Two readers e-mailed me this morning to note this post and this “WASHINGTON BLADE” article) pointing out that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has fudged its membership numbers. HRC has claimed that its membership shot up from 20,000 in 1990 to 650,000 today. But, according to “THE BLADE,” that’s because
HRC membership numbers include the name of every person who has ever once given at least the minimum amount currently $1 and provided an address, said spokesperson Steven Fisher this week.
The GLBT movement is unique. When we come out of the closet, we commit for life, said Fisher, defending the membership count.
Were an advocacy organization and our intent is to be inclusive of everyone and never let our members go uncounted or be invisible, he said.
Give me a break, Steven. You’re including far more than is your due. Just because someone comes out of the closet and joins an advocacy organization doesn’t mean that individual continues to support the advocacy organization even if he or she becomes increasingly open about his or her sexuality.
I joined Log Cabin in the 1990s, yet left when I no longer felt the organization spoke for me. Under HRC’s “inclusive” standard, LCR would still claim me as a member.
According to “THE BLADE,” “someone who donated a dollar or made a small purchase from the HRC store years ago is considered from that time forward an HRC member, even in death unless HRC specifically learns of the persons demise.” Indeed, “it takes a specific request to be deleted from HRCs membership rolls.”
HRC declined to provide the “BLADE” figures on active members. An active member pays dues annually.
Ted, over at Charging Rhino, one of my tipsters, writes that if new HRC President “Joe Solmonese is to truly clean house, he needs to make public the secret ‘active membership’.” I agree.