Michael Crawford

HRC, Stonewall Democrats Launch Calls to Action

Filed By Michael Crawford | October 05, 2007 10:28 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Congress, Democrats, gay rights, HRC, Human Rights Campaign, LGBT, lgbt rights, politics, Stonewall Democrats

Both the Human Rights Campaign and the National Stonewall Democrats have launched national calls to actions to urge members of Congress to support an inclusive ENDA. HRC is the nation's largest political organization working for LGBT civil rights. Stonewall is national network of Democratic LGBT groups and activist.

Human Rights Campaign:

In most states, you can be fired for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, regardless of your performance or qualifications. HRC has been fighting since 2004 to pass a federal law against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Congressional leaders have decided to push a version of ENDA that includes sexual orientation, but not gender identity. It has long been HRC's policy not to support a version of the bill that does not cover gender identity. Tell Congress we won't rest until all GLBT people have full employment equality.

Write to Congress today, and make sure all GLBT people are included in ENDA.

HRC President Joe Solomoness also taped a video urging Americans to join the fight to build congressional support for an inclusive ENDA. View the video here.

Send an email message to your member of Congress at PassENDAnow.org.

Stonewall Democrats:

Yesterday the National Stonewall Democrats and more than 150 groups announced the launch of a united lobbying and advocacy campaign to win passage of the fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), H.R. 2015. United ENDA is a coalition and campaign to build upon the unprecedented solidarity in strategy demonstrated by more than 150 organizations determined to pass the original ENDA.

Jon Hoadley executive director of Stonewall says:

National Stonewall Democrats are united in our support for the original ENDA which includes protections for both sexual orientation and gender identity. We recognized early that this week would quickly become a tipping point in how our movement organizes and how Democrats interact with our community. We have helped launch United ENDA in order to capitalize on that momentum and ensure that our party is pushed towards a winning strategy to end employment discrimination for working Americans.

Additionally, Stonewall has launched the No Substitutes campaign which I wrote about here.

Here are the actions Stonewall is urging you to take to build support for an inclusive ENDA:

1) Recruit two contacts now to sign our petition at NoSubstitutes.org

2) Visit your local Congressional District office this week and ask to meet with your Congressperson. Chances are you may meet with a key staffer...or even an intern. The face-to-face contact with the office is what is important.

You can use your zip code to look up your Representative here at Congress.org.

3) Ask your Representative to a) Support the original ENDA (HR 2015) which includes gender identity and b) oppose any effort to advance a substitute bill that does not include gender identity.
These three steps are crucial. We need more people to sign our petition at NoSubstitutes.org and we need face-to-face contacts this week with your Representative.


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bill perdue | October 5, 2007 8:08 PM

The Stonewall Democrats and their cronies in the HRC attached themselves to over 150 groups demanding that Democrats Pelosi and Frank et al back down on their backstabbing effort to gut ENDA. They had to because if they hadn’t it would’ve accelerated the danger of them becoming as marginalized as the Log Cabin Republicans. They've all locked themselves in political closets with parties of misanthropic rightist gay bashers and/or centrist backstabbers.

Now they’re all scuttling around looking for ways to be relevant to both our GLBT communities and their parties but that’s not as easily said as done. So the logheads go after easy targets like Romney and ignore the fact that Giuliani takes three steps backwards for every timid step he takes forward on GLBT equality. And the stoneheads duck the antigay intolerance of Democrats like Hillary Clinton (no samesex marriage, DOMA, DADT, war with Iran), Pelosi and the other Democratic policy makers opposed to full equality.

The logheads are fast becoming a self isolated pitiable group of quislings, unloved and disgraced. HRC is looking at a huge drop in income because of their deceit on ENDA.

The Stonewall Democrats will be in the same boat as the logheads when the Democrats win in 2008. With the midwife of DOMA and DADT in the Oval Office consulting with First Daddy Bill, who claims that same sex marriage is the "kiss of death' for Democrats, and gay basher Pelosi in the House joined by Reid, who’s timidity personified, in the Senate, and with Barney 'protecting us' it's a setup to bankrupt HRC and put the stoneheads in the same sinking boat as the logheads.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | October 6, 2007 6:17 AM

Bill,

I have to admit that I share neither your pessimism or your distaste for HRC and Stonewall Democrats.

While their tactics may not be to your liking, HRC has been lobbying members of Congress, working with state and local activists and advocating for non-discrimination policies in major corporations.

The Stonewall Democrats under the leadership of their new executive director Jon Hoadley have come out strong in the debate surrounding ENDA.

Both organizations are doing good work.

bill perdue | October 6, 2007 7:16 AM

And for my part Michael I don’t share your confidence in the supernatural. The pie in the sky isn’t there. I don’t believe that the stonewallers and the HRC fundraisers can magically project their goals onto politicians whose only agenda items are money and power, i.e., clout.

Soon after her 100 days Hillary Clinton will be branded a disappointment and then an enemy. That’s not pessimism (I personally look forward to it) but realism. The team that gave us DOMA, NAFTA, and DADT will give us more of the same, especially more of the war, extending it to Iran and prolonging it.

For my part, I can’t conceive that the stonewallers and HRC types can stay in bed with the Clintons and Pelosi, et al, without being infected by some nasty and fatal political diseases.

I dunno, Bill. I'm not too happy with the Dems or Reps either, but someone has to do the heavy lifting required in the halls of Congress. If HRC and Stonewall are already there, we might as well take all the help we can get.

I'm curious though - are you lobbying Congress to get all this information first hand or are you putting two and two together on your own?

bill perdue | October 6, 2007 5:37 PM

Please, Bil. Don’t even imply that I’d be caught dead in the slime pits of Congress. My opinion about the twin parties, their supporters, and their role in Congress is based on some forty years of activism in unions, the antiwar movement and our own movement.

My first opinions about the ‘left’ cover of the Democrats were formed in the aftermath of the 1964 election. Young Democrats (then the ‘radical’ voice in that Party) campaigned against war with the slogan “All the way with LBJ”. He did take us all the way and it ended with some 55,000 GI's dead and millions of Vietnamese murdered. It was a horror show written, directed and produced by Democrats. The role of ‘radicals’ , including the stonewallers has been to provide a little left cover for war, union busting, misogyny, antigay bigotry and racism and suggesting the occasional cosmetic reform.

As for 'heavy lifting' on bills like ENDA I think that’s being done by NLGTF and others, not HRC. What HRC does, all day and all night, is send out emergency fund raising letters. That’s heavy hustling, not heavy lifting.

My opinions about Heir Apparent Hillary’s views on the war are taken from her record. She voted for typically arrogant Senate resolutions to dismember Iraq and for another demanding that they turn over their oil resources to US companies. She has contradictory views on the ‘surge’; speaking before the VFW she’s says it’s a success. At the Latino debate she says it’s a disaster. In a debate in Hanover, N.H. on September 29th Clinton, Edwards and Obama all refused to promise that the U.S. would withdraw its armies by January 2013, five years from now.

As war spreads in the region it will lead to even more murders of our brothers and sisters. Hussein’s treatment was typical of the region, but the US militarys' actions, specifically targeted against gays and lesbians, are genocidal. They arm Sunni and Shiite jihadist deaths squads who routinely kidnap and murder gays and lesbians. The American commanders don't lift a finger to stop it. Wars invariably increase the level of homophobia and push the social agenda to the right; this war is a danger to us and our brothers and sisters in the Muslim world.

But if not you, Bill, who? Should everyone just disengage from the parties in power? Should we just walk away and hope for the best?

As for NGLTF vs HRC, I think both do valuable things for our community. They're vastly different organizations. But I also think Lambda Legal, Stonewall Democrats, Log Cabin Republicans and PFLAG are also doing heavy lifting.

bill perdue | October 7, 2007 1:12 PM

Bil,

HRC, the Stonewall Democrats and the Log Cabin Republicans entered political life as the stillborn offspring of reactionary parties. They’re no threat to the bigots who maintain our second class citizenship and are automatically marginalized and overlooked.

The other groups you mentioned like PFLAG and NLGTF do real work and shouldn’t be listed together with front groups that provide cover to parties run by bigots.

I think the important groups to watch in the coming period are the GLSEN/GSA’s, currently undergoing explosive growth as part of a general youth radicalization like the 60’s/70’s, the US Labor Party, our best tool to provide a major alternative to the twin parties, and the beginnings of a revived GLBT left movement.

“Should everyone just disengage from the parties in power? Should we just walk away and hope for the best?” Absolutely not. Instead of following we should turn and fight. Lobbying is a useful tactic on the day after a mass demonstration or during a heated strike but it’s hardly qualifies as a strategy (except for self-appointed leaders in need of a lucrative career). What impresses politicians is clout, not soft spoken chats over Rack of Lamb in the Caucus Room.

We can get ‘clout’ by helping to organize the ongoing mass radicalization of GLBT youth, by building political independence through the US Labor Party and by creating a fighting leftwing for our movement. Politics, fueled by the war and a declining stand of living, are heating up. If we take advantage of that and do the ‘heavy lifting’ required to build an independent massive movement, then we can, so to speak, insert the Congressional Thumb into a Screw and then lobby till we drop, because then it will be effective.