Saturday, August 08, 2009

HRC's Solmonese: 'I Have a Road Map'
to LGBT Equality With Obama

To be honest, I don't keep up on the latest thoughts and machinations of America's top gay leader Joe Solmonese, head of the Human Rights Campaign through their web site. All of his ideas and comments there are ghosted and crafted by the communications department. For a sense of what's on Solmonese's mind, as he fights for gays at the federal level, I know to read the gay and straight press for interviews with him to learn how HRC is driving an agenda of equality.

Until reading his chat with Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News, I had no inkling HRC has
a "road map" providing direction for implementing a gay agenda with President Barack Obama. Did I miss the memo from HRC about the road map, and does anyone know where I can get a copy of it?

Let's look at some of the Q&A with Solmonese, titled "Why Gays Can Trust Obama", emphases mine:

Q: So what's the holdup [on repealing Don't Ask/Don't Tell]?

A: The administration views this in the context of the broader issues agenda they are working with Congress on, everything from the economy and healthcare to hate crimes. They see the overturning of don't ask, don't tell along that spectrum as something that will likely happen next spring. I see a road map of six-month windows: the hate crimes bill, then the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, then don't ask, don't tell. And the administration is building a case in the military leadership and Congress and the rank-and-file members of the military.

News to me we can expect repeal of the military ban, along with the news that HRC see a road map of six-month windows for addressing some gay concerns. Reading between the lines, I see HRC providing cover to Obama in saying it's enough for the administration to be building support for the military repeal, and I'm sure that send a message of pressure from gays to the White House.

Q: So you think LGBT complaints of White House foot-dragging are unfair?

A: I don't see them dragging their feet. But where the LGBT community is feeling frustration is that the road map and timetable have not been made as clear to them. Sometimes there is simply the need for reassurance from the president. I've seen a great deal less frustration since the president spoke on June 29 [the Stonewall anniversary] and recommitted to [our] issues. And the president signed the memo expanding the nondiscrimination policy for federal employees and calling on Congress to give him a bill extending healthcare benefits to domestic partners. It's probably as frustrating to him and his administration that things are not moving as quickly as we would like.

Solmonese may not see foot dragging, but I do! Let's just chalk up this comment to his undeniable sissy-ness and move on.

I'll accept at face value that the gay community has not had the road map made absolutely clear to us, and go on to point out this true because HRC, the nation's largest LGBT advocacy organization, with a huge budget and state-of-the-art communication facilities and technology, has failed to illustrate the road map with unqualified clarity.

Q: How do you respond to gay activists who say you're carrying the president's water?

A: With a community as diverse as the LGBT community, there is little one can do that isn't going to be met with criticism from somebody. A lot of that has to do with frustration of being woefully behind in securing a fundamental set of benefits and a fundamental sense of equality. But I also have a very clear road map and a plan of how this is going to get done.

Um, there he goes again, for the third time, talking about this road map. I'm glad he says its a clear one, and it's also a plan of how HRC is going to finally deliver on decades of promises to secure federal equality for LGBT Americans, but it's time for Solmonese to share this road map with the rest of us.

Posting it on HRC's site, as a declaration of intentions, plans and benchmarks, for moving a gay agenda forward with the Obama administration, would be laudable, and we could all peruse the "HRC Road Map to LGBT Equality."

What do you say, Joe? Can everyone have a peek at your road map?


DavidEhrenstein said...

This is exactly like the "Road Map" to Peace in the Middle East.

It's visible only to believers.

Andrew W. said...