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    November 16, 2007

    Beware Democrats bearing 'principles'

    Posted by: Chris

    I posted earlier today about the uncertain fate of the gay and trans-inclusive Matthew Shepard
    Hate Crimes Act, which was passed as a free-standing measure in the House but was tacked on by the Senate as an amendment to the Defense Department reauthorization legislation. That step was intended by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), the hate crime bill's sponsor, of making it impossible for President Bush to follow through on a veto threat.

    First the Washington Blade reported that some 20 House Democrats are threatening to vote against the DOD bill, even with the hate crime amendment added on in conference with the Senate, as a protest of the Iraq war. Now The Hill newspaper is reporting that House Armed Services Committee leaders are balking at the hate crimes add-on because they fear they lack the votes for the overall Defense bill if it's included.

    Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), a senior authorizer and one of the conferees, said that there could be a middle ground.

    Art21 “This is a strategic question, not a tactical question. The middle ground is to recognize that and realize to put the defense bill out as is, as opposed to changing it,” he said. “It does no harm to the principle involved in the hate crimes bill.” …

    He also pointed out that the House already passed a stand-alone hate crimes bill earlier this year. For that reason, defense conferees will not be diluting the principle behind the hate crimes provision if they drop the language from the authorization measure, he said. 

    How's that for Orwellian? It "does no harm to the principle involved in the hate crimes bill" to jettison it from the DOD legislation. No, it just does harm to the prospect of actually passing it.

    What's truly striking about this legislative machination is not the willingness of some Democrats to once again ignore promises to pass even basic gay-friendly legislation. We've come to expect that after 8 years of Bill Clinton and 15 years of off-again, on-again Democratic Congressional leadership that has yet to enact anything.

    No, what's truly striking is the dead silence of all those voices that screamed so loudly at the prospect that "gender identity" would be jettisoned from the Employment Non-Discrimination Act under not-so-different circumstances.  All that lobbying mobilization, all the hand-wringing, all the flurry of press releases and "United ENDA" coalition building. Now? Nada. Zippo. Nothing from the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the rest of the usual suspects.

    As if we needed further proof that transgender rights have usurped boring old gay rights as the core goal of our movement activists, this is it.



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    1. Geena the Transgirl on Nov 16, 2007 3:18:34 PM:

      Harry Reid is the weak link. The Pelosi-Frank-Kennedy axis has done their best to deliver the goods.

    1. Rebecca Juro on Nov 16, 2007 3:41:40 PM:

      I hate to say I told you so...but given what happen with ENDA in regards to transpeople, is it really so surprising that they'd do the same thing with hate crimes, even though it includes all of us? After all, the elite establishment HRC/DNC conservaqueers gave it their full OK last time. Shades of John Kerry, huh?

      That said, given that this news has been out roughly 24 hours or so, maybe a bit more ramp-up time is needed before we see any responses from community organizations?

    1. anonymous on Nov 16, 2007 8:58:19 PM:

      "As if we needed further proof that transgender rights have usurped boring old gay rights as the core goal of our movement activists, this is it."

      Thanks for posting this. Everytime I hear about a "lesbian" or "gay" group, it has usually been taken over by the trans agenda. They usually just keep the words "gay" and "lesbian" in the title so they can trans-jack our civil rights movement.

      I've heard that a lot of gay community centers have cancelled their lesbian support groups because they are not "inclusive" of transmen and transwomen.

      We need to just split into two groups. GLB on one side and TQQIAetc on the other.

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