Co-optation and bureaucratization are great strategies for squashing attempts to create social change. There are some kids in South Carolina who are facing exactly that problem right now. They fought for and won the right to have a GSA in their school (the Irmo High School principal announced his resignation last month after the district ruled that the GSA must be allowed) but their victory might have some unintended and negative consequences.
The school board for District 5 of Lexington and Richmond Counties is now considering new rules regulating "student-initiated noncurricular clubs" that will "allow" GSAs but make them difficult to form and will hinder their effectiveness.
HRC is announcing that tomorrow, Wednesday November 7, the House is scheduled to vote on ENDA.
Please call Tammy Baldwin and urge her to offer her amendment and not to withdraw it. Then call your representative and urge that person to support her amendment.
If representatives are given the chance to avoid going on record about gender identity they'll take it. I, for one, don't want them to have that chance.
Click here to find contact information for your congressperson or use the Speak Out!! section on the left.
Oh, and happy election day.
UPDATE 10:00pm NOV 6: This is not such good news as it first appeared. This is the notation from GovTrack.us about the schedule debate and vote:
Nov 5, 2007: Rules Committee Resolution H. Res. 793 Reported to House. Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 3685 with 1 hour of general debate. Previous question shall be considered as ordered without intervening motions except motion to recommit with or without instructions. Measure will be considered read. Specified amendments are in order. All points of order against consideration of the bill are waived except those arising under clause 9 or 10 of rule XXI.
So, maybe one of you can help decipher this but I read this to mean that the "previous question" (a yes or no vote on the bill as presented) will be considered without any other motions (e.g., amendments) except motions to send it back to committee.
This makes it sound like Tammy Baldwin's amendment will not be offered.
Tune in tomorrow to see what the debate sounds like.
Meanwhile, expect an ENDA without gender identity included. In other words, expect a largely ineffective ENDA that reflects the needs of elite gays, lesbians and bisexuals but does not meet the needs of most of us.
Are he and his small band of followers on the lunatic fringe of the Christian Right, or aren't they? First they blame the wildfires in California on homosexuality. Now the loss of American troops is also the fault of gays and America's failure to properly condemn them?
The New York Times today has the story of a lawsuit against the Westboro Baptist Church, which is being sued for creating a media circus outside of a soldier's funeral. They protested outside the funeral carrying signs that blamed the deaths of American soldiers on the fact that the U.S. condones homosexuality. Actually they've been doing this for at least two years now, but because the father of a soldier whose funeral was protested has filed a lawsuit, Fred Phelps and his crew are back in the news.
One of the first things you learn when growing up is that you don't have to be gay to be fag-bashed. Convincing everyone that you're hetero, whether you are or not, isn't just a matter of getting to hang with the cool kids or becoming class president; it's the difference between eating your lunch in peace or getting your teeth kicked in on a daily basis.
That's a grim, but universal truth, and the number of us that can testify to it makes the following story from Nova Scotia that much more cheering. When a new student dared to wear a pink shirt to Central Kings Rural High School, he was harassed by a group of about ten students who threatened to beat him up. Two of his classmates, however, decided to take action:
Two important sex-related editorials this morning:
First, the NYT comments on the need to pass the Safe Harbor For Exploited Youth act in New York. When NY passed its anti-trafficking legislation recently, it neglected to also pass this piece of very important legislation which would offer at least some protection to US citizens under the age of 18 who are being exploited for sex. As I've commented before, while I support most of the intentions of this legislation, there are problems, and these problems are pointed out by the editorial staff at the Times:
The Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996 and did two things:
1. It defined marriage for purposes of federal law as a union of one man and one woman and;
2. It allowed states to refuse to recognize marriages between same sex couples that are legally solemnized in other jurisdictions.