Human Rights Campaign

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Human Rights Campaign_table_infobox_0

Human Rights CampaignHuman Rights Campaign_table_caption_0
AbbreviationHuman Rights Campaign_header_cell_0_0_0 HRCHuman Rights Campaign_cell_0_0_1
MottoHuman Rights Campaign_header_cell_0_1_0 "Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Equal Rights"Human Rights Campaign_cell_0_1_1
FormationHuman Rights Campaign_header_cell_0_2_0 1980; 40 years ago (1980)Human Rights Campaign_cell_0_2_1
FounderHuman Rights Campaign_header_cell_0_3_0 Steve EndeanHuman Rights Campaign_cell_0_3_1
TypeHuman Rights Campaign_header_cell_0_4_0 Nonprofit advocacy organizationHuman Rights Campaign_cell_0_4_1
PurposeHuman Rights Campaign_header_cell_0_5_0 LGBTQ rightsHuman Rights Campaign_cell_0_5_1
HeadquartersHuman Rights Campaign_header_cell_0_6_0 Washington, D.C., United StatesHuman Rights Campaign_cell_0_6_1
PresidentHuman Rights Campaign_header_cell_0_7_0 Alphonso DavidHuman Rights Campaign_cell_0_7_1
AffiliationsHuman Rights Campaign_header_cell_0_8_0 Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Human Rights Campaign PACHuman Rights Campaign_cell_0_8_1
Revenue (2018)Human Rights Campaign_header_cell_0_9_0 $45,636,641Human Rights Campaign_cell_0_9_1
Expenses (2018)Human Rights Campaign_header_cell_0_10_0 $43,167,397Human Rights Campaign_cell_0_10_1
WebsiteHuman Rights Campaign_header_cell_0_11_0 Human Rights Campaign_cell_0_11_1

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the largest LGBTQ advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the United States. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_0

The organization focuses on protecting and expanding rights for LGBTQ individuals, most notably advocating for same-sex marriage, anti-discrimination and hate crimes legislation, and HIV/AIDS advocacy. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_1

The organization has a number of legislative initiatives as well as supporting resources for LGBTQ individuals. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_2

Structure Human Rights Campaign_section_0

HRC is an umbrella group of two separate non-profit organizations and a political action committee: the HRC Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on research, advocacy and education; the Human Rights Campaign, a 501(c)(4) organization that focuses on promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) rights through lobbying Congress and state and local officials for support of pro-LGBTQ bills, and mobilizing grassroots action amongst its members; and the HRC Political Action Committee, a super PAC which supports and opposes political candidates. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_3

Leadership Human Rights Campaign_section_1

The Human Rights Campaign's leadership includes President Alphonso David. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_4

HRC's work is supported by three boards: the Board of Directors, which is the governing body for the organization; the HRC Foundation Board, which manages the foundation's finances and establishes official policies governing the foundation; and the Board of Governors, which manages the organization's local outreach nationwide. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_5

History Human Rights Campaign_section_2

Steve Endean, who had worked with a previously established Gay Rights National Lobby from 1978, established the Human Rights Campaign Fund political action committee in 1980. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_6

The two groups eventually merged. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_7

In 1983, Vic Basile, at the time one of the leading LGBT rights activists in Washington, D.C., was elected as the first executive director. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_8

In October 1986, the HRC Foundation (HRCF) was formed as a non-profit organization. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_9

In January 1989, Basile announced his departure, and HRC reorganized from serving mainly as a political action committee (PAC) to broadening its function to encompass lobbying, research, education, and media outreach. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_10

HRC decided on a new Statement of Purpose: "For the promotion of the social welfare of the gay and lesbian community by drafting, supporting and influencing legislation and policy at the federal, state and local level." Human Rights Campaign_sentence_11

Tim McFeeley, a Harvard Law School graduate, founder of the Boston Lesbian and Gay Political Alliance, and a co-chair of the New England HRC Committee, was elected the new executive director. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_12

Total membership was then approximately 25,000 members. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_13

In 1992, HRC endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time, Bill Clinton. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_14

In March 1993, HRC began a new project, National Coming Out Day. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_15

From January 1995 until January 2004, Elizabeth Birch served as the executive director of the HRC. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_16

Under her leadership, the institution more than quadrupled its membership to 500,000 members. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_17

In 1995, the organization dropped the word "Fund" from its name, becoming the Human Rights Campaign. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_18

That same year, it underwent a complete reorganization. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_19

The HRC Foundation added new programs such as the Workplace Project and the Family Project, while HRC itself broadly expanded its research, communications, and marketing/public relations functions. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_20

The organization also unveiled a new logo, a yellow equal sign inside of a blue square. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_21

As part of the activities surrounding the Millennium March on Washington, the HRC Foundation sponsored a fundraising concert at Washington, D.C.'s RFK Stadium on April 29, 2000. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_22

Billed as a concert to end hate crimes, "Equality Rocks" honored hate crime victims and their families, such as featured speakers Dennis and Judy Shepard, the parents of Matthew Shepard. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_23

The event included Melissa Etheridge, Garth Brooks, Pet Shop Boys, k.d. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_24 lang, Nathan Lane, Rufus Wainwright, Albita Rodríguez, and Chaka Khan. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_25

Elizabeth Birch's successor, Cheryl Jacques, resigned in November 2004 after only 11 months as executive director. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_26

Jacques said she had resigned over "a difference in management philosophy". Human Rights Campaign_sentence_27

In March 2005, HRC announced the appointment of Joe Solmonese as the president. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_28

He served in that position until stepping down in May 2012 to co-chair the Barack Obama presidential campaign. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_29

HRC launched its Religion and Faith Program in 2005 to mobilize clergy to advocate for LGBT people, and helped form DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality, which was involved in the legalization of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_30

On March 10, 2010, the first legally recognized same-sex weddings in the District of Columbia were held at the headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_31

On August 9, 2007, HRC and Logo TV co-hosted a forum for 2008 Democratic presidential candidates dedicated specifically to LGBT issues. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_32

In 2010, HRC lobbied for the repeal of the United States' ban on HIV-positive people's entry into the country for travel or immigration. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_33

In September 2011, it was announced that Joe Solmonese would step down as president of HRC following the end of his contract in 2012. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_34

Despite initial speculation that former Atlanta City Council president Cathy Woolard would be appointed, no replacement was announced until March 2, 2012, when American Foundation for Equal Rights co-founder Chad Griffin was announced as Solmonese's successor. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_35

Griffin took office on June 11, 2012. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_36

In 2012, HRC said that it had raised and contributed $20 million to re-elect President Obama and to advance same-sex marriage. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_37

In addition to the Obama re-election campaign, HRC spent money on marriage-related ballot measures in Washington, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, and the election of Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_38

In 2013, HRC conducted a postcard campaign in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Human Rights Campaign_sentence_39

In 2019, HRC joined with 42 other religious and allied organizations in issuing a statement opposing Project Blitz, an effort by a coalition of Christian right organizations to influence state legislation. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_40

Executive Directors Human Rights Campaign_section_3

Human Rights Campaign_table_general_1

YearsHuman Rights Campaign_header_cell_1_0_0 NameHuman Rights Campaign_header_cell_1_0_1
1980–1983Human Rights Campaign_cell_1_1_0 Steve EndeanHuman Rights Campaign_cell_1_1_1
1983–1989Human Rights Campaign_cell_1_2_0 Vic BasileHuman Rights Campaign_cell_1_2_1
1989–1995Human Rights Campaign_cell_1_3_0 Tim McFeeleyHuman Rights Campaign_cell_1_3_1
1995–2004Human Rights Campaign_cell_1_4_0 Elizabeth BirchHuman Rights Campaign_cell_1_4_1
2004–2004Human Rights Campaign_cell_1_5_0 Cheryl JacquesHuman Rights Campaign_cell_1_5_1
2005–2012Human Rights Campaign_cell_1_6_0 Joe SolmoneseHuman Rights Campaign_cell_1_6_1
2012–2019Human Rights Campaign_cell_1_7_0 Chad GriffinHuman Rights Campaign_cell_1_7_1
2019–presentHuman Rights Campaign_cell_1_8_0 Alphonso DavidHuman Rights Campaign_cell_1_8_1

Annual fundraisers Human Rights Campaign_section_4

Each year since 1997, HRC has hosted a national dinner that serves as the organization's single largest annual fundraiser. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_41

In 2009, President Barack Obama spoke at HRC's 13th Annual National Dinner. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_42

In his speech, President Obama reaffirmed his pledge to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as well as his commitment to passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_43

He gave the keynote speech in 2011 as well, reiterating his pledge to fight for DOMA repeal and for the passage of ENDA, and to combat bullying of LGBT youth. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_44

Other featured speakers at past dinners have included Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou, Kweisi Mfume, Joseph Lieberman, Hillary Clinton, Richard Gephardt, John Lewis, Rosie O'Donnell, Nancy Pelosi, Tim Gunn, Suze Orman, Sally Field, Cory Booker, Tammy Baldwin, and Betty DeGeneres. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_45

HRC historical records Human Rights Campaign_section_5

The historical records of the Human Rights Campaign are maintained in a collection at the Cornell University Library. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_46

Arriving at Cornell in 2004, the records include strategic planning documents, faxes, minutes, e-mails, press releases, posters, and campaign buttons. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_47

Taking up 84 cubic feet (2.4 m), the archive is the second largest in the library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Human Sexuality Collection. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_48

In February 2007, the archive was opened to scholars at the library, and selected records were organized into an online exhibit called "25 Years of Political Influence: The Records of the Human Rights Campaign". Human Rights Campaign_sentence_49

Programs Human Rights Campaign_section_6

According to the organization, the Human Rights Campaign "is organized for the charitable and educational purposes of promoting public education and welfare for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community." Human Rights Campaign_sentence_50

The HRC Foundation provides resources on coming out, transgender issues, LGBT-related healthcare topics, and information about workplace issues faced by LGBT people, including the Corporate Equality Index. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_51

HRC has lobbied for the passage of anti-discrimination and hate crime laws. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_52

The organization supported the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_53 Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded federal hate-crime law to allow the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_54

The organization's work on health issues traditionally focused on responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_55

In recent years, HRC has addressed discrimination in health care settings for LGBT employees, patients and their families. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_56

Since 2007, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation has published the "Healthcare Equality Index", which rates hospitals on issues such as patient and employee non-discrimination policies, employee cultural competency training, and hospital visitation rights for LGBT patients' families. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_57

Lobbyists from the Human Rights Campaign worked with the Obama administration to extend hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_58

HRC lobbied extensively for the repeal of the Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) law, which barred gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the United States military. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_59

Logo Human Rights Campaign_section_7

The official logo of the HRC, adopted in 1995, consists of a yellow equals sign imposed onto a blue background. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_60

The logo was created in 1995 by design firm Stone Yamashita. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_61

The previous logo used by the HRC (then known as the HRCF) featured a stylized flaming torch. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_62

HRC uses the term Equality Flag for flags bearing their logo. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_63

Same-sex marriage logo Human Rights Campaign_section_8

HRC shared a red version of its logo – selected by marketing director Anastasia Khoo because the color is synonymous with love – on social network services on March 25, 2013, and asked its supporters to do the same to show support for same-sex marriage in light of two cases that were before the U.S. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_64 Supreme Court (United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry). Human Rights Campaign_sentence_65

The logo went viral, and Facebook saw a 120% increase in the number of profile photo changes on March 26. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_66

Celebrities such as George Takei, Beyonce, Sophia Bush, Padma Lakshmi, Martha Stewart, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Ellen DeGeneres shared the logo with their millions of followers on social network services and politicians like Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and Kay Hagan (D-NC) did the same. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_67

Brands and corporations showed their support for same-sex marriage with creative recreations of the red HRC logo. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_68

Supporters included Bud Light, Bonobos, Fab.com, Kenneth Cole, L'Occitane en Provence, Maybelline, Absolut, Marc Jacobs International, Smirnoff, Martha Stewart Weddings, and HBO's True Blood. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_69

Major print and online news sources reported on the success of the viral campaign, including MSNBC, Time, Mashable, and The Wall Street Journal. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_70

Criticism and controversies Human Rights Campaign_section_9

Critics have taken HRC to task for its working environment. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_71

In the fall of 2014, HRC commissioned outside consultants to conduct a series of focus groups and surveys with the organization's staff. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_72

In the report, which was obtained by BuzzFeed, staff of the organization described the working environment at HRC as "judgmental", "exclusionary", "sexist", and "homogenous". Human Rights Campaign_sentence_73

The report stated that "Leadership culture is experienced as homogenous — gay, white, male." Human Rights Campaign_sentence_74

Acknowledging the report, HRC president Chad Griffin said: "Like many organizations and companies throughout our country, HRC has embarked on a thoughtful and comprehensive diversity and inclusion effort with the goals of better representing the communities we serve." Human Rights Campaign_sentence_75

In August 2015, Pride at Work, an LGBT affiliate of the AFL–CIO, approved a resolution that calls on member organizations to stop funding HRC until the group addresses what Pride at Work sees as problems with HRC's Corporate Equality Index. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_76

HRC has been accused of overstating the number of its actual members in order to appear more influential in politics. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_77

Former HRC President Joe Solmonese responded, saying that "[m]embership is about more than contributions ... [i]t's about sending e-mails to elected officials, volunteering time or lobbying members of Congress" and more than half of its members made contributions during the previous two years. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_78

Earlier, HRC spokesperson Steven Fisher stated that its membership includes anyone who has donated at least $1. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_79

HRC has also been criticized for exceedingly generous executive salaries. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_80

Some transgender people have criticized the HRC for its stance on the 2007 version of ENDA, which at the time included sexual orientation as a protected category but not gender identity and expression. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_81

Once the legislation was submitted by Rep. Barney Frank, HRC officially neither opposed nor supported it. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_82

This followed a speech by former HRC President Joe Solmonese at the transgender Southern Comfort Conference the previous month, where he said that HRC "oppose[d] any legislation that is not absolutely inclusive". Human Rights Campaign_sentence_83

HRC later explained that it could not actively support a non-inclusive bill, but did not oppose it because the legislation would strategically advance long-term efforts to pass a trans-inclusive ENDA. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_84

However, in a letter to U.S. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_85 Representatives, HRC did express support for the bill, stating that while HRC is "greatly disappointed that the current version of ENDA is not fully-inclusive ... we appreciate the steadfast efforts of our ... allies ... even when they are forced ... to make progress that is measured by inches rather than yards." Human Rights Campaign_sentence_86

Endorsement of Republican candidates Human Rights Campaign_section_10

Critics of the HRC have accused the organization of favoring the Democratic Party. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_87

Andrew Sullivan, a gay political columnist and blogger, has been critical of the HRC, calling it "a patronage wing of the Democratic party." Human Rights Campaign_sentence_88

It has received backlash and criticism for several nominations of Republicans, when their Democratic opponents scored higher on HRC's own index. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_89

HRC was criticized for its endorsement of New York Republican Al D'Amato in his 1998 campaign for re-election to the U.S. Senate. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_90

HRC defended the endorsement because of D'Amato's support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Human Rights Campaign_sentence_91

However, many liberal LGBT leaders objected to D'Amato's conservative stances, including his opposition to affirmative action and abortion, and thought that HRC should have taken those positions into account when deciding on the endorsement. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_92

In 2014, long-time supporter of same-sex marriage Shenna Bellows was nominated for a U.S. Senate seat in Maine. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_93

HRC endorsed her opponent, incumbent Republican Senator Susan Collins, who had previously lacked a history of supporting same-sex marriage initiatives. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_94

However, Collins later clarified her view in support of it. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_95

On March 11, 2016, HRC voted to endorse Republican US Senator Mark Kirk over his Democratic Party challenger Representative Tammy Duckworth in his re-election bid to the US Senate. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_96

Though Kirk later announced his support for same-sex marriage, the endorsement was met with widespread surprise and criticism in news media and social media as HRC had given Kirk a score of 78 percent out of 100 percent on LGBT issues, while it had awarded Duckworth a score of 100 percent. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_97

David Nir at Daily Kos called the endorsement as "appalling as it is embarrassing" and "pathetic and stupid", while Slate observed that Democratic control of the Senate was effectively necessary for passing the Equality Act of 2015 and beneficial for many other LGBT equality issues, and thus it would be in line with the organization's stated goals for Duckworth to be elected rather than Kirk. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_98

Meanwhile, The New Republic stated that, in light of a recent internal report revealing HRC's "serious diversity problem", "Choosing the white male candidate in this race over the Asian-American female candidate—someone who happens to have a better voting record anyway—is probably the worst way of convincing your detractors that you are taking a core problem seriously." Human Rights Campaign_sentence_99

HRC president Chad Griffin defended the endorsement in a column published by the Independent Journal Review, describing the senator's work on behalf of LGBT equality issues, including co-sponsoring the Equality Act of 2015. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_100

Griffin stated: "The truth is we need more cross party cooperation on issues of equality, not less", adding "when members of Congress vote the right way and stand up for equality — regardless of party — we must stand with them. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_101

We simply cannot ask members of Congress to vote with us, and then turn around and try to kick them out of office." Human Rights Campaign_sentence_102

On October 28, 2016, on the day following Mark Kirk's controversial debate comment on Tammy Duckworth's heritage, HRC explicitly stated their endorsement of Kirk "remains unchanged" while asking him to "rescind" his comment. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_103

Slate stated this proved HRC's "worst critics right" and that HRC "is simply irredeemable". Human Rights Campaign_sentence_104

On October 29, two days after the comment, HRC described Kirk's statement as "deeply offensive and racist," revoked its endorsement of Kirk, and instead endorsed Duckworth for the U.S. Senate. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_105

2016 United States presidential endorsement Human Rights Campaign_section_11

On January 19, 2016, the Human Rights Campaign's 32-person Board of Directors voted to endorse Hillary Clinton for president. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_106

This resulted in considerable controversy, causing thousands of users on HRC's Facebook page to post comments critical of the decision. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_107

Many cited HRC's own "congressional scorecard" (which records a 100% rating for her rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, while Clinton herself only scores 89%) as inconsistent with their endorsement. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_108

Additional scrutiny was also placed upon the connections Clinton herself has to the organization when it was revealed that HRC's President, Chad Griffin, had previously been employed by Clinton's husband, former US President Bill Clinton. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_109

2018 New York gubernatorial election endorsement Human Rights Campaign_section_12

On January 31, 2018, the Human Rights Campaign endorsed incumbent governor Andrew Cuomo. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_110

However, Cynthia Nixon, who is bisexual, announced that she was running on March 25, 2018. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_111

Despite this, HRC still supported Cuomo. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_112

In response, HRC received criticism for not supporting an LGBTQ+ candidate, and supporting her opponent instead. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_113

Jimmy Van Bramer, a gay New York City Council Member who endorsed Nixon, said, "The HRC endorsement hurts Cynthia Nixon's chances," and that "coming out against a viable progressive queer woman is the wrong thing to do." Human Rights Campaign_sentence_114

Awards Human Rights Campaign_section_13

The Human Rights Campaign gives out a number of awards. Human Rights Campaign_sentence_115

Human Rights Campaign_description_list_0

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Human Rights Campaign_description_list_4

Human Rights Campaign_unordered_list_5

  • Seth Meyers (2017, National)Human Rights Campaign_item_5_28
  • NAACP and its president, Ben Jealous (2012, National)Human Rights Campaign_item_5_29
  • Suze Orman (2008, National)Human Rights Campaign_item_5_30

Human Rights Campaign_description_list_6

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See also Human Rights Campaign_section_14

Human Rights Campaign_unordered_list_8


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human Rights Campaign.