WATCH: Fox 4 on Dallas’ failure to enforce ordinance prohibiting anti-gay discrimination

 

I’m on vacation this week but I couldn’t resist putting this up. Before I left on Friday for an undisclosed location, I got a call from Peter Daut at Fox 4. He wanted me to put him in touch with Mark Reed-Walkup and Dante Walkup, the local gay couple that filed a discrimination complaint against The Dallas Morning News for refusing to publish their wedding announcement. Peter had seen our post on Friday saying that despite 53 complaints file in nine years, the city has never prosecuted a single case under its ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. So I connected Peter with Mark, and above is the result. It’s a good story that brings needed attention to the issue, but I should note that there is a fact error: The report says the case isn’t going anywhere because sexual orientation isn’t a protected class. Not true. Sexual orientation is a protected class in the city of Dallas, and that’s the whole point. There’s an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, and people have been filing complaints under it, but the City Attorney’s Office isn’t doing anything with them. Peter is right when he says the complaint isn’t going anywhere. But he’s wrong about the reason why. Also, he should have given us credit.

—  John Wright

Liz in Hospital for Heart Failure

ELIZABETH TAYLOR X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMDame Elizabeth Taylor is being treated in a Los Angeles hospital for symptoms related to congestive heart failure.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  David Taffet

Jim Burroway: Harry Reid set up DADT for failure

Over at Box Turtle Bulletin, Jim Burroway has little patience for those trying to place the blame solely on Republican obstructionism for the failure on Tuesday to move DADT repeal forward.

He points a good deal of the blame in the direction of Sen. Harry Reid, portrayed as the master of stagecraft (at our expense) in Jim’s post, “The DADT Repeal Repertory Theater.”

In the days leading up to today’s vote, Reid announced that he would allow a vote on only three amendments to the appropriations bill. One proposed amendment, which would have removed the DADT repeal language from the bill, would almost certainly not have garnered the sixty votes needed pass muster. A second proposed amendment, which would have provided a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who served in the U.S. military or who graduate from college, also likely would have failed due to Republican opposition and discomfort among some Democrats. A third proposed amendment would have placed limits on Senators being able to place holds on nominations.

Those were the only amendments that Reid would allow to come up for a vote, all of which were chosen by Reid for the political advantage they would give the Democrats in tough mid-term election campaigns. His gamble wasn’t really a gamble at all. In fact, his gambit was a win-win for Democrats, at least in how they see their strategy unfolding. If Republicans upheld the filibuster, then Reid could go home and say that it was the Republicans who blocked DADT’s repeal and immigration reform. If the Dems had prevailed on the filibuster, then Reid would have been able to get the Republican caucus on record on these two issues ahead of the November elections. Either way, what Reid actually sought to accomplish was political gamesmanship, not Senatorial statesmanship.

…So if Reid had the votes to break the filibuster but squandered them in this procedural maneuver, why did he do this? The answer is simple. This was never a serious attempt to pass legislation in the best interests of the American people. It was nothing but political theater, and everyone on both sides were eager actors in the drama. All the Senators had a role to play, and everyone played to the audience. Even the White House was given a bit part. They issued a statement calling for an end to the filibuster, but according to SLDN’s Trevor Thomas, there was no lobbying behind the scenes.

…And what role do we in the gay community play? It’s the same role we always play. We’re the interesting and colorful plotline. It’s not much of a speaking part, but the dance moves are fabulous. And why should it be otherwise? It’s a role we’ve played so well over the years that it’s just expected of us. And we are happy to oblige. This time, we even have Lady Gaga making a guest appearance.

The bottom line is that 7 million Lady Gaga fans on their cell phones dialing the Hill couldn’t move any of the players on stage; the majority leader was making the moves, Jim’s conclusion is that the fix was in.

In this scenario, how does that make you feel? There certainly was enough ego-laden on-the-record and off-the record things going on that support the notion that the stagecraft was designed to play us. The Republicans were always in the obstructionist mode – what else should we expect? Why make it easier? Reid made it easy for them to do excel “on stage” in Jim’s thesis.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

A politically-connected reader calls the administration’s failure on gay rights ‘morally offensive’ and ‘politically stupid’

From a reader active in gay politics:

I said back in 2009 that I could not believe we were several months into this administration, with likely the most liberal (or “liberal”) president I’ll see in my lifetime, with the largest majorities in Congress we are likely to see in our lifetimes, and we, the gay community, were utterly dead in the water. Because even in the first few weeks it became clear that doing anything on our issues was the lowest possible priority. It was hypothetically possible at some future point, but that point woud never arrive, because it was premised on an imaginary day on which it would not cost the administration anything politically (in their view). And the situation is the same or worse, almost two years into this.

I guess they think there is some other base of Obama voters who would be offended by actually doing anything about gay rights, and that other base is more important than their base among gay voters. They are wrong. I understand there are times when priorities have to be ranked; I wasn’t born yesterday. But Barack Obama was very clear on gay issues in 2008, and the voters who didn’t like that have already discounted him for that, but voted for him anyhow. They supported him in full awareness that he had promised to repeal DADT and DOMA, and pass ENDA, etc. Why would they be surprised or disappointed now, if he actually did these things? They wouldn’t. So he is losing the gay community by inaction, and he’s not even gaining anything in exchange for it. The administration’s failure on this is not only morally offensive (even by Obama’s own rhetoric, given his many statements about how the current state of gay rights is an injustice), but politically stupid.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

LGBT activists targeting Rep. George Miller over failure to move ENDA

Promises have been made. Promises haven’t been kept. There have been lots of promises on ENDA.

While members of Congress are asking us to help them keep their jobs, they’re not doing much to help LGBT Americans keep their jobs. ENDA isn’t moving, despite repeated commitments from leading Democrats to move the legislation.

So, tonight, Rep. George Miller, the Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, will be hearing from LGBT activists on ENDA. From Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

Activists affiliated with GetEQUAL were set on Thursday to interrupt a debate between Rep. George Miller (D-Calif) and his Republican opponent in an effort to push for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

According to a statement, GetEQUAL was set to stage an act of non-violent, civil disobedience during the debate between Miller and GOP candidate Rick Tubbs at the Travis Credit Union Auditorium in Vacaville, Calif.

Protesters were set to silently walk to the front of the auditorium holding a sign reading: “Miller Markup Employment Non Discrimination Act Now.”

Set to work in conjunction with GetEQUAL was One Struggle One Fight, another LGBT civil disobedience organization, and Pride at Work, an LGBT constituency group of the AFL-CIO.

Miller has made promises that haven’t been kept. Chris linked to this Blade article from March 18, 2010:

Moments after the arrested protesters were taken away, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) was seen walking along a nearby street. He chairs the House Education & Labor Committee, which is handling ENDA. Asked by DC Agenda when ENDA would advance to a markup, Miller replied, “Right after health care.”

Health care passed in the House on March 22, 2010.

There’s not much time left to pass ENDA this year. And, as noted in the post below, DADT appears to be in peril. And, Democrats wonder why the base isn’t enthusiastic.

We’re all supposed to do everything we can to make sure these “supportive” members of Congress keep their jobs. It’s really a one-way relationship.

But, sure looks like GetEQUAL and its allies aren’t going to be silent. I’m thinking things could get interesting.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright