Allegations have arisen that Salt Lake City’s Pride Parade has put at least 13 entries from LGBT community groups on a waiting list for this year’s event opting instead to show favoritism to corporate entrants to march instead.
Parade organizers state that only 30 percent of the event’s 150 entries are corporate, and that the LGBT groups were left out because they turned in their applications late.
A gay activist who owns a local consignment shop, has marched in the parade for six of the last seven years, but was told there is no room for his entry in 2016.
“I’m disappointed,” Sanders said. “When I see a parade that accommodates corporations and big-business marketing to my community and doesn’t really have room for me anymore I feel that is broken. … The parade is our parade, it’s our protest march. it’s our call to action.”
“I do have companies like Bud Light and AT&T, but I also have sponsorships like Equality Utah and Planned Parenthood,” said Bonnie O’Brien, who puts together the parade for the Pride Center told KUTV.com. Corporate sponsors are critical to the event’s success, brining in about $200,000 for the Pride Center each year.
“This building isn’t open and the services that are available at this building don’t exist without corporate sponsorship,” she said.
O’Brien says she will work to ensure that groups currently on the waiting list can participate in this year’s event.
Shameful. Gay Inc. at its worst.
Anyone else remember when Pride was actually about PRIDE?
After months of backlash and the threat of losing billions of dollars in entertainment industry revenue Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared today that he will veto his state’s anti-LGBT so-called “religious liberty” bill. Among his reasons are that Georgia does not protect its LGBT citizens from discrimination in the first place, so further legislation is not necessary.
Despite being absent for most of the anti-LGBT bill’s passage through the Georgia Senate and House and only addressing it twice, once in a photo-op delivering petitions to Georgia’s capitol and secondly by mentioning an entertainment boycott at an HRC Gala after many of the boycotts had already began. The Human Rights Campaign and Chad Hunter Griffin are once again trying to take all the credit for something they did not do..
The Human Rights Campaign Press Release.
Deal’s veto comes one week after HRC President Chad Griffin called on Hollywood to stop productions in Georgia if Deal refused to veto the legislation at HRC’s Los Angeles Gala. Soon after, many of the biggest entertainment companies in the world responded to the call — including 21st Century Fox, AMC Networks, CBS Corp., Comcast NBCUniversal, Lionsgate, Live Nation, MGM, Netflix, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Starz, The Walt Disney Co., Time Warner, The Weinstein Company and Viacom. And more than thirty leading actors, directors, producers, musicians, and agents signed HRC’s letter demanding that he veto the proposal.
“Our message to Governor Nathan Deal was loud and clear: this deplorable legislation was bad for his constituents, bad for business, and bad for Georgia’s future,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Today, Governor Deal heard the voices of Georgians, civil rights organizations, as well as the many leaders in the entertainment industry and private sector who condemned this attack on the fundamental rights of LGBT people, and he has set an example for other elected officials to follow. Discrimination and intolerance have no place in the United States of America, and we hope North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly are paying close attention to what has transpired in Georgia. They must undo their disgraceful attack on LGBT people in the state’s upcoming legislative session.”
Crickets from HRC (of course) about all the hard-working LGBT activist, individuals and media on the ground who did the real work. But that’s how that corrupt good for nothing gay org spins.
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
“HRC has always aimed to make LGBT equality a bipartisan issue. That’s why HRC is, and always has been, a bipartisan organization. In fact, we have never in our history won a major legislative battle without bipartisan support. Today, that bipartisan support is all the more important when the threshold for passing anything through the Senate is 60 votes. The truth is we need more cross party cooperation on issues of equality, not less.
So when members of Congress vote the right way and stand up for equality—regardless of party—we must stand with them. We simply cannot ask members of Congress to vote with us, and then turn around and try to kick them out of office.
Senator Kirk has been a strong ally in the Republican Party. He was the first Senate Republican to cosponsor the Equality Act, a critical step towards full federal equality. He was one of fewer than a dozen Congressional Republicans to support marriage equality, and he was also the Republican lead on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). He supported the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. And, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would never have passed the Senate without the leadership of Republican Senators including Mark Kirk.
Still, some have questioned his imperfect Congressional Scorecard rating. But Senator Kirk’s score from the last Congress does not reflect his current co-sponsorship of the Equality Act. And because bills in the House and Senate have differed, comparing his rating to a House Member’s is apples to oranges.
At a time when many in his party are trying to roll back our rights or shy away from LGBT issues, Senator Kirk has worked to move the GOP toward equality. We must reward that kind of leadership from a Republican in the Senate. I wish we had more of them.
If you are still unconvinced that HRC did the right thing supporting a Republican incumbent Senator who has championed LGBT equality time and again, I will leave you with this thought. After Sen. Kirk suffered a stroke in 2012, he faced months of rehabilitation, and was unable to participate in many votes in the Senate. In November, 2013, he walked up the steps of the Capitol, and his first speech was about the need for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act: “I have been silent for the last two years due to a stroke … I have risen to speak because I believe so passionately about enacting the ENDA statute,” he said. Nine other Republicans eventually voted for the bill, which would not have been possible without his leadership. – Chad (Did you ever think that I would be worse than Joe Solmonese) Griffin
Please notice how there is not one mention of Tammy Duckworth and her better LGBT civil rights record or the fact that Kirk’s support will not mean a damn thing if the Republicans continue to control the Senate and the Equality Act can’t get brought up for a vote.
Once again Chad Hunter Griffin and the Human Rights Campaign can’t and refuses to see the big picture.
BuzzFeed is reporting that an internal report commissioned by HRC found that employees of the organization described the “equality” organization as a “judgmental”, “homogenous”, “exclusionary” and “sexist” “white men’s club.” The report indicates that HRC promotes white, male individuals who are perceived as masculine over those that are female, transgender or feminine-identified.
“One of the most frequent concerns that rose was the sense of an organizational culture rooted in a white, masculine orientation which is judgmental of all those who don’t fit that mold,” the report states in summarizing its survey findings. “Disparate treatment toward women and those with ‘soft skills’ was frequently cited by staff — both men and women — and there is a sense that if you operate outside of that orientation, you will not be successful at HRC.”
That perception is also borne out in the experience of minority employees, according to the report, summarizing survey responses at one point as follows: “More than half of multiracial and Latino people and 83% of genderqueer people feel they are not treated equally based on their identity.”
From the focus groups, the report details criticism from younger staff and female staff about their contributions not being valued. In a listing of comments made, one staffer said, “Younger staff in particular are exploited and not rewarded financially.” Another said, “Straight women and lesbians get sexist treatment from gay men at HRC.”
HRC President Chad-Rosa (I make 400K @ year) Parks-Griffin responded to the report noting that the organization is already “aggressively” pursuing ways to improve its workplace environment:
“Like many organizations and companies throughout our country, HRC has embarked on a thoughtful and comprehensive diversity and inclusion effort with the goals of better representing the communities we serve — and hiring, nurturing and retaining a workforce that not only looks like America but feels respected and appreciated for the hard work they do every day.” […]
“As we fully anticipated, the report flagged problem areas that the organization has already begun to tackle aggressively,” Griffin said in his statement. “We’ll continue to address them, one by one, as any serious organization recognizing these challenges would.”
Not only is this old well known news to everyone. But HRC had to waste THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS on a “commissioned” diversity study to find out what everyone has known for 20 years? If it weren’t so sad it would be almost comical that HRC actually needed a *report* to figure this out.
It really just shows exactly how tone-deaf HRC is to the real LGBT community.
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.
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:
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.
Today marks one year since the historic passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) through the Senate. This bipartisan legislation, which won the support of 10 Republican Senators, would prohibit discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
HRC supports the ENDA for a very simple reason: it will guarantee millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in all 50 states explicit, reliable protections from discrimination in the workplace. No longer would qualified, hardworking Americans be denied job opportunities, fired or otherwise discriminated against just because they are LGBT. And the public overwhelmingly supports these workplace protections. In fact, 8 out of 10 people mistakenly believe that this is already law.
Unfortunately, House Republican Leadership has continued to stand in the way of equality, refusing to bring the legislation to a vote in the House of Representatives. If Members of Congress were given the opportunity to vote, ENDA would pass in the House.
This version of ENDA would also guarantee that religious organizations and institutions would be legally able to discriminate against and fire LGBT Americans and such discrimination would be written into law and then be very hard undo.
So why exactly is HRC not only still supporting this dog of bill but also still praising it?
The right wing site RedState whose parent company Salem Communications, owns dozens of Christian radio stations as well as Twitchy, Townhall, and HotAir has joined the Mozilla boycott launched several days ago by Brietbart.com’s Ben Shapiro’s Truth Revolt.
Today, users of the Firefox web browser were given a message when accessing most of our Front Page content at RedState. They were told that this site could not be displayed, because of a conflict with the values of the Mozilla corporation, and they were suggested to visit another site. Send a message that you won’t take it lying down. Get another browser. Tell your friends what you’re doing, and why. Safari, Chromium, Internet Explorer, Konqueror, you name it. None of these browsers is developed by a corporation that is persecuting individuals for what they do with their own time and money. Firefox is, because that’s what Mozilla has done to Brendan Eich.
With the right wing spin machine going full force on Eich’s stepping down from his CEO position at Mozilla after blowback by it’s employees, techies across the country and the LGBT community after it was discovered he not only donated to California’s Prop 8 but also supports extreme right wing and anti-semetic fringe politico’s. Will this situation spin out of control like the Chick-fil-A debacle of 2013?
While the grassroots gay community has stood strong on the subject a few contrarian and fearful “assimilation queens” have been opening questioning what happened and questioning the community itself, (Bruni, Sullivan, and Mixner) giving additional ammo to the right wing for their latest “Gay Mafia” and “Christian persecution angle” while our National Orgs (HRC, GLAAD. The Task Force aka Gay Inc.) who have the ears of the mainstream press have remained silent and are again using the “lets not talk about it and it will go away strategy” that allowed Chick-fil-A to become the mess it did in the first place. HRC, GLAAD. The Task Force either need to step up and start taking proactive actions when situations like this occur or they need to hand over the reigns and let others to be spokespeople for our community. Their silence on some very important subjects and battles is not only deafening, but dangerous to the LGBT communities fight for equality itself.
Gay Inc. needs to understand that LGBT advocacy is not only press releases and gala’s and every once in awhile they are going to have to stand up and fight and get their hands dirty.
Last night President Obama (or his staff) went to Twitter and Facebook to post his support for ENDA, the embattled 20+ year old bill that has been sitting in Congress that would grant the LGBT community workplace protections from being fired because of who they are which they currently do not have in the United States.
In addition President Obama’s political arm is raising money from supporters to push for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Organizing for Action, the successor organization to Obama’s presidential campaign apparatus that advocates for his policy positions, sent out an email from Executive Director Jon Carson to supporters on Thursday with the subject line, “It’s 2013 — this shouldn’t be legal.”
“A lot of Americans don’t know that it’s still legal in some states to discriminate in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Yep — it’s 2013, and every American still doesn’t have that basic protection under the law.”
The email continues to say that ENDA would rectify this issue by making sure “no one can legally be discriminated against in the workplace for being gay or transgender.”
A link within the email redirects to the OFA site, which allows the reader to sign a petition calling on Congress to pass ENDA.
After the reader enters an email address, another page pops up asking for a donation to OFA in several designated amounts up to $1,000. But what is NOT CLEAR whether the donations will be used for ENDA, the OFA or other purposes.
Meanwhile in the LGBT community we have TWO groups now that want to be the ones representing (and taking the credit) for ENDA if it passes battling for control.
First we have Tico Almeida President and founder of Freedom to Work, a grassroots organization that was launched in the fall of 2011 which started the new momentum towards bringing ENDA up before Congress yet again. FTW worked closely with Sen. Jeff Merkley setting up all the groundwork. Unfortunately though Almedia, also helped write the current religious exemption in the new ENDA which basically will grant religious business institutions including hospitals and schools the right to continue discriminating against LGBT individuals legally in hopes of an easier passage through Congress
Next up in the ENDA Control Battle Royal we have the newly formed (and “Gay Inc.” big bucks backed.) Americans for Workplace Opportunity created just 3 months ago in July led by the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.
The AWO steering Committee includes the ACLU, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Unity Fund, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Center for Transgender Equality. AWO was formed after much of the current ENDA ground work was done by Almedia and FTW. Almedia’s group was not not asked to join the board, and was denied inclusion after asking. (One has to wonder where the HRC and the Task Force has been for the past few years on the issue that only NOW do they form this group.)
Also besides these two groups we also have the remnants of the now defunct, original “United ENDA” coalition from the early 2000’s still milling about in the background.
So can one really wonder why ENDA still sits waiting after 20+ years and our LGBT brothers and sisters are still discriminated in 29 states?
The answer is politics. Politics from within our government and petty politics from within our community. Which in the end hurts ENDA’s chances even more.
In December 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released startling new data that showed HIV was still plaguing the gay community. While new HIV infections had remained steady in the general public between 2008 and 2010, infections had risen by an incredible 22 percent and that young gay men represented two-thirds of new infections. The CDC also reported that a shocking 6,000 gay men were dying of AIDS every year.
In a recent U.S. News and World Report story on the subject they found out that AIDS awareness, prevention and lobbying is shclingly not a priority for the Human Rights Campaign or any of the major national LGBT organizations.
When HRC spokesman Michael Cole-Schwartz lists off the priorities for the organization, the list is long: gay marriage, workplace nondiscrimination protections, safe schools, corporate support and benefits for employees, fostering positive places of worship. He doesn’t name HIV/AIDS.
Choosing priorities, Cole-Schwartz says, is a “balancing act” and the issue of HIV/AIDS is one he says “thankfully we haven’t had to deal with too much.” Most of HRC’s work on the disease, he says, is done through partnerships or coalitions. And while HRC is currently lobbying for the Early Treatment for HIV Act, which would allow states to provide Medicaid coverage for low-income people with HIV, and previously lobbied for the Ryan White Care Act, the largest federal program for people with HIV/AIDS most of lobbying is done by HRC partners, Cole-Schwartz said.
But it’ it’s not just the HRC. HIV/AIDS isn’t a top priority for any of the three major LGBT groups in the U.S.: not the HRC, or the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), or the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) – who together are somewhat pejoratively known as “Gay Inc.”
HRC and “Gay Inc” has pumped countless man hours and millions of dollars directly into the repeal of DADT and state gay wide marriage but does not consider AIDS a priority to work on?
And while HRC does state that most of it’s AIDS work is outsourced and done through partnerships or coalitions sources claim that less than 1% of it’s over $40 million dollar annual budget is used for AIDS issues. (That is roughly the same amount as HRC President Chad Griffin’s annual salary. $365,000.oo+)
HRC would neither confirm or deny the figure because it doesn’t break down its spending by issue type.
The fact that HRC and other mutli-million dollar and highly staffed LGBT organizations cannot spare time and and more money to directly fight and work on such an important and life threatening issues as AIDS that is killing thousands yearly is mind boggling and highly distressing.
This year at Netroots Nation 2013 held in San Jose, CA. LGBT activists Todd Heywood, Lisa Derrick, Teddy Partridge and a small group of other concerned grassroots attendees realized the need to encourage National HIV Testing Day and decided to encourage folks to get tested for HIV. With $9.00 of paper flyers, 72 hours of outreach, and the use of social media and the #TestMe hashtag this group of small but impassioned activist reached out and were joined by Planned Parenthood, the Office of Public Engagement at the White House and scores of local advocacy groups, individual bloggers, and media outlets and got the message out to over 1.5 million people.
If they could do this $9.00 and 3 days. Imagine what HRC and others could do and the lives that they could help save if only they got their” priorities” straight.