Wednesday, March 27, 2013


So, this week the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on same-sex marriage.  It is a historic couple of days, and the outcomes may very well shape the face of marriage (for better or for worse - please forgive the pun) in this country in ways that will shake it to its core.  I hope so.

The current "in" thing to do to show support is a push by the Human Rights Campaign to replace your FB Profile photo with a special red version of the HRC logo.  Lots of my FB "Friends" have done it - using the standard HRC logo or some variation of it.

Now - I respect the power of social networking and the rights of anyone to change their profile photo to support anything they want.  I respect people's rights to have an opinion that may or may not be the same as my own.

And it is in that spirit that I noted in my most recent update that I'd rather close down my FB account than use any variation of the HRC logo to represent my profile, my beliefs, or my support.  I suggest that many who are following this trend have no clue whatsoever who HRC is, what they represent, or what they've done.

Moreover, I seriously question what they've done to introduce their logo as the symbol for these efforts.  The movement to stop prop 8 was far more a grassroots effort than one guided by HRC or any other organization for that matter.  It demonstrated that the power or the strategic direction of the broader LGBT "movement" was not necessarily "owned" or "defined" by anyone or anything.  But memories are short, so here we are - people using this symbol to represent their support.

Admittedly, I have personal issues with HRC since resigning from both their Board of Directors and the Business Council in 2007 over ENDA.  Nothing has happened between then and now to provide closure, or to change those feelings, and although I neither expect others to know the history or care if they agree with me it doesn't change things.

People sometimes try to explain to me that things have changed.  Perhaps.  I'd argue that the landscape in which they exist has changed far more than their mission, their strategy, or their ultimate goal to be on the "winning" side, at whatever the cost.  I remain confident that what happened in 2007 - which is that they demonstrated that their priority was to earn empty victories for their donors rather than stand up as a leader for their entire constituency, has not changed.

That's not to say that they haven't done some good things.  That's also not to say that many of the local organizations don't truly care because I know they do.  However, as an overall organization the question I ask myself is whether or not - given a similar situation to 2007, they'd make a different decision.  Although I realize it's purely hypothetical, my belief is that they'd do the same thing.

Thankfully, I believe Jared Polis to have more commitment than Barney Frank did and I don't expect that we'll see similarly feeble backbones when the time comes to show leadership.  But, back to my point....others are free to use whatever they want to support whatever they'd like.  But the day I use HRC to represent anything is a day that I truly come to believe that things have changed.  Today is NOT that day.

It is a beautifully sunny, but cool day here in Charleston.  We're 20 degrees below our norms although given the frigid wintry weather in other areas of the country I've certainly got no complaints.  We're expecting to warm into the 70's this weekend, and that'll be just fine.


Anonymous said...

No justifiable reason to display anything at all with regard to HRC particularly not with you - and not me either. I've seen people putting up a 'division sign' who were seeing thru the HRC's move to have people put their logo on the FB profile. There is no backbone of support, and so far, no ENDA for trans identified people. Today is NOT that day, indeed.

Remi Eris said...

I am trans and had no idea what HRC hadn't done for us until reading this and a post on FB by JFB. Glad I woke up, because I was donating money to them. But at the same time I am a bit heart broken that HRC isn't all they claim to be for the trans community.

Here's What I Don't Get said...

Bless you. I feel the same.