Tillerson Takes Heat for Pro-Gay Stance (but LGBT ‘advocates’ still call him ‘anti-gay’)

Will the LGBT progressives who condemned Trump for choosing Ben Carson to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and attacked his other appointments now praise Trump for selecting Rex Tillerson to be his Secretary of State?

Tillerson has come under fire from the religious right. Tony Perkins, who heads the anti-gay Family Research Council, pointed specifically to Tillerson’s advocacy to allow openly gay youths to join the Boy Scouts of America, “calling the nominated secretary of state the ‘greatest ally’ liberals would have in the forthcoming Trump administration due to the oil and gas executive’s stances on social issues,” reports the Washington Times, which notes:

Tillerson served as president of the Boy Scouts from 2010 to 2012. In 2013, the scouting organization voted to extend membership to openly gay youths. Mr. Tillerson was “instrumental” in lobbying the board to make that change, the Dallas Morning News reported in 2014.

Two years after allowing openly gay members, the Boy Scouts lifted the ban on openly gay leaders and employees. … Mr. Tillerson still sits on the Boy Scouts’ national executive board.

Perkins accused Tillerson of “risking the well-being of young boys under his charge in an attempt to placate radical homosexual activists.” Let’s see if “radical homosexual activists” come to Tillerson’s defense.

More. And, but of course, directly on cue: Exxon faces anti-gay bias lawsuit as Trump taps CEO for State. It’s “news” straight from the DNC, including this helpful observation:

Richard Johnson, a professor of public administration at the University of San Francisco, said the appointment of Tillerson as secretary of state with a lawsuit against his company alleging anti-gay discrimination “is lunacy and could provide long-term problems.”

“Though Exxon has a new set of LGBT protections [adopted in January 2015], it is not clear as to the role Tillerson played in this new outcome for Exxon, or its motivations,” Johnson said. “The new secretary of state will have an active role in helping to shape foreign policy, especially on LGBT rights worldwide. I am not confident that Rex Tillerson will be the person to stand up to countries where a person can be imprisoned or killed for being LGBT. Indeed, his track record on stopping human rights violations is dubious at best.”

And just when did you stop beating your spouse, Prof. Johnson?

Furthermore. I should have clarified above that activists didn’t, in fact, find an actual employee or job applicant for this suit. Instead:

The basis of the lawsuit is resume audit testing in which Freedom to Work sent two fictitious resumes to the company for the same job in Illinois. One was from a more qualified applicant who outed herself as LGBT by noting work at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund; the other was a less qualified applicant who gave no indication about her sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Blade reports that:

Rena McDonald, a Las Vegas-based attorney and member of the LGBT workplace equality group Executive Pride, said the anti-gay policies of Tillerson are “further emphasized” by the Illinois finding “Exxon discriminated against a potential new hire who was better qualified for a position, simply because of their affiliations with the gay community.”

As if Tillerson himself had ordered a hiring manager in Illinois to discriminate—if that’s what it was— against this (fictiious!) job candidate. ExxonMobile, the world’s largest oil and gas company, has 83,600 employees and this is the worst that “advocates” can come up with?

ExxonMobile scores “85”on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. If it provided health and other benefits (fertility treatment is noted in the survey) to U.S. employees’ unmarried partners, same sex and opposite sex, as HRC champions, it would have scored higher.

Given Tillerson’s support for gay-inclusive scouting, you might think LGBT activists would seek to work with him on gay-persecution issues. Instead, many choose to condemn him as…wait for it…anti-gay. As always, it’s Party First!

45 Comments for “Tillerson Takes Heat for Pro-Gay Stance (but LGBT ‘advocates’ still call him ‘anti-gay’)”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Perkins accused Tillerson of “risking the well-being of young boys under his charge in an attempt to placate radical homosexual activists.” Let’s [see] if “radical homosexual activists” come to Tillerson’s defense.

    What would you (or at least anyone who has been following his pronouncements over the years, on sodomy laws, the Boy Scouts and everything else) expect from Tony Perkins, other than to go nuclear at any indication that a nominee fell short of a “lock ’em up” stance on gays and lesbians?

    His rage must be boundless. Given the Scout’s Oath (“On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.“) and the group’s historically tight interlock with conservative Christian churches and congregations, the Scout’s actions were almost incomprehensible. Perkins and his ilk were so incensed at the Scout’s betrayal that another scouting group, one that did not discriminate against Christians, was promptly formed.

    Tillerson’s actions suggest strongly that there will be no witch hunt, open or covert, for gays and lesbians in the State Department, which is commendable.

    However, there is another side to the Tillerson saga, and loud cries of “Hosanna” from “radical homosexual activists” are probably not going to be forthcoming.

    Tillerson has been CEO of MobilExxon since 2006.

    With Tillerson at the helm, Mobil/Exxon enjoyed the lowest Corporate Equality Index rating of any Fortune 100 company. In 2013, MobilExxon rescinded then-existing minimal company protections for gays and lesbians, and MobilExxon became the first and only Fortune 100 company ever to receive a negative CEI rating.

    MobilExxon’s board formally resisted shareholder resolutions to adopt industry-standard LGBT protections 17 times during Tillerson’s leadership. It was only in response to the Obama’s Reign of Regulatory Terror (specifically, the EO requiring federal contractors to have minimal non-discrimination policies in place) that Tillerson moved to reinstate any company policies protecting gays and lesbians.

    The protections are the absolute minimum that MobilExxon could put in place and comply with the requirements imposed by Obama’s Reign of Regulatory Terror. MobilExxon (40 points out of 100) remains at the bottom of the Fortune 100 CEI, in contrast to other companies in the industry. At a time when even Walmart has a 100% CEI rating, that is not an encouraging sign.

    Because of his mixed record, Tillerson merits careful watching, so I’m going to withhold my cheers until we hear from Tillerson about his position on the State Department’s policies and regulations protecting gays and lesbians within the department, which are strong.

    I do commend President-Elect Trump on the appointment. Tillerson stands out among Cabinet nominations as being the only nominee who has ever taken a public pro-equality position. Tillerson is no Jeff Sessions or Ben Carson, and that’s good.

    I’m sorry to bring up Tillerson’s negatives, because I don’t want to spoil the “Trump is the Most Gay-Supportive Republican President in History” party that homocons seem determined to throw.

    But I have never been one to spread my legs just because someone calls me “wonderful”.
    Let’s see Tillerson does before we decide its love.

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      A correction and a factual update to the comment immediately above:

      Correction: MobilExxon is now called Exxon Mobil. I knew that, and I can’t imagine what I was thinking when our demented old cat woke me up at 2 am for a mid-night feeding.

      Update: HRC has released its 2017 CEI, and Exxon Mobil has moved up the scale, from 40/100 in 2016 to 85/100 in 2017. The company’s CEI profile shows marked improvement during the last year. I hope that this is attributable to a change in heart by the company’s leadership, or the operation of market forces within the O&G industry, and not a result of the Obama Reign of Regulatory Terror. Whatever the driving force behind the change, Exxon Mobil has cleaned up its act since 2016, and should be commended for doing so, whatever the motivation.

      Reply
      • posted by Throbert McGee on

        Is there any evidence whatsoever that LGBT employees of companies with “low CEI ratings” are really, factually worse off than their peers at companies with “high CEI ratings”? I checked the HRC’s own page on the Corporate Equality Index, and what I saw were a lot of vacuous buzzwords.

        And this time, Tom, don’t just copy-and-paste text in which a judge attempts to make the same basic assertion over and over again, but the assertion being made is entirely subjective (“Domestic partnership doesn’t feel as special as Marriage.”)

        Reply
        • posted by Houndentenor on

          Having worked in both kinds of companies, I will say that the overall environment is different. Is that something that can be quantified? Maybe not. But given that there were workplaces that I knew not to mention anything about my personal life, I’m going to say that it does make a difference.

          Reply
    • posted by Throbert McGee on

      I’m sorry to bring up Tillerson’s negatives, because I don’t want to spoil the “Trump is the Most Gay-Supportive Republican President in History” party

      No you’re not, and yes you do, and there’s no need to be disingenuous. I know some Young Earth Creationists who are (in all other respects) delightful and intelligent people, and you should let your Freak Flag Fly, Baby, just like them.

      But I have never been one to spread my legs just because someone calls me “wonderful”.

      But you’re quick to throw mud if a company doesn’t adopt the anti-discrimination language that you personally favor — or did adopt such language, but not as soon as you wanted. A company can avoid anti-LGBT discrimination, in practice, without having formal written policy on the matter. And there are potential downsides to having formal language — it’s attractive to dead-wood malingerers.

      Reply
    • posted by TJ on

      In terms of gay rights, this may be a good signal…or it may largely be gay window dressing.

      The Boy Scouts of America changed it’s policy, mainly, because of the law of economic supply and demand.

      Several large corporations and Hollywood bigwigs wanted a non-discrimination policy and were tired of listening the “gays are predatory vampires” justification for the policy.

      Although, at least in my neck of the woods, most gay Scouts and Scouymasters don’t come out.

      People generally know or suspect, but the big impact of the policy is that the BSOA club doesn’t have to run witch hunts and that issue ain’t really an issue most of the time.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Is there any evidence whatsoever that LGBT employees of companies with “low CEI ratings” are really, factually worse off than their peers at companies with “high CEI ratings”?

      Numerous reputable, peer-reviewed studies demonstrate (1) disparate treatment of gays and lesbians between companies with and without stated and enforced non-discrimination policies, (2) differing rates of workplace harassment, and (3) the economic impact of employee benefits available to heterosexual but not homosexual employees, although this latter impact has been significantly mitigated if not erased by marriage equality. I am not aware of any studies that explicitly correlate LGBT employee well-being to the CEI.

      Tom: I’m sorry to bring up Tillerson’s negatives, because I don’t want to spoil the “Trump is the Most Gay-Supportive Republican President in History” party …

      Throbert: No you’re not, and yes you do, and there’s no need to be disingenuous.

      Not sorry, just sarcastic, Throbert.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      But you’re quick to throw mud if a company doesn’t adopt the anti-discrimination language that you personally favor — or did adopt such language, but not as soon as you wanted.

      Pointing out unpleasant facts is “throwing mud” now, boytshik? I guess that doesn’t surprise me.

      Exxon Mobil has been the subject of controversy ever since Exxon acquired Mobil in 1999 and immediately rescinded Mobil’s policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and ended its policy of providing benefits to same-sex partners. The company’s rejection of repeated shareholder attempts to reinstate policies offering minimal protection to gay and lesbian employees became an annual news story, widely reported in the business media, particularly during the last decade when Exxon Mobil’s resistance to corporate norms became increasingly out-of-step with industry standards.

      Exxon Mobil has turned around on the issue in the last year and a half, adopting the minimum policies required by the Obama Reign of Regulatory Terror in 2015, and moving to get in line with industry standards during 2016, apparently motivated (from news reports) conflict with Congress, by pressure from suppliers and distributors taking heat as collateral damage, and by employment market forces as Exxon Mobil, like all O&G companies, increasingly became a technology company, a market in which potential employees pay attention to a company’s policies regarding sexual orientation.

      I’m glad to see the change, but I’m not going to do backflips for Tillerson. Tillerson was the CEO of Exxon Mobil during the period in which the company adamantly resisted change, a fact conveniently ignored by homocons signing Tillerson’s praises as a champion of gays and lesbians.

      If pointing that out is “throwing mud”, so be it.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      And this time, Tom, don’t just copy-and-paste text in which a judge attempts to make the same basic assertion over and over again, but the assertion being made is entirely subjective (“Domestic partnership doesn’t feel as special as Marriage.”)

      Both were posted to achieve a specific end, and served their purpose. I can understand why you didn’t like seeing the opinion quoted at length, because it gave lie to your unfounded assertions about the decision.

      Reply
    • posted by TJ on

      The Obama administration (with help from Hillary Clinton) was probably the first administration to try and address and improve LGBT rights along with other global human rights concerns.

      It was an effort that some gay conservatives (need we mention names) generally choose to mock and belittle.

      I hope that any Secretary of State will do what they can to promote civil and human rights, including LGBT rights.

      However, the incoming administration public statement about LGBT rights in a global context, were pretty limited and with contradictions….except maybe saying that going to a gay bar shouldn’t be a capital offense.

      No doubt their will be quite a few gay Democrats, Republicans and Independents on hand to speak with the incoming administration, should they decide to address gay rights in a global context.

      Reply
  2. posted by Kosh III on

    Well whoop-de-do. So he’s only half as bad as the rest of the gang of thieves.
    I’m more concerned because he will continue to encourage the pillage and plunder of the economy and esp. the environment in pursuit of plutocracy.
    I’m sure we’re all familiar with Exxon’s history of lying about climate change, continued fracking and other actions. It may already be too late to save our planet, methane hydrates are increasingly bubbling up from the Arctic sea floor
    http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2016/12/seafloor-methane.html
    and the actions the world has taken so far have been baby steps.
    Welcome to the Corporate States of America.

    Reply
  3. posted by Jorge on

    Will the LGBT progressives who condemned Trump for choosing Ben Carson to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and attacked his other appointments now praise Trump for selecting Rex Tillerson to be his Secretary of State?

    I hope not. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (who is, by the way, a great and magnificent fool) delayed endorsing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president in order to seek more of a commitment to progressive causes. That was the correct decision, and it was very gracious of the Clinton campaign to merely sneer at and snub him instead of alternately shouting and insulting and pretending they didn’t like the Trump campaign did.

    The future Secretary of State can face the same scrutiny. Speak out for the victims of hate all around the world and protect young boys from harassment.

    However, there is another side to the Tillerson saga, and loud cries of “Hosanna” from “radical homosexual activists” are probably not going to be forthcoming.

    I’m sorry to bring up Tillerson’s negatives, because I don’t want to spoil the “Trump is the Most Gay-Supportive Republican President in History” party that homocons seem determined to throw.

    He can take it. Your context is very well taken.

    When T-Rex joins the federal government he will benefit from anti-discrimination protections. His performance will be judged by his performance, not loopy media-driven narratives, because the president is wise. I want the future Secretary of State to work with our UN Ambassador to expose the state of human rights abroad. But if they can’t, I’ll settle for protecting the homeland. Rah.

    Reply
  4. posted by Houndentenor on

    Tillerson is one big conflict of interest. I’m glad that he’s not as big a bigot as the rest of Trump’s picks, but then that bar isn’t exactly high. But a few positive moves on lbgt issues doesn’t make up for the fact that he’s not even remotely qualified for the job and stands to personally profit from his actions as SoS. No. Just no.

    Reply
  5. posted by Jorge on

    I’m more concerned because he will continue to encourage the pillage and plunder of the economy and esp. the environment in pursuit of plutocracy.

    It’s not my fault the guy who got elected wants to plunder Iraq’s oil. If we had elected Rick Santorum in 2012 none of this would have happened.

    I’m sure we’re all familiar with Exxon’s history of lying about climate change, continued fracking and other actions.

    Actually Exxon Mobil is such a big name that the only things I remember about it are oil spills and gas stations.

    So, you think it’s really an Enron Mobil, do you? I think we’ll be fine as long as people speak up.

    …and stands to personally profit from his actions as SoS. No. Just no.

    You know what?

    Just because we’ve decided that conflicts of interest are bad doesn’t mean we can’t have them anyway. Maybe it’s a good idea for the person in charge of making big decisions to have some kind of vested interest in how his decisions will affect millions of lives. It might cause him to lose some sleep every night making sure he’s doing the right thing.

    For a Secretary of State? Well I think if he’s in an American company he might want to make sure America is around for the next 10-20 years, doesn’t want to have to pick up his family and exile to Argentina if things go south if he has to leave his business behind, too.

    Reply
  6. posted by TJ on

    Rick Sanitatium wanted to keep anti gay criminal laws on the books and his views on equality went even further downhill.

    I have no idea why a gay person would still be holding a candle for him. Unless they have a fetish for prison sex or something like that.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      Rick Sanitatium wanted to keep anti gay criminal laws on the books

      And Mike Pence wanted to fund anti gay AIDS celibacy spending three years earlier causing the Hamilton cast to turn white.

      Get the flying Rick Santorum foamy punch over it.

      and his views on equality went even further downhill.

      Really? He went further downhill on equality than supporting anti gay criminal laws?

      I do not value equality. Human rights is more important.

      I have no idea why a gay person would still be holding a candle for him.

      Leaving aside for the moment my support of the Bush doctrine (which is dispositive on the matter and isn’t even entirely irrelevant to the state of gay rights)

      you are not presenting a logical case.

      If Rick Santorum’s “views on equality” had in any way worsened or even merely entrenched themselves over the past 13 years, and this was known to you, I think you probably would have alluded to something much more recent than his reaction to the Lawrence v. Texas decision. You didn’t.

      So that means to your knowledge there are 13 years of either silence, or less frequent or less objectionable statements and actions. And that would logically mean you probably do understand why, over time, another gay person’s opinion of RIck Santorum could fail to deteriorate.

      But since you don’t understand, that means that the fault you find in Rick Santorum is not that his views on equality have worsened or entrenched themselves. I believe what you really mean to say is that he hasn’t repented to your satisfaction, and do not understand how any gay person could be satisfied.

      I accept that. I lied earlier.

      Reply
      • posted by TJ on

        Jorge; you suggested that we should have voted for Rick Sanitatium. I pointed out why that’s a bad idea.

        Stephen: needs a bit of a reality check. In terms of LGBT rights, the big concern with the appointment (from people who believe in civil and human rights) is the fact that the nominee ran/helped to run a company that clearly didn’t want to adopt a non-discrimination policy.

        If u want to argue that HRC rating doesn’t take into account the recent marriage equality decision, you are still left with a nominee who didn’t want a non-discrimination policy.

        These policies do make a difference, especially for blue collar and lower middle class employees who work in say, the oil industry.

        Reply
  7. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    And just when did you stop beating your spouse, Prof. Johnson?

    I don’t want to insert logical thinking into the discourse, but the question “And when did you stop beating your wife?” is a classic logic trap, a trick question intended to plant a non-fact into the minds of an audience, a question that presumes that there is no underlying facts supporting wife-beating.

    In Tillerson’s case, there is an nine-year (from 2006, when Tillerson became CEO, to 2015, when Exxon Mobil adopted the company’s first policies protecting gay and lesbian employees) well-documented record of Exxon Mobil’s resistance to such policies. It isn’t out of line to suggest that the record raises questions.

    With respect to “stand[ing] up to countries where a person can be imprisoned or killed for being LGBT”, I don’t expect that to happen in the next administration, because conservatives have a longstanding, solid record of opposition to our government’s interference with governments suppressing gays and lesbians. See, for example, “Unintended Consequences Undermine Gay Rights in Africa”, Stephen H. Miller, December 21, 2015:

    Good intentions expressed through heavy handed actions by a foreign government can and will backfire. A better strategy would be quiet support by privately funded NGOs backing locally controlled LGBT efforts, rather than the U.S. government throwing money around and issuing ultimatums, even if that’s what U.S. LGBT lobbies want to see.

    I just assume that the Obama/Clinton intervention policies will fall by the wayside.

    I am more concerned with internal State Department protections for gay and lesbians staff members. The State Department has very strong protections in place, and I am concerned whether Tillerson will keep them in place. I don’t know, but I’ll be watching.

    Reply
  8. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    And, but of course, directly on cue: Exxon faces anti-gay bias lawsuit as Trump taps CEO for State.

    Just for the record, Stephen, the lawsuit was filed three years ago. From your source:

    Freedom to Work, an LGBT group that lobbied President Obama to sign his executive order barring anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors, filed the complaint in 2013 against the oil-and-gas giant with the Illinois Human Rights Commission alleging the company violated a 2005 state law prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination.

    The litigation remains ongoing.

    Reply
    • posted by Jim R. on

      Just for the record, Stephen, the lawsuit was filed three years ago.

      Tom, the Blade’s story wasn’t published three years ago, but in response to Tillerson’s nomination. The professor’s overheated comments weren’t made three years ago, but in response to Tillerson’s nomination.

      An objective reading of the post in no way suggests that Stephen is suggesting that the lawsuit was filed because of Tillerson’s nomination; he’s obviously saying that this story and the reported responses are an attempt to undermine the nomination and paint Tillerson as “anti-gay” in the wake of his being selected by Trump.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      … the reported responses are an attempt to undermine the nomination and paint Tillerson as “anti-gay” in the wake of his being selected by Trump …

      Granted. Everybody seems to be ignoring the record on Tillerson, which is decidedly mixed.

      Tillerson’s homocon supporters (e.g. Stephen) and his social conservative critics (e.g. Tony Perkins) are touting/castigating Tillerson’s role in moving the Boy Scouts off the dime, while ignoring questions about Tillerson’s role in Exxon Mobil’s history of resisting company policies that would protect LGBT workers. Tillerson’s critics (e.g. HRC) are focusing almost exclusively on Tillerson’s record at Exxon Mobil, while ignoring his role in turning the Boy Scouts. Both sides are spinning, rather than assessing.

      While I’m chiding Stephen for his one-sided spin (as I often do), it seems to me that Tillerson’s record raises questions, not disqualifications, and that the questions are appropriate. I’ll stick with what I said in my first comment in this thread:

      Because of his mixed record, Tillerson merits careful watching, so I’m going to withhold my cheers until we hear from Tillerson about his position on the State Department’s policies and regulations protecting gays and lesbians within the department, which are strong.

      Although I think both sides are spinning and hyperventilating, I think that questioning Tillerman’s record is appropriate. A few simple questions during the nomination process will clear the matter up, one way or the other.

      If Tillerman indicates that he intends to keep existing internal policies and regulations protecting gay and lesbian staff in place, that’s good. If he indicates that he intends to eliminate the protections, as demanded by the Freedom Caucus, the Heritage Foundation and the FRC, that’s not good.

      I would like to see the United States continue the Obama/Clinton practice of advocating/supporting gay and lesbian rights worldwide, particularly in countries that have repressive anti-gay laws, but I think that’s a goner given the longstanding opposition from conservatives to the practice. I believe in fighting battles that can be won, not tilting windmills.

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        Granted. Everybody seems to be ignoring the record on Tillerson, which is decidedly mixed.

        Isn’t that the point?

        it seems to me that Tillerson’s record raises questions

        I don’t think it raises as many questions as national and world events do.

        Regardless of the motivation for certain ideas getting into someone’s head, the questions that need to be asked are how are the president-elect’s appointees going to address the issues that we think are going to land in front of them. If a cross-examination is in order, it should be based around that. What is America’s role in the world in safeguarding human rights? Is possessing a homosexual inclination a human right? What about saying that you have one? Having sex with someone? (Not how I’d define homosexuality but alas, that’s how most of the world does) Declaring marriage?

        But the people who will ask those questions the right way are very few.

        Reply
      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        Tom: Granted. Everybody seems to be ignoring the record on Tillerson, which is decidedly mixed.

        Jorge: Isn’t that the point?

        I don’t know about anybody else’s point, but that’s the point I am trying to make.

        Tillerson’s liberal critics have latched onto Exxon’s abysmal record on employee protection will Tillerson was CEO between 2006-2014, but ignore Tillerson’s role in opening up the Boy Scouts to gay Scouts during 2010-2012. Tillerson’s homocon supporters have latched onto Tillerson’s role with the Boy Scouts but won’t discuss Tillerson’s role at Exxon Mobil while he was CEO. Both sides act as if Lord Voldemort is afoot.

        Why? It isn’t as if both the Boy Scouts sage and the Exxon Mobil resistance weren’t both controversial and widely reported long before Tillerson was considered for the Cabinet (on the Exxon Mobil side, see “What’s Wrong With Exxon?” from 2013, as an example). It doesn’t make any sense, on either side.

        The interesting question is this: Why did Tillerson take an active and effective role in opening the Boy Scouts to gay Scouts 2010-2012, while during the same period actively fight to keep Exxon from adopting any workplace protections at Exxon Mobil during those same two years and thereafter, despite shareholder pressure from major, institutional investors to conform to industry norms?

        Tillerson’s answer to that question would shed light on the relevant questions: “What are Tillerson’s plans going forward with respect to (!) existing State Department policies and protections for LGBT staffers and employees, and (2) existing State Department practices of advocating/supporting gay and lesbian rights worldwide, particularly in countries that have repressive anti-gay laws?”

        I don’t expect Tillerson to support the latter because of strong conservative opposition to the practices (even homocons like Stephen have strongly criticized the practices as “heavy handed actions”) and government advocacy of LGBT rights would complicate our alliance with Russia, a major offender.

        But the former (keeping existing workplace practices/policies in place) is important, and Tillerson’s leadership at Exxon Mobil during the period 2006-2014 is obviously relevant.

        Stephen is, as always, taking the opportunity to beat left/liberal/progressive gays and lesbians about the head and ears, but that is just background noise as far as I am concerned.

        The folks raising questions about Tillerson’s role in keeping Exxon Mobil behind the rest of the industry (CEI=0 or worse) until government regulations (Obama’s Reign of Regulatory Terror) forced a change in 2015 (2016 CEI=40), a change that once started seems to have been advanced by industry standards and market forces in 2016 (2017 CEO=85) are raising legitimate questions.

        Reply
  9. posted by Jorge on

    Richard Johnson, a professor of public administration at the University of San Francisco, said the appointment of Tillerson as secretary of state with a lawsuit against his company alleging anti-gay discrimination “is lunacy and could provide long-term problems.”

    1) Didn’t Trump already win despite encountering a battle just like that in one of the debates?

    2) Doesn’t everyone who bothers to get money or recognition talking about politics already know that?

    Treating every single thing about the Trump administration like the coming of the antichrist lands you in tone deaf blunders like this one.

    “…Indeed, his track record on stopping human rights violations is dubious at best.”

    I think this is confusing civil rights with human rights.

    Christians and Republicans have an odd way about them. They care a lot more about the latter than they do about the former. I can definitely tell you that Catholicism has a way of arguing that there’s some incompatibility between the two.

    This is important to point out because when we talk about gay rights as a foreign policy issue the issues are very different than in domestic policy. I think it’s quite logical for a single temperament to be “pro” in foreign policy and “anti” in domestic policy.

    One was from a more qualified applicant who outed herself as LGBT by noting work at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund; the other was a less qualified applicant who gave no indication about her sexual orientation or gender identity.

    First of all that’s not outing someone as “LGBT” unless the applicant’s name was something like Shelby or Chris.

    Reply
  10. posted by TJ on

    It is “outing” some one as LGBT or a straight ally.

    I suspect that the point was that someone in human resources got the impression that someone who was quite qualified, but gay or a gay ally, didn’t belong in the company….as much as a far less qualified candidate.

    When you are a leader in said company, you need to be able to take responsibility and actually try to fix the problem..

    People in corporate human resources tend to take cues from, you know, the boss.

    If you have ever worked in human resources for a large entity, you know that upper management, the CEO, etc. will make it clear weather or not they want gay people or people that support gay rights to be employees.

    Reply
  11. posted by Lori Heine on

    I can’t believe all the pixels that are being wasted on this discussion.

    Donald Trump is neither pro-gay nor anti-gay. He’s pro-Donald Trump.

    A politician is a politician is a politician. It won’t benefit him politically, with any group except for the increasingly-marginalized crybabies on the big-government social right, to persecute gays. Nor will it help him much to do much for us.

    I’m not going to get upset and run around with a safety pin on my shirt because Donald Trump is president. I’m not going to worship at his feet, either. I’m going to work for a political system in which it doesn’t matter so damn much who the president is, or which political party propels him (or her) to power.

    Reply
    • posted by JohnInCA on

      Ironically, you both stated and ignored why people are concerned about Trump’s picks.

      Trump himself is pretty ambivalent on the issue. The people he has been selecting, however, are not ambivalent. So the question isn’t “will Trump persecute us”, it’s “will he stop his appointees from doing so”.

      Reply
  12. posted by Jorge on

    I can’t believe all the pixels that are being wasted on this discussion.

    B-b-b-b-but, it’s “Extraordinarily Fabulous Outrageous You Go Girl! No Wonder People Think We’re Nuts, Gay News!” I can’t get enough of it. Oh, look, the Steve Yuhas radio show has a new page. (Still only updates almost never, though.)

    It is “outing” some one as LGBT or a straight ally.

    You misunderstand my point.

    Short of a trans/cis pair of Siamese Twins, it is impossible for someone to be LGBT.

    Reply
  13. posted by Kosh III on

    “I do not value equality. Human rights is more important.”

    Equal rights are a human right.

    Go live someplace other than your cozy blue enclave where you have equality; try Sylacauga AL or Sandy Hook MS where equality is not valued and those deemed less important than WASP are treated as inferiors. Go ahead, put your money where your mouth is, live your dream. Cluck cluck cluck…..

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      About half the time Jorge’s chimerical comments bring to mind Governor Lee Dreyfus’s quip about our Wisconsin capitol: “Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.”

      Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      Equal rights are a human right.

      No they’re not.

      If you permanently mangle your hand, you do not have the right to the same jobs that a healthy person does. You only have the right to the same jobs if you can actually perform those jobs with a reasonable accommodation. The right to a job if you can perform one is more important than the right to have the exact same job than everyone else. That’s why human rights are more important than equal rights and equal rights is not a human right.

      If this is too much logic for you, then I think maybe you should move to one of those ivory tower enclaves or one of those flyover states. You might learn something from the us intellectual snobs of the coasts or one of those beard-chewing rednecks of the heartlands.

      Reply
      • posted by JohnInCA on

        If you have to turn a concept into a strawman before you attack it, that should probably be a sign that you should reconsider your words.

        Reply
        • posted by Jorge on

          As Tom loves to say, “equal means equal”. Do not try to pass off a serious weakness in a claimed rule of logic as an irrelevant and unrelated example. Either two people competing for the same job have equal rights compared to each other, or they don’t. I say they don’t, and that denial of equal rights can still occur without either of their human rights being denied.

          This is true in criminal justice.
          It is true of sex.
          It is true of age and disability.
          It is true of immigration status.
          And it is true of almost every single interaction between race+something else except race on its own, to the point that the law has allowed the races to be and remained unequal, so long as there is another “for cause” that occurs differently between them.

          Do not waste my time with this nonsense.

          Reply
      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        Oh, for G-d’s sake, Jorge, the term “equal rights” in the locution “equal rights are a human right” means “equal treatment under the law”, a concept that is as old as the hills and understood to be a human right (see, for example, United Nations “Universal Declaration of Human Rights“, (1948) Section 7 and related.

        As to the logic of the matter, unlikes are not equivalents.

        Reply
      • posted by Kosh III on

        Too late.
        I was raised in Appalachia in a county with zero minorities(unless you count the handful of Catholics)
        I escaped to Southern California before returning to a blue city.

        Reply
  14. posted by TJ on

    1. The nominee supported ending anti-gay discrimination in the BSOA, but he wasn’t (initial reports) thrilled about dealing with anti-gay discrimination in the company that he played a leadership role in.

    Now Stephen doesn’t want to say or do anything to offend the one, true party.

    So, he attacks people who point out this discrepency. I just want to know the truth.

    2. Equality is a human right, Although Jorge doesn’t really seem to understand what equality means in terms of human rights.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      Well, it seems to me that you have one of two options, TJ.

      You may enlighten me about the human right of equality, so that the hidden contexts and characteristics may become clearer.

      Or you can bluff that the human right of equality is, like the Emperor’s New Clothes, only visible to intelligent people.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      A href=”You may enlighten me about the human right of equality, so that the hidden contexts and characteristics may become clearer.”>Be enlightened. The UN Declaration, one of the foundational documents of the UN, is a solid, clear statement of basic human rights, and includes, specifically, equal treatment under the law.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Correctly formatted:

      You may enlighten me about the human right of equality, so that the hidden contexts and characteristics may become clearer.

      Be enlightened. The UN Declaration, one of the foundational documents of the UN, is a solid, clear statement of basic human rights, and includes, specifically, equal treatment under the law.

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        Why?

        Reply
        • posted by TJ on

          The Universal Declaration of Human Rights….part of the International Bill of Human Rights is a good place to start

          Reply
          • posted by Jorge on

            Back up a sec.

            First of all, the “equality under the law” that Tom cites is not the same as “equal rights” as you are using the term.

            And how do I know this?

            Simple. I suggested you could “enlighten me about the human right of equality, so that the hidden contexts and characteristics may become clearer”. This neither of you have done.

            Instead you both ask me to read the Magna Carta and say nothing else. That doesn’t give me a lot of confidence that you even understand the Magna Carta and why it’s so important. I am not going to read the Magna Carta without so much as an introduction. You are going to tell me why the Magna Carta was issued, and why modern-day constitutions continue to draw inspiration from it.

            Or you can continue to bluff that the human right of equality is, like the Emperor’s New Clothes, only visible to intelligent people.

  15. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    I suggested you could “enlighten me about the human right of equality, so that the hidden contexts and characteristics may become clearer”. This neither of you have done.
    Instead you both ask me to read the Magna Carta and say nothing else. That doesn’t give me a lot of confidence that you even understand the Magna Carta and why it’s so important.

    You are shape-shifting again, Jorge.

    I have never used “equal means equal”, “equal treatment”, “equal protection”, “equal rights” or similar phrases except in the clear context of “equal rights/treatment under the law”. Nor, as I read his comments in this thread, is TJ using those terms in a different context.

    You, on the other hand, in an apparent attempt to justify a distinction you are determined to make between “human rights” and “equal rights”, have been taking near-universal understanding that “equal rights” (in the context of equal treatment under the law) is a human right, out of context, jumbling any number of examples into a mish-mash.

    When the Declaration of Independence asserted that “all men are created equal” is a “self-evident” truth, the Declaration is speaking in the context of equality before the law. The Founders obviously knew that men are created with differences — some are born smart and some are born dumb, some are born healthy and some are born unhealthy, some are born well-endowed and others born not so much, some born handsome and some born ugly, some born into privilege and some born into poverty, and so on up and down the line. The Founders weren’t ignorant or obtuse. The Founders understood that, but still asserted that it is a “self-evident” truth that all men are created equal.

    You are, as I noted and others noted, mixing up apples and oranges, ignoring the differences between the examples you are giving and the concept of equal treatment under the law, and now you are asserting that TJ is doing likewise. As I read what he has had to say, he’s not. He’s using “equal rights are human rights” in the context in which that phrase is almost always used, that is, “the right to equal treatment under the law is a human right”.

    You can babble on forever, I suppose, but I’m not playing.

    Just out of curiosity, are you really suggesting that the UN’s “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” is the Magna Carta? It makes no sense.

    Reply
  16. posted by Jorge on

    I have never used “equal means equal”, “equal treatment”, “equal protection”, “equal rights” or similar phrases except in the clear context of “equal rights/treatment under the law”. Nor, as I read his comments in this thread, is TJ using those terms in a different context.

    Well, I do.

    Reply
  17. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Tom: I have never used “equal means equal”, “equal treatment”, “equal protection”, “equal rights” or similar phrases except in the clear context of “equal rights/treatment under the law”. Nor, as I read his comments in this thread, is TJ using those terms in a different context.

    Jorge: Well, I do.

    I know you do, but you assert that “equal rights” (in the sense of “equal treatment under the law”) is not a “human right”, despite all evidence to the contrary, because “equal rights” (in whatever alternative sense you are using the term) is not a “human right”.

    It is a false logic, Jorge:

    Against the assertion that “X equals Y”, you argue that “M does not equal Y” and therefore “X does not equal Y”. That can only be the case if “M equals X”, and it doesn’t, as your comment above makes clear.

    Neither TJ or I are arguing against the proposition that “M does not equal Y”. We are arguing that “X equals Y”.

    Reply

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