HRC Board Members OKAY with the Deplorable Endorsement of Republican Mark Kirk for US Senate

screen-shot-2016-10-29-at-10-15-50-amWell my question is are they? Melanie Nathan, October 29, 2016. #HRCdumpKIRK

According to the website of the preeminent LGBT organization, Human Rights Campaign, the HRC Board of Directors “has the ultimate authority over the organization’s actions, including fiscal management and budget approval. Board members also establish the official policies that direct HRC.”  That means, if not a consensus model, at the  very least, the majority of the following people, all Board Members listed on HRC’s website, are in agreement that Republican Senator Mark Kirk should be endorsed by the organization for Senate, over and above Democratic contender Rep. Tammy Duckworth:


With ten days to go to the 2016 election, I reflect back on the large group of LGBT activists who criticized HRC for endorsing Kirk in the first place, as his equality performance scored a comparatively dismal 78% compared to Duckworth’s 100%.  Basically HRC responded at the time by suggesting that having a GOP ally in the Senate, demonstrated by his 78% score, served our community’s needs better than the Democrat. However many of us fear that the Senate could still fall under the majority control of the Republicans, yet again. Can you imagine how we as an LGBT community would feel if we lost the Senate majority by one seat?  Apparently HRC is willing to take that risk, as is the Board, which has approved this policy.

This strategy of HRC came under increasing fire when Trump became the Republican nominee. For us that meant that HRC was endorsing a candidate who could be aligned with vehemently anti-LGBT equality Trump, on any given issue, if he chose to vote along party lines.   Hoping for an LGBT affirming Kirk influence is risky to say the least – especially given the revelation of this week, when he revealed a bigoted and racist stance against his opponent in a debate, To me this denotes that he is capable of anything:

My article this week noted:

In the second debate between the  candidates, Kirk flagrantly insulted Duckworth and every American immigrant, especially those of color and Asian decent, when he interrupted her while she was talking about her family’s history of military service, saying:

“I forgot that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.”

Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran,  served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot and suffered severe combat wounds, losing both of her legs and damaging her right arm. She was the first female double amputee from the war.  She had noted that her father was a Marine and that members  family had served the nation in uniform since the Revolution.

Duckworth told supporters today:

“My family and I have bled for this country, and for Mark Kirk to question our service — simply because I am a Thai American — is appalling.”

Many letters and articles imploring HRC to ditch this endorsement, seem to have been ignored by HRC – and a more in depth reasoning to retract this endorsement can be seen in a letter to HRC signed by several activists, which was published in May of this year.  The letter is again referenced HERE.

So now several concerned activists and many HRC members are extremely disappointed in HRC and its Board – and the big question is who on this Board supports this and who does not?  Maybe some would have the courage to rock this boat and insist on a true representation of our community’s best interests.  With this deplorable endorsement – I for one do not feel that my best interests are represented by HRC and I can all but wonder whether there are other factors which begs the question of a conflict of interests?


“HRC’s boards make policy, manage finances and coordinate volunteer involvement for the organization. They sustain HRC’s vision and raise awareness about the mission of the Human Rights Campaign.”

  • Ian Barrett – Houston, TX
  • Liz Baskin –  Austin, TX
  • Bruce Bastian – Orem, UT
  • Vanessa Benavides – Oakland, CA
  • Scott Bishop – Charlotte, NC
  • Chris Boone – Los Angeles, CA
  • Paul Boskind – San Antonio, TX
  • Ken Britt – Atlanta, Ga
  • Todd Canon – Austin, TX
  • Chris Carolan – Brooklyn, NY
  • Bill Donius – Ladue, MO
  • Patty Ellis – Newtown, PA
  • Christopher Flynn – Boston, MA
  • Chad Griffin – Washington, DC
  • Suzanne Hamilton – Cleveland, OH
  • James Harrison – Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
  • S. Kelly Herrick – Danville, CA
  • Tom Knabel – Minneapolis, MN
  • Chris Labonte – Philadelphia, PA
  • Ryan Levy – Houston, TX
  • Justin Mikita – Los Angeles, CA
  • DyShaun Muhammad – Minneapolis, MN
  • Robert Newhart – Chicago, IL
  • Bryan Parsons – San Francisco, CA
  • Lester Perryman – New Orleans, LA
  • Cheryl Rose – Columbus, OH
  • Linda Scaparotti – San Francisco, CA
  • Patrick Scarborough – Birmingham, AL
  • Ames Simmons – Atlanta, GA
  • Steve Sorenson – Newport Beach, CA
  • Michael Smithson – Columbus, OH
  • Meghan Stabler – Austin, TX
  • Ben Waldman – Seattle, WA
  • Tina White – Asheville, NC
  • Meghan Stabler – Austin, TX
  • Ben Waldman – Seattle, WA
  • Tina White – Asheville, NC

The other functional HRC Boards may be implicated in this policy by association: Their names are listed HERE.

WEBSITE HRC: “The Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.”

#HRCdumpKIRK @Melanienathan1

UPDATED:  Saturday OCT  1.10 PM Pacific Standard Time –

It seems that HRC may have listened to our outcry. They have revoked their endorsement. The bottom line is they should never have used such bad judgment and made that endorsement in the first place. And many things have occurred since the endorsement where they could have had good reason to revoke. Our below articles track the requests and advocacy we have pursued since March to get them to withdraw their endorsement. Then Kirk proves who he is in truth – ten days before the election – and HRC is forced to revoke.  #VICTORY – and Hopefully lessons learned.

An Open Letter: HRC Revokes Endorsement Following Senator Mark Kirk’s Racist Comments

“After careful consideration, HRC’s Public Policy Committee of the Board of Directors has taken the unprecedented step — a first in our 36-year history — of revoking an endorsement. We are a bipartisan organization and our staff and board make endorsement decisions based on a proven record of LGBTQ equality and a candidate’s ability to drive legislative change. We will not continue to make progress and pass the Equality Act without Republican support. It’s vitally important that we continue to build bipartisan coalitions so that we may continue to move equality forward. We endorsed the sitting Senator, Mark Kirk, because he has been a strong supporter of our cause time and again, scoring a 100 percent on HRC’s most recent Congressional Scorecard. But events this week have gone beyond the pale for our standards of leadership. READ MORE

Griffin and the entire Board should be held accountable for their support of Kirk and the last to the table to denounce. It took this offensive proof of who he is for them to wake up,.  I am not that forgiving because I have been fighting for this and questioning their judgment since March.





One thought on “HRC Board Members OKAY with the Deplorable Endorsement of Republican Mark Kirk for US Senate

  1. Assuming that Kirk might be helpful to the Democrats is the same as thinking that Putin will help America’s foreign policy if we elect Trump.

    It’s also clearly failed with Comey who “was” a Republican in the past.

    We need more transparency from HRC. It needs to restate its goals and work toward them. Chad Griffin needs to step down.

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