BOYCOTT HRC’s BOSTON GALA
QueerToday.com Calls For Endorsements: Share Widely
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Contact: Trevor Wright firstname.lastname@example.org
A coalition of people who believe in the principles of social and environmental justice for all are coming together in protest of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Gala to be held on October 25, 2008 at the Sheraton in Boston.
Similar protests have been conducted in other cities nationwide since 2007. This year in San Francisco several prominent politicians joined the boycott led by queer labor activists including previously scheduled keynote speaker, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. In New York City every LGBT elected official decided not to attend.
In the spirit of solidarity, we are calling on local activists, politicians, and organizations to endorse a boycott and protest of the HRC GALA. We especially ask for your support and honor of our transgender community who continue to face severe discrimination and violence.
Here are three good reasons to protest HRC.
1. HRC supported a strategy of passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that did not include protections for gender identity and expression.
Over 300 LGBT organizations signed the United ENDA document (http://www.unitedenda.org
) in opposition to this strategy. Transgender activists across the country have been protesting HRC’s historically shaky history with the trans community. HRC has lost their only transgender board member due to this debacle.
2. HRC has a history of endorsing conservatives
who support policies that directly harm the LGBT community, and our allied movements. This strategy divides us and weakens our collective political power. HRC has endorsed Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican who supported George Bush’s Supreme Court nominations. HRC has also endorsed Joe Lieberman, a staunch supporter of the occupation of Iraq and a supporter of John McCain for president.
3. HRC has a history of not working well with organized labor.
HRC has refused to endorse the Employee Free Choice Act which has been endorsed by organizations ranging from the National Center for Transgender Equality to the NAACP. HRC has only recently decided to change venues from the Hynes Convention Center to the Sheraton after months of protest from Local 26 Unite Here! (hotel workers union). HRC hires non-unionized venues and caterers. One caterer, Aramark, has a long history of bad labor practices and discriminating against the LGBT community. Ironically, they have even received several very low scores from HRC's own "equality index." HRC partners with and promotes companies that sell goods that are produced by sweatshops, profit from war, discriminate, and donate to candidates who discriminate.
Our Statement of Unity:
1. We recognize the interconnectedness of the struggles of oppressed people.
We stand up in solidarity for a world free of racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, classism, ageism, adultism, and all other forms of oppression.
2. We recognize and honor courageous transgender activists
who have historically and continue to be at the forefront of the LGBT rights movement.
3. We oppose HRC's strategies for passing legislation
that leaves out members of our community, and their endorsements of candidates who do not uphold a commitment to end oppression.
Click Here To RSVP & Endorse
“It has come to my attention that the San Francisco Labor Council has voted to formally boycott HRC's annual fundraising gala and regretfully, I cannot attend this years event. As Mayor of the largest city in California, I am committed to creating a world in which no member or group in society is denied full and equal rights. It is my hope that this time next year will find us all united by victory in the fight against Proposition 8 and ever more determined to establish equal rights, with no exceptions, for every one of us.” – Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.