Wednesday, April 30, 2008

BAR: Protest Planned for HRC Gala in SF

The Human Rights Campaign just can't seem to catch a break this week.

They're facing nationwide gay community criticism over their failure to endorse Jim Neal, an openly gay candidate for U.S. Senate from North Carolina with a decent shot at winning the Democratic Party nomination, and for their limp and weak reaction to the 'pansygate' brouhaha involving Hillary Clinton and NC governor Mike Easley.

Adding to those headaches, the nation's most financially endowed gay advocacy organization must also now contend with trannies and their supporters in San Francisco preparing a protest at the glamorous HRC annual dinner in July.

Sure, it should not surprise any astute observer of gay politics to see such a demonstration getting organized against HRC in this city, given the tranny protests at other HRC dinners in three other cities. But what is of note here is that not only are preparations for the action starting three months in advance of the dinner, but that leaders of both gay Democratic Party clubs in San Francisco are involved in the organizing.

The clubs have been at odds, and each other's throats, to put it mildly, for the past year over the Mark Leno versus Carole Migden campaigns for state senate, but leaders of the political clubs show they can easily put aside bloody differences when it comes to holding HRC accountable.

From the Bay Area Reporter's blog:
Tonight (April 28) planning officially begins on a counterprotest to the Human Rights Campaign's annual gala dinner in San Francisco, scheduled to take place the night of July 26 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in Union Square.

The national gay lobbying group raised the ire of many in the Bay Area when it did not denounce congressional leaders' decision to push forward a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act stripped of gender identity protections . . .

"The problem at HRC is the leadership. I would really like to see HRC, which is such an important institution in our community, better led, be more authentic, and be reflective of the values of this community. I would also like to see Joe Solmonese step down," said John Newsome, an organizer of the local United ENDA group [and leader of the Alice B. Toklas Club] . . .

As activists have done in other cities, such as in Houston earlier this month and Washington, D.C. last fall, San Franciscans plan to be out in force protesting at the HRC gala. They are also asking local officials to boycott the event. In New York none of the city's openly gay politicians attended that city's gala . . .

"It really is in the conceptual stage right now. There is a proposal being circulated and the plan is to contact elected officials and tell them not to go," said Robert Haaland, a transgender activist and local labor leader.

The LGBT labor group Pride at Work has been spearheading planning for the protest. And last week the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club voted to support the plan.

"For a significant chunk of the San Francisco queer community HRC is radioactive right now and I think they have some work to do to heal that," said Milk Club President Rafael Mandelman . . .
Okay, the HRC dinner is quite a ways down the road, but I'm making plans to be there, on the outside, of course, picketing the group with my tranny brothers and sisters.Why not take a stand for much-needed accountability of HRC and join the protest in July?

Send HRC a simple and very necessary message: More transparent accountability now.


Anonymous said...

Damn, the HRC has been "radioactive" to progressive queers for some time. Where were the rest of you all for all those long, lonely years?

And the HRC tried to get T added to ENDA, in fact they DID get it added to ENDA. Problem was that the Democrats folded and retrenched to only support LGB ENDA.

Should the HRC be blamed for Democrat recalcitrance?

Should LGB be held back because the Democrats folded on T civil rights?

The problem here, folks, is the Democrats first, HRC second.

Now who is the head of the Democrats in Congress?

How many of these Tokloids or Milkies are going to protest the one woman, SF's congressperson, who actually had the power to make ENDA+T a reality but capitulated?


planet trans said...

Since we have been denied access to HRC Black Tie's after the Austin success we have protested at the Houston and New Orleans Black Tie. I am aware of HRC's refusal to allow access at the Pheonix Black Tie and the protests at Philie, Charolette. We are putting together a protest for the Dallas Black Tie in November since being denied access.