Tag Archives: CRUMBS

Over Hyped Strawman LGBT Anti-discrimination Bill Clears Legislature in Utah, Discrimination Bill Pending‏



After a much over-hyped PR spin Bill SB296 passed he Utah House on Wednesday. The bill itself to will enact Utah’s first statewide non-discrimination protections for the gay and transgender community, while providing safeguards for religious liberty. (ie. MAJOR Religious exemptions)

The bill itself, which bears a close resemblance to the recently failed and much criticized version of ENDA has been much hyped by many major LGBT organizations because to quote Zach Ford of ThinkProgress: “It may be the best Bill that could pass there.”

S.B. 296, however, is far from a perfect bill. It contains a lot of provisions that are unique to the legal climate of Utah that would not translate elsewhere. Given the ubiquitous presence of the Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) in Utah, it may be the best bill that could pass there — and is thus better than no protections. Though it does contain some interesting new ideas that could be adapted elsewhere, it is by no means a model for other states to consider.

For example, the bill only protects LGBT people in employment and housing; it does not address public accommodations (e.g. how businesses treat customers). Thus, as a civil rights bill, it pales compared to the more universal protections afforded other classes like race at the national level. It also falls short of the wider array of protections offered by many other states, and the kind of proposals activists hope to soon see introduced in Congress.

The bill also exempts any employers that constitute “a religious organization, a religious corporation sole, a religious association, a religious society, a religious educational institution, or a religious leader, when that individual is acting in the capacity of a religious leader.” Religious leaders are specifically defined as somebody who is an “authorized representative” of a religious organization. The exemption also extends to any corporation or association that is an affiliate or subsidiary of such a religious organization. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA), which is quite prominent in Utah because of LDS support, enjoys its own specific exemption

And now after all the trumpeting and priase from the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Utah who seem to be the only LGBT people in Utah thrilled about this straw-man “anti-discrimination bil” that protects the Mormon’s more than our own community, the Utah legislation is ALSO advancing a seperate “religious freedom” bill (SB297) which allows the church and its related entities to NOT have to recognize ‘LEGAL’ same-sex marriages and allow public employee to discriminate against by refusing to provide equal access to government benefits.

What a royal clusterfuck. And all brought to you by our LGBT organizations who are willing to accept crumbs so it looks like they are doing something.

Lame Duck Democratic Congress Introduces Full DOMA Repeal

Lame Duck


Via press release from Freedom To Marry:

Today Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) reintroduced the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and ensure that the federal government respects all valid marriages across all agencies. The bill has 42 original cosponsors in the Senate, including every returning Senator to the 114th Congress who supported the bill in the past; and 78 cosponsors in the House.

“The U.S. Supreme Court took a crucial step in dismantling the so-called Defense of Marriage Act last year, and the administration has implemented the ruling forcefully, but the job is not yet complete,” said Jo Deutsch, federal director of Freedom to Marry. “The Respect for Marriage Act seeks to fix major gaps in federal protections for married couples, especially in social security and veterans’ benefits. We must keep working to end every vestige of federal marriage discrimination and send this mean-spirited law to the dustbin of history.”

The reintroduction in the Senate includes two new cosponsors: incoming Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI). The House bill has bipartisan support, while all of the cosponsors in the Senate are Democrats.

Legally married same-sex couples continue to suffer discrimination in the areas of Social Security and veterans’ benefits, which are determined by federal law based on whether the state in which they reside respects the marriage. If a same-sex couple is legally married but lives in or moves to a state that doesn’t respect the marriage, they cannot share in these programs. The Respect for Marriage Act fixes this inequity with a provision that requires the federal government to respect all legal marriages for the purposes of all federal programs.

Yes, now that the Democrats are a minority in both houses they are finally eager to put up the gay rights bills knowing they won’t pass. Just like Freedom to Marry which is all but irrelevant since working the “hearts and minds” turned out to be a bust is doing all it can to stay relevant and not lose any paychecks.

Michelangelo Signorile: Remove The Religious Exemption From ENDA And Stop Asking For Crumbs

Mike Signorelli


“The fact that ENDA is unlikely to get a vote in the House gives us a chance to make sure the religious exemption comes out of this bill. That may make it harder to get it passed, and it may take a lot longer, but so be it. There are no shortcuts or bargains on civil rights. And quite honestly, when you ask for crumbs from the outset, both your friends and your enemies don’t take you very seriously. We still need full protections in employment, housing and public accommodations, and none should include any religious exemptions. We need to stop viewing the ENDA vote this week as a sign of how far we’ve come — as much of the hyped-up media has been doing — and instead view it as a sign of how much further we need to go.” – Michelangelo Signorile, standing up as any proud LGBT American would against the ridiculously broad religious exemptions that makes the current version of The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)which is about to go to debate and vote in the Senate virtually worthless.




Pentagon to Issue SOME Same-Sex DP Benefits on September 1st. But NOT The Important Ones

smoke and mirrors

The Washington Times reports that The Pentagon will begin issuing SOME same-sex domestic partner benefits on September  1st.

The  dependents’ ID cards will entitle partners to scores of benefits, as outlined by  then-Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta in a February policy decision.

The ID card Web notice refers to same-sex  domestic partners as “SSDPs.”

The benefits include education, survivor,  commissary, travel, counseling and transportation, but not  what some consider the armed forces’ premium perks — health care and housing allowances.

Mr. Panetta said the federal Defense of Marriage  Act restricts those benefits to heterosexual couples, though the Pentagon has  not ruled out offering them to homosexual couples at some point.

Still, the new benefits and special ID cards  represent a victory for the gay rights movement in the wake of President Obama’s  lifting the long-time ban on open homosexuals in the ranks.

Victory my ass.  This is SMOKE and MIRRORS to make it seem like the Government is actually doing something for the LGBT community when in fact its all show much like their much touted same sex partner benefits for Federal workers which in actuality came down to three minor benefits that no one really needs.

Don’t fall for the hype and don’t be satisfied or grateful for crumbs.



Obama Delivers 2013 State of the Union Address, Avoids Employment Non-Discrimination Act Again

Obama SOTU

President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech last night and while mentioning LGBT Americans twice he did not tackle the subject of employment non-discrimination directly once again only alluding to it off handedly and talking about benefits for gay and lesbian solders which make up about .0005 % of the population.

Said Obama:

As long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military in the world.  We will invest in new capabilities, even as we reduce waste and wartime spending.  We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families – gay and straight.  We will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have proven under fire that they are ready for combat.  We will keep faith with our veterans – investing in world-class care, including mental health care, for our wounded warriors; supporting our military families; and giving our veterans the benefits, education, and job opportunities they have earned.

It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love


Heather Cronk of GetEQUAL:

“Time and time again, President Obama continues to pay lip service to employment equity, but refuses to take the simple step of signing an Executive Order that would end LGBT discrimination by federal contractors — and that would prevent taxpayer dollars, including taxpayer dollars from LGBT Americans, from going to discriminatory companies.  He had his pen out today to sign other Executive Orders — it’s incumbent on the LGBT community to ask why he decided to put that pen away before protecting 25% of the American workforce from workplace discrimination.”

Its time for Obama to put up or shut up because his words and crumbs aren’t fooling anyone except the Human Rights Campaign any longer.  Obama needs to use his political capital to push ENDA as one on HIS initiatives (rather than if you bring it to me I will sign it) or sign the Executive Order, which is at least a start in the right direction.

Obama Backs Gay Boy Scout Inclusion, But Still No SCOTUS Amicus Brief Supporting The Overturning of DOMA or Prop 8


See the shiny pretty Gay Boy Scout crumb. (Gay Inc. applauds, swoons and gets distracted)

While its nice to say something unlike some,  it’s not going to placate me and distract me from the REAL issues Mr. President.

So fierce advocate how about an Amicus brief supporting the overturning of DOMA and Prop 8.   Or some actual work on YOUR part of getting ENDA passed or even an Executive Order protecting LGBT workers of businesses that hold Federal contracts.  The SAME type of EO that Lyndon Johnson signed that protected black workers of businesses that held Federal Contracts in in 1965.  There is Presidential precedent.  So may I ask whats your problem?

Unlike some I WILL NOT get distracted and swoon over every little thing you do.

I will keep pushing.  I will keep fighting.

No more crumbs for me.  I want the entire cake.

And I want it now!

Smoke & Mirrors: Obama Isn’t Really Extending Medicaid To Gay Couples, So Don’t Buy The Hype

All over the Internet news source headlines have read: “Obama To Extend Benefits To Same Sex Couples”.  The problem though is that it’s not exactly true.

With he 2012 Election year looming and a major loss of support from the LGBT grassroots community the Obama Administration is doing everything that it can to try to woo (or trick) the LGBT community to once again backing him and the Democratic party and to once again open our gAyTM’s which have been shuttered since the major slap in the face of basically ignoring us, and many of the promised that he made the first two years in Office while the Democrats held both the House and the Senate and progress might have actually been able to be made on many important issues relating to LGBT community.

You see, Obama isn’t exactly extending anything to us.  He’s giving the INDIVIDUAL STATES THE OPTION to extend Medicaid to allow healthy partners in a same-sex relationship to keep their homes while their partners are receiving support for long-term care under Medicaid which is only available to an individual after they run out of money to pay for their care and will  forgo a lien if an individual’s spouse is still living in their house when they are receiving long-term care

Thats really about all.  The problem with this is that right now over 30 States have their own DOMA laws on the books so those states will use that not offer this option.  Some states will use the current financial crisis and the drain it will have on the individual states.  Even if 50% of the states without thie own DOMA laws on the books  do extend the Medicaid option that means this would only be available to LGBT couples in only10 states and help very few LGBT couples. So if you just happen to be gay and live in those other 40 states?  Tough luck. 

But what I find really insulting is that this is not the first time that the White House has made such grandiose blanket statements wrapped in a bow that makes it seem like so much more than it actually is, when it really is such a small achievement while working within and around the boundaries DOMA and not challenging DOMA itself.

In June 2010 the Obama administration made a big announcement about extending federal benefits to gay employee’s.  But these benefits which included which  same-sex partners to use the government’s long-term-care insurance (NOT Health Insurance) and a few other fringe benefits help a minuscule portion of LGBT population) and again this was just a work around to DOMA not a challenge. 

ENDA,  the Domestic Partners and Benefits Act, and the repeal of DOMA sit DEAD in the water.  Even the DADT repeal became a major issue and extremely watered down because it was pressed back until right before the 2010 midterm elections and not pressing forward with it after the 2008 elections

Passing any those would have been a major accomplishment.  What we’ve gotten so far are nothing more than crumbs packed up in pretty press releases.

I more than anyone understand that we don;t really have much of a choice in 2012 unfortunately.  It will be Obama or one of the GOP candidates who want to keep us even more oppressed and push us back into obscurity. What I like to call the “lesser of two evils vote”   But please Obama and the Democratic party DO NOT insult my intelligence by making it seem that you’ve accomplished so much than you actually have done and that we all should be so grateful for the tiny and miniscule increments of Equality you have given us especially after what you had promised us in the first place.

Keep your promises and cut the bullshit.  Because you really need to remember that the losses you incurred were not only due to Tea Party involvement.  The a lack of turnout by Democrats sick of your spineless ways and inabilty to lead and keep your promises was a major factor also.

Video – White House Punts on DOMA and ENDA All In One Week But Be Proud and Grateful For The DADT Repeal

It seems that Chris Johnson of The Blade has picked up Kerry Elevelds torch in The White House Press room twice this week pressing Robert Gibbs about the possibility of any movement  on repealing DOMA or passing ENDA over the next two years

Gibbs, who bobs and weaves around both questions like does finally state that movement forward will be  “inordinately challenging given the current make-up of Congress.” (No shit!)

Gibbs falls back on the lies that the White House has to defend DOMA and when pushed on whether the president regrets not moving on DOMA when the Democrats controlled the House Gibbs instead referenced the “monumental achievement” of the repeal of DADT and that they are “proud and grateful” for it.

So in other words kids we’re in for a loooong wait if it’s left up to The White House and Congress

Gay Federal Workers Can Now Take Leave Without Pay! – We Get Crumbs Because The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act Would "Cost Too Much"

The Office of Personnel Management announced late last week that gay and lesbian federal workers with a same-sex partner can now take leave without pay to attend to their family’s educational and medical needs!


The The Office of Personnel Management is crowing about the fact that it’s instructing federal agencies to extend 24 hours of leave without pay each year to gay federal workers, essentially allowing them to attend school functions and medical and dental appointments or to provide care to an elderly partner,  Well here’s some news for the OPM and everyone else.  Leave Without Pay is granted to any employee Gay or Straight at anytime with a Supervisors or Managers permission.  I know.  I seasonally work as a Federal Worker.

All this This HYPE of course is to make it look like Obama’s LAME extended fringe benefits to the same-sex partners of federal workers, was actually SOMETHING BIG and to cover the fact that have nothing to do with the MAJOR benefits like same-sex partner Health Insurance coverage, Life Insurance, Retirement and pension access, etc.  These “extended benfits” are just garbage,  pure and simple and an insult at best.  What was given to us are the  the least important of all Federal benefits and ones that hat very few lesbians and gays men would ever need, use or want.

Of course Obama cannot extend full benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees unless Congress passes  The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act  and of course efforts to do so have stalled this year in the House and Senate ever since the CBO estimated that benefits for same-sex partners would cost $310 million over the next 5 years.

HUD Will Now Require Grant Applicants To Comply With Sate And Local Laws

Here’s some good news, if you live in a City or State with Anti- Gay Discrimination Laws on the books, or if in fact it’s something new, and if in fact it is actually something substantive.

From HUD (The Department of Housing And Urban Developement)

For the first time in its history, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will require grant applicants seeking HUD funding to comply with state and local anti-discrimination laws that protect lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. Today, HUD published a notice detailing the general requirements that will apply to all of the Department’s competitively awarded grant programs for Fiscal Year 2010.  

This would have been a lovely move the first day of the Obama administration, or for some time after the President repeals DADT and DOMA, and passes ENDA. But as a replacement for those actions – and that is what this is, at best a stand in for the real promises – it falls short.

What worries me is that we keep getting these small advances instead of the big ones (DADT, DOMA, ENDA), and that, after a while, the President (and HRC) will point to all of these small steps and try to suggest that the sheer number of them makes them equal to, or better, than the big ones – and they’re not. And where they are nice “crumbs” we should not accept them as as anything even resembeling substantial work by the Administration to assure equality.