Here’s a Thought: How About Not Even Thinking About Gay Marriage, Civil Unions, Yadda Yadda Yadda…, Until You Do the Morally Correct Thing and Trans People are Equal to Gays in Maryland?

Too much to expect?  You be the judge.

From Queer Channel Media:

The successful campaign to win marriage equality in New York stands in stark contrast to the disappointing effort earlier this year in Maryland to do the same.

And yet, where trans people’s rights are concerned, New York and Maryland are effectively identical twins.

You do remember the Maryland trans bill, right?

The trans bill?

Although there are many important differences between the two states — most notably the threat of a referendum in Maryland and the influence of conservative black churches there — the most glaring contrast was the role of each state’s governor in the fight. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo embraced the cause of marriage equality as a civil rights issue. He made it clear even before he was elected that he supported full marriage rights and then backed up those words with public and private efforts to make it happen. He personally lobbied for the needed votes behind the scenes, but more significantly, took a visible and public stand.

The trans bill?

In contrast, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is the reluctant advocate, offering meek, private assurances of support but refusing to publicly embrace the cause, even after winning a second term in a landslide. O’Malley recently told the Baltimore Sun that a more public push for marriage on his part, “would have kicked it into the gutter of partisan division.”

The trans bill?

Huh? Sen. Allan Kittleman — the former GOP Senate leader — bravely killed the false notion that this is a partisan issue by publicly and forcefully embracing full marriage rights. O’Malley’s own attorney general — and the likely next Maryland governor — Doug Gansler has already cleared the way for O’Malley thanks to his own visibility and advocacy on marriage equality.

The trans bill?

O’Malley fails to understand his role and his own power. He’s a popular two-term governor in a decidedly “blue” state with a formidable campaign war chest. His full, fierce advocacy would reassure the fence sitters in the legislature and send a message that Maryland will lead on matters of civil rights and stand on the right side of history.

The trans bill?

Instead, O’Malley ceded that leadership role to Cuomo, who, along with fellow marriage rights advocate New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is consistently mentioned in the top tier of 2016 presidential contenders. And let’s face it, by 2016, it will be untenable for the Democratic nominee to oppose marriage equality. President Obama will endorse it next year (if not sooner) and that position will become the Democratic standard.

The trans bill?

Maryland’s 2012 legislative session is just six months away and there is much work to do. Sure, O’Malley says he supports marriage equality, but he could give a much-needed boost to the fight by taking a page from Cuomo’s playbook and finally engaging in a meaningful way.

The trans bill?

And he’s not the only voice we need in this debate. As a recent Sun editorial pointed out, former Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman, who came out as gay, is a native Marylander. He joined the fight for marriage equality in New York, but his penance for his myriad past sins is not yet complete. Mehlman should come home to Maryland and lobby Republican state lawmakers whose votes we will need next year.

The trans bill?

Lobbying in Annapolis will be an easier chore next year, as advocates now know where the votes are and who needs a push. With O’Malley leading the charge on the Democratic side and Mehlman organizing Republican efforts for passage, Maryland’s same-sex couples will be in a strong position to finally win marriage rights in the Free State.

The trans bill?

The trans bill?

The trans bill?

The trans bill?

The trans bill?

The trans bill?

18 Responses to Here’s a Thought: How About Not Even Thinking About Gay Marriage, Civil Unions, Yadda Yadda Yadda…, Until You Do the Morally Correct Thing and Trans People are Equal to Gays in Maryland?

  1. Danielle says:

    Here’s a thought: How about not even thinking about the “trans bill” until you do the morally correct thing and poor children have access to a sound education and health care, the homeless have access to basic housing, and drug addicts have access to treatment programs?

    Why are you so selfish and self-centered? If one of us is not free, then none of us is free, so let’s defer trans agenda items until we can get a package deal on all of the above.

    • Katrina Rose says:

      If one of us is not free, then none of us is free….

      Because right now the soon-to-be-marriageable gays in New York who screwed us out of our place in SONDA, lied to us about ever having any intention of rectifying the matter and then politically buttfucked us yet again with the marriage prioritization this year have the statutory right to prevent us from ever having employment with which we can be financially comfortable enough to spend even more time and energy doing what we can about the poor and the homless than we already do.

      Translation: Some of us are freeer than others.

      Stop carrying the water for the champagne-gulping caviar-swillers and ask the Marriage Derangement Syndrome-afflicted greedmeisters what they’ve ever done for anyone other than themselves.

      • Danielle says:

        Well, you seem to have plenty of time for this blog, time which you could be using to help the homeless or to rebuild New Orleans or to help Darfur refugees. But you don’t. You spend your time and at least some dollars on this blog b/c trans rights are top priority for you. You might do things for other groups, but never as consistently and never as much as what you do for trans people.

        Well, big revelation here: gay rights are top priority for gay people. And they are going to work hardest and spend the most money and political capital on their issues, not yours. When they do decide to help you, as they did recently in saving your trans protections in Maine, you should express – um, what’s the word – gratitude.

        You live under the delusion that because someone invented the term LGBT a few years back, that you have some authority to compel gay people to do your bidding, to backburner their issues and to spend their money on you. Well, you have no such power and while gays dutifully mouth the term LGBT, they all know in their hearts that it is BS.

      • Katrina Rose says:

        “You live under the delusion that because someone invented the term LGBT a few years back, that you have some authority to compel gay people to do your bidding….”

        Actually, fraud laws hopefully will eventually do that.

        They do indeed know that its BS.

        There’s no law against lying – but there are laws against making money off of lies.

        If Ruper Murdoch can be gotten (which, sadly, hasn’t happened quite yet – but its closer than a repeal of the federal DOMA is or ever will be), then Gay, Inc., can be gotten.

  2. ValerieKeefe says:

    I begin to think our coalition is well and truly fucked, between the operative essentialists and the subversivists, each screaming that theirs is the only authentic way.

    Anyway, it’s not our fault that we’ve got Aunt Tammy’s in the movement, but it sure does make things difficult when, for example, trans women are openly fighting the NYC birth certificate policy lawsuit filed by the Sylvia Rivera Project.

    Danielle, I’d link you to something Saroj Zizek says, but it was in the middle of an hour of understandably accented rambling that said, basically: Don’t tell me I can’t fight for freedom because there’s other shit to do. That’s a classic derail. I’m sure, being Zizek, there was a My Gott! serving as punctuation.

    • Danielle says:

      I agree with you and Zizek, it is a classic derail. Which is exactly what EndaBlog is. Gay people have the right to fight for gay rights. They don’t need to be insulted and lectured and attacked because there’s other shit to do.

      • Katrina Rose says:

        Gay people have the right to fight for gay rights.

        Gay people have the right to fight for gay rights but not in ways that substantively harm trans people, which is what gay-only rights laws do even by their mere introduction (refer back to the 1970s Title VII “sex” cases based on the post-1964 legislative history of never-passed federal gay-only rights proposals as ‘proof’ that Congress never intended to include ‘change of sex’ under ‘sex’), much less their passage.

        Nice try Danielle, but an epic fail.

      • ValerieKeefe says:

        I’m with Kat… when cis GLB leaders are clearly violating trans agency and rights, including Barney Frank saying that the idea that pre and non-operative trans women will ever be legally seen as women and unsegregated from the presumed cis, then they are clearly violating and attacking groups of people with whom they claim to be allies.

        First, do no harm.

  3. Danielle says:


    – Trans people were defrauded of money? What money? The trans activist community is tiny and has no money. I refer you to the speech given at this years Out Giving conference, in which a trans representative admitted that the top 3 wealthiest trans orgs have a combined budget of $1.4 million. If we tallied up all the trans money donated to HRC and NGLTF over the years, it would probably be just enough for dinner and a movie.

    – On your other reply in which you reference Title VII cases that interpret “sex” narrowly on the basis of legislative history pertaining to unenacted gay rights bills, I would like to read those cases. I am not familiar with any such cases, nor am I a aware that there is any legislative history from the 1970s pertaining to any federal gay rights bills. In any event, it would be improper for a court to rely upon the refusal of a legislature to pass subsequent legislation as the basis for construing a statute. Finally, even if there were gay-related legislative history and even if a court opted to consider it, I don’t see how a refusal to enact a gay rights law would lead to the conclusion that the term “sex” in Title VII could not have included transsexuals. Anyway, if you have the names of one or more of those cases, please post them here.

    @Valerie Keefe:
    Barney Frank never said that. His only comments went to the reality in Congress in 2011, i.e., that the votes are not there for any bill that would allow “biological males” or untransitioned trans women in women’s bathrooms. He didn’t say that he had hang-ups about that issue or that Congress’s hang-ups would exist for all time. But in 2011, the hang-ups are there and he wouldn’t be giving us an honest report if he didn’t say so.

    • Katrina Rose says:

      Trans people were defrauded of money? What money?

      Any money and/or any thing of value ever expeneded by any trans person – or supporter of trans-inclusion – based on a false gay promise of support.

      If you wish to claim that there has been no such loss, it shall be up to you to prove such non-existence. Good luck.

    • “I support this but I don’t think my colleagues will” with regards to rights for the genderfuck and the un-operative… never heard that. Heard him saying why he can’t do his job, but never heard that, and also, fuck that kind of incrementalism, like if the Civil rights act of 1964 had a legislative Albido floor, I’m not having it.

      Also, they don’t just take trans people’s dollars, but trans ally dollars. I had to patiently explain to my friend why he had donated money to an organization that he thought was pro-LGBT, Human Rights Campaign, but ultimately wasn’t. Is it a huge shock that people who live oppression are better educated than people who don’t, or that people who are oppressed have less disposable income than people who are not as totally oppressed?

  4. Danielle says:


    In a fraud claim, plaintiffs – in this case aggrieved trans activists – bear the burden of proof as to both reliance on an allegedly false statement and as to damages. The standard of proof is “clear and convincing evidence.” So far, you have adduced none.

    Also, still looking forward to the name of at least one of those Title VII cases from the 1970s in which the history of the gay rights bill somehow was used to defeat a trans claim. If those cases don’t exist, why not just own up to it?

    @Valerie Keefe:
    BF did say what I said he said. He co-sponsored the trans-inclusive bill, but explained that the hard work of educating Congress has not been done for the gender identity provision as it had for the sexual orientation provision. He identified it as the reason the bill disappeared. His remarks are from 2010 and can be found via Google. I know they were reported in the Blade and in Metro.

    In any event, even assuming for the sake of argument that he didn’t say any of that, the point is really your claim that BF he actually attacked trans people and that this was evidence of how the GLB community was doing more than simply pursuing its own rights. That never happened. GLBs have not attacked, screwed over, betrayed, or knifed in the back trans people. They simply are prioritizing the issues that are most important to them, which is exactly what you, and Kat Rose, and the rest of the world do every day.

    Finally, on the money flow, which do you think is greater:

    1) the dollars donated by people hoping that HRC would prioritize trans rights and who for some reason feel betrayed (even though HRC took an all-or-nothing approach to trans inclusion), or 2) the dollars from donors who expected HRC to pass a key legislative objective that had been pending for over 30 years, and who feel betrayed that it allowed ENDA to be sacrificed on the alter of trans bathroom issues? I’d say the latter. Trans activists shouldn’t be condemning and making demands. They should be thanking their lucky stars that gays were dumb enough to put up with this failed strategy for a second time. When Lucy tries to get them to kick the football a third time, you may find the response somewhat surprising.

    • Public accommodations. Say it with me. Public accomodations. Well and truly fuck off. We’ve been read out of the LGBT movement before and it paralyzed the cis LGbs.Go on, try it again, and we’ll see how far you get when we have trans women and men and genderqueer folk advocating for our issues in paid positions that don’t have to serve the interests of cis-GLb leadership. See if basic dignities are a bigger priority then marriage then. See if a trans community that fights for inclusion on its own and includes cis GLB people in that inclusion doesn’t draw more allies. I’d love to see it. This isn’t 1973 honey, and you can’t build that kind of assimilationist coalition anymore.

  5. Danielle says:

    @ Kat:
    Still waiting on those Title VII cases. You are uncharacteristically quiet. Let’s hope it is the start of a new trend.

    @ Val:

    I have no idea what public accommodations have to do with what we were talking about. ENDA doesn’t cover public accommodations – for gay, trans, or anyone.

    “We’ve been read out of the LGBT movement before and it paralyzed the cis LGbs.”

    Um, when did that happen? There was no such thing as the “LGBT movement” until the mid to late 1990s. I am pretty sure that the gay movement was not paralyzed from 1969-1997.

    • Katrina Rose says:

      For a Danielle you sound quite a bit like a Cathy – and her trend.

      Start with Holloway v. Arthur Andersen and work your way forward.

      • Danielle says:

        I am not Cathy and as I am new to your blog, I don’t know the regular cast of characters. But I think I like Cathy already.

        Thanks for the case. I’ll read it and comment in due course.

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