Thursday, November 11, 2010

HRC = Pelosi Mouthpiece?

(Nancy and Joe = BFF. Credit: HRC.)

Today's Bay Area Reporter ran a front-page story titled "LGBTs express disappointment with Pelosi's speakership," all about the San Francisco congresswoman's gay and AIDS accomplishments, or lack thereof. As expected, the Democrats who happen to be gay at the Human Rights Campaign performed their usual slobbering analingus act on the powerful Pelosi.

Not only that, but I had a hell of a hard time determining where the quotes from her official spokesperson ended and the comments from an HRC mouthpiece began. Is there a dime's worth of difference between what they had to say? Let's judge the comments, starting with those from Pelosi's office:

"Speaker Pelosi has been a staunch advocate for the LGBT community in her over 20 years in the Congress; helping lead the fight against HIV/AIDS, opposing efforts to enshrine discrimination in the United States Constitution and served as a leading voice against Proposition 8 in California. Under her leadership as speaker, fully-inclusive hate crimes legislation is now the land of the land and the House passed the historic repeal of the discriminatory 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy," wrote [Pelosi spokesman Drew] Hammill. "Nancy Pelosi will continue to be a friend, advocate, and staunch ally to the community and the leading voice in the Congress for LGBT equality."

Compare that blather with these remarks from the DC-based gay org:

Human Rights Campaign spokesman Fred Sainz [...] issued a statement in which he called Pelosi "a consistent ally and advocate not just for LGBT people but for all fair-minded Americans throughout her congressional career."

"She has vigorously supported full and equal rights for LGBT people long before it was politically acceptable to do so. She came to Congress to be a leader on HIV treatment and funding and has distinguished herself mightily on that important issue," stated Sainz. "More recently, she fought for DADT repeal and it passed with over 35 votes to spare. She has championed an inclusive ENDA, domestic partnership benefits for federal employees and voted against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. It's certainly helpful to have an ally like her as the leader." [...]

[Sainz said] "Would we have preferred to see more progress on LGBT centric issues? Absolutely, no doubt about it this Congress should have done more. But when history is written on her LGBT bona fides, I think history will remember her as a great champion on behalf of our community."

That last sentence about how history will judge her and her gay advocacy jogged my memory, and I was reminded of the controversial letter to the HRC membership Joe Solmonese wrote before President Obama appeared at their October 2009 gala in Washington. Permit me to refresh your memory, with the final paragraph of the Solmonese memo:

I am sure of this: on January 19, 2017, I will look back on the President's address to my community as an affirmation of his pledge to be our ally. I will remember it as the day when we all stood together and committed to finish what Senator Kennedy called our unfinished business. And I am sure of this: on January 19, 2017, I will also look back on many other victories that President Barack Obama made possible.

Yes, the Solmonese wording is quite different from that of his underling Sainz, but the attitude is the same. They are both saying, "Gay people, be patient. Wait until the President and the Speaker are no longer serving in elective office to hold them fully accountable for their many broken promises to us. Patience is more vital than forceful advocacy and we have no intention of being strident on behalf of the millions of gays who lack federal job, housing, financial and public accommodation protections."

With HRC showing no spine on the gay community's behalf when dealing with either Obama or Pelosi, and performing more butt-kissing than kicking butt, don't expect any significant push for anything more than for the President and Congresswoman to again appear at an HRC dinner.

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