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June 08, 2006

Politics vs. Principle

The previous article recounts my antipathy not so much for gay-rights lobby group Human Rights Campaign itself, but for its vile M.O.: putting politics before principle. It includes the note I sent to HRC President Joe Solmonese, who is so incrementally expeditious it hurts.

Well, today, a response came from an HRC underling. (Solmonese is probably too busy hanging out with his politico pals.) Below is HRC's reply complete with overfamiliar salutation; my response follows:

Dear NR,

Thank you for your thoughtful e-mail regarding the FMA vote yesterday
morning. Of course, as you pointed out, the supporters of this amendment had not expected to pass it. Defeating this amendment may not bring members of the LGBT community any closer to achieving true equality.

Nevertheless, yesterday's vote was still a victory for equality. FMA
supporters had been predicting that they would receive 52 votes in favor of the amendment, a four vote increase over 2004. However, in
yesterday's vote, there were only 49 votes in favor of the amendment
because two Republican Senators changed their votes from 2004. This
means that rather than gaining momentum, as supporters had claimed, they are actually losing supporters.

As you pointed out, there is still a long way to go. Discriminatory laws like DOMA remain on the books, and many Senators who voted against the FMA still maintain their belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman. As supporters of true equality, we cannot afford to lose sight of the need to continue electing more and more leaders who support true equality.

In this election year, there are also fights across the nation that may have a far greater effect on the future of GLBT equality, and HRC
remains committed to working with our partners in all 50 states to fight these battles. However, it is still important to take a moment to celebrate our victory with the FMA. A gain of one vote over 2004,
especially when Republicans had gained four seats in the Senate, is not the sort of moral victory that amendment supporters were hoping for.

I hope that this explanation is helpful. I understand your frustration with the slow pace of LGBT advancement. I hope that you will join with HRC and other GLBT groups to fight for equality. Please contact me if I can be of further assistance.


Lennea Bower
Field Intern
Human Rights Campaign
1640 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
[email protected]

Ms. Bower:

I am fighting for equality on the basis of principle. While I wish HRC luck and will encourage people to back its individual campaigns, your organization's aims and strategies differ from mine. When principle is involved, as years of hard lessons and dark disappointment have taught me, HRC isn't part of the mix. Sad. Celebrate if you want, but I am unequal under law and therefore have work to do. Despite HRC's numerous positives, they aren't enough to outweigh the group's insulting, inhumane, cynical and unforgivable political philosophy and its unconcscionable support of folks like Bob Casey. Consequently, I find much of what HRC does is dangerous and ultimately a losing strategy. If you don't get that, it's OK
- only a person operating from a foundation of principles and values could understand.

Ms. Davis

Posted by Natalie Davis at June 8, 2006 11:34 AM


Right On, Natalie...


Posted by: RainbowDemon at June 12, 2006 11:44 AM

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