So Remind Us Again as to Why a Trans-Inclusive ENDA Wasn’t Used as an “Organizing Effort” From Jan. 1995 to Jan. 2007?

March 28, 2011

You do realize that ‘Equality’ Maryland has been Barney Frank’s farm team this spring, right?  To gauge just what sort of transphobic kool-aid language that just enough trans people will drink in order for him to act as though he’s introducing a trans-inclusive ENDA when he really isn’t?

Well, the end game is near on the anti-trans HB 235 – which means a new ENDA is afoot:

METRO WEEKLY: Are you going to be introducing ENDA this week?

REP. BARNEY FRANK: Yeah, we’re definitely going introduce it, [although the specifics regarding timing are still being worked out.]

MW: What do you expect to accomplish this year with ENDA?

FRANK: It’s an organizing tool. Obviously, with the Republicans in power, you’re not going to get the bill even considered. But, we have work still to do and we have overwhelming – over 90 percent – support on the Democratic side for ENDA based on sexual orientation and we had, in the last Congress, about 30 Republicans that way. Unfortunately, there’s a drop-off from that number to transgender, and this is a chance to work hard to sway those who are committed to ENDA to support the full transgender inclusion as well.

This is an organizing effort. I’m going to be urging people to spend their time talking to those who have voted in the past for ENDA and are supportive of ENDA but where we’re not certain they’re still with us on the transgender issue. So, that’s what – having a bill before you makes it easier to organize people to do that.

I get that ENDA is DOA in the curent Congress.

So, yes, believe it or not that means I’m in agreement with St. Barney on something.

But if the 2011-13 Congress is an “organizing effort,” then what were the Republican-controlled House sessions from Jan. 1995 to Jan. 2007? 

Drag shows? 

BDSM parties?

Ronald Reagan film festivals?

Before anyone says it: Yes, in and of itself, asking why a trans-inclusive ENDA was never used as an “organizing effort” from Jan. 1995 to Jan. 2007 (or, for that matter, why it wasn’t openly used as a real bargaining chip to actually pass the type of gay-only ENDA that we all actually know that St. Barney actually wants) isn’t going to accomplish the goal of getting a trans-inclusive ENDA passed. 

But it should give people pause when hearing St. Barney announce what he claims is his strategy – not simply about whether he’s telling the truth but also about the competence behind such a strategy even if he is telling the truth.

MW: What do you say to the people who say this job should have been done in the 111th Congress?

FRANK: I would say to them: We got hate crimes done, and we got “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repealed, and you can’t do everything at once. And that, in fact, the problem was what I just said to you: There was a fall-off – a significant one on the Republican side and some on the Democratic side – because the votes may not be there for an inclusive ENDA.

Or maybe he’s just using the leftover dog whistle from Annapolis.


Demanding That We Forget is Transphobia

March 28, 2011

A comment by laughriotgirl on one of the threads at PHB wherein refusing to bend over and take gay transphobia is branded as homophobia:

What bothers me Is that we are expected to just forget things happened

That was in response to yet another attempt to exercise control over what trans people are allowed to remember in polite company:

What has John Aravosis said recently that is offensive? If you can show me, I will bring it up with him. What has Elizabeth Birch said or done recently that is offensive?

Well, I’ll be impolite and respond with a question: What has Ronald Reagan done to negatively affect air traffic safety lately? 

Literal answer: not much. 

Accurate answer that requires a working knowledge of history and the temerity to be willing to apply it: His union-busting shenanigans of thirty years ago are still being felt today in the form of a substandard overall framework of air traffic controlling.

Why hasn’t there been anything 2007-ish from The Mouth of The John of late?

Well, one possibility is that he’s actually changed.

Another possibility is that since October 2007 there hasn’t been a trans-inclusive ENDA for him to declare to be in imminent need of de-transing in order to pass because there hasn’t really been an ENDA at all!

But that’s not a direct analogy to Bonzo and PATCO.

What has Elizabeth Birch said or done recently that is offensive?

Ah…Bonzo is in the building!

Literal answer: not much – at least I assume.  But I can’t profess to know.  Nevertheless, I’ll leave it at “not much.” 

Accurate answer that requires a working knowledge of history and the temerity to be willing to apply it: Her tenure at HRC helped to solidify the acceptable-for-appearances-sake-yet-acceptably-expendable-in-real-policy-terms otherness of trans people’s relationship to national gay advocacy. Given that it is now spring and opening day is this week, look at it in baseball terms: If Elizabeth Birch’s tenure of transphobia-in-reality (Maryland is a “discrimination-free zone”) was, collectively, Babe Ruth’s 714 home runs, then Joe Solmonese’s speech to Southern Comfort in 2007 – and the lies it represented – corresponds to Barry Bonds’ 756th home run, not even to Hank Aaron’s 715th.  (What would be a proper analogue to Hank and 715?  SONDA perhaps?)

Elizabeth Birch’s transpobic tenure at HRC is no more irrelevant to what is transpiring today – and no more deserving of being forgotten – than what the original head of HRC(F), Steve Endean, did in Minnesota five years before HRC(F) was ever founded.  The fact that he’s long-since dead and that Minneapolis – and eventually Minnesota – eventually got the trans-inclusive laws they deserved in the first instance is irrelevant.

It all happened.

If you’re a trans person and want to drink the ‘incremental progress’ kool-aid, I can’t stop you.  On the other hand, you can drink all of that kool-aid that you want – but the rest of us aren’t going to forget.

Remember the Alamo!

Remember Goliad!

Remember that by 1979 the largest jurisdiction in the country with a gay rights law had a gay rights law that was trans-inclusive!

Remember what else happened in 1979!

Remember what else happened in 1979!

Remember Wisconsin!

Remember New York City 1986-2002!

Remember Massachusetts!

Remember Connecticut!

Remember New Hampshire!

Remember Hawaii!

Remember gay-only Vermont!*

Remember gay-only New Jersey!*

Remember Rhode Island 1995-2001!

Remember Nevada!

Remember California 1999-2003!

Remember that HRC declared Maryland to be a “discrimination-free zone” once gays got everything that they were asking for in 2001!

Remember that Cathy Brennan declared that if you opposed the 2001 gay-only bill specificaly because you wanted a legitimate, trans-inclusive bill instead, then you were “anti-gay”!

[After being reminded by Monica Roberts] Remember the Texas James Byrd Hate Crime Law!

Remember SONDA!

Remember Delaware!

Remember that Joe Solmonese is a proven liar!

Remember Barney “Oz” Frank!

Remember John “How did the T get in LGBT” Aravosis!

Oh…

Apparently we’re not allowed to remember all of that?

Demanding that we forget is transphobia – and when that demand comes from a trans person, its just plain sad.

*Sorry, but I’m blanking on the exact periods of gay-only-ness for those two states – but both became gay-only in the early 1990s and then became statutorily legitimate in the latter half of the first decade of the 21st century.


Why ‘Transphobic Con Artists’ is About the Nicest Way That One Can Describe ‘Equality’ Maryland

March 27, 2011

Seen recently in the comments to an ENDABlog post:

I find it endlessly amusing that you call yourself a legal historian with little regard for facts, law or history. Sad bullying narcissist.

Not surprisingly, that was from one of ‘Equality’ Maryland’s chief propagandapologists, Cathy Brennan.

Now, seen recently on the ‘Equality’ Maryland Facebook page:

The person who, eight hours ago, was being allowed to post on Facebook in the name of ‘Equality’ Maryland – and who may or may not be the same person who made that comment to the ENDABlog post – was making an analogy via a question.

Or, well, attempting to do so.

Now, here’s the history that one needs to be aware of before digesting that analogy:

  1. 1974-1993: Federal gay rights proposals were (a) proposals to add “sexual orientation” in general to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (b) not trans-inclusive, but (c) were, simply by existing as bills and not even as law, nevertleless used by some courts as rationalization to rule against transsexuals in sex discrimination cases.
  2. 1994-2006: Federal gay rights proposals (a) were, because of a blanket concession by Barney Frank, HRC(F), et. al., known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because they only addressed employment; and (b) were not trans-inclusive.
  3. 2007: The federal gay rights proposal (a) was, because of a blanket concession by Barney Frank, HRC, et. al., known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because it only addressed employment; and (b) was trans-inclusive as HR 2015.
  4. 2007-8: The federal gay rights proposal (a) was, because of a blanket concession by Barney Frank, HRC, et. al., known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because it only addressed employment; and (b) was, thanks to a backroom deal that had been arranged even before Joe Solmonese openly lied to trans people at Souther Comfort about HRC’s level of support for trans-inclusivity, hay-only as HR 3685.
  5. 2009-10: The federal gay rights proposal (a) was, because of a blanket concession by Barney Frank, HRC, et. al., known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because it only addressed employment; and (b) was trans-inclusive (though we don’t know how trans-exterminationist it would have become via the ‘mark-up’ language that The Quisling claims not to have seen.)

This will come as a great shock to the person who, eight hours ago, was being allowed to post on Facebook in the name of ‘Equality’ Maryland (and will likely dishearten to the point of drinking/depression/suicide anyone who may have taught that person logic, analogies and/or legal reasoning and given the person who, eight hours ago, was being allowed to post on Facebook in the name of ‘Equality’ Maryland a passing grade in any or all of them), but none of the above legal frameworks – even the Bella Abzug-era gay-only proposals – are analogous to what Maryland law will be if the monstrosity of HB 235 becomes law.

If one of the Bella Abzug-era gay-only Civil Rights Act Amendment proposals had become law, federal law would give everything to gays and nothing to trans people (you know, kinda sorta the way that Maryland state law ended up under the 2001 law that was championed by people like Cathy Brennan, who – as those of us who refuse to be bullied into removing history from our brains – branded as “anti-gay” supporters of gay rights who took the principled position of opposing the gay-only bill because it left trans people in the cold?)

If one of the ENDA Mark I bills had become law, federal law would give everything regarding employment to gays and nothing to gays regarding anything else – and, of course, nothing at all to trans people.

If the 2007 ENDA Mark II bill had become law, federal law would give everything regarding employment to gays and trans people and nothing to gays or trans people regarding anything else.

If the 2007 ENDA Mark III bill had become law, federal law would give everything regarding employment to gays and nothing to gays regarding anything else – and, of course, nothing at all to trans people.

If the 2009 ENDA Mark II-redux bill had become law, federal law would give everything regarding employment to gays and trans people and nothing to gays or trans people regarding anything else.

Make no mistake.  Do not read any of this as even the slightest bit of implicit approval for any of the transphobic ENDA bills (pre- or post-1994), but I ask this question: Do any of these scenarios, even the transphobic ones, align with the situation – the situation that will be Maryland law under HB 235 – of gays and trans people appearing at first glance to be equal but actually with trans people being singled out on one front whose breadth of omission no Maryland court would  ever be able to refrain from including the history of ‘not my shower’ in interpreting (irrespective of whether any of the ‘not my shower’ crap is ever actually cited in any court opinion)?

Remember: When someone tells you to ignore history, that person has an agenda – and your best interests are not part of it.


Exactly Ten Years Ago

March 26, 2011

History that some who claim to be our allies expect us to forget:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 27, 2001
HRC CONGRATULATES MARYLAND SENATE FOR VOTING TO END LEGAL DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION
Maryland is on the Verge of becoming Twelfth State to Ban Discrimination, Says HRC

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign today congratulated the Maryland state Senate for voting to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, public accommodations and employment. The House is also expected to pass the bill, which would make Maryland the twelfth state to become a discrimination-free zone, according to HRC.

“This is an enormous victory that sends the message that discrimination is not acceptable in Maryland or in society,” said HRC Executive Director Elizabeth Birch. “We reserve our highest praise for the bill’s sponsors and especially Gov. Parris Glendening who expended political capital and used his moral authority to end this vestige of discrimination.

Thanks to their efforts, along with the tireless work of Maryland’s Free State Justice, literally thousands of workers are one step closer to being able to work without fear in their hearts.”

After an emotional and often contentious debate, the Senate today passed, 32 to 14, the Anti-Discrimination Act of 2001. Last week, the largest hurdle for passage was cleared when the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee – which stymied the measure in 1999 – passed the bill by a vote of 6-5. The bill is soon expected to pass the House of Delegates, which passed the bill in 1999. If all goes as expected the bill will land in mid-April on the desk of Glendening, the bill’s most ardent supporter, and he will surely sign it into law.

“The Senate vote makes this an historic day for civil rights,” said Blake Humphrey, managing director of Free State Justice, the state’s gay rights lobby. “Maryland senators listened to their constituents and voted to end discrimination. In voting by such a wide margin, senators also sent a message that bias and hate will not be tolerated in the Free State.”

The Anti-Discrimination Act of 2001prohibits employers from considering sexual orientation when making employment decisions such as hiring, promoting or terminating an employee. Churches and other religious institutions are exempted from coverage by the bill. The legislation also makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation when renting an apartment or selling a house through a real estate agent. It bans discrimination in places of public accommodation as well, such as restaurants and doctor’s offices.

Today’s vote was a personal victory for the governor whose passion to pass the measure was ignited by the memory of his brother, Bruce, who was gay and had to conceal his sexual orientation during his Air Force career. He later died of an AIDS-related illness.

To help pass the bill, HRC activated the organization’s action network and co-sponsored a lobby day and rally with Free State Justice. HRC staff also worked with the state group to organize in the district of Sen. Leo Green, whose vote was needed to pass the statewide antidiscrimination bill out of the Senate committee. In 2000, HRC also gave Free State Justice a $5,000 Equality Fund grant to support their lobbying efforts on this bill.

“We highly commend the work of Maryland Free State Justice in their successful efforts to shepherd this bill towards passage,” said Liz Seaton, HRC deputy field director and former head of Maryland Free State Justice.

If Maryland passes this bill, as expected, it would join Hawaii, California, Vermont, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Nevada as states that already outlaw this type of discrimination.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian and gay political organization, with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

Will any of you out there feel safe to be open and honest about who you are at, um…, what were the examples again?

places of public accommodation as well, such as restaurants and doctor’s offices

Ah yes…

Will any of you out there feel safe to be open and honest about who you are at places of public accommodation as well, such as restaurants and doctor’s offices once HB 235 becomes law?

Oh, but I’m sure some people will – those for whom Maryland actually did become a discrimination-free zone in 2001 and who have felt safe to be open and honest about who you are at places of public accommodation such as restaurants and doctor’s offices in Maryland since 2001.


Why I’ll Refrain From Saying “I Told You So” to Grace Alexis

March 26, 2011

Grace Alexis writes at PHB:

Ok, here it goes, I was wrong.

1. I was wrong for believing that Israel Luna genuinely supported the Transsexual community.

2. I was wrong for believing Israel’s motivation behind the film “Ticked Off Tra**ies With Knives” was to empower the Transsexual community.

3. I was wrong for being a sucker and putting myself on the front lines defending Israel’s character and intentions.

4. I was wrong for dismissing legitimate concerns from rational and valued friends who objected to the content of “Ticked Off Tra**ies With Knives”.

Let the chorus of a thousand Transsexuals begin;

“I TOLD YOU SO, I TOLD YOU SO, I TOLD YOU SO!”

I would be temped to join the chorus, but I won’t.

Why?

Because Grace just did something that no one who was involved in selling the neo-apartheid 2001 Maryland gay-only rights law by claiming that trans people didn’t need to be included because we were already covered has ever been willing to do – and something that no one who has been involved with pushing the 2011 lie that homeless shelters are covered under HB 235 has been willing to do in any meaningful way.

She admitted that she was wrong.

She didn’t try to scrub her (or others’) history from the internet.

She didn’t enlist some overly-privileged, clueless retired professional to pepper websites with intonations that we should forget about relevant history.

She admitted that she was wrong.

Try to imagine how much less painful that the events in Maryland would have been this year if the con artists of 2001 and their successors-in-interest had finally just admitted what they did, asked for forgiveness from those who were on the short end of the con artistry, and truly opened up their hearts and minds to the possibility of legitimate political process.

Now, as for what Grace is pointing out?

Israel Luna is providing more proof of what he is.

He is the enemy.

Hopefully, no one else will get conned by him.


Jumbo Shrimp, Military Intelligence, and “Good, Minimal Protections”

March 26, 2011

From the Baltimore Sun:

 Bill supporters acknowledged a better plan would have included public accommodations, but Del. Kirill Reznik, a Montgomery County Democrat, defended it as providing “good, minimal protections.”

I guess I should give the delegate props for giving me a new example of an oxymoron.

On a positive note though, the BaltSun makes some attempt at legislative analysis:

According to the legislative analysis, 13 states and the District of Columbia have anti-discrimination laws concerning transgendered people. Baltimore and Montgomery County already have local laws similar to the House plan, although those both include public accommodations provisions.

As do the state laws – but I guess journalism on this issue has to start somewhere.


Except if a Trans Woman Wants to Sit Down at a Lunch Counter in Grantsville, or Frostburg, or Cumberland….

March 26, 2011

Seen recently on Facebook: