The following were submitted as letters to the editor or posted as comments to our website.
Re: “How engaged is HRC in ‘Don’t Ask’ fight?” (op-ed by Lane Hudson, Dec. 17)
We were surprised to hear of an op-ed in the Washington Blade last week alleging that Joe Solmonese, president of HRC, had not been engaged in the arduous fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
As the authors of the stand-alone bill in the Senate, we can tell you nothing is further from the truth. Saturday’s historic 65 to 31 vote repealing this policy is testament to Joe’s leadership and HRC’s role in this legislative battle. — Joseph I. Lieberman and Susan M. Collins, United States Senators
Re: “It gets better gets annoying” (blog post by Kevin Naff, Dec. 17)
It Gets Better is annoying? You know what I find annoying? Listening to the news to hear about another young gay kid killing himself because he was bullied so badly. I don’t care who participates in it, whether gay or straight, Clinton or Bieber, as long as the message gets out there, because those kids need to know that just because the other kids in their schools are naive, not everyone is, and that there are people that they don’t even know that care about them, and feel their loss when they harm themselves. —Frankie
Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater here. IGB is serving a need in the community for people without support to see a glimmer of hope, enough hope not to commit suicide. This is life and death for people.
If you’re frustrated by celebrities and politicians leveraging a cause, I totally understand. Keep in mind though that celebrities and politicians are constantly being reinforced with the idea that their association to a cause, in any form, matters. Not as much as their money, and certainly nothing compared to any actions they might take. Ultimately, though, that’s a problem with people “buying the hype.” —Paul
Your sentiment is shared by a lot of us that feel It Gets Better should choose its speakers with more care. Nice post. —Terence
Re: “HISTORIC: Senate approves ‘Don’t Ask’ repeal” (news, Dec. 18)
With the impending repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” only one federal anti-gay domino remains standing: The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. With the new, Republican-controlled House unlikely to pass a DOMA repeal measure, it’s going to take a Supreme Court ruling declaring DOMA, California’s Proposition 8 and all other state laws banning same-gender marriage unconstitutional before LGBT Americans will finally have full legal equality. —Skeeter Sanders
Re: “Should HRC’s Solmonese resign?” (blog post by Kevin Naff, Dec. 17)
Right, gays are in the Democrats’ pocket. The Republicans are “allegedly” so much worse. Has Kevin Naff been paying attention? Hate crimes was passed with a Democratic Congress and president. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs advocated for DADT repeal under a Democratic administration. And from where are most of the votes to repeal DADT coming: Democrats. Without the need for a cloture vote, a Democratic Senate would have already passed this. —BMF
Given the choice between HRC and the cabal of unaccountable billionaires buying up our movement — one org and one blogger at a time — I’ll pick HRC. I see what they have achieved and when they screw up I know where to call. But the handful of major funders and their shadowy operatives claim credit but never step up to take the blame when they screw up. They own half the local, state and national groups. I’m glad HRC is big enough not to be shoved around by them. —Allen
HRC is not only not producing on a national level, its existence stifles the ability of local and state level organizations to marshal the resources needed to mount effective campaigns for equality where it really counts. So-called HRC “local” groups mimic the national organization’s high-profile image with monthly events and fundraisers, and the obligatory “A-gay” oriented big ticket annual dinner. Everyone involved appears to feel good about what they’re doing, but very little political action ever takes place and no real progress ever seems to be made. —Michael