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HRC Apologizes for Mistreatment of Trans Activists and Undocumented Queer Immigrants at SCOTUS Marriage Arguments: VIDEO


The Human Rights Campaign today posted an apology for its mistreatment of trans activists and undocumented queer immigrants during last week's Supreme Court marriage hearings.

Writes HRC's Fred Sainz, Vice President, Communications and Marketing:

In the midst of a tremendously historic week for our community, two unfortunate incidents at the United for Marriage event at the Supreme Court last week have caused pain in the community.  In one case, a trans activist was asked to remove the trans pride flag from behind the podium, and in another, a queer undocumented speaker was asked to remove reference to his immigration status in his remarks.

HRC joined in a coalition statement on Friday apologizing for these incidents and the individuals involved have personally offered their apologies to those affected.  But to be perfectly clear, HRC regrets the incidents and offers our apologies to those who were hurt by our actions.  We failed to live up to the high standard to which we hold ourselves accountable and we will strive to do better in the future.  Through both our legislative and programmatic work, HRC remains committed to making transgender equality a reality.

HRC's statement, which follows apologies from the United for Marriage Coalition (HERE) and a statement from GetEQUAL (HERE) comes after reports of the two incidents surfaced on the internet. The blog Transition Transition demanded an apology for the flag removal incident, and the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) posted a video asking for one as well.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. There is no reason a transgender flag would need to be at a marriage rally - it has nothing to do with transgender people (who can already legally marry in every state). This is ridiculous. Once again the homophobic transgender fascists are trying to trans-jack the gay civil rights movement. Regarding illegal aliens, it goes without saying that they should not be included in any marriage laws. Once identified they should be immediately deported to their home countries.

    Posted by: DB | Apr 1, 2013 3:30:26 PM

  2. Any time we throw in irrelevant issues like gender identity issues and immigration issues, we are weakening the focus and defeating ourselves. A rally for marriage and equality should not include such irrelevant groups.

    Posted by: DB | Apr 1, 2013 3:33:18 PM

  3. Shame on HRC for groveling. It won't win them a moment's grace, because these "queer" and trans activists live only to attack. And there is nothing they love to attack more than gay organizations.

    Trans activists attack LGB organizations and people because they are furious that LGBs have the audacity to spend time and money on gay civil rights, as opposed to the list of bizarre issues of trans activists. Trans activists would have HRC spend its time supporting taxpayer-funded hormone therapy for convicted felons and male access to female bathrooms. In fact, to its shame, HRC does support these wacko trans issues, but for trans activists, that isn't enough.

    "Queer" activists, by their own self-definition, see themselves as inherently marginalized and oppressed. They want gay people to see themselves that way so that LGBs can serve as a sort of permanent army in a war on societal norms. So they get upset when LGBs make progress within mainstream society. Queer activists are nothing more than the flipside of anti-gay Christian activists: they both have an interest in seeing LGBs as marginalized, radicals.

    HRC should give a big middle finger to both of these tiny, angry groups and reclaim its identity as a civil rights organization for lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

    Posted by: Dana | Apr 1, 2013 3:59:38 PM

  4. Dana,
    I partly agree. But I would actually welcome trans people into our movement, if they would learn to act strategically, and would stop attacking us. But they won't. Why should they when our leadership has already bought their bull----.
    The comments above say it all. They say they didn't foil enda, of course without offering evidence. But they can't offer evidence to the contrary, because they did ruin enda for us. If they would admit it and promise to behave themselves in the future. But again, why should they when the gay movement has been successfully duped.

    Posted by: Wilberforce | Apr 1, 2013 4:08:12 PM

  5. @Brian and @DB: I don't know where you got the mistaken idea that trans people can marry all over the US.
    There is a mish-mash of laws that vary from state to state. In every state, a trans person's degree of marriage rights depends on both the sex of the trans person's spouse and on the way the state classifies the trans person's sex.
    In some states, a FTM trans person can get a marriage license only if his spouse is male and in othet states ONLY if his spouse is female, and in still other states, court precedents allow a judge to "decide" whether the trans person's chromosomes or other factors such as genitals will "count more" and he can grant or deny the right to marry based on his own whims.
    Trans prople will never have equal rights before the US has rid itself of the same sex discrimination that affects gay and bi people.

    @Sean: I see your point about how the issue of illegal immigration could be a distraction regarding cases where thst issue is not connected to discrimination based on sex and orientation.
    But many undocumented immigrants would automatically have documents if only their spouse were of the opposite sex, so in that sense it is very much an issue connected to marriage equality.

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 1, 2013 4:27:34 PM

  6. Dana and Wilberforce, you guys make me sick. We don't want your filth staining the LGBT rights movement. The H in HRC stands for HUMAN and the last I heard the L, G, B, and T are all humans. The lack of integrity and selfishness I am seeing on this comment board is really disheartening.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Apr 1, 2013 4:28:10 PM

  7. LOL! If gay people speak for themselves, they are attacked for not being "trans inclusive." But transgenders have their own flag - which they demand that HRC fly. And they have their own segregated T-only organizations - funded with gay money.

    This whole effort to merge gay people with trannies is the biggest scam in the history of politics. LGBT does not exist in the real world. It is a political creation, designed to capture LGB groups and redirect their money and political capital away from gay civil rights and towards a war on the "gender binary."

    Posted by: Pete Horath | Apr 1, 2013 4:34:04 PM

  8. "This whole effort to merge gay people with trannies is the biggest scam in the history of politics."

    They were "merged" from the 1980s on back. I can't remember a separation until the conformists came out of their closets.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 1, 2013 4:59:35 PM

  9. @Dana:

    I am certain that the inclusion of "gender identity" destroyed our shot at passing ENDA, and thus left millions of LGB people vulnerable to discrimination. The lead sponsor of the bill said as much.

    You cannot just slip in an entirely new category to federal antidiscrimination law without a lot of preliminary work. Congress never even held a single hearing focused on the gender identity issue, let alone the extensive hearings they would want before they imposed a federal burden on private businesses. HRC was bullied into taking an "all or nothing" position, so we got nothing. After 40 years of effort, we lost it all because our groups are bullied into prioritizing the demands of heterosexual crossdressers over the civil rights of LGBs.

    BTW, the same pattern has repeated itself in local bills, such as the one in Anchorage. LGB Alaskans have been fighting for that for 35 years, but then they were forced to add "transgender identity" to their bill. The opposition focused almost entirely on that part of the bill. It was voted down 59%-41% and probably will not be considered again for a decade.


    Um, yeah using your logic, HRC should be concentrating on political prisoners in Burma and unlawful detentions in Russia and labor conditions in India. Burmese and Russians and Indians are human too.

    Posted by: Dana | Apr 1, 2013 5:00:21 PM

  10. Sorry, the above reply was to Wilberforce and Bryce.

    Wilberforce, great comments, BTW. We need more reasonable LGB voices here so please keep em coming!

    Posted by: Dana | Apr 1, 2013 5:03:09 PM

  11. Every successful civil rights law has focused on specific demographic characteristics. Should gay people have blocked the Civil Rights Act of 1965 because it covered 'race' but not 'sexual orientation'? No. Is it acceptable that transgender people blocked the Employment Non-Discrimination Act from passage because it covered 'sexual orientation' and not 'gender identity'? No. Until transgender people apologize for blocking gay civil rights bills, then they should not be allowed to leach off of the work of gay civil rights activists.

    Posted by: DB | Apr 1, 2013 5:07:50 PM

  12. @Derrick from Philly aka Kiwi aka Raymond Miller, failed actor from Toronto now living in NYC:

    Go do some googling. You will not find any reference to LGBT in the 80s or any time before that. You will never see or hear any video or audio clip of Harvey Milk referring to "LGBT people." In fact, you can find clips of him educating the public that gay people should not be equated with crossdressers or men who want to be women. You see, Milk understood that gay people needed to correct stereotypes, not validate them and define ourselves by them.

    "LGBT" was invented in the mid-90s by "queer studies" academics who thought that gay civil rights was too mainstream a goal. It was rarely used outside of queer studies until the late 1990s. The gay orgs didn't change their names until 2000 or after. Of course there was never any debate or democratic dialogue as to whether this made any sense or what the consequences would be.

    Posted by: Dana | Apr 1, 2013 5:10:56 PM

  13. I agree with all the other sockpuppets here. Trans people may have been part of our movement since the beginning, but I don't see why they have to maintain their own identity while working for our cause. Same thing goes for brown people. I mean, yes, they're up on stage advocating for marriage equality, while I piss and moan about it in the anonymous comment section of a blog, but what right do they have to take away everything that I have supported other people fighting for? They should just go back into the closet if they want to fight for marriage equality, so that we don't have to deal with any messy intersectionality.

    Posted by: Jacob Caria | Apr 1, 2013 5:16:42 PM

  14. PROOF OF TRANSPHOBIA on this board: bis have their own flag but no one is arguing THEY get their own movement.

    Posted by: redball | Apr 1, 2013 5:25:07 PM

  15. Dana,

    except for Trannsexuals all of the Transgender folks I knew in the 1980s back to the 1960s called themselves "GAY". They didn't know the term "Transgender" back then. Many of those with less formal education still refer to themselves as Gay--EXCEPT for those who are Transsexual and intend to blend into the heterosexual world. But as it's pointed out many Transsexuals love members of the same sex. That makes them Gay.

    See, I'm learnin'

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 1, 2013 5:26:12 PM

  16. @Dana Wrong use of "logic". HRC is focused on on human rights for LGBT people in America. I am glad your selfish views are in the minority, or else we would get nowhere.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Apr 1, 2013 5:27:09 PM

  17. Trans marriage is a little more complicated than many commenters are assuming. The recognition of trans people's marriages depends on what stage of their transition they're at and what their state requires of them to change their gender on various documents as well as their sexual orientation. Gender-neutral marriage eliminates many of the complications. So there is something of a common goal.

    As for the trans flag, would you protest the display of the bisexual flag? After all, bisexual people in straight relationships aren't really relevant, are they? And a trans flag is not evidence of trans exceptionalism. There exists plenty of symbology specific to gay men and there's room for plenty more.

    Posted by: Kyle | Apr 1, 2013 5:43:49 PM

  18. @Derrick:

    Some trans people are LGB. Those folks are absolutely part of the LGB community and movement by virtue of the fact that they are gay.

    It is no different than it would be for any other group. There are gay lawyers, gay citizens of China, and gay reality show celebrities. Those folks are all part of the LGB community. But it would be crazy to say that because some of these folks are gay, that therefore all lawyers, all 1.3 billion Chinese citizens and all reality show celebrities are swept into one "community" with LGB people.

    That is the scam that has been pulled with LGBT,and LGBs are finding that there is a price to be paid when you allow your identity to be warped you and you allow yourself to be forcibly merged you with heterosexuals (including homophobic heteros) who are in some way gender nonconforming.


    The logical fail is yours. Your argument was that because the H in HRC stands for human, and because trans people are human, then HRC has some sort of obligation to fight for trans rights. If that logic applies, there would be no basis to limit it to trans people; HRC would have to take on every "human rights" cause on the planet.

    Obviously, you concede that HRC focuses on a limited subset of human rights issues. I say that subset should be LGB civil rights, which is the group's original mission. You say HRC should also spend its limited time and money on a host of issues relating to hetero crossdressing, hetero hermaphrodites and hetero transsexuals. Maybe I am right, maybe you are, but the fact that the H stands for "human" is irrelevant.

    The whole community should have that debate, which we were denied back when LGBT was concocted and imposed on us.

    Posted by: Dana | Apr 1, 2013 6:22:32 PM

  19. Yes, Derrick, that Francis is a bigot! Not the regular Francis, me, and I live in Richmond BTW.

    Anyone with a shred of common sense can see how trans issues ARE gay issues.

    What is the #1 or #2 reason why gay/bi men are hated? Because we're considered not real men. Fa**ots. We're betraying manhood by being gay.

    Trans persons have to go through similar issues. They're supposedly betraying what they were created to be by having corrective surgery.

    We're a team, we're a family, and we're only as strong as our ENTIRE team is. And our team is not GGGGG. It isn't. I know some gay men think it's all about gay, but it's not.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 1, 2013 6:34:21 PM

  20. The way in which Dana attacked LittleKiwi mirrors the way Ratbastard, infamous Towleroad troll, also attacks LittleKiwi. That is not a coincidence. Dana is simply another alias of Ratbastard (and Rick/Jason). Just ignore Dana. Dana is a troll.

    Posted by: MateoM | Apr 1, 2013 6:42:55 PM

  21. BTW, a lot of these hate posts are by the same poster. "Dana", who has been trolling around several LGBT blogs and sites, spewing bulls**t.

    Thinking selfishly to assuage the few trolls here, when trans persons are granted equality on an issue, and improvements are made on their front to be who they are and live their lives as they see fit, it helps US as LGB people. That shouldn't be hard to figure out. ENDA was not destroyed by the trans community, it was LGBTQ organizations that said they flat out would not support a bill with gender identity in it. And then HRC, and Joe Solmonese, ended up killing the bill entirely because they felt the time wasn't right. Don't blame trans persons for that, for wanting EQUALITY. How could anyone do that, you're blaming a group of people, who BTW, most trans persons don't even identify as straight. So what are you truly fighting against?

    Most LGB people in one way or another have had to deal with the entire you don't act the way you're supposed to act according to your gender ordeal. That's why we need to fight for trans issues. It helps us as gay/bisexual men.

    Stonewall. Trans persons fought hand and hand with us when we needed them. A lot of us are fighting hand in hand with the trans community. The rest of you who aren't on board don't seem to know the meaning of community.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 1, 2013 6:45:20 PM

  22. Francis, EXACTLY!

    The common link is that _all_ LGBT people transgress TRADITIONAL GENDER NORMS.

    End of story. We are one community.

    Posted by: redball | Apr 1, 2013 6:55:32 PM

  23. And of course we transgress those norms by merely being who we are. It's our IDENTITY that is transgressive. "Gender outlaws," indeed--to quote Bornstein.

    Posted by: redball | Apr 1, 2013 8:22:52 PM

  24. what a cheap joke. the HRC is infamously cowardly and craven, and they love claiming victory on the backs of street-level activists. there is ONE sexual minority community, which i'm happy to call the QUEER community. too bad so many of my fellow queers think they can subdivide themselves..."i'm not one of THOSE ____"

    yes, fools...y'are...Y'ARE! gay man = QUEER. lesbian = QUEER. transgender = QUEER. bi? QUEER. "questioning"? QUEER.

    how laughable that some dont want to "appropriate the oppressor's language" yet they're happy to appropriate the oppressor's VIEWS! lol!

    "undocu-queers" are part of our community, as are trans folk. they were INVITED by HRC and then SILENCED by HRC.

    i'm sorry that these activists actually allowed themselves to be silenced to begin with...but i suppose they didnt want to disrupt the event. of course, the craven and spineless among you all are here claiming they disrupted things anyway!

    message to the oppressed: never surrender power to anyone, including any "ally".

    Posted by: Jeton Ademaj | Apr 1, 2013 9:04:29 PM

  25. redball,

    just because a bunch of people are against something doesn't make them a community. you can't build a community on a negative.

    also, i don't want gay kids thinking of themselves as gender outlaws. they are just as lawful as anyone else. gay boys are boys and gay girls are girls. if some redneck thinks otherwise, we should educate the redneck not tell the gay kids that the redneck is right. just my opinion

    Posted by: salmon rios | Apr 1, 2013 9:06:52 PM

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