  4. Scott says

    What I think is missing from the conversation is the seeming lack of urgency that I feel about our issues. I do agree that there is a place for HRC stratosphere of political policy but if you look at the Health Care Reform Effort it’s very clear that the some old right wing, hate mongering, reactionary forces are still setting the nation’s agenda. This is what has to be countered at I think it can only be done by grass roots activism. What do you think is going to be their next topics after health care reform? How about abortion and the “homosexual agenda”. They must be stopped.

  5. says

    Pressure is good, and I do think HRC has made some missteps in broadcasting an acquiescence that other LGBT activists haven’t…and yet I think the idea that HRC is out of step with “much of LGBT America” is drastically overstated on Signorile’s part. I don’t think much of or most of LGBT America is alienated from HRC and from those who want to work from within. I just think the more “gay rights NOW!” faction gets more attention. (This observation is not to belittle either side, his remark just struck me as maybe caught up within his own movement.)

  6. JR in DC says

    I can’t believe the ego here. HRC has worked hard on passing this legislation for more than a decade. Finally, the numbers are right in congress and thers’ a President who will sign it…and Signorelle thinks a “grassroots” march two weeks ago is what is responsible? Jeez. If HRC hadn’t been laying the groundwork to act when the time was right, this wouldn’t have happened – no matter how much bitching Signorelle and others who make criticizing HRC into a career – might have done. Unbelievable.

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