Monday, October 31, 2016

QUEER QUOTE: Nation's Largest LGBT Group Rescinds Kirk Endorsement Over Racist Remark

Well, well! The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT political advocacy organization, has rescinded its endorsement of incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois)  over a shocking racist remark Kirk made in a debate with his opponent U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth last week.

An excerpt from the open letter HRC head Chad Griffin released explaining the organization's action is today's Queer Quote:

“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.
“Leadership is about more than the legislation one sponsors and the votes one casts. On Thursday night, Senator Kirk's comments about his opponent's heritage were deeply offensive and racist. His attempt to use Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth’s race as a means to undermine her family’s American heritage and patriotism is beyond reprehensible. Yesterday, Senator Kirk tweeted an apology that failed to adequately address the real harm and magnitude of his words. So today, following a vote by our board’s committee, the Human Rights Campaign withdrew our support of Senator Kirk.
“Attacking someone because of her race and ethnicity is inexcusable for anyone, but especially for a sitting U.S. Senator. The diversity of our movement is our greatest strength, and Senator Kirk’s remarks were an affront to our most fundamental values. We have therefore voted to endorse Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, who has been a strong LGBTQ ally in the House of Representatives, and HRC has contributed the maximum amount to her campaign. We look forward to working with her in the Senate to secure full federal equality for all LGBTQ Americans."
I have refused to donate money to HRC ever since they endorsed the odious Alfonse D'Amato over Charles Schumer in the 1998 U.S. Senate race from New York. The fact that they finally did the right thing by rescinding the endorsement when their chosen candidate made an explicitly racist remark is a sign that things may be changing at HRC.

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