Joe Solmonese

Golden Oldie: Essay: The value of constructive criticism in the LGBT movement

by: OpenLeft

Wed Dec 29, 2010 at 19:00


An Adam Bink Golden Oldie
From Feb 25, 2010. Original HERE.

Over the weekend at Rootscamp and generally over the past few weeks, I've been participating in a series of conversations concerning the relationship between traditional "legacy" LGBT organizations- such as the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)- and online communities. Discussions have centered around how there has been a lot of "infighting" over the past few months. Two prominent examples are the blogswarm last week aimed at the Human Rights Campaign around its strategy on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, along with Bil Browning's criticism of GLAAD around The Cleveland Show episode, but criticisms in general- including in my writing, as you may have noticed- have been growing louder across the LGBT blogosphere for some time now.

What is interesting to me is where healthy dialogue turns into "infighting", and why it is deemed critical that progressive movement actors- such as President Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders- need a "left flank", but the same does not seem to apply to LGBT organizations.

More on this, along with an interview w/HRC President Joe Solmonese, in the extended entry.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 1756 words in story)

Essay: The value of constructive criticism in the LGBT movement

by: Adam Bink

Thu Feb 25, 2010 at 17:00

( - promoted by AdamGreen)

Over the weekend at Rootscamp and generally over the past few weeks, I've been participating in a series of conversations concerning the relationship between traditional "legacy" LGBT organizations- such as the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)- and online communities. Discussions have centered around how there has been a lot of "infighting" over the past few months. Two prominent examples are the blogswarm last week aimed at the Human Rights Campaign around its strategy on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, along with Bil Browning's criticism of GLAAD around The Cleveland Show episode, but criticisms in general- including in my writing, as you may have noticed- have been growing louder across the LGBT blogosphere for some time now.

What is interesting to me is where healthy dialogue turns into "infighting", and why it is deemed critical that progressive movement actors- such as President Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders- need a "left flank", but the same does not seem to apply to LGBT organizations.

More on this, along with an interview w/HRC President Joe Solmonese, in the extended entry.

There's More... :: (12 Comments, 1756 words in story)

Joe Solmonese on the Democratic Party's commitment to LGBT issues (or lack thereof)

by: Adam Bink

Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 13:45

Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign, was in Maine for the election and he and I sat down for some chatting. I'll have more clips up this week of what we talked about, but let's start with Joe talking about the Democratic Party's commitment, or lack thereof, to LGBT issues in response to the OFA/DNC fiasco.

As I've written before, OFA and Obama's refusal to get involved in a major way was not just disappointing but a slap in the face on top of what the Administration (and by extension, the campaign through actions like inviting "ex-gay" homophobe Donnie McClurkin to speak at their rallies) has already done. The Maine fiasco was, for me and others, the straw that broke the camel's back, and in response, John and Joe at AMERICABlog have launched a donor boycott of the DNC until the Administration accomplishes legislative priorities.

Now, I've called for more patience on LGBT legislation, and I don't entirely agree that DOMA can be repealed "today" as they do, but I think these kinds of actions are on the right track, and the Administration is going to see a lot more of this coming down the pipe. HRC gave a tacit endorsement of the action as well.

But what really gets me is the smaller, stupid things they do to smack gays around. As Solmonese said, taking action in WA and ME "is by no means a risky strategy, and at the core of what they ought to be doing." It would not cost them anything to ask for a No vote in the Maine e-mail blast. Obama called for a No vote on Prop 8 but the tepid statement they issued regarding Maine didn't even mention the words "Maine" "No" "Question 1" or anything that would actually influence voters. Rick Warren at the inaugural, Donnie McClurkin, abolishing White House and DNC LGBT liaison positions, refusing to interview with LGBT press, or even apologize for any of these actions... the list goes on and on. In fact, John and Joe have a full list here.

Just like the "internet left fringe" comment, either don't advance Obama's position among voters or, if they do pick up votes, do so at the cost of endorsing McClurkin and Warren-style bigotry. The White House needs to both push harder for action on LGBT priorities as well as shut this kind of crap down.

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