A Matter of Hearts and Minds

Dear Mr. Solmonese,

I know that part of your job and the job of your media/communications staff is to put the best possible spin on things political, but when I read the subject of this email communication [HRC’s post-election listserv email exlaiming, “We did it!”], all I could think of was George W. Bush’s pronouncement, “Mission Accomplished!”

“We did it!”?? What, exactly, did we do? Yes, from a standpoint of partisan politics, the results of congressional elections are good for the Democratic party. Certainly the election of public officials who are on record supporting the advancement of those rights which gay men and women have so long been denied is also a good, dare I say hopeful, sign. But while the elected can celebrate, as a gay man I see precious little to celebrate when four more states (and perhaps five) have voted strongly to ban “same-sex marriage” in one form or another.

This means that the majority of voters in these states have come out and publicly stated that they believe gay men and women do not deserve the rights of heterosexuals. This means that the lives of gay men and women in these four states are worse today than they were yesterday. This means that as a community, we have such a long road ahead of us to change the hearts and minds of many who would rather, to be frank, see a world in which gay people did not exist.

Am I wrong to think that the HRC exists not for the advancement of one political party over another, but rather for the advancement of the rights of gay and lesbian people, regardless of other factors? I hope that your pronouncement of victory will result in concrete measures in the next Congress that clearly and practically improve the lives of gay men and women throughout country. Failing that, perhaps the HRC needs to re-consider its methods and strategies. To my way of thinking, this does come down to a matter of hearts and minds. A “fair-minded Congress” will naturally be the result of a “fair minded electorate” who believe that gay men and women are just as equal before the law as all other persons.

Best wishes.

Timothy MacGeorge Washington, DC

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