Monday, December 13, 2010

Top Queer Bloggers Jump on the Bandwagon Calling For Joe Solmonese's Resignation

Pam Spaulding, Andy Towle, Bil Browning (Bilerico Project), Joe Jervis
HRC president Joe Solmonese has taken a lot of criticism over the past two years for his grand pronouncements, empty promises, high-dollar fundraisers, expensive suits and lush lifestyle. Many of us in the queer blogosphere have been saying he should step down for a long time.

Now that we're hearing our window of opportunity slamming shut and have only one legislative victory (Hate Crimes) to show for our efforts, suddenly the interwebs are all abuzz with the headline, "Top LGBT Bloggers Call For Solmonese to Resign".

These top bloggers, Joe Jervis of Joe.My.God, Pam Spaulding of Pam's  House Blend, Andy Towle of and Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic's Daily Dish column have each written posts calling for Solmonese to step down in light of his list of non-accomplishments. Solmonese has a knack for making big promises that he is in no position to keep.

He promised to pass ENDA. Fail!

He Promised to repeal DOMA. Fail!

He promised to end the taxation on employee benefits for domestic partners. Fail!

He also promised to repeal DADT, colossal fail!

Joe Solmonese
Now, let's face it, nobody could deliver on all those promises, especially someone who isn't even an elected official. But Joe S. is just arrogant enough to make them anyway and did so repeatedly early this year. But in the last couple of months as the other LGBT activist groups like GetEqual, Servicemembers United and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network have become more aggressive, Joe has been missing in action, allowing other HRC spokespeople to make public statements.

I was saddened to hear last month that my friend and contact at HRC, Terry McGuire, who helped Roanoke Equality on several projects over the last couple of years, is leaving HRC. Say what you want about Joe S., but Terry and field organizers like him, work their asses off in small cities and towns across the nation, knocking on doors, making introductions between local activists and their representatives, providing guidance on starting activist groups and explaining how things work in DC to those of us outside the Beltway.

These dedicated activists are the heart and soul of HRC and spend weeks at a time on the road, criss-crossing their districts, often alone. Terry covered the entire southern half of Virginia by himself and did one hell of a job. Terry didn't give a lot of details about why he was leaving, but in light of the lack of movement on LGBT issues, I can only guess that he must be feeling a great deal of frustration, not to mention exhaustion. I wish him the best of luck wherever he lands.

It is my fear that HRC will loose more hardworking, dedicated people, due to Joe Solmonese's incompetence. These  people do what they do because they have a passion for the cause. They ~ and we ~ deserve better than a preening, fashionista, fame-whore to be the public face of our fight.

So it is with all sincerity that I say "Welcome aboard!" to Pam, Joe, Andy and Andrew and all the rest the of A-List of the Gay List.

What took you so long?
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