Marti Abernathey

The Ghost of Chris Crain: Gayjacking the Hate Crimes Bill

Filed By Marti Abernathey | May 11, 2007 1:10 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics, Transgender & Intersex
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When Chris Crain left his position at Window Media, I thought the voice of "transjack" was dead. I couldn't have been more wrong. Today the Washington Blade published an op-ed by a long time Democratic gay activist and Washington D.C. mayoral adviser, Peter Rosenstein. He writes:

"On the eve of the House taking up the Hate Crimes Prevention Act it appeared that passage was not assured in this form. Republicans thought they figured out a way to strip the bill of the term "gender identity" and just the possibility of this appeared to leave our national gay organizations in a tizzy."
In a tizzy? If the Human Rights Campaign was in a "tizzy," it would seem that there is some question of whether or not they would support a bill without transgender protections.

Peter rightfully asks:

"Could all of our national organizations -- HRC, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (although they seem to have disappeared from the national scene in the last few years) -- that have been fighting for this bill for nearly 10 years actually say no to hate crimes protections for 30 million gays and lesbians in the nation, if we use the 10 percent figure, because transgender individuals were not in the bill? Will we see ENDA defeated for the same reason?"

Unlike the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (which HRC has already publicly stated it would only support a transinclusive version of), HRC hasn't ever publicly stated whether or not they would support a hate crimes bill that is not trans-inclusive. I think it's a very good question to ask... are we one community or not?

"I can't imagine telling staunch supporters like Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and others to vote against the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill, as the Senate has named it, or potentially ENDA, if they only have protections for 30 million gays and lesbians. Again, what have we been fighting for these last 10 years? Why have we been giving money to these organizations if not to make headway in gaining us rights and protections?"
Can YOU imagine any GLBT organization supporting a bill that doesn't support the ENTIRE community?


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You're right, Marti, there is no hate crimes bill w/o the phrase "gender identity". Are we just supposed to pretend like hate crimes don't happen to transfolk? Are we just supposed to pretend that transgender people haven't been giving their blood, sweat, and tears to this movement too? Because if we don't get this bill to be trans-inclusive, I think it would be a whole lot harder to make it so with a separate bill later.

I'm not saying that we should give up the good for the perfect, but it's ultimately counterproductive to let them divide up our movement like that.

This is crap. You all are living in the world of conjecture. HRC was in the fight all the way and was and is totally committed to a hate crimes bill that includes protections for G, L, B AND T Americans. If you don't believe me, why not ask them. Here's their phone #: 202-628-4160. I found it at www.hrc.org . It took about 3 seconds. Would that have been so hard to do? Apparently so. Next time why not ask and get the facts before casting stones? Oh wait, that wasn't your point was it?

puh-leeze | May 11, 2007 3:17 PM

Same old bitter song and dance from Ms. Negativo Marti Abernathy. Instead of lauding anyone or celebrating even for a moment an historic 237 - 180 yes vote in the House for hate crimes protection, she chooses to pick and spin and try to create backstories where there are none. Trying saying something positive and forward-looking. You might like it.

"This is crap. You all are living in the world of conjecture. HRC was in the fight all the way and was and is totally committed to a hate crimes bill that includes protections for G, L, B AND T Americans. If you don't believe me, why not ask them. Here's their phone #: 202-628-4160. I found it at www.hrc.org . It took about 3 seconds. Would that have been so hard to do? Apparently so. Next time why not ask and get the facts before casting stones? Oh wait, that wasn't your point was it?"

If you read my post, you'll see that I never said HRC was doing ANYTHING nefarious. What I DID point out was a vary obvious hole in protecting the entire community. I didn't make this up, one of the gay power brokers IN DC wrote the editorial, not me.

"Same old bitter song and dance from Ms. Negativo Marti Abernathy. Instead of lauding anyone or celebrating even for a moment an historic 237 - 180 yes vote in the House for hate crimes protection, she chooses to pick and spin and try to create backstories where there are none. Trying saying something positive and forward-looking. You might like it."

I didn't write Peter and tell him to publish the story at the Blade. And for the record, I posted the story here first:
http://www.bilerico.com/2007/05/002978.php
on passage of the Hate crimes bill AND at transadvocate.com I thanked those that had worked on the bill!

Sorry you don't like the fact that I'm pointing out someone else that is asking HRC and other orgs to leave us behind in the Senate. If that makes me a negative person, so be it.

I wouldn't worry, Marti. Anon and puh-leeze are the same person with the same IP address.

Hey two-for-one: How about being able to say what you want without having to resort to two separate identities? We allow for anonymous comments (as you've proven already). Does it make you feel better to act like you're more important than you are by pretending more people are upset over this post than really are? 'Cuz right now, it's just you looking like an ass...