Saturday, March 19, 2011

HRC's Letter to Chief Justice Roberts
Accomplished Nothing for Gays

(Joe Solmonese talks about his group's useless effort targeting the nation's top judge.)

In a dangerous precedent to lobby the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts, to take a stand on a contentious social and political issue that will be before the court in coming years, the Human Rights Campaign in November launched an open letter campaign to Roberts.

HRC was furious gay marriage opponents in Iowa with their national allies recalled three state Supreme Court justices who had ruled in favor of gay marriage. The leadership at HRC created a web page explaining their effort:

This [recall in Iowa] was a cruel and calculated warning shot to judges nationwide: Either rule according to our radical, anti-gay ideology or we'll come get you.

Please add your name to our open letter calling on U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to condemn NOM and its allies – and declare that judges must not be intimidated into ruling based on biased special-interest politics.

Do we really want advocacy groups from any side of the political spectrum pressuring the Supreme Court chief justice or his colleagues on any issue, thereby risking their ability to be judicially impartial and leaving them open to more pressure? I don't and I sure as hell don't want HRC telling Roberts to do anything, much less weigh in on the recall in Iowa.

Just imagine the howls of protest from HRC if the National Organization for Marriage mounted a petition to have Roberts publicly laud the November Iowa vote and outcome, or have him take a stand on legal matter related to gay marriage.

But the stodgy and bloated HRC is on a campaign to appear nimble, on-top of the issues du jour and fighting back. What they're actually doing with the Robert's letter effort though, as with so much of their agenda, is harvesting names, snail mail and email addresses, to drive up "membership" numbers and solicit donations.

Four months after HRC began this dubious open letter to Roberts campaign, and he ignored it, clearly nothing good for gays was accomplished. I wonder if anyone is keeping track of HRC's regular petitions and open letters, seeing if they do a damn thing for the community. Might be good for HRC to prove to us if their petitions achieve anything.

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