1. B-rod says

    For HRC, “potential activist” really means potential donor.

    I have such contempt for HRC. I saw Solomonese at a bar in DC the other weekend just laughing it up. I wanted to go over and pour my drink over his head.

  2. Matt in NYC says

    Democrats, Gays… When will we realize that all of this infighting over petty differences and internal class warfare is antithetical to overcoming the united bigotry of our ACTUAL opponents?

  3. nick says

    HRC should not even be mentioned in the same breath as Harvey Milk. Harvey’s memory and work are sullied by even being mentioned in the same sentence as the HRC.
    He was an activist, advocate and role model.
    HRC throws cocktail fundraisers for well connected A list queers and A-list wannabees. None have had an original thought in decades but they dress up well and are good window dressing for BHO and the limousine liberal crowd-

  4. Joseph L says

    “Each tourist who goes in to buy a Harvey Milk T-shirt or an HRC tote bag is a potential activist, Kiser says.”

    Yeah. And each gay that goes in to buy an HRC tchotchke is a potential idiot.

    This isn’t about petty differences and internal class warfare. This is about not contributing to an ineffective organization, where your dollars are LITERALLY being poured into cocktails. Still sucking the President’s cock while he repeatedly punches you in the face? That doesn’t seem like a particularly healthy relationship to me.

  5. TampaZeke says

    My god HRC makes my head explode!

    Who gives money to these charlatans? How do they continue to exist?

  6. Tony X says

    Every friend is a friend. HRC is a friend of the gay community.

    Attacking each other is what the Right Wingers want.

    The attacks on the HRC have been juiced up by Right Wing Gays. And the rest are taking the bait to hate this much.

    That said I have stopped financially supporting them since 2004 when they force Margaret Cho to drop out of an HRC Kerry fundraiser out of FEAR of what the GOP / FOX NEWS would say.

    Still to turn on them this way is pathetic.

  7. Jay says

    My husband and I dropped our support this year. The organization has become ineffective and now is diluting its federal focus by trying to muscle in on state organizations like Empire State Pride Agenda. They need to stick to their original focus as a federal lobbying organization. They need to stop focusing on useless celebrities like Reichen Lemkuhl and get back to political action. Where is Elizabeth Birch when you need her. Solmonese needs to be replaced … he’s too much focused on hanging out with Hollywood types and promoting himself rather than our cause.

  8. wesley says

    @Matt in NYC, you’re exactly right, the people working toward gay rights have enemies and they aren’t the people working to advance gay rights in different ways. We can disagree on strategy but surely we can agree that infighting distracts from the real fight we should be engaged in. BOTH sides need to grow up. Whatever happened to the concept of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”? HRC and Harvey Milk want/ wanted to advance gay rights, while on the other side we have politicians who won’t even denounce the “kill the gays” bill the “C Street” crowd gives illicit support to. If you don’t know who we should be fighting with you’re blind and dumb. (here’s a hint, it’s not with each other)

  9. Dean says

    The Human Rights Campaign is the largest single gay civil right organization in America and our single greatest champion. Even for those who are critics of HRC, it seems that having a great civil rights non-profit in Milk’s old store is much preferable to have a retail business (every other business in that spot has had nothing to do with gay civil rights).

  10. Chitown Kev says

    Are these HRC bitches for real.

    They sound like Rethugs after 9/11 who were saying that to spend money was patriotic.

    And from the looks of this thread, it seems as if a Batsignal went out.

    Look, I actually don’t have a problem with HRC renting the space out, my problem is what they intend to do with the space.

    Were they to turn the camera shop into, say, a museum of some sort or a real “action center” then I wouldn’t have much of a problem with this.

  11. Micah says

    I don’t mean to be insensitive, but from my naive and very possibly clueless perspective this looks a lot like two factions of monks fighting over who gets to keep the bones of a dead saint in its monastery.

  12. TANK says

    LGBT’ers need new representation and a game change (lobbying is important when it works…but is by no means the most important component), as the HRC has proven ineffective. It’s both those who are in critical decision making positions and the underlying strategy and organization of the apparatus which enables and encourages such failed decisions to be implemented. That is the final account.

    The way to target such a change isn’t to retool the existing institution and switch a few players, but to eradicate and start new, as the problem is, again, systemic not local (even the brand is toxic). This will be achieved through redirecting donations and diminishing membership as a byproduct of continued negative criticism and push for transparency of ineptitude and financials. Guessing, they survive now due largely to the donations of older gays/lesbians and allies who aren’t aware of the myriad problems that neutralize the effectiveness they expect their donations to bring about. This will take time abetted by HRC’s PR machine and the beliefs of an older generation who subscribed to this strategy. This isn’t a personal judgment about individuals associated with or employed by the HRC (I’m sure a lot of nice people are…blah blah blah), but an assessment based near exclusively on results, and their conspicuous absence.

    In corporate, if you don’t meet your explicit goals for a given period of time (fiscal year or quarter, or more/less), you are either fired or severely reprimanded…or at least you should be, goddamnit! No such accountability occurs in the activist and non profit sector (boards are often hand picked by executive directors, and their job security is not tied to legislative success or those on whose behalf that they claim to represent), and it’s disturbing. This is said knowing that many of the so-called “activists” criticizing the site of HRC’s most recent PR debaucle are fame whores who are more interested in promoting themselves than civil equality. That is another serious problem within the activist group and non-profit sector that can be explained with rcrse to the disparity in income to private industry, and motivations for getting involved.

  13. JoeInSF says

    grow up, people. HRC is one of my least favorite LGBT advocacy organizations but at least they are trying (albeit ineptly) to promote equality. if they were smart, they would create a hybrid LGBT advocacy museum/shop in this storefront. but, usually, they aren’t that smart…

    As for all the class-resentment and bashing about their black tie dinners (which are not my taste), lose it. It makes you look petty, bitter, and small. Let them do their thing and get your asses over to the Central Valley and talk with people who are ignorant about us and the need for equality. stop bitching and do the work…

  14. Tony J says

    It is sad to see these silly objections to a good placement for an HRC shop in the Castro. Does any of these obstructionists have any basis to believe that Harvey would have a problem with HRC? (Of course not…. they use his name in vain.)

    HRC belongs in this space more than most any other business or organization. Cleve and others, please find a real battle to fight and stop trying to make our own supporting organizations look worse than they deserve!

    HRC belongs in the Castro (I live there, too), and they are an ideal fit for this space. NO DOUBT!

  15. wonderboi says

    I understand the problems here….but if this place were such a shrine to Cleve Jones and the rest of the Harvey Milk fans why hasn’t it been converted into the shrine they think it should be? He’s been dead for a number of years and the movie renewed interest in him. So where were Cleve and the boys when this place was made available?

    Reactionary rhetoric like this gets people nowhere and claiming that they would rather see a Starbucks there than HRC solves nothing but gets headlines. I am not and have not been a fan of the HRC ever since going into their shop in Provenicetown one year and then getting hounded for three years by them for money. However, if they want to put in a shop there…that is the beauty of America people you can put in a shop in Harvey’s place or a mosque at ground zero. Just because you can do something in America doesn’t mean it’s right but it is a right so long as you comply with local state or Federal laws.

    So instead of whining about it perhaps Cleve and the boys would be better served to have a plaque or a something done like they do around the country with all historic places and let progress move forward in the Castro. This is not some holy relic or Indian burial ground people…it’s a store in a commercial area..better to carry on the ideals of Harvey today by fighting than turning a run down building into some sort of shrine.

  16. JusticeontheRocks says

    @Dean – if HRC is our greatest champion, we will never have full civil rights. Tank is right – tear it up and start over.

  17. says

    HRC are Blood suckers. They are now trying to go into the states and get involved with local issues. They steamroll over everyone and then do nothing.

    There isn’t “Class Warfare” over those dinners. The warfare is based on the fact that the monies raised goes out of local communities and sent off to DC where it hasn’t done any good.

    NOW, let’s move on to Mr. Jones. I find the irony of him complaining about someone making $$$ on Harvey Milk delicious. He’s been living off of dead people since the AIDS crisis and should just go back to his exile in Palm Springs and stop embarrassing himself.

    One more thing; it is a storefront.It is not the Tomb of Evita.

  18. BobN says

    Has any other gay-rights group tried to rent the place? No.

    As to the charges against HRC, we live in a nation run by lobbyists. This is not HRC’s fault. No doubt, Harvey would have been appalled at developments, but he also would have understood that you have to play the game.

    “A gays” in Harvey’s day didn’t do anything. THAT is what he fought against.

  19. the greasybear says

    HRC has completely failed us for decades now. Our community needs a political revolution.

  20. mcNnyc says

    Oh the whiners on the dinners are pathetic already.
    GROW UP cause until you are ready to grind down some other GLBT organizations like the TASK FORCE for their drug fueled parties we can discuss.
    I too have some real issues with what we have gotten out of the deal from our activists…how’s that march on Washington movement coming along…but god damn unions can’t even get a favorable bill out of a Democratic Congress and President with all their numbers in members and dollars.
    That said, I think a sober discussion is happening and is appropriate within the HRC membership in regard to leadership and direction.

  21. James says

    To the half-dozen or so commenters above who defend HRC because they are a “friend” and are “at least they are trying” to promote equality:

    Look, if HRC were a self-funded project or if we lived in a world where gay people had unlimited resources, then sure, you could look upon HRC as a well-intentioned, if ineffectual, friend. But HRC is not self-funded. It draws $40 million per year out of a very limited universe of gay dollars. In return it provides at best something like $3-4 million in value. The other $36-37 million per year is lost. That is a catastrophic loss of resources on an annual basis.

    What impact might that huge sum of money have had in defending the 3 justices in Iowa who were smeared and terminated by NOM and AFA, now boosting the efforts of anti-gay groups across the country? What might we have accomplished in Maine if instead of outraising our opponents by a little, we had achieved an overwhelming advantage? What might the NYS Senate look like today if we had had even $1 million extra to spend there last month to defend several pro-gay senators who wound up losing by a few hundred votes?

    Instead all of that money went to pay for a hefty mortgage on an expensive building and on grossly inflated salaries for people who have no relevant connections on Capitol Hill. And so it goes each and every year.

    Whatever the intentions of its officers and members, HRC is not a friend. The US is a less equal place for gay people than if HRC had never existed.

  22. James says


    There is nothing wrong with gays having a lobbying group to “play the game.” But HRC doesn’t know how to play. It doesn’t hire former members of Congress or former senior staffers of key members. It doesn’t retain any such people on a temporary basis. It doesn’t change its lobbying team to reflect changes on Capitol Hill. Instead, it has 2 lobbyists on staff, neither of which came to the job with any relevant personal connections in the Senate or with any of the key members we need to move. They fail to do the basic things that even the Tomato Growers Association knows how to do when they go to lobby.

    That is a major reason why HRC is in 2010 still working on its legislative objectives from 1980. And it is still failing.