I Guess He’s a Meathead After All

Queer Channel Media on Jo Becker’s Onion-worthy anti-history of gay marriage:

The notion that [Human Right Scampaign head money-inhaler Chad] Griffin, a board member of American Foundation for Equal Rights, is the hero who saved the marriage equality movement pervades the 437-page work.

One part of the book that addresses his move to D.C. in 2012 to become head of the Human Rights Campaign includes a farewell discussion in which fellow AFER board member Rob Reiner says of Griffin, “If there ever is going to be — and there will be at some point — the first gay president, you’re looking at him.”

Until recently I would have been okay if Reiner had been gay and referring to himself – but the fact that he’s referring to Griffin delegitimizes him in so many ways.

In fact, I think with that blather, he went to negative eleven.

HRC didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment on the perception that Griffin and the Prop 8 case are given undue credit in the book for their role in the marriage equality movement.

Oh, don’t worry…

They just assigned the task of responding to you to all of its trans women employees.

Pic of the Day: April 20, 2014 (Special ‘Non Baseball’ Edition)

20140420 - 01

Prior to the football game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Michigan State Spartans at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Nov. 12, 2011.

More Whining from the Kalifornia Khristofascist Kollective

In a press release curiously entitled “State Silences Voters on Co-ed Bathroom Bill” (the only votes taken thus far on California’s AB 1266 have been within the California legislature – and the majority favored the bill), the christofascist, anti-constitutionist Pacific “Justice” Institute is whining about this:

[A] Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled this afternoon in favor of a motion by the State to squelch subpoenas that sought records to verify invalidated signatures for the Co-ed Bathroom Bill referendum efforts.

Yet, that isn’t what prompted me to post this morning.  Rather, it was this portion of the press release:

Of note, one of the lead attorneys on this case was surprised to find out his own signature was thrown out because it didn’t match the one on file—something unfortunately plausible as he has gone blind over these last few years and can’t see what he writes with a pen.

My question: How many non-1%-er, non-white, non-republican, non-christofascists in non-red jurisdictions who are legal, registered voters but who, for reasons as “unfortunately plausible” as that given to the blind attorney, have been either denied the right to vote or significantly inhibited/delayed while trying to vote has the Pacific “Justice” Institute gone to bat for?

The Shameless Scampaign, Part 2 (Or, If You’ve Ever Wondered Why I’m Working on a Doctorate in History, Look no Further)

I focus on trans history, but I have no use for fake history in general – and what Queen Elizabeth III is trying to pull pisses me off on at least three different levels.

First, she engages in the patented HRC brand of fake trans-inclusion (by using ‘LGBT’ where it is not historically accurate.)

Second, more generally she’s re-writing history and, in the process, erasing not just trans people but some early allies of trans people.

Third, she conclusively demonstrates how necessary it is for me to be, on this historical issue anyway, 100% behind someone as otherwise loathsome as Andrew Sullivan, someone who just this morning I’ve seen described – not inaccurately I’ll add – as a “condescending, self-righteous jerk,” a “peddle[r of] the disgusting myth that Matthew Shepard was a meth dealer,” “beyond disgusting,” “a walking talking blogging piece of excrement,” “attached at the breast to Margaret Thatcher,” and “the Prime Cheerleader for the Iraq War.”

Oh…

Those last two actually come from Queen Elizabeth III.

The difference is that her ‘stopped clock twice-a-day’ moment just qualifies her as Madame Capt. Obvious, whereas Sullivan’s is actually substantive – calling out hagiography that is being passed off history.  Recall how Sullivan introduced Jo Becker’s take on the gay marriage movement:

Here’s how the book begins – and I swear I’m not making this up:

This is how a revolution begins. It begins when someone grows tired of standing idly by, waiting for history’s arc to bend toward justice, and instead decides to give it a swift shove. It begins when a black seamstress named Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in the segregated South. And in this story, it begins with a handsome, bespectacled thirty-five-year-old political consultant named Chad Griffin, in a spacious suite at the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco on election night 2008.

Now here’s Queen Elizabeth III’s opening shot at Prince Andrew:

Andrew Sullivan is getting a lot of play from his latest rant against an author’s (in this case Jo Becker’s) failure to bow down to Sullivan’s runaway case of “GGS” (Gay Grandiosity Syndrome).

Maybe I’ve been wrong about the number of trans employees at HRC during QEIII’s tenure there.  After all, it takes balls for someone who converted what was left of a civil rights organization (albeit one that was transphobic from its inception – and for several years before that, don’tcha know) into little more than an LGB( ) Ponzi scheme – while doling out a six-figure salary to herself (and I don’t even want to think how much her ex, Hilary Rosen, has vacuumed up over the years) for the better part of a decade to accuse anyone of any kind of grandiosity syndrome.

When Sullivan was still attached at the breast to Margaret Thatcher, young gay couples here in the U.S. were seeking justice in places like Minnesota and Hawai’i in the early 1970s. Sullivan takes special pride in completely distorting the history of the Human Rights Campaign, while embellishing his own role in U.S. LGBT history. (Did anyone else notice no less that four of Sullivan’s books are pushed in the opening paragraphs of his diatribe against the Prop 8 team? So much for collective credit.)

Yes, I noticed him pushing his books.

It seemed as though he was using their existence as evidence for his point.

Are you upset that he wasn’t pushing HRC-logo-emblazoned water bottles instead?

Here is what really happened. In the beginning marriage was created as a way for men to track offspring and property. Ok, that was cynical. Flash forward to U.S. history circa early 1970s. A few gay couples (against the advice and counsel of the LGBT Legal organizations like Lambda Legal Defense) sought licenses in their home states. It is true that Dan Foley, a heterosexual Buddhist lawyer in Hawai’i took up the first major case that ripened about the time I became head of the Human Rights Campaign. (Andrew, that would be 1995, not the early 2000s.) Because I had run away to Hawai’i as a young lesbian teen (I put myself through University of Hawai’i studying Oceanography, Political Science and Hawaiian was my undergraduate language) and because the HRC team understood that modern Hawai’i had a unique history of valuing equality (Hawai’i was the first state, for example, to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment), we believed we had a reasonable chance of success at achieving the right for same gender couples to acquire a civil marriage license.

Way to not insert yourself into the discussion, Liz.  So I’m presuming now that what you’re upset about is that you don’t have your own book(s) to push?

Oh, and BTW…

Hawai’i was also the fourth state to enact a transsexual birth certificate statute.

And that was in 1973 – which would be two decades before the Baehr case, Liz – but I wouldn’t expect you to actually know anything about trans anything (as opposed to conveniently claiming to have, in a year’s time, gone from not being “not focused” on trans issues to having done “as much if not more” than anyone.)

During the heat of the campaign when we badly needed resources, I asked Andrew to help us raise money. He agreed and then promptly raised not a dime.

I dunnow….

Maybe he just thought that he could raise money on par with the degree to which HRC educates on trans issues.

I’m just speculatin’ (which would be more than HRC ever did in the way of educatin’)…

Now, however, comes QEIII’s money shot:

If we are going to talk about LGBT history and the true heros of marriage equality, remember these names: Henry the Eighth who made it popular — and then: Evan Wolfson, Mary Bonauto (our Thurgood Marshall), Edie Windsor, Thea Spyer, Robbie Kaplan, and, yes, the entire Prop 8 team. Why? Because when everyone was screaming “NO”, they said “YES” and fought their way through to a victory for the State of California. It is true that the Windsor case has had a far more profound impact in terms of actual jurisprudence in this nation, but any effort is of more value than a single one of Andrew Sullivan’s self-righteous rants.

Liz, please refer back to my remark about balls.

Afterward, understand that that paragraph just proved Sullivan’s point (and I again feel the urge to point out: I still find my flesh crawling at the thought of defending Sullivan, but he happens to be dead on the money on this one.)

Why?

First and foremost: LGBT history? NONE of those names have squat to do with T history (probably Bi history either, but I’m less certain on that point.)

Second: Jack Baker.

Third: Mike McConnell.

Or is Queen Elizabeth III unwilling to ‘go there’ because in 1970s Minnesota gay marriage was looked down upon with even more ferocity (though, for the most part, by the same people) that trans-inclusion was looked down upon with and the non-Gay,Inc. types of Minnesota in the 1970s, simply by virtue of being non-Gay,Inc-ers in Minnesota, were opponents of Steve Endean, the Dr. Frankenstein (and to complete the analogy, QEIII would stand in for Igor, who gave Endean’s incarnation of HRC the Abby Normal brain that causes it to care more about money than it does even Endean’s constricted, transphobic concept of civil rights) of the monster that is now HRC?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Maybe Andrew Sullivan will want to be one of them…

but I doubt it.

Still, that doesn’t mean that you’re anything but wrong, Liz…

as usual.

[ADDENDUM - 4/18/14, 3:15 PM CDT]

From Politico:

Prominent journalists who have been involved with or covered the gay rights movement endorsed Sullivan’s column.

Dan Savage, the gay rights activist and columnist, added: “You can’t write Evan Wolfson, Andrew Sullivan & Mary Bonauto out of the marriage equality mvmnt—but Jo Becker tried,” he wrote on Twittter, later calling it a “bullshit ‘history’ of marriage equality movement.”

Frank Rich, the New York Magazine columnist and former Timesman, wrote: “I often disagree with Andrew Sullivan, but he is 100% right about this travesty of gay history.”

Now I’m really pissed off.

I’m forced into agreeing with Dan Savage!

Reached by email, Becker told POLITICO that her book — “Forcing the Spring,” due for release on Tuesday — was “not meant to be a beginning-to-end-history of the movement.”

I have a question for you, Jo: Are you also going to claim that you didn’t mean to write this?

It begins when a black seamstress named Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in the segregated South. And in this story, it begins with a handsome, bespectacled thirty-five-year-old political consultant named Chad Griffin, in a spacious suite at the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco on election night 2008.

You know…

something that only a mentally defective paramecium could not interpret as you comparing Chad Griffin to Rosa Parks?

Or did the same person who Anthony Weiner claimed had hacked his Twitter account hack your word processor and put that in after you’d finished the book but before you shoveled it toward your publisher?

The Shameless Scampaign

Emphasis on the scam.

It takes a lot for me to say that Andrew Sullivan is spot-on, but apparently Chad Griffin and HRC attempting to manufacture a bizarre, fake historical narrative can prod Sullivan to write something that I can endorse:

Journalist Jo Becker has a new book out on the marriage equality movement. The revolution began, it appears, in 2008. And its Rosa Parks was a man you would be forgiven for knowing nothing about, Chad Griffin.

We shouldn’t know anything about him but, of course, we do know plenty about him – including his obscenely large salary.

Here’s how the book begins – and I swear I’m not making this up:

This is how a revolution begins. It begins when someone grows tired of standing idly by, waiting for history’s arc to bend toward justice, and instead decides to give it a swift shove. It begins when a black seamstress named Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in the segregated South. And in this story, it begins with a handsome, bespectacled thirty-five-year-old political consultant named Chad Griffin, in a spacious suite at the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco on election night 2008.

After that surreal opening, the book descends into more jaw-dropping distortion. For Becker, until the still-obscure Griffin came on the scene, the movement for marriage equality was a cause “that for years had largely languished in obscurity.” I really don’t know how to address that statement, because it is so wrong, so myopic and so ignorant it beggars belief that a respectable journalist could actually put it in print.

Uh huh…

Chad “$360,100″ Griffin is Rosa Parks to the same extent that Marsha Blackburn’s analysis of the degree to which the modern Republican Party has led the fight for women’s equality is accurate.

The intellectual foundation of the movement is also non-existent in Becker’s book – before, wait for it!, Ken Mehlman and Ted Olson brought Republican credibility to the movement. Yes, that’s her claim. My own work – penning the first cover-story on the conservative case for marriage equality in 1989, a subsequent landmark re-imagining of the gay rights movement in 1993, and a best-selling book, Virtually Normal in 1995 – is entirely omitted from the book, along with the critical contributions from other conservatives and libertarians, from Jon Rauch and Bruce Bawer to John Corvino and Dale Carpenter. I suspect even Olson and Mehlman will reject Becker’s ludicrous thesis, if challenged on this point. But for Becker, all of this work contributed nothing but further obscurity. The astonishing achievement of turning what was once deemed a joke into a serious national cause and issue happened in the 1990s and then more emphatically after George W. Bush’s endorsement of the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004. But for Becker, an obscure late-comer, Griffin, had a “unique ability” to leverage legal cases into a political rallying cry. This is so wrong and so contemptuous of the people who really did do that work I am at a loss for words.

[A]ny figure of any note apart from Boies and Olson and Griffin are excised in this book in Stalinist fashion as if they didn’t exist.

[T]he book is best seen not as an act of journalism, but as a public relations campaign by Boies, Olson and Griffin to claim credit for and even co-opt a movement they had nothing to do with until very recently.

Congratulations, Andrew.

You now know what it feels like to be a trans woman drowning in the sludge that is Gay, Inc.

The Criminals are the Principal, the Cops and the Judge

…and it is they who should be convicted - and not simply fined.

Shea Love wondered why the school district contacted the police to discuss a violation of wiretap statutes instead of confronting the students who were bullying her son, a sophomore at South Fayette High School with attention deficit and an anxiety disorder.

On the recording — which the 15-year-old made on his iPad — one student can be heard telling another to pull Love’s son’s pants down.

My first thought is: Why doesn’t that qualify as attempted sexual assault (at least for over-charging purposes – because its clear here that someone loves overcharging)?  Or, at the very least, generic assault?

The teacher can be heard intervening, telling the students that they need to stop talking if their discussion isn’t about math.

A few minutes later, a loud slam can be heard, followed by the teacher telling students to sit down. “What? I was just trying to scare him,” one of the boys can be heard saying.

The 15-year-old said he made the recording “because I always felt like it wasn’t me being heard.”

Upon learning of the recording, South Fayette High School principal Scott Milburn and assistant principal Aaron Skrbin contacted Lieutenant Robert Kurta, asking that he come to the school because he believed there had been “a wiretapping incident.”

School district officials forced the student to erase the recording and ordered him to attend Saturday detention. Kurta charged him with disorderly conduct, but didn’t believe that the incident warranted a felony wiretapping charge, though according to court records, he was adamant the student had “committed a crime.”

South Fayette District Judge Maureen McGraw-Desmet found the student guilty, fined him $25 and ordered him to pay court costs.

Too bad the NSA didn’t record it, eh?

Awwwwwwwwww….

Awwwww

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