Tom Lang (definitely not pictured above) lays out the context in what anti-trans bill-monger Cathy Brennan viewed (views?) as the northern counties of Maryland:
Here We Are In February of 2011 And The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Which Was the First in the Nation to Legalize Same Gender Marriage, Which Defeated Attempts to Take Away These Marriage Rights Through a Ballot Initiative Process and Which Has an Attorney General Who is Suing the United States to End DOMA on Behalf of Its Citizens, Still Has Not Been Able to Pass Legislation Protecting Transgender/Transsexual People Against Workplace, Housing, and Public Accomodations Discrimination
That’s the context. Here are the specifics:
My analogy is that we trying to bake a cake. The recipe is correct, everything is mixed, the batter is in a pan in the oven, the oven works, the temperature button is on. Why don’t we have a cake? Because the power company has NOT provided any electricity. The ONLY explanation here is that MA Transgender Rights Bill is being blocked from the top down. Someone or some people are not allowing this bill to move forward, be voted on. This month’s bombshell in Boston Spirit Magazine of an interview with former Senator and Bill Co-Sponsor Richard Tisei (R) who blames MassEquality for “losing the public relations battle” on the bill and “dropping the ball” which caused the current situation. Tisei also recounts how he helped set up MassEquality to participate in the MA GOP Convention in 2010 by securing MEQ with a booth there and access to events at the convention including parties for networking. According to Tisei, all this was pre-arranged with MassEquality 3 weeks in advance and the day of the Convention MEQ pulled a ‘no-show.” Instead of being there to combat the onslaught of what Tisei describes as a Kansas-based anti-trans cellphone campaign directed at over 3500 GOP delegates, MassEquality chose to use that day and Charlie Baker’s response to the “Bathroom Bill” messaging immediately for its campaign tool to help Deval Patrick win re-election. But probably the most disturbing of the Tisei revelations he alleges against MassEquality is its lack of lobbying with the co-sponsors. That MassEquality “came at the beginning of the legislative session” when they filed the bill, obtained 104 co-sponsors including himself, and then in 2 years, the co-sponsors “never heard from them again.” According to Tisei, “They never called. They never did anything. They never asked for help.”
This is why I always put all forms of the word “education” in sarcasm quotes whenever they appear in connection to any reference to any claim by the Rhode Island Avenue Cesspool or Free State Just Us or any of the trans-inclusive-for-deception-of-trans-newbies gay organizations. Not doing any education at all is not the substantive floor of their claims to having educated and/or being intent on planning to educate; its the ceiling. Remenber your grade school math, folks: zero is not as low as you can go. These organizations are doingmore harm than if they were doing nothing at all – because the nothing that they do do is something: something bad.
[At a 2010 event in Massachusetts re: the Prop 8 case] Dan Hoffer, a MassEquality hire, originally from the Harold Ford campaign and having worked on the Cape Ann part of our marriage fight, now one who deals with legislative work was immediately put on the defensive and told me, “we have 25-30 legislative campaigns we are working on, we cannot be expected to have worked on the Trans Bill too.” So, the Lobby Days, the Hearings, the Press Play, the Visibility—all what I call a Potemkin Village.
According to activist, Denise Leclair, in 2003 Transgender/Transsexual people were told to wait until after Goodridge was done with, then from between 2004 and 2007 were told to wait until after we successfully killed the ballot initiative, then were told to wait until after MA got rid of the 1913 Law which prohibited out of state same sex couples from marrying here if their home states did not recognize their marriages (this repeal was in July of 2008). Were Transgender/Transsexual people told to “wait” for so long that now it is just “company policy” to pretend we are working on their rights instead of being truthful? Equality Maryland has no problem it seems leaving TG/TS people out of the public accommodations part of its bill right now as we speak while having all of the LGB(T) messaging centers like Pam’s House Blend, Bilerico Project and others promote this bill like its the new wave of trans support coming from our community. But with MassEquality and its messaging centers I guess it was okay to pretend to be giving priority to our bill instead of being truthful on its mission–providing support for 25-30 legislators. Where was BayWindows or any of the other media, including BlueMassGroup, the various blogs, newspapers etc to get to the bottom of what was holding this bill up? NOTHING from any of them.
That would require all of those all-marriage-all-the-time newspapers and InsidersOut blogs to deal with the realities of transphobia-laden gay history.
And as we’ve seen recently, the ‘there’s nothing worth looking back at – trust us’ crowd has at least one trans mouthpiece. But, I’m going to repeat what I said in response to that yet again – and I’m going to keep repeating it until Free State Just Us and the perpetrators of the Maryland anti-trans bill of 2001 all start screaming out in pain from jagged history enemas:
If the current incarnation of Free State Just Us is so innocent and so not what they appear to be (via Meneses-Sheets’ “incremental progress”-with-a-different-lexicon and the strong implication that sufficient employment equality for trans people is being able to work in sex shops) then they should be the first to fore in calling out the lies and deceit of 2001 as well as opening the books and shining the light on what happened then and precisely who did it.
We have enough problems today that we don’t need more historical debate.
If you want to live the rest of your life with our history being written in tomes by people like Dudley Clendenin and Adam Nagourney and in blogs by people like John Aravosis, there’s nothing I can do to stop you from sucking down that amontillado while their version of history seals you into your intellectual tomb.
However, if you’re expecting me to shut up and let those who have committed political hate crimes against us – as well as their present-day apologists – get away with it now and let gay-primacy-addled historians get away with lionizing them in the future, that ain’t happening.
Gays and lesbians have learned that they can do anything, say anything and then do and say the exact opposite when it counts where trans lives are concerned – and that there is absolutely no cost involved. They get all of the rights – and their paychecks on top of it – and they never have to answer for what they do.
Those days must end.
Now, Tom was referring to Cathy Brennan-defined North Maryland. And he isn’t laying everything at the feet of its equivalent of Free State Just Us:
I personally do not think MassEquality was calling all the shots here. Oh it was complicit all right. Remember my cake analogy from earlier? MassEquality is not the electric company. It is more the oven. This bill was not voted on because the Speaker of the House and the Senate President, both Dems, would not call a vote. There was no “community outrage” directed at either of these two entities which is in and of itself telling– so let’s go up the ladder a little further…John Walsh, MA Dem Party Chair who may not have wanted to lose any votes in various races for Dems? We are being told that many Dems would have taken a hit on this bill. Which I find funny because, 104 leges co-sponsored the bill in a very public record…where was their “hit?”
I see the argument Tom is making. He’s not Gay, Inc., but I am more cynical; a decade-plus of seeing gay organizations claim to give a shit about alleviating discrimination against trans people while, in their own employment practices, engaging in anti-trans discrimination to a degree that would make Fred Phelps spew in his pants will do that to a gal.
In my eyes the relationship between MassEQ and the politicians is just a closed feedback loop, a morally gangrenous ying juxtaposed against a politically consumptive yang, the ouroburos of gay political power in Massachusetts eating itself as part of some obscene politico-sexual gratification ceremony while covering its eyes to the realities of the needs of the people who it made strangers to Massachuetts law in 1989.
Those who are complicit are just as guilty as those who pull the trigger.
Replace ‘Massachusetts’ with ‘Maryland’ and fiddle with the names, dates, and the calculus still balances out…
and is in target to do so again in 2011.
[Cross-posted at ENDABlog]