LGBT Occupy demonstrators plan action against HRC


LGBT demonstrators will protest outside the Waldorf-Astoria on New York’s Park Avenue on Saturday, Feb. 4. The focus will be on the nation’s largest LGBT group, the Human Rights Campaign.

HRC, at a gala dinner, again will honor Goldman Sachs, this time for “corporate equality.”

The Queer Occupy Wall Street Caucus, in an action endorsed by Queer Rising and Queerocracy, will protest starting at about 4 p.m. and wearing white T-shirts painted with “HELP.”

A statement from the organizing group said the activists “1. Condemn HRC for honoring Goldman Sachs. 2. Call upon HRC to adopt a strategy of Full Equality by 2014. 3. Demand that HRC create a transparent process that includes the grassroots.”

HRC spokesperson Paul Gueguierre, responding to a Time Out NY report on the demonstration plan, said, “We are fortunate to live in a democracy where everyone’s opinion counts.”

The longtime activist group the Radical Faeries also will participate in the action.

Goldman Sachs is a multi-national investment banking and securities firm that is a frequent target of the Occupy Wall Street protesters denouncing corporate greed and government welfare for the wealthy.

The Center for Responsive Politics’ report on Goldman Sachs states, “One of Wall Street’s most prestigious investment banks, was also among the many banks in 2008 and 2009 to receive billions of dollars in taxpayer money to help it stay afloat. Like others in the securities industry, Goldman Sachs advises and invests in nearly every industry affected by federal legislation. The firm closely monitors issues including economic policy, trade and nearly all legislation that governs the financial sector. It has been a major proponent of privatizing Social Security as well as legislation that would essentially deregulate the investment banking/securities industry. The firm tends to give most of its money to Democrats. A number of high-ranking government officials in recent years have spent part of their careers at Goldman Sachs.”

An Occupy petition opposing the HRC award states, “This company has outsourced thousands of jobs overseas. They have taken billions of dollars in taxpayer money with one hand while passing out pink slips with the other. They are a contributor to the economic collapse that has led LGBT Americans, like all Americans in the 99%, to have to struggle to make ends meet, keep their homes and take care of their families.”

HRC, however, has praise for Goldman Sach’s corporate policies and programs, including its Ally Strategy aimed at creating an inclusive environment for LGBT professionals and encouraging straight professionals to champion equality.

HRC also rates Goldman Sachs as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.”

Last year the corporation received HRC’s award for workplace innovation. This year’s award is for corporate equality.