Long-time LGBT activist, journalist, author and talk radio host Michelangelo Signorile has come out swinging at Chad Griffin and the Human Rights Campaign for their political endorsement of GOP Senator Mark Kirk over Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth despite the fact that Duckworth has a higher Equality Index score in HRC’s own ranking report and HRC’s ridiculous excuse that the believe the only way to pass any further pro-LGBT legislation is by a bi-partisan vote. A theory which is not only flawed but dangerous to the LGBT community and will drag the fight for equality out for another 20 years.
The simple truth is that in 2016 in Illinois we don’t need Mark Kirk — he needs us. Kirk is in a deep blue state and he absolutely must support full LGBT equality in order to win. His coming out for the Equality Act is not brave; it’s about his own survival. And the first vote he’ll take upon winning back his seat will be a cowardly one to make the anti-gay McConnell (with an HRC score of 0) the Senate Majority Leader again.
There’s no question that the Democrats’ path to taking back the Senate very much includes defeating Kirk, who is in the bluest state among those where GOP senators are embattled. So HRC’s action does raise questions about how committed the group really is to seeing the Democrats take back the Senate, and if it perhaps has conflicting interests. Daily Kos’s David Nir surmised that HRC’s Kirk endorsement is all about keeping “donations flowing from corporations and wealthy gay Republicans,” and he may be on to something.
If HRC is not answerable to LGBT people, however — and its president, Griffin, rarely even gives interviews to LGBT media, while speaking often in the larger media — exactly to whom and what is it answerable, and what are its true priorities? One thing is clear: HRC doesn’t speak for the LGBT community, and the sooner that politicians and those in the media grasp that, the smarter they will be.
You can read Michelangelo Signorile’s full piece by CLICKING HERE