Campus Social Justice Warriors Strike Again

The Washington Post reports that a coalition of 25 student organizations at the University of Maryland, a public university, has presented a list of 64 demands to the administration.

According to the report:

The petitioners listed the communities of students that participated in the initiative this way: “Marginalized, American Indian, Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, Muslim, Pro-Palestine, Undocumented.” No Jewish group at the university signed the list of demands, which include a call for “the active encouragement of faculty and students to engage in discourse and learning about the Palestinians’ struggles and the Boycott Divest and Sanction movement without fear of consequences by the university administration.”

The student’s demands, endorsed by The Pride Alliance at U-Md., include the following:

For the LGBTQIA+ Student Community:
*Converting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Studies program into a department in order to provide curricular autonomy.
*Gender neutral bathrooms in all buildings on campus.
*Multi-stall gender-inclusive bathrooms in every building with multi-stall bathrooms.
*Students be allowed the choice of different gender roommates in the residence halls through random matching.
*Including pronouns in addition to names on student rosters seen by faculty and advisors.
*Implementing a campus wide policy to replace male-female checkboxes with write-in boxes on all forms, surveys, and applications.
*The administration advocate for and defend the Arts and Humanities, as they are one of the departments most sensitive to LGBTQ issues and also one of the most at risk under new state and federal leadership.

For the Muslim Student Community:
*One room in each major building (e.g. SPH, Chemistry, McKeldin etc.) designated for prayer.
*Shuttle services to the Diyanet Center of America for Muslim students to have access to a place of worship and participate in the many activities that the center hosts.
*More classes offered pertaining to Islam and the Muslim world taught by Muslim professors, who will counteract the negativity surrounding the name of Islam that is perpetuated by our culture and media.
*[Responding to the showing of “American Sniper” on campus] Organizations on campus should have better judgement when choosing to show movies that perpetuate false narratives and stereotypes of Muslim and should be held accountable if they do not take this into consideration.

For the Pro-Palestine Student Communities:
*The active encouragement of faculty and students to engage in discourse and learning about the Palestinians’ struggles and the Boycott Divest and Sanction movement without fear of consequences by the university administration.
*The encouragement of equal and positive representation of Pro-Palestinian human rights activists on campus. Specifically, condemning the conflation of Pro-Palestinian activism with racism and Anti-Semitism.

For the Undocumented Student Community:
*A full-time undocumented-student coordinator to advocate for, advise, represent and protect undocumented and “DACAmented students.” (DACA is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields some undocumented immigrants from deportation.)
*A full-time immigration attorney for the Offices of Undergraduate and Graduate Student Legal Aid.
*A declaration of the University of Maryland, College Park as a sanctuary campus for undocumented and DACAmented students and their families.
*A significant expansion of mental health services for all students of color, especially undocumented and DACAmented students.

And on and on. The university issued a statement saying “We commend the students for their passionate advocacy and for coming together in solidarity on these issues.”

The LGBT rights movement has for some time been subsumed as part of the grand coalition of the political left, but what today’s campus activism makes clear is how the simple, clearly focused fight for gay legal equality has been left far behind in this brave new world of identity politics and political correctness on steroids.

More. I should clarify that the Pride Alliance endorsed the entire list, so even though the LGBT demands are far from the most egregious, it’s a package deal. The campus Jewish groups, given the thinly veiled let no one call it anti-Semiticism of the pro-Palestinian groups, refused to participate.

For the Surrogacy Revolution, Thank Free Markets and Voluntary Exchange

Reprinted from the Chicago Tribune in the Duluth News Tribune (talk about the heartland): Gay men increasingly turn to surrogates to have babies.

Yes, they are, and it represents a sea change in the lives of gay men who are, increasingly, married with children.

The surrogacy revolution is premised on free enterprise and the voluntary exchange of a market economy, made possible when government and its army of bureaucrat regulators get out of the way.

Government’s role here is limited to enforcing contracts, when necessary, as adjudicated by the courts.

Trump Derangement Syndrome

The Washington Blade, the LGBT paper in the nation’s capital, is so distraught over the election of Donald Trump that it just declared 2016 to be the “worst year ever” on its cover. Worse for the gay community, mind you, than the deadliest year(s) of the AIDS epidemic; worse than when the Supreme Court upheld sodomy laws in Bowers v. Hardwick; and worse than when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act.

More. What is it with those on the left declaring things are the “worst” ever—whenever they lose power. David Boaz on Worst Congress Ever? You Must Be Kidding.

Further Annals of Progressivism

Tammy Bruce, who is lesbian and conservative, writes:

A funny thing happened on the way to the Donald Trump inauguration — liberals suddenly became champions of people being allowed to decline participating in something if it violated their conscience.

She was remarking about the response on the left to the story, albeit “fake news,” it turns out, that the Radio City Rockettes were requiring dancers to perform against their will at the Trump inauguration (in actuality, participating in the inauguration is voluntary). Writes Bruce:

During the brief hubbub, actors and other performers understandably came out in support of the dancers’ right to refuse to perform if an event violated their conscience. I also believe there should be an escape clause in cases such as this allowing a performer flexibility. After all, who wants anyone to be forced to do something against their conscience?

Yet it’s fair to say the same liberals who support the Rockettes’ right to not perform are the same people who have no problem with Christian businesses being attacked for declining to participate in something that violates their conscience and faith. In their cases, the refusal to cater or bake a cake for a gay wedding. …

It’s the same double standard we saw recently when, as the Portland (Maine) Press Herald reported:

On the coldest day of the season, a Skowhegan-area propane dealer has a pointed message for would-be customers. “If you voted for Donald Trump for President, I will no longer be delivering your gas, please find someone else,” is the message left for customers that call Turner LP Gas Service, on Canaan Road in Skowhegan.

But if this were a bakery that refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple….

It might be said that if not for their double standards, progressives would have no standards at all.

Added: More mendacity:

Writing in Bustle, Cate Carrejo said the government should force Christians to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies but the Rockettes should not be obligated to perform at the inauguration “because one is discriminatory and the other isn’t.”

And a response:

Pointing to the case of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, an Oregon bakery that was fined $135,000 and forced to close for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, Mr. Gainor said Christian bakers are happy to serve gay people.

“And that’s different — it’s a creative labor,” Mr. Gainor said. “If you wanted something that was in the shop, help yourself, happy to provide it. But if you want me to be involved in your wedding, I can’t do that. It’s a very clear line.”

It’s unfortunate we have to rely on social conservatives to point out the obvious.

Added: Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby: Freedom of association isn’t just for the Rockettes. Right, it isn’t.

More. I’ll segue into another story. Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) are petitioning the school to ban a campus conservative group, Young Americans for Freedom, which has numerous chapters on U.S. college campuses:

The petition further faults YAF for creating a “hostile environment” by “misgender[ing] LGBTQIA+ students” making members of the student government feel “unsafe.”

”We, the undersigned are asking that UW-Madison administration take a hard look at the charter of Young Americans for Freedom … and ideally put the involved students through intensive diversity training and have the charter revoked so Y.A.F. is no longer a campus organization that can create a hostile environment on campus,” the petition reads.

YAF’s thought crime was to invite conservative political commentator, columnist and radio host Ben Shapiro to speak on campus. Shapiro, as it happens, is a never-Trumper, which, as Wikipedia recounts, has brought him under fire from the alt right swamplands. Which you might think would cut him some slack with progressives—if you didn’t actually know any progressives.

Furthermore. Out magazine is still complaining that “It’s telling that when Donald Trump awkwardly waved a rainbow flag during a Colorado rally in October, the banner was upside down.” Which, apparently, was a sign that “Trump’s White House will effectively act as the nation’s largest anti-LGBT hate group.” Oh.

It’s reminiscent of the dismissal of Trump’s July acceptance speech at the GOP convention, when he said: “Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBTQ community. No good. And we’re going to stop it. As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” [applause] “I must say as a Republican it is so nice to hear you cheering. Thank you.” (Progressive response: pandering.)

At the October rally, Trump was handed the flag by gay supporters and held it out for the audience, leading Zack Ford, the LGBT editor for ThinkProgress.org, to tweet:

Putting a slogan [“LGBTs for Trump”] on a flag is considered desecration. Also, the flag was upside down (red goes on top). What am I supposed to respect here?

Mind you, it’s not that the words were upside down, it’s that the rainbow flag should have the red stripe on top. Which means it’s not Trump’s fault, but that some incompetent gay person supporting Trump didn’t know which way the flag goes or that writing on the sacred object was an act of “desecration” and probably a hate crime. Sad!

Some, of a more rational bent, might think that Trump’s holding up the rainbow flag was, in itself, what was significant, and in a good way. Such people, however, would not be progressives.

As I noted, the conservative Washington Times ran a supportive op-ed titled “ Donald Trump holds high the flag for gay equality,” which indicated that conservatives were more comfortable with a gay-inclusive GOP than the LGBT establishment is.

Stoking Culture War in North Carolina

The GOP-dominated state legislature in North Carolina failed to repeal the “bathroom bill”—HB2—which requires use of public restrooms and locker rooms based on biological sex rather than gender identity, even though the Charlotte City Council, reportedly as part of a deal, voted to repeal part of its anti-discrimination ordinance prohibiting discrimination in the use of restroom/locker room facilities on the basis of gender identity.

Passage of the Charlotte ordinance triggered state Republicans to pass HB2, leading to a national outcry by LGBT advocates and their corporate allies, who announced various boycotts.

Many GOP legislators were pushed hard by religious right activists to maintain HB2 without revision. On the other hand, some supported a compromise that would have repealed the state law but also put in place what the Washington Post described as “a six-month moratorium on cities passing nondiscrimination ordinances to protect gay and transgender people.” The Washington Times described it as “an amendment that would have prohibited local municipalities from permitting opposite-sex restroom access until a long-term, statewide compromise could be reached—an add-on that helped kill the repeal bill.”

Democratic legislators, following pressure from activists, rejected that compromise, even though their votes, with enough willing Republicans, would have been able to put across a repeal measure containing the amendment.

“It’s clear today that the GOP leadership’s cruelty towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and particularly transgender North Carolinians knows no bounds,” an overheated Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “For our part, we will continue to fight to defeat all of HB2 and protect North Carolinians no matter what it takes.” In other words, no compromise.

There was distrust all round:

North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger, a Republican, said the unwillingness to accept the amendment on the part of Senate Democrats is evidence that Charlotte would have reneged on the compromise and reintroduced its ordinance after the repeal.

A six-month cooling off period doesn’t seem so unreasonable. But as I’ve said before (because it’s true), a great many LGBT-rights activists and social conservative activists have an interest in not settling culture war issues, thereby maintaining the enraged polarization that is so good for partisan political mobilization and fundraising.

Gay Jerks Who Are Oh-So Proud of Themselves

Via the New York Post, Passenger thrown off flight after confronting Ivanka Trump:

JetBlue kicked a Brooklyn lawyer and his Hunter College professor husband off a plane at JFK on Thursday morning — after he accosted fellow passenger and future first daughter Ivanka Trump right before takeoff.

“Your father is ruining the country!” lefty lawyer and avowed Hillary Clinton supporter Dan Goldstein shouted at Trump, as she sat with her husband, Jared Kushner, and their three kids in the main cabin, TMZ reported.

Totally obnoxious virtue-signaling by the gay guys, but I’m sure they’ll be celebrated by their fellow progressives as heroes. Incivility has become a defining value of progressivism.

More. Instapundit links to a roundup of tweets about this ugly incident, including this:

Naturally, all of this would have been presented and received differently had the harassment been directed at a famous liberal woman. However, wealthy liberals don’t fly coach. They prefer to sit in first class and discuss what’s best for average Americans.

A tweet from the Daily Mail, with a retweet from the perp’s husband: “Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial. My husband chasing them down to harass them.” (No mention of the small children sitting next to their parents.)

A comprehensive roudup of the incident, here.

As I’ve noted before, a Clinton staffer tasked with monitoring campaign polling wrote, post-election, in the Boston Globe, Understanding the undecided voters:

There was one moment when I saw more undecided voters shift to Trump than any other, when it all changed, when voters began to speak differently about their choice. … the conversation shifted the most during the weekend of Sept. 9, after Clinton said, “You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.” All hell broke loose.

Clinton’s support among hard-pressed working- and lower-middle class people, in the rust belt and elsewhere, took a big hit afterward. That speech occurred, to wild applause, at an LGBT fundraiser in Manhattan where the ticket prices ranged from $1,200 to $250,000, and with many paying $50,000, according to reports.

Why do privileged LGBT progressives think that public displays of their contempt is helpful to either progressivism or to public perceptions of, you know, privileged LGBT progressives?

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!

The Fear that Someone, Somewhere, Might Be Aroused

Donald Trump’s pick for labor secretary is Andy Puzder, the successful CEO of CKE Restaurants, which operates Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. Puzder is a smart critic of Obama’s reign of regulatory terror against American businesses over the past eight years, which is a big reason for the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression.

But what our progressive friends seem most upset about concerning Puzder’s nomination is that, as Vox declares:

Like Trump, Puzder is very open about how much he enjoys objectifying women, and how he likes to use that objectification as a business strategy. … For the last decade or so, Carl’s Jr. has been known for running controversial TV ads featuring models eating hamburgers in various gross, oversexed ways.

Vox’s link is to the progressive feminist site Jezebel, which also has a big problem with images of beautiful women eating hamburgers. And ThinkProgress assumes a clear connection between using alluring women in an advertising campaign and opening the floodgates to systemic pay discrimination against working women.

I’m not the first to point out that all this anger and angst on the left is eerily similar to criticism from the Christian right during the 1980s over jiggly women on network sitcoms. Today’s progressives sound as shocked and appalled over the prospect that American men might become (gasp) aroused as the American Family Association and the Moral Majority were back then.

Which really shouldn’t be surprising. In today’s progressivism, feminist prudery and censoriousness (think campus fainting couches and safe spaces) extends to demands that erotic expressiveness be strictly controlled and regulated—or, if that’s not yet possible, treated with contempt—at least when its focus is heterosexuality and especially with regard to the working classes. This is evidenced by the scorn evoked by sexy waitresses at the restaurant chain Hooters. (If erotic imagery undermines heteronormality, it gets a pass.)

Female radio host Dana Loesch, author of the book “Hands Off My Gun,” blogged in defense of Puzder:

Are the ads modest? No. Are they sexist and exploitative? Well, that depends on whom is being exploited. … Were not the women in the ads paid? Were they unaware that they filmed a commercial? The audience for whom this commercial was made are the ones being exploited, exploited by a company, to part with their dollars.

To the left, however, marketing and commercialism are perhaps the gravest sins of all.

A Way Forward, with Much Opposition

Posted at the Christianity Today site is Fairness for All: Evangelicals Explore Truce on LGBT and Religious Rights. It reports on efforts by some in the evangelical community (which includes those whose politics lean liberal) to support federal legislation modeled on a Utah compromise bill that the state enacted last year. Going national, the aim is to “bring together religious liberty defenders and LGBT activists to lay out federal legislation to secure rights for both.”

There’s bad news, however:

…several prominent religious liberty advocates—including the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention—that opposed the Utah compromise model aren’t on board with Fairness for All either. … [and] much of the momentum around LGBT advocacy also resists such compromise.

But there’s good news, too:

Even without a specific proposal to parse, evangelical leaders are doubling down on the need for deeper discussion, as well as outreach to government partners and LGBT groups.

It’s a nice thought but a tough sell. As I’ve said before, the idea of letting President Trump sign a federal LGBT rights bill, especially one with (gasp) religious exemptions, would be anathema to the Human Rights Campaign and other Democratic party auxiliaries.

And so the (culture) war wages on. And a decision in Illinois is just more grist for the mill: Christian-owned bed and breakfast must host gay weddings, state panel finds.

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.