Obama’s Labor chief refuses to condemn vandalism of gay rights posters

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Labor Secretary Hilda Solis remains silent after The Daily Caller reported that her bureaucrats again vandalized posters promoting gay rights.

It isn’t the first time bureaucrats at her Department of Labor (DOL) have defaced materials like this – they did it back in 2009 and The New York Times reported that Solis was furious.

According to a staffer who’s worked at DOL for more than 20 years, Solis is the first and only Labor Secretary to launch campaigns like this, and they are wildly backfiring against her. The staffer, who spoke with TheDC on condition of anonymity, said he and most of his coworkers “roll their eyes” at Solis’s “civility” campaigns, but there’s always something that she’s trying to push.

“We’re always asking ourselves what’s next?” the staffer said. “We didn’t start getting posters in the elevators until the beginning of the current administration.”

But, when something goes wrong, the staffer said Labor employees “have no idea” what to expect next. It’s never clear if she’ll actually address the negativity or if she’ll just willfully ignore it, and seeing as Labor Department spokespeople haven’t responded to TheDC’s requests for comment, it’s unclear if Solis plans to address these questions this time around.

On the gay advocacy front, conservative and liberal groups are upset with Solis’s apparent unwillingness to address the negativity. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), which gave Solis an award for being “a strong and longtime advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights” just a few weeks ago,” thinks this kind of behavior from her employees is unacceptable, and is now calling on her to condemn it. (Labor employees deface posters equating gay rights with civil rights)

“Any vandalism of pride posters in the Department of Labor should receive a strong condemnation from leadership,” Laurie Young, NGLTF’s director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, said in an email to TheDC. “Secretary Solis has repeatedly shown herself to be a strong voice for the LGBT community and we would ask her to continue being that voice by investigating and responding appropriately, as she did in 2009.”

On the conservative side, gay Republican group GOProud’s executive director Jimmy LaSalvia told TheDC that the Obama administration’s DOL staffers should behave better than this while at work. “It seems to me that Obama Administration’s Labor Department employees need to learn how to behave at work,” LaSalvia said in an email. “Vandalizing the workplace, regardless of the reason, is wrong. They don’t appear to be as concerned about losing their jobs as the rest of America is.”

At this point, it’s unclear whether or not Solis actually plans to address this resurgence of gay rights material vandalism, or if she’ll let it continue happening under her watch.