Friday, July 28, 2017

Our petulant pseudo-monarch takes on the gay

It seems that the Cheato's tweet that he wants transfolk thrown out of the military heralds a full-court press against LGBT equality.

The Veep has been working the House, trying to outlaw use of funds for medical care for transgender service people. The House actually voted down one effort along these lines, with 24 Republicans joining all the Democrats to kill it. But apparently this one is coming back.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department jumped into a New York State lawsuit to argue that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect workers on the basis of their sexual orientation. The particular case may not go well; the injured party has since died, reducing its salience. But there are cogent arguments that may well reveal the absurdity pretending to separate sexual orientation from sex discrimination:

... “it would require considerable calisthenics to remove the ‘sex’ from ‘sexual orientation,’ ” as [a] Chicago court put it.

Consider the example of a gay man who’s fired for displaying a photograph of his husband on his desk. Would the employer fire a woman who featured a picture of her husband? The only difference between the two situations is the sex of the employees.

Still, the generals have pointed out that a tweet is not a legal order and the military should be continue to “treat all personnel with respect.” But if this nest of incompetents in the White House manages to write a legal order, they'll follow orders, of course. Litigation with follow though the courts have been deferential in allowing the military to discriminate against disfavored classes of citizens.

Lots of pundits have suggested that Cheato and the GOPers have rolled out their anti-gay policies this week to try to distract from the shitshow that is Senate healthcare repeal and from the ever widening scandal over Trump's bro-mance with Russia's Putin. The pundits are probably right. What could be more satisfying to the 25 percent of the Republican base who are real haters of human diversity than some hits against the gays?

But I'm willing to bet confidently that this is a desperation play that will backfire on the bigots. When the lens of national sympathy moves from the Midwestern white former industrial worker who fell into opioid abuse to assaults against law abiding gay couples and patriotic service people, Republicans lose every time.

When the culture wars take center stage, the country recoils from intolerance and sheer meanness. As a 70 year old dyke, few are as surprised by this as I am. I remember when we were simply "perverts," "inverts," "pansies," -- certainly not part of the body politic or even common humanity. Those days are over. We're here; we're queer; and we are not going to disappear. And most of our fellow citizens know this. They may wish we were a little less visible and so a little less disconcerting, but they are over contesting our humanity. It's the haters who want to re-stigmatize us who come out looking small.

This is not just bluster. A national election that went sour isn't going to derail our progress toward full citizenship. At the same time that North Carolina voted for Donald Trump in 2016, it replaced a Republican governor whose claim to fame was promoting an anti-trans "bathroom bill." This crap has limits and against all odds, the culture is spitting out the remnants of anti-gay hate. There will be casualties, but LGBT equality is winning. (Now if only the same could be said for the struggles of women to control our bodies and of people of color to be free of state violence ... not mention the women of color who still bear the worst multiple of all this hate.)
***
If the Cheato is going to take on our community, as far as I'm concerned he makes himself fair game for commentary on his own peculiar gender presentation. Look at this guy. I'm sure he thinks he's acting the tough dude, but what I see is a handwaving prissy queen. Check the pursed lips; the dyed hair implants. He's an out-of-shape frightened clown, not the manly man he wishes he were. No wonder he buys bimbos. The Marlboro Man would wipe the floor with this wimp -- if the Marlboro Man hadn't died of the cancer sticks he sold along with machismo. So it goes.

3 comments:

joared said...

This latest action is so disgusting as is so much of what Prez says and does. I think there will be a lot of pushback on this since so many more people realize the unjustness than views in the not too distant past. Still a long way to go, I know, but I think there is increasing understanding and tolerance from more and more of our population for the differences in people -- not just external visible ones, but internal differences, too. This is just one of the go-to divisive issues that are raked up in desperation as distractions and to to feed a base of extremists who are the voters that pushed him into office. Doesn't make it any less offensive or mean the need to combat it is going away anytime soon, but just have to persist in educating people by words, actions and example while scientific studies discover more and more about us human beings.

Michael Strickland said...

I don't think it was popular with the rank and file of the military either which is deeply encouraging. I've also noticed that his whole administration seems to consist of weird gay closet cases: Preibus, Pence, Sessions, Scaramucci, they all strike me as Roy Cohn wannabes without that villain's malignant brilliance. And Trump sounds like a mean old gay queen most of the time. It's weird that both you and I are more naturally "masculine" than the entirety of this fascist, misogynist crew.

Brandon said...

@Michael Strickland: I'm not so sure about Scaramucci, but his wife has just reportedly filed for divorce. More will be revealed, I'm sure.

As for Sessions, at five-foot-seven he's actually on the short side of average, but with his elfin looks, seems far more dimunitive. I think Leslie Jordan, although four-foot-eleven, could give an excellent portrayal of Sessions.

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