Mission Creep

The Human Rights Campaign is promoting legislation requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to employees. HRC, in doing so, takes note that some employees without paid sick leave are LGBTQ.

The issue with HRC pursing a broadly progressive agenda is that when it fundraises among Republicans, it presents itself as a group focused on LGBTQ-rights advocacy. Yes, the Log Cabin Republicans support a broadly conservative GOP-driven agenda. They’ve got the name “Republican” upfront, and their mission is as much about lobbying support for Republicans as it is about lobbying Republican support for LGBTQ legal equality. The same was true, in reverse, with the now-defunct Stonewall Democrats.

But HRC was founded with a nonpartisan mission and for many years held to that in its congressional endorsements and fundraising (before it started supporting presidential candidates). If that had remained true, the Stonewall Democrats wouldn’t have been rendered redundant, and HRC would not have turned into an adjunct of the Democratic party.

More. From Equality California:

“Enacting gun safety reforms [sic] at the federal level is a top priority for Equality California. LGBTQ people and our allies are often the targets of bias-motivated gun violence.”

And since no LGBTQ people or allies use guns to defend themselves from hate crimes, no problem there.

5 Comments for “Mission Creep”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    But HRC was founded with a nonpartisan mission and for many years held to that in its congressional endorsements and fundraising (before it started supporting presidential candidates). If that had remained true, the Stonewall Democrats wouldn’t have been rendered redundant, and HRC would not have turned into an adjunct of the Democratic party.

    The mission, efficacy and past/current political alignment of HRC aside — I’m not affiliated with HRC, so I don’t have a dog in that fight — I don’t think that your recounting of history (“If that had remained true, the Stonewall Democrats wouldn’t have been rendered redundant, and HRC would not have turned into an adjunct of the Democratic party.“) is accurate.

    Stonewall Democrats were rendered redundant by changes within the Democratic Party, not by changes within HRC.

    The Democratic Party made a decision, over a decade ago, to include/integrate LGBT’s into the party’s leadership at local, state and federal levels, and instituted the necessary structural changes to make that happen. As far as I know, each state party has an active LGBT Caucus, the national party likewise, and, of course, the Democratic Party has elected Governors, Senators, Members of Congress, representatives in state legislatures, and so on. LGBT’s are well integrated into the party’s membership and leadership at all levels — from county party to the DNC — and, as far as I know, in all states, including the red states.

    Accordingly, LGBT’s no longer need an outside group to influence the Democratic Party’s policy and platform on LGBT issues, and hasn’t needed and outside group for about a decade. That’s why Stonewall Democrats faded away — what isn’t needed isn’t needed — not because of whatever changes may or may not have happened within the HRC.

    Right now, conservative homosexuals (at least those who are open about it, unlike Ken Mehlman) remain outside the party’s leadership structure, so LCR serves a valuable purpose for conservative homosexuals and the Republican Party. When the Republican Party includes/integrates conservative homosexuals into the party’s leadership, LCR will probably fade away, too. What need will there be for an outside group then?

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  2. posted by Kosh III on

    HRC, LCR

    Maybe they are significant in CA, NY and DC but the only time HRC shows up here is when they want our money. They don’t lobby our hate-filled GOP legislature; local groups do that.

    LRC doesn’t exist here or in many red states.

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  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Maybe they are significant in CA, NY and DC but the only time HRC shows up here is when they want our money. They don’t lobby our hate-filled GOP legislature; local groups do that.

    That is pretty much true in Wisconsin, too, as far as I know.

    In the seven years that I was Vice Chair or Co-Chair of the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, HRC had no contact whatsoever with the LGBT Caucus, or to my knowledge, did no lobbying with any state legislator.

    HRC does participate (with Fair Wisconsin and Citizen’s Action) in training seminars for local LGBT activists, and throws the occasional fundraiser, but the legislative work is done by Fair Wisconsin and other state/local groups.

    I’m not affiliated with HRC, but I do think that it is useful.

    HRC tracks the status of pro-LGBT and pro-equality measures in corporations (the “Corporate Equality Index”) and other players in the economic sphere, tracks and distributes a lot of information about LGBT-related issues and activity nationwide, and so on. HRC seems to play the role of something like a national clearinghouse in that regard, and I think that is useful. And because of its prominence nationally,

    HRC provides information for LGBT youth, particularly those in red states, that is helpful. If you are a teenager stuck in East Sweet Jesus Redstate, it might be a lifesaver to know that there are a lot of gays and lesbians, out and proud, all around the country.

    HRC is left-leaning, to be sure, but that seems to me to be a biproduct of HRC serving its constituency. About 80% of LGBTs vote left/liberal, and are aligned with left/liberal political positions on the issues. Why would HRC take political positions that opposed the views of its constituency?

    Stephen’s view that HRC should be an issue-neutral, non-partisan organization seems to me to be a pipe dream. No way could HRC be expected to both advocate for the many gays and lesbians who participated in the fight for marriage equality, for example, and advocate for those, like Chad Felix Greene, who consider the fight to be an instance of bullying and the result illegitimate.

    I’m not aligned with HRC, but I’m not about to trash it, either. It seems to me that HRC is a useful organization, neither godsend nor satanic.

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  4. posted by David Bauler on

    I support paid leave, but it might want to focus more on federal equal opportunity legislation.

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  5. posted by David Bauler on

    I’m not a HRC member, so no personal dog in this fight. they do some things well and other things they struggle with.

    The LCR has a small presence in liberal minneapolis. Beyond that it is nothing in the conservative parts of the state.

    in conservative places like ND and SD, the LCR doesnt bother to exist.

    Reply

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