The Time Has Come for HRC to Cease to Exist

December 19, 2008

From Queer Channel Media:

HRC gives Obama timetable for pro-gay initiatives

Yes, that’s right.  Pee Wee Solmonese is issuing demands to the incoming President.

Yes, that’s right.  That would be the same incoming President that the Scampaign, er…, practically all of the Scampaign’s funders and sycophants did not want to win the Democratic nomination.

Now, I’m generally not all that hot on relying on the expertise of MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, but I caught him today remarking that there is not exactly a lack of coincidence in the Scampaign’s favoring of Hilary Clinton and the current appearing-to-not-give-a-damn-what-the-gay-community-thinks on the part of the Obama Transition Team regarding Right Wing Rick Warren’s place at the inauguration.  (I apologize for not having a link; I caught it live and I haven’t seen the text of it pop up online yet) He didn’t say it in these exact words, but anyone with more brain cells than HRC has male-to-female employees could understand it: The LGB(T) community has HRC to thank for Rick Warren being invited to give the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration.

And this is the organization that is now making these sorts of demands?

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese has set a timetable for President-elect Barack Obama to take action on certain gay-related initiatives.

The petition detailing the timetable comes days after gay activists criticized Obama for selecting Rick Warren, a pastor who was a strong proponent of Proposition 8 in California, to give an invocation at the inauguration festivities on Jan. 20.

“The Presidential Inaugural Committee may not change their minds on Rev. Warren,” Solmonese said, “but President-elect Obama can turn the corner on this controversy by officially committing to … a concrete plan for LGBT equality.”

Solmonese called the plan “HRC’s Blueprint for Positive Change.”

Initiatives that Solmonese urged Obama to take on in the timetable include:

• Issuing an executive order within the first 100 days of his administration to reaffirm protections for federal workers based on sexual orientation while expanding them to include gender identity.

• Working with Congress to enact hate crimes legislation within 6 months.

• Developing a plan within 100 days to begin the process of repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, which prohibits openly gay people from serving in the military.

Solmonese also urged Obama to with work Congress to end unequal tax treatment of domestic partnerships benefits and to enact an employment non-discrimination law that includes transgender protections, but the HRC president did give not give the president-elect a timeline to approve this legislation.

The only HRC “Blueprint for Positive Change” that would benefit LGBT Americans would be a blueprint that begins with HRC’s articles of dissolution and ends with all of the organization’s internal records being opened to inspection by the people that the organization has dishonestly claimed to represent for the last three decades.

The Life of Jennifer Gale

December 19, 2008

From Autumn at PHB:

Marti Bier, policy aide for Austin City Council Member Randi Shade, said the following regarding Ms. Gale’s death: 

Something Jennifer would never talk about, but was a reality for her, is that she is a transwoman living in a transphobic society. Homelessness in the trans-community is a really big problem, and one that goes ignored. There are no laws in Texas protecting transgender people, whether from job discrimination, housing discrimination or hate crimes.There was really nowhere for Jennifer Gale to go to protect herself from the cold last night. The Salvation Army (the only shelter in town that takes in women) would not let her in there unless she was grouped with the men (which includes sleeping with, and showering with, other homeless men). They would make her use her male birth name and completely disregard, and disrespect, her identity as a trans-woman. There is so much to be learned from Jennifer Gale, and so much to be worked on in our community.

I have chills running through my spine over this. Homelessness is a scary reality that many trans people face in every city — they don’t have jobs because they’re discriminated against for being trans (and often in combination with also being a member of a second minority group or protected class, such as regarding race, disability, etc.), and their are often no shelters that will take trans people as they are. If gender expression doesn’t match natal sex, there is often no shelter for them to get out of the cold.

My eyes are already welling over Jennifer Gale, and how she died sleeping on the streets…how she appears to have died from exposure on a cold, cold night.

I’ll repeat my comment to that post:

This really makes me want to go drop something in a Salvation Army bucket.

As soon as I post this, I’ll start following my dogs around, waiting for them give me the perfect thing to drop in.

And…I’ll ask a couple of questions:  Forget the Salvtion Army – Would Barney Frank have hired Jennifer Gale?  Or anyone remotely like her?  For anything?  How about HRC?  Or any gay rights group?

Oh yes – we now have tokens (or should that even be plural?)

Ultimately, how different is the practical, on-the-ground attitude toward trans women by these entities from the practical, on-the-ground attitude toward them by the Salvation Army?

You Can Call Him Senator Al…Hopefully

December 19, 2008

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

The intense scrutiny of “voter intent” resumed this morning by a five-member board charged with directing Minnesota’s recount in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic rival Al Franken, and the first 90 minutes of ballot rulings turned the challenger’s slight deficit into a growing triple-digit lead.

On Thursday, the State Canvassing Board reviewed Coleman’s challenges of hundreds of Election Day ballots, and the day’s work saw the unofficial margin between the candidates dwindle to within a handful of votes.

As the board, headed by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, took up and rejected more Coleman challenges today, Franken pulled ahead in the opening minutes and steadily built his advantage beyond 150 within the first two hours.

Moments after Franken took the lead, Coleman campaign spokesman Mark Drake said in a statement: “While varying headlines and a flurry of different numbers will continue, we encourage everyone to just hang on until the process is finished. When it is finished, Norm Coleman will still lead, and we believe, be re-elected to the United States Senate.”

Yeh – just like I’m sure he believes that some people actually believe that Nahm is the heterosexual family man that he claims to be.

C’mon Al!

You can do it!


December 19, 2008

From a Gay People’s Chronicle item about Columbus, Ohio, adding a domestic partner registry and a trans rights ordinance:

Before any of the [domestic partner registry] measure’s supporters spoke, two opponents addressed the panel.

Doris Durica of Ward 20 described herself as a school voucher advocate, a widow, a former first grade teacher and mother of an Eagle Scout. She told the committee to “put the well being of Cleveland children first.”

“Two thousand years of human civilization have shown that children grow best, both physically and psychologically when they are raised by their mothers and fathers,” Durica said.

“Remember that the homosexual lifestyle was very common in ancient Greece and Rome,” she added. “The nuclear family was weakened and this was one of the factors contributing to the end of these great civilizations.”

I seem to recall Rome not falling until Christianity became a prevailing force within the empire – but, then again, I tend to live in reality.

Oh – for the incrementalists-on-trans-stuff-but-full-speed-ahead-on-gay-marriage crowd?  There was no testimony against the trans rights measure – even from that desperately-in-need-of-of-a-vacation-to-reality person.

The Hypocrisy of The John (Part Two)

December 19, 2008

The John unfavorably quotes the President-Elect:

 Obama said the following today regarding the brewing Rick Warren controversy:

I am fierce advocate for equality for gay and — well, let me start by talking about my own views. I think it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something I have been consistent on and something I intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency.

What I’ve also said is that it is important for America to come together even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues.

And I would note that a couple of years ago I was invited to Rick Warren’s church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion.

Nevertheless, I had an opportunity to speak, and that dialog, I think, is a part of what my campaign’s been all about, that we’re never going to agree on every single issue. What we have to do is create an atmosphere where we can disagree without being disagreeable, and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans. So Rick Warren has been invited to speak, Dr. Joseph Lowery — who has deeply contrasting views to Rick Warren about a whole host of issues — is also speaking.

Great, then where are the racists, Mr. Obama? We don’t see you embracing too many of them in the name of learning to agree to disagree. Or does your desire to create a new “atmosphere,” and reach out to our enemies, stop when it’s your own people, your own children, you’d be betraying? Funny how you only reach across the aisle when it’s someone else’s family, gay families in particular, getting the shaft.

Gee, John – isn’t it funny how you don’t seem to be into that pragmatism thing when its you and your family “getting the shaft”?

Just think of it as incremental progress, John.  That makes everything go down sweeter, no?

The Hypocrisy of The John

December 19, 2008

The John favorably quotes Daily Kos [I presume; The John isn’t providing a link at the moment, but when I see Markos, I think Daily Kos] about the Right Wing Rick controversy:

Markos makes an excellent point, that goes far beyond the Warren controversy.

Obama wouldn’t be out there making perhaps the strongest statement in support of gays and lesbians by a president (though he’s still not technically one, I know) if it wasn’t for the sturm and drang this choice generated. It is precisely this backlash that has forced Obama to clearly affirm his commitment to equality. And it will be continued pressure that will force him to do the right thing on the issue.

If we shut up, he’ll take the path of least resistance. And that path of least resistance is kowtowing to the conservative media, the clueless punditocracy, and bigots like Warren.

First off, Markos is correct. The sad lesson we’re learning is that we’re not going to get squat, any of us, gay or straight, if we don’t beat the crap out of our elected officials on a regular basis.

I seem to recall that that’s what the legit wing of LGBT activism was (and is) doing to St. Barney and his apologists in the illegitimate wing of LGB(T? not so much) activism over ENDA.

And lets all ‘fess up – we all know that the only reason that there is this ‘sturm and drang’ is because Right Wing Rick had the audacity to be against the unchallengeable top priority of rich, white gays: gay marriage.  If Right Wing Rick had just mouthed all of the usual right wing shit about promiscuity or even the comparisons to bestiality, he’d by and large be getting a pass.  Yes, GLAAD would probably issue a limp press release and maybe some Scampaign acolyte would whine in the background on The Agenda – but if Right Wing Rick had said gay marriage was okay yet, in the same breath, insulted the existence of transsexuals and said the country wasn’t ready for trans-anything?  Most of the sturm-n-drangers would canonize him just as they have done to St. Barney.

New day.

Same gay hypocrisy.

Change we can believe in from the ‘official’ gays?

More like change we can use to get into a public toilet to sleep when we have no other place to live.

Barney Frank’s Latest Dirty Joke: Another Double-Token

December 18, 2008

Bay Windows on St. Barney and the latest tactic to divert our attention from how he and the usual suspects going to screw us:

Within hours of news of [Diego] Sanchez’s new position [working for St. Barney] some LGBT bloggers questioned whether Sanchez’s appointment was intended to stave off criticism from the trans community. On her blog, Marti Abernathey quoted Vanessa Foster Edwards, co-founder of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition, expressing her concern that Sanchez would be used “as a shield to deflect future trans criticism for what legislation he’s likely to push forth.” On trans blogger Rebecca Juro wrote that Edwards’ concerns were “certainly justified.”

Yet Sanchez said he was confident of Frank’s commitment to a fully inclusive bill.

As I’m sure St. Barney is confident that St. Barney is not a transphobe – and as I’m sure Pee Wee Solmonese is confident that Pee Wee Solmonese isn’t a lying sack of purple-and-yellow shit.

Of course, I could be wrong.

After all, double-tokens hired by transphobic entities have brought our community sooooooooooooooo much in the past.

Screw You, Joe

December 18, 2008

Pee Wee Solmonese in the Washington Post on the Warren thing:

We understand that the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a civil rights icon and a dear friend of LGBT Americans, will close the inauguration ceremony. But would any inaugural committee say to Jewish Americans, “We’re opening with an anti-Semite but closing the program with a rabbi, so don’t worry”?

I dunnow…

Would any organization that claims to be LGBT say to the constituency encompassed by the fourth of those letters, “We’re opening with a law that will allow all of us who aren’t trans to discriminate against those who are, but we’re closing the agenda with gay marriage – which will solve all problems – so don’t worry”?

Screw you, Pee Wee – and the tokenism that you’re relying on to carry you through at least 2011.

Compromise – Its Good Enough For Us, But Not For Hilary Rosen

December 18, 2008

Ah yes…

Remember this?  It was my take on a piece by Elizabeth Birch’s ex, Hilary Rosen, entitled “Bad Choices Require Good Decisions,” over at HuffPo in which she intoned:

When we are strong, we can help the most. If ENDA fails on final passage because of ambivalence and anger, the only message it sends to the right wing and our real foes is weakness, not strength.

But look at what Ol’ Hill is willing to show “anger” to the right wing about:

You know, from what I gather, every gay person who paid attention to this today felt like we were kicked in the stomach. This is just kind of outrageous that you would choose such a divisive figure to speak out in a blessed prayerful moment at a day of bringing the country together. I think it’s kind of an outrageous mistake on the part of the Obama campaign.

Ol’ Hill, of course, is referring to the selection of Radical Right Rick Warren to do some sort of religious thang at Barack Obama’s inauguration. 

Now, to be fair, I share Ol’ Hill’s anger about this.  I think Rick ‘I really think I can take Jerry Falwell’s place’ Warren really is a ridiculous and insulting choice – and not just for LGBT Americans.  After all, I certainly hope that the incoming president understands that not all Americans are christian (and that not even all of those believe the earth is only 5000 years old.)

I even sent an e-mail in to the Obama inuguration people expressing my dismay.

The problem I have, however, with much of this umbrage is the ultimate substantive reason – despite some lame protestations to the contrary – that many, such as Ol’ Hill, are using for going after Warren’s place at the inauguration table is his support of Proposition 8.

New flash to Ol’ Hill and everyone else: It isn’t trans people that upset America, its gay marriage.  Deal with it.

Yes – Ol’ Hill wasn’t willing to sacrifice a bill that had no chance of passing both houses and even less chance of becoming law.  She was willing to sacrifice trans people on principle in order to not have to sacrifice that bill.

Yet, look what she’s willing to sacrifice now.

She – and those who are tying their anger over Warren directly to same-sex marriage – are willing to sacrifice the entire Obama presidency for their own same-sex marriage greed in precisely the same way that those who claimed to know what was best 16 ears ago ensured the failure of the Clinton Administration on LGBT issues be wrapping ‘gays in the military’ around that Administration’s neck from day one.

This is not a policy difference. This is not even about gay marriage. That could be a political or policy difference that obviously Barack Obama has with many gay and lesbian people. This is about the way that Pastor Warren has used homosexuality as a weapon, that he uses religion as a weapon to suggest that gay relationships are akin to — and pedophilia and other things

I’d be more willing to not laugh at Ol’ Hill is she wasn’t part of a political elite that has used the penis panic as a weapon to demonize trans people. 

Keep it up, Ol’ Hill.  You’re giving President Obama every reason he might need to not do anything for any part of the LGBT community – even your undeserving, overpaid, underworked, overprivileged, out-of-touch-with-reality portion.

Jokes That Write Themselves (‘Yes – That Means Bill O’Reilly is a Joke’ Edition)

December 16, 2008

From Blatherwatch – about the Bill O’Lie-ly’s annual case of fake umbrage (this time focused at the Washington State Capitol):

State officials, besieged by requests for more seasonal displays at the state Capitol, have approved several more — including one honoring “Festivus,” a faux holiday popularized by comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

And – lets change the chant from ‘No bagel! No bagel! No bagel!’ to ‘No Bill-o! No Bill-o! No Bill-o!’