Marla R. Stevens

Why do Barney Frank & Tammy Baldwin, HRC, Nancy Pelosi & the Dems, and the Civil Rights Powers That Be Hate Gays?

Filed By Marla R. Stevens | September 28, 2007 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Action Alerts, Politics, Politics, The Movement, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Barney Frank, civil rights, Congress, Democrats, ENDA, HRC, LCCR, Nancy Pelosi, Tammy Baldwin, transgender

I can hear you thinking, "Oh, there goes Marla off the deep end again." Fine -- then you explain to me why they would be so hell-bent on insulting your intelligence and mine by getting all set up to pass a toothless civil rights bill thinking you won't know the difference and will dump buckets of money in their laps and work your keisters off for the Dems in praise of their being willing to take all that lefty/tranny heat to get you your civil rights.

Regular Bilerico Project readers know I've never been an ENDA fan but, as NGLTF's Matt Foreman pointed out earlier this month on the Bilerico Project, this version of it had actually fixed many of the problems I'd said made it a paper tiger. However, take out the gender identity inclusion and, not just for the transgendered but where the rights of gay men and lesbians are concerned, the bill might as well be printed in black and orange with a soundtrack that squeaks, "Mew!", like a kitten.

"But I'm not one of those people -- I'm 'straight-acting' enough to pass any day of the week", you're thinking. "Besides, we came first and, if it takes throwing them overboard for us to get our rights, well, politics is the art of compromise, isn't it?"

Ignoring, for now, the insult you just made to your own karma -- and the old joke about how many people who think themselves not at all nelly are people everyone had figured back in kindergarten, I'll say, "Sure it is -- but smart people don't compromise themselves out of the picture and, even if you could pass for straight enough to get on the HRC Board of Directors, taking gender inclusion out of the bill is going to leave a bill that could well end up not protecting you."

This is because civil rights law is about perception as much as reality and, after nearly three decades of increasingly conservative federal judicial appointments -- including all but the first two years of the Clinton administration, you don't want to go to court with as much wiggle room as a gender-identity-less law would provide. These are people who don't want to have to rule in your favor. Give 'em a loophole -- and this is one big mother of a loophole -- and they'll use it to remind you that fine, upstanding, 'straight-acting' gay people are still 'God-forsaken queers' in their book.

So what can you do about it?

First, call your Congressional delegation -- particularly the Democrats -- and tell them that you don't want ENDA passed without the gender identity parts -- that you want a bill that will actually protect gay people and that those parts have to be in the bill to make sure it does.

Next, if you're a member of an LCCR member group, lobby them to sign on to the 'No Inclusion, No Bill' letter signed by a dozen major gay rights organizations yesterday, including NGLTF and PFLAG.

Here's the list of LCCR Member Groups. If you need it with the links intact, go here. Groups that have already signed on are in italics. Groups in boldface are part of the LCCR Executive Committee -- the best ones to start with.

A. Philip Randolph Institute
ADA Watch
Advancement Project
African Methodist Episcopal Church
Alaska Federation of Natives
Alaska Inter-Tribal Council
Alliance for Retired Americans
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
American Association for Affirmative Action
American Association of People with Disabilities
American Association of University Women
American Baptist Churches, U.S.A. - National Ministries
American Civil Liberties Union
American Council of the Blind
American Ethical Union
American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO
American Federation of Labor -- Congress of Industrial Organizations
American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
American Friends Service Committee
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
American Nurses Association
American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO
American Society for Public Administration
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Americans for Democratic Action
Anti-Defamation League
Asian American Justice Center
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Associated Actors and Artists of America- AFL-CIO
Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired
Association of Junior Leagues International Inc.
B’Nai B’rith International
Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law
Building & Construction Trades Department- AFL-CIO
Catholic Charities, USA
Center for Community Change
Center for Responsible Lending
Center for Women Policy Studies
Children's Defense Fund
Church of the Brethren - World Ministries Commission
Church Women United
Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
Common Cause
Communications Workers of America
Community Action Partnership
Community Transportation Association of America
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
Division of Homeland Ministries-Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Epilepsy Foundation of America
Episcopal Church - Public Affairs Office
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
FairVote: The Center for Voting and Democracy
Families USA
Federally Employed Women
Feminist Majority
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Global Rights: Partners for Justice
GMP International Union
Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America
Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union
Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights First
Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
International Union, UAW
Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.
Japanese American Citizens League
Jewish Community Centers Association
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish Women International
Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
Lambda Legal
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
League of Women Voters of The United States
Legal Momentum
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund
Na' Amat- USA
NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.
National Alliance of Postal & Federal Employees
National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
National Association of Colored Womens Clubs, Inc.
National Association of Community Health Centers
National Association of Human Rights Workers
National Association of Negro Business & Professional Women's Clubs, Inc.
National Association Neighborhoods
National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems
National Association of Social Workers
National Bar Association
National Black Caucus of State Legislators
National Community Reinvestment Coalition
National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
National Coalition for the Homeless
National Committee on Pay Equity
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
National Conference of Black Mayors, Inc.
National Congress for Community Economic Development
National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights
National Congress of American Indians
National Council of Catholic Women
National Council of Churches
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of La Raza
National Council of Negro Women
National Council on Independent Living
National Education Association
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Farmers Union
National Federation of Filipino American Association
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Health Law Program
National Institute for Employment Equity
National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, Inc.
National Lawyers Guild
National Legal Aid & Defender Association
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women and Families
National Puerto Rican Coalition
National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc.
National Urban League
National Women's Law Center
National Women's Political Caucus
Native American Rights Fund
Newspaper Guild
Legal Momentum
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Open Society Policy Center
OCA (formerly known as Organization of Chinese Americans)
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
People For the American Way
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Pride At Work
Progressive National Baptist Convention
Project Equality, Inc.
Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Retail Wholesale & Department Store Union, AFL-CIO
Service Employees International Union
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Association of University Centers on Disabilities
The Justice Project
The National Conference for Community and Justice
The National PTA
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Association
United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices of the Plumbing & Pipe Fitting Industry
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
United Church of Christ - Justice of Witness Ministries
United Church of Christ - Office of Communications
United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society
United Methodist Church - General Board of Global Ministries
United Methodist Women / Women's Division
United Mine Workers of America
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
United States Students Association
United Steelworkers of America
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Women of Reform Judaism
Women's American ORT
Workmen's Circle
YMCA of the USA, National Board
YWCA of the USA, National Board
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated

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I know we've had our differences in the past... but... wow. Thanks for writing this.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | September 28, 2007 6:57 PM

De nada.
A) It's the right thing to do and
B) It's true.
Besides, I've cared about getting decent civil rights legislation for gay people since the late '50s and about transgendered issues since the mid-60s. I've never seen them as severable and, in this case, as a simple practical matter, they most certainly are not, no matter what bucking and jiving may be going on on this blog and in D.C. from those who damned well ought to know better and should be ashamed of themselves.