Barney Stank

…and, clearly, he still does.

[Georgia Voice:] Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin just apologized at the transgender conference Southern Comfort for not including the transgender community in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007 after former HRC President Joe Solmonese promised to do so. You eventually included them when the bill came back up in both 2011 and 2012 [the bills did not pass either year], but do you feel you have anything to say to the transgender community about that?

[St. Barney:] Chad Griffin’s one of those people whose political judgment seems to be off. The fact is that HRC and I and everybody else were for an inclusive bill in 2007. The issue was we did not have the votes for an inclusive bill. It wasn’t a failure of will. Then the question was, was something better than nothing? Was it better to pass a bill that was protective of lesbian, gay and bisexual people or pass nothing? We tried very hard.

The transgender community had this mistaken view that if Nancy Pelosi waved a magic wand, transgender would be included. And we were insisting to them that, look we don’t have the votes, help us lobby. Instead of trying to put pressure on the people who were against them, they thought they could just insist that we do it. We said, ‘We’re trying, but we need your help.’

It’s also the case that in 2007, transgender made people a lot of people nervous, they didn’t know about it. Since then there’s been a lot of success in educating the public in general, politicians in particular.

Now, lets go back to 1999, and an interview that St. Barney gave to Minnesota’s Lavender Magazine (specifically, in its Oct. 22nd issue), approximately 6 1/2 years after the state did what the gay-only rights crowd had maintained was not possible:

StBarney19991022

[Lavender:] It [trans issues] didn’t come up at all during the [successful 1993 trans-inclusive] bill’s debate.  The right-wing based their arguments completely on stereotypes of gay men’s sex lives.

[St. Barney:] That’s probably because the transgender community was not nearly as visible in 1993. The fact is, transgender issues would come up now. They were able to fly under the radar then. But, in the context we’re now in, transgender issues have gotten a lot more publicity….

So, there’s really just one question that needs to be asked of St. Barney:  If Minnesota’s trans-inclusive gay rights law was possible in 1993 because “the transgender community was not nearly as visible” as it was even by 1999, then why weren’t all federal and state gay rights bills (including the ones that you proposed while in the Massachusetts Legislature) and laws prior to 1993 trans-inclusive?

After all, I seem to recall that one of the big criticisms of trans people by the overpaid, underworked transphobes of Gay, Inc. is that we didn’t ‘show up’ until about five minutes before the 2007 ENDA battle.

We said, ‘We’re trying, but we need your help.’

A secondary question: Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if, in 2007, there had been a bunch of trans employees of HRC, NGLTF, etc. who could have provided some ‘help’ without having their first worry being a non-Gay, Inc. source of income?

Just a thought.

(Reparations, Chad!  Just another thought.)

But, back to the main issue: St. Barney, you’re a two-faced sack of Mass excrement.  A decade before 2007, you were hammered with a historical fact that you had no real answer for because it didn’t fit your own fake narrative, so you went to essentially the same canard that you spewed out now.  As a reminder, that was:

in 2007, transgender made people a lot of people nervous, they didn’t know about it

Essentially, in 1999 your argument was:

in 1993, transgender made people a lot of people nervous, but that lot of people didn’t realize it because I and HRC hadn’t yet moved the discussion away from what many gay men did (and still d0) in public restrooms and onto what no trans woman has ever done in a public restroom

And, just to recap…

You claim that in 2007 you were pissed off that trans people were visible yet, after decades of being systematically excluded from employment by from the Gay, Inc. organizations that did the ‘educating’ of Congress and state legislatures, somehow we hadn’t managed – on our own time and on our own dime – to successfully defeat your ‘penis panic’ and undo the 30+ years of ‘gay-only is the only possible way’ resulting from your (and other legislators’ and Gay, Inc-ers’) refusal to make trans-inclusion a reality when, in your own words, we were “not nearly as visible” and, in turn, were able to “fly under the radar.”

So, I go back to the first question: If Minnesota’s trans-inclusive gay rights law was possible in 1993 only because “the transgender community was not nearly as visible” as it was even by 1999, then why weren’t all federal and state gay rights bills (including the ones that you proposed while in the Massachusetts Legislature) and laws prior to 1993 trans-inclusive?

St. Barney….

proving Dan Savage wrong yet again.

It doesn’t get better.

It gets worse.

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5 Comments

  1. Perhaps they should have asked him if sexual orientation not being included in passed national civil rights legislation or the EEOC decision implies that gay people didn’t lobby for it?

    Or – are just not visible enough?

    Or that trans people must be more socially accepted as they’re included in more federal legislation & policies now than gay people?

    It can be difficult – trying to justify ones own bigoted actions & attitudes – without acknowledging the actual bigotry that one hopes others to believe are overcome. As Steely Dan would say – Pretzel Logic.

    • Steely Dan…

      Makes me wonder if St. Barney fancies himself to be Kid Charlemagne.

      • Nah – he’s all about pot. Not anything else.

        • Well, he’s a potful of something alright.

  2. I remember the battle and the debate too well. I also remember that PFLAG had a sizable list of Congressional pledges to ONLY vote for a trans-inclusive ENDA. By eliminating the trans clause, Barney GUARANTEED that ENDA would fail altogether.


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