Reading Pam’s diary of The Advocate: WH’s Messina told HRC DADT repeal in DOD authorization was off the table back in Feb, I felt a twinge of déjà vu.

Do y’all remember back to September 14, 2007, when the HRC’s Joe Solmonese told a trans community audience, composed of 871 people (trans, allies, friends, and family members) at Southern Comfort Conference? A little memory refreshing:

We try to walk a thin line in terms of keeping everything in play, and making sure that we move forward but always being clear that we absolutely do not support and in fact oppose any legislation that is not absolutely inclusive, and we have sent that message loud and clear to the Hill.

Then within weeks, the HRC said this:

Last night, the Human Rights Campaign’s Board of Directors voted to reaffirm the 2004 policy supporting a fully inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Therefore, HRC will not support the newly introduced sexual orientation only bill. The board’s position articulates a process for continued dialogue with House leaders about strategies that have been put forth to, in the end, achieve passage of a fully inclusive ENDA.

“We are now faced with definitive Congressional action to move forward a version of the bill stripping gender identity. Though we support a fully inclusive ENDA, we acknowledge the legislative strategy put forth by Congressman Frank and the Democratic leadership to obtain a clear path towards an inclusive bill in the future,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “We look forward to working with them to accomplish the goal all of us share – ending workplace discrimination against the entire GLBT community.”

“Since 2004, HRC has had in place a policy that supports only a fully inclusive version of ENDA and the Board of Directors voted to reaffirm that position,” Solmonese continued. “Therefore, we are not able to support, nor will we encourage Members of Congress to vote against, the newly introduced sexual orientation only bill. And will continue working with our allies in Congress to support a comprehensive, legislative strategy to achieve passage of a fully inclusive ENDA as quickly as possible.”

Then by November 12, 2007, the HRC said this:

We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our support for H.R. 3685, the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007” (ENDA). ENDA would prevent most employers from firing, refusing to hire, or denying a promotion to any worker on the basis of sexual orientation. In doing so, this legislation represents a major step forward in the advancement of civil rights protections for all Americans, and would bring federal law closer in line with highly-successful policies that already exist in a number of states and corporate environments.

So, Joe Solmonese was seen by many trans people as having lied to trans community on Septermber 14, 2007 when he said that the HRC wouldn’t support any version of ENDA without “absolutely inclusive.” This is because of how the HRC’s postition on ENDA 2007/2008 changed 180 degrees between Septeber, 14th and November 12th, 2007.

Later, Joe Solmonese was quoted in Southern Voice about “misspeaking” at the Southern Comfort Conference in 2007:

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese met with a handful of transgender activists in Atlanta last week and apologized for “misspeaking” at last year’s Southern Comfort conference, where he promised HRC would only support an Employment Non-Discrimination Act that included gender identity, according to people attending the meeting.

Solmonese met for more than two hours with Atlanta transgender rights activists Tracee McDaniel, founder of the Juxtaposed Center for Transformation; JCT board member and attorney Jamie Roberts; Dee Dee Chamblee, executive director of Lagender; Sir Jesse McNulty, educator and member of the Feminist Outlawz; and Shelley Emerson, a former HRC Federal Club member.

Roberts said Solmonese apologized for “misspeaking” at last year’s Southern Comfort Conference, where he promised HRC would only support an ENDA that included gender identity. Southern Comfort, the largest transgender conference in the nation, is held annually in Atlanta.

“He did apologize for misspeaking at Southern Comfort. But I think there was a lot of anger, disappointment and a lot of emotions for a lot of people,” Roberts said of HRC’s support of the sexual-orientation only ENDA. “It was very dehumanizing.”

So reading Joe Solmonese’s and the HRC’s history regarding ENDA 2007/2008, and seeing the reported HRC stories revolving around fundraising and repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year…

Well, even if your not trans-identified, don’t you feel just a little bit trans today? In other words, do you feel lied to and dehumanized by the HRC?

If you do feel lied to and dehumanized over the HRC and DADT, circa 2010, welcome to the feelings of trans people, circa 2007/2008.

~~~~~

* The Advocate: WH’s Messina told HRC DADT repeal in DOD authorization was off the table back in Feb

* “Separate But Equal” Doesn’t Really Mean Equal

* Donna Rose resigns from HRC board

* The HRC Now Supports ENDA Without Perceived Gender Protections

* HRC’s Joe Solmonese apologizes for ‘misspeaking’ at Southern Comfort re: ENDA

* HRC’s Flawed Scorecard On 110th Congress Released Before Election

* ‘New’ HRC Policy Statement On ENDA Seems A Half Step

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen

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