Permanent Opposition

The Washington Post, on inauguration eve, reported D.C. Politics ‘Queer Dance Party’ shakes and shimmies to send a message to Mike Pence.

Entertaining themselves with disco exhibitionism doesn’t sound like an effective lobbying tactic, but then it’s not meant to be. Aside from the Log Cabin Republicans, the organized LGBT groups—many that still claim, somehow, that they’re nonpartisan—will be part and parcel of the Democratic party’s fierce and permanent opposition to all things Trump.

Via BuzzFeed: These Gay Republican Activists Are Making Inroads With Trump’s Team.

As progressives sprint to catch up — or refuse to deal with Trump’s staff directly — these gay activists on the right believe access to Trump’s White House will make them bellwethers for the entire LGBT movement.

But the “movement” doesn’t want anything to do with them. Trump may arguably be the first GOP president who doesn’t oppose gay legal equality (now even accepting marriage equality as a done deal). But instead of capitalizing on that, the LGBT left will be in full Democratic campaign mode from day one.

More. Some of Trump’s appointees, including at the Cabinet level, are not supportive of LGBT inclusion and legal equality (although the nature and depth of their opposition is often overstated, or they were never opposed to our rights, as with Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos (here, and here).

So, is the smart strategy to declare implacable and permanent opposition to Donald J. Trump from day one, or to work constructively with those in the administration, including Trump himself, who have an inclusive and supportive view of gay Americans? Clearly, the LGBT organizational establishment is committed to the former, ramping up partisan polarization to a fever pitch.

[Best line from Trump’s inaugural address: “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.”]

Along similar lines, from Washington Blade columnist Mark Lee:

Such embarrassing foot stomping wins lesbians and gays few friends. We risk alienating actual and potential allies by unseemly hegemony and hatred.

Worse are the ridiculous claims of impending LGBT Armageddon most gays don’t believe and only sabotage a community’s credibility.

We’re not headed to concentration camps, nor is Trump gassing up any transport trucks. Illusory victories won by presidential orders signify we opted for transient gains by seeking only convenience and not consensus.

37 Comments for “Permanent Opposition”

  1. posted by Kosh III on

    LCR? What have they done that’s constructive? Did they succeed in stopping Bush’s attacks in 2004? Did they convince the GOP that gay people deserve the same rights? Prevent “religious” bs laws?
    Yes, the Democrats will have fierce opposition; they’ve hopefully learned how from observing 8 years of vicious hatred and opposition to anything done by the uppity Muslim illegal alien colored boy in THEIR White House.
    Can we give Trump a “waterloo?”

    Reply
    • posted by TJ on

      I doubt that the fancy parties for the President (or in opposition to his statements and policies) are meant to change hearts and minds.

      Given how tricky and expensive it is to get into some of these fancy parties , expecting them to be widely influential is a bit of lark.

      Reply
  2. posted by Houndentenor on

    Well then this is LCR’s moment to shine, isn’t it. About 1 in 4 gay people vote Republican in national elections (a little less this year). And a lot of that 25% is well-off so LCR should be well funded. And they should by now have plenty of access to the GOP leadership. So this is their moment. We’ll see if there’s any usefulness in a gay conservative lobby.

    Reply
  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Well then this is LCR’s moment to shine, isn’t it. About 1 in 4 gay people vote Republican in national elections (a little less this year). And a lot of that 25% is well-off so LCR should be well funded. And they should by now have plenty of access to the GOP leadership. So this is their moment. We’ll see if there’s any usefulness in a gay conservative lobby.

    We may get an early indication of LCR’s effectiveness over the next 30-90 days as the Trump administration decides what to do with Executive Order 13672 and other EO’s and departmental regulations protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination in employment, access to medical care, and other areas.

    Reply
    • posted by Mike in Houston on

      Within 5 minutes of being sworn in, all LGBT pages were erased from the White House web site and State Department — if that’s any sign of what’s on the horizon.

      Reply
      • posted by Tom H. on

        All Obama administration-branded pages, featuring Obama’s picture and discussing the Obama administration’s policies, were taken down, as happens whenever a new president is sworn in. The Trump administration will be uploading its policy pages, some after the respective cabinet secretaries are approved and take charge of their departments.

        Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      The Trump administration will be uploading its policy pages, some after the respective cabinet secretaries are approved and take charge of their departments.

      Yes, and that will give us an indication of the direction that the Trump administration intends to take with respect to equal treatment under the law for LGBT citizens.

      I see no point in speculating. We don’t know the direction that the Trump administration will take. Wait and see.

      Meanwhile, we have a lot of work to do in state legislatures and state courts.

      Reply
      • posted by Mike in Houston on

        Indeed — equal benefits of marriage equality are apparently going to be reviewed by the Texas Supreme Court later this year. Under the Obama DOJ, there would have likely been an amicus brief filed in favor of equal means equal. Trump’s pick for the DOJ Civil Rights Division, on the other hand, was defending North Carolina’s HB-2 until last week….

        http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/john-gore-hb2-trump-civil-rights-doj

        Reply
      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        Under the Obama DOJ, there would have likely been an amicus brief filed in favor of equal means equal.

        That doesn’t look real likely with a DOJ headed by Jeff Sessions and a Civil Rights division headed by John Gore. I’m waiting to see who is appointed as Solicitor General, because it is the Solicitor General’s office that prepares the briefs.

        But, again, we are going to have to wait and see what happens. He Alone will set the policy for the administration, and we don’t yet have a clue.

        Whichever way the administration goes on this case, we are likely to see others like it over the next few years, as the “massive resistance” effort continues.

        Reply
  4. posted by JohnInCA on

    Heh. I think it says something that folks are acting like *this* is the year that conservative gay groups have more influence on a Republican president then liberal groups do.

    Kind of an admission of how, historically, they’ve been useless, no?

    That said, I’d love if LCR were an effective lobbying organization. But after decades of failure, it’s not unfair to be skeptical.

    Reply
  5. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Regardless of what the Trump administration does with respect to Executive Orders and departmental regulations, we are going to have a long, hard fight in the states.

    In addition to the flurry of anti-equality bills (bathroom bills, FADA-clones, bills limiting access to health care, adoption and foster care limiting bills, bills pre-empting local protections, and so on), the numerous lawsuits attempting to limit Obergefell are in the pipeline.

    Typical of the latter is a Texas case seeking to permit special discrimination against gay/lesbian married couples employed by state and local government:

    After pressure from Texas GOP leadership, the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court on Friday reversed course and agreed to take up a same-sex marriage case.

    Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, the state’s highest civil court will reconsider a Houston case challenging the city’s benefits policy for married same-sex couples. The court had previously declined to take up the case on an 8-1 vote, letting stand a lower court decision that upheld benefits for same-sex couples.

    But Texas Republicans looking to narrow the scope of the landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage urged the Texas court to reconsider. Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in October filed an amicus brief with the court asking it to reconsider the case.

    Oral arguments have been set for March 1.

    In asking the Texas Supreme Court to reopen the Houston case, state leaders also urged the court to clarify that the case that legalized same-sex marriage, Obergefell v. Hodges, does not “bind state courts to resolve all other claims in favor of the right to same-sex marriage.”

    They argued that Obergefell does not include a “command” that public employers “take steps beyond recognizing same-sex marriage — steps like subsidizing same-sex marriages (through the allocation of employee benefits) on the same terms as traditional marriages.”

    I hope that Stephen is right about President Trump, but even if Stephen is right, the President has a hard row to plow if he is planning to turn the Republican Party in the direction of equality. I just don’t think that “He Alone” can fix it, no matter how determined he is.

    We will have our hands full for years dealing with this kind of thing.

    Reply
    • posted by Houndentenor on

      Getting Trump to veto the anti-gay bills that will be coming from Congress would be a major accomplishment. No one expects the GOP to do anything positive for gay people. There will be no progress. At the point we are just trying to minimize the damage.

      Reply
  6. posted by Jorge on

    Doesn’t Buzzfeed have a fake news scandal?

    (It’s GAY NEWS, so it doesn’t count.)

    All right!

    13 grand; that’s about enough for two dates with Milo Y.

    Good one.

    Well then this is LCR’s moment to shine, isn’t it.

    I’m afraid it’s too late. Trump won already. He won’t run for re-election again so he doesn’t need them anymore. They either caught his ear early or they didn’t.

    Fortunately, they did. But I’m not sure they had it long enough for him to understand what they want.

    He mentioned diversity of color in his address, but spoke of only one God, mentioned one religion, and he didn’t make any GAY NEWS.

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      They either caught his ear early or they didn’t. Fortunately, they did.

      What in the world do you base that on? LCR was reduced to sending a white paper to the transition team on Wednesday, January 18. That’s two days ago. Has anyone read it? No evidence of that … Did it change anyone’s mind about anything? No evidence of that … And so on.

      LCR refused, very publicly, to endorse the President. The President is known to reward loyalty and punish disloyalty. Gregory Angelo is lucky that he hasn’t been put on the no-fly list yet.

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        His acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

        LCR refused, very publicly, to endorse the President.

        ……

        Sorry. I forgot that there are gay not-Democrats who aren’t affiliated with, supporters of, or otherwise fellow travelers with the LCR.

        Reply
      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        Sorry. I forgot that there are gay not-Democrats who aren’t affiliated with, supporters of, or otherwise fellow travelers with the LCR.

        Okay, sorry. I thought you were talking about LCR, since you were responding to Houndentenor’s comment “Well then this is LCR’s moment to shine, isn’t it.”

        Who supporting gays and lesbians got Trump’s ear, then, if not LCR?

        Reply
        • posted by Jorge on

          I pretty much was meaning to put right-leaning gays in one big pile.

          Who supporting gays and lesbians got Trump’s ear, then, if not LCR?

          (Hmm… who’s connected with Milo or Thiel?)

          Steve Bannon.

          Reply
  7. posted by Jorge on

    Some of Trump’s appointees, including at the Cabinet level, are not supportive of LGBT inclusion and legal equality.

    That’s quite a bold statement! What on earth justifies that one, and who on earth do you mean?

    I seriously can’t tell if this is a hit-and-run against everyone from the establishment Republican up to say Ted Cruz who welcomes the new LGBT awareness to the Republican party but is rejects the worth of “civil rights” laws including Obergefell, or aimed at something along the lines of the charge Betsy DeVos made past donations to groups that promote gay conversion therapy.

    Reply
  8. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    [T]he Democratic party’s fierce and permanent opposition to all things Trump.

    All things Trump, such as “his positions on immigration, trade and civil liberites, as well as … his hair-tirgger personality …”, to quote the reasons why you opposed Trump in your November 2 post “Gay Voters for Trump”?

    According to exit polls, President Trump got about 14% of the LGBT vote. That is the lowest percentage garnered by the Republican candidate in two decades (Dole got 16% in 1995, Bush II 25% in both 2000 and 2004, McCain 27% in 2008, and Romney 22% in 2012).

    Given that President Trump is so gay-affirming that bluebirds sing (at least that is the homocon story line), why then did LGBT voters reject him in droves?

    Probably for the reasons you did, which are the reasons, among others, I did. Although I made note that Trump’s positions on LGBT issues highly correlated to the 2016 Republican Platform, I wouldn’t have voted for Trump even if he did make bluebirds sing. He is almost certain to be a disaster on policy issues important to me — environmental protection, climate change, immigration, civil liberties, health care, safety net, and so on.

    Yes, I do believe that we are going to have to fight the President on many LGBT issues, just as we will have to fight Republicans in the state legislatures and in the courts over the coming years. I do not believe that bluebirds are warming up for a concert in praise of President Trump.

    But even if that were not the case, I can’t help but think that IGF has gone a tad Orwellian of late, insisting that left/liberal gays and lesbians should support Trump because he will make bluebirds sing, even though we disagree about just about everything else.

    I think that fierce opposition is in order on many issues, and I hope that Democrats will fight tooth and nail on those issues.

    Reply
  9. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Some of Trump’s appointees, including at the Cabinet level, are not supportive of LGBT inclusion and legal equality. … So, is the smart strategy to declare implacable and permanent opposition to Donald J. Trump from day one, or to work constructively with those in the administration, including Trump himself, who have an inclusive and supportive view of gay Americans?

    I think that the smart strategy is the tri-fold strategy that gays and lesbians have followed for the last 30+ years: (1) Come out to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, (2) fight for the issues that are important to us, and relentlessly keep the pressure on politicians, Republican and Democrat alike, and (3) use the courts as necessary.

    That’s what won the hearts and minds of a strong majority of Americans over the years, that’s what turned the Democratic Party, and that’s what produced the gains we’ve made.

    It is not time to roll over and play dead.

    Reply
  10. posted by Jorge on

    According to exit polls, President Trump got about 14% of the LGBT vote. That is the lowest percentage garnered by the Republican candidate in two decades (Dole got 16% in 1995, Bush II 25% in both 2000 and 2004, McCain 27% in 2008, and Romney 22% in 2012).

    Actually, this is the first time the LGBT vote has been measured. Previous poll questions measured the LGB vote.

    I happen to think that’s significant both conceptually and statistically. It’s especially problematic that every exit polling organization seems to have made the switch at the same time. “Are you gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender” might be interpreted by some queer/questioning, intersex, asexual, and other people within the LGBTQIA+ community to apply to them if they consider “LGBT” as an umbrella term (the way “queer” used to be used when I was in college), whereas they might simply answer “no” to “are you gay, lesbian, or bisexual”? Combined with people who are themselves transgender, I think that would make a difference of a few percentage points (questioning people skew young).

    I think it’s also possible some people would refuse to identify as LGBT when they would affirmatively identify as LBT, and that group of people would skew old.

    Finally, I think you should identify which exit poll you are citing; I usually cite the one by CNN in which Bush got 23% of the LGB vote in 2004.

    Reply
  11. posted by Jorge on

    Along similar lines, from Washington Blade columnist Mark Lee…

    “Sure, it was a calculation. Baiting Trump on Twitter is no magician’s trick.”

    It’s occurred to me that in my enthusiasm to credit the most brilliant displays of Machiavellian thinking among Republicans that it’s possible the liberal Democratic (excuse me, liberal/anarchist) /opposition is also testing Trump early and often for the exact same reason.

    They go crazy in the streets of DC, they get charged with felony rioting, guess that tactic won’t last very long! By the way, I’m glad Lewis got Twitter whacked and Sessions is being confirmed. It’s a large price for the opposition to pay for learning how to play the game.

    That “Illusory victories won by presidential orders signify we opted for transient gains by seeking only convenience and not consensus” is a pretty brutal put down, and I’m all for it.

    I’m glad Trump decided to stick to his guns in his inauguration speech, but I have to tell you, his “unify behind patriotism” line was a little odd to me.

    I’m getting the same feeling about him as I had about Pope Benedict. They both send a message of “I love everybody and we’re going to do things my way and condemn evil” thing, and I’m like “Yeah, I feel like making the world a better place now, and I will stop you.”

    Reply
  12. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    I’m glad Trump decided to stick to his guns in his inauguration speech, but I have to tell you, his “unify behind patriotism” line was a little odd to me.

    Just substitute “Trump” for “patriotism” and you’ll have no trouble understanding the gist.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      Yeah, no.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Yeah, no.

      Wait and see. It won’t be long before anyone who stands in his way is twitted out as in-American, unpatriotic and worse.

      The man is totally self-obsessed. He addresses the CIA, with important fences to mend, and he spends his time complaining about the fact that news media reported the size of the crowd at is inauguration. He meets with Congressional leaders, a time that might have been spent talking about his legislative priorities, and he opens with Alt-Facts about millions of illegal votes costing him the popular count.

      What’s next? Hand size again?

      Just wait, Jorge, just wait. It won’t be long.

      Reply
      • posted by Doug on

        He took his own cheering section with him to the CIA. Those cheering at his speech were Trump supporters brought in for the specific purpose of cheering him. I suspect Trump will pull this shenanigan a lot. His need for self aggrandizement knows no bounds, even if he has to import them to events where they do not belong. He is one sick puppy.

        Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        Just wait, Jorge, just wait. It won’t be long.

        *Sigh!*

        No, odd really is the right word for it. Trump was often a candidate who tried to push his opponents in a certain direction so they’d end up beating him (while at the same time playing to win). I don’t think that part’s changed any, either. That’s his motivation.

        (That’s just your cognitive dissonance speaking.)

        I think it’s possible everyone else will save America and he’ll take the credit for moving all the pieces–uh, I mean bringing all the people and ideas together.

        Anyway, it is rapidly becoming *not easy* to keep pace with Trump. It’s hard to roast him, much less make war against him; he keeps moving onto something else and regaining the initiative.

        Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      OMG. You’ve got to be pulling my leg.

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        It looks legit. Although to be perfectly honest, I found it a little funny.

        “And you already missed it.”

        Just like I missed National Day of Nasty Feet.

        I think I’ll hang it up at work. With a bit of an editorial cartoon. Each paragraph will represent the perspective of a different American political faction.

        The first paragraph represents the traditional and tea-party right

        The second broadly represents the centrist left.

        The third paragraph represents the liberal left.

        The fourth paragraph represents the neoconservative right.

        The closing is TRUMP

        Reply
  13. posted by TJ on

    1 Expecting all gay or straight Americans to suddenly jump on the “KGB-President-Trump” banwagon is silly.

    2. Their are no shortage of LGBT Republicans who are on hand to work with the administration. The fact that the Republican Party still frequently belittles LGBT Americans, is not the fault of non-party members.

    3. President Trump (KGB) will have plenty of chances to support equal rights. Plenty of chances to help protect civil rights.

    Reply
  14. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Such embarrassing foot stomping wins lesbians and gays few friends. We risk alienating actual and potential allies by unseemly hegemony and hatred.

    Homocons have been warning us that this, that or the other thought, speech, action or strategy will “risk alienating actual and potential allies” for as long as I can remember. A case can be made in some cases, I guess.

    But how do homocons propose to stop gays and lesbians from saying things that “risk alienating actual and potential allies” without crossing the line into political correctness and/or authoritarianism? That’s the question never answered.

    Reply
    • posted by TJ on

      Generally, the answer seems to be something like this; Don’t critize. Dont speak up. Dont have compassion. Dont deal with reality. Vote Republican

      Reply
      • posted by Houndentenor on

        If there had every been any doubt that LCR were anything but useful idiots, that should have been dispelled in 1996 when the Dole campaign solicited a donation to their campaign from LCR so they could publicly reject it. The GOP is anti-gay. Period. They have been for a long time and the 2016 platform showed them moving further away from gay rights. Perhaps our best chance of a pro-gay person having any influence is whoever does Ivanka’s hair. I wish that were a joke.

        Reply

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