Solmonese: 'Reasonable People Would Conclude that the RNC Believes in Discrimination Against LGBT People'
Washington - Today, Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, sent a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus, questioning a new RNC website that demonizes progress toward LGBT equality. The website, "Hope Isn't Hiring," directly mentions HRC - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization - and a Washington Post article detailing President Obama's work to eliminate discrimination against the LGBT community.
"From the way in which certain issues are detailed, reasonable people would conclude that the RNC believes in discrimination against LGBT people," wrote Solmonese. "You sensationalize issues like hospital visitation rights for loving families and ending housing discrimination when the truth is Americans agree that these are the right things to do."
A copy of the letter to Priebus is below.
HRC is a bipartisan organization that works with members of both parties to promote equality and fight discrimination against LGBT people.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
April 5, 2011
Mr. Reince Priebus
Chairman, Republican National Committee
310 First Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
Dear Chairman Priebus:
As chairman of the Republican National Committee, you have the chance to do great things for your party and your country. Unfortunately, that same power can also be used to harm people. Your new website, "Hope Isn't Hiring," unfairly demonizes the hopes and ambitions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans, as well as straight allies who support us. The site makes us out to be the enemy when all that we want is an America that treats everyone respectfully and equally. The great irony is that many of the civil rights victories that you criticize were made possible by Republicans, and others are supported in large numbers by members of your own party.
From the way in which certain issues are detailed, reasonable people would conclude that the RNC believes in discrimination against LGBT people. You sensationalize issues like hospital visitation rights for loving families and ending housing discrimination when the truth is Americans agree that these are the right things to do. Your website effectively expatriates former Vice President Dick Cheney's family, and ostracizes Republicans like First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter, Barbara, who support marriage equality. Furthermore, the historic passage of the law that would repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - supported by 77 percent of Americans - was made possible by the votes of eight Republican U.S. Senators and 15 Republican members of the House.
Is this website what we can expect from the Republican Party under your leadership? Should we anticipate more mean-spirited campaigns against particular groups of Americans rather than focusing on pressing national priorities?
You lead a party that could be an example of making equality a cornerstone of your agenda, as the GOP has done in the past. As President Lincoln said over a century and a half ago, "We have, as all will agree, a free Government, where every man has a right to be equal with every other man. In this great struggle, this form of Government and every form of human right is endangered if our enemies succeed." Don't make yourself the enemy.
I look forward to your response.