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Famous Queers Support Sheehan Over Pelosi

Posted by libhom Wednesday, October 29, 2008

There are so many reasons for queers to support Cindy Sheehan over Nancy Pelosi.

Nancy Pelosi always has been a vicious heterosexist bigot. In 1986, she queer baited openly gay Supervisor Harry Britt to get into Congress for the first time. The now defunct Waxman/Berman political machine asked her to run and threw their considerable political weight behind her because they were determined to make sure that San Francisco did not have an openly gay man representing the city in Congress.

Pelosi had no experience in elected office and no involvement in any kind of grassroots activism whatsoever. She did have a lot of experience as a Democratic Party fundraiser. Her view of politics primarily as fundraising explains part of why Pelosi has supported the Bush agenda as House Speaker.

Pelosi's heterosexist attacks on the queer community did not stop in the 1980's. They have intensified as House Speaker. Most queers know that she got gender identity taken out of the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Some queers know that taking gender identity out, in addition to being a cruel injustice to transgender queers, provides a legal loophole that corporate lawyers can use to deny justice to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Corporate lawyers can argue that the victim of sexual orientation was really discriminated against because of non normative gender behavior. Never mind that gender roles are so sweeping and self-contradictory that even heterosexuals can't help but violate them from time to time.

Very few queers know that Pelosi pushed through other loopholes in ENDA which would have made it even more difficult for queers to get justice from discrimination. Pelosi did this in a year when she knew that Bush would not sign ENDA. That heterosexist is determined, if not obsessed, with making sure any ENDA bill that would reach the desk of a Democratic president would be completely toothless.

Of course if sabotaging the content of the bill doesn't work, she can always try the approach that she has used with hate crimes laws to block ENDA: deception and manipulation. The hate crimes law that the House considered during Pelosi's reign was not the one you probably think it might be. It does not add sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, and disability to federal hate crimes law. It is a bill with a small amount of funding to localities to fight hate crimes. That would be a bit better than nothing, but would do absolutely nothing to protect queers who live in or travel to parts of the country which don't have queer inclusive hate crimes laws.

However, it wasn't just that Pelosi pushed the weakest bill that could be called a hate crimes act. She also used parliamentary maneuvering to make sure that never reached Bush's desk. Her strategy to screw us over was to attach it to a defense authorization bill when it was voted on by the House and the Senate and then to have hate crimes funding stripped out in Conference Committee. Now, do you see why queer activists should be concerned that Pelosi might use parliamentary games to scuttle ENDA?

Pelosi's approach to AIDS issues was always to do the politically acceptable minimum, despite the fact that so many of her constituents have died and continue to die of AIDS. She is so AIDSphobic and bought by the big drug companies that she actually refused to sponsor or even support the AIDS Cure Act, which would have created a Manhattan Project to cure AIDS. As House Speaker, Pelosi also has fought to keep funding for "abstinence only" scams instead of fighting to redirect the money to AIDS prevention programs.

Well-informed queers would never support Pelosi because of her history and present attacks against queers and People with AIDS. Yet, the queer press is largely a corporate press. So, most queers have no idea about Pelosi, past or present. Anyway, here is a press release from the Sheehan campaign announcing that four famous queers are supporting her against the de facto Republican, Nancy Pelosi. The 10/27/08 press release also goes into detail about Ms. Sheehan's positions on queer issues.

Celebrated LGBTQ Rights Activists and Entertainers Endorse Cindy Sheehan

Sheehan urges Californians to Vote No on Proposition 8 in November

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Cindy Sheehan, a candidate for Congress in California's 8th Congressional District race, announced she has received the endorsements of key figures in the LGBTQ community, including Rosie O'Donnell, Melissa & Tammy Etheridge, and Gore Vidal.

O'Donnell, the Etheridges and Vidal cited Sheehan's passionate commitment to equal protections and freedoms for the LGBT community as reasons why they are supporting Sheehan's candidacy. "Politics are about people," said Melissa Etheridge. "When citizens become empowered and realize that democracy is there to work for them, incredible change can happen. Cindy Sheehan knows that the old guard in Washington is fear-based and needs to change. She is walking her talk and running for office. Tammy
and I believe in her convictions and support her."

Sheehan's campaign has consistently advocated for the defeat of California's Proposition 8 among other policy issues that impact the LGBT community, including:

-- The immediate repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA);

-- The expansion of federal benefits and protections for civil unions;

-- Passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which ensures that no employee can be discriminated against because of sexual orientation or gender identity;

-- The elimination of the U.S. military's shameful "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The policy forces the brave men and women fighting for America to hide who they are;

-- And passage of the Matthew Shepard Act, which expands the federal hate crimes law to include acts of crime and violence motivated by the victim's sexual orientation and gender identity, whether real or perceived.

"I am truly honored to have the support and confidence of these brilliant community leaders," said Sheehan. "If elected, I will advocate tirelessly to expand freedoms for the LGBTQ community and against any measure that eliminates those freedoms."

Support Sheehan Now!




  1. Amy Branham Says:
  2. Dear GLH! Love your blog!

    I am the mother of a wonderful lesbian and also a long-time friend of Cindy. That's why your blog caught my eye. I wish I lived in California where I could vote for Cindy. She is a very kind, loving woman and what you see is exactly what you get from her!

    Go Cindy!

  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. Interesting post. Thanks for more background on Pelosi. I'm hearing more negative things about her lately.

    A win by Cindy would certainly stir things up!

  5. JollyRoger Says:
  6. "Nanny" Pelosi has been a huge disappointment, but not a surprising one. It is as you said; anyone who knows her record knew how she was going to be as the Speaker.

    I have a lot of thoughts on the House "leadership" that I'll be posting about after this election is over.

  7. I haven't been watching that race. Thanks for the heads-up!

  8. Christopher Says:
  9. She is so AIDSphobic and bought by the big drug companies that she actually refused to sponsor or even support the AIDS Cure Act...

    Whoa, dude, stop it.

    The Pelosi monster represents District 1 in San Francisco -- a city at the forefront of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and a city that has seen thousands of its best and brightest die from the pandemic.

    Pelosi is a dirty scumbag. A Bush enabler and rich bitch coward. She must be defeated -- period.

    I hope Sheehan brings her game and gets the job done. I worry the Pelosi monster will make a few speeches and rally the troops and she will be swept back into power.

    She's a disgrace.

  10. Craig Says:
  11. From the Campaign:

    Thank you for your support. Please help if you can.

    Check out the new TV Spot here:

    How you can help:
    Call 415-621-5027
    Get out on the Streets with us!

  12. Lew Scannon Says:
  13. I lost respect for Nancy Pelosi when she refused ti put impeachment of Bush ion the table. This merely reinforces it. She needs to be replaced by someone willing to represent the people who live in her district.



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