Stupidity, Duplicity and Timidity Reign in Maryland

I’m not in Maryland, so my commenting on the nastiness of the politics being played there is based on various reports.

I can’t believe I had someone try to pick a fight with me today on Facebook for pointing out the limitations of the bill but once again refusing to get really angry and resorting to calling names is showing itself to be a well learned lesson.

Getting it passed is one thing, getting it implemented is quite another.

The “men in dresses invading the women’s restroom” trope has become the blood libel used against an ENDA that is transsexual and transgender inclusive.

It is the top-spin serve the right wing uses to ace TS/TG folks at every turn and has become the ploy activists must overcome.

Yesterday I made the suggestion of bring in the brothers as active participants.  Jamison Green, Jude Patton Max Valerio etc.  Because if they want to play the genetic woman card or even in some cases the genital female card having a bunch of the guys saying, “Okay, by that criteria, you expect us to use the women’s restroom.” might be the comeback that defeats the “man in a dress in the women’s room ploy.

Two articles:

From The Washington Blade:

‘Political reality’ forces changes to Md. trans bill

Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Mar 03, 2011

Supporters and opponents were expected to turn out in force on March 9 for a hearing on a bill before a Maryland House of Delegates committee that calls for prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in employment and housing.

Officials with the statewide LGBT group Equality Maryland said they were hopeful that the hearing before the Health and Government Operations Committee would be the first step leading to the bill’s approval this year by the Maryland Legislature, marking a historic first for transgender rights.

But political insiders at the state capital in Annapolis said supporters were bracing for possible vocal opposition to the bill from some transgender activists, who have expressed anger over a decision by the bill’s lead sponsor to remove a provision banning discrimination in public accommodations, such as hotels, restaurants, private health clubs and gyms.

Some of the bill’s supporters worry that testimony against the bill from transgender people combined with the expected opposition from various religious leaders and social conservatives could be a devastating blow to the legislation.

Others, such as veteran transgender advocate Dana Beyer, a former candidate for a House of Delegates seat from Montgomery County, say other transgender activists such as she will voice support for the bill, countering those who oppose it.

Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk (D-Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties), a strong supporter of LGBT equality who has sponsored a transgender rights bill in the legislature since 2007, said she removed the public accommodations provision this year after determining it was the only way to obtain enough votes to pass the legislation.

Continue reading at:

The actions of Del. Pena-Melnyk are particularly disappointing as she is a woman of color.

Breaking us down into different identities has a major problem.  It damages the ability of different minority groups to empathize with other minority groups and see the problems as being the same problem.  Imagine telling people of color that others could discriminate against them based on some sort of spurious religion based bias.

Already there are many Christian groups who want to exercise that faith based hatred towards Muslims, Atheists and Jews.

Monica Roberts has a must read on her blog Transgriot

Some people are trying to use Tyra Trent, who was recently murdered as a martyr to pimp this bill by renaming it for her.

The always gentle speaking Monica Roberts speaks truth to power.

I could see this one coming.

ENDA will do nothing for someone in the position Tyra was in.  Restoring all the human services we had under Lyndon Johnso might.

That means housing.  Public Health Services.  Public Legal Assistance.  War on Poverty type programs.  Welfare.  Gender appropriate homeless shelters where people can live rather than crash for a night.

The basic essentials of living.

I don’t like seeing more privileged people use those who are less privileged for political gain that will have minimal positive impact on the lives of others who are of that same level of minimal privilege. This is done too often.  Too many of those remembered on the Day of Remembrance were sex workers who were murdered because society sees them as worthless.

In their deaths they become pawns who are used to pass legislation that really doesn’t benefit them.

Then I hear all the anger directed towards Gay and Lesbian people, which seems really counter-productive.

HRC is useless…  Great then GET Equal or The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.  Or even PFLAG.

But too often Transgender seems more about pissing off people who are basically on their side than winning.

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