Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ENDA hearing and blowback proves need for pro-gay legislation

Today, Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee held a hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). ENDA would outlaw employment discrimination in the cases of sexual orientation and gender identity.

And the hearing featured a first:

Kylar Broadus, founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition, discussed his experiences coming out trans, including mistreatment by police, workplace harassment, and employment discrimination:

BROADUS: When I used female restrooms, police would accost me. I would have to strip and then they still told me, “Sir, get out of the bathroom,” when I would use the ladies’ room. It’s just humiliating and dehumanizing to say the least.[...]

Prior also to the physical transition, I was working in the financial industry, which is actually a high-paying industry. But again, when I shifted or transitioned, that’s when all the trouble began. And it’s still emotional to me, because it impacted me emotionally — I suffer from post-traumatic stress as a result of the harassment that I encountered in the workplace from my employer.[...]

To be unemployed is very devastating, also demeaning and demoralizing. And then the recovery time — there is no limit on it. I still have not financially recovered. I’m underemployed. When I do talks, I tell people I’m not employable. I was lucky to be where I am and I’m happy to be where I am, but I’m one of the fortunate people that is employed. There are many more people like me that are not employed as a result of just being who they are — being good workers, but being transgender or transsexual. So I think it’s extremely important that this bill be passed to protect workers like me.

The following is his testimony:

ThinkProgress also said that Congressional opponents of ENDA did not attend the hearing.

Of course that doesn't mean that they were silent. According to Right Wing Watch, Congressman Louis Gohmert (R-TX) appeared Today's Issues, a radio program hosted by the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins. There, he not only distorted information about ENDA (Christian schools are in fact exempt from ENDA), but then took the time to talk about bodily plumbing:


Perkins: Today, in the Senate they are having a hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act…. What this would do is give special employment benefits and protections based upon their sexual behavior and orientation. What do you see as the outcome of this? I mean, are you concerned increasingly that this is a way to essentially punish religious freedom in the business environment, in the business sector?

Gohmert: It continues to be part of this administration’s ongoing war on religion, on particularly Judeo-Christian values. But of course this is one that even is extremely contrary to the Muslim religion as well. I mean, Islam, Judaism, although there are plenty of people in Judaism and Christianity who think despite the plumbing that God created, that as the Iowa Supreme Court said, there is no biological evidence of a preference for a man and a woman being married as opposed to a man and a man.

 . . .  It also means that Christian schools will be forced to hire openly homosexual individuals, and it’s kind of tough to teach biblical principles in Romans 1 in a school if you are of the persuasion of being homosexual.

Call me biased but looking at the two arguments side-by-side, I think both Broadus and Gohmert makes a good argument for ENDA. Gohmert makes the argument why ENDA is necessary because of his ignorance. And Broadus seals the argument by demonstrating just how Gohmert's ignorance hurts the lgbtq comunity.

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'Religious right betting on new fraudulent study on gay parenting' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Flawed study funded by anti-gay org claims to overturn decades of research affirming gay and lesbian parenting - In case you haven't heard, there is a new "study" out which challenges the notion of gay parenting. Guess who is behind it.  

Corvino: Flawed, destined-to-be-misused study comes at expense of actual child welfare - Jeremy Hooper provides more information about the "study."

 Five Things News Outlets Should Know About The Newest Same-Sex Parenting Study - Media Matters adds it's voice to the mix. The more facts we have about this "study," the better prepared we are for when the right will attempt to use it.  

Fraudulent ‘Study’ Attacking Same-Sex Parents Illuminates Dangerous Impact Of Mainstream Media - And Think Progress makes an excellent point about how the mainstream media can do damage when madness like this becomes public.

 Colorado: Lawmaker ‘disappointed’ after campaign email outs son - Anti-gay lawmaker gets a shock from HER OWN campaign.  

What Happens When A Fox News Reporter Attends A Gay Pride Parade? - Todd Starnes is VILE. End of story.  

Minnesota Priest Argues Catholics Can (And Should) Vote ‘No’ on MN Marriage Inequality Amendment - Amen! 

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Family Research Council recycling tacky Prop 8 video

Via Joe Jervis, I just saw an online video from the Family Research Council talking about the "terrible, horrible, downright no-good thing"s that would happen to families and children should a California law, SB48, not be repealed.

SB48 is a law requiring schools to integrate factual information about social movements, current events and history of people with disabilities and LGBT people into existing social studies lessons. It also prevents the State Board of Education from adopting instructional materials that discriminate.

But according to FRC, schools would be "forced" to talk about same-sex households. Of course scholls are already talking about same-sex households because children who live in these households attend public schools and I'm sure that they talk about their families. But watch the video:

Did you notice something strange? You probably didn't . . . unless you watched the video the Family Research Council ran in efforts to pass Prop 8 in 2008:

Pretty much the same lies - i.e. "schools will forced to talk about same-sex parents." There are so many things to note about these two videos:

1. For a group which claims to be focused about "the family," the Family Research Council goes out of its way to dismiss the existence of same-sex families. Why is that? That's a question someone should ask FRC head Tony Perkins the next time he shows his face on a news program.

2. The star in both of these videos, David Parker, is an unmitigated liar. I've covered what happened in his situation so many times. Long story short (check out this link for the entire story) - the incident of him being arrested seemed to have been planned and propagated by him and Mass Resistance, a Massachusetts anti-gay group which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group. And while Parker and his wife are quick to cry and whine in the video as if they are victims, they conveniently omitted the false charge they made against the school district that Parker's son was assaulted because of his father's stance against same-sex families. Parker and the other family in the videos, the Wirthlins sued the school district and lost at every turn, including the Supreme Court, thereby validating the fact that there is nothing wrong with schools talking about same-sex families.

3. Last, but not least, isn't it just TACKY for FRC to recycle the pro-Prop 8 video footage in an attempt to stop SB48? In the Prop 8 video FRC was saying if same-sex couples are allowed to be married, schools will be "forced to talk about same-sex families." Now they are saying if schools teach about the contributions of gays and lesbians throughout history, they will also be "forced to talk about same-sex families."

Since children in same-sex families are already attending America's schools and therefore students are  already talking about the issue, why don't FRC push legislation banning the children of same-sex families from attending public schools?

Seems to me that if FRC don't want schools to acknowledge that same-sex families exist, why not take it all the way and keep their children from attending public schools?

Then again, I had better hush. I don't want to give Perkins and company any ideas.

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