Queer Group to Protest HRC

The controversy's over Goldman Sachs

If you thought that the Occupy movement was dead – think again. An LGBT caucus of Occupy Wall Street known as Queer/LGBTIQA2Z is planning to protest an HRC gala on Saturday that honors Goldman Sachs at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Anna Wintour will also be receiving an award that evening.

The group’s hosting a “Guerrilla Potluck” on the sidewalk outside of the hotel from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to draw attention to the issue. Not only does the group condemn the HRC for honoring the group, but it’s asking the LGBT organization to reconsider its grassroots support and to push for federal equality by 2014 on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

“The Queer Caucus condemns HRC’s decision to honor Goldman Sachs in a time of financial collapse caused by their unethical business practices and greed, and deplores the use of our cause and suffering for corporate public relations,” says a statement from the caucus. “HRC honoring Goldman Sachs at this time reveals all one needs to know about the corporate LGBT lobby, and its disconnect from the 99 percent and the LGBT people it purports to represent.”

HRC’s other key sponsors drawing ire from the Occupy group have also included Citi Bank, Bank of America, Chevron, BP, Shell, Morgan Stanley, MetLife, Deloitte, Lexus, Prudential and Ernst & Young.

“With all of these companies, you’d expect the power to be on our side,” says Tanya Walker, an occupier and transgender activist. “But instead, our community is simply a tool and pawn in the political system.”

We reached out to HRC for comment about Saturday’s planned protest. “We are fortunate to live in a democracy where everyone’s opinion counts,” Paul Guequierre, HRC’s deputy press secretary in Washington, D.C., told us.

What do you think? Should HRC honor Goldman Sachs?