Competing Headlines

Take One

Anti-LGBT adoption bill sent to South Dakota governor. (State law allows adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples.)

Liberals Call SD Religious Freedom Adoption Law ‘Anti-LGBT’
. (State law allows religious nonprofits to follow principles of their faith.)

Honorable Mention:

LGBTQ Advocates Fear ‘Religious Freedom’ Bills Moving Forward in States. (Count on NPR online to use scare quotes around a pivotal constitutional right that’s out of favor on the left.)

Take Two

Amid Dramatic Cuts, HIV/AIDS Funding Spared in New Trump Budget. (Despite our best efforts, we really couldn’t spin this as anti-LGBT; a source does say “What’s unknown is how this might affect a whole range of other programs that provide HIV support.”)

GOP health plan’s ‘devastating’ impact on those with HIV. (One way or another, Trump will imperil the HIV-positive.)

Honorable Mention:

Trump budget slashes State Department, USAID funding. (One of the revolving marquee headlines this weekend at Washington Blade online, apparently for no reason other than AID at first glances looks like AIDS.)

Milo (Yawn)

I haven’t commented on the uproar over Milos Yiannopoulos because he and the circus around him bore me.

He has his defenders—”Milo is indisputably the most effective conservative on campus battling the anti-American identity-obsessed, racist Left,” writes David Horowitz. But Yiannopoulos has always been a provocateur who muddied the good fight against politically correct attacks on free speech (both formal and mob-driven) on college campuses and elsewhere with his own bigotries. Whatever good—and there was some—that came from an openly gay man becoming a major figure respected within the Breitbart crowd was undercut by his playing footsie with the alt right (a loose movement whose size and power are mendaciously exaggerated by the left, but which does exist).

His downfall over previous comments seeming to make light of pedophilia, including his own abuse by a priest, have now resulted in his leaving Breitbart News and being disinvited from the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where he was to be a keynote speaker, all of which is to the delight of the alt-left.

Perhaps the circus has now left town.

More. CPAC is minus Milo, but the Log Cabin Republicans, once excluded, again have a booth.

When nonprogresives support LGBT rights, it’s insidious

The Trump administration will keep the position of special U.S. envoy to promote LGBT rights abroad at State Department, the Washington Blade reports.

Pete Buttigieg, gay mayor of South Bend, Ind., with higher political aspirations (he’s an extremely long-shock candidate for Democratic National Committee Chair), in a separate Washington Blade interview, lambasted “the level of ‘pinkwashing’ of the Trump campaign.”

Reminder: The term “pinkwashing” was concocted by leftists to dismiss Israel’s support for gay legal equality and inclusion. As described by Mark Joseph Stern, it’s the presumption that “the Israeli government has no interest in promoting LGBTQ rights except to help mask its oppression of other groups.” That Buttigieg would use such a term is, well, disgraceful.

Challenging the Narrative

Two tweets:

(Compare the above with the hyperbolic Washington Blade headline ‘Scalia on Steroids’, quoting NYC Rep. Jerry Nadler’s characterization of the judge.)

Progressives explain it all to you

Trump supports gay rights, which is code for being anti-Islam, thereby proving he’s a fascist, writes Amanda Erickson at the Washington Post.

More. This is all reminiscent of the left’s attacks on Israel’s support for gay legal equality and inclusion, which progressives call “pinkwashiing,” described by Mark Joseph Stern as the presumption that “the Israeli government has no interest in promoting LGBTQ rights except to help mask its oppression of other groups.”

[Added: Pete Buttigieg, gay mayor of South Bend, Ind., with higher political aspirations, in a Washington Blade interview, lambasts “the level of ‘pinkwashing’ of the Trump campaign.” When nonprogresives support LGBT rights, it’s insidious.]

Furthermore. Vice President Mike Pence tells ABC News: “I think throughout the campaign, President Donald J. Trump made it clear that discrimination would have no place in our administration. He was the very first Republican nominee to mention the LGBTQ community at our Republican National Convention and was applauded for it. And I was there applauding with him.”

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.

Celebrities Toe the Line—or Else?

As reported by The Daily Beast, Jennifer Holliday Pulls Out of Trump Inauguration, Apologizes to LGBT Community:

On Saturday morning Jennifer Holliday released a letter addressed to the LGBT community announcing that she will no longer be performing at the inauguration concert, apologizing for what she called a “lapse of judgment.” She cites this article in her letter, saying that after she read it she realized that “my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!”

[Added: The issue isn’t whether Holliday will or won’t perform as she sees fit, but that there is a new McCarthyism of the left afoot, where celebrities have been warned that “legitimatizing” the Trump presidency by performing at the inauguration or at future White House-related cultural events will put them on a new black list because the administration is—in this case—allegedly anti-gay.]

LGBT progressives and Democrats have advanced the false narrative that Trump is anti-gay, when—despite his other failings—he was easily the most gay-accepting GOP president nominee ever, as I discussed in an earlier post. And so a day that should unite Americans of goodwill despite political differences becomes a day that divides and provokes yet more partisan polarization.

More evidence of LGBT progressives’ disconnect from, well, reality. Challenging the dominant liberal-left narrative, historian John Gordon Steele writes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Trump May Herald a New Political Order:

To bring permanent change, Mr. Trump needs policies that succeed on the ground, not merely in theory. Faster growth and rising incomes are always rewarded at the ballot box. …

But continued outreach to minority communities is also crucial. Mr. Trump has promised to address the problems of inner cities, which he accuses the Democrats of ignoring for decades. And at one rally last fall, he was handed a rainbow flag, a symbol of gay rights. He smiled broadly and held it aloft as the audience cheered.

This is not your father’s Republican Party.

WAMU, the NPR station in the nation’s capital, recently featured an interview with entrepreneur Jeff Giesea. As noted on the station’s website (which links to the interview):

Jeff Giesea says he isn’t what most people expect a Trump supporter to be—he’s a gay, Stanford-educated resident of a city Hillary Clinton carried by over 90 percent. But Giesea says broad stereotypes are part of the problem with modern politics, where common ground is often hard to find.

You think?

More. Opera star Andrea Bocelli backs out of Trump inauguration because of death threats. As Twitchy noted, “Tolerant Left Strikes Again!”

Furthermore. Jennifer Holliday told the cast of “The View” that death threats forced her to cancel her performance during the inauguration:

I was receiving death threats at this point. I was receiving death threats from black people, the N-word from black people. They were saying they were going to kill me.” …

“At first I said, ‘Are these white people just messing with me? I’m going, ‘Oh my God, these are black people calling me this. They were saying I should kill myself.”

Gays for Trump Prepare to Celebrate

The Washington Blade reports on gay Trump supporters’ upcoming inaugural festivities:

At least three LGBT Republican sponsored events, including a “Deplora-Ball,” are scheduled to take place in or near Washington during the Jan. 20 weekend when Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.

This is sure to enrage LGBT progressives who are informed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddox that internment in concentration camps may be just around the corner [no, she wasn’t kidding]. And judging from much of the mainstream and LGBT media’s coverage of the president elect, it would be difficult to explain why anyone who is L, G, B or T would have voted for Trump or plans to celebrate his presidency.

Here’s a look back on the Trump/LGBT flag-holding incident and how it triggered LGBT-left apoplexy. And my thoughts last July on Trump’s remarks about protecting “our LGBTQ citizens” who are “wonderful Americans” during his acceptance speech at the GOP convention. In a post-election interview with “60 Minutes,” Trump said of gay marriage that “these cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And I’m fine with that.”

[Added: The point of the above is not that Trump is exemplary and certainly not that he was better than the Democrats on LGBT equality issues. It’s to point out that he has moved the bar upward in this regard for GOP presidential nominees, even as his party’s platform has remained hidebound. So if you’re gay and supportive of his wider agenda, then celebrating his inauguration isn’t a sign of betrayal and self-loathing, as many LGBT progressives believe it to be.]

As I have argued, the LGBT left’s responses to Trump’s selection for his administration of figures such as vice president Mike Pence and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson are often based on exaggerations, if not flat-out distortions, of their positions. While there are certainly members of the incoming administration opposed to gay equality, the Trump administration, at the direction of the president himself, could eschew an anti-gay agenda and at the same time choose not to continue some of the most divisive directives of the Obama administration (such as the federal mandate on transgender use of public school restrooms and locker rooms).

Maybe the next 4 (or 8) years will prove my optimism wrong, or maybe it will expose the reaction of the LGBT left as hysterical and hyper-partisan.

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!

How the LGBT Left Lost Its Way

David Bernstein writes at the Washington Post‘s Volokh Conspiracy blog:

“Many religious Christians of a traditionalist bent believed that liberals not only reduce their deeply held beliefs to bigotry, but want to run them out of their jobs, close down their stores and undermine their institutions. … I hope liberals really enjoyed running Brendan Eich out of his job and closing down the Sweet Cakes bakery, because it cost them the Supreme Court.”

I think there’s truth to that. LGBT progressives along with gay libertarians and center-right conservatives worked to achieve marriage equality. Then the left, instead of accepting victory and seeking to live (and let live) with those of differing views, went the authoritarian route and decided to use the power of the progressive state (federally and in in left-leaning localities) to force Christian conservatives to provide creative services for same-sex weddings, among other assaults on religious liberty.

Bernstein points to, as a turning point, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli saying during the oral arguments before the Supreme Court in Obergefell that religiously affiliated schools might lose their tax exempt status if they refused to recognize same-sex marriages. I’m not sure that particular statement “cost his party the election,” but it was part of a larger culture war attack strategy that did.

Bernstein also cites a recent column by Megan McArdle at Bloomberg, The Left’s Doomed Effort to Coerce the Right, that notes:

Over the last few years, as controversies have erupted over the rights of cake bakers and pizza places to refuse to cater gay weddings, the rights of nuns to refuse to provide insurance that covers birth control, the rights of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions, and the rights of Christian schools to teach (and require students and teachers to practice) traditional Christian morality, some Christians have begun to feel that their communities are under existential threat. …

I’ve heard from a number of evangelicals who, despite their reservations about the man, ended up voting for Donald Trump because they fear that the left is out to build a world where it will not be possible to hold any prominent job while holding onto their church’s beliefs about sexuality. Discussions I’ve had in recent days with nice, well-meaning progressives suggest that this is not a paranoid fantasy. An online publisher’s witch hunt against two television personalities — because of the church they attend — validates the fears of these Christians.

And Tammy Bruce writes at the Washington Times:

“As a gay woman, I find it embarrassing to watch gays publicly harass individuals simply for who they are. For several years now we have watched so-called gay leadership and their affiliated activists target Christians and their businesses to either punish them and send a message to everyone else — either conform to the liberal narrative or suffer grave consequences.”

For the past few years I’ve been raising these issues and warning the LGBT left of how counter-productive its attacks on people of faith were. The response was typically to mock me for not recognizing the new order in which there would be no tolerance of religious exemptions from government-mandated behavior. The brewing backlash was evident to all, excepting those who have eyes but could not see, and ears but could not hear.