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MTPC Under Fire For Accepting HRC Money

Bay Windows is reporting on the controversy that has erupted because MTPC took money from the war mongering, bad-on-trans-issues, bad-on-queer-youth issues, mostly-rich-white, HRC. As I said before, I trust that the activists of MTPC (who are amazing!) will make an honest effort not to allow this money to influence their work. Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) disagrees, and have "announced that it was severing ties with MTPC over their acceptance of the HRC grant. " MTPC desperately needed the funds for paid staff. I would be interested to know what, if any, stipulations accompany the funding.

Meanwhile: "National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) will not work with HRC in the foreseeable future, until the current HRC leadership is completely purged ..." She elaborated, "Not only is Joe Solmonese not to be trusted but neither are the second rank of HRC staff or its Board of Directors or Board of Governors. All of them would have to resign or be fired before we could even contemplate anything like cooperation. In short, NCTE is neither forgiving nor forgetting what HRC and Barney Frank have done to all of us." - baywindows

HRC lost its first and only Trans board member this year over the ENDA issue.

For now, I will continue to speak out against HRC and in support of MTPC per usual.


jason lydon said...

I understand that it's important to support MTPC but i'm also simply struggling with what is being put forward as the thing to work on, Hate crimes????!!!! I am all about us working for employment nondiscrimination but Hate Crimes??? Last time I checked all hate crimes legislation does is depend on the prison industrial complex to remedy problems that there is zero possibility of it remedying. can we really not think up more important work to be done? i'm struggling to understand how we can advocate for a moratorium on prison development/expansion but also support support legislation that pushes others to get more time in prison... i'm struggling here.

Mark D. Snyder said...

I think the act is adding gender identity and expression to not just hate crimes, but as you said a whole host of other areas such as housing.

I'd like to learn more about your thoughts on hate crime legislation in general in regards to the prison system...

Could you post more, or provide links?

Kasey H. said...

I don't know why the hate crimes focus on the bill, but I had always understood the bill to be more about other kinds of discrimination, rather than just physical/verbal violence. Maybe adding it to a hate crimes statute is the easiest way to get it passed? I have to say that I am a little tender on this one, Jason--having gender identity protections would mean a lot to me. They also have a lot to do with the cycle of incarceration, as you probably know--keeping people from employment, housing, etc., is a good way to put them in a position where they can enter the prison system. The controversy over hate crimes laws means that this is not a win-win-win situation, but I would rather compromise, even if it means someone who commits a hate crime against a transgender person spends a pointless, ineffective, and definitely unpleasant extra year in jail. With the recent statements from TAVA, and the "controversy" over MTPC accepting HRC funds, I don't know if our tiny community can afford any more divisiveness, so I still stand by the bill. You have a good point, and you definitely bring up the issue that we need to be more aware of why this is going through as a big "hate crimes" thing, but your argument is not convincing enough for me to trade in a hateful stranger's extra year in prison for a better chance at decent employment and housing for thousands.

Gunner said...

The biggest piece for the hate crimes part of the bill is not the penalty enhancement - it is the ability for a survivor of a hate crime to get a civil restraining order, more often than not we receive calls from transgender people dealing with violence and harrassment from neighbors, co-workers, and family members. If the crime was considered a hate crime that person could get a civil restraining order to stop that harrasser, that is something that is only available to domestic violence victims now. That piece and the data collection pieces are the two important factors of that part of the bill, but we can't pick just pick out the two pieces we want.

HB1722 includes non-discrimination provisions for employment, housing, credit, public accomadations, and education.

As for HRC grant it is to work on passing HB 1722 - no other strings attached - also please see our op-ed in Bay Windows
"MTPC is well aware of the ongoing dispute between transgender activists and HRC. We are not pleased with the actions of HRC with respect to ENDA, and are a member of United ENDA and led the Massachusetts Coalition for a United ENDA. We’ve strongly lobbied both HRC and Rep. Barney Frank for transgender inclusion. We are continuing as a strong ally in the effort to pressure HRC to include gender identity in ENDA, and will continue to do so. Taking their money does not oblige us to overlook their bad behavior. This is not lobbying money, where tit for tat is expected. This is a grant for the passage of H.B.1722.

While some may fear that our acceptance of this money provides HRC with bragging rights for how it is helping transgender folks, we’d like to see it set a precedent for what HRC will do in other states. Surely Massachusetts is not the only state whose transgender activist effort can benefit from a grant of this nature. We challenge HRC to follow this grant with money to other states, so that, in the absence of federal protections, more transgender persons can look forward to statewide protections. But let us be clear: Some states will not soon pass gender identity protections, and the only hope for our community in those states is the federal ENDA. So this state-level money is no substitute for transgender-inclusion in the federal ENDA."

If people have questions about the bill or MTPC please email us as well our general meetings are open and happen the 2nd Monday of every month in Boston and once a month on the North Shore.

Gunner Scott
Director of Mass Transgender Political Coalition

Gerry Scoppettuolo said...

Some organizations that give money are more backward thinking than others. Taking money from the Coors Foundations is like taking money from the guy with his boot on your neck, taking money from HRC when it dumps trans issues so that it can compromise with a legislative process that happens in the corporate pig U.S. congress is not that different. The real question, I believe, is whether any ENDA can really deliver the profound social and systematic changes we need that will make a difference on the street. Having these laws on the books, I submit, will never be enough although we should fight for them as a right.

Its single issue politics, yet again.Struggling for our rights, and leaving undisturbed the whole system of discrimination and violence aimed at all poor and oppressed people. Only a completely different system could ever really give us what we need.
The HRD is completely tied into the democratic party. In 1990 I asked them to make a contribution to David Mills, an African-American running for US Congress in Nashville, TN where I lived at the time. He was pro gay rights nand good on all the issues and was taking on an entrenched white establishment of the good old white boys. He had significant support, but becasue HRC did not want to buck the local white democrats that have ruled Davidson County, they refused to support him. Of course the white candidate one and has voted agasint our interests ever since.

The democratic party has blood on its hands from the Iraq war, just like the Republicans, and if those hands were ever to pass an ENDA it wouldn't make me feel very good.

Nope, we need liberation in a world without war, racism and capitalism....anything less is sure to leave the great engines of oppression intact and running.

Gerry Scoppettuolo