Wednesday, January 30, 2019

ABA recommends that same-sex couples be protected from discrimination in adoption, foster care

The American Bar Association has adopted a resolution banning discrimination against LGBTQ parents, Chris Johnson reports in the Washington Blade. 

The resolution is published as a PDF, link

The Williams Institute in Los Angeles reports that same-sex couples are more likely and straight couples to adopt or foster children, which may sound like a surprising finding. 
Yet the Washington Times continues to report on faith-based groups that refuse to accept same-sex couples.  We’re left to wonder if a lot of heterosexually married couples feel more secure if they believe family is reserved for them, out of a projection of meaning. 
Jerica Phillips has posted on Instagram a story where 50 “volunteer dads” were requested at an Oak Cliff “Breakfast with Dads” program on Facebook and 600 men signed up!

Friday, January 25, 2019

HRC releases video on how the Central American asylum seeker policies under Trump affect LGBT asylum seekers

Today the Human Rights Campaign released a three minute video on how the Trump administration’s policies on asylum seekers at the border (keeping them in Mexico) impacts LGBT asylum seekers.

The video depicts conditions in Central America with respect to LGBT persons particularly. The Facebook video link is here.  DC Center Global shared this video today on Facebook. There is particular focus on gangs and machismo culture. 
I haven’t noted this on Blogger today, but Trump did agree to open the government for three weeks without a wall;  more on this later on the Issues blog..

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Openly gay mayor explores running for president on Democratic ticket

Peter Buttigieg, 37, has declared he is forming an exploratory committee for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination for president. The AP has a typical story

Buttigieg also served in Afghanistan in the Navy Reserve in 2014 (in an intelligence unit), after the total lifting of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in 2014.   I guess he would have some views on the transgender ban.  He is mayor of South Bend, IN.  (I know a prosecutor in Mount Vernon, IN.)

You have to be 35 to be president.  But now, the question is not just can we have a POC for president (we already did with Obama and Oprah Winfrey would certainly be a welcome candidate), or an LGNTQ person (maybe former Navy Seal Kristin Beck), but a much younger person.

As for as other LGRTQ, it’s easy to imagine candidates.  Tim Cook, CEO of Apple (although his statement about hate speech on his platform was overbroad).  Anderson Cooper – yes, a journalist.  Who knows more about policy than Anderson?  And he has paid his dues early in his career, reporting from SE Asia.
But what about younger candidates (regardless of sexuality or gender identity)?  Somehow, during this shutdown, we realize that the country might be doing just fine if David Hogg were president right now, with some sort of time machine trick. It’s pretty easy to imagine some other young articulate persons –  scientists like Jack Andraka or Taylor Wilson, YouTube analysts like “Economic Invincibility” (Ubanell is sort of the gay version of EI).  Or maybe Richard Harmon (Danny in “Judas Kiss”), whom Timo Descamps (“Shane”) called the “greatest of all time”.  The trouble is, Timo is from Belgium (let him fix the EU’s mess with Article 13), and Harmon was born in Toronto. Canada seems to produce better young adults than we do, consistently. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

SCOTUS allows partial transgender military ban to go forward for now; Libertarian party (pun) dance at Pitcher's

The Supreme Court has overturned a stay and allowed Trump’s partial transgender ban to go into effect while it is resolved in appellate courts. SCOTUS has also declined to hear the cases now itself. 
The ban would apply to servicemembers who have stated that they have gender dysphoria and need surgery or other specific treatment. 
CNN this morning reported that there are about 9000 transgender persons in the US Armed Forces.  That compares to probably about 50000 openly gay (cis-gendered) troops.  The 9000 number sounds a bit high (maybe it includes reserves). Yet gay activists claim 15000 transgender members and probably 100000 openly gay members (at the 10% rate), not counting the reserves. 

Barbara Starr reported from the Pentagon indicating that it would proceed very carefully and that it respects the integrity of all of its troops with respect to gender identity and sexual orientation.
NBC News has a detailed story on all the SCOTUS actions this morning, here

PFLAG sent out a press release with a "graphic novel" or manga comic strip piece on going through transition., here
I did attend the LibertyCon Party Friday night at Pitcher’s in Washington’s Adams Morgan.  The women’s bar downstairs was very crowded.  The different rooms tended to segregate, with many of the people from the conference preferring the larger second floor bar.   The name of the gay bar is fortuitous.  The Nationals may have a killer starting pitching rotation this season.  But it looks like Washington needs some of the geekier players (like Scherzer, Zimmerman) in Congress rather than the ball field.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Politicians (and their spouses) make gay news, with an ironic day in Facebook jail

Karen Pence, the second Lady, is reported to be teaching at a Catholic school in northern Virginia that allegedly bans gay or trans teachers and students.

We hear occasional reports about a few such institutions that are very adamant about their ideas of religious teachings. Yet it seems that, especially among Catholics (with its insistence on a celibate priesthood, which backfires) there is an idea that if you ban all sexuality for everyone outside of marriage and procreation, then family formation gets easier for “everyone”.

Gay Representative Brian Sims was temporarily suspended for a day from Facebook for forwarding to his page, for “journalistic purposes”, a homophobic attack sent to him. Facebook doesn’t want you to report attacks made on you? 

Monday, January 14, 2019

WSJ op-ed criticizes allowing women in combat, recalls old arguments that led to DADT

On Monday, January 14, 2019 the Wall Street Journal offered an op-ed on p. A17 by Heather MacDonald, “Women don’t belong in combat units”. 
She ironically criticized Trump for trying to ban transgender persons from the military (at least those with diagnosed gender dysphoria) rather than taking on the cost of lowering the standards for females in combat units.

She also gives examples of heterosexual misconduct that results from close quarters – and this article bears a curious reflection of the arguments that were advanced against gays (not trans) in the military in 1993 when Bill Clinton tried to life the ban and wound up with “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue”.
It’s well to remember that mandatory Selective Service registration exists for people born of age 18-15 and listed a biological males at birth.  No one wants to talk about this or “give anyone ideas” by reminding policymakers of this anomaly.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

China's policies against LGBTQ speech start to resemble Russia's

Dennis Villarreal of LQBTQ Nation writes that China takes a “don’t ask don’t tell” attitude toward gay groups, saying “don’t encourage, don’t discourage, don’t promote”.  

China will not allow nonprofits to operate without government registration, and will not allow wording that indicates gay or queer in the names. 

Homosexual acts are legal in China, as in Russia;  but the speech policy is starting to resemble Russia’s.  China sees open homosexuality as a provocative distraction from social harmony.
China also bans gay content from social media and television, comparing it to incest and pedophilia (much as Russia pretends to do).

It’s interesting to wonder if the end of the one-child policy, and possible birth dearth in some areas, matters.
The norms of male attraction may be less striking in non-white cultures.

Friday, January 11, 2019

NYTimes magazine does feature on gay conservatives

Benoit Denizet-Lewis has a New York Magazine “Feature”, “For gay conservatives, the Trump era is the best of times and the worst of times.”  
The article describes the natural idea of being socially liberal and fiscally conservative, even libertarian (as with Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty in the 1990s).

Many gays are wondering why the radical Left is trying to erase their freedom of speech.  You’re not supposed to debate positions that are related to immutable characteristics that define identity and even intersectional groups.

The article notes the somewhat quizzical attitude toward trans and gender fluid people.  You’re not allowed to question this subminority, which is said to be very small.  Conservative gays are mixed on Trump’s attempted ban on trans in the military, believing in the abstract idea for someone through transition but realizing the practical issues in many cases.

And gay men tend to be attracted to men whom they perceive as “masculine”, and find that the idea of fluidity is almost offensive, destroying whatever generates erotic interest.  So you find some gay Youtube channels, like Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell, who seem to celebrate masculinity for its own sake.  

Milo Yiannopoulos, who has fallen, is the most notorious gay conservative.  He has gone over the top and been reckless (every since Gamergate) but the smears of him seem way out of line with the fact. 

 Someone like Eduardo finds much nicer ways to express manly values.
The Palm Center has released a fact sheet on the case of Trump’s military transgender ban (for dysphoria) on the possible outcomes. 

Picture: Therapy club, NYC this week; also Stonewall National Monument.  On Tuesday nights, Therapy has a drag show with tables rather than dance floor.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Major insurance company drops ban on men using PrEP

The Massachusetts attorney general has negotiated a settlement with Mutual of Omaha, in which the company will no longer deny health or life insurance to people (usually gay men) who use PrRP, especially Truvalda.

The story was released by Fenway Health early today.

This would be a very important development as health care changes under the Trump administration’s “attack” on Obamacare.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Appeals court upholds Trump's partial transgender military ban, with respect to gender dysphoria

The Federal Circuit court of appeals for the District of Columbia allowed the Trump administration a partial “victory” today in allowing part of Trump’s attempted transgender ban to stand.

The Armed forces can remove  transgender soldiers who show (DSM manual defined) “gender dysphoria”, according to a Reuters story here.  The Court noted that this does not include all people who claim non-conformity. Mattis had included to implement this partial “ban”.
But not all transgender people suffer dysphoria, which is a surprising fact that most people don’t know. But the video above considers all the “fluid” categories (maybe created out of intersectionality, or maybe from the Rosenfels polarity theory) as “transgender”, which is not really very useful.   

Kristin Beck reports that the lower court  repeal of Trump's ban is still in effect however in most of the US (twitter link)

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Individualist gay icon makes the case for remaining MGTOW; LGTBQ in Congress today

Something a little lighter.

Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell explains “What I Don’t Have a Boyfriend”  The film has some cute facial de-recognition effects. 

Is Eduardo the gay version of “Economic Invincibility”, essentially taking on the topic of MGTOW? He has pretty much the same personality and demeanor.   
He says he is 24.  But in 2020, he could chose to beat Alexandria Octavia-Cortez to be the youngest in Congress (which seated 10 LGBTQ in the House today).  David Hogg will surely get there by 2026 if the country isn’t destroyed by an EMP from North Korea first. (Rumor: “EI” does want to run for office.)
 He seems to be a dedicated individualist, along the lines of some of YouTube’s “conservative” channels.  He certainly provides a counter-example against “intersectionality” on the Left. Stay away from Patreon. 

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Welcome to 2019, which looks to be a confusing and challenging year for political bedfellows

For New Year’s Eve, I left home a little late but found the Metro not crowded and got to the Dupont Circle around 10:30 and decided to stop at Cobalt, even if a little more expensive ($25). I hadn’t been there since Town closed.

It was a moderate crowd, not that many people I recognized this time.

I wanted to mention that the recent concern I have with the deplatforming of some supposedly right wing podcasters seems to be coming from pressure from payment processors which in turn comes from some activism on the left (the Southern Poverty Law Center is often mentioned). 

This can (with some political irony behind the scenes) become a problem for LGBT content, especially with respect to explicit materials.  There is a divide within the gay community with the older “cis gay male” establishment with its personal values (tending more toward libertarianism, but with support of complete legal equality in areas like the military and marriage), and the more extreme demands of some in the fluid and trans community, who see refusal to date someone as a form of discrimination. The personal and the political get comerged, and this can get dangerous.  

I’ll add that the issue of transgender in the military is much smaller than the issue for the cis gay men and women in the military as resolved in 2011.  There is no question that in some cases the service of exceptional trans people has been very valuable.  We need to watch and see how the incoming acting defense secretary and any replacement act on the issue. 

 Electronic Frontier Foundation has a number of articles on the payment processor system issue and censorship as well as surveillance, such as this one. We need to pay attention to this.

The leadership in the gay community has to watch conflicting political and social currents, which sometimes seem to be at odds and can produce strange political bedfellows.  Some of the problems filter down to organizational leadership's trying to separating out tribes of enemies and friends rather than looking at the issues from the viewpoint of individual rights and responsibilities under the rule of law.
But I would feel ashamed of having nothing better than to claim some sort of intersectional group oppression.