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The Daily Agenda for Sunday, April 27

Jim Burroway

April 27th, 2014

TODAY’S AGENDA:
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Philadelphia, PA (Black Pride); Potsdam, Germany; Tokyo, Japan.

Other Events This Weekend: Rodeo in the Rock, Little Rock, AR; AIDS Walk, Miami, FL; Side By Side International LGBT Film Festival, Moscow, Russia; White Party, Palm Springs, CA.

TODAY’S AGENDA is brought to you by:

From Northwest Gay Review, June, 1974, page 2.

 
According to Outhistory.org:

In the early 1960s, the Golden Horseshoe became Seattle’s first regular-hours bar where men could dance openly with men. In exchange for this “privilege,” the owners had to pay the police $50 per week, plus $15 a night for a cop to monitor the door on Fridays and Saturdays. Police pay-offs were common in this time period, a means of fending off harassment and keeping the bars open. In the late ’60s, a group of bar owners joined forces with the FBI to expose the pay-off system; scores of Seattle police were dismissed and some were sent to prison.

At one time, Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood was the center of gay nightlife before it all moved to Capitol Hill. More recently, the Golden Horseshoe’s former location housed an art gallery.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
“A Closer Union Than That Of Most Marriages”: 1892. Mary Grew was the daughter of the Baptist preacher Henry Grew of Boston, who, after moving to Hartford, co-founded the Hartford Female Seminary and the Hartford Peace Society, which became a part of the larger New England Anti-Slavery Society. The elder Mary followed her father in his abolitionist footsteps. In 1840, she accompanied her father to the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. But the convention’s most severe debates centered not on slavery, but whether women should be permitted to participate in the conference. The elder Grew sided with the conference organizers who demanded that women be excluded. Mary’s exclusion, which was supported by her own father, opened her eyes to the need to join the cause of women’s suffrage.

Grew dedicated her life to feminism and abolitionism, the latter cause shifting to civil rights for African-Americans following the civil war. Her lifelong companion, Margaret Burleigh, also joined Grew in both causes. They shared a home and bed together until Burleigh’s death in December, 1891. The following April, Grew responded to a sympathy note from fellow suffragist Isabel Howland, herself involved in a relationship with another woman. That may explain Grew’s opening lines in her thank you note:

Your words respecting my beloved friend touch me deeply. Evidently you understood her fine character; & you comprehend & appreciate, as few persons do, the nature of the relation which existed, which exists, between her & myself. Her only surviving niece, Miss Ella Jones, also does. To me it seems to have been a closer union than that of most marriages. We know that there have been other such between two men, & also between two women. And why should there not be. Love is spiritual, only passion is sexual. …

Why do we speak of those who have “gone up higher,” as though they were of the past? They live more really, more fully, than ever before; & they love us with a firmer, tenderer, nobler love. …

And I have the comfort & confident hope that my time on earth is nearing its end; for I am eighty-seven years old. I try to wait patiently. I do not feel wholly separated from her who was so large a part of my life.

[Source: Jonathan Ned Katz. Gay/Lesbian Almanac: A New Documentary (New York: Harper & Row, 1983): 230-231.]

Eisenhower Signs Executive Order Banning Gays from Federal Employment: 1953. By the time Dwight D. Eisenhower began his first term as president, an anti-gay witch hunt had been going on steadily for three years. When Undersecretary of State John Peurifoy, testifying before the US Senate Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Department, revealed that 91 employees “in the shady category” had resigned since 1947 (see Feb 28). Republican Senators took that admission to allege that President Harry Truman’s administration’s employment of “sexual deviants with police records” was recklessly endangering the country’s national security. The Republican Party’s national chairman sent a warning to 7,000 party members that, “Perhaps as dangerous as the actual Communists are the sexual perverts who have infiltrated our government in recent years.” (See Apr 18).

So when Eisenhower took office, he was keen to demonstrate that he wouldn’t be soft on the pansies. Three months after taking office, he signed Executive Order 10450 mandating that all federal employees who were determined to be guilty of “sexual perversion,” among other offenses, be fired. As The Los Angeles Time described it, the “tough new loyalty-security program (is) designed to rid the government of homosexuals, alcoholics and ‘blabbermouths,’ as well as employees deemed subversive and disloyal. The Executive Order deemed all of those categories “security risks,” regardless of whether they were actually disloyal or not. It didn’t matter how low or innocuous their position was; their mere presence in a government office was deemed a threat. ONE magazine, the first national gay magazine in the U.S., worried about the order’s far-reaching consequences:

Every item in the new standards can be used to hound and harry not only every homosexual in government and in basic industry, but all his friends, acquaintances, and associates, be they homosexual, homosexually inclined, bi-sexual, or heterosexual. Further, every name breathed as fact or as rumor, whether they be National Security employees or not, goes into the National Security files for cross-referencing to Armed Services Files and the local records of the Communities in which they live, towards another day of total mobilization, or a National Registration Act, whichever is first.

For the homosexual, to be loyal is not enough. The homosexual is required to be 100% anti-homosexual as well. He must agree, by taking a loyalty oath, to subvert the Constitution of the United States (which is not his to subvert) and testify against himself. Then, as a homosexual, he must testify against his own decency and integrity thereby making possible acts of aggression against every person he has ever known. Then, having destroyed himself as a person not only to the community but to his own conscience, he is to be tossed aside as a basic security risk by one or all of the five standards of the Security Program.

The homosexual’s life is no longer a private matter to himself. It has become political by Presidential order.

More than 640 federal employees would lose their job because of allegations of homosexuality over the next year and a half. Unknown numbers of others resigned quietly. State and local governments and government contractors followed suit, tossing countless more innocent Americans out of their jobs.

Unintended consequences are funny things though. In 1957, a young astronomer by the name of Dr. Franklin Kameny was fired from the Army Map service because of his homosexuality (see Dec 20). After all of his court appeals were denied, he founded the Washington, D.C. Mattachine Society. In 1965, Kameny and Daughters of Billitis organizer Barbara Gittings (see Jul 31) organized demonstrations in front of the White House (see Apr 17, May 29), the Civil Service Commission (see Jun 26), Philadelphia’s Independence Hall (see Jul 4), and the Pentagon (see Jul 31), all to demand an end to the federal employment ban. This demand remained a key component of the whole gay rights movement from the 1950′s through the 1970′s.

The Civil Service ban on gays and lesbians would continue for the next two decades. In 1973, a federal judge ruled that a person’s sexual orientation alone had no bearing on an individual’s ability to perform his or her job, and it could not be the sole reason for termination from federal employment. But even with that ruling, the U.S. Civil Service Commission held out until 1975 before finally notifying Kameny that they had changed their policies and were now allowing gay people to work in federal jobs (see Jul 3).

[Additional source: Anonymous ("R. Noone") "You are a public enemy." ONE 1, no. 5 (May 1953): 5-7.]

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

Comments

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GarySFBCN
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

I’m waiting for your promotion of a petition to support Donald Sterling’s right to be a racist.

Let’s see: Team owner makes bigoted statements in a private conversation and the response to the justified outrage is good.

CEO supports bigotry by donating money to prop 8 and bigoted candidates and the response to the justified outrage is that it is a ‘witch-hunt’ by ‘the gays’.

Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. Bigotry is bigotry and any company or organization that has an owner, president or CEO – the face of that company or organization – who is a bigot should face harsh questions, a boycott or worse.

Boris Hirsi
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

And should Dwight Eisenhower be president and sign this law, you’d only call it “mere disagreement” and call all those who would dare to defend their rights “extremists”.

Because after all the rights of religious extremists, bigots and richm, proivileged anti-gay whote people trump those of gays.

Jim Burroway
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

You’re not going to see it. This point is about whether someone’s employment is dependent on actions they took that had nothing to do with their employment. You’re talking about an owner.

GarySFBCN
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

@Jim, don’t cut yourself spitting those hairs.

The ‘point’ is that bigotry should NEVER be tolerated, PERIOD.

Jim Burroway
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

Gary, that very important distinction has always been the clarifying point for me from the very beginning, from the very first post I wrote on the subject. It’s you that’s being overly indiscriminate.

Jim Burroway
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

Boris, you’ve jumped the shark a long time ago. You’re not even pretending to act like you’ve read a single word we’ve written.

Boris Hirsi
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

I have read letter you signed.

Jim Burroway
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

Then maybe someday you’ll demonstrate your reading comprehension by actually discussing what the letter actually said.

Boris Hirsi
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

“As a viewpoint, opposition to racial integration is not a punishable offense. It can be expressed hatefully, but it can also be expressed respectfully. We strongly believe that opposition to racial integration is wrong, but the consequence of holding a wrong opinion should not be the loss of a job. Inflicting such consequences on others is sadly ironic in light of our movement’s hard-won victory over a social order in which black people were fired, harassed, and socially marginalized for holding unorthodox opinions.”

“As a viewpoint, opposition to Jews is not a punishable offense. It can be expressed hatefully, but it can also be expressed respectfully. We strongly believe that opposition to Jews is wrong, but the consequence of holding a wrong opinion should not be the loss of a job. Inflicting such consequences on others is sadly ironic in light of our movement’s hard-won victory over a social order in which Jewish were fired, harassed, and socially marginalized for holding unorthodox opinions.”

I read you alright.

I most respectfully declare that you should not be allowed to marry and that all legal protections should be stripped from your relationship. With like total respect.

Jim Burroway
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

President Obama: “When ignorant folks wanna advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let ‘em talk.”

http://youtu.be/6Io3C0ajtO4

window
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

You’re not going to see it. This point is about whether someone’s employment is dependent on actions they took that had nothing to do with their employment. You’re talking about an owner.

Jim, I think you are really stretching here. “Nothing to do with their employment” – OK, then how about “everything to do with their LIVES”? (I’m speaking of Eich/Prop 8 of course.)

Free market forces — not law — are almost certainly going to lead Sterling to leave his current position. The same occurred with Eich. I don’t see the difference, morally or otherwise.

GarySFBCN
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

I guess we never should have boycotted South Africa – we should have just let them demonstrate their continued “ignorance” with Apartheid.

See how that works?

Obama is the POTUS and he is in foreign country. He didn’t say that nothing should be done.

And if Sterling is forced to sell or otherwise penalized, Obama will say that it was the right thing under the circumstances.

You keep digging a bigger hole for yourself, and, in the process, you are becoming ridiculously irrelevant.

Go ahead, find and highlight a minor problem with something I wrote, in an attempt to validate your opinion.

You are wrong.

patrick
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

Jim, what about the events surrounding Trent Lott, who lost his Speaker role for his admiration of Jesse Helms. All he did was honestly praise another senator. Yet it cost him his job.

jimmy
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

It is very sad that the bloggers here truly do not understand the pernicious effects of homophobia. How many of our young people have to commit suicide before you might acknowledge that homophobia is as destructive as racism? I can understand that sheltered or uninformed straight people might not get it, but I am dumbfounded that people who have reported on the sissy boy experiments and Uganda and the harm caused by declarative therapy can be so dense and so eager to run to the defensive of our enemies.

Eric Payne
April 27th, 2014 | LINK

Sigh…

Ken Mehlman made a career of putting the civil rights of the gay population up for a vote — but his impetus was to make our civil rights a GOP campaign issue. After he retires from public service — surprise! Mehlman’s gay, and now (after 37 states follow his lead to either state DOMAs or state constitutional amendments barring marriage equality) he’s awfully sorry for the mess he helped create.

He lives in a state where marriage equality has become law. He signed the petition.

Andrew Sullivan is now an “independent” after touting the GOP conservative line for decades… even now, when asked, he’ll call himself a conservative independent. An emigre from Great Britain, Sullivan is married to a native-born American, in a state where marriage equality is the law.

He signed the petition; Sullivan, before any petition was ever written, was saying many of the same things the petition, in its final form says, but he was saying them on Bill Maher’s Real Time the same evening news of Eich’s resignation was announced.

The writers/editors of Box Turtle Bulletin signed the petition and offer in defense of their support the belief a person’s political belief and statements (and here, I paraphrase; please let me know if I’ve misinterpreted) should not endanger their employment.

If it were that simple, that’s a belief in which I heartily concur.

But it’s not “that simple.” Eich did not just voice a political belief; he helped finance a political campaign that, once put into place by a successful ballot initiative, removed the civil rights of a group of persons, based solely on being a member of that group.

Another internet company brought Eich’s past to light; OKCupid, a diverse, inclusive company,urged its own members to stop using the Mozilla browser. Other sites soon became “Mozilla unfriendly,” while, simultaneously, independent users began uninstalling their Mozilla browsers. And while that was going on, individual employees, literally at ALL levels in the Mozilla hierarchy quit their jobs, or went public with their own disappointment at the choice of Eich as Mozilla’s new CEO.

Not to be outdone, some portions of the conservative Right also called for a boycot, and a removal of, Mozilla’s browser… but they were doing so as a threat to Mozilla — capitulation to the militant homosexuals by Mozilla would be the clarion call to action in that boycott.

I’m sure Mozilla, in the midst of all this, consulted the accountants and the lawyers. It’s not even been revealed if Mozilla asked for Eich’s resignation, or if he simply said “screw it”, and quit.

The bottom line is someone, either Eich or Mozilla board members, realized to have the situation drag on would only hinder a company fighting hard to maintain its 2nd place in the browser wars; millions of dollars could, potentially, be at risk.

So, Eich quit. Those who wanted to gloat, gloated. Those who wanted to be seen as a victim screamed they’d been victimized.

I just want to aske the BTB crew: do you really not see the “other side” of what your petition means, and what it can appear to be saying about any gay person that signed it?

CPT_Doom
April 28th, 2014 | LINK

“You’re not going to see it. This point is about whether someone’s employment is dependent on actions they took that had nothing to do with their employment. You’re talking about an owner.”

What, exactly, does an argument with one’s mistress have to do with one’s employment? Mr. Sterling, from what I’ve heard of his tirade on the news, did not denounce the employment of African-Americans, he doesn’t appear to have promoted discrimination against African-Americans on his team (his head coach is black, after all), he simply didn’t want his girlfriend to associate with them publicly (although he was fine if she screwed them, what a peach of man he is). And as an owner, how much day-to-day control of the team does Sterling even have? Typically GMs and coaches are responsible for the team’s operations and success, as Doc Rivers himself pointed out in his post-game interview.

I’m afraid the “employment” distinction will not hold. Mr. Sterling, in his private life, voiced views that most Americans find abhorrent. They do not appear to have anything to do with his management of his company (although his employees are now up in arms, as their protest last night showed). Mr. Eich, in his private life, contributed money to a bigoted campaign to strip innocent citizens of their rights. Subsequently, Mr. Eich refused to denounce the bigoted arguments used to promote the anti-gay amendment, stances that a majority of his industry found abhorrent.

The distinction between them is that it is still fine with a lot of this country to voice anti-gay hate, but not racist beliefs. Hell, even Faux News dropped their support of the traitor rancher out in Wyoming when it turns out he was racist. It’s fine with them to take up arms against your government and steal from taxpayers for decades, but even the far right realize being openly racist is just not political viable any more in this country. Someday anti-gay hate will have the same effect.

Mawm
April 28th, 2014 | LINK

Jim Burroway said,”
You’re not going to see it. This point is about whether someone’s employment is dependent on actions they took that had nothing to do with their employment. You’re talking about an owner.”

Wow, you won’t even admit when you are wrong. Are you telling me if Sterling had been the general manager and not the owner, there would be a difference? You seem to now be arguing that the owner should step down, but the general manager shouldn’t be fired. Can you imagine a general manager being kept on in the AA dominated NBA after they had made the same comments?

Just admit that you suffer from internalized Homophobia. Apologize to the community and get on with things.
First rule of holes?

Mawm
April 28th, 2014 | LINK

Jim Burroway said,”
President Obama: “When ignorant folks wanna advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let ‘em talk.””

But you failed to include this,”
[The NBA has] an awful lot of African American players, it’s steeped in African American culture. And I suspect that the NBA is going to be deeply concerned in resolving this.”

What do you think he meant by, “resolving this”? Do you think he meant the NBA should write an open letter to African-Americans telling them to get over themselves.

Stop digging when you are in a hole.

Jim Burroway
April 28th, 2014 | LINK

Yes, Mawm, you got me there. That was perhaps the dumbest answer I could have given. Really, really dumb.

By way of explanation (and not an excuse), I blurted out that answer after having spent part of the morning discussing some finer points of employment law with someone else via email. Later, when I saw your comment, that was still on my mind. I was on the go running errands, saw it on my phone, answered it hastily, and went on about my business.

And in the process, I completely and totally blew it. That’s what you get for not thinking.

The correct answer lies in what I wrote back when I first posted on the subject:

Mozilla’s former CEO, Brendan Eich got what was coming to him this week when it was revealed that he had exercised his First Amendment right to support Prop 8 to the tune of $1,000 six years ago….

But at a time when we are demanding passage of the Employment Non-Discrmination Act so that companies can’t just up and fire LGBT employees because they don’t agree with them — as they can now in about two-thirds of our states — we need to think very long and hard about whether we should demand someone be removed from his job for exercising his constitutional rights as part of the cornerstone of our democracy: a free and fair election.

When I wrote that nearly a month ago, I wasn’t speaking necessarily of his First Amendment right broadly — although I’m not quite prepared to back away from that yet, I also concede that this thought needs to be developed in more detail, because Freedom to Marry, Freedom to Dissent does speak more broadly of First Amendment freedoms.

But I was speaking very specifically of his participation in the electoral process in California which all U.S. citizens in California are entitled to participate without specific repercussions to their status as an employee. That doesn’t in any way mean that they are exempt from criticism, whether the criticism is polite or rude. And it doesn’t mean that we have to “respect” their opinion when their opinion is not worthy of respect — if by respect you mean that you would have to consider their opinion just as valid or correct as yours. I only respect that people have a right to hold any opinion they have, even opinions which themseves are utterly unworthy of respect. A broader definition of “respect,” which would say that all opinions are equally valued, is one I explicitely reject here, and which I implicitly rejected a month ago:

But at the core of it all, to me, is that what we have been fighting for for all of these decades is the expansion of freedoms, and not merely the displacement of freedoms from one advantaged group to another. And even a bigot is entitled to all of the same freedoms that I am demanding for myself. Even if he is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

(Using the word “bigot” is hardly a term of respect.)

Now getting back to the specific example of Sterling as owner of the Clippers. There are now reports emerging that his problems are more than just a recorded comment of a private conversation in which someone who sounds like him made racist comments. It’s now emerging that his own employment practices were tainted by his racist opinions. Now I don’t know how one goes about firing an owner, but I would imagine that as a condition of being allowed to own an NBA team, he signed contracts with the league which would make him liable to league sanctions for his statements. If that is the case, he voluntarily agreed to abide by those rules and would be rightly subject to those sanctions. I lived in Cincinnati when the anti-Semetic car dealer Marge Schott owned the Reds. I would expect that all of the major leagues learned a valuable lesson from that.

But there is a larger distinguishing difference. Sterling isn’t being criticized because of his participation in “the cornerstone of our democracy: a free and fair election,” as I said earlier. He was shooting his mouth off, and now there are indications that he did that more than once, sometimes in front of reporters (and why didn’t they report on that?), and, more to the point, that his racist beliefs impacted his employment practices.

In contrast, Eich promised to uphold Mozilla’s broadly inclusive policies “and the spirit that underlies them,” which I read to extend beyond the letter of the policies. He also promised to discuss and learn about what does and what doesn’t make Mozilla a welcoming place to work for LGBT employees and allies.

I don’t see Sterling rushing to do any of those things. And conversely, I have yet to see any indication that Eich has come even closely to behaving like the buffoon that Sterling is, either publicly in his interactions with others, or professionally.

But this is an important point that I want to re-iterate again. Eich’s “crime,” such as it is, was in giving a donation to a political campaign which was sanctioned, regulated and conducted by the state of California in connection with a ballot initiative. I agree that having our rights subject to the ballot box is a black mark on our political system, but it is nevertheless a sad part of that political system we have today. And we will likely use that same political process ourselves as we begin the process of adding more ballot initiatives to roll back marriage bans in the majority of the states that have them (unless the Supreme Court gets to it first, and that’s still a very uncertain prospect).

And so the question is this: does one’s political beliefs as expressed in their support for a political campaign, and as expressed solely in a political campaign — and that is what California’s Prop 8 was, as much as we wish it wasn’t — does one’s political beliefs disqualify one for a job in the private sector where one’s political beliefs are not germane to the job?

And if that answer is yes, then would you agree than an employer should have the right to fire you because you supported a particular political cause during an election?

Adam
April 28th, 2014 | LINK

Jim,

I think you’re going to get a lot of pushback on the idea that Prop 8 was “solely a political campaign.” You may have, but I haven’t forgotten the TV advertisements, mailers, and radio spots that falsely portrayed our community in vile and cruel ways. I would also note that Eich’s donation came just a week before the election, when those ads were at their highest frequency and at their most virulent.

I also think it’s safe to say that most LGBTQ people–and other minorities for that matter–wholly reject the notion that fundamental rights should be subject to plebiscite. It is in this way that Prop 8 was not a mere political campaign.

And finally, you insist on conflating the idea of political beliefs with concrete action. At this point I can only believe you accept the notion that money is speech, and that purchasing a $1,000 megaphone for a cruel and harmful Proposition is the same as merely having an opinion. You can obviously persist in this idea, but it reinforces inequality and is profoundly antidemocratic in its privilege of the rich over the rest.

PS: You quote yourself above talking about ENDA as protecting employees from firing because their employers “don’t agree with them.” ENDA would protect employees from firing because of their sexual or gender *identity.* Most employers are free to fire their employees with whom they do not agree.

JohnInTheBayArea
April 28th, 2014 | LINK

Eich wasn’t fired. He resigned (under pressure to be sure).

I didn’t call for his firing or resignation. Many others did not call for his firing or resignation. Many did decide that they wanted nothing to do with him (including Board Members and outside contributors to Mozilla). Many people decided that if he was the CEO of Mozilla, they wouldn’t use the product

I think that people have the right not to have anything to do with Eich. I think that they have the right to give up their Board seat, resign from the company or stop using the company’s product, based on the actions of the company’s CEO (I also think this applies to basketball teams). I think they have the right to publicly state why they are taking these actions.

People took these very actions. The pressure built up and he resigned.

What do you expect these people to do under the circumstances? Do you expect them to stay and lend support to someone that they don’t want to be associated with?

Eich resigned from his job and this blog has felt so sorry for him. What about the Board Members who resigned? Did they really want to resign, or did they feel forced to, because of the selection of Eich?

I think that while this blog has shown a great deal of concern for Eich, it has almost ignored the situation of others involved in this mess who also gave up their jobs.

I have a great deal of respect for the writers of this blog and the work that you have done. It has taken me a while to put into words my total disconnect with your take on this case.

I don’t mean this post as an attack. I just think that a huge part of the equation has been ignored.

Mawm
April 29th, 2014 | LINK

“And so the question is this: does one’s political beliefs as expressed in their support for a political campaign, and as expressed solely in a political campaign — and that is what California’s Prop 8 was, as much as we wish it wasn’t — does one’s political beliefs disqualify one for a job in the private sector where one’s political beliefs are not germane to the job?

And if that answer is yes, then would you agree than an employer should have the right to fire you because you supported a particular political cause during an election?”

First, you are attempting to setup your own straw-man argument which deviates from the actual point that I think a lot of people are trying to get you to see. The issue at hand is the open letter that a few of you signed which tried to shame the lgbt community over the Eich matter. My first reaction to the letter was anger, because the protest over Eich was not something that originated out of our community but out of the Mozilla community itself. I also thought the argument was weak, because it relied on Eich’s first amendment rights, but ignored the first amendment rights of the Mozilla community to voice their displeasure about being led by someone who donated to the Prop 8 campaign. Who are you to question their reservations? So what if Eich assured everyone that he would not let his personal feelings interfere with his work. A lot of the Mozilla community didn’t want to accept his “Trust me.”
So now enter Sterling, and the reaction to his statements was swift and almost universal. Any facts that are emerging now are irrelevant, since the condemnation came right after the statements were made public and what we are getting at is the different treatment between LGBT issues and race issues and that was evident even before people started publicly making statements about his housing practices.

Let’s play a mental game. Imagine Eich had donated to the KKK, instead of Prop 8 and it went public causing many to call for Eich’s promotion to CEO to be rescinded. Can you imagine for one second that the NAACP would tell Black people to get over themselves and side with the right-wing in calling Black activists “Gestapo.” If you say you can, then you are completely intellectually dishonest.

Things are moving very quickly in the LGBT civil rights space, so it may be hard for some to keep up. However, I think looking at the history of the AA civil rights struggle gives clues. I remember when the Black community would call out racism when it saw it, and the media did not do what it does today. It would pull a version of what you guys did in your letter. The media would try to paint the NAACP or Al Sharpton as too sensitive, as bullies, as the PC police. They would make a lot of statements about people’s first amendment rights and make metaphors about Nazis. Now what happens when you say something racist? You don’t just go to corner for time-out, you go away for good. There are still prominent racists (e.g. the GOP). However, now they have to talk in code, and if they get caught they get marginalized by the rest of society. I hope the same thing happens for the LGBT community, that open homophobia becomes as anathema to polite society as racism is. It is getting there, and faster than I thought it would, but I wouldn’t stand in the way of it if I were you, because you will get run over.

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