Queer Channel Media: Alive and Well and Forever the Voice of Middle- and Upper-Class Homosexuals Who Have Secure Economic Status

June 5, 2010

How many shoes does the Gay, Inc., hydra have to drop?

We’ve seen the existing-ENDA-bill death walk.

We’ve seen the Quisling Quack to defend the indefinsible of the unknown worse-than-the-existing-ENDA-bill.

We’ve seen the re-animation The (Real) John and his real agenda.

We’ve seen The John-oids pollute the waters with ahistorical thread-hijacking.

And now, we have Jessica Lee, newly decanted board member of GOProud

Jessica Lee Jessica Lee is an investment banker who raises capital for growth companies, many of which have succeeded in going public in a difficult IPO climate.  Her experience bringing capital to smart management teams and great companies, and seeing how they create wealth, which is shared with everyone including the secretary, has made her a fan of a free market as the best way to improve the lives of ordinary people.Jessica grew up in modest circumstances in Jersey City, New Jersey in a union household.  Her opportunity to study and work hard as a way to improve her situation made her a believer in this country’s unique social mobility.  Jessica’s first vote, at 18, was for Ronald Reagan for president.  As a result of efforts to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment, Jessica left the Republican Party in 2004.  She found a home with GOProud, which has no party affiliation and supports her conservative views.

Jessica is committed to the local gay community in Washington, DC where she does volunteer work for the gay film festival and will soon begin tutoring young at-risk gay youths. 

… and the newest privileged gay shill for the ‘Oh, we told you that if you played nice and let us get our ENDA we’d come back and add you to it but now we’re just going to forget about ENDA and concentrate on other gay-only stuff, HA! HA!’ agenda to be allowed to poison the equality well via the Washington Blade:

Ending discrimination in the workplace is a worthy goal, but since ENDA does not apply to government-sanctioned discrimination, which is the most serious against us, ENDA is no panacea and our money, lobbying and votes should support an agenda that is broader than solely ENDA. Further, the private sector has made tremendous progress toward equality in the past decade and might not be the best place to focus change efforts. Transgender activist and blogger Corinna Cohn, proposes that there might be other ways to accomplish ENDA’s goals:

“Proponents of the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) say the bill is necessary to protect vulnerable people from being judged on personal traits. However, the biggest gains in workplace protections have come from businesses, not government. The 2010 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), published by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), reported that 72 percent of businesses surveyed have gender identity protections, and the number grows each year.

“When groups like HRC let businesses know that they are going to be measured and scored based on their corporate policies, the businesses evaluate themselves for changes based on community expectations and on the practices of their competitors.

“This is the most logical way to advance workplace protections, because discrimination is a phenomenon of human attitudes, and attitudes are changed through experience and personal growth, not through the imposition of federal law. Discrimination based on personal characteristics is an affront to human dignity, but creating federal penalties for discrimination will only spray perfume on one of the symptoms of discrimination without addressing the underlying cause.”

I am not suggesting that our LGBT organizations abandon pursuit of ENDA

Well, you can say you’re not – but you are.

And the invocation of a trans voice was a slick touch.  But, its that of another GOProud shill (or at least of a shill by submission), a “student at George Mason University Law School, vice-president of GMU Gay and Lesbian Law Association, secretary GMU Law Students for the Second Amendment.”

But lets get back to GOProudimusPrime:

what I am suggesting is that ENDA might not deserve the tremendous expense of political capital that it is getting to the exclusion of other avenues of change. What other strategic priorities that improve the lives of the most LGBT people should we pursue? Healthcare equality is one idea.

You mean prohibiting health’care’ monoliths from excluding trans people and transition-related health care from their games of three-card monty policies?

Possibly?

Of course not.

This year we missed a historic opportunity, with the recent passage of massive health care reform, to address the inequality of the tax treatment of domestic partner health benefits.

Yup – gotta focus on things that benefit people who already have jobs that already have perks.

Democrats delivered for unions by exempting the first $27,500 of a straight family’s health plan from the “Cadillac tax” and delayed any taxation on those benefits until 2018. Gay individuals, parents and their children who receive their health insurance through their domestic partners pay income tax on dollar one of their benefits. This is a huge disparity in the treatment of gays and straights. It is also a hardship for middle and low-income gay families and an injustice for all gays. Lobbying to include domestic partners in the “Cadillac tax” exemption would have been smart, non-controversial and helped many in our community. Instead of making progress, by ignoring this opportunity we were left with the expansion of a discriminatory system.

One also has to ask where gay Democrats Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis were when this legislation was being debated for almost a year.

Okay, don’t get me wrong.  I’m never going to pass up an opportunity to call out Barney ‘When is someone going to give me an award for convincing America that they have nothing to fear from predatory methed-up gay men in public restrooms but everything to fear from transsexual women in women’s rooms?’ Frank and Tammy ‘Wisconsin’s gay rights law is gay-only? I never knew that – even during the decade I was in the Wisconsin Legislature’ Baldwin as being what they really are.

There are many other areas in which a practical approach could improve the day-to-day lives of the majority of gay Americans, especially those who are middle and lower-income.

Hmmmm…

Invoking ‘middle and lower-income’-ness when, in reality, the taxation-of-benefits issue is of inordinate benefit (pun? I’m not sure) to the economic class most likely to buy what gay Republicans are pushing.

And I won’t even mention how it can’t possibly be of any benefit (pun? here, definitely) to people who are excluded from the legitimate economy via policies approved of and/or sanctioned by and/or created by Republicans (and Democrats who are no better than Republicans.)

Now, again, don’t get me wrong.  Healthcare reform was no reform – but because of Republicans and Democrats who are no better than Republicans.

The tax code is full of inequities and would be a good place to start looking for opportunities to change.

Yup, if its Republican its rich (and those who are convinced that a rigged system can make them rich) homos’ bottom line first, everyone else’s lives…

…never.

And like the rich (and those who are convinced that a rigged system can make them rich) homos who pollute all discussion everywhere with historical revisionism and history-doesn’t-matter-because-we-fucked-the-T-for-so-long-that-we-have-the-power-to-declare-that-history-doesn’t-matter-ism, the lower-taxes-first arm of gay buffonery (remember Ths John’s quickly-deleted whine about how the last Dubya-era rebate didn’t benefit him?) is as much of a cancer on the body of working-class and/or non-DC LGBT progress as overt, classic Chris Crain-ery.

Being knee-deep in the big muddy is bad.

Its even worse when you’re knee-deep – and in head first.

And Queer Channel Media?

Same as it ever was…

Same as it ever was….


A (More Than) Fair Question From The John

December 6, 2009

One of those sure signs that things are ugly: I’m in agreement with The John:

Openly gay Democratic members of Congress Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank, and Jared Polis [said] this weekend that we shouldn’t be criticizing President Obama for doing absolutely nothing to advance the cause of ENDA passage, and the repeal of both Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and DOMA. We should instead be focusing our pressure on Congress.

Although gay activists have criticized President Barack Obama for not moving more quickly on their concerns, both Polis and Baldwin said the pressure should be directed at Congress because the president can not act alone.

“LGBT leaders need to be focusing in on the people we need to win over instead of just trying to talk to our friends and being angry they haven’t delivered,” Polis said.

Okay, great. I’ll bite. Putting aside the absurdity of the implication that the President of the United State of America, the leader of the free world, has next to no power to influence the course of legislation in the Congress – because he is, after all, just the President of the United States – let’s take Jared at his word. That’s it’s all up to Congress.

So what has Jared done to get these three things done?

Well, considering that Tammy has a decade of seniority on Jared, I do think that the question should be more strongly aimed at her – but The John nevertheless is right to ask the question.

Of course, the questions really need to be aimed at a former member of the House.

I won’t mention Rahm Emmanuel by name.

I really won’t.


And What About Some AcTion?

June 11, 2008

From Queer Channel Media:

The only open lesbian in the U.S. House of Representatives is predicting that in the next session of Congress, bills related to employment non-discrimination and hate crimes will be more successful than legislation aimed at repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) made the comments today at a Center for American Progress forum geared toward highlighting the importance of the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act, which would grant the partners of gay federal employees the same benefits that are available to the spouses of straight counterparts.

Baldwin said she is “very optimistic” that ENDA and a hate crimes measure would pass Congress next session, particularly if Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, who has supported these initiatives, take the White House.

Baldwin told the Blade she did not “have a perfect crystal ball” for what would happen in the next Congress, but said she thinks it would be easier to “hit the ground running” with ENDA and a hate crimes measure as opposed to other initiatives.

 

She noted that Congress has already taken some action on ENDA and hate crimes this session, so lawmakers are familiar with those issues and more willing to take up the matters again next year.

 

“Some action.”

That’s an interesting way to characterize it.

Also interesting: that Queer Channel Media piece had nothing about T-inclusivity in all/any of that.

I guess one can assume that that issue has already been decided in St. Barney’s smoke(or whatever)filled room.


A Question That Should Have Been Asked

November 9, 2007

Sara Whitman, over at Bilerico, on Tammy Baldwin’s capitulation on Barney Frank’s political hate crime against trans people (a/k/a ENDA 3685):

I appreciate and support Congresswoman Baldwin- she was true to her beliefs. She also voted Yes to ENDA without her amendment, because, “The importance of non-discrimination laws cannot be overstated. Substantively, they provide legal remedies and a chance to seek justice.” If I were on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday? I would have voted Yes, too.

It would have made me sick. But I would have done it.

Well, that makes me sick.  No amount of rationalization justifies evil.

To be fair to Sara, I kinda like how she ended the piece (except for her reiteration of support for Baldwinism):

In 1987, Massachusetts passed a gay and lesbian civil rights bill. Twenty years later, we still have no gender identity protections. The only state in the country with legally recognized gay marriage and no protections for gender expression.

As a community, we need to reframe where we are. It’s not about making chicken salad out of chicken shit, which implies making due with what we have. It’s about creating a calculated, thoughtful strategy for moving forward, building on what we have. It’s about making stone soup. I believe that’s what Congresswoman Baldwin was trying to do. Regardless, I am going to support her because I am unwilling to throw anyone under the bus.

Here’s a lesson in physics: You can’t throw someone under the bus if you’ve already been thrown under the bus yourself.  Pull, perhaps; but not throw.

Even though I briefly held out hope that Baldwin might be sincere – and might succeed – I no longer believe that it was anything more than an act.

Sara, I’m glad you mentioned Massachusetts’ gay-only law.  Several years before Massachusetts committed that hate crime against trans people, Wisconsin did the same thing.

You know – Wisconsin, the state Tammy Baldwin represents in Congress now?

She wasn’t in the Wisconsin Legislature in 1982, but she did serve several terms in that body prior to being elected to Congress almost a decade ago.

Did Tammy Baldwin lift a finger to rectify her state’s political hate crime against trans people?  To the best of my knowledge, she did not.

If not, then why not?  And, if not, why should she become a transgender insta-hero?

Even then, was she eyeing bigger things, such as Congress?

Now, unlike the purveyors of Aravosisism, I can admit when I’m wrong.  I could be wrong about Rep. Baldwin.  However, unless there’s something significant in her professional political history about which I’m unaware, I don’t think I am – and that lil’ bit o’ theater Wednesday afternoon should properly be referred to as Tam’s Sham.


Link Round-Up: The Vote and Its Aftermath

November 7, 2007

Here are a few to get us started:


Oh, Fuck You, John Aravosis

November 7, 2007

Is there really any other reply that one can make to the transphobic gays-only-rights blogger?

This is a post by a guy who claims to be in favor of trans rights, and who says that the “incremental” approach is the best way for trans people to get those rights:

Tammy just pulled her amendment

So much for three weeks of United ENDA screaming that they be permitted to offer this amendment, an amendment to include transgender people in ENDA. Now that they get their chance, now that they get a vote on the amendment they’ve been asking their grassroots to lobby congress in favor of for weeks, Tammy Baldwin pulls the amendment and says it wouldn’t have won anyway.

Kind of makes the entire coalition look not quite ready for prime time.

Funny, that doesn’t sound like an ally to me.

Even a lip-service ally would express regret, would promise to “come back for you later” (even if we all know that’s bogus), would talk about what the strategy is for the future.

Instead, he’s a spoiled, hateful child — the type who, when a supposed ally suffers a defeat, points and laughs at them out of cruelty.

Aravosis is the Nelson Muntz of LGBT blogging.


Word to the Wise: That’s Cyanide, Not Salt

November 6, 2007

Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle on the Barney-orchestrated ENDA vote:

The vote has been repeatedly delayed, with the latest debate-but-no-vote ploy surfacing last week. That bold decision has now been made official with a vote on the overall bill, sans transgender, scheduled for tomorrow afternoon after French President Nicolas Sarkozy addresses Congress.

In case you wondered, the House dining room menu has switched back to French fries from “freedom fries.”

If its being served anywhere near (geographically or temporally) ENDA 3685, it ain’t gettin’ anywhere near my mouth.

After weeks of delay and behind-the-scenes skirmishing among Democratic leaders, the House will debate but not vote Wednesday on including transgender people in a job discrimination bill.

The apparent point of the exercise is to pacify the transgender community and their allies while shielding increasingly precious freshman Democrats, whose concerns now seem to dominate every controversial policy in the House.

Martinez Democratic Rep. George Miller has assured the conservative-leaning freshmen whose victories in 2006 gave Democrats their new House majority that they would not be forced to actually vote on the transgender issue.

The issue blew up in Democratic leaders’ faces last month when in hopes of passing landmark gay civil rights legislation during their first year in power, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., pulled transgender people out of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act known as ENDA, for fear it would fail.

The manuever opened an angry split between the openly gay Frank and much of the gay community.

A nice choice of wording.  It alludes to the fact that a vast majority of the discord related to this is of Barney Frank’s (and, yes, the Human Right Scampaign’s) making.