Friday, October 05, 2007

Barney Frank on Show Today
Update:audio of the interview

Congressman Barney Frank will come on today to talk about ENDA and the debacle (5:15 ET). He has been going back and forth in various online forums with Lambda Legal about whether ENDA has been weakened (for sexual orientation) in addition to having gender identity stripped. Jon Davidson of Lambda Legal will join me at 3:30 p.m. to discuss it, and then Barney Frank at 5:15 ET.

Yesterday Joe Solmonese of HRC came on the show. The audio should be posted on various sites, but I will try to get it up here or let you know where to get it.

In that interview I asked Joe to comment on some of the statements made by John Aravosis at Americablog, which often supports HRC, often defending the group against critics. I'll likely be writing more on this, but I just wanted to briefly address it here. John and I have been friends for a long time and he's done great work, so it really pained me to see the disturbing things he wrote in his support of removing transgendered people from ENDA. It's one thing to start a discussion about the pragmatism of a bill, or of civil rights legislation. It's another thing to claim that transgendered people are not part of the larger gay movement (particularly since "gay" used to mean everyone thirty years ago, including those who now call themselves "trans") and then make what many people will see as creepy, offensive remarks. Most of what John wrote along those lines was in his comments where he was aggressively posting, as when he said that transgendered people were keeping millions of gay people back, using gays and lesbians as "human shields." John has since toned down that kind of commentary, and is mostly now posting pieces by people who, for pragmatic reasons, think ENDA should go through as is. Several are people who've had the same positions on transgendered inclusion for years. John also suddenly has the support of some rather dubious characters, like Andrew Sullivan, but we won't even go there.

Anyway, I read Joe Solmonese the comments at the end of the interview and asked if he found them offensive and he agreed, also affirming that he and HRC believe transgendered people are part of the movement.

UPDATE: Audio of full Barney Frank interview is on Pam's site. Audio of full Joe Solmonese interview is on Page One Q.