From Gay City News:
On the eve of a critical State Senate committee hearing on a measure providing, for the first time in Utah history, nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), said, “The desire exhibited by the Mormon Church to work toward common ground should serve as a model for other faith traditions here in the United States.”
A model, eh?
If only it was that kind of a model….
If only HRC was actually an organization that gave a damn about whether working-class gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people – you know, the sort of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people who, unlike the permanently-employed activist class of Rhode Island Avenue and their A-Gay spouses, actually tend to need the ability to seek redress in court against discrimination – live or die….
If only I wouldn’t digress….
In the immediate aftermath of the bill’s enactment, the ACLU of Utah called it “historic.” On Facebook, Jennifer Pizer, the national law and policy project director at Lambda Legal, terming the new law “an historic shift,” wrote, “Momentum! Onward!!”
If only Lambda Legal had been willing ten years ago to hire a well-qualified 40 year-old trans woman who has done much research into not just trans law but also the activities of the christianist right instead of a lesser-qualified, much younger trans man….
Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), posted the message, “Wow. Just Wow.”
As Legislature claims to balance civil rights, religious liberty, back-channel influence of legal scholar scrutinized
But, as those outside of professional LGBT advocacy circles learned details about the bill — what provisions it included, what areas were not addressed, how it was negotiated, and what was included in a second, companion measure — those initial exuberant assessments, and Griffin’s use of the word “model” in particular, drew no small amount of fire.
That dissent peaked this week when Queer Nation called attention to a University of Illinois law professor, Robin Fretwell Wilson, who the group said “wrote” the Utah measure. In a March 16 release, Queer Nation documented Wilson’s extensive record going back years in pressing for broad and damaging religious carve-outs from LGBT rights and marriage equality measures.
“It’s shocking that the Human Rights Campaign ignored widely available information about Wilson and has partnered with someone who is clearly seeking to do great harm to the LGBT community,” Ken Kidd, a group spokesperson, said.
Is it really all that shocking that Gay, Inc. would sell out everyone who it claims to represent?
Perhaps, if you view “shocking” as a synonym for “horrifying” and/or “disgusting.”
But if you’re surprised, then you need to wipe the kool-aid off of your chin.
[A] striking feature of the Utah legislation — especially when considered in the context of what’s going on nationwide — is the preemption of any local ordinances that govern employment and housing discrimination. Just last month, the LGBT community waged an unsuccessful fight against such a preemption law in Arkansas [NOTE: the “community” perhaps did fight it, but we know that HRC could only be bothered to go “on record against” it], where the Republican Legislature acted in response to several municipalities moving forward on LGBT rights initiatives. Tennessee enacted a similar law several years ago, and in both cases advocacy groups have argued that Red State action of this sort throws a roadblock up against local relief in more urbanized parts of a state, where political progress is possible.
Long ago I predicted that the sell-out, er…, compromise that would finally get ENDA (gay-only, of course – the kind that Gay, Inc. then wanted and still wants) through Congress, even a Republican-controlled one, would be federal preemption clause, a statement that Congress was ‘occupying the field’ (a politico-legal term of art) of sexual orientation employment anti-discrimination law, thereby nullifying any state or local sexual orientation employment discrimination laws – including the ones with trans-inclusive definitions of sexual orientation, thereby wiping out trans anti-discrimination protections in those states (and possibly everywhere, depending on what the Supreme Court might do with such a law.) Such a sell-out, er…, compromise would allow some anti-gay legislators to cast a vote that they could claim (to the gullible among the LGB) ‘proves’ they’re not anti-gay while simultaneously allowing them to keep up their street cred among the christianist right by pointing out the fact that the law would wipe out trans protections where they already exist.
That, of course, hasn’t happened…