Joe Solmonese Heats Up The Internet


Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign is creating yet another stir on the internet with publishing of an e-mail he sent out regarding President Obama and the battle to secure LGBT equal rights. In the email Solmonese states that he’s not ready to judge the President’s actions on our issues until 2017. He says accomplishments have already been made, and more are in the works, but it won’t be until 2017 that we’ll be able to see the results. 

To many on the internet, Solmonese’s words have been defined as a call to sit on our hands until 2017, to wait it out. But there also seems to be, besides the shock, admitted confusion about what Solmonese means. Despite that admittance, almost all the comments I’ve seen posted are extremely negative toward Solmonese.

I think this email was poorly written and constructed, particularly since Solmonese is hosting Obama at the HRC Dinner in DC where the National March is taking place, but I don’t necessarily agree with those who are saying he’s calling for us to sit on our hands. From my point of view, he’s attempting to deflect activist anger at the President, and urging less aggression against Obama, given that Obama’s verbally supported us, and since Congress is making progress with ENDA and DADT. I see it as him saying these things take time and we should slow our rush to judgment, that things are being worked on, and things take time. Unfortunately, these types of statements, regardless of their validity, are not very inspiring, and can easily result in less activism in the community, which is absolutely not the way to go.

The biggest and most glaring mistake in the message is that we don’t know if we’ll have Obama after 2012. Last time I checked a President is elected every 4 years, not 8, which means if we’re going to look at this from the perspective of how long we’ll have Obama for, we have to side with caution and assume it could be just 4 years.

You be the judge. Attached is the email from Solomnese, in two parts. Simply click on the images to enlarge them. 

UPDATE: Joe Solmonese has issued a statement in light of the internet debate about his email.

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