Joe Solmonese

Prop 8 Decision: We Won't Back Down

Filed By Joe Solmonese | May 27, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, HRC, Human Rights Campaign, marriage equality, same-sex marriage

The California Supreme Court ruling brings bitter news: Proposition 8 will stand. While we take some solace that the loving couples who did marry in California will stay married, an estimated one million more individuals have been denied that dignity and right.

We are heartbroken. But we won't back down.

Human Rights Campaign members from around the country have sent in beautiful images and messages of support in recent weeks. A new video we created expresses both our profound hurt and our fierce resolve to fight for equality:

The California Supreme Court ruling brings bitter news: Proposition 8 will stand. While we take some solace that the loving couples who did marry in California will stay married, an estimated one million more individuals have been denied that dignity and right.

We are heartbroken. But we won't back down.

Human Rights Campaign members from around the country have sent in beautiful images and messages of support in recent weeks. A new video we created expresses both our profound hurt and our fierce resolve to fight for equality:

Today's decision hurts, but we have known this pain before. Ours is a movement powered by resilience. Once again, we will turn our anger into action.

In fact, we have already begun. To secure marriage equality, we know we must broaden, diversify and deepen faith-based support. So with California Faith for Equality, we have been building a coalition of clergy and lay leaders who will lead a long-term campaign of education and action. We will help train them to make equality part of their daily ministries. We'll give them the tools to be effective spokespeople who can speak of their faith and their belief in equality. We will also work with them to expand our volunteer base.

It's all about winning hearts and minds so we can repeal this hateful marriage ban, once and for all. And it's not just California. We need to keep the recent momentum for marriage equality alive until every loving couple across the nation has the right to marry.


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Joe, when did you come back as a full time contributor?

Did he? This is the first time I've seen anything from Joe here in a while. Not surprising though, after all, the focus is on SSM here, so you can expect to hear much more from HRC than the two paragraphs of text they've devoted to expressing support for transgender rights in the last two years or so.

christophe | May 27, 2009 3:48 PM

give it a rest

I concur. The HRC has made mistakes. I feel like they've copped to them, and are trying to work in the right direction. If the LGBT community won't come together and stop all this damn infighting we are never going to have forward motion as a united movement. I'm still not ready to stick a big, tacky yellow equal sign on my laptop, but, hey, let's see what happens?

They've copped to nothing, Andrew. They still refuse to talk to us and they devote all their attentions to SSM. Where were they when NH ruled against trans rights? Busy celebrating marriage with the rest of the Rich Gay Men's Club, no doubt.

Two paragraphs of "We promise never to do it again, really." just doesn't cut it when you're talking about an organization with as shameful and discredited a record on these issues as HRC has.

HRC has shown no interest in working with the greater community for the good of all and in fact has repeatedly demonstrated precisely the opposite. If they want any of us to ever take them seriously as an advocate then it's long past time they started acting like one.

I assume he did since this post is filed under Joe Solmonese and not Guest Blogger. But wait, he's still listed as alumni on the contributors’ page! So many questions!

Perhaps he's back to write a post explaining the ethics behind awarding companies with well-document histories of human rights violations a gold star via the Corporate Equality Index?


give it a rest

Didn’t you read Rebecca’s comment? Joe's already taken a nice long rest from Bilerico. He's back now feeling rested and full of energy!

You know I've usually got your back, Nick. But, seriously, give it a rest. Let's stick to the topic at hand.

All alumni keep their posting privileges and most of them have posted occasionally once they weren't posting regularly anymore. 'Nuff said.

Sorry, Bil. You're right - nuff said.

When it comes to HRC, Bil, this is the topic at hand and it will continue to be unless and until HRC takes the steps they need to take to work in concert with the efforts of the rest of the community instead of continuing to try to ride roughshod over the rest of us.


When HRC finally figures out that the 90's are over and they'd better start acting like it, perhaps then it'll be time to give it a rest. Until that happens, as far as I'm concerned, it's full speed ahead, guns blazing.

No one trusts a word they say, and with plenty of good reason. The only way that will ever change is by HRC coming down from their ivory tower and getting out in the streets with the rest of us, as equal allies, not as leaders. HRC's despicable and selfish actions against the goal of full civil rights for all Americans have clearly demonstrated that this organization is neither qualified nor capable of acting in a leadership role on behalf of this community ever again.

Never, ever forget. Never, ever let it happen again.

Midtowner | May 27, 2009 5:56 PM

Sorry Rebecca, your comment "No one Trust a word they say" is WAY off base... Myself and countless numbers of other GLBT's still do. I second the comment "give it a rest"

diddlygrl | May 27, 2009 9:24 PM

Actually as a 'sister', I wholeheartedly agree with Rebecca.

We transwomen and transmen have taken all the BS from the Joe version of HRC we can stand. After getting more tire tracks across my pretty little fat tranny ass that I can take, I have sworn ton not listen or give any support to HRC until Solmenese and his brand of "trans friendly" RUWGM are gone.

Dont call me, I will call you. Ciao.

Midtowner | May 27, 2009 11:19 PM

Umm the march has moved on and your little band of angry, bitter do nothings are left circled around each other yelling and screaming...

Open your eyes the time for hating HRC is over, we get it all ready now jump on board lets get this thing taken care of already...

This will end (or at least lessen) when HRC demonstrates that it has learned its lesson and begins acting as an effective ally rather than trying to hold on to a leadership role which the majority of this community no longer considers them worthy of.

The ball is and has been in HRC's court for a long time now. Going on two years now, we've only just seen just the first baby step in that direction a few weeks ago, but no action backing up yet another promise which most of us understandably just don't consider believable after last time.

Given that, why should any of us turn down the heat on these people? What has HRC done to deserve that kind of consideration from us?

South Sider | May 28, 2009 12:11 AM

"Open your eyes the time for hating HRC is over, we get it all ready now jump on board lets get this thing taken care of already..."

Oh Middy, one can agree with the destination but still balk at getting on board the bus if the driver's got a history of crashing the damn thing. Hmm...is there an equivalent example you can point to for gay people where you did?

I don't really expect an answer; but I do confess surprise at how many continue to support a leader who showed such poor judgment. Most employers would have at least required the driver go through rehab. Evidence of approximating at least a few steps would go a long way.

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves?

Admitting the harm one caused others & making amends?

It's hard to forgive someone who hasn't asked for forgiveness. But, I suppose it's not impossible. Trust? That's asking a bit much.

Because the HRC won't back down from trans rights...

let's see a similar statement on ENDA

Midtowner | May 28, 2009 8:14 AM

You know I visit this site from time to time, used to love it, but the rhetoric is so bad sometimes and its allways the same bitter group. Nothing positve comes from them, all they do is lurk in cyberspace till something is posted about HRC then bam, there they are blah blah blah...

we get it already...seriously we do..

Now can you start participating in positive way which will help bring about the results we all want...

stop wasting keystrokes on all this negativity...Again we get it already...

Midtown;
As a Lesbian activist myself, I can understand the antipathy and cynicism that the trans-community has towards the HRC. Have we seen a statement like this from the HRC yet about the failure of basic human living protections for trans people in New Hampshire where such protections went down in flames at the same time that marriage passed?

No

I can only imagine what the anger of the trans community, and particularly trans people of colour, must be when they lack such basic human rights and stuggle for them with little overt support from the rest of us and the HRC. At the same time, monies and political effort remain focused upon marriage.

I am unwilling to shout "same on them" concerning trans-antipathy towards the HRC when our dribblings of support towards them ought to have us murmurring in embarrassment "shame on us."

South Sider | May 28, 2009 11:53 AM

"Umm the march has moved on and your little band of angry, bitter do nothings are left circled around each other yelling and screaming...

Open your eyes the time for hating HRC is over, we get it all ready now jump on board lets get this thing taken care of already..."

You can't seriously be calling people angry, bitter do nothings and then complain about negativity? Especially given that many of these folks do actually do lot's of things - I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you do as well.

Look - I get - I really do - you think that HRC equals the community. In its entirety. Everyone doesn't. People express their displeasure with the LCR or that new Republican group and the President whenever they're mentioned - I don't see you complaining or accusing those folks of being bitter, do nothings.

People don't all have to get aboard the HRC train - there's other trains - lot's of them. Stonewal, the Task Force, PFLAG, TYFA, our great local groups. HRC isn't the alpha and omega.
They haven't earned the kind of blind loyalty you suggest.

Yes, the march has moved on, indeed. The battle in California was lost last November. The court gambit failed. Now, get to work and put it on the ballot for next year. You'll have an advantage, because it will then be Yes for marriage, not no. Presumably, those supporting gl marriage will also be expecting the massive influx of money and volunteers to the opposition from the Church of Latter Day Bigots, the Southern Bast, er, Baptists, and the Rat-zingers, this time, and can be prepared for that.

Now, let's see if hate crimes passes the Senate, and ENDA passes both houses, inclusively. Americans support these overwhelmingly, they have majority support in both houses, and the Prez will sign them. Get on with it.

As for HRC and Solmonese, I trust HRC only to screw up constantly and to suck funds from local and state rights organizations' fund raising bases disproportionately to the amounts returned. I consider Solmonese a serial liar, and no amount of PR will change that. But, hating on Solmonese passes nothing. Talk to your elected officials, if you want to pass anything, and don't just wait for HRC to do it. And, as South Sider says, there are other organizations that are worthy of support, particularly your local and state ones.

Kathy Padilla | May 28, 2009 10:44 PM

As Mr. Serling used to say, "submitted for your consideration":
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No. 1 · Midtowner
Well it is funny…As a gay man I find the whole thing crazy. Leave to the mixed up trannies or lesbians to make us look like freaks…thanks!

Posted: Jun 10, 2008 at 12:21 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]

No. 17 · Midtowner
Oh Rory, no Self Hate here…Just tired of the crazies, and if you cant see that there are some then your blind. It was the Trannies who runied ENDA for us (umm that would be all of us, even themselves), Miltant lesbians who bull doze for marriage only to divorce…come on. Im not a hater, or self hating just not Blind…Not everyone who speaks for us helps, not everyone who is on TV represents us well…Good lord.

I guess even with us (yes us) its bad to say the Emporer has no clothes….

No. 22 · Midtowner
Yes, Eclipse your opinion does matter, just like mine… And we may disagree on the demise of ENDA, Trannie activism, Militant Lesbianism..and transgendered men/women having babies…but isnt that ok? We dont all think alike. But again my point is there are things that arent right in our movement and I have a right to say what I dont like…Im part of this too…

Posted: Jun 10, 2008 at 5:45 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]

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He has much to teach us all on respectful discourse.