Marlee Matlin to Speak at Boycotted Event


Deaf actress Marlee Matlin will be one of the featured speakers at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Gala dinner taking place in San Francisco today. The event is being boycotted by San Francisco politicians, community leaders and members over HRC’s decision not to support an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), despite being urged to do so by over 350 LGBT organizations nationwide. Similar boycotts against HRC have taken place across the country. Earlier this year, HRC became the first LGBT organization to be nominated for a Pink Brick award from San Francisco Pride and Atlanta Pride declined sponsorship from the organization.

HRC’s very own planned keynote speaker, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has also decided to boycott the event and has cancelled his planned speech.

“I applaud Marlee’s support of our LGBT community,” said DQRC founder Drago Renteria, who is boycotting the event. “I wish, however, that she wasn’t speaking at this event. Until HRC becomes an organization worthy of its name and logo, one that truly fights for equality for every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person, it is undeserving of our support.”

Not up-to-date on the HRC-ENDA issue? Check out these articles:

Calling for a Boycott of the HRC
Why the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club is Boycotting the HRC Event
United We Stand, ENDA for All!
Trans HRC Board Member Tells Why She Quit
HRC’s Bad ENDA Behavior
Left Out Party / HRC Boycott Updates


13 thoughts on “Marlee Matlin to Speak at Boycotted Event”

  1. I’m a fan of Marlee Matlin. I love her in the L Word. I wonder if she is aware of the protests and boycotts going on toward HRC. My guess is probably not or she wouldn’t affliliate herself with them.

  2. I guess this is too late. But if you or another Deaf gay person had attempted to contact her, perhaps she may be receptive to your concerns and boycott the ceremony. She probably doesn’t know about the politics and the boycotting.

  3. I’m sure Marlee Matlin knew about the protest. The HRC committee let’s its speakers know about potential protests, because they are becoming more and more frequent and they don’t want the speakers to be surprised when they see all the people protesting. So I’m sure she knows about it. She probably decided to do it anyway because HRC pays big $$$ honorariums $$$ to its speakers. Money speaks louder than politics.

  4. marlee is aware of the issues and protest. it’s not the first time she speaks at an hrc event.

  5. Wow. I’m behind in the news. I try to follow gay politics but admit I’m not always updated. Thanks for letting me know about it.

  6. Thanks for adding the links on ENDA since I have no idea what the ENDA is all about.

    I am surprised HRC refuses to address this topic. As humans, the rights of gays and lesbians should be protected, including their right to work without being discriminated and terminated due to their sexual orientation. As long as their conduct at workplace are professional and appropriate, they shouldn’t be facing the dangers of being terminated based on who they are.

  7. I am no fan of HRC in many ways. HRC is very corrupted and wasteful with $$ and resources.

    I used to volunteer for the HRC and see with my own eyes. HRC really do not give any damn about any average GLBT individuals and largely focused on well-off GLBT individuals and infauted with celebrities.

    HRC ever turned against the gay newcomer pol in North Carolina and side with someone hetro too long with the political system. That gay pol was very upset and shocked about getting such treatment from the HRC.

    What did Marlee Maltin deserve such award from the HRC? What MM have done for the GLBT community beside appeared on Showtime-TV’s “L-Word” tv show?

    HRC have no intergity and compassion at all. I warn many GLBT individuals not to donate any $$ to HRC which this organization really do not use $$$ wisely and usually resort to the scare tactics to push people to donate $$$.

    HRC is very selfish organization which it never donate its time and resources to benefit the GLBT community.

    Why can’t HRC firmly stand for the transgendered rights, instead of waffling around with the ENDA bill?

    Robert L. Mason (RLM)
    RLMDEAF blog

  8. This is Jack Jason, Marlee’s interpreter and business partner. Suffice it to say that Marlee didn’t know about the protest as she was asked to present remarks at the last minute. When she did find out at the event, she quickly inserted comments stating that she is committed to inclusion of all individuals of the LGBT community and that she supported the protesters right to airing their concerns. She did however want to emphasize that the efforts to override Proposition 8, the initiative to ban same sex marriage were paramount and that EVERYONE needed to participate in and work to defeat it. But she emphasized that she is fully supportive of HRC.

  9. My experience with HRC was similiar to Robert’s. There’s no love lost here. I’ve watched this organization oppress many different groups over the years. Don’t forgot the MMOW, March on Washington, back in 2000. Many boycotted that event and HRC angered the deaf gay community when it waited until a few weeks before the event to look for interpreters and then expected them all to volunteer! They had been planning the event for over 2 years and had a 1 million dollar budget.

  10. I am pretty surprised that what going on them . It seem not clear understood between them point of view.

  11. I am so sorry to see any of us used by hrc. It always amazes me that even in our own community , where we suffer the oppression of bigotry and hate , we have people who will contribute to the oppressors.
    Her spokesperson said she supports hrc. Perhaps she supports hrc as it has been presented to her, not in reality.

  12. I’ve always seen HRC as an organization primarily made up of rich, self-serving, white gay men. Their logo really means “Equality for ME”.

    I wonder how much they paid Marlee Matlin to speak at their event. I’ve heard that some speakers receive up to $100,000 per speech.

  13. i know that marlee matlin are very piss off. And she have right too protect does not matter who was first person who protect. And it not fair!

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