Gay Rights: Private Sector vs. Political Sector

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Lex, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. Lex

    Lex
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Messages:
    9,536
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    In Your Darkest Thoughts and Dreams
    This is a commentary by Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. With more than 600,000 members nationwide, the Human Rights Campaign is the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights organization.

    It was originally posted at CNN.com along with some very interesting responses.
    Here is the live link.
     
  2. Matthew

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Messages:
    8,374
    Likes Received:
    162
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    California
    Very interesting. I have to confess I wouldn't have expected the private sector to be more advanced.

    And those responses ... all in all a pretty good snapshot of where this country is on the question imo.
     
  3. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    I'm surprised there is a difference.
     
  4. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    3,365
    Likes Received:
    6
    Nutshell:
    1. Rethink the sanctity and sacredness of any relationship if you cheat or have ever cheated on a loved one.
    2. For that matter, point to a source outside of the Bible that indicates the sacredness of marriage.
    3. Afford the same rights to all individuals of a particular class (e.g. citizens and participants and would-be joining members of the United States) or none. This is one of the most basic logical principles.
    4. Whether militantly straight or gay, get off the damn soapbox already. No matter where you are on the sexuality spectrum, you don't really have anything to be particularly proud of regarding who you fuck. Be proud of who you are.
    Lamentation:

    At this stage in the political game, I wouldn't even bother asking for acceptance anymore. I think the gay thing is so connotatively divisive anyway (and that's a real shame) that people do little more than knee-jerk react, especially since there's so much political attention paid to it. If it suits you, get a little knowledgeable on the research regarding the origins (e.g. biological, genetic) of sexual orientation, not just what your local church leader says. Get informed before you start labelling people.

    Anyway, government needs to recognize that perhaps half of the people in the U.S. either don't give a damn or support two dudes or two ladies getting involved with each other to the point that taxes and finances need to be sorted out. The neoconservatives will never have everyone on their side.
     
  5. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,730
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Plimoth Plantation
    Dear Andy Andress:

    <---------------- I'll show you a 'militant gay activist' you fucknut.

    Thanks Lex. I'd surmised as much but it's helpful that we gain a sense of proportion given what the media feeds us versus the day-to-day experiences of of real gay, lesbian and transgender people.

    With the sole exception of that hate crime (however significant) in a city near to me last February I experience no real discrimination firsthand. However I don't live in Henderson, Nevada either.
     
  6. madame_zora

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    10,252
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio
    Thanks for posting this Lex, I hadn't seen it. Every once in a while, it's good to know that the principles and ideals of decency do hold up, given enough time.

    I've been saying since I got here that the world will finally come around on this, just like they HAD to about racial equality. These are not light-switch issues- they don't happen overnight, and rarely are they the "popular" opinion of the times in which they begin. Abolition only had about a third of the support of the people at the time Lincoln was president, and while it's sad to see how much road we still have to travel there, we have certainly made some strides. The women's movement afforded we women some additional protections for abuses in the workplace, and while we are far from "equal", I'd rather be alive now than 100 years ago. Gay rights are human rights. If you can't get that simple concept, that's too bad. You'll die ignorant, but the world will still move forward.

    The human species wants to survive, and to do this we need to constantly hone and improve our adaptation skills, just like any other species. Only fundamentalists don't see us as belonging to the animal kingdom, but for anyone with half a brain, we understand that our evolution will contintue, and we are but one link in a very long chain of human development.

    I'm going to sleep better tonight, people will be okay. Still, it would be nice if the stupid amoung us would die faster.
     
  7. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Messages:
    7,535
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    97
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Mavs, NOR * CAL
    However....

    The elevator of "rights" never makes to the floor that the boardroom is on. I see it within many "liberal" companies. It's fine, so longs as the mininions stay as mininions, and they win their "most accepting company top 100" list.

    I see the same thing with race as well, too. In a number of firms I've been with.. they have gay organizations, black, hispanic, women organizations, and so forth. Keeps them happy, yet, the executive teams are laden with white WASPy you-know whos. And as the article points out, it's the same in politics. Dem and Repub. I would say Dems are hypocrites, but that would assume the GOP just turns a blind eye altogther (for the record, look at GW's appointments vs Clinton's....). Nonetheless, Ted Kennedy et al, love to grandstand, but would never allow for mixed race marriages, send their kids to the whitest of academies, and so forth. Good to see fault on both sides, especially since Dems are mistakenly attached as the party of equal rights. Then you have the loons on the far right, a la Helms, that pump the needle off the dial.

    Take a look into the USMC...
     
  8. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,730
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Plimoth Plantation
    Hey! I'm white and WASPy and as proud as anyone else of his heritage. Can we stop singling people out please?


    I do, often, here:

    http://www.militaryfantasy.com/?revid=4289&pid=51&track=ll

    :cool:
     
  9. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    I'm not sure what this comment has to do with the rest of your post, or the topic of the thread.

    I did my tour of duty with the USMC. If you were talking about "minions remaining minions, while the WASPs stay in control, then I'm thinking that YOU never did your time in the military.

    My senior drill instructor was latino. My platoon also had another latino, two anglo, and one AfAm drill instructors.

    My A-school had instructors (enlisted, ranking up to E-8) of nearly any ethnic/gender combination you can think of.

    My permanent duty station had women, men, blacks, latinos, asians, whites, in command positions... all the way up to the assistant chief of staff. The ACOS just happened to be a white male (and exceptionally handsome, too...) but up the chain of command, from my unit, to the company, to the battalion, to the division, the was a lot of diversity. I even know that a couple of the officers (actually, some of the better ones) were gay. Closeted, but gay. Other than the sexuality thing, it's very very diverse. And I have a feeling that if the Congress and the Pentagon would update their 8th-century mentality about sexuality, gays might actually openly become one of the best-performing service members.
     
  10. madame_zora

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    10,252
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio
    Actually, Faceking does make a good point about that, the "powers that be" do want to stay in control, and that is not a partisan view either. He is right that in reality, it is very hard for a minority to advance beyond a certain point. The good news is it's not impossible. While I haven't read any recent studies, in my experience I have seen more black men as executives than women, but not so many latinos or other minorities who haven't had their moment in the sun as of yet.

    This is an evolutionary process. While we are learning to utilize the contributions of more of our citizens, the few who have had the majority of the power are seeing that power threatened and are fighting desperately to hold on, and it will continue as long as it's acceptable socially for it to continue. If anyone has inferred from anything I've posted that I believe the dems are wholly good and the repugs are wholly bad, they haven't understood me well at all. They're two sides of the same coin, both primarily in place to promote self interest and stay in power.

    It is my opinion that at this moment in time, the republicans are more corrupt because of their unchecked power, the old "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" thing. It's good and you just can't fuck with it. The ways in which the parties are corrupt is different, but that doesn't make one side holy, that's just ridiculous. Both sides have produced great leaders and both sides have produced duds, because human beings are fallible. Jimmy Carter, who I hail as a great man and nearly holy humanitarian was a piss poor leader, and while that makes me sad to say, it is nonetheless true. He had no game, and you need that to be a strong leader.

    As for this group of unholy afterbirth, I really can't find much good to say about any of them- that's not because they're repubs, it's because they're lousy human beings who are working together against the good of the society they are supposed to serve. Those are good reasons to hate them, and not partisan reasons. I have VOTED both dem and repub in my lifetime, so I am not a blind ticket voter.

    Gays will make their way much faster than blacks or women because sexuality is not usually visually obvious. I'd predict that in twenty or thirty years, it will be easier for a gay white men to be promoted than a woman, or a black man. I think the "obvious by sight" prejudices will be much harder to overcome.
     
  11. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    Very good, very interesting, very true observation... but you have to add the corollary: if the minority status is obvious, or stated, or in writing, gays will probably fall to the bottom of that hierarchy. As I see it, it still goes on but discrimination against "obvious by sight" minorities is (at least on the surface) not as acceptable to the general public. Even some not-obvious-by-sight minorities get extra protections - mainly the religion one. While it is generally possible for gays to keep their sexual identity a secret, and generally impossible to keep race and gender secret, if those "identifiability playingfields" were levelled, both the laws in most of the US and the collective mindset of the general public exclude gays from equal treatment.

    Shit. People (in general) are just so fucking stupid. I just still can't figure out why anyone would prefer to have a really bad hetero teacher in the school than an outstanding gay teacher, or a worthless male boss than an effective female boss, or a clueless white physician than a brilliant black one.

    Regardless of the interaction I have with another person, (my boss, my subordinate, my coworker, my teacher, my student, my doctor, my friend, whatever), I have always preferred ability and motivation over any other quality.
     
  12. Lex

    Lex
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Messages:
    9,536
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    In Your Darkest Thoughts and Dreams
    I share this veiw and call it a "performanced-based paradigm" rather than a "relationship-based paradigm." I want people who are the best to work for me and with me. This notion, of course, challenges the status quo, quid-pro-quo of the "good ole boy" way of networking and getting ahead. If we recognized and rewarded performance despite the nepotistic infrastrcuture, many good ole boys would be displaced, which is exactly why we don't.
     
  13. B_nocock2big4me

    B_nocock2big4me New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Heart of the Great Lakes
    I love how those in the religious right like to say that gays use the power of intimidation (legal or otherwise) to make thier point about equal rights. The religious right uses that tactic more than anyone else does by threatening finacial boycots of corporations and suing because it infringes upon thier "beliefs". I happen to work for a fortune 500 company that has protections for sexual orientation... that however doesn't mean that they ENFORCE those protections.
     
  14. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    DC, excellent point, a really irritating side to this I bet if you asked a cross section of said stupid people, no more than a small % of them (aside from the card carrying bigots) would be able to provide any coherent explanation, and none a valid or even rational reason simply because there really isn't one.

    I'm not sure it's straightforward stupidity as much as societal conditioning combined with simple laziness or an unwillingness to question even such obvious incongruities. I think at some level more people know suspect is not 'right' but simply lack the will to speak out because they perceive it as not affecting them or that no one will listen.

    I agree, without doubt there are some serious plonkers out there too....:biggrin1:
     
  15. madame_zora

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    10,252
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio
    As a further info update, I was talking to a friend who works for one of those companies here in Ohio, and he tells me that although his company technically has the protection for same sex couples, they have to be registered as a couple before they can receive any benefits, and thus far, Ohio has refused to provide any legal means of registering. Basically it's nothing more than a feel good thing with no practical application. So much for my good night's sleep.:rolleyes:
     
  16. Lex

    Lex
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Messages:
    9,536
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    In Your Darkest Thoughts and Dreams
    Zora--my employer requires that married couples and same-sex partners sign an affidavit that attests to their marriage or partnership before benefits are extended in either case. They have developed their own form where you swear as such. Employees are required to pay the taxes on the approximate dollar amount of benefits extended to a same-sex partner above and beyond the employees own plan. So, the benefits cost the partner a bit more in the end than if they were married, albeit less than two separate benefit packages. Better than nothing, I guess yet still far from perfect.

    I have hope.
     
  17. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    "You can only gain admission if you have a ticket." "Where can I get a ticket?" "They are only available inside."

    A perfect example of the rights thing: Southwest Airlines finally began to allow dependant benefits for domestic partners during the time I worked for them. Some of the gay couples who had been together for years and years up to then had no dependant benefits. After that change, they were allowed very limited benefits - minimal health benefits (none of the additional riders on the policy) vs. full health benefits; limited "fly-free" benefits (4 round-trip "companion passes" could be purchased, a year in advance, for one person only) vs. unlimited "space-available" passes; still no "family emergency" leave. And to get those very limited, not-nearly-equal benefits, the couple had to jump through many flaming hoops - benefits didn't kick in for several months after registering with the company, several joint account proofs had to be presented (utility statements in both names, among others)... it was not an easy thing. But within a short 4-year period, several people I worked with were married and divorced at least twice. All they had to do was show a marriage certificate to get the full benes.
     
  18. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    I debated about whether to put this in another thread "Is Gay Marriage That Important" or something like that, but since this is a political issue, I decided on this thread.

    In response to multiple lawsuits filed against the state, the New York courts (incorrectly) referred the matter to the NY Legislature, citing "any change in the law needs to come from the legislature." The response of the NY legislature is beyond belief:

    "The New York court said any change in the state's law should come from the state Legislature, Judge Robert Smith wrote. The decision said lawmakers have a legitimate interest in protecting children by limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.
    It went on to say the law does not deny homosexual couples any 'fundamental right' since same-sex marriages are not 'deeply rooted in the nation's history and tradition.'" (previous two paragraphs quoted from CNN.com)

    What has not yet been explained to me is how limiting marriage to heterosexual couples actually protects children. From what? A loving family? No mention is made of the corollaries which would need to be in place, along with their stated reasoning. No mention of unwed parents, single parents, childless marriages, divorces... all of which, by the NY legislature's reasoning, are contrary to "protecting children." Damned no-balls, insipid, idiotic, hypocritical, bigoted politicians.
     
  19. JustAsking

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,249
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ohio
    Lex,
    I hope this isn't redundant to what you posted to start this thread.

    I think it is generally true that corporations will be the best sector in this regard, simply because they want good employees and they want to sell to anyone.

    Naturally there will be some nasty exceptions where politics and ignorance override profit motive. But I think what we in these will be the rule until state or federal legislation prohibits it.

    I have no similar hopes for the growing Christian Nationalism that permeates our government though. Ironically, discrimination as to race, ethnicity, sexual preference, and religion is running rampant in the faith-based organizations that receive federal funding.

    My eye is on the courts. If they fall, we are in big trouble.
     
  20. NCbear

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,433
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Back in NC
    Re-read To Kill a Mockingbird, written about a long period in which the courts had failed (at least on the issue of systematic institutionalized racism), and then tell me how optimistic you are.

    It amazes me that every good science fiction writer I know has at one point or another posited a strong shift in at least a part of future society toward a theocratic government. Orson Scott Card (Mormon from Greensboro) generally seems to think it's OK, at least for Mormons. Robert Heinlein, a libertarian (from the fiscally conservative but socially progressive angle), seems to think someone like his fictional Nehemiah Scudder would create a government that would enforce many constraints on our social freedoms. Ray Bradbury spoke out against book-burning and censorship in Fahrenheit 451 and other shorter works, and much of the book-burning advocacy is based on religious views.

    And writers I've read who locate themselves in various places on the political spectrum all seem to feel the same way: that religion-based governments are coming, at least for some of us. Religious conservatives and evangelicals seem to be happy with that, because they'd see their laws enacted in the public sphere. But most liberals, progressives, and libertarians seem to be warning us of the dangers of religion-based governments--the repression of individual freedoms, the constraints on independent thought, and so forth.

    In other words, for many, theocratic government is coming to the West. The only question is when.

    Already, for me, it's here. "In God We Trust" is on our money. We have to swear on the Bible (not the Constitution, which IMHO would be considerably more appropriate regardless of our cultural heritage) when giving evidence in court. Judeo-Christian "holy days" (the real meaning of "holidays") are government-supported days off from work. And the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) and the Christian weekly holy day (Sunday) are the two days of the week when for many years in this country most people didn't work.

    I grew up American Baptist in the South (not Southern Baptist) and my home church in Raleigh was one of the first to distance itself from the Southern Baptist Convention on issues such as integration, the death penalty, women in the pulpit, and gay marriage. I grew up with a strong appreciation for the original Baptists' concept of the "priesthood of the believer," which is a belief that individuals don't need an intermediary (a minister, priest, or Pope) standing between them and their personal relationship to their God.

    But what I'm seeing now is a sheep-like reversion to religious authority. It's happening all over the planet: in a time of upheaval and change, people want an ultimate answer (I'd say "final answer," but "Millionaire" has already co-opted that phrase). They want to believe in Truth (note the capital letter) that is indisputably correct--and indisputably the last word on the subject. And they want to be the ones who are on the "right" side--i.e., with others who believe the same things they do and live their lives the same way they do. It's all about the herd mentality.

    I'm frankly terrified that I won't be able to get out of the country (or off the planet) fast enough, when the religious crazies start fighting WWIII or slam the final door on my freedoms in the (supposed) freest nation on earth. It's difficult to be as outwardly contentious and contrary as Dr. Rock, whose posts I've admired while lurking for almost three years. But I think speaking out is the answer. Those of us who see this trend (and see it realistically as the danger it is to our individual liberties) need to say more in the public sphere to challenge others' assumptions and thereby try to head off, even in a small way, the coming religious totalitarianism.

    NCbear
     
Draft saved Draft deleted