ACT UP New York calls out HRC on its priorities

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This weekend, activists of ACT UP — the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power — will protest the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) corporate gala in New York City, highlighting what it believes to be the national lobby organization's lackluster support of HIV and homeless LGBT youth.

Among its 'demands': 

  • appoint a liaison dedicated to work on HIV
  • work to repeal CDC policy regarding federal funding for sex education materials
  • rate itself on what it's doing for HIV

Read the full press release below…


On January 31, 2015, at 5:00 P.M. ET, The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and other activist organizations will converge on the Waldorf Astoria in New York City (301 Park Avenue), the location of the corporate gala planned by the Human Rights Campaign.

ACT UP New York demands that HRC immediately appoint a liaison dedicated specifically to work on HIV—not a Fellow that works temporarily to create a line on their resume. HRC should not only become more transparent about its work on HIV, but also work with grassroots organizers on the ground to develop gay/HIV resources and homeless youth housing solutions. While the party is going on at the Waldorf, countless homeless LGBT youth are in life-threatening need on the streets of New York.

ACT UP demands that HRC work to repeal the outdated CDC policy regarding federal funding for explicit and comprehensive sex education materials. Propagated by Senator Helms since 1992, the Helms Amendment was a "Homophobic" and "HIV-phobic" legacy that still today continues to impede effective HIV prevention efforts. Speaking about the ban, ACT UP member Andy Velez said: "The Human Rights Campaign's absence on a core issue like HIV prevention methods is more glaring evidence of their failure to demonstrate bold leadership."

HRC has been absent on HIV in major ways. Even as HIV advocates go hat in hand begging for programs like PreP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), HRC throws galas at thousands of dollars a plate and is nowhere to be found in New York City on critical issues such as LGBT homelessness. Instead of acting on critical issues, they simply update their blog.

A whopping thirty-three pages, buried somewhere in the back of the HRC website, is devoted to HIV. By contrast, four hundred thirty-six are dedicated to marriage. It seems weddings are more important than the homosexual dying in Louisiana because he can't get meds. Right here, there are hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers living with HIV and thousands more getting it every year, all relying on the same scant resources.

We know people want to help, but please stop giving money to a dinosaur that is failing to mobilize its infrastructure sufficiently at a local level to help our community.

We really want all to know that HRC sucks in millions every year as thousands purchase yearly memberships to the gay non-for profit industrial complex (Gay Inc.) "HRC pats itself on the back as you showcase your tacky equal sign sticker while ironically paying lip service to the words 'it gets better.'" ACT UP member James P. Robinson said.

We challenge HRC to rate itself on what it is doing for HIV.

Where is HRC on services? Has anyone ever received a service from HRC?

ACT UP New York invites all to join us in a just protest, and we know all will enjoy it once it gets going. For the first time, we'll be grading HRC. Bring report cards and a red pen. Find out more information about the event here