Here's what I got from the HRC after my letter to them this morning.
Thank you for contacting the Human Rights Campaign regarding our endorsement of Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).
I’d like to provide you more information on HRC’s PAC Endorsement process and why HRC endorsed Sen. Susan Collins.
Successfully getting pro-equality legislation to the President’s desk for signature or veto requires partnerships with pro-equality lawmakers of both parties. Sen. Susan Collins is a strong ally for the GLBT community, supporting a fully inclusive employment protection bill, a fully inclusive hate crimes bill, and funding for critical HIV/AIDS programs.
Why does HRC endorse Republican candidates?
HRC, like all successful advocacy organizations, is bipartisan for the purpose of increasing support of GLBT issues among elected officials. Issues of equality should not be partisan, and HRC will continue to reach out to all fair-minded officials regardless of party. It is with bipartisan support that we’ll be able to successfully pass the bills needed to grant basic rights and freedoms to the millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people nationwide. With support from both sides of the isle, we’ll be able to successfully pass a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, fully inclusive hate crimes legislation and the repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
HRC is in company with a number of national organizations using a similar political strategy to financially support both democratic and republican candidates. Other organizations include:
League of Conservation Voters
NARAL Pro-Choice America
Service Employees International Union
Why did HRC endorse Sen. Susan Collins of Maine?
HRC PAC has endorsed Sen. Collins’ 2008 re-election campaign, and had also endorsed her 2002 re-election.
Sen. Susan Collins has always opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment and has been public with her opposition. She voted against amending the Constitution on July 14, 2004, and again on June 7, 2006.
Sen. Collins supports a federal law to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
In 2002, Susan Collins cosponsored of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would add the category of sexual orientation to protections in federal employment law.
As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Sen. Collins voted to send ENDA to the Senate floor for a full vote in 2002. During this committee markup, Collins stated:
“I have reached the decision to support ENDA because, in the final analysis, I simply do not believe it is fair to allow discrimination in the workplace against men and women solely because of their sexual orientation. The fact is, as we wait for states to act, discrimination against gay men and lesbians continues and is legal in nearly 3 out of 4 states. By enacting a federal gay rights law, I believe we can not only prevent discrimination but also, I hope, promote acceptance of the principles of tolerance and fairness embodied by this bill…The right to work free from discrimination is fundamentally American. It is an essential element of our nation’s belief that hard work holds the key to success, not just for the privileged few, but for every citizen.”
A supporter of a strong hate crimes prevention measure, Sen. Collins is an original cosponsor of this year’s Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S. 1105) and has been a cosponsor of nearly identical measures in prior Congresses. Each time it has been in front of the Senate for a full vote, she has voted for it (2000 and 2004). In 2002, Collins voted to invoke cloture on the bill, limiting debate and preventing opponents from offering unrelated amendments. The Matthew Shepard Act would add the categories of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, gender, and disability to existing law. In 2001, she sent a letter to then Majority Leader, Trent Lott, urging him to consider a Senate vote on the bill.
On a critical AIDS issue, Collins is an original cosponsor of the Early Treatment for HIV Act, which would allow low-income persons with HIV to access medications before developing full-blown AIDS. She was also a cosponsor of the same legislation in 2002, 2004, and 2006.
In 2004, when she served as Chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Sen. Collins wrote a letter to Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, urging him to reinstitute the Office of Special Counsel’s policy against discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal workplace.
In her own offices in DC and Maine, Sen. Collins has a policy to not discriminate in the hiring, promotion, and termination of employees, based on sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
Sen. Collins is an advocate for the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides federal block grants for HIV/AIDS treatment and care.
I hope that this information provides more clarity and understanding of our support for Senator Susan Collins.
If you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to contact us!
Member Services Manager
Human Rights Campaign
1640 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036-3278
Now I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Don't you?
They didn't even read the letter. They have no idea how angry I am. They have no interest in my opinion unless I attach a check to a note, and that check had better have lots of zeros on it. This group is so profoundly out of touch with what real queers think and feel and want and need that I cannot find words to describe my outrage. And those who know me will tell you, it's not often that I am at a loss for words.
I am utterly flabbergasted at the willful ignorance, nay, the utter purposeful and determined disregard this pathetic excuse for an advocacy organization has for the population it purports to serve. This is not an advocacy organization, it is a fund-raising machine with the sole purpose of justifying its own existence with occasional press releases and photo-ops. What crap. Its an exclusive club for wealthy, white, assimilationist queers who probably never get undressed to fuck.
Stardust and Sunshine, Sundust and Starshine
6 hours ago