10/20/08

ACTIVISTS UNITE IN PROTEST OF HRC GALA

This just in from Queers with Out Borders

Boston - Over 60 LGBTQ activists from throughout New England have signed up to attend the protest of national gay-rights organization Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) annual Gala to be held in Boston on October 25th. The protest, organized by local QueerToday.com activists Trevor Wright and Ethan St. Pierre, is in response to HRC’s lack of support for the Trasngender community and their consistent alignment with conservative candidates like Joe Lieberman, a staunch supporter of McCain for president, and Susan Collins of Maine who supported all of George Bush’s Supreme Court Nominees.


“HRC has a long history of ignoring human rights by betraying the trans community and dividing the progressive movement. It’s time to stop giving them your money,” said Arturo Meneses. “When you give to HRC you are supporting transphobia and endorsing pro-war, anti-choice, and anti-labor candidates.”

Transgender activists from around the country have been protesting HRC for over a year in response to their short-sighted support of a version of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) that did not include protections for transgender people. During that time HRC’s only Transgender board member resigned. In New York City last year, every single LGBTQ elected official boycotted the dinner. And in San Francisco this summer the scheduled keynote speaker Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa decided to boycott the dinner in response to queer labor protests.

Labor activists are upset that HRC continues to use non-unionized venues and supported anti-labor candidates. The New England HRC Dinner venue was changed at the last minute due to pressure from Unite Here! Hotel Workers, an ally of QueerToday.com, who have been protesting the Hynes Convention Center and Aramark Catering. Anti-war activists are upset with HRC because of their support of candidates like Joe Lieberman, who celebrate the occupation of Iraq. Ironically, Lieberman who only supports civil-unions was endorsed by HRC over Ned Lamont who supports full same-sex marriage rights. Women’s rights activists note HRC’s endorsements of several ant-reproductive justice Republicans including Al D’Amato (R) who voted to repeal abortion rights. Mary Bono (R), also endorsed by HRC, received a 20% rating from NARAL on women’s rights, a 27% rating from ACLU on Civil Rights, and a 36% rating from the NAACP. This year HRC criticized the Log Cabin Republicans for their endorsement of John McCain but they continue to sponsor the Log Cabin’s annual dinner and give them and other Republicans tens of thousands of dollars. QueerToday.com activists believe such endorsements and donations divide progressives who we need to act in coalition to enact human rights reforms.

Activists from around the country have endorsed the protest including The Massachusetts Chapter of The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA), Know Thy Neighbor, Queers Without Borders, The World Gender Coalition, Dallas Transgender Advocates, What Queer!, and TransFM.org,

The protest of the New England HRC Dinner will be held on October 25th at 5pm at the Sheraton Boston. All are invited to join a sign making party to be held at the conference room at 14 Beacon Street at 3pm. An after party, the “Left Out Party,” will be held at Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain located at 45 Danforth St.Ethan St. Pierre
radicalguy@gmail.com
978.518.1835

Trevor Wright
Trevor.william.wright@gmail.com
781.985.3800

QueerToday.com is an activist group that uses the internet to organize campaigns and protests. It was founded in Boston in 2000 and has garnered headlines worldwide for organizing direct-action protests including the largest ever protest of James Dobson’s Focus on The Family. The organization recently transitioned its website to a platform that lets activists create blogs and profiles, and allows for national organizing and networking. For more information about QueerToday.com contact Mark Snyder at markdanielsnyder@gmail.com or 617.416.0552

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