Since November I've been like the gay Maytag repairman, the loneliest guy in the gay blogosphere. My calls for some genuine transparency and actual community engagement from HRC didn't echo widely at all. The lone gay blogger to take note was Andrew Sullivan.
I've kept up this losing campaign of pressuring HRC to come out of its closet and lead with sunshine guiding their path, because gays deserve much more from this Democratic org. Tonight, for all my troubles on this, the boys at the Queerty site have christened me a fellow stick up the ass of HRC. Quite an honor, I accept with due humbleness.
Queerty has simply been on the rag about the very-less-than-inspiring Joe Solmonese lately, bringing the number of gay blogs calling for actual transparency and expanded accountabilty at HRC. Let's hope the three gay Maytag repairmen can force this org to change.
In November, after it was clear Obama and the Democrats would not be our fierce advocates, a smattering of gay bloggers and activists launched a boycott of the Democratic National Committee and their various affiliates. And when the Human Rights Campaign opted not to support the boycott outright (and instead issued statement avoiding an official position), we wondered aloud, Why the hell not? As if we didn't know the answer then, we know it now: Because Joe Solmonese & Co. remain best buds with Democratic political leaders. So much so that they went on their "winter retreat" last month.
Somonese and HRC's and Allison Herwitt were among the guests (list here, PDF) for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's January event, where well-connected civilians (read: moneybags from McDonald's, Altria, Home Depot, and Merck) got to hob nob with senators including Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin, Robert Menendez (DSCC's chairman), and Claire McCaskill (who we identified as the star of today's hearings).
If you query HRC, they'll tell you that HRC's involvement in DSCC invents, and the Democrat party in general, is crucial to their efforts in lobbying lawmakers to pass gay rights legislation. That is partly true. To us, however, it sounds like more of the Gay Inc. organization's business-as-usual M.O., where the group's annual budget is devoted to Solmonese making nice with lawmakers in exchange for inaction, platitudes, and delays.
Notes Michael Petrelis, a fellow stick up HRC's ass and the vocal blogger calling for more transparency from HRC: "What did Solmonese and Herwitt do at the Democratic Party retreat? How did they advance the national gay agenda? Did HRC spend $30,000 to be there? What was the cost to HRC? Answers are not posted at the HRC site." [...]