Saturday, July 28, 2007

MassEquality Shifting Focus to "Trans Rights & Hate Crimes" Bill

Bay Windows has a long piece on MassEquality's future focus, now that they believe homosexual marriage" is secured. It is clear that they'll be helping the Mass. Transgender Political Caucus pass its "transgender rights and hate crimes" bill (H1722). Remember that the Gill Foundation's Patrick Guerriero -- who brought in millions to secure defeat of the marriage amendment -- is also committed to the "trans rights" cause. So we're sure that MassEquality -- which also benefits from Gill's largesse -- is clearly on that bandwagon, more than they're publicly acknowledging. From "MassEquality plots its future," Bay Windows (7-25-07):

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) of which MassEquality is a member organization, on July 17 sent a letter to the MassEquality board of directors asking that the organization step up to the plate on the effort to pass a bill that would outlaw discrimination based on gender identity or expression and enhance penalties against perpetrators of crimes motivated by the victim’s gender identity or expression....

Ryan [MTPC co-chair; a "transwoman"] said that this is the first time MTPC has reached out to the MassEquality board for help on the transgender rights bill. Both she and fellow MTPC Co-Chair Gunner Scott ["transman"] said that though they have long had conversations with MassEquality staff members about the bill, they recognized that the organization’s primary focus was on securing marriage equality. Now, said Scott, “If they’re going to continue as a GLBT equality organization we’d like, of course, for them to focus on the trans bill that’s currently pending.” Solomon [MassEquality director] agreed that the LGBT community must turn its attention to securing protections for transgender people. “Passing an aggressive transgender civil rights bill that protects transgender people from hate crimes and discrimination has got to be a top community priority,” he said. [emphasis added]

Not mentioned in the Bay Windows article: MassEquality is also now quietly working hard to be sure they have the votes to actually LEGALIZE "gay marriage" -- with an actual LAW! Though why they think the law is important, we don't know. They certainly don't want the public to know about this little glitch -- that Mass. statutes still don't allow same-sex "marriage"! While he didn't mention that issue, Marc Solomon of MassEquality did say (immediately after the defeat of the marriage amendment on June 14) that he was working on the best timing to overturn the 1913 law barring out-of-state same-sex couples from marrying here. Though we're not sure why they need to do that either, since Massachusetts bureaucrats claim they are now empowered to tell other states what to do. (See yesterday's news on the Mass. DPH bureaucrat who issued a fiat allowing New Mexico homosexual couples to marry here.) MassEquality and the Trans Caucus have a sure ally in Gov. Deval Patrick for these bills, which will probably all be heard by the Judiciary Committee in the Fall:

  • legalizing their same-sex "marriages" H1710, S918

  • overturning the 1913 law barring marriages by out-of-state same-sex couples S800, S1029

  • "transgender rights and hate crimes" H1722.
The Bay Windows article also describes some of the payback going on with the vote switchers on the marriage amendment:

As the MassEquality board weighs the organization’s future, daily work continues. Most importantly, the organization has set about offering support to the nine legislators who switched from supporting to opposing the amendment between the Jan. 2 ConCon and the June 14 session and the two freshman lawmakers who had campaigned on support for the amendment last fall but ultimately decided to vote against it. To that end, MassEquality Development Director Scott Gortikov [who once donated to MassResistance in an attempt to get on our email alert list] has been working with some of the organization’s major donors — gay and straight — to steer campaign contributions to the newest crop of pro-equality legislators, who may be vulnerable in next year’s elections because of their vote switch. Gortikov declined to name specific legislators who have benefited from his work thus far. ...

Besides steering major donors toward potentially imperiled pro-equality legislators, MassEquality is also encouraging its members to attend fundraisers for their respective lawmakers. On July 12, for example, members of the affiliate group Quincy for Marriage Equality were a visible presence at Sen. Michael Morrissey’s annual fundraiser at Waterworks, a Quincy nightspot. ... Beyond campaign contributions, MassEquality members are making their support for vote switchers visible in other ways, said Solomon. For instance, in a Fourth of July parade in state Sen. Gale Candaras’s Western Mass. district, a crowd of marriage equality supporters turned up waving signs thanking Candaras for coming around to the cause of equality after several years of anti-equality votes.