Brian Ellner | Gay Marriage | New York | News

HRC Hires Brian Ellner to Head NY Campaign Opposing Anti-Gay Lawmakers

The Human Rights Campaign has established a new group whose goal is to defeat state legislators who opposed marriage equality, and they've hired Brian Ellner, who was shut out of the head position at the Empire State Pride Agenda just recently, to head it, the NYT reports:

Ellner "Brian Ellner, who until this week worked for the New York City Department of Education, will oversee the Campaign for New York Marriage, which is to be financed by the Human Rights Campaign, a lobbying group for gay rights based in Washington. Mr. Ellner’s appointment will be announced by the group on Friday. It represents a vindication of sorts for Mr. Ellner, who was the top candidate to run the state’s leading gay rights group last month. He abruptly withdrew from consideration after some gay advocates questioned his links to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a major donor to the Republican Party. 'I view this as an opportunity to build on solid work that has come before, and strengthen and expand the coalition that is necessary to secure marriage equality,' Mr. Ellner said in an interview."

The HRC campaign's goal mirror those of philanthropist Tim Gill's Fight Back PAC, which launched in February and has been targeting New York lawmakers, like ousted state senator Hiram Monserrate, since that time:

"The campaign’s organizers said they would work closely with several existing efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, including the Empire State Pride Agenda and Fight Back New York."

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  1. He'll fit right in at HRC.

    Posted by: uh huh | Jul 2, 2010 2:07:29 PM

  2. Brian is in it to win it. This is excellent news.

    Posted by: AJR | Jul 2, 2010 2:07:58 PM

  3. I have no idea if he's "in it to win it," or if he'll do a good job, but why am I not surprised that the HRC would come to the aid of someone who was ousted from a job because of his connections to one of the country's biggest economic supporters of the Republican Party -- and a longtime Republican himself.

    There are many reasons why the HRC is an expensive group of hacks that get us no where. The fact that half of them are Republicans and/or conservative doesn't help. They care more about fitting in than being respected and equal across society as any other straight person would be.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jul 2, 2010 2:18:38 PM

  4. Hopefully this group within HRC doesn't divert one penny of contributions away from Fight Back PAC, which is a paradigm of how such an organization should be run.

    Posted by: chris | Jul 2, 2010 2:23:14 PM

  5. Great. Now we have TWO organizations trying to do the exact same thing and splitting precious funding. How long before they start fighting with each other?

    Why is HRC butting into "local" politics? Oh, it must be all of their success with DADT, DOMA and ENDA at the national level.

    Posted by: ALSNYC | Jul 2, 2010 2:24:22 PM

  6. Does this mean HRC will work to oust Barack Obama, America's highest ranking opponent of marriage equality?

    Posted by: Roscoe | Jul 2, 2010 2:31:31 PM

  7. Did the HRC hire him for this position, or did he talk them into creating it?

    Posted by: Wrecks | Jul 2, 2010 2:32:21 PM

  8. I don't know much about Brian, but I can tell you the Arizona HRC jumps on every bandwagon to oppose something. A group shouldn't be opposing things just to oppose them. We have people who are good old boys, playing games in these organizations. They do things just to say do them.

    I really could be republican if they didn't hate gays so much, and at times, the DNC is just to liberal for me. I will never support anything HRC with the people who are in charge still running things, and I will never give them another penny. Their one at a time issue attitude has screwed our cause.

    It amazes me that we heard that is a lot to conquer (our rights) this year we should be patient. But when Arizona passes a law, that has yet to be proven one way or another, they now have a cause to champion. I say my rights, before those who are here illegally, don't obey the laws, and don't pay taxes. I do all of those things, yet, we still have fewer rights then those who are here illegally.

    1. They can visits their loved ones in hospitals.

    2. They do have employment recourse if fired because they are Hispanic, yes...even if they are here illegally, Obama has championed them to call them to get the pay they deserve.

    3. They can get married.

    4. They can attend a school of their choice, in most cases, even if illegal, while gays still face discrimination.

    5. They can serve in the military, yes, you heard me. Any foreign national can serve in our military if they have a clean background. What do they get out of it? Citizenship.

    This list could continue, but trust no-one my dear gay friends. The people in charge are afraid to demand a full inclusive package that demands our rights. If an immigration bill passes before a gay rights bill, you should AGAIN note, that Dems are not on our side.

    Remember, proclamations and executive orders do nothing to help our cause. They will be reversed and taken away at the next Republican President, and yes, maybe even a moderate Democrat.

    As I said in other post, at least Republicans look us in the eye when they fuck us. Democrats can’t even pass our rights when they control things, in both the house and senate. I would guess that Scott Brown (R-Mass) would in fact vote for some rights, he thus far has turned out to be a moderate republican.

    You will hear it’s an election year, but remember, there is an election every two-years, exactly when will it be a good time? You will hear we are fighting two-wars, and now an oil spill, but exactly when is there not a national crisis? You will hear that we are busy with immigration reform, but exactly when has that not been an issue? I ask you, because every major corporation, some bigger than the US Congress multi-tasks; why can’t congress multi-task? Why is this one at a time? Why are these buddies in congress playing games with our rights, and why do you take it?

    Don’t donate to Dems. Don’t donate to the HRC. Donate to those who are stronger, you will chain themselves to the gates of the Whitehouse and speak out in a stronger voice, instead of having a cozy little relationship with those in office. We are not there to be buddy buddy, we are there to demand our rights, be in their face every day (at home or in Washington) and not jumping on every cause for the sake of doing so, such as the Arizona HRC has done. We truly need stronger voices, and I can say frankly, the HRC does not speak for me.

    Posted by: David | Jul 2, 2010 2:35:58 PM

  9. yay, another empty suit. Gay, inc. is pointless, and that includes ESPA.

    I think the Bush immigration reform policy may very well be the best thing to have emerged from his persidency if it passes. Immigration reform on the federal level is embarrassing...and the law passed in AZ is an act of desperation given that the federal government refuses to do anything to stop the rampant crime that comes with unmitigated illegal immigration (it's still wrong, but just know how it came to pass).

    Posted by: TANK | Jul 2, 2010 2:52:44 PM

  10. It's misleading to say "He abruptly withdrew from consideration after some gay advocates questioned his links to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg" -- the other criticism was that he's a cocktail party gay who hasn't demonstrated that he can actually do serious work. And now he not only joins HRC (widely criticized for being an ineffective resource-hog), but heads a redundant organization?

    Posted by: chris | Jul 2, 2010 3:01:43 PM

  11. hrc should stick to the things they know best coctail hours and photoops .the ny equality already started a campaign to eliminate these senators. they sent out an email to see which senators you wanted to send packing.hrc help screw up the repeal of DADT . they have not held obama feet to the fire to get things done. hrc is a bunch of suits looking busy and not doing anything.

    Posted by: walter | Jul 2, 2010 3:02:11 PM

  12. This is great news. As the biggest gay rights organization in the country, HRC should be here in NY state in a big way. I expect them to be and this guy seems like a stud so I am all for it. Good one for HRC.

    Posted by: Jake | Jul 2, 2010 3:14:57 PM

  13. I'm sure that there clowns will do the usual bang-up job they've done on in Washington. Don't worry New Yorkers, you should have the right to marry in about....oh....25 years or so. On bright side maybe you can beat Alabama to the punch.

    Posted by: missanthrope | Jul 2, 2010 3:18:01 PM

  14. It's going to take as many big organizations to beat back the haters so let's be excited about this news. It's good stuff. As I understand it, Fight Back NY does independent expeditures. They don't coordinate with the candidates so HRC doing this type of work is just as important. Let's beat the bastards.

    Posted by: NYC Big Dog | Jul 2, 2010 3:18:03 PM

  15. it appears there are a lot of haters on line this afternoon. look, let's be clear, HRC has over 70,000 members in NY state. They are far and away, a massive organization that has a lot of money. They also do smart work and are part of the state. It's going to take a lot of well-funded people to defeat the bigots so I say: the more smart people the better.

    Posted by: love not hate | Jul 2, 2010 3:20:22 PM

  16. Mazel tov Brian!! This is great news for marriage equality in New York. I look forward to working with you and other community leaders on our issues.

    Posted by: Pete Webb | Jul 2, 2010 3:36:34 PM

  17. a massive organization of ravenous moneysuckers and upper-middle-class snobs that must be defeated along with the bigots.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jul 2, 2010 3:58:51 PM

  18. I stopped reading after you said you could be a republican... anyway, no one is against immigration reform, because it definitely needs something done/fixed/created. What we're upset about, when it comes to the Arizona law, is how it allows for racial profiling. Its only set up to stop Mexicans, regardless of what excuse the state govt. says. There is no way to clarify how it should be properly in-acted because it can't. I'd be pissed if I was driving with my tail light out, unbeknownst to me, and while I'm getting a fix it ticket, im asked if im a legal citizen and if Im not believed , I get asked to prove it. Its easy to get a usable fake id so that wont really protect me.
    Perhaps temporary visas where you are given time to prove you are an upstanding citizen as long as you have no prior record in your home country? Point is, there are many solutions that aren't being used because the issue is easier to ignore and financially better for big business.

    Posted by: B | Jul 2, 2010 4:09:10 PM

  19. @B - you stopped reading because you can't accept another point of view? No where did I say it didn't need fixd. Have you read the law or are you taking the talking points from news media? You can't judge what might occur. I am for enforcement of laws, and just because you're illegal, doesn't mean one is exempt from that.

    How do you know it creates racial profilling? What is your basis for that? Have there been any studies? Are you citing any form of facts other than what one group says? Please provide those details, because I do not understand how you can judge what might happen. Lastly, the law will be blocked and tied up in courts for years, there will be no enforcement.

    Your own bigotry allows you play the race card when it doesn't conform to your ideals.

    I never said I wasn't for reform, but I am for enforcement of our laws, and I'm for taking care of gay americans first, those who pay taxes, every tax, payroll and income, social security, and state and are here legally and obey the law. Those who entered here legally should be rewarded. Don't mistake my statement for enforcement, that there shouldn't be an easier way to for people to come here and work. Lastly Obama says he is for punishing the businesses that hire illegals, if that is the case, why is he continuing to sue Arizona in court over enforcement of those state laws? One thing ARizona did, and you can't see, is it is causing government to act. Your need to call Arizona Racist, is an ignrorant remark. Arizona called the governments bluff, and the feds are doing exactly what Arizona wants them to do, enforce laws and revamp the system.

    When you say illegal and you call me racist, you are being a bigot. I never said brown skin, you equate illegal with only Mexico and brown skin, and my friend, that is not the case. There are pleanty of others here illegally, not every Latino looks brown, there are pleanty here with blond hair and blue eyes. There are many Europeans and Asians, all who come through Mexico, because it is unsecured.

    So perhaps before you judge what was said, you should continue to read the rest of what I said. Since you can't get beyond the fact I said I could be a republican. Open your mind a little to other ideals, you might increase your chances of embrassing others and understanding the plight that some states feel.

    Posted by: David | Jul 2, 2010 4:28:32 PM

  20. True, David (and Tank). Most guys don't realize the gov't forced Arizona's hand and then Obama came out officially "against" it to garner Hispanic votes.

    Posted by: JT | Jul 2, 2010 4:52:34 PM

  21. @Pete - It is a shame that others can't disagree with an organization or your view. Your need to name call and label those as "haters" who disagree, makes you just as bad as those who truely do hate gay people.

    As Jefferson said, "Dissent is the greatest form of patriotism." That is what will keep the HRC on its lack luster toes.

    Posted by: Pete | Jul 2, 2010 5:02:46 PM

  22. Yes, we are a nation of laws, but when f'ing laws become more important than PEOPLE then that's a problem! Damn it, what part of this as a country do we not get yet when considering our legislation? Just another P.O.V.

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Jul 2, 2010 5:05:08 PM

  23. How is immigration reform in AZ connected to marriage equality in NY? I don't get the connection, but I'm simple that way.

    And not that I'm a big Log Cabin Republican or anything (I'm not) but I remember when Bloomberg was elected to office. He ran as a Republican because there was already a Democrat running that he figured he couldn't beat in a primary (I don't remember the guy's name, though). So he ran as a republican, squashed his opponent in the primary and with his endless money basically coasted on a stack of 100 dollar bills into the mayor's office. But he'd been a lifelong Democrat before running for mayor. I've heard he's Republican in name only.

    All of this is to say, Mayor Bloomberg has been friendly to the gay community. I have not heard of one anti-gay thing he's done since getting into office.

    It's also to say I stopped paying attention to NYC politics shortly after I left NYC unless it became national news. So if I'm wrong about any of this, I'll readily admit it.

    So why would Mr. Heller take his name out of the running because he's friendly with Bloomberg? It would be a different thing I suppose if Bloomberg was anti-gay, but again I have never heard of him being anything but friendly towards the gay community. Again, not that I'm a Republican supporter or anything as a general rule, but if you've got a Republican mayor who's been nothing but friendly to the gay community, wouldn't it be a good thing to have someone in charge at the ESPA who's "in" with Bloomberg to head it up?

    I have to take a deep breath and center myself before typing this next sentence. *inhale* *exhale* Ready? Go.

    Just because a person is a Republican doesn't automatically mean they are a bad politician and out to get the gays.

    Somehow, I still feel dirty...

    Posted by: Stephen | Jul 2, 2010 5:13:02 PM

  24. "Your need to name call and label those as "haters" who disagree, makes you just as bad as those who truely do hate gay people."

    This kind of stupid shit needs to go away. While I agree with the specific point you're trying to make--gay inc NEEDS HARSH MOTHERFUCKING CRITICISM AS IT IS FAILED US ENTIRELY--no it doesn't...not by a long shot. That's like a person who calls another person a murderer who isn't makes the person who made the accusation just as bad as an actual murderer.

    Posted by: TANK | Jul 2, 2010 5:24:29 PM

  25. Tank you are a mother fucking racist PIG! If I ever run into you in a mens room, I'll knock you flat on your ass. That is, if you aren't in the stall tricking.

    Posted by: Ricardo | Jul 2, 2010 5:32:12 PM

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