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  • I see that the anti-LGBT trolls are out and about already Laurel…

  • Mike commented on the blog post President Obama Folds Gay People Into The American Family

    2013-01-21 14:15:40View | Delete

    Weaving LGBT civil rights into the fabric of U.S. history (Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall) and then stating:

    Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

    to the nation and the world — and equally important and maybe moreso, in front of the Justices of the Supreme Court who will be ruling on our basic civil rights this Spring was more than just “cheap talk”… it was both amazing and seminal.

  • Mike commented on the blog post Family Research Council destroys study’s credibility

    2012-06-25 05:15:41View | Delete

    This ‘study’s’ methodology and reasoning wouldn’t pass muster for a first year under-grad paper… Which is why Regnerus will defend it, over and over, just like Spitzer did until the bitter end… And Spitzer didn’t have the anti-gay cred or backing that Regnerus has.

  • It’s kind of insulting to lump legalizing pot use (a behavior) with civil rights for the LGBT community… Especially since opponents of LGBT civil rights regularly reduce our humanity to being a behavioral choice (see earlier post, re: sodomy marriage).

  • Mike wrote a new diary post: Rethinking ExxonMobil

    2012-05-30 11:12:45View | Delete

    Past as Prologue It’s always helpful to know a little history to understand how (and why) things are as they are today. In the case of ExxonMobil, it also helps to have some oil & gas industry insider’s perspective as well. During the 1990’s most of the major oil companies had already followed Chevron’s lead and [...]

  • Mike commented on the blog post Who Can Speak For The Broad LGBT Community?

    2012-05-29 14:23:17View | Delete

    Hey Autumn, there is an organization that can credibly speak to LGBT workplace issues — be it training or otherwise — and that’s Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. Of all the LGBT organizations that I’ve been affiliated with, it has been one of the most conscientious about full inclusion (not for inclusion’s sake on a check-box, but because it’s been the key to success).

    Blogger ethics note: I’m local co-Chair for the Houston affiliate… so perhaps my perspective is somewhat skewed.

    Houston is also one of those places that where the LGBT community hasn’t completely devolved into identity-politics silohs… so it wouldn’t really matter here to have a trans person in charge of one of our LGBT community centers. I guess it’s because (at least around here) we tend to think of things in terms of interlocking circles that create a chain of community — if for no other reason that being a “purple” spot in an otherwise red state leaves no opportunity for complacency when it comes to our rights.

    I’m not saying we always get it right, but perhaps some lessons could be learned that maybe the Atlantic & Pacific coastal enclaves have forgotten…

  • I’ll probably get flamed for this, but…

    Do I think this sentence was too light? Yes, it was a conviction that deserved a bit more jail time (perhaps 6mos to a year), but this is more that slap on the wrist as some seem to think. 300 hours community service, the fine and three years probation wont’ be quite the cake-walk some people seem to think… there will be many eyes on Ravi waiting for the slightest deviation or infraction. Something a simple as a traffic stop will land him back in court.

    And I know that this may be an unpopular view, but to heap all the responsibility for Tyler Clementi’s death upon one person is far to simplistic a view of this tragedy. Clearly, there was much more going on within Clementi’s poor psyche — a trail of torment — that led him to commit suicide. Ravi’s actions may have been the final straw, but what about everything (and everyone) else that led Clementi to the breaking point?

    Maybe it’s because I’m also trying to come at this from a perspective of forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or letting someone off the hook, but finding a place where those that do us harm can do no more — or worse, make us so fixated on revenge and anger that consumes and blinds us to the possibilities of something better.

  • Mike commented on the diary post Houston, Let’s Address This Problem by Mike.

    2012-02-16 11:57:39View | Delete

    Hi Margaret – First, let me express my sympathy for the violence and disrespect you had to endure. 1983 or not, no one should have to endure that sort of treatment. I’d like to think that progress has been made (even here in Houston), but the continued violence towards the transgender community — even in [...]

  • Mike wrote a new diary post: Houston, Let’s Address This Problem

    2012-02-15 13:44:13View | Delete

    Keep these numbers in mind as you read through this article.  800, 29, 38, 74, and 92. A new effort has been launched by a broad coalition of groups and individuals to enact a city-wide ban on workplace and public accommodation discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. To make this a reality, a change to [...]

  • Mike wrote a new diary post: 2012: the ENDA Time

    2012-01-19 16:09:48View | Delete

    Thumbnail Ponder this. According to the 2011 Out & Equal Workplace Survey, nearly three out of four – or 74% – heterosexual adults agree that how an employee performs at his or her job should be the standard for judging an employee, not whether or not they are transgender or if they are gay, lesbian or bisexual. [...]

  • I think this is why the Insurance Equality Task Force that HRC is launching is also extremely important.

    It’s one thing for a large self-insured companies like Apple or Chevron to “command” policies that are WPATH-compliant — but most companies don’t have the power individually, and are forced to take what’s on the market.

    WPATH is a bit to blame as well… publishing standards without some sort of certification body or process makes it difficult to distinguish between programs / practices that actually meet the standards from those that claim to.

    (And maybe it’s because this year’s report was delayed from September and all, but I’m kind of amazed at the collective non-reporting — except for PHB — on this year’s results. HRC gets a lot of flack for a lot of things, but the CEI is a major non-legislative tool for achieving LGBT equality… and the report itself is just a reflection of the thousands upon thousands of hours put in by employee advocates at their companies, something that also goes pretty unheralded.)

  • Good editorial, but I have to wonder:

    Why start from the premise that there are two movements, rather than acknowledge an LGBT equality movement with many diverse moving parts?

    Coming from a position of “us” vs “them” (e.g., HRC = “them”), it seems as if you’re putting the entire onus for cooperative ventures on HRC rather than what you call both sides working (and compromising) together.

    It’s been my experience that many of the divisions you cite — and let’s call it for what it has been: infighting — seem to pretty much bi-coastal in nature… that is to say, pretty East Coast / West Coast, gay-enclave-oriented. For example, the NGLTF is not something that folks in Texas talk about or even know much about because it’s not a relevant organization here (or elsewhere in “flyover country”)… if anything we’re pretty well synchronized between HRC, EQTX, Victory Fund and such… I wonder if that model is what you’re aiming for…

    Personally, as Co-Chair of Out & Equal Houston, we’ve had no problem at all working in partnership with HRC on projects revolving around the Corporate Equality Index — they own the index; we provide the roadmap for companies to meet the criteria. I guess it’s all in how you approach building the relationships.

  • Mike commented on the blog post Should Open Trans Military Service Be A Trans Community Priority?

    2011-10-22 09:13:11View | Delete

    The Pentagon study of employers who have implemented non-discrimination policies bolstered their argument for allowing DADT repeal (by rebutting all of the stereotypes and scare-tactics thrown out by the anti-gay side)…

    One of the ironies in this area is that because ENDA has languished in Congress, business has stepped into the vacuum… thereby providing the military concrete data on how this is a non-issue in the workplace — and in industries that are high-risk and have many of the same “close-quarters” issues that came up in the repeal debate. Now that DADT is gone — and even the top Marine is okay with Marines bringing their same-sex partners to the ball — it takes away one more argument for not passing ENDA.

    In terms of priorities — which is what Autumn was asking about — ENDA and non-discrimination in public accomodations / housing have to be higher on the list than military service… but the best way to affect change in the military may be through the Veterans Services and ensuring equality of care for transgender veterans.

  • By your logic Maureen, should anyone who is currently legally married (as cisgendered) then be forced to divorce or have their marriage voided when they transition if they live in a state that does not legally recognize same-sex marriages? It would appear so.

    Honestly, I really have a hard time understanding how some in the trans community can rail against the rigidity of society at large when it comes to trans acceptance yet willingly (almost gleefully) seek to enforce their own personal orthodoxy of authenticity… declaring this person or that to be apostate and ‘not real’. It’s an astonishing lack of self-awareness, not to mention wholly unproductive.

    The real story here is Meghan (and many others) continue to have to suffer state-sanctioned indignities when it comes to relationship recognition when it matters the most.

  • Mike commented on the blog post A Trans-Walmart Moment

    2011-10-03 06:11:22View | Delete

    Adding gender identity/expression to corporate non-discrimination policies is soooo last decade. If you look at the Fortune 10, Walmart & ExxonMobil were/are the laggards… and while this change is laudable, it remains to be seen whether or not the company culture will line up.

    Let’s not forget that Walmart sponsored the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and promptly folded when confronted by the AFA & FRC.

    It should also be noted that this change might have resulted in Walmart getting a high or near perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index, this year’s criteria sets the bar much higher by requiring full parity of benefits for same-sex partners AND full coverage of transgender health care.

    I think that Walmart made this announcement in anticipation of the upcoming release of their CEI score which won’t be that high.

  • Mike commented on the blog post Repeal of DADT for LGB’s, but not T’s

    2011-09-27 09:48:21View | Delete

    DADT as a statute was solely about sexual orientation. Gender idendity was not addressed in the law and so repealing DADT naturally did not include it. Not everything LGBT needs to be coupled at all times for effective progress (nor does it mean that someone is throwing anyone under the bus). I wonder if this particular battle is that high of a priority — or whether basic needs (accomodations, civilian employment non-discrimination, health services, etc.) should be where the emphasis is applied.

    Military regulations regarding mental health & fitness around gender identity, can likely and hopefully will be addressed admnistratively — but as you point out, the military would probably not be a good place to transition…

    Veterans care also needs to be addressed and hopefully brought into line with the new WPATH SOC. My only quibble with WPATH is that while they have created these standards, there doesn’t appear to be any sort of board certification for them… nor is there a certified physicians registry (for the full range of appropriate care).

  • Count me in the camp wanting more coverage / discussion from and about ‘flyover country’…

    Just one question about the pizza box girl, if she doesn’t deliver her hate in 30 minutes or less, what’s the penalty?

  • I don’t understand the “reach out” part — it’s not as if the doors are shut at HRC to non-Democrats. And we’ve already seen that the GAyTM opened for NY Republican Senators that voted for marriage equality… So what do you mean by “reaching out”?

    Does it mean, not criticizing GOP bigotry? Adding a few RINOs to the board? Throwing a special cocktail party?

  • txmichael commented on the blog post Welcome to the new coffeehouse. Excuse the dust.

    2011-08-29 08:10:58View | Delete

    Love the new digs — and works on my iPhone as well!