Wednesday, December 14, 2011

HRC's Solidarity with Queer 99%?
Will They Be at Castro's General Assembly?

The Advocate's web site earlier this week got around to posting an article and video about the Occupy the Castro neighborhood tour in early December, and our stop at the Human Rights Campaign's tee-shirt and housewares shop. We had a message for the local branches of CitiBank and Bank of America, and HRC's employees: Address the economic inequality of ordinary gays.

HRC's spokesman Michael Cole-Schwartz told the Advocate that the group agrees with us protesters:

We understand and share the concerns over the unmet needs of our community — particularly among those most vulnerable. Every day the Human Rights Campaign works to make better the lives of LGBT people and we will continue to work to erase discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

If HRC's agenda includes working on the unmet basic needs of average lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, needs like healthcare, jobs and housing that are out of our reach because of economic injustice not anti-gay discrimination, I've not seen proof of their work for low-income LGBT people.

Did I miss HRC's statements endorsing calls to make banks pay for public health and education, and for 1 percenters to be taxed more?

HRC enjoys long-term partnerships with the likes of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CitiBank, Nationwide Insurance, Prudential, British Petroleum, Chevron, Chase, Morgan Stanley, Met Life and Goldman Sachs, and has said and done nothing to curb Wall Street greed or advocate for economic equality for 99 percenters.

When it comes to their corporate sponsors, HRC has tunnel vision and only looks at how their sponsors treat LGBT workers. While there is much good in rating corporations for their gay employment protections, that is not the only standard upon which they should be judged.

In March, Goldman Sachs won HRC's Workplace Equality Innovation Award for 2011. Together, the financial services giant and the Democratic gay organization created this video,which focuses solely on workplace issues for LGBT people, with economic justice issues omitted:

This Saturday, December 17 starting at noon in San Francisco's Harvey Milk Plaza, two blocks from HRC's souvenir store, there will be another Occupy the Castro action and this time it's a General Assembly.

Will HRC executives or members show up on Saturday and tell us what they're doing about addressing economic inequality, or how they're moving their corporate partners to pay more taxes? It's one thing for HRC's spokesman to give a nice-sounding quote to the Advocate about how they supposedly are in solidarity with the queer Occupy the Castro effort. Quite another story to have HRC actually do something tangible to back up their claim.

Let's see if anyone from HRC speaks at the Castro's General Assembly on December 17. There will be an open mike, should they care to address the crowd.

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