Where Have We Heard This Before?

From MLive:

House Speaker Jase Bolger is considering calls to add sexual orientation protections for gay residents to Michigan’s anti-discrimination law but questioning the need to include gender identity and expression language.

That means the transgender community may not be part of a potential Republican proposal to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights act, but Bolger says they already have some protection.

The debate could prove a sticking point in the push to amend Elliott-Larsen, which Republican leadership may also try to pair with a Michigan version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Bolger, in an interview with MLive, noted a series of federal court rulings where transgender individuals won “sex stereotyping” cases on the grounds of sex discrimination, which is already part of Michigan law.

“I think we need to get the policy right, and those court cases seem to show me that somebody’s gender identity is already covered,” said Bolger, R-Marshall.

h/t to Jenna Fischetti for the title of this post.

Imagine that, eh?

A trans woman from Maryland recognizes that Michigan Republicans are using the playbook of trans-exterminationists from Maryland – you know, the playbook from which this was a page:

But wait…

Here comes someone other than a peon trans woman to save the day!

AVK-talksometime

Memo to HRC’s most recent trans token: We were talking about it a decade and a half ago (note the date of the propaganda letter to Queer Channel Media.)

But…

But…

But…

It is true that the EEOC has interpreted Title VII this way now, right?

So?

It really helps to live in reality rather than trans-exterminationist rhetoric (or, where HRC tokens are concerned, helium.)

Have you been in an employer’s office lately? Particularly, the personnel office of an employer?

Notice all of the posters?

The posters that the employer is required to post, alerting employees of all of the rights that (more than likely) the employer doesn’t want employees to have or to know that they have?

The ones dealing with minimum wage, workers comp, ADA issues and…

non-discrimination law?

Notice that the poster on federal law points out the specific categories that the employer cannot discriminate against?

If you haven’t, then you should have.

If you have, then you have noticed that “sex” is one of the categories.  But have you noticed the explanation underneath it that the EEOC interprets that to include trans people?

Of course you haven’t, because there isn’t one – and there never will be.

‘Failure to hire’ cases are the most impossible to prove up.  (The Diane Schroer case?  No.  She’d received a job offer and had accepted it, but then the Library of Congress rescinded the offer upon being informed of her plans to transition.)

Those posters in employer’s offices don’t just alert employees to their rights; they also alert employers to (some of) what is illegal.  Sometimes, an employer otherwise inclined to not hire someone from ‘x’ category will glance at the prohibition poster and think twice…

and someone qualified for the job who a bigoted employer didn’t want to hire gets hired in spite of bigotry.

Currently of course, the federal law poster doesn’t list “sexual orientation.”

However, many states have state-specific posters to go along with the federal law posters – and in the states that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, those posters list that category and alert employers that their christianism is trumped by the law of reality; ditto for the states covering gender identity.

So, we’ve gotten to reason number (1) that the neo-Frankenbrennanism of Michigan will not simply be an acknowledgement of the status quo – because even the federal status quo doesn’t really acknowledge the status quo.  Unless an employer is up on federal law, said employer doesn’t know that “sex” covers “gender identity” under Title VII.  That’s bad enough for trans people already employed, because not even all judges are up to speed on it – but of you’re already employed and needing to file a suit, well…

you’re already employed.

The status quo does nothing to prod employers otherwise predisposed to discriminate to not actually discriminate.

Reason number (1) is minor league, however.

As for reason number (2)?

Lets look at the scope of employers covered by that Title VII that the Michigan Republican says justifies leaving us out of a Michigan ENDA.  This is 42 U.S. Code § 2000e (b):

The term “employer” means a person engaged in an industry affecting commerce who has fifteen or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, and any agent of such a person….

That’s Title VII’s scope.

There are a lot of employers out there with fourteen or fewer employees.

And, you see, state law doesn’t just add protected classifications (like sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status.)  Many states also force more employers to not exclude people from the economy.

Here, for example, is the corresponding definition in Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act:

Elliott-Larsen-employer

In short, Michigan’s civil rights law covers all employers.

But…

But…

But…

It is true that the Michigan covers “sex,” so then “sex” in Michigan would cover trans people, right?

And now we’ve returned to Maryland in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 (for another week anyway.)

There are no more published, cite-able decisions interpreting Michigan state sex discrimination law in the way that Maryland trans-exterminationists claimed that Maryland state sex discrimination law was interpreted than there ever have been published, cite-able Maryland decisions interpreting Maryland state sex discrimination law to include trans people.

There were none in Maryland – and the trans-exterminationists who peddled the lie that Maryland state sex discrimination law as it existed in 2001 (and will continue to exist until October 1) covers trans people knew it was a lie.

Anyone peddling the same myth in Michigan either knows its a lie, doesn’t care that its a lie or is too stupid to be in a position to make decisions about Michigan civil rights law.

And anyone peddling the ‘half a loaf’ is better than nothing lie…

“I think that the Republicans are exploring all their options to see what will pass and what won’t pass,” said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan and co-chair of the Competitive Workforce Coalition, a business group urging lawmakers to update Elliott-Larsen. “Their legal counsel has done some work on who might already be included and who might not.”

Murray, for one, appears open to compromise.

“If I’m hungry, a half a pizza still looks pretty good,” he said. “I’m going to fight for whatever I can get, whatever that means.”

…is Barney Frank under a different name.

A name like…

Joe Solmonese, perhaps?

Here are the thoughts of a Michigan Democrat on the concept of turning Michigan into a ‘discrimination free zone’ as Elizabeth Birch (ca. 2001) defined that concept:

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer issued the following statement today in response to comments by House Speaker Jase Bolger that Republicans are considering excluding the transgender community from potential expansion of the state’s civil rights law:

“Any proposal to exclude transgender Michiganders from civil rights protections is an insulting step backward for the entire LGBT community. There shouldn’t be anyone on either side of the aisle that condones discrimination, much less sanctions it like Speaker Bolger purports to do under the guise of ‘compromise.’

“It’s hard to believe that we’re even having a conversation in the year 2014 about our state trying to find excuses to justify and legitimize discrimination against anyone. It’s time for us to stand up and do what’s right, not what’s politically convenient. Let’s pass a bill that gives the entire LGBT community the inclusive protections that they deserve and the respect they have fought for together.”

So here’s what everything boils down to: Chad Griffin, this may be your moment of truth.

If Michigan tries to ramrod a gay-only rights law through in its 2014 lame-duck legislative session, will the New Model HRC not just not support it via mealy-mouthed cyberblotches of nothingspeak, but actively – politically and financially – oppose it?

That’s a question that you can answer with action in the present.

There are, of course, other questions that the New Model HRC as never been willing to answer.

Though slightly modified here, I asked this basic question in the March 10, 2000, edition of the Texas Triangle; its a question that I know others asked over the years:

Has HRC ever, at any time, accepted any aid or contribution (monetary or otherwise) the donation of which was conditioned in any way, shape or form, upon excluding trans people from HRC-supported national sexual orientation-based antidiscrimination protection legislation or upon excluding trans people from HRC’s mission statement?

And here is a question that I and others also asked over the years:

During the course of any lobbying on any version of ENDA, did any of HRC’s employees and/or operatives actually encounter – or receive a credible report of – the following remark (or its substantive equivalent) being delivered by a member of Congress or a staffer with authority to speak for a member of Congress?  That question being: You want me to tell my constituents that they have to hire transgender people?  Do you employ any of them?

These are questions that Gay, Inc. did not want asked a decade ago and, I’m relatively sure, doesn’t want asked now (doubly so, I suspect, where the New Model HRC’s New Model Trans Tokens are concerned.)

History does demand that those questions be answered.

However, making the right decision regarding the impending Michigan question will go a long way toward rendering the other two questions to be of concern almost exclusively to historians (despite the fact that all trans people still should care about the extent to which HRC’s 1990s-2000s methodology was fraudulent.)

Chad, the choice is yours.

And the time for the choice is now, not after the November elections.

Preemptively declare that the crown jewel of Gay, Inc. will put every bit of its political and financial muscle behind the effort to defeat any Michigan gay-only rights bill.

(Oh yeh – the reparations for all of the trans activists who your organization blacklisted are still a must.)

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