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THROWING RICE

Is The Battle For Marriage Costing Us The War For Full Equality?

Queerty contributor Daniel Villarreal spent most of the Creating Change conference in the hotel bar meeting committed queer activists. This week we’ll be sharing his audio interviews with LGBT folks working in marriage equality, political activism, new media, sexual freedom, and transgender representation.

WHO: Michael Crawford, a Texas-native, long-time LGBT activist, and new media director at Freedom To Marry, an organization dedicated to overturning DOMA, winning marriage in more states, and educating the public about why same-sex marriage matters to everyone. He helped get marriage equality passed in DC and can throw quite a bit of shade when he wants.

WHAT: We discussed whether the DADT repeal will lead to marriage equality nationwide, the likelihood that we’ll ever see gay marriage legalized in the deep south, and how he responds to those who call marriage equality is an attack on religion and say it shouldn’t be at the top of the LGBT political agenda.

QUOTE: “LGBT people place importance on different issues at different times. For some people that’s gonna be freedom to marry, for other folks that’s gonna be focusing on around safer-schools and anti-bullying legislation. For other people it’s gonna be focused around HIV and AIDS. And I think it’s not so much about which issues are quote-unquote ‘at the top of the LGBT agenda,’ it’s about how we can leverage the work that we’re doing around all of those issues to help move forward the entire range of LGBT equality issues.”

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Feb 22, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,
  • 29 Comments
    • Cam
      Cam

      This is the EXACT same excuse that HRC used for YEARS to not do anything around Marriage and DADT. So what happens? Some other grassroots groups come out, put on the pressure, and DADT goes down. Now they are trying to put the word out that people shoud stop talking about Marriage and focus on ENDA, you know, they issue they’ve been focusing on for over a decade with no movement?
      ___________________________________

      Look, I get that HRC is nervous because if Marriage is legalized in the courts and DADT dissappeard completely that is the end of the two federally written laws that allow discrimination against gays. Then they will have to work a little harder to raise funds because there won’t be any federally written laws to work against.

      However, to claim that we should be ignoring a Federally written law that relegates us to second class status for a nebulous, undefined push for “Safer Schools” seems very self serving. It is already illegal to bully, the issue now is forcing the schools to enforce that and the local organizations and the ACLU have been very active in pushing for that.

      When gays are seen as full human beings in my opinion it is one more blow to the people that will be bullying us. When you’ve got a married gay couple, legally married living in the neighborhood, that is important, as important as an out gay person winning a medal for saving the lives of their fellow soldiers.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      As someone who personally worked last spring on a campaign to pass a statewide non-discrimination law in Pennsylvania (where it is still legal to fire someone, kick them out of a restaurant or other business, or deny them housing based solely on their sexual orientation or identity, thank you very much) I can tell you this the fight for marriage is absolutely an obstacle. I can’t tell you how many times while petitioning or phone banking I had self-righteous queens asking me why I was wasting my time on this, and telling me that their outlook was “marriage or nothing.”

      Most of them, of course, were residents of the handful of cities in PA that have citywide non-discrimination ordinances. I assume Cam is in a similar situation with either his home city or home state. Because HE doesn’t face discrimination, he doesn’t see this as a priority – nevermind that 80% of residents in PA, and a higher percentage across the US, have ZERO protection against this kind of discrimination.

      Americans have a hard time imagining this kind of practice because it seems foreign. They assume if your boss says “you’re fired because I think you’re gay,” they can sue – but they’re wrong.

      What we are going to end up with is a ton of married gay couples who can’t get jobs or find a place to live, because we all crusaded for marriage at the cost of attending to our other rights. There’s really no reason we have to choose just one crusade – we can fight for all our rights, at no cost to any of those efforts. All it takes is for people to wake up to the reality of their world, control their cynicism for a little bit, and donate their time, money, and energy to more than just the trendy or sexy issue.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      @Cam: Cam, you’re missing another point that even the most cynical mind will appreciate: ENDA’s passage will open the door to discrimination lawsuits all across the nation. Do you really think that is something HRC and ACLU want to AVOID?

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Chris:

      You forgot to mention that PA has already put in place protections against state/govt. workers and is now working on the state-wide private law.

      As for most people having no protections. There are 19 states out of 51 (Counting DC) that have no protection. What YOU seemed to have missed in my comment is this…

      “”
      the local organizations and the ACLU have been very active in pushing for that.””

      You were working to pass a state/local law in your state. And it has worked enough so far to get state workers protection. If we relied on only HRC trying to pass a federal ENDA your state would have nothing, however, we have the majority of states in the country with some kind of protection already because of the local groups. You are not the activist I had a problem with. My probelm is HRC continually putting every single thing on the back burner…I have a feeling that if they had felt the same threat from Get Equal and other groups 10 years ago, ENDA would have already passed.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Chris: said…

      “Cam, you’re missing another point that even the most cynical mind will appreciate: ENDA’s passage will open the door to discrimination lawsuits all across the nation. Do you really think that is something HRC and ACLU want to AVOID?”
      ___________________________

      I never once said that the ACLU was trying to avoid anything. What I am saying SPECIFICALLY is that HRC has always tried to avoid DADT and DOMA instead constantly focusing on ENDA. They have failed to get a national bill through while at the same time 31 states have passed some type of protection bill. The local groups are doing their jobs. Now the line from HRC is, stay away from marriage…well kind of late since there are already lawsuits heading to federal court over them.

      They said that there would be no way to pass DADT, that we were terrible people for pressuring our “Friends” to vote on it…then the grass roots gays came out, did a few sit-ins, had a parade, gay donations to our “Friends” dropped and suddenly HRC is mobilizing to pass DADT repeal with their massive membership list. And guess what? The repeal passed.

      I see nothing wrong with having a Federal Gay rights organization trying to work on getting rid of a federal discriminatory law, trying to pass a federal employment protection law, and at the same time the state and local groups pushing for local and state protection laws. This is exactly what Equality Maryalnd did when they went after a local anti-trangender law and got it knocked out.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • greenmanTN
      greenmanTN

      The headline for this article isn’t at ALL related to its content.

      Where does anyone in the text say anything about the “battle for marriage” costing anything? He’s saying that people have different priorities so while he’s fighting for marriage equality others are doing their thing, which might be DADT, safe schools, HIV/AIDS, non-discrimination, or whatever.

      And who says any of those things aren’t important?

      Feb 22, 2011 at 11:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Francis
      Francis

      Costing us I don’t think is the correct verbiage, however, most of the nationwide focus when it comes to our fight for equality revolves around marriage, when things like social equality, anti-discrimination ordinances, and kids being kicked out of their houses and beaten and bullied in schools, are extremely important issues as well, that many people don’t seem to realize or acknowledge. It’s not all about marriage, but a lot of people seem to think being strongly for same-sex marriage ALONE makes someone completely pro-gay or understanding of the situation we’re in or an activist. Our eyes need to be on the prize, and that’s full equality, not just marriage equality.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Viciente
      Viciente

      Marriage didn’t kill ENDA. What killed ENDA was the decision by HRC and others to prioritize tranny bathroom issues over the civil rights of millions of gay and lesbian workers. Our gay movement is now run by people who call themselves “queer” or “LGBT” and whose primary objective is to make the gay movement into something “transgressive” and to wage a war on gender.

      Gay civil rights was first introduced in Congress in 1973. ENDA was a stripped down bill, representing only 1/3 of the original civil rights bill, but even with solid public support and Dem majorities in both houses, they can’t even get that passed.

      Why? Barney Frank told us very plainly that ENDA had the votes to pass, but that Congress could not and would not vote for a “gender identity” bill that would have a materially different impact on employers and that had not been vetted through hearings and Congressional research. And he pointed out that the “bathroom issue” – in which trannies demand the right to make a federal case out of where they go poopy – as a definite deal breaker.

      Our “queer” leaders stayed true to their suicide pact with the concept of “LGBT” and refused to compromise. And for years to come, millions of gay people will live in fear of discrimination as a result. I have no problem with transgender civil rights and I have no problem being an ally of the transgendered. But this nonsense that we are all one “community” and that we have some sort of a moral obligation to alter our name and identity and subordinate our priorities to theirs has got to end.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 1:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim Hlavac
      Jim Hlavac

      This discussion shows just how much we lack an “agenda.” Which is fine — and everyone of us should continue to explain ourselves to everyone we can reach. Some go to courts, others to the marriage bureaus, still others to churches. Some of us I’m sure are still trying to get our own families to deal with us. We should not, and cannot all be on the same page.

      But the continued “debate” America is having about us — and more and more with us — is not just marriage, or employment, or DADT, DOMA & ENDA — it’s about our moral worth. It’s about religious acceptance or tolerance, and blessing us as fine people, and not blessing us out as sinners. It’s removing the stigma, it’s getting the country to admit we’re just born this way. It’s stopping the calls for our “cure.” It’s about even such a simple thing as sitting on a park bench holding hands without fear of reprisals. Or standing on a movie ticket line holding hands without fear of physical or verbal attack.

      This will not be “over” when or if we get “marriage” by any name. This big national coming out of ours has been waged for 40 years — each year, each decade, took different strategies, different people talking to some different group of straight folks. In the beginning I’d say about 0% were on our side — and now, well, now maybe 20 to 40% are on our side; even in unlikely places. And many of them are starting to say something to what I call the NO GAYS movement. And we’re not going to convince America on our own — there’s not enough of us — we’re going to need every straight friend we can get to stick up for us too.

      So it makes no difference whom does what — and none of it can hurt in the long run. There is no magic bullet to end this debate about us. So do what you can do, but do it well.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Viciente: Ok, I admit that Barney Frank was right about the fact that if we pushed the bathroom issue, nothing would get passed. But, at the end of the day, I just do not understand all the hate for the TS community.I know you said you would be allies with them, and that is great, but I’ve enoucntered many who just want them to fade away. ALL Americans deserve equal rights, not just Gays and Lesbians. I get the LGBT debate, and I know some people hate the label and the terms and the annexing of different groups that comes along with it..but there isn”t much we can do about that now. I think perhaps if the bathroom issue is dealt with in some sort of separate way next time, perhaps we shall have better luck.

      As for marriage making us lose the rest of the fight? No, that it isn’t it either. We should b e fighting for everything simultaneously, and getting things that could immediately protect us daily, like ENDA, passed first, because that means livelihoods are no longer threatened, and there is real protection. Marriage is important too though, and I don’t think it killed anything. I do, however, think other things need to be given as much focus and attention, if not more.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      @Cam: My apologies, I misunderstood your original post and thought you were putting HRC, ACLU, et al on one platform (as Queerty is wont to do, under the name “Gay Inc.”) I didn’t realize you were making a distinction.

      I will reiterate my own point, which was that I have personally seen the way the fight for marriage can hold back equality: because ultimately these battles come down to grassroots efforts. Big organizations like HRC and ACLU are only as powerful as their legions of members who are willing to work the phones and put pressure on their elected officials. When LGBT supporters take an attitude that “it’s marriage or nothing for me,” that holds back efforts at non-discrimination, and others.

      As for Barney Frank’s comments about ENDA, I’ve got to say that some of you folks really have it wrong. Including sexual identity is not about allowing men in dresses to use ladies bathrooms. Sexual identity is critical to non-discrimination ordinances because it’s so often used against gay or lesbian people.

      Imagine we pass a non-inclusive ENDA. It makes it illegal to fire your gay receptionist or your lesbian accountant BECAUSE THEY ARE GAY. It does not, however, prevent you from firing him because “his voice is too feminine” or her because “her haircut is too manly.” These are back-door techniques used to discriminate against gay and lesbian people all the time, and without these protections ENDA will be toothless.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jsmith
      Jsmith

      The issue of Gay Marriage and equality for sexual minorities are inextricably linked. Gay marriage is as much about marriage as the Civil Rights movement was just about voting rights or integration. It’s about recognition in the eyes of the law.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @Chris:

      You are quite mistaken about your assessment regarding a non-inclusive ENDA.

      What you describe is called “gender stereotyping” and has been actionable since the late 1980s:

      Price Waterhouse v Hopkins, US SCt, 1989: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=780752418377134939&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

      most recently reaffirmed in Prowel v Wise Business Forms, filed 8/28/09 (3rd Circuit): http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3623640342214921586&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

      Compare with Bibby v Philadelphia Coca Cola Bottling Company (discrimination based solely on sexual orientation, without gender stereotyping, is not actionable under PA non-discrimination law): http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=13253426663615452613&hl=en&as_sdt=2,39&as_vis=1

      If anything, your assertions hold true in the opposite manner in many states; heteronormative homosexual men and women have little recourse under the law for being fired for being gay compared to non-heteronormative homosexual men and women.

      Please refresh your knowledge of basic employment law to avoid making assertions which are incorrect under current law.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      What you describe is called “gender stereotyping” and has been actionable since the late 1980s:

      Price Waterhouse v Hopkins, US SCt, 1989
      Prowel v Wise Business Forms, filed 8/28/09 (3rd Circuit)

      Compare with Bibby v Philadelphia Coca Cola Bottling Company (discrimination based solely on sexual orientation, without gender stereotyping, is not actionable under PA non-discrimination law)

      If anything, your assertions hold true in the opposite manner in many states; heteronormative homosexual men and women have little recourse under the law for being fired for being gay compared to non-heteronormative homosexual men and women.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Viciente
      Viciente

      @Shannon1981: I completely agree that TS’s and TG’s deserve equal rights and protection from discrimination, and this includes restroom facilities. The hatre you are perceiving is really anger that has been generated by the injurious and hegemonic concept of LGBT. As I noted above, that concept eradicates gay identity and turns it into something very different.

      But what is almost never discussed is that LGBT does the same violence to TS identity. Transexual women are women, not a variant of gay men. TS men are men, not a butch variant of lesbian. LGBT lies to the world and insinuates that TSs are in some sense not what they say they are, that they are somehow related to transvestites or gays.

      I am aware of a number of TSs on the net who feel like they have been branded as LGBT against their will. No one consulted them when a new identity was imposed on them in the mid 1990s, just as no one consulted LGBs. A bunch of affluent, urban white, largely male “queer” studies academics and a bunch of largely white “queer” activists decided it would be for our own good to be lumped together, and so we were, without the muss or fuss of a debate or discussion.

      That is what is generating resentment. And as TSs are forced to subordinate their priorities for gay ones, and as gay people are forced to do the same, the price of LGBT becomes more obvious and the resentment grows. It doesn’t have to be this way. If the people of Czechoslovakia were able exercise their right of self-determination and choose to continue as 2 separate but friendly nations, I don’t see why LGBs and Ts can’t do the same. It should be much less complicated and there would be no border issues. I think you would find that gays would make better allies than they do as involuntary members of a false community.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Viciente: Oh, I get that TG and TS folks are not gay. I hate to be so blunt, but I honestly will never be able to understand the gender identity thing, because, while a lesbian, I have absolutely no issue with my gender. The closest you’ll get to me wanting to be a man is refusing to wear dresses, having short hair, and occasionally hanging with Kings. That’s it. So, yeah, I totally agree that TS and TG are no variation of gay.

      However, to the heterosexual community, one fact remains: ALL of us, whether we are L,G,B,or T, fly in the face of what they believe to be normal and right as far as gender appropriate behavior is concerned. They don’t care to know the difference. I’m not resentful- I came out(or rather, was outed) in 1996. All I’ve ever known was LGBT, and I’ve no idea of the history behind it. I have no personal issue with it, though I do see both sides of the argument.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      ETA: I guess my final word on it is: strength in numbers. One movement is what we are right now, whether some like it or not. IDK how to incorporate the needs of all, but, I think we should help each other. I also hate the gay elitist behavior amongst the L and G towards the B and the T I see so much. We really gotta accept and help each other.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Devon
      Devon

      The problem with people who want ENDA done before marriage is that they’re delusional. They’re living in a fantasy world that exists only in their own minds, wherein John Boehner is a friend to gays and Harry Reid has a spine. In the real world ENDA, along with anything else that would require congress to get done, is dead and buried deep in the cold, cold ground until 2013 at the earliest. Even then that’s assuming Obama is reelected, the Democrats retake the house and regain a 60 vote majority in the senate, and that they’d actually be willing to work on it this time. Good luck with that.

      Meanwhile, marriage is something that can be done in the courts. We don’t need congress. Not only that, but marriage would radically change the country’s culture in a way that ENDA never could, it would be a massive blow to the morale of the christian right, and the smaller-ticket items would be a hell of a lot easier to get done after marriage.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 9:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • missanthrope
      missanthrope

      @Viciente:

      “Marriage didn’t kill ENDA. What killed ENDA was the decision by HRC and others to prioritize tranny bathroom issues over the civil rights of millions of gay and lesbian workers. Our gay movement is now run by people who call themselves “queer” or “LGBT” and whose primary objective is to make the gay movement into something “transgressive” and to wage a war on gender.”

      I love the historical revisionism here. You forget that in 2007 Bush was in the White House and was going to veto it. The “bathroom debate” only became an issue because Barney Frank stired up the pot by saying that trans activists needed “explain” the issue to a bunch of people who weren’t asking the question-until he stirred the pot. Then it provided the HRC to a good excuse to drop us, as LGB movement has done numerous times before in state battles.

      But that political theater didn’t matter in the real world, because it wouldn’t have gotten past Bush anyway.

      In 2009 ENDA got sidelined by health care. In 2010 major gay organizations made a strategic decision to go for DADT because it had more public support.

      So stop re-writing history and blaming the Gay Inc.’s strategic mistakes on trans people.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair
      WillBFair

      @Devon: You’re thinking strategically, but marraige is also a strategic mistake. The public support civil unions, a huge concession for which we should be dancing in the streets. Instead, our uncompromising demand for marraige will continue to cause a backlash. The public are sentimental about marraige. Get over it. We could win a lot of civil union victories, which would get the public used to the idea, and give use momentum for, as you say, smaller-ticket items.
      But again, the self destructive crowd is still in control of our agenda, as they have been since the early eighties when they refused to deal with aids.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • missanthrope
      missanthrope

      “The problem with people who want ENDA done before marriage is that they’re delusional. They’re living in a fantasy world that exists only in their own minds, wherein John Boehner is a friend to gays and Harry Reid has a spine. In the real world ENDA, along with anything else that would require congress to get done, is dead and buried deep in the cold, cold ground until 2013 at the earliest. Even then that’s assuming Obama is reelected, the Democrats retake the house and regain a 60 vote majority in the senate, and that they’d actually be willing to work on it this time. Good luck with that.”

      This is pretty much 100% truth and why the LBGT organizations need to refocus battles on the state and court level. As long as our political system cannot cope with multiple current crisis, it’s definitely not going to able to cope with a divisive issue like ENDA or equal marriage.

      We’ve gotten a grand total of two major pieces of gay rights legislation through Congress in 40 years (hate crimes and DADT) and hundred through on the state level. Now which strategy is more successful.

      Our “leaders”, at an elected level and at in the gay rights movement have been both negligent and inept when it comes to securing our rights.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • missanthrope
      missanthrope

      shannon1981:

      “Ok, I admit that Barney Frank was right about the fact that if we pushed the bathroom issue, nothing would get passed”

      Nobody pushed the bathroom issue except for Barney Frank, he even elaborated about how gets uncomfortable have trans men in a bathroom with him (I can provide you with published quotes) and he has repeatedly said that in private conversations with activists I know. I sincerely think that Barney Frank would rather see no ENDA than a ENDA that covered trans people based on previous comment the man has made himself.

      And don’t buy in to the great history revision project that ENDA was sunk by trans people, it had no chance of getting past Bush’s desk in 2007 and the “bathroom issue” is political theater.

      Feb 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • missanthrope
      missanthrope

      @DR:

      “Price Waterhouse v Hopkins, US SCt, 1989″

      Trans people have been only judged to be eligible for Title VI in some jurisdictions. It applies in the 4th Circit, but not the 10th. So that’s awesome if you live in Virigina, but it does nothing for you if you live in Colorado.

      http://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/opinions/05/05-4193.pdf

      So if you’re saying we’re covered nationwide under Title IV, that’s factually incorrect.

      How eager to do you think this Supreme Court would be willing to say that trans people are eligible under Title IV?

      Furthermore, what about Jespersen v. Harrah’s Operating Co., where the 9th circuit said that such gender stereotyping is legitimate if the dress code is business related (ie. if you’re female and work in a Casino, the employer can force you to wear heels and makeup).

      Prowel v Wise Business Forms, filed 8/28/09 (3rd Circuit)

      Feb 22, 2011 at 10:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @WillBFair: said…”
      @Devon: You’re thinking strategically, but marraige is also a strategic mistake. The public support civil unions, a huge concession for which we should be dancing in the streets.
      ___________________________________

      And the back of the bus is just as comfortable and Rosa Parks should have been dancing in the streets that she was allowed to sit there.

      As long as DOMA exists, civil unions are meaningless. We get no Federal benefits from them, zero. While you are saying that we should go with civil unions because that is what the people want, you should take a look at these figures…

      In 1948, about 90% of American Adults opposed interracial marriage when the Supreme Court of California legalized it, and California became the first state that allowed loving, committed interracial couples to marry.

      In 1967, about 72% were opposed to interracial marriage. This was the year when the U.S. Supreme Court was legalized interracial marriage everywhere in the U.S.

      In 1991, those adults opposed to interracial marriage became a minority for the first time.

      Should people not have fought for interacial marriage in the courts just because the majority didn’t want it?

      Feb 23, 2011 at 8:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Missanthrope: I agree that focusing on the states & the courts needs to be the strategy here on out, especially given the Rep.’s control of the House. Any hope we had for ENDA to pass and for DOMA to go bye-bye has been squashed.

      As for Barney Frank, wow, he must be paying more attention to who uses which bathroom than I do. For those of us with, er, um, “shy” bladders, the stall is the only option, and I sure wouldn’t notice or care if a MTF person or one of those “men in dresses” (or a tasteful skirt) was hunkered down four feet away. Even at the stand up, I don’t think anyone but a few gay men spend a second longer there than needed. It’s not social hour!

      He really needs to start thinking less about bathrooms and begin reading up on places to retire to!

      Feb 23, 2011 at 8:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @Cam: Those are all very good points, except that civil unions are not “meaningless.” Many of the CU statues confer legal rights that would not otherwise exist. But CU certainly isn’t equality, or due process, or equal protection.

      If Dr. King and others in the civil rights movement of the 60s and 70s had waited on and worked through each state legislature to get a bundle of rights, they’d still be waiting. If your position is (like mine) that the federal constitution mandates that there be no discrimination against people on account of sexual orientation, then most of the gains are going to come from Congress and the courts. Given the state of the U.S. House, that means in the next few years from the courts.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Viciente
      Viciente [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @missanthrope: No one is talking about 2007. It was never going to get past Bush, so the entire effort in that year was a non-starter. In 2009 and 2010, we had a real opportunity to protect gay people from discrimination, a legislative goal pending for nearly 40 years. And we lost it because of tranny potty issues.

      Health care is not to blame. Congress passed a host of legislation other than heath care and ENDA itself was moving forward into a mark-up session. Then at the beginning of 2010, it died. And it died at a time when DADT was on hold pending the release of the Pentagon study. So DADT is not to blame either.

      Barney Frank is not to blame for your selfishness. He supported the cram-down of “gender identity” in the bill. I am pretty sure that the adversaries of gay rights have access to the internet and to the demands by “LGBT” leaders that the bill be “fully inclusive” of tranny urination priorities.

      They have made their own independent determination that the best point of attack is on these bizarre sideshow issues that have nothing to do with gay people. That is why they now feature the potty issue prominently in all anti-gay discussion of ENDA or of any local anti-discrimination ordinance that includes “gender identity.” Barney is not directing them to do this via mind control. They do it because they know it works; Frank was simply reporting the bad news.

      At that point, it should have been a no-brainer to get ENDA passed and to protect millions of gay, lesbian and bisexual workers. Instead, we lost everything because “LGBT” cultists insisted on getting everything all at once or nothing at all. So we got nothing. I doubt if many gay people understand that their movement has been turned into a struggle for accommodations for heterosexual cross-dressers.

      I don’t blame transgendereds for pursuing their rights. I do blame the advocates of “LGBT” for subordinating gay identity and gay rights to the demands of an ideological contrivance.

      Feb 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      I agree with Devon, #17 – Marriage is something that humanizes us and makes us equal. Civil Unions only perpetuate notions of inequality and straight superiority. ENDA and bathroom issues rile people up and keep people concentrated only on sexuality.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 10:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @missanthrope: I don’t buy for a second that the loss of ENDA was the fault of the trans population. Sorry if it came off that way. I just think, in general, this ‘all or nothing’ attitude will get us nowhere. If we embrace civil unions first, that can be a stepping stone to get people used to it, then marriage equality can be achieved. If we take workplace equality first, then, the bathroom issue can be taken care of. See what I mean?

      As for Barney Frank, no I didn’t know he was uncomfortable with trans men in bathrooms with him. Thanks for the tip, will google it.

      Feb 26, 2011 at 11:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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