Equality March: Separate Realities


CNN reports:

Conservative gay Americans, for their part, view the march as a partisan event emphasizing “division far more than equality,” said Gregory T. Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative LGBT group.

“For months now we’ve heard that Trump is going to ‘roll back’ advances made by the LGBT community, and time and again those rumors were proven to be unfounded,” he told CNN. “All of this chicken-littling has turned the self-styled ‘Resistance’ into little more than a hollow cliche.”

Gay rights activists, however, say Trump’s refusal to issue an official White House statement commemorating LGBT Pride Month — chosen by advocates to commemorate New York’s Stonewall uprising in 1969 — is symptomatic of the White House’s agenda for LGBT Americans. The march on Sunday will be an attempt to the let the Trump administration know that America’s LGBT community will not be ignored, they say.

Along similar lines:


Scott Shackford offers a reasoned assessment:

But Trump has notably not espoused antigay policy stances and has, in fact, resisted efforts to do so within his administration. So far, Trump is probably the most LGBT-friendly Republican president we’ve had.

That doesn’t mean that Trump supports the same policies that progressive LGBT leaders would like. That’s really the crux of the problem: Trump’s administration doesn’t want to use the federal government to advance anti-discrimination policies that cover LGBT people. His Department of Justice has withdrawn federal guidance ordering public schools to accommodate transgender students’ gender choices for bathrooms and other facilities.

Put in historical context, that’s a relatively mild decision, though it must feel awful for transgender students who are affected (and ultimately it may be decided by the courts, not Trump’s administration, anyway). Despite LGBT activists’ fears, the administration is not scaling back executive orders forbidding government contractors from engaging in LGBT discrimination. Life is still improving for LGBT people.

More.


Given the proximity of “Remember Pulse” and “F*ck Trump” signs at the Equality March, it’s as if Donald Trump, rather than homophobic jihadi Isalmism, was behind the Pulse nightclub massacre whose anniversary the March was helping to mark.

Added. The world as the LGBT left sees it: Via a commentary in The Advocate:

Trump quickly seized on the Pulse shooting in an attempt to further isolate Muslims and LGBTQ people from one another. … But the LGBTQ community never took the bait. Instead of broadbrush blaming of an entire religion for the act of one crazed individual, it locked arms with American Muslims in an incredible sign of unity.”

One crazed individual!

James Kirchick addresses this sort of response (in discussing Linda Sarsour’s Politics of Hate and the Pathos of Her Jewish Enablers) when he writes:

One sees this mentality at play in the ADL’s skirting the question of Islam entirely in its poll on European anti-Semitism, in the Obama administration’s repeated insistence that the people murdered at a Paris kosher supermarket by an avowed Islamist in 2015 were victims of a “random” assault on “a bunch of folks in a deli….”

More. Social conservatives are none too pleased.

Pride Month Approaches

June is Pride Month, and various cities and locales are facing a new wave of politically correct deplatforming and exclusion protests.

In Washington, D.C., organizers of D.C.’s annual Capital Pride Parade and Festival were pressed by a group called No Justice No Pride to ban police officers and corporate sponsors from the annual pride parade and events. The organizers stood their ground.


In Toronto, organizers went the other way and banned LGBT police from participating in their pride events, capitulating to Black Lives Matter activists.


D.C.’s Capital Pride did remove a volunteer event producer for expressing views they deemed offensive. Bryan Pruitt had posted an article last year at the conservative blog RedState that said government decrees and legislation regarding transgender bathroom use sought “to implement a solution in search of a problem. The City of Charlotte passes an unnecessary law and the State Legislature provides an equally overreaching response.”

On that point, if not on others, I would agree, so I guess my volunteer services would also be unwelcome.


And the demands keep coming….

One-Party State Supporters

Some on the LGBT progressive left are condemning the Human Rights Campaign for endorsing incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). Kirk is one of an admittedly too-small number of GOP congressmembers working to make their party more LGBT supportive.

HRC’s policy is to endorse incumbents who are mostly if not 100% onboard with its scorecard priorities—even if an opponent dots more “i’s” and crosses more “t’s.” Otherwise, elected officials would have less reason to be responsive when lobbied—and in the Democratic party, there’s often a primary challenger claiming to be even more progressive across the spectrum than a sitting congressmember.

But as I never tire of pointing out (as it makes progressives stomp their feet so), the worst nightmare of the LGBT left is a Republican party that ceases to be predominantly anti-gay, pulling gay voters away from the party. So when HRC occasionally does the right thing and endorses a pro-gay-equality Republican incumbent, it’s seen as a betrayal. Left foot first; always, left foot first.

I don’t think these progressives actually believe the GOP can be permanently prevented from keeping or taking legislative power so why bother working to reform them. It’s more like if the GOP is allowed to have power in Washington, then worse is better as regards mobilizing LGBT votes and dollars to put the one-true-party back in office.

HRC for HRC

The Human Rights Campaign’s endorsement of Hillary Rodham Clinton for president was no surprise, given the close ties between the lobby’s leaders and the Clintons. But coming before the first primaries, it was sure to tick off the Sandernistas, and indeed they felt the Bern.

“It’s understandable and consistent with the establishment organizations voting for the establishment candidate, but it’s an endorsement that cannot possibly be based on the facts and the record,” Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs told the Washington Blade.

I preferred it when HRC just endorsed congressional candidates, prior to the group first presidential endorsement, that being Bill Clinton in 1992. Before then, the group could lay a claim to actual bipartisanship, supporting a fair number of socially inclusive Republicans. But once HRC tied itself so closely to Democratic presidential nominees, it was seen as the party’s outreach arm to lesbian and gay (and later, LGBT) voters. One reason the National Stonewall Democrats closed up shop is that its efforts were seen as redundant with HRC’s.

On a practical level, the early endorsement is viewed by many as bad tactics. Other lobbies on the left and the right make Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, respectively, compete fiercely for their support; HRC pretty much gives it away on the first date.

As Scott Shackford writes at reason.com:

[Many] perceive the HRC leadership as aspiring political operatives securing their own futures rather than actual LGBT activists and compromising so as not to harm their relationship with the Democratic Party elites.

The timing of the endorsement is itself evidence for the argument. … A look at poll averages right now showing Clinton vs. various Republican candidates and Sanders vs. various Republican candidates suggests it’s all extremely up in the air. Sanders does come out on top in some match-ups.

Shackford concludes:

For not a small number of people in the LGBT left, Sanders’ criticism of HRC will not hurt him at all and might actually help him get some primary votes, particularly among older, disaffected gay voters who remember both Clinton’s and the HRC’s histories.

As this blog has pointed out before, not rocking the Democratic Party establishment is HRC’s specialty. During the initial two years of the Obama administration when Democrats enjoyed filibuster-proof majorities in Congress, HRC failed to aggressively push, much less demand, that Democrats move forward with what was then its top agenda item, passage of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. The bill was never moved out of committee, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (among others) didn’t want to spend the political capital.

The one big achievement of the session, repeal of the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy, lay dormant until just weeks before Congress was set to recess with a GOP majority slated to take over the House, when the grass-roots erupted and pushed congressional allies in both parties to force an end run around an again hesitant Reid, while HRC sat on the sidelines.

More on Campus Anti-Speech Activism

Since I raised the “Stonewall” movie fracas in the post below on transgender activism, I’m bumping up the following, which I had added to an earlier post on the progressive campus anti-speech movement.

Robby Soave writes at reason.com, citing Colorado College’s student newspaper, The Catalyst, that LGBT student activists at the college declared that the movie “Stonewall” was too offensive to be shown on campus by the college’s Film and Media Studies Department, which wanted to moderate a discussion about the controversy. Instead, the students demanded that the administration cancel the upcoming screening.

“I think Colorado College should cancel the screening because the safety and well-being of queer and trans students surpasses the importance of a critical discussion,” one student told The Catalyst. Said another: “If CC is really as dedicated to diversity and inclusion, they would never have agreed to screen a film that queer students have repeatedly stated is a threat to our identity and our safety. … It is fallacious to equate the rights of students to view a movie with the rights of students to exist free of violence.”

Soave comments regarding the students’ response to the film, directed by openly gay filmmaker Roland Emmerich, which positively depicts gay people fighting for equality in 1969:

That’s right: the film isn’t merely offensive to gay and trans students (despite having a truly gay-affirming message), it’s actively dangerous to their physical well-being…. This is a complaint emotionally-coddled students often make: that some kind of expression is so triggering that allowing it to proceed constitutes an act of violence. Such complaints are usually pure hyperbole, but hyperbole doesn’t even begin to cover the opinions of Colorado College’s precious snowflakes.

Also, here’s a link to James Kirchick’s piece on the Yale insanity:

If the administration is truly committed to equipping young people for the real world and not a chimerical fantasyland where they never have to hear something disagreeable, the best thing it could do, both for their sake and Yale’s sacred mission, is tell them to grow up.

And another fine piece by Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic, The New Intolerance of Student Activism:

They see anything short of a confession of wrongdoing as unacceptable. In their view, one respects students by validating their subjective feelings. Notice that the student position allows no room for civil disagreement. Given this set of assumptions, perhaps it is no surprise that the students behave like bullies even as they see themselves as victims.

From FrontPageMag.com:

Crybullies are everything they claim to abhor. They are narcissists who complain about selfishness. Completely incapable of human empathy, they whine that no one cares about their feelings. They are prone to cowardly acts of violence, but demand safe spaces. They are bullies who say they’re bullied.

The crybully embodies the left. He is an oppressed oppressor. An abusive victim. A self-righteous hypocrite. A loudmouth censor. A civil rights activist who wants to take everyone’s rights away.

Much of that description also fits the heroes of progressivism who use the power of the state to force small, religiously conservative business owners to provide services to same-sex weddings, and destroy their businesses if they refuse (and threaten them with financial ruin, and jail). It’s all of a piece.

More. The Vice President of the University of Missouri Student Association, via MSNBC: “I personally am tired of hearing that First Amendment rights protect students when they are creating a hostile and unsafe learning environment.”

Progressive students are flooding out of the closet—as the authoritarians we’ve always known them to be. Their older mentors should be as honest about their intentions.

Fortunately, some students get it. Via the Harvard Law Record: Fascism at Yale. Yes, let’s call the progressive students’ political beliefs by its right name.

Proving the point: Amherst Activists Demand Re-Education for Students Who Celebrated Free Speech. A coalition of campus progressive groups declared that a poster celebrating the First Amendment was “racially insensitive” and requires “extensive training for racial and cultural competency.”

The list of signatories at Amherst includes Purple Pride, Pride Alliance, Queer Resource Center, and TransActive. Because, you know, what has free speech ever done for gay people.

Finally, Walter Olson’s Campus expression roundup for the week, at Overlaywered.com.

Debating the “T”

The Federalist looks at the increasingly uncomfortable amalgamation of LGB and T, by way of an interview with a gay man who posted a change.org petition to “drop the T.” It won’t happen, of course, but the interview raises some interesting points. The petitioner (he asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation from the trans movement) notes, for instance:

To me, the LGB movement, with its celebration of all types of gay men and women, such as bears, leather daddies, drag queens, diesel dykes, lipstick lesbians, etc., has always been about expanding and re-defining concepts of gender; the trans movement, on the other hand, appears to be about re-asserting and codifying traditional concepts of gender.

The initial discussion is about the Stonewall narrative, and interviewer David Marcus asks:

I was at the Stonewall twenty-fifth anniversary march in 1994, and at that time we all thought we had a pretty good idea of what had happened at Stonewall. The Stonewall veterans— mostly gay, white men—were viewed as heroic. In the new version of events, the gay, white men at the riot are presented as weak followers, not primary actors. Why do you think so many established gay outlets have so easily accepted this narrative that echoes some of the worst stereotypes about gay men?

To which the petitioner replies:

I think there’s a general desire to find heroes in the past that aren’t the usual white guy, and I understand that completely, as a gay kid looking to find gay heroes in a heteronormative history myself. But you can’t alter history to make you feel better, and doing so by twisting a narrative so that heroic men become weak, dithering non-actors in an event is disrespectful to them and ultimately to yourself.

More. David Marcus has more to say at The Federalist website, Gay Versus Trans Bar Fight Breaks Out Over ‘Stonewall’:

Consider the accounts of the white, gay men interviewed for an AARP video celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall. They are quite clear about what led them to riot. It wasn’t the actions of the small number of transvestites that led them to fight back. It was the actions of the police, the frustration of being left behind in a nation that was slowly embracing civil rights. It was the moment when they refused to be cowed by a culture that condemned the very essence of who they were.

Let us be clear that those who accuse “Stonewall,” the movie, of whitewashing and cis-washing the events of that night are calling these men liars.

The Progessive Campus Anti-Speech Movement

There was a point, not so very long ago, when students and outside speakers advocating gay legal equality might not have been welcomed on campuses. That model of closed-mindedness isn’t something you might suppose those calling themselves “progressives” would aspire to emulate.

Later, when being gay was no longer anathema but support for same-sex marriage was a decidedly minority position (even on liberal campuses), discussions of marriage equality weren’t closed down. An open engage of conflicting ideas was viewed as central to a liberal education.

But today, progressives believe it is their responsibility to make sure no views outside their echo chamber, including conservative speakers and student op-eds, are permitted, lest they mislead those whose minds are not completely closed. Two cases in point, from Wesleyan University and at Williams College, expose the barely concealed authoritarianism that lurks behind much of progressive activism.

More. Feminist pioneer and committed leftist Germaine Greer is the wrong kind of feminist/leftist (not supportive of transgender rights). So:

While debate in a University should be encouraged, hosting a speaker with such problematic and hateful views towards marginalised and vulnerable groups is dangerous.

Brendan O’Neill responded:

The Cardiff censors say Greer’s ideas are ‘problematic’. That is what the PC say instead of ‘haram’.

Furthermore. The Williams student group that invited and then disinvited conservative author Suzanne Venker later reinvited her after being embarrassed over the fallout that followed their caving in to the student censors. At that point, Venker had apparently had enough and declined.

Late addition. Robby Soave writes at reason.com, citing Colorado College’s student newspaper, The Catalyst, that LGBT student activists at the college are demanding that the movie “Stonewall” is too offensive to be shown on campus by the college’s Film and Media Studies Department, which wanted to moderate a discussion about the controversy. Instead, they are demanding that the administration cancel the upcoming screening.

“I think Colorado College should cancel the screening because the safety and well-being of queer and trans students surpasses the importance of a critical discussion,” one student told The Catalyst. Said another: “If CC is really as dedicated to diversity and inclusion, they would never have agreed to screen a film that queer students have repeatedly stated is a threat to our identity and our safety. … It is fallacious to equate the rights of students to view a movie with the rights of students to exist free of violence.”

Soave comments regarding the students’ response to the film, directed by openly gay filmmaker Roland Emmerich, which positively depicts gay people fighting for equality in 1969:

That’s right: the film isn’t merely offensive to gay and trans students (despite having a truly gay-affirming message), it’s actively dangerous to their physical well-being…. This is a complaint emotionally-coddled students often make: that some kind of expression is so triggering that allowing it to proceed constitutes an act of violence. Such complaints are usually pure hyperbole, but hyperbole doesn’t even begin to cover the opinions of Colorado College’s precious snowflakes.

Yes, the Bakers Again

Because, despite the seeming absurdity of it, this is where LGBT progressives have decided the frontline of “the movement” should now be—eliminating the horrific scourge of religious conservatives who own small businesses and who would rather not participate in same-sex weddings.

This was one of the main drivers behind the shift by activists away from the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) toward support for the Equality Act, which also covers “public accommodations” with no religious exemption for private business owners.

In a new blog post, John Corvinio, professor and chair of philosophy at Wayne State University, delves further the matter. He writes:

Do I believe that we should force people to make cakes they don’t want to make? It depends. I support anti-discrimination laws, which do indeed restrict the range of acceptable reasons for turning away customers from a place of business. On the other hand, I generally don’t believe in picking fights just to make a point.

If you live in an area with lots of gay-friendly options, and you deliberately seek a same-sex-wedding cake from bakers known to oppose same-sex marriage, then you are not much better than someone who deliberately seeks a Bible-shaped “God hates gays” cake from bakers known to be gay-friendly.

This is one area where the moral rules are at least as important as the legal ones, and the relevant moral rule is clear: Don’t be a jerk. None of the paths discussed [earlier in his post] will eliminate jerks, but they may provide options for those seeking to minimize conflict while upholding the values of liberty and equality.

(Added: To reiterate, this is about suing or otherwise seeking government action against independent business providers; other posts have discussed the very different situation of government officials refusing to treat all citizens equally under the law, which, ludicrously, is where religious-conservative activists have decided to make their stand.)

And speaking of deeply misguided activism, conservative media is having a field day with a rash of fake hate crimes concocted by LGBT students and others who you’d think might know better. What are they thinking, you have to wonder, beyond glorifying their own victimhood and advancing the progressive narrative.

More. Yes, physical abuse and lesser forms of bullying are unfortunately still with us. I never said all such instances were hoaxes. But the problem of politically (as in “correct”) motivated fabrications is real as well and—although ignored by LGBT and mainstream media—it’s doing damage to those who actually want to confront real instances of abusive behavior.

It’s not just on the LGBT front, of course, Faked instances of misogyny or, even worse, rape, have the horrific effect of undermining reports of actual abuse and rape. So the question of why these students (and others) are motivated to serve the cause by creating false narratives that they no doubt think are useful in mobilizing the masses must be addressed.

A large part of the explanation for this behavior is the need to perpetuate a sense of victimhood, which takes us right back to those activist-minded couples who feel justified in compelling small business providers to service their weddings. Don’t want to work on my marriage celebration—it’s like Selma and we’re marching with Dr. King…or standing up to the police at Stonewall.

You say you have religious objections to accepting this gig and want to recommend the florist, caterer, photographer down the block? You’re Bull Connor and we will destroy you and your business, using the power of the state to punish. And then we’ll tell each other how very special we are.

Obama: Good for Gays, Not So Good for America

According to Mark Joseph Stein and J. Bryan Lowder, writing at Slate (LGBT Comes to the SOTU), Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address was historic in that it contained three references to gay rights and “marks the first time a president has used the words transgender and bisexual in a State of the Union address (in addition to the explicit use of the term lesbian rather than the generic gay).”

For many on the left, it seems, keeping count of nomenclature is exceedingly important. But I’ll grant you that inclusive rhetoric can matter. More importantly, however, let’s weigh the administration’s record.

The Employee Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), then backed by many LGBT Democrats, never made it out of committee during the first two years of the Obama presidency when his party enjoyed large majorities in both houses of Congress—a sign of lack of administration interest in pushing it. But last year, the president belatedly fulfilled his 2008 campaign promise to issue an executive order barring government contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

His administration sat back and would have allowed Harry Reid to scuttle a Senate vote to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” at the end of 2010, as I’ve written about before (Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman saved the day). Subsequently, however, the Defense Department moved to successfully implement the new policy of letting gays and lesbians serve openly in the military.

Obama initially ran for president opposing gay marriage, alluding to marriage’s “religious connotation” and holding that “marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.” But in office his position evolved to support for marriage equality. And while the truly historic advances for the freedom to marry were driven by lawsuits and the courts, the administration did weigh in against the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act. After the majority ruling penned by Justice Kennedy (a Reagan appointee) finding DOMA unconstitutional, federal agencies have moved to ensure equal treatment of same-sex spouses in the areas that they regulate.

As David Boaz sums up on The National Interest website about the speech and, more broadly, Obama’s legacy:

[W]e got a sweeping vision of a federal government that takes care of us from childhood to retirement, a verbal counterpart to the Obama campaign’s internet ad about “Julia,” the cartoon character who has no family, friends, church or community and depends on government help throughout her life. … The spirit of American independence, of free people pursuing their dreams in a free economy, was entirely absent. … The president wants more and better jobs. And yet he wants to raise taxes on the savings and investment that produce economic growth and better jobs. … President Obama’s tax-spend-and-regulate policies have given us the slowest recovery since World War II. You want to help the middle class? Lift those burdens.

But also:

I appreciate the president’s inclusiveness in his rhetoric and his policies. In 2013, he paid tribute to “Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.” This year he cited gay marriage as “a story of freedom”—indeed, his only mention of freedom—and he touched on the deepest roots of our liberty and our civilization in this passage: “we are a people who value the dignity and worth of every citizen: man and woman, young and old, black and white, Latino and Asian, immigrant and Native American, gay and straight, Americans with mental illness or physical disability.”

All in all, the Obama administration’s record on gay rights may be its only lasting positive legacy.