Dan Choi Kanye's Kathy Griffin & The HRC
According to some reports, Lt. Dan Choi was not scheduled to speak at the HRC press conference with Kathy Griffin at DC City Hall today. We're hearing that he asked to appear at the podium, but was told "this is Kathy's show." (Or something to that effect.)
Apparently, Choi took the podium anyway. Via Kerry Eleveld at the Advocate:
"You've been told that the White House has a plan," Choi told rally protesters. "But we learned this week that the president is still not fully committed. ... Following this rally, I will be leading [the protest] to the White House to say 'enough talk.' ... I am still standing, I am still fighting, I am still speaking out, and I am still gay." Kathy Griffin, who was in Washington at the behest of HRC to meet with members of Congress about DADT repeal, was also at the rally. When asked by Choi if she would march with him to the White House, Griffin responded, "Of course!" Neither Griffin nor Solmonese was seen at the White House protest, however.Lez Gets Real reports that some tried to talk Choi out of the White House protest.
According to this source, who is close to Lt. Choi, a number of people tried to talk him out of his plan. With the repeal underway and the study going full throttle, it is a delicate time in the repeal of DADT. This means that anything that could be seen as being problematic or aggrandizing or taking this issue less than seriously could bolster the position of those in opposition to the MREA and make passage that much more difficult.UPDATE: The HRC has issued a statement essentially confirming the above.
"Today more than 1000 people showed up at a rally - 500 of which signed up to become more involved in the fight to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Joe Solmonese along with Eric Alva and others felt it was important to stay and engage those at the rally in ways they can continue building the pressure needed for repeal. This does nothing to diminish the actions taken by Lt. Choi and others. This is the nature of social change and everyone has a role to play."(Photo via Durban Bud)