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Author Topic: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill  (Read 17589 times)

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Offline emeraldize

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Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« on: November 04, 2007, 08:05:44 AM »
Passing along the content, verbatim, of an e-mail from The Task Force dated 11-1-07. Please take a few minutes to call. Thank you.

 
Tell Congress: No ENDA without gender identity protections!

After a month of debating whether or not to move forward with a bill that provides employment protections on the basis of sexual orientation, but leaves out protections for gender identity (which would leave vulnerable transgender people and lesbian, gay, bisexual and even heterosexual people who don’t fit certain gender norms), Congress is finally deciding how to proceed.

Your U.S. representative needs to hear from you, again, about the importance of only passing legislation that provides critical gender identity protections. Please call your representative today. Just dial the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to be connected to your representative’s office based on your zip code.

When a staff member answers the phone, say:

Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME ] and I’m calling to make sure the representative knows I only support an Employment Non-Discrimination Act that includes protections on the basis of gender identity. Please tell the representative that I don’t want Congress to vote on H.R. 3685, as it would fail to protect many people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. If H.R. 3685 does come up for a vote, I oppose it. Congress should instead get back to work on H.R. 2015, the original version of ENDA that includes both sexual orientation and gender identity.
 

Offline Iggy

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2007, 11:14:46 AM »
I have already sent the email letter as pointed out iin Mouse's thread, but will happily place my call for this action on Monday.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2007, 06:21:26 PM »
Thanks for stating so, Iggy. I followed Mouse's e-mail tail and trail, too, but when I got this figured a phone call, with the power of a human voice, is yet a second, and for me more powerful way, to hit the point home.

Offline Mouse

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2007, 06:36:33 PM »
Thanks for posting this! It's frustrating for me because even though I've called and sent emails, I'm under the legal age to vote so my opinion doesn't really matter to them at all, so I depend on all of you guys. I'm glad people so far have been eager to get everyone going about this and make the calls and emails that are needed.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2007, 11:15:56 PM »
To anyone considering doing this. It's so easy! From the time the operator answered, to transferring my call to the admin in my congressional rep's office, reading the script, and giving my name/address (latter optional) took less than two minutes.

Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2007, 05:30:08 PM »
Please tell the representative that I don’t want Congress to vote on H.R. 3685, as it would fail to protect many people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

I'm afraid I don't see how this follows.  It is true that if Congress passes ENDA without including the transgender language, then transgender individuals will not have protections.  But gay, lesbian, and bisexual people will, whether or not they conform to certain behavioral norms.  Congress would be prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, whether actual or perceived.  As far as I know, the proposed statute says nothing about people having to be "straight acting" to receive its protections.

In addition, I have to say that it's extremely disappointing to see a very good piece of legislation attacked by many of the people who would benefit from it simply because it doesn't quite meet our very highest expectations.  It seems to me that this is all too typical of those of us on the left wing of the political spectrum.  We seem to excel at defeating ourselves by making the perfect the enemy of the good.  ENDA has a great deal to recommend it even without the transgender protections.  For the first time, federal law would protect gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans from discrimination in employment.  Folks, if you can't see that that is a HUGE step forward, then you're not thinking about this clearly. 

So, do we want to cut off our noses to spite our faces?  If those of you who are opposed to the more limited version of ENDA succeed in defeating it, I ask you what, precisely, you will have accomplished?  (Other than denying employment discrimination protections to the LGB community, of course.)  Will you jump for joy over your "victory"?  Will you proclaim from the rooftops, "Woo hoo, we defeated that awful gay rights legislation"?  Do you think that, after almost 30 years of dogged advocacy, Barney Frank is going to keep trying to push this legislation now that he knows that he'll not only have to fight the Republicans on it, but also the very people he's trying to help?  If I were in his position, the storm of criticism he's gotten from gay people on this would bring to mind the cynical saying that "no good deed goes unpunished."

In closing, I'd simply say that sometimes change is, by necessity, somewhat incremental.  (Although, in my view, passing employment discrimination protections for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals is quite an "increment.")  It's sad that our community remains so politically immature that we will turn up our noses when offered 90% of a loaf, just because the purists among us insist on the whole 100%.

John


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Offline emeraldize

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2007, 06:01:49 PM »
Hi John

After reading this portion of your postIt's sad that our community remains so politically immature that we will turn up our noses when offered 90% of a loaf, just because the purists among us insist on the whole 100%. it caused me to want to ask a couple of questions and to add one more perspective.

When you refer to "our community" to whom are you referring? The community at large or gay men or? I'm just seeking to understand here.

By wanting 100%, I guess I'm being defined as a purist and politically immature in your text. I'm looking at it as an opportune time to be purely practical in terms of working on one bill and convening people to actively get one bill passed rather than have to come back to amend/appeal the bill at another time.

When it comes to the community at risk here, I'm not gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, I'm an outside supporter who sees the practicality of being inclusive, and getting over this crap on a major scale where everyone feels vulnerable--in the employment department, and the ramifications of this, IMHO, could conceivably, over time, affect the lessening of, if not the elimination of, stigmatization due to HIV and other diseases.

When it comes to the definition of political immaturity, how is it that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people get to pay the salaries of the very people whose legislative decisions have excluded them and now that they are coming down the home stretch on a bill that continues to exclude, those opposed end up politically immature? Nope. I think those who are carving out on the basis of gender identity are immature, politically and likely otherwise.

I'm sad it's even an issue to be legislated! At a minimum, should the allegedly smarter dogs in the pack who are elected to represent us, be representing us---especially the "us" who are directly covered by the bill? The us, well, the I, who believes if the "us" aren't protected then am I really protected? When I look at inequalities historically realized by male/female differences in terms of pay, sexual harrassment, advancement opportunities, etc.---then, of course, I want a gender identity component in the bill. How could I not?

I think it is politically mature, fiscally appropriate, and ethically important, to ask this of our government.

Em
« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 06:07:21 PM by emeraldize »

Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2007, 10:07:57 PM »

Em,

The community to which I am referring is the one of which I am a member - the gay and lesbian community.  (I'm neither bisexual nor transgender, so I don't think that I can properly include myself in those groups, despite the fact that we may have shared interests.) 

While I appreciate your desire to have a single bill that will cover everyone, it is painfully apparent that Congress will not pass that bill.  For weal or woe, the votes just aren't there.  So, the question then becomes, should we accept a very significant victory (although it's admittedly a partial one), or allow gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans to remain subject to discrimination in employment with no legal recourse at the federal level?  About a dozen states have these protections for gay people, but that does nothing for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in the 38 states that don't.  If I am reading your posts correctly, you say that the status quo is preferable to getting a bill that gives us less than 100% of what we want.  I understand, of course, that you object to the current status quo, but the practical effect of your position is that gay, lesbian, and bisexual people won't get a federal law that will protect them from employment discrimination.  You may think this is fine, but as a gay man, I don't. 

Which brings me to my next point.  While I appreciate the support of people outside of the LGBT community on this issue, I do not appreciate your efforts to commandeer an issue that does not affect you directly.  It's very, very easy for you to insist on a "perfect" bill.  After all, if the more limited version of ENDA doesn't pass, it will make no difference to you personally.  By your own admission, you're not gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.  You won't suffer discrimination if we don't get this bill.  So where do you get off trying to tell someone like me, who is gay and will be directly affected, what's good for me?  You might well feel differently if you were gay and had, as I have, actually suffered employment discrimination on the basis of your sexual orientation.  You see, this isn't some abstract debate for me.  This is real life.  For this reason I find your use of the first person plural in the penultimate paragraph of your last post incomprehensible.  You, my dear, are not part of "us."  We're the ones who have to live with this discrimination every day.  You don't.  Try to respect the opinions, life experience, and political judgment of actual gay people, including Barney Frank.

To the extent that you express concern about discrimination against people with HIV, that issue has already been successfully resolved at the federal level in the Americans With Disabilities Act and by the Supreme Court's construction of the Rehabilitation Act.  People with HIV have a "disability" within the meaning of the ADA, and they are protected from discrimination based on their serostatus, whether real or merely perceived.  The same is true of gender, which you also seem to raise.  Title VII has long prohibited discrimination on that basis.

In conclusion, I think that we have an historic opportunity here.  Gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans could achieve employment protections under federal law.  This may not seem acceptable to the purists, but as someone who's been in this fight for 20+ years, I'm not willing to let it slip away because some people want, as I said earlier, to make the perfect the enemy of the (very) good.

John



 
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Offline Mouse

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2007, 10:49:16 PM »
First of all, I'd like to point out that gay, lesbian and bisexual people aren't protected by this modified, narrowed version of the bill. Don't think for a moment that under a federal court that certain people wouldn't try to find any way possible to justify discrimination against a gay or lesbian person. 'Percieved sexual orientation' doesn't protect against gender non-conformist, or whatever someone wants to believe a man or a woman is supposed to act or dress, especially in a workplace situation like this. You may think that this isn't a big deal, but if you would consider the amount of workplace discrimination that goes on simply because a woman isn't what society suspects she should be in not only her clothing, but in her personality and mannerisms, or a man doesn't conform to the masculine image that society holds up, you would realize that it's one of the biggest parts.

I have a problem with your reasoning that, 'oh, well, they won't pass the bill with transgender inclusion, so fuck 'em'. And don't even argue that that wasn't what you were saying, because you made it quite clear.

Quote
While I appreciate your desire to have a single bill that will cover everyone, it is painfully apparent that Congress will not pass that bill.  For weal or woe, the votes just aren't there.  So, the question then becomes, should we accept a very significant victory (although it's admittedly a partial one), or allow gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans to remain subject to discrimination in employment with no legal recourse at the federal level?

If it pisses you off that people want to keep a bill from passing that protects the gays and lesbians (since, you know, you also made it quite clear that that's the group that YOU'RE a part of), think about how people who would be protected under the gender identity inclusive version of the bill feel, because apparently it's okay to distribute rights out to only part of the community, and to tell the rest of us to fuck off and wait our turn.

The passing of ENDA has been an effort of the LGBT in it's ENTIRETY. Not just the gays and lesbians. For all practical and logical reasons, we only have one chance to pass a bill that protects the LGBT community as a whole. Don't think that the gays and lesbians are going to come back for the trans people once they have their rights, because I don't entertain that fantasy for a moment. Throughout history, the trans people have fought not only for their rights, but for the rights of gay people also - a group of people that they don't have any reason to associate with beyond convenience. However, the vast majority of lgb organizations have been more than happy to tell trans people to fuck off once things started to get a bit difficult. That's exactly what is happening right now, and that's why so many of us have had enough and are  standing up against it.

ENDA was NOT created to just protect the gays. The ignorance and self-importance that it takes to believe that it's okay to strip trans people from the bill disgusts me. How can people say that this bill still stands for their values and beliefs, when it strips away the rights of so many people? It's all or nothing, yet it's obviously been determined that very few people actually care about the entire community and care only for the part of the community that pertains to them. Unlike the gays and lesbians that are okay with passing a non-trans inclusive bill, the trans community wants to pass a bill that protects EVERYBODY. Don't think we couldn't tell the gay community to fuck off and take care of take care of their issues themselves, but the fact is that that would be wrong. Rights are rights - and everyone deserves them. Some of the LGBT community's strongest advocates and speakers are members of the trans community.

I have the unique perspective of being both gay AND trans. This isn't a matter of valuing one part of the community's rights over the other, like so many people want to make this situation sound like. 

By the way - I think it's quite funny that you are telling someone that they can't support a bill that doesn't directly effect them, when you seem to have no trouble having such a harmful opinion on the fate of an entire community that you aren't a part of. Where do YOU get off telling people who WILL BE directed effected by the passing of a bill that will unfairly leave out so many that they're just going to have to deal with it?

All I have to do is quote you:

Quote
You, my dear, are not part of "us."  We're the ones who have to live with this discrimination every day.  You don't.

And watch the condescending language, dear.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2007, 11:15:25 PM »
I think it is politically mature, fiscally appropriate, and ethically important, to ask this of our government.

John

Goodness, I'm not commandeering anything---I can't, neither can you. Much the same as you, I'm expressing a view.  I truly wish it were 100% inclusive, and wish my tax dollars and everyone else's were paying people to include one more segment of the population--the transgendered.

To express that view, I figure it matters not what my gender, sexual orientation, disability or disabilities are. Just like it matters not what those same traits are in those rendering their votes. I'm certainly not a purist in the classical definition. I may be straight, but I have too many pals who are gay, lesbian or bi, to not have an opinion about such matters. I would fully expect they would express theirs if something were raining down hard on heteros.

I simply wish our government was responding differently. For me, it's on a par with our present travel ban for HIV+ visitors---it's disappointing and in frightening contrast to where I think we should be as a country. I'd even say it's embarrassing.

As I stated earlier, I'm sad it's even as issue to be legislated.

I see Mouse has posted while I was writing. I bid adieu and ask that you re-read my post if you have time. If you'll note, the "us" was referencing the amalgam of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender and had nothing to do with heterosexuals, no matter how well intended they may be.

Em

Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2007, 03:10:41 AM »
Mouse,

I'm going to try to reply to what you wrote, but first, allow me to explain that just because I don't think the current Congress will pass a bill with transgender protection doesn't mean that I don't wish that they would.  But as both Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi have made clear, that isn't going to happen.  Is this wrong?  Yes.  The question is what do you do when faced with this unfortunate political reality.  You say kill the entire bill.  I say that we get our foot in the door and keep working. 


First of all, I'd like to point out that gay, lesbian and bisexual people aren't protected by this modified, narrowed version of the bill. Don't think for a moment that under a federal court that certain people wouldn't try to find any way possible to justify discrimination against a gay or lesbian person. 'Perceived sexual orientation' doesn't protect against gender non-conformist, or whatever someone wants to believe a man or a woman is supposed to act or dress, especially in a workplace situation like this. You may think that this isn't a big deal, but if you would consider the amount of workplace discrimination that goes on simply because a woman isn't what society suspects she should be in not only her clothing, but in her personality and mannerisms, or a man doesn't conform to the masculine image that society holds up, you would realize that it's one of the biggest parts.

You're simply wrong about the above.  The bill does in fact protect gay, lesbian, and bisexual people from employment discrimination.  It's true that there are many employers who will try to circumvent the bill's protections, but as a lawyer who has litigated employment cases, I can tell you that that's true in many instances of discrimination, whatever the basis.  That some employers will violate the statute and then try to justify their violation says nothing at all about the statute itself.  We don't refuse to enact laws simply because we know certain people are bound to break them.

As for workplace discrimination based on upon expected gender roles, the courts have already ruled that those things fall under Title VII's prohibitions on gender discrimination. 
 

Quote
I have a problem with your reasoning that, 'oh, well, they won't pass the bill with transgender inclusion, so fuck 'em'. And don't even argue that that wasn't what you were saying, because you made it quite clear.

Not sure where you got the "fuck 'em'" idea from my post.  Also not sure to whom "'em'" is supposed to refer.  Let me just say that all my post is intended to suggest is that we move forward getting some protection for the community rather than none at all.  You obviously disagree, and that is your right, but please don't accuse me of insensitivity to the rights of transgender people.  You should certainly realize that if I'm being insensitive, you're being equally so.  Your position is that getting a bill that will protect you should take precedence over getting a bill that will protect some.  In other words, you're willing to hold hostage a bill that would protect gays, lesbians, and bisexuals for the benefit of your particular group.  You're entitled to adopt that strategy, but you should be honest about its consequences for others.


Quote
Don't think that the gays and lesbians are going to come back for the trans people once they have their rights, because I don't entertain that fantasy for a moment.

Odd that you would say this, because, with the exception of HRC, every single major gay rights group in the country has pledged to oppose any bill that doesn't include transgender protections.


Quote
. . . gay people . . . - a group of people that they [transgenders] don't have any reason to associate with beyond convenience.

. . .

Don't think we couldn't tell the gay community to fuck off and take care of take care of their issues themselves

Your community is free to disassociate itself from the LGB movement any time it likes.  Suffice to say that your use of phrases like "tell the gay community to fuck off" does little to convince me that you are dedicated to protecting the "entire community."  Sounds to me that you might be quite happy to tell the gay community to fuck off if the situation were reversed and Congress were about to pass a bill that protected transgenders but not GLBs.


Quote
By the way - I think it's quite funny that you are telling someone that they can't support a bill that doesn't directly [a]ffect them

At no point did I say that Em couldn't support a bill that didn't affect him/her.  I simply questioned the propriety of a person who is not affected by the legislation at all taking a position that, if successful, will effectively prevent legislation that has been sought by the gay community for 30 years.

As for you, Em, I stand by my earlier post.  Harvey Milk told our community long ago that we can't rely on the goodwill of our straight, liberal friends if we are to advance our rights.  Your position is an illustration of why.  If your viewpoint prevails, then the current attempt at reform will fail.  From your protected perch as a heterosexual, this won't affect your world.  It will mean, however, that gay people like myself -- who would prefer to get something rather than getting absolutely nothing -- will have to suffer the consequences of getting nothing.  Thus, the consequences of the stance you take will be visited on us.  You may find that acceptable.  I don't.  It's all too easy to take what you believe to be a morally righteous position when it costs you nothing personally.

John
« Last Edit: November 19, 2007, 11:11:31 PM by bobino »
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Offline Mouse

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2007, 04:08:32 AM »
Mouse,

I'm going to try to reply to what you wrote, but first, allow me to explain that just because I don't think the current Congress will pass a bill with transgender protection doesn't mean that I don't wish that they would.  But as both Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi have made clear, that isn't going to happen.  Is this wrong?  Yes.  The question is what do you do when faced with this unfortunate political reality.  You say kill the entire bill.  I say that we get our foot in the door and keep working. 

No. I never said to kill the entire bill. I said I wanted the original bill to pass, in it's entirety, with gender identity protected.


Quote
You're simply wrong about the above.  The bill does in fact protect gay, lesbian, and bisexual people from employment discrimination.  It's true that there are many employers who will try to circumvent the bill's protections, but as a lawyer who has litigated employment cases, I can tell you that that's true in many instances of discrimination, whatever the basis.  That some employers will violate the statute and then try to justify their violation says nothing at all about the statute itself.  We don't refuse to enact laws simply because we know certain people are bound to break them.

As for workplace discrimination based on upon expected gender roles, the courts have already ruled that those things fall under Title VII's prohibitions on gender discrimination.

Really? You'd think that gender discrimination would protect the transgendered folk, too, if you use that logic. The fact remains that it doesn't. Without gender identity protection employers are more than free to argue that they require females to dress a certain way in their workplace, and males to dress another, or whatever nonsensical standards they commit everyone to. I know plenty of butch lesbians, that are completely female-identified, that would rather barf then have to wear a skirt to work, hell, I know a lot of straight women that would feel utterly uncomfortable doing this, yet there are still many restaurants and other establishments that require females to wear a more traditionally female style of dress. Women shouldn't have to wear this stuff if they don't want to, especially if it makes them uncomfortable. They are there to make the workplace money and to bring home their own paycheck, not to pick up guys. Some places even require women to paint their nails and wear makeup to work. This isn't protected under gender discrimination.


http://data.lambdalegal.org/pdf/enda_llanalysis_20071016.pdf
This version of the bill is weaker for EVERYONE.

Quote
Not sure where you got the "fuck 'em'" idea from my post.  Also not sure to whom "'em'" is supposed to refer.  Let me just say that all my post is intended to suggest is that we move forward getting some protection for the community rather than none at all.  You obviously disagree, and that is your right, but please don't accuse me of insensitivity to the rights of transgender people.  You should certainly realize that if I'm being insensitive, you're being equally so.  You're position is that getting a bill that will protect you should take precedence over getting a bill that will protect some.  In other words, you're willing to hold hostage a bill that would protect gays, lesbians, and bisexuals for the benefit of your particular group.  You're entitled to adopt that strategy, but you should be honest about its consequences for others.

In some cases, some is better than nothing. I don't believe that's the case here.

Accepting a lesser ENDA compromises real progress on this issue. It splits the LGBT community into two, instead of moving forward with a bill that SHOULD be a landmark.

The only reason this bill isn't moving forward with gender identity and expression included is because it's believed that it won't be passed that way. Obviously there are things to back that up. It's much more socially acceptable to be gay. Pretty much everyone has a gay brother, or a lesbian aunt, or a bisexual friend or whatever.

Think about it though. How much do gay people get picked on due to actual evidence of being gay? The vast, vast majority of the time that there is discrimination against gay people it's because they don't 'conform' to what society deems appropriate to their sex. It doesn't matter to many people whether you're actually gay or not, but just that you're a feminine guy, or a masculine woman.

If you really want this bill to work, it has to include EVERYONE.

The thought of coming back later to include trans people is depressing at best. How long do you think that might take? The second the gays get their bill, it's not as if the trans people are going to be following a week later and we're all going to go have a picnic in the park to celebrate. It'll take YEARS if you're optimistic, and decades if you're realistic.

Think about it. Talk about a sexual orientation discrimination bill has been going on since 1974. It's only been this year that there has been any hope of it passing at all. Even now though, it's unlikely that Bush will even let the bill that EXCLUDES gender identity pass, so why are we splitting ourselves by not pushing for the best possible outcome possible? We're not even resigning ourselves to partial success, we're resigning ourselves to HYPOTHETICAL partial success.

If one part of the community is hurt, the entire community is hurt. If one part of the community is held back, the rest of the community should wait with it. Legally, trans people are much more vulnerable to discrimination than gay people.

To suggest that I would leave behind part of my community like many gay people have left behind part of their community is utterly offensive. Unlike some people, I believe the bill is worthless unless it includes everyone.

I'm gay, too, remember?

Anyway, I'd also like to point out my annoyance that so many people are only attracted to an all-inclusive ENDA only BECAUSE it also protects gender-non-conforming gays and lesbians. This should be supported whether that's true or not, just because of transgender individuals. I'm tired of having to convince gays that these things will benefit them, too, to get them to support transgender issues.


Offline jack

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2007, 05:29:45 AM »
It seems bobino was simply stating reality. Change happens gradually unless you have total revolution. It comes in increments. That doesnt mean you dont try for the whole enchilada. Its like anything else in life, you try and get as much as you can,and if you end up with 25%, or 50% or in this case 90%, you get the remainder on the next try or one after that.  Barney knows this better than anyone. In any case, this is a huge victory and should be celebrated with confidence things are moving in the right direction. 


Offline emeraldize

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2007, 09:32:36 AM »
Good Morning John

Evidently, you are unwavering in your interpretation of what I wrote, which I attempted to even summarize with

I simply wish our government was responding differently. For me, it's on a par with our present travel ban for HIV+ visitors---it's disappointing and in frightening contrast to where I think we should be as a country. I'd even say it's embarrassing.

As I stated earlier, I'm sad it's even as issue to be legislated.


How you've determined that mine is a morally righteous stance asserted from a protected perch no less is beyond me. From so few words you've deduced and stated an assertion which may just be a place for you to off-gas because I clarified I'm straight.

I would prefer my government pass the original all-inclusive bill. I had one phone call opportunity to make that known, and, I did. The amended bill, if passed, will be a disappointment because of its exclusion, not because of those whom it includes.
 
Do you believe there are no liberal straight friends of GLBTs in this world who are doing anything of worth support-wise? Do you believe that's what Milk was saying sum total? Do you believe there are no liberal straight friends of GLBTs voting on the bill?

Em

Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2007, 10:35:33 PM »
Mouse,

I'm going to respond to a couple of your points.  On the others, I will simply agree to disagree.

"No. I never said to kill the entire bill. I said I wanted the original bill to pass, in it's entirety, with gender identity protected."

As I noted before, the practical effect of your insistence on including transgender protections in this bill will be to kill it, because the votes are not there to pass the original bill.  One may accuse Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank of many things, but an inability to accurately count noses in Congress isn't one of them.  So, as I said before, you are entitled to take an absolutist view on this.  As I also said, however, you need to be honest about the consequences of your position for others.


"Really? You'd think that gender discrimination would protect the transgendered folk, too, if you use that logic."

You made this comment presumably in response to my observation that the courts have already ruled that gender sterotyping is prohibited by Title VII.  My simple answer is, yes, really, it does.  If you don't think so, you obviously don't follow developments in the law very closely.  No less a court that the Supreme Court of the United States made this clear in a case called Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins.  Hopkins had been denied partnership in Price Waterhouse because the partners thought she was not sufficiently feminine and exhibited too many masculine traits.  The court made clear that taking an adverse employment action against her because she did not conform to accepted gender roles was a violation of the gender discrimination provisions of Title VII.  If you don't believe me, you can read the opinion for yourself.  It is reported as Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989).  To make it easier for you, here are a couple of relevant excerpts:  

"In the specific context of sex stereotyping, an employer who acts on the basis of a belief that a woman cannot be aggressive, or that she must not be, has acted on the basis of gender."

"As for the legal relevance of sex stereotyping, we are beyond the day when an employer could evaluate employees by assuming or insisting that they matched the stereotype associated with their group, for, 'n forbidding employers to discriminate against individuals because of their sex, Congress intended to strike at the entire spectrum of disparate treatment of men and women resulting from sex stereotypes.'"

I hope this clears up what appears to be your confusion on this point.  And note that this isn't exactly new news.  As the citation indicates, the Supreme Court issued this opinion in 1989.

"The thought of coming back later to include trans people is depressing at best. How long do you think that might take? The second the gays get their bill, it's not as if the trans people are going to be following a week later and we're all going to go have a picnic in the park to celebrate. It'll take YEARS if you're optimistic, and decades if you're realistic."

I have no idea how long it might take.  The gay community has been pushing for this kind of legislation for over 30 years.  What has made its passage a possibility is a long and arduous campaign of public education about who gays and lesbians are.  I'm not sure why you think that the transgender community shouldn't have to do the same thing.  It's unfortunate, but it's the reality of politics and getting legislation passed.  Rather than venting your rage at those of us who are more politically pragmatic, you should be devoting your attention to the same kinds of activities and activism that gays and lesbians have been engaged in over the past three decades.  Will it be easy?  No, it won't.  But this is how you prepare the groundwork for change.

John


P.S. Sorry about all the italics in the final paragraphs.  There must be some hidden code in the stuff that I cut and pasted from the Supreme Court opinion.


« Last Edit: November 19, 2007, 10:40:56 PM by bobino »
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Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2007, 11:03:58 PM »

How you've determined that mine is a morally righteous stance asserted from a protected perch no less is beyond me. From so few words you've deduced and stated an assertion which may just be a place for you to off-gas because I clarified I'm straight.


Em,

I determined that yours is a morally righteous stance because you appear unable to see past your desire to have a "perfect" bill.  If you could, you might be able to appreciate that a bill that is less than perfect could still be enormously helpful to many, many, many people.  There are many gays and lesbians in places like Alabama, Indiana, Utah, and Wyoming that would receive much-needed protection from discrimination under the revised legislation. 

BTW, not sure what "off-gas" is supposed to mean.

Quote
I would prefer my government pass the original all-inclusive bill. I had one phone call opportunity to make that known, and, I did. The amended bill, if passed, will be a disappointment because of its exclusion, not because of those whom it includes.


I would also prefer it, but it isn't going to happen in the current political environment.  Once again, the practical effect of your position is to deny gays, lesbians, and bisexuals the legal protections that this bill does offer.  As I've said in my prior posts, you may think this is an acceptable price to pay, but I don't.

 
Quote
Do you believe there are no liberal straight friends of GLBTs in this world who are doing anything of worth support-wise? Do you believe that's what Milk was saying sum total? Do you believe there are no liberal straight friends of GLBTs voting on the bill?


What Milk was saying was that gay people have to take control of their own rights agenda, because straight people, no matter how well-intentioned, will never have the passion about these issues that we do.  The reason is, quite simply, that you will not be affected by these issues directly.  Thus, again, although I appreciate the support of straight people, I will not cede to them the right to make decisions about how this issue should be handled.  I was marching on this issue (and others) back in the late 70s and early 80s (when most straight people didn't think they even knew any gays) and during the height of the AIDS crisis in the mid- and late 80s (when most straight people thought we had the plague).  I didn't do that to listen to straight people preach to me about how gay rights issues should be approached.  So thank you for your support, but remember what the object of this whole game is.

John
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Offline Mouse

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2007, 11:35:46 PM »
Quote
I have no idea how long it might take.  The gay community has been pushing for this kind of legislation for over 30 years.  What has made its passage a possibility is a long and arduous campaign of public education about who gays and lesbians are.  I'm not sure why you think that the transgender community shouldn't have to do the same thing.

I don't even know how to respond to this without getting angry. You pretty much just asserted that transgender people haven't been pushing for change and doing their part in this bill and educating people the best we can. I don't know where the hell you got that from, but you're obviously too blinded by the your own self-righteous point of view that gays and lesbians are somehow more worthy of protection than transgender people at this point in time, which you've made all too obvious with that statement right up there.

There's obviously no point in debating this further with you. I know I'm not going to change your mind, and it's depressing to know that there are so many people like you that are willing to move forward on a bill that so blatantly leaves behind so many hard-working people that are discriminated against every day.

Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2007, 12:27:22 AM »

I don't even know how to respond to this without getting angry. You pretty much just asserted that transgender people haven't been pushing for change and doing their part in this bill and educating people the best we can. I don't know where the hell you got that from, but you're obviously too blinded by the your own self-righteous point of view that gays and lesbians are somehow more worthy of protection than transgender people at this point in time, which you've made all too obvious with that statement right up there.

There's obviously no point in debating this further with you. I know I'm not going to change your mind, and it's depressing to know that there are so many people like you that are willing to move forward on a bill that so blatantly leaves behind so many hard-working people that are discriminated against every day.

"Pretty much" is a weasel-word expression.  It allows you to claim that I said something I didn't, by simply claiming (falsely) that I "pretty much asserted" it.  I didn't assert any such thing.  I didn't "pretty much" assert any such thing.  If you would read the text of my posts, without attempting to put your own emotional gloss on them, you might better be able to understand their meaning. 

It is certainly the case that transgender people have been active both in pushing for change and in trying to educate people about their issues.  My point is that this education process has been neither broad enough nor of sufficient duration to have reached most of the public.  I do not suggest that the transgender community is somehow at fault.  Resources are scarce throughout our movement, numbers are few, and as the experience of gays and lesbians demonstrates, it can take decades before the activism bears fruit.  All I am saying is, whether you like it or not (and it appears you don't), this kind of campaign is what it will take to bring around legislators who are currently unwilling to vote for transgender protections. 

Ask yourself the following questions:  How long have transgender people been out there trying to educate average Americans about their issues?  How wide has this campaign been?  Have you been visiting legislators' offices across the country to explain the problems you face?  If so, for how long?  How many state legislatures have you succeeded in convincing to pass transgender protections?

Then think about other advances in civil rights and the efforts and time it took to achieve them.  Look at the cause of African-Americans.  They were enslaved for over 200 years until Emancipation, then they suffered Jim Crow.  The NAACP was founded in the early 1900s, and it wasn't until the 1950s that their movement began to show some results, and it wasn't until the mid-60s that they finally got legislation protecting them from discrimination and allowing them to vote.  And despite all of this, there are still battles to fight against racial discrimination. 

By comparison to African-Americans, transgenders are moving with lightning speed.  There are already proposals in Congress to outlaw discrimination on the basis of gender identity.  Not sure when transgenders began to organize for their rights, but I doubt that it was much before Stonewall.  So in the grand scheme of things, the transgender movement has already gone much further much faster than African-Americans did.  But if you think that suddenly Congress is going to snap out of it and just hand you employment protections without a whole lot of advance legwork, you're very sadly mistaken. 

And try to consider this:  Passage of more limited legislation may make it easier to pass transgender protections in the future.  If Congress passes protections for GLBs, and then they see that the sky doesn't fall, they may well be more receptive to granting those same protections for transgenders.

John


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Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2007, 05:04:12 AM »
First up let me dismiss Bobino's fractured prattle about African Americans being comparable here. It's an appalling straw man argument and strikes me as rather vile. But then all Bobino has offered in this thread are straw man arguments and ad hominem calumnies.

This is a fundamental issue of the rights of humans and the bill in question seeks to protect such rights in an environment that is universally hostile to gays, lesbians and people of transgender.

Communities that have a common bond. Communities that traditionally have stood together in recognition of that common bond and a shared heritage.

Perhaps Bobino forgets the Stonewall sacrifice, where people of transgender (which includes transsexuals and allied types) took action which led to the many of the freedoms that he enjoys today. Freedoms which, for the purposes of political expediency, he and sellouts like Barney "the Whore Master" Frank are prepared to deny our transgendered brothers and sisters.

This is a simple case of "look Jaser, you and your kind have become a liability. We need to dispose of you to advance our agenda. Thanks for the help, by the way. I might sign a petition in your favour in a few years."

Yeah right. People like Bobino won't lift a finger to help trannies if this new mutilated proposal passes.

As I noted in another thread, this is an issue of human rights and human rights are an absolute. If you deny these rights to men and women of transgender then they cease to be freedoms and become privileges.

Privileges available only to Bobino and his kind. Jaser (a gay man it should be noted) will be excluded because cisgendered gay men and lesbians have priority.

Fuck that shit.

If trannies aren't good enough to have these protections, then neither are fags and dykes. Obviously fags and dykes need to suffer a bit more pain before they realise this. Either ENDA passes as proposed or it should fail that struggle must start again from scratch.

MtD

Offline leatherman

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2007, 11:43:28 AM »
If trannies aren't good enough to have these protections, then neither are fags and dykes. Obviously fags and dykes need to suffer a bit more pain before they realise this.
Sounds like you have a case of gay self-hate going on there, buddy. ;)

Try to divest your emotions from this issue and you might see that Jack and John have only been pointing out the reality of this situation. Is it perfect? No. Would we like it to be? Yes. Will it be perfect? Maybe, someday, but not today. Today is just a step getting there.

Politics is about compromise. Because not everyone thinks the same way, we have to compromise on many (all?) issues. In the end, nobody really gets exactly what they want. This current legislation is just another step in a long series of steps towards more equality.

--mikie


By the way, Matty a while ago you said this:
....Despite Leatherman's Parkeresque wordplay, ...

Thank you. I recently finished reading "The Portable Dorothy Parker", which I read only because of your obscure reference. I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Parker's writings and will construe your comment to be a compliment.  ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2007, 01:40:50 AM »
First up let me dismiss Bobino's fractured prattle about African Americans being comparable here. It's an appalling straw man argument and strikes me as rather vile. But then all Bobino has offered in this thread are straw man arguments and ad hominem calumnies.

MtD,

Your post is an example of the psychological phenomenon known as projection, for you accuse me (falsely) of engaging in argument ad hominem, and then proceed to do precisely that yourself.  You say that my argument about the African-American struggle for civil rights is a "straw man" and that it strikes you as vile.  All well and good.  I note, however, that you provide no argument whatsoever to demonstrate why my analogy is incorrect or inapplicable.  Perhaps the mounting bile in your throat caused you inadvertently to leave out the substantive argument.  (I'm assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that you have one.)  Suffice to say that you point out no flaws in the analogy itself.  Perhaps at some point you might favor us with an explanation, but until now, you've done nothing but spew invective.  I'm absolutely mystified as to why you would find making an analogy to the African-American struggle for civil rights "vile," as gay leaders have been using the analogy for years.  Of course, maybe you hate them too.


Quote
This is a fundamental issue of the rights of humans and the bill in question seeks to protect such rights in an environment that is universally hostile to gays, lesbians and people of transgender.

I generally agree.  Which is the bill you're talking about?

Quote
Freedoms which, for the purposes of political expediency, he and sellouts like Barney "the Whore Master" Frank are prepared to deny our transgendered brothers and sisters.

"Barney 'the Whore Master' Frank"?  Gee, Matty, no ad hominem there.  For someone who purports to deplore ad hominem arguments, you sure do spend a lot of time name-calling.  By the way, if in your life you manage to do a quarter of what Barney Frank has done to advance our community's cause, then you can count yourself extremely lucky. 

And do try to develop a clear understanding of what this is about.  Neither Barney Frank, nor I, would deny any rights to transgenders.  At this point, no one in the LGBT community has any employment protections at the federal level.  AT ALL.  Passing a more limited bill does not deny transgenders rights.  It would grant rights to a more limited group of people.  The problem with calling this a denial of rights is that it overlooks the simple fact that none of us have these rights today, and that even a more limited bill would give protection to a lot of GLBs around the country who have none at this time.


Quote
This is a simple case of "look Jaser, you and your kind have become a liability.

Who the hell is Jaser?


Quote
I might sign a petition in your favour in a few years."

I'm not sure if the Anglicized spelling is simply an affectation on your part, but if it indicates that you are, in fact, not American, then I really don't see that you have a dog in this fight.  And for a foreigner to attack Barney Frank strikes me as doubly inappropriate.  You likely know next to nothing about him or how he has spent his political career.  Naturally, if you are a foreigner, it's SO easy to insist on purity, because the failure of this bill will have no effect on you whatsoever.  Well, I've got news for you, buddy, there are millions of gays and lesbians in places like Alabama, Mississippi, the Dakotas, etc. who badly need this protection.  If you're writing from across the pond, you've likely never met a single one of them.  Well, I have.  I was raised in the south, and let me tell you, being gay there isn't pretty.  So, although I appreciate international interest in this issue, I'm moved to quote King Juan Carlos -- Por que no te callas?

By the way, if you are actually an American, drop the pretentious spelling.  Puh-leaze.

I'll leave the rest of your vitriol, since it contains nothing of substance.  Besides, I see no reason to waste time debating some foreign national about a question of American domestic politics.  You're utterly irrelevant to this process.

John
« Last Edit: November 22, 2007, 01:42:52 AM by bobino »
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Offline penguin

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2007, 05:30:45 AM »
John,

The issues of human rights transcend international boundaries. I live in the UK, but this bill (and the thinking behind it) disturbs me nonetheless.

I wonder if people would be so willing to support this bill if it was one of the the other "letters" being left out instead? if they left out the bisexuals, or the lesbians, would your argument (that it is better for a small number to have rights than no one at all) still feel valid to you?

kate

Offline Mouse

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2007, 09:03:00 AM »
Bobino, you seem to spend an awful lot of time criticizing people for not having the bill effect them directly, as if, unless that person is an American, gay male that person cannot possibly understand enough to have an opinion on it - this is obviously extremely flawed reasoning. I don't think you have to be in that specific group to realize when something is just wrong.

And I completely agree with Kate. If this exact thing was happening, but the lesbians had become a liability, or the bisexuals, there would be a fucking uproar. No one would ever let anything like that happen. But trans people are already discriminated against within their own community. The amount of anti-trans prejudice that has been shown to me and others that are trans by the cisgender gays is shocking and disgusting. Do you think there may be a reason why we don't believe you guys are going to come back for us? I'm not exaggerating when I say that the vast majority of the cisgender gay community has completely, utterly failed in educating themselves on our issues, and we're supposed to just sit back and let you decide whether we're going to be included in a bill that we worked so hard to help get where it is? And just cope with it? For all most of you care to know, we're just a bunch of crossdressers.

You guys spit out the word equality an awful lot when it sounds good, but when you actually look at what goes on in the real world, you realize the relationship between the cisgender gays and that trans people is anything but.





By the way, I'm Jaser.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2007, 09:07:48 AM by Mouse »

Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2007, 03:12:44 PM »

Kate,

Human rights issues may indeed transcend international boundaries.  People in other countries may form and express their own views on American legislation.  My point is that people outside this country lack what we in the law call "standing."  That is, they have no personal stake in the outcome of a given controversy, because they will not be affected by its outcome.  And this is a simple fact.  You do not live or work in America.  The passage, defeat, or amendment of this legislation will not affect you in the slightest.  I therefore do not think that you can dispute my contention that it is far easier for you to take a "purist" postion on this legislation.  In the end, it won't change your circumstances at all.  Its defeat will, however, have a profound impact on the lives of many, many Americans.

Let me get your views on the following hypothetical scenario (and Mouse's as well).  Let us assume that your position prevails.  The all inclusive legislation is presented to Congress and is voted down.  (And trust me, this is the certain result.  In our system, we simply don't have the kind of party discipline that you're familiar with in the British Parliament.)  ENDA thus suffers another defeat, just as it did in 1996.  A lesbian in Louisiana is later fired explicitly because of her sexual orientation.  Because ENDA has failed, she has no legal recourse, since like most states, Louisiana does not protect gays from discrimination.  As a result of her loss of income, she loses her home, a not unlikely outcome in here America.  Please write out exactly how you would justify your position to her in a face to face meeting.  Obviously, this is a hypothetical situation that you will fortunately almost certainly never face.  But give it a try.  Tell me how you (a person with no stake in this legislation) would justify your "victory" to her.  I'll be most interested to read your response.

Mouse,

I don't know that I'm criticizing people for not having a stake in the legislation.  That they are straight or not U.S. nationals are matters beyond their control.  What I have done is nothing more than point out that they have no such stake, and this simple fact allows them to formulate their positions on it with the serene confidence that, no matter what position they take, their advocacy of that position will have no effect on them at all.  Hence my statement that they lack what we lawyers call "standing."  As should be obvious, this does not apply to you, because you have an unquestioned stake in the outcome of this legislative battle, since I assume you are American.

One more thing.  The reason I was so harsh with MtD was that his response was utterly devoid of reasoned argument, filled with personal invective, and (possibly) made by someone lacking standing.  One may or may not like Barney Frank, but calling him a "whore master" is beyond the pale in my book.  To defame someone who has spent three decades (or perhaps more) fighting this battle shows complete inattention to the facts.

To respond directly to the question implicit in the second paragraph of your post, my answer is that yes, I would support limited legislation.  And this is true even if it left gay men out (i.e., me).  As I have tried to explain until I'm blue in the face, passage of limited legislation would let members of Congress see that the sky won't fall if gender variant people (whatever the nature of their variance) are given employment protection.  One need only look at the gay marriage issue in Massachusetts.  After the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that gays must be allowed to marry, there was an enormous uproar, with threats to overturn the decision by constitutional amendment.  When the time for that came, however, passions had largely cooled.  Bay Staters had watched gay people get married and had observed that no calamity ensued.  So the constitutional amendment fizzled for lack of support.

My next point is one of admonition.  The tone of your posts when you discuss gays and lesbians is so angry as to be insulting.  You obviously don't trust gays and lesbians, although as I pointed out some time back, every single national gay rights organization (except HRC) has embraced your position on this legislation.  Thus, rather than simply abandoning transgenders, as you seem to fear, those awful gay people have stood shoulder to shoulder with you.  In other words, your extremely dim view of the good faith of gay people appears to be contrary to the available evidence.  These organizations could simply have agreed to support Barney Frank to get a bill that would at least protect GLBs, but the fact is, they didn't. 

Furthermore, let me point out that you fault gay people for failing to educate themselves on your issues.  Forgive me, but I think that you and your community have to take responsibility for that.  It is incumbent on you to educate others.  The gay movement didn't come this far by simply bitching that straight people weren't paying enough attention to us.  We had to do that education ourselves.  We marched in Washington in 1979, 1987, 1993, and 2000.  We worked on state and local legislators.  We worked with other civil rights organizations, trying to get them interested in our issues.  And there was much more besides.  This is what it takes to bring about political change. 

And in conclusion, allow me to confront you with a cold, hard reality.  No one, and I mean no one would even be discussing transgender rights if it weren't for gay people linking themselves to the transgender cause.  Numbers matter a lot in politics, and although GLBs are a small minority, we're a hell of a lot more numerous than transgenders.  And I think that that's what sticks in your craw and makes you so hostile.  Deep down, you know that your community would be nowhere if it weren't for us.  You can, of course, continue to resent us and heap criticism on us for all that we have done and all that we have failed to do, but permit me to suggest to you that that strategy is counterproductive.  You need us, so it would behoove you to put aside your seething resentment and allow rationality to prevail.  Find ways of working together, stop impugning our good faith, and accept that you'll have to coordinate with us.  Political realities may be harsh, but nothing is served by denying their existence.  Remember the old saying, "you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar."

John
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Offline Mouse

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2007, 07:32:37 PM »

Mouse,

I don't know that I'm criticizing people for not having a stake in the legislation.  That they are straight or not U.S. nationals are matters beyond their control.  What I have done is nothing more than point out that they have no such stake, and this simple fact allows them to formulate their positions on it with the serene confidence that, no matter what position they take, their advocacy of that position will have no effect on them at all.  Hence my statement that they lack what we lawyers call "standing."  As should be obvious, this does not apply to you, because you have an unquestioned stake in the outcome of this legislative battle, since I assume you are American.

And as an American, I am willing to give up whatever small amount of rights that I would have confirmed, as a gay man, with this screwed up bill, because I know that I shouldn't have them if everyone else in my community doesn't as well. I'm 17, I've been looking for work forever, and if I want to get through college I'm going to have to find a job soon - I'm well aware that someone could discriminate against me for being gay rather than because I'm also trans - I'm pretty obviously gay, but not obviously trans. Does that put me at risk by not having ENDA passed in the form it's in now? Yeah. I don't care though. Nobody ever got anything done by going, "Oh... well. I don't think they like trans people that much. We shouldn't push it." That's bullshit. If it means delaying the bill a few years, then so be it. I think we can all wait a little bit longer if it means getting EVERYONE protection.


Quote

To respond directly to the question implicit in the second paragraph of your post, my answer is that yes, I would support limited legislation.  And this is true even if it left gay men out (i.e., me).  As I have tried to explain until I'm blue in the face, passage of limited legislation would let members of Congress see that the sky won't fall if gender variant people (whatever the nature of their variance) are given employment protection.  One need only look at the gay marriage issue in Massachusetts.  After the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that gays must be allowed to marry, there was an enormous uproar, with threats to overturn the decision by constitutional amendment.  When the time for that came, however, passions had largely cooled.  Bay Staters had watched gay people get married and had observed that no calamity ensued.  So the constitutional amendment fizzled for lack of support.

I'd like to see you say that if it were to actually happen to you, because as I see it now, you are totally unwilling to give up whatever rights you think you would secure from this bill for the benefit of others.

Quote
My next point is one of admonition.  The tone of your posts when you discuss gays and lesbians is so angry as to be insulting.  You obviously don't trust gays and lesbians, although as I pointed out some time back, every single national gay rights organization (except HRC) has embraced your position on this legislation.  Thus, rather than simply abandoning transgenders, as you seem to fear, those awful gay people have stood shoulder to shoulder with you.  In other words, your extremely dim view of the good faith of gay people appears to be contrary to the available evidence.  These organizations could simply have agreed to support Barney Frank to get a bill that would at least protect GLBs, but the fact is, they didn't.
Furthermore, let me point out that you fault gay people for failing to educate themselves on your issues.  Forgive me, but I think that you and your community have to take responsibility for that.  It is incumbent on you to educate others.  The gay movement didn't come this far by simply bitching that straight people weren't paying enough attention to us.  We had to do that education ourselves.  We marched in Washington in 1979, 1987, 1993, and 2000.  We worked on state and local legislators.  We worked with other civil rights organizations, trying to get them interested in our issues.  And there was much more besides.  This is what it takes to bring about political change. 

I hope you are offended, Bobino, because I am and I have been for years. What people say in public and what actually happens are two completely different things, I would've thought you'd have realized that. Some of the absolute worst prejudice I have been at the receiving end of has been from cisgender gay men. I don't need your evidence, Bobino, I know what has happened to me and my brothers and sisters.

Perhaps we are at fault, though. Perhaps instead of trying to educate the cisgender, heterosexual world like we have been we should be concentrating on the rest of our own community, since most of you seem to not give a shit. You'd think that if we ARE a community, and if you guys can decide whether or not we are a liability in this bill we want to pass, you would want to know a little bit about who we are without us having to shove the information down your throats. We are using the same lgbt health centers, support groups and social places you are, so you would think that maybe it's something that most of you would have taken an interest in. I'm sorry we haven't tied you to chairs and forced you to learn - although I assure you we've done everything but that, and it's most often gone ignored. You forget that for nearly every effort there has been to fight for gay rights, trans people have been there along side you - but an almost equal amount of time, we have to fight for our own, like we are now when so many people want to coax our rights out from under us.

Quote
And in conclusion, allow me to confront you with a cold, hard reality.  No one, and I mean no one would even be discussing transgender rights if it weren't for gay people linking themselves to the transgender cause.  Numbers matter a lot in politics, and although GLBs are a small minority, we're a hell of a lot more numerous than transgenders.  And I think that that's what sticks in your craw and makes you so hostile.  Deep down, you know that your community would be nowhere if it weren't for us.  You can, of course, continue to resent us and heap criticism on us for all that we have done and all that we have failed to do, but permit me to suggest to you that that strategy is counterproductive.  You need us, so it would behoove you to put aside your seething resentment and allow rationality to prevail.  Find ways of working together, stop impugning our good faith, and accept that you'll have to coordinate with us.  Political realities may be harsh, but nothing is served by denying their existence.  Remember the old saying, "you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar."

And this? This speaks for itself. It's rude, condescending, inflammatory and, most of all, completely false. I suggest before you get into an argument with a trans person about what my community, which you seem so eager to seperate yourself from, has done, you should educate yourself on what has actually happened. There may be more cisgender gays and bisexuals than transgender people, but we certainly don't 'need' the 'help' of people like you.
 

Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2007, 01:45:55 AM »
I'm 17, I've been looking for work forever.

This explains a lot.  You're 17 years old, and you claim you've been looking for work "forever."  You've only been eligible to work (legally) for a couple of years.  Whatever you may think, that's hardly forever.  It does make clear to me, though, why you have such a limited historical perspective.  Your age may also explain the intemperance of your attacks.  Basically, I had thought that you sounded like an adolescent having a tantrum.  Now I see that that is precisely what's going on.


Quote
I'd like to see you say that if it were to actually happen to you, because as I see it now, you are totally unwilling to give up whatever rights you think you would secure from this bill for the benefit of others.

If what were actually to happen to me?  Being discriminated against because I'm gay? Mouse, I'm 47 years old.  I have been working far longer than you've been alive.  Do you think I've escaped job discrimination?  Please don't lecture me about it until you've actually had the experience, which, by your own admission, you haven't, since you've never worked.  Oh, and just in case you think you've got it rough, you have no idea what it was like before.  Today, people your age are out of the closet all over the country.  Had I come out in Lousiana back in the late 70's, I might not have lived to tell the tale.

Quote
I hope you are offended, Bobino, because I am and I have been for years.

Please reread my previous post.  That you "hope" that I'm offended shows that you have no idea how to get along with people who have interests aligned with, but somewhat different from, your own.  I doubt that your attitude is typical of the transgender community, but if it were, it would explain why you're not making the progress you want to see.  Insulting people is an extremely poor method of getting them to work with you.


Quote
What people say in public and what actually happens are two completely different things, I would've thought you'd have realized that. Some of the absolute worst prejudice I have been at the receiving end of has been from cisgender gay men. I don't need your evidence, Bobino, I know what has happened to me and my brothers and sisters.


Are you suggesting that the national gay organizations that have publicly taken your side are lying?  Does your accusation have even the slightest factual basis?  Can you explain to me why they'd publicy take a position that doesn't really represent their views?  What is the advantage to them?  Are you saying that you have experienced prejudice at the hands of these gay organizations?  Because if you haven't, I fail to see the relevance of your experience to this question.  Oh, and don't worry, I'm acutely aware of your contempt for actual evidence.  But to quote Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion.  He is not entitled to his own facts."  Try to remember that.


Quote
Perhaps we are at fault, though. Perhaps instead of trying to educate the cisgender, heterosexual world like we have been we should be concentrating on the rest of our own community, since most of you seem to not give a shit. You'd think that if we ARE a community, and if you guys can decide whether or not we are a liability in this bill we want to pass, you would want to know a little bit about who we are without us having to shove the information down your throats. We are using the same lgbt health centers, support groups and social places you are, so you would think that maybe it's something that most of you would have taken an interest in. I'm sorry we haven't tied you to chairs and forced you to learn - although I assure you we've done everything but that, and it's most often gone ignored. You forget that for nearly every effort there has been to fight for gay rights, trans people have been there along side you - but an almost equal amount of time, we have to fight for our own, like we are now when so many people want to coax our rights out from under us.

Since you seem enamored of arguing purely from personal experience, let me say that in my entire life as a gay man, I have never once seen any kind of transgender education outreach, at least not until I arrived in San Francisco a few years ago.  I've lived in very big cities, and never once did I go to a gay bar or other gay venue and encounter transgenders trying to educate the gay community (or anyone else) about their issues.  Maybe y'all figured we just weren't worth it.  In the end, I don't know what to say to you.  That you place the burden of learning about transgender people on everyone else demonstrates a kind of egotism that could come only from an adolescent.

Another personal experience:  When I was closer to your age, a couple friends and I formed a gay group at my law school to try to educate straight people about gay issues.  It was two gay men and a lesbian, and we got harassed, the posters announcing our events were routinely torn down, and most people generally told us to fuck off.  The school administration was, to put it politely, unsympathetic.  (Hey, it was the early Reagan years, and that's how things were.)  Unlike you, however, we didn't start insulting people.  We worked on those who seemed receptive.  It was a place to start.  In my view, that's how every movement for change begins.  Education, outreach, forming alliances, and just doing all that drudge work, all in the uncertain hope that it may pay off in the end.  You might think about trying something similar, rather than writing lengthy, fact-free, bilious posts aimed at other members of your community.


Quote
And this? This speaks for itself. It's rude, condescending, inflammatory and, most of all, completely false. I suggest before you get into an argument with a trans person about what my community, which you seem so eager to separate yourself from, has done, you should educate yourself on what has actually happened. There may be more cisgender gays and bisexuals than transgender people, but we certainly don't 'need' the 'help' of people like you.

As I said several posts back, your community is free to disassociate itself from us awful gay people at any time.  Why don't you bring that up at a meeting of transgender activists and see how the suggestion is received?  Indeed, given your obvious distaste for gay people, I'm surprised you haven't done so already.  Now what could keep you in the room with a bunch of people that you seem to loathe?  Hmmmm . . . could it be a recognition that you need them?  Just guessing . . .

As for the accusation that my post was "rude, condescending, [and] inflammatory, all I can say, Kettle, is that you look quite black to me.

John
 
 
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Offline penguin

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2007, 05:00:40 PM »
Ah, right, lawyer..

I am aware that I am not a US resident , etc, etc; I was merely joining the discussion & sharing my thoughts on the issue. I am also aware of what standing means; not sure I fully agree with you on its relevance to this kind of stuff though.

As a gay woman, I think I have a vested interest in issues which affect the LGBT community, wherever they live, and an obligation to support LGBT activists in their attempts to challenge inequality & secure for themselves the same rights I have (fairly recently acquired) at home.

same reason why, for the past 5 years, I show up outside the Zimbabwean Embassy on the saturday afternoons when I'm able to - i don't live in zim, but as a human being, i believe it's important to challenge injustice & oppression.
same reason why I support the work of groups like TAC; i don't live in Mpumalanga, but as a person with hiv, I want to see worldwide access to the treatment/healthcare rights i have at home, and reduction of stigma.

It's a solidarity thing,no? Community means everyone, not just the people who are more socially acceptable, or who have made more noise, or have greater numbers. I'm a realist, politically and otherwise, but i can't see how excluding people does anything other than weaken the overall position. Disability discrimination legislation wouldn’t have been acceptable if it had excluded deaf people, or people with one leg. I doubt if civil rights legislation would have been acceptable to African Americans, had it initially only included people of "lighter" skin tones. Same principle applies here, is my feeling.

The lesbian in Louisiana, if an inclusive bill didn't pass, wouldn't have lost anything - as you say, she doesnt have those rights to begin with. She would still have the support of the whole LGBT community, with the collective energy and vested interest to continue fighting for legislative change. no division, all in the same boat. Very difficult, yes, but probably a damn sight easier than a lesbian or a gay man having the same conversation with a trans individual, should a trans-excluding bill pass.. cos I suspects that any words of support would be somewhat hollow, sour-tasting, from a group that no longer had as much reason to fight for further legislative change, eh? (I believe trans men & women have been waiting to be included for about 5 years, since NY excluded them from their state law coverage..?)
[correct me on this if I'm wrong -  but as I understand it, the bill without specific gender identity/expression coverage would leave GLB individuals just as open to discrimination, if they don’t fit the socially accepted "box" of gender presentation/behaviour..?]

as someone watching this unfold from a distance, one of the things which strikes me about proposing legislation that excludes trans people is… if the issue of trans rights still sticks so profoundly in the craw of the US law-makers, that this bill would fail solely by their inclusion within it…. then perhaps the L’s, the G’s & the B’s  need to reassess how much attitudes have really changed,how far away the prejudice has gone, & how meaningful any "equality" or "victory" would be without those T’s.

I think that's about all I have to say on this.

kate

Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2007, 07:52:01 PM »
Kate,

Thank you for your intelligent and well-reasoned comments.  Allow me to clarify a couple of points.  The legislation currently proposed does not need to cover people on the basis of whether or not they conform to their "assigned" gender roles.  If you'll look back at one of my earlier posts in this thread, you'll see that the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1989 that discrimination in employment based on gender role conformity is already covered by Title VII's prohibitions on gender discrimination.  I included a couple of quotes from the relevant portion of the Court's opinion, the gist of one of which is that an employer that discriminates against a woman because her behavior doesn't conform to what people consider "normal" for a woman has acted on the basis of gender, a category long protected under U.S. antidiscrimination laws.  So, all of the rage in this thread about how ENDA doesn't cover this is based entirely on an ignorance of the state of U.S. law.  It's already covered.  Period.

And this is the last time I'm going to say this, because I've said it enough, and if people don't want to believe me, I would simply invite them to read Justice Brennan's opinion in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989).  If there are those in this forum who simply choose not to believe what the opinion says in black and white, then there is no point in further discussing this issue with them, because they are taking positions that have no moorings in reality.  So, if there are those who want to debate my understanding of American antidiscrimination law, that's fine.  But I insist that they come armed with citations to back them up.  I'm no longer going to dignify this content-free flaming with a response.  It's so ridiculous that it doesn't merit it.

As for the lesbian in Louisiana still having the support of the entire LGBT community, I can tell you that that would be cold comfort.  If you think I'm wrong, I would invite you to visit Louisiana sometime and see what life for gays is like there, especially once you get outside of New Orleans.  You're talking about abstractions like "the support of the entire LGBT community."  I'm talking about the real world experiences of people in the American south and what they face in terms of discrimination.  Try visiting the region sometime, and get outside of the big cities.  I suspect you'd find it eye-opening.  Although the support of the entire LGBT community is doubtless nice, it won't pay the woman's rent or buy her food.  And if she's from a religiously conservative family (an extremely high likelihood in the deep south), then once her lesbianism is revealed, she won't have family support either. 

On what I think is your other fundamental point, I simply have a different view.  In the perfect world, I'd pass the inclusive bill also and give everyone protection.  But if Congress passes more limited legislation, then,  at a minimum, they've legislatively endorsed an extremely important principle -- that sexual orientation is a frequent basis of discrimination and that it deserves to be outlawed.  In my view, getting the Congress to admit that would be a huge step forward, for everyone.  Which is why I'd endorse the legislation even if it protected, say, only bisexuals.  The GLT community would be without protection, but Congress would have gone on record as accepting the core of our argument.  Once the principle is admitted, it becomes increasingly difficult to argue against expansion of the protections to cover everyone. 

So that's where I stand.  People are obviously entitled to take different views.  I ask only that we discuss this issue on the basis of facts.  The Bush administration has provided us with enough fact-free opinions and policies to last a lifetime.  We need to get back to brass tacks.

John


 





« Last Edit: November 24, 2007, 03:25:31 PM by bobino »
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Offline thunter34

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2007, 08:03:01 PM »
I voiced support for H.R. 2015...the original bill.  I did so out of principle.


I am gay, American, from the rural South (not the big city), 37 and know first-hand what life has meant without such protections.  I've waited this long and can continue to do so.

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Offline pozniceguy

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2007, 03:15:17 PM »
Once again this "broken record" encourages all of you ..whatever your position may be..to let the people who can do something know that you are concerned...send letters..send emails..make phone calls   just "talking" is good exercise but will not make anything happen....take the time to do something very constructive...write..call..vote...and let whoever "represents you know what you expect...

Nick
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Offline Cliff

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2007, 05:34:39 PM »
I had to think hard about this issue.  True, civil rights don't come all at once, they come in stages and through much compromises.  But dropping an entire group from protection, seems less like a stage and more like throwing the less popular cousins under the bus.  I assume Bush plans to veto this bill and I assume it will pass by a rather slim margin.  Therefore there are unlikely to be enough votes to override Bush's veto.  So why throw the unpopular cousins under the bus, just to pass a bill that will die by veto?

I'm going to write to ask for support for the all-inclusive version.  It's all academic anyway.

Offline Iggy

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2007, 05:54:28 PM »
Once again this "broken record" encourages all of you ..whatever your position may be..to let the people who can do something know that you are concerned...send letters..send emails..make phone calls   just "talking" is good exercise but will not make anything happen....take the time to do something very constructive...write..call..vote...and let whoever "represents you know what you expect...

Nick

Well Said!

Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2007, 12:21:27 AM »
I had to think hard about this issue.  True, civil rights don't come all at once, they come in stages and through much compromises.  But dropping an entire group from protection, seems less like a stage and more like throwing the less popular cousins under the bus.  I assume Bush plans to veto this bill and I assume it will pass by a rather slim margin.  Therefore there are unlikely to be enough votes to override Bush's veto.  So why throw the unpopular cousins under the bus, just to pass a bill that will die by veto?

I'm going to write to ask for support for the all-inclusive version.  It's all academic anyway.

Cliff,

Thank you for your very principled stand, taken from across the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean . . . and well beyond the reach of U.S. law. 

John
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Offline Mouse

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2007, 12:23:48 AM »
Cliff,

Thank you for your very principled stand, taken from across the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean . . . and well beyond the reach of U.S. law. 

John


You very conveniently ignore the opinion of gay, American people that are in favor of only supporting the all-inclusive ENDA.

Offline thunter34

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2007, 12:26:07 AM »
Cliff,

Thank you for your very principled stand, taken from across the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean . . . and well beyond the reach of U.S. law. 

John


I also thank you, Cliff...from right smack-dab here in the middle of Bible Country, Georgia, U.S. of A.
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Offline thunter34

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2007, 12:29:09 AM »
PS:  I also thank you, bobino.

While doubtlessly not your intention, you have made me feel even more confident about my decision than before.

Cheers!
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Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2007, 01:22:41 AM »

PS:  I also thank you, bobino.

While doubtlessly not your intention, you have made me feel even more confident about my decision than before.

I'm not surprised.  Reasoned discussion with those whom you disagree may cause you to rethink your position on an issue.  Often, such re-examination leaves you more certain in your position, rather than less.  After all, you've considered counterarguments, and you've rejected them (for a reason(s), one hopes), and this process leaves you fortified in your beliefs.

As for you, Mouse, I'm not sure what universe you inhabit.  To say that I'm "ignoring" the opinions of American gays who support "the all-inclusive version of ENDA" itself ignores the lengthy and detailed posts I've made here responding to their arguments.  What I have done is disagree, but that is not the same as ignoring.  Of course, you've repeatedly demonstrated your contempt for reasoned, fact-based argument, choosing instead to rely on nothing more than your own solipsistic emotions and beliefs, so I probably shouldn't be surprised by your response.  I will simply agree to disagree with you, since you've proved incapable of rational discussion.

John
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Offline Mouse

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2007, 01:45:36 AM »
I'm not surprised.  Reasoned discussion with those whom you disagree may cause you to rethink your position on an issue.  Often, such re-examination leaves you more certain in your position, rather than less.  After all, you've considered counterarguments, and you've rejected them (for a reason(s), one hopes), and this process leaves you fortified in your beliefs.

As for you, Mouse, I'm not sure what universe you inhabit.  To say that I'm "ignoring" the opinions of American gays who support "the all-inclusive version of ENDA" itself ignores the lengthy and detailed posts I've made here responding to their arguments.  What I have done is disagree, but that is not the same as ignoring.  Of course, you've repeatedly demonstrated your contempt for reasoned, fact-based argument, choosing instead to rely on nothing more than your own solipsistic emotions and beliefs, so I probably shouldn't be surprised by your response.  I will simply agree to disagree with you, since you've proved incapable of rational discussion.

John



And all you've done, Bobino, is proven that the only way you're capable of driving your point home is by talking down to me.

You know, regardless of anyone's opinion on the subject, somehow trying to sound reasonable to certain people within the same thread that you've decided to sound like a pompous, self-worshipping twat to other people doesn't work so well.

Offline bobino

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2007, 02:02:27 AM »
You know, regardless of anyone's opinion on the subject, somehow trying to sound reasonable to certain people within the same thread that you've decided to sound like a pompous, self-worshipping twat to other people doesn't work so well.

And the above, Mouse, is what is called an ad hominem attack.  You attack the person, rather than his argument.  If you want to be taken seriously, then you have to act, speak, and argue like a serious person.  Calling me a "pompous, self-worshipping twat" (whatever that is supposed to mean) is an entirely personal attack that does absolutely nothing to refute my position.  Instead, it only makes you look less credible, because it suggests that you can't win a rational debate, so you resort to name-calling.  When I point out the lack of substance in your argument, that isn't at all the same thing as "talking down to you."  It's simply, well, pointing out that your argument lacks substance.  So call me names if that is what makes you happy.  Just realize that in so doing, you're demeaning no one but yourself.

John
 

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Offline Mouse

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2007, 02:25:53 AM »
And the above, Mouse, is what is called an ad hominem attack.  You attack the person, rather than his argument.  If you want to be taken seriously, then you have to act, speak, and argue like a serious person.  Calling me a "pompous, self-worshipping twat" (whatever that is supposed to mean) is an entirely personal attack that does absolutely nothing to refute my position.  Instead, it only makes you look less credible, because it suggests that you can't win a rational debate, so you resort to name-calling.  When I point out the lack of substance in your argument, that isn't at all the same thing as "talking down to you."  It's simply, well, pointing out that your argument lacks substance.  So call me names if that is what makes you happy.  Just realize that in so doing, you're demeaning no one but yourself.

John
 



Okay, really. You don't need to lecture me. That is pretty much construed as talking down to someone, in case you weren't aware (see how that sentence made you feel like I think you're stupid or something? See how THAT sentence just made you feel like I think I know more than you? Yeah, it works like that.)

You've also, once again, ignored something that questions your intentions in this thread.

First of all, what I said before had nothing to do with the novel-length, babble-style paragraphs you had posted before - it has pretty much everything to do with the fact that you've had people post in this thread that are, (in your opinion), in the position to have an opinion on this bill, that disagree with you. Yet, instead of commenting on what they've said, you skip over them, or post something in response to them that are completely irrelevant to the main point of their post.

So what's your opinion on people that are gay, US-citizens and STILL support the all-inclusive, ENDA, Bobino? Are they misguided, ignorant, all out stupid? Why in the world would they disagree with your incredibly self-impressed point of view? Are they self-hating gays? Do they not understand the real issue? Really, Bobino, let us know - me most of all. Why would I be willing to give up the partial rights that I'd be receiving from the non-inclusive version of ENDA just to support the original version? Why would anyone be willing to sacrifice the partial immunity they'd have?

If the situation were reversed, I absolutely one hundred percent would never support a bill that had been put together to protect the entire community and then afterwards kicked the cisgender gays out. I'd tell my trans brothers and sisters that had an issue with it to fuck off.

Bobino, you continuously ignore the struggles that trans people have gone through... and the fact that many of the rights that you DO enjoy today are secured largely because of the work that trans people have done, in addition to educating people about their own issues.

This bill isn't going to pass - at least until Bush is out of office. And maybe by then there will be people in a position of power that are understanding of the issues surrounding gender identity and expression. So why in the hell are you so willing to take trans people out of a bill that simply represents what we are capable of doing as a community that won't actually have any legal effects yet? Your argument is invalid in this situation. Bush is going to vet the sucker one way or another. You're not gaining anything from this, nobody is - and yet so many people are willing to show how easy it is to split our community and how willing so many people are to disregard protection for trans people.


Offline Peter Staley

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #40 on: November 27, 2007, 10:16:22 AM »
you've decided to sound like a pompous, self-worshipping twat

Jaser -- this kind of personal attack is uncalled for in these forums, no matter how steamed the conversation gets.  Consider yourself warned.  You are free to continue posting in this thread, but please keep your focus on the issues, not personal attacks.

And John -- you're being warned as well.  You went personal, rather than sticking with a discussion of the issues, with comments like "your contempt for reasoned, fact-based argument, choosing instead to rely on nothing more than your own solipsistic emotions and beliefs... you've proved incapable of rational discussion."

Back off with this flamewar, guys, or you'll both get Time-Outs.

Peter

Offline David_CA

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2007, 10:22:12 AM »
As much as I'd like everybody  in the LGBT 'community' to be included, everything I've read indicates that this won't happen with this bill.  Likening it to the incremental gains in Civil Rights seems pretty accurate to me.  I read a transcript from Barney Frank a while back where he justified pushing the bill without including transgendered in order to get it to pass.  My take on it is that idealistic does not always equal realistic.  To help the most people possible is the goal (of the bill).  Let me say that I think we should all be included (idealistically).  Am I willing to sacrifice the idealistic for the practical and not have protection for the largest part of the LGBT 'community'?  It's a hard call.  It reminds me of gay marriage.  I'd like to be considered married to my husband in this country; I am in Canada and in other countries.  If we (hubby and I) had all the rights of marriage but weren't considered married, that would be a step in the right direction.  I imagine gay marriage will progress the same way, too (recognized unions and then marriage).

Many things come in spurts, and I feel that an ENDA bill that covers all groups is one of those things.  Am I willing to NOT give protection to a huge group of Americans (the L's, G's, and B's) because every group won't be covered?  This is a hard question to answer.

David
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Offline leatherman

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2007, 11:12:13 AM »
This bill isn't going to pass - at least until Bush is out of office. And maybe by then there will be people in a position of power that are understanding of the issues surrounding gender identity and expression.

That's why I don't understand why you are fussing so very much about a bill that is not 100% inclusive. IF it would pass, at least it would be a partial step forward.

But we all know it won't pass. And Bush has nothing to do with it. (although I don't like him or his policies, he still isn't the dictator yet) It has to do with what the majority think. I live in Ohio where less than 2 yrs ago, the people and legislature of the state overwhelming approved the Defense of Marriage Act. Americans are still deadly afraid of gays, do you really think they're ready to be incluse of transgender people yet?  Just getting "domestic partnerships" approved is an uphill battle in most states. Don't you think most gays would prefer "marriage rights" rather than "domestic partnerships"? Many gay people have temporarily "settled" for the partnerships because they afford at least some rights and protections and are a compromise that works in many places. Unfortunately the political battle for gays to actually get "married" will probably continue for at least another decade, if not longer.

Until this thread, I had never heard the word "cisgender" before. (that just shows there's a lot more education that needs to be done. If someone like me has never heard that word, I'm sure the vast majority of average Americans will have no clue what it means) After I did some research, I would suggest that you refine your arguements by having a better debate on the issues with people here (who might be more friendly to your cause) because those radical feminist womyn (who have more political clout than gays) really hate your gender-blurring definitions and are going to eat you up when you have to debate them.  ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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Offline Iggy

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #43 on: November 27, 2007, 12:07:28 PM »
I'm struck by a recurrent point in another debate, and what is going on here in the EDNA issue:  The fight for equality and against discrimination ends for some when it costs them something.

I am realistic and have had enough of an insider view of certain events in Washington to not mistake how politics work.  A politician's primarily concern, and in fact duty, is to do that which is considered to be of the greatest value (or most acceptable) for the majority of his or her constituents; that being at least the majority of the ones who actually care enough to follow what the politician is doing and make sure their pleasure/displeasure is heard.

So knowing this, I am not surprised that there is little political will in Washington to say that they will be willing to take a stand for people who aren't even a known or acceptable quantity to most people. But politicians acting like politicians is not really the issue, or even the most glaring marker of what is so wrong with this debate.

What bothers me is the mentality to preemptively minimize demands and acceptance of what  is right simply because more weight is given to the process than to what we are really fighting for.  I said in my opening that some give up the fight once they realize it costs them something and that is only partially the problem  - The real and depressing issue is that the cost that is deemed too much by some seems to be a lower and lower nowadays, and for some seems to be about the going price of an inconvenience.

For me the only way we lose in this fight is if we deem that a bill for equality is acceptable when it is by nature discriminatory.  If that happens, then we should slap ourselves on the back for being made equal - including equal to those who for years thought gays and lesbians were just not worth the fight, cost or concern.

Offline Mouse

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2007, 12:11:28 PM »
That's why I don't understand why you are fussing so very much about a bill that is not 100% inclusive. IF it would pass, at least it would be a partial step forward.

But we all know it won't pass. And Bush has nothing to do with it. (although I don't like him or his policies, he still isn't the dictator yet) It has to do with what the majority think. I live in Ohio where less than 2 yrs ago, the people and legislature of the state overwhelming approved the Defense of Marriage Act. Americans are still deadly afraid of gays, do you really think they're ready to be incluse of transgender people yet?  Just getting "domestic partnerships" approved is an uphill battle in most states. Don't you think most gays would prefer "marriage rights" rather than "domestic partnerships"? Many gay people have temporarily "settled" for the partnerships because they afford at least some rights and protections and are a compromise that works in many places. Unfortunately the political battle for gays to actually get "married" will probably continue for at least another decade, if not longer.

I'm 'fussing' for reasons I stated before, and a lot of them have a lot to do with principles. The fact that it won't pass (and Bush has a great deal to do with it, considering he stated that if it got up to him he would veto it) is relevant because that means even for the people that truly believe they would gain protection from a non-inclusive version of the bill aren't going to get anything, and yet they continue to insist that trans people be left out of a bill that is going to be vetoed whether gender identity and expression is included in it or not. That says a lot, to me at least, and to other trans people, about how willing people in our own community are to leave us out - especially from a bill that a lot of trans people worked hard to help organize.

When you were in school, ever have to work on a project with a group of like 2 or 3 other kids? This is pretty much the equivalent of what it feels like to put an equal amount of work into a project, but instead of being able to hand in the project with the other kids and get the grade you worked hard for, you're told you have to go back and do another entire project by yourself all over again.

And I don't think a comparison about gay marriage/partnership and this is a very good comparison, mostly because while gay couples are at a disadvantage if laws protecting them don't pass, there is not the issue of some gaining protection and others not. If you're in a same-sex relationship, you either win or lose with all the other people in same-sex relationships, there isn't protection for some and not others, and that is the main issue in this, if it was possible for the bill to pass at this point in time. Some are getting protection, while others aren't, and that is never okay - we aren't talking about anything that needs to be earned, here, and that is something I think people are forgetting very often - we are talking about rights that we all should already have secured for us as human beings, and unfortunately we are all, for good or bad, in a community together because we are discriminated against in society and denied these rights.

That's why I have an issue with ANYONE being excluded from this bill - whether I personally be gaining or losing anything is irrelevant if everyone isn't included.


Quote
Until this thread, I had never heard the word "cisgender" before. (that just shows there's a lot more education that needs to be done. If someone like me has never heard that word, I'm sure the vast majority of average Americans will have no clue what it means) After I did some research, I would suggest that you refine your arguements by having a better debate on the issues with people here (who might be more friendly to your cause) because those radical feminist womyn (who have more political clout than gays) really hate your gender-blurring definitions and are going to eat you up when you have to debate them.  ;)

Well, you've heard it now, haven't you? I used it for a reason. It's a term that's important to know when you're discussing issues related to trans people. There is always more education to be done for people that aren't directly effected by a certain issue, and a large part of that education involves discussing it and... well, reading about it. I always tell people I am more than happy to send them links and information on trans issues (and I've endlessly ranted about them in a ton of topics on this forum and tons of other places) but very few people have actually come to me and asked for it. I can't show it down everyone's throats, I can just make it available, and that's what I and honestly MOST trans people have done. I don't know one trans person that isn't willing to educate a person on their issues should that person be aware that they are capable of doing so.

And that is something that puts trans people at a distinct advantage when it comes to education. Really, no one has the right to know information as delicate as a misunderstood medical issue, as we're all HIV+ I'm sure we can all agree on that. It makes it very difficult for us to be able to educate people properly because, while being gay has a lot of social facets to it (I mean, in being gay I've discovered entirely separate groups for dating,
an entire different subculture, etc, etc), being trans is simply a medical issue in which the people that are trans have nothing in common other than the fact that they unfortunately have this condition - once again, very similarly to the dynamic HIV+ people have together. We don't necessarily have anything in common, but we bond together because we understand what one another is going through.

Offline Cliff

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #45 on: November 27, 2007, 01:35:20 PM »
Cliff,

Thank you for your very principled stand, taken from across the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean . . . and well beyond the reach of U.S. law. 

John
John,

While I may live oveseas, what happens in the US directly impacts me.  I am a voting, tax paying US citizen (in fact, I will be sending off my 2006 taxes on Friday).  Gay male.  Born and raised in the deep (religious) south.  And up until recently (a year ago), I was on a US contract (i.e., my employment and benefits were subject to US laws).  Hopefully I now tick all the boxes!
 
I can assure you that my "very principled" stance was not taken from across any Ocean. 

Cliff

Offline David_CA

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #46 on: November 27, 2007, 01:58:04 PM »
And I don't think a comparison about gay marriage/partnership and this is a very good comparison, mostly because while gay couples are at a disadvantage if laws protecting them don't pass, there is not the issue of some gaining protection and others not. If you're in a same-sex relationship, you either win or lose with all the other people in same-sex relationships, there isn't protection for some and not others, and that is the main issue in this, if it was possible for the bill to pass at this point in time. Some are getting protection, while others aren't, and that is never okay - we aren't talking about anything that needs to be earned, here, and that is something I think people are forgetting very often - we are talking about rights that we all should already have secured for us as human beings, and unfortunately we are all, for good or bad, in a community together because we are discriminated against in society and denied these rights.

It wasn't a comparison so much as my opinion on how some things progress in steps.  I was previously married to a woman, and now I'm married to a man.  I had certain rights, but now I don't.  The situation is even worse for those in similar situations involving children. 

Again, when I read the transcript from Barney Frank, it kinda made me realize that it's not such a yes or no issue.  Let's think of it another way.  What if lesbians only were going to benefit from the bill.  I'm certainly not a lesbian, so I wouldn't gain much ground here.  I'd pretty much feel left out and alienated.  Now, what if lesbians outnumbered gay men 1000 to 1 (I'm not sure what the numbers of T's are compared to L's or G's), would I still feel the same?  I'd still feel left out, but it's hard to say that I'd want to block something that would benefit so many more than just 'us' (the minority of minorities).

One doesn't have to look very hard for the "recurrent point" that's been mentioned.  It obviously has to do with the travel ban and the location of the AMG.  It's hardly the same.  What if the EDNA was going to pass without T's being included and it wasn't supported because of this non-inclusion?  Who would benefit?  What if we knew we could have an AMG in a country welcoming people with HIV.  What if we agreed to hold it in this welcoming country that was prohibitively expensive and hard to get to that NOBODY could attend.  Who would benefit?  Again, practicality often isn't fair or equal.  There is no 'cost' involved to the L's, G's, and B's; the only cost would be to the T's.  Understand that I'm not saying that I don't support all the letters being included (I do), it's just that I wonder when we'll have an opportunity to pass this again in the near future if we don't take what we can get now. 

For those who haven't read the transcript that I've referred to, here's a link:
http://lloydletta.blogspot.com/2007/10/barney-franks-speech-on-enda.html

David
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Offline thunter34

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #47 on: November 27, 2007, 02:12:06 PM »
Here's a random but interesting thought / question that all this mention of ENDA and Gay Marriage inspired:

As a self-identified trans gay male, if Jaser found the boy of his dreams right now...could he get legally gay-hitched or not?  And if he did, if he one day completed all that surgery hoo-ha...does the marriage then suddenly get revoked or what?

If nothing else, it sures serves to highlight the foolishness of assigning validity to relationships based solely on "parts".
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 02:13:46 PM by thunter34 »
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Mouse

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #48 on: November 27, 2007, 02:48:27 PM »
Here's a random but interesting thought / question that all this mention of ENDA and Gay Marriage inspired:

As a self-identified trans gay male, if Jaser found the boy of his dreams right now...could he get legally gay-hitched or not?  And if he did, if he one day completed all that surgery hoo-ha...does the marriage then suddenly get revoked or what?

If nothing else, it sures serves to highlight the foolishness of assigning validity to relationships based solely on "parts".


I'm legally female right now. All that's required in many states in the US is one 'non-reversible' surgery. All I need is chest surgery and I can legally change my gender marker to male. I could get married right now, and I'm pretty sure that once I get my gender marker changed it would be invalid.

Not that I ever plan on getting legally married, anyway.


Interesting thought. In Texas, even if you are legally male, if you are genetically female you can get legally married to another male. Kinda funny that Texas would allow any form of gay marriage. (How they prove it, I don't know, but hey.)

Offline thunter34

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Re: Call to Action - Regarding ENDA Bill
« Reply #49 on: November 27, 2007, 04:42:36 PM »
All I need is chest surgery and I can legally change my gender marker to male. I could get married right now, and I'm pretty sure that once I get my gender marker changed it would be invalid.

So a union that even the fair churches of this land would back would become invalidated and declared "unsancitified" based solely on the switching of a single letter from "F" to "M"...even without anything being surgically altered below the waist. 

How very telling.


Oh and btw, Jaser.  I've had lots of trans friends and acquaintances throughout my gay adult life and try to stay "in the know" generally, but feel free to forward along any spiffy resources you might particularly like.  Always up for stuff like that. 
AIDS isn't for sissies.

 


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