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10/14/2009

Most scrutinized LGBT leader puts forth more sure-to-be-scrutinized words

by Jeremy Hooper

solmoneseHRC's Joe Solmonese is responding to the so-called "2017 letter" and some of the other controversies that greeted him this weekend. Since the intent is to explain himself against the myriad of rhetorical (calls for his resignation) and physical (vandalism of HRC building) ways that he and his organization have been pummeled in the past few days, we're simply going to post a snippet and a link. Form your own opinions:

Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was the reaction some people had to my comment that on the last day of President Obama’s term, we will be able to look back on many accomplishments in LGBT rights. I still find it hard to believe that anyone thought I was saying that we should be content to wait patiently for our equality. What I said—and what I believe in my heart—is just the opposite.

We all worked hard to elect a President who supports our rights and now that we’re in a position to make change happen, the last thing we should do is wait. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and DOMA are still on the books and an inclusive ENDA has yet to become law. Real families are left without protections and people living with HIV and AIDS aren’t getting the care they need. Students are being bullied in school because they’re different and bi-national couples are treated like they’ve never met. While we’ve started to turn the tide, it’s clear that our community has a lot of reasons to be angry and impatient, and I’m thankful to the tens of thousands who joined us in Washington this weekend to demand a change.

So while I steadfastly believe that we will have accomplished an awful lot by the time President Obama leaves office, I know that wishing won’t make it so.

**KEEP READING: Joe Solmonese: The Last Thing We Should Do is Wait [HRC BackStory]

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Your thoughts

The truth is, people wouldn't "mistake" Joe's wording if he didn't already have a track record of lackey-ism and inertia, married to a healthy dose of meaningless bluster. Tangibly get on Obama's case and we may believe you, Joe.

Posted by: Bruno | Oct 14, 2009 3:52:08 PM

He can't then he won't be invited back to the Whitehouse by Valerie Jarrett as often.

Posted by: LOrion | Oct 14, 2009 5:31:50 PM

Here's some of the scrutiny I have to offer: http://zackfordblogs.com/2009/10/joe-solmonese-needs-to-stop-trying-to-be-a-peacemaker/

Posted by: Zack Ford | Oct 14, 2009 5:47:13 PM

At best, Solmonese's series of stumbles shows the HRC is living in a bubble. At worst, it shows how they just aren't up to the challenge of lobbying Congress AND reporting back to the LGBT public.

Posted by: Jeffrey Taylor | Oct 14, 2009 7:00:04 PM

It strikes me that Solmonese is trying to deflect attention. He may say valid things in this article, but he doesn't answer the direct criticisms of Obama. It would have been more convincing if Solmonese had said 'The President said some great things this weekend; now we have to hold him to them, to put pressure on him and Congress so that his promises are translated into action.'

Refusing to even directly talk of the current criticism is a bad move. At best, it makes the HRC look out of touch with the people they're supposed to represent.

Posted by: Baron Scarpia | Oct 15, 2009 8:07:51 AM

The only time I've ever donated money to HRC was after Solmonese's letter to the President in response to the DOMA brief, saying, "Good job, can we have more of this?"

But we haven't. HRC doesn't just LOOK out of touch. I suspect that those organizing the march last week may be poised to become the real voice of the lgbt community and its allies.

Posted by: Bonnie_Half-Elven | Oct 15, 2009 1:04:50 PM

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