Yesterday The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and other concerned LGBT activist converged on the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, the location of the Human Rights Campaign’s Annual Corporate gala to protest the monolithic multi-million dollar organizations insensitivity to community priorities and 1t’s lackluster and almost non-support of HIV and homeless LGBT youth.
Via: ACT UP
While HRC dines with the 1%, a 35+ year HIV epidemic rages on in our LGBT community, still cutting many LGBT lives short.
Health officials warn about the recent sharp increase in HIV infections among young gay men and transgender women, especially among communities of color. We need our national LGBT orgs like HRC to shine a spotlight on HIV and AIDS until the epidemic is over for all populations, especially our most at-risk LGBT people.
HRC has created an LGBT equality index to score the Fortune 500 companies, but there’s no mention of HIV and the thousands of LGBT people with HIV in the workplace. We demand that HRC include several criteria to evaluate companies on their treatment of employees living with HIV, as well as their contributions to organizations and causes relate to reducing the incidence of HIV among LGBT Americans, particularly among the young. For over 30 years, too many have been fired, harassed, outed and discriminated against at work for having HIV.
Also at this gala, many of the corporations that HRC will honor actively work against the interests of middle-class and poor Americans, including people with HIV. ACT UP denounces this frequent practice of ‘”pinkwashing” whereby corporations with policies and practices that undermine the people’s well-being are given positive publicity in exchange for maintaining LGBT-friendly (or just equal) workplaces. This is short-sighted and divisive. We demand that HRC develop other criteria that takes into account the impact of companies’ policies on every American, not just LGBT Americans.
Last nights $475.00 a ticket Gala once again drew the ire of many and only seemed to widen the gap in the community between HRC and the middle class and poor in the LGBT Community
Earlier in the year HRC honored the Monsanto Corporation as the top workplace for LGBT Americans despite the fact that f their most notorious product creations was a chemical by the name of ‘Agent Orange’, which was used for chemical warfare in Vietnam—killing and disfiguring what is estimated to be millions of Vietnamese people and who are responsible for farmer suicides in India. Monsanto even goes as far as to sue farmers who didn’t plant their biotech seeds. And as hard as it is to top this, even though last year HRC honored Goldman Sachs, this year HRC honored General Electric (who is a major HRC corporate donor) despite the fact of having been accused of or been proven of doing the following accused of the following:
Via Melanie Nathan
- Discrimination — Sex, Race, Age
- Selling Defective Equipment to the Defense Department, Bribing Iraqi Officials, Government Contract Fraud, Breach of Trading Act
- Overcharging Medicare, Selling Defective Appliances, Falsifying Data and Lax Quality Control in Medical Equipment Manufacturing, Improper Aircraft Engine Maintenance
- Violations of Federal Securities Laws, Underreported Income Taxes, Anticompetitive Conduct in Bond Market, Reporting False or Misleading Financial Information
- Improper Storage of PCB Storage Equipment, Violations of CA Pesticide Requirements, Violations of NY Water and Hazardous Waste Laws
- Pending: Violation of ADA, Whistleblower Retaliation, Racial Discrimination
I am ashamed of HRC and the face that it puts on our community. It’s sucking up of every cent of LGBT money out there and then not giving it back to the people who need it most.
Harvey Milk is rolling in his grave at this moment over how HRC has turned the fight for our civil rights and the well being of our community into nothing more than a big business without an iota of integrity and compassion.
SHAME on you HRC and all those who follow them.
One day you will realize you are all part of the problem.