Gay supporter of Eddie Bernice Johnson says HRC's apology for false e-mail not enough

Posted on 14 Jun 2010 at 12:27pm

I just received an e-mail from James Nowlin of Dallas, a steering committee member for Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s re-election campaign, about the Human Rights Campaign’s e-mail this morning which erroneously said Johnson voted against repealing “don’t ask don’t tell.”

Needless to say, Nowlin is not amused about the gaffe, which HRC has chalked up to a “technological glitch.” I’ve posted Nowlin’s full statement after the jump, but in short he says that in making the error HRC “kicked a true ally.” He adds that, “In the battle for human rights, there is little room for error,” and that, “A simple apology is not enough.”

“My hope is that HRC will understand the seriousness of its error. HRC’s goal should be to win and keep allies, not to mistakenly sully their reputations,” wrote Nowlin, who is a member of HRC’s DFW Federal Club.

Also, I’ve learned that constituents of Illinois Congressman Tim Johnson, who did in fact vote against DADT repeal, may have been on the other end of the glitch. Tim Johnson’s constituents reportedly received e-mails from HRC asking them to thank him for the vote in support of equality. And from what I gather, Tim Johnson’s gay supporters are equally miffed because the e-mail has given people the false impression that he isn’t anti-gay. Oops.

Statement from James Nowlin, gay steering committee member for Eddie Bernice Johnson’s re-election campaign:

“Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has been an unequivocal supporter of equality and human rights throughout her political career. The battle for human rights and equality are important issues to her and her support of the GLBT community has been unwavering. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has consistently scored 100% on HRC’s congressional scorecard. I am proud of her work for equality and am proud to call her a friend and mentor.

“Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has been a consistent voice for human rights. She has asked for nothing in return for her leadership in human rights. Simply stated, she works for human rights because she believes in equality for all. Unfortunately, HRC’s email erroneously accusing her of voting against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell kicked a true ally. She has been on the right side of equality issues throughout her career. She understands the importance of a united, diverse America and that rights should not just be provided for the privileged few.

“In the battle for human rights and equality, there is little room for error. We need to support every ally and win over every potential political ally that can be educated on the battle for equality and inclusion.

“As a member of the DFW Federal Club and HRC, I believe in HRC’s visions and goals. However, I believe that in order to truly gain footing in the battle for equality, HRC must check its facts before sending emails which blast Congressmembers’ voting records. A simple apology is not enough. The damage has been done. Erroneous emails only work to impugn the reputations of our strongest leaders. My advice for HRC is to check the congressional record before sending email blasts about Congressmembers’ alleged ‘disappointing’ votes.

“My hope is that HRC will understand the seriousness of its error. HRC’s goal should be to win and keep allies, not to mistakenly sully their reputations.”

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