The Gingrich That Stole Christmas
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December 7, 2008
December 12th 2008
December 12, 2008

The Gingrich That Stole Christmas

There's a recurrent story that is going through the gossip circles during the Christmas season in trannyland. It goes like this: Barney Frank and the Human Rights Campaign really got their clocks cleaned by the United ENDA controversy, and now that they've really learned their lesson! Good ole' St. Frank and the HRC's equality elves will surprise everyone and come on board by supporting a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and opposing any version that doesn't include everyone. There's only one problem with that dream/fantasy/rumor... it ain't true!

There’s a recurrent story that is going through the gossip circles during the Christmas season in trannyland. It goes like this:

Barney Frank and the Human Rights Campaign really got their clocks cleaned by the United ENDA controversy, and now that they’ve really learned their lesson! Good ole’ St. Frank and the HRC’s equality elves will surprise everyone and come on board by supporting a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and opposing any version that doesn’t include everyone.

There’s only one problem with that dream/fantasy/rumor… it ain’t true! One look at Barney Frank (and his most recent statement last week) and Joe Solmonese’s consistent message on this issue is enough for me. But for those that need more proof, the most recent statement of the Human Rights Campaign’s Candice Gingrich on Countdown With Keith Olbermann should pacify you.

“I think it goes back again to the idea that that the issue of marriage equality is still a really new one. Ya know, all of America, I think, has a better understanding of what it means to protect gays from job discrimination. What it means to make sure that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, you know, aren’t the victims of hate crimes. Or if they are, that they are prosecuted the right way.

She stated that Americans understand that transgender people shouldn’t be murdered, but that they only have a “better understanding” of gay workplace job discrimination.

It’s obvious that Barney Frank and the HRC are consistent about transgender exclusion in ENDA, but I wonder if they’re just as consistent about marriage equality? Remember that it was ole’ St. Frank who said:

“Look, this past year in the legislatures of Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York, efforts to add transgender protections…were defeated. And I testified for it in Massachusetts and lobbied for it. And as a political problem out there, I wish there weren’t, but pretending that something doesn’t exist is never a good way to deal with it.”

Voters in election after election have stated that they don’t support marriage equality for gays and lesbians, even in the most liberal areas. There’s a certain “ick factor” that the electorate has with marriage equality. States like Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin have all enshrined that “ick factor” into their state constitutions.

Using Barney Frank’s own logic, Prop 8 proved that Americans just aren’t ready for full marriage equality. There’s an inconsistency in logic from the Human Rights Campaign and the marriage equality advocates who don’t support a fully inclusive ENDA, but spend millions on marriage equality. Californians support transgender inclusion in ENDA and hate crimes more than they do marriage equality (they already have hate crimes, equal access, and employment discrimination laws on the books).

If St. Frank is making  a list of who’s naughty and nice, one has to wonder if Mara Keisling, David Stacy, and Rea Carey will get a lump of coal in their stockings.. A recent Southern Voice article said:

“ ‘It’s exciting that we will have a president who not only won’t threaten to veto the bill but who embraces it,’ said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.”

While he will not threaten to veto the bill, he’s said that he will sign the bill that comes to his desk. But he’s also said in the past that transgender inclusion in ENDA would be difficult. But Keisling isn’t alone in her twisting of words.

Stacy and Rea Carey, the Task Force’s executive director, said they believe the consensus among nearly all gay rights advocacy groups is to insist that Congress move forward with a version of ENDA that includes protections for transgender persons.

Nearly all gay rights groups support transgender inclusion, with the except of the company that David Stacy works for (HRC) and that NGLTF plans strategy with (at the NPR).

Maybe someday jolly ole’ St. Frank will bring shiny new civil unions (because gay marriage is icky) to all the gay and lesbian girls and boys and workplace equality to the transgender kids. You still believe in Santa, don’t you?

Marti Abernathey
Marti Abernathey
Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor. Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist. She's been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday. As an advocate she's previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She's taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana's Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana - 3/2005). In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee.