Saturday Morning Open Thread: For the Win

Yeah, I don’t pretend to understand soccer, but I’m enjoying this. Per the Washington Post:

Rapinoe’s contributions punctuated a glorious night for women’s soccer, which is trying to make gains in a male-dominated sport. The United States and France were the top two favorites in the tournament, but the draw had placed them in the same bracket for a likely meeting in the quarterfinals.

“I hope this will help this women’s game go further and move into that next level,” said French Coach Corinne Diacre, whose third-ranked team has lost in the quarterfinals in each of the past five major world tournaments…

As kickoff neared, streets leading to the venue filled with fans singing and marching with flags and traditional scarves. Among the chants: “Equal pay!” — a reference to the U.S. players’ efforts for gender equality within the U.S. Soccer Federation…


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Late Night Clown Show Open Thread: STR8 PRYDE!!!

That’s not a numeral in the title, it’s an infinity symbol, representing the boundless stupidity / cupidity of these Very Normal Dudes. Our self-styled Hub of the Universe offers a rare opportunity for these “jokers”, since there are significant power blocs of both quasi-intellectual ‘independent thinkers’ and troglodyte pre-VaticanII Catholic revanchists, who occasionally manage to overcome their natural antipathy in the hopes of putting “those people” (everyone not a member of their musty little hate groups) in our place. Believe me, eyes are being rolled. Per the Boston Globe:

A small group of organizers say they’re gearing up to host what they’ve dubbed the “Straight Pride Parade” through Boston this summer, a claim that has set off a visceral reaction nationwide and drawn criticism on social media from the likes of Chris Evans and many others as Pride Month gets underway.

But as reports made the rounds on social media Tuesday, landing the “Straight Pride Parade” among the top trends on Twitter, the city clarified that the proposal isn’t exactly set in stone…

According to the screenshot of the Facebook announcement, the so-called Straight Pride Parade would tentatively take place on Aug. 31 — a prime move-in day for returning students, mind you — and follow the same route of the city’s annual LGBTQ Pride Parade that’s happening in Boston this weekend…

One of the lead organizers pushing for the parade is Mark Sahady. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the same person from the controversial Resist Marxism group, which hosted the Rally for the Republic on Boston Common in 2017 that attracted swarms of counterprotesters.

Sahady posted last week on Facebook that it looks like the proposed parade “will happen,” but his announcement didn’t get much traction on social media until Tuesday.

[Anybody surprised that a NYTimes reporter was the first to fall for this stunt?]

A group called Super Happy Fun America — of which Sahady is apparently the vice president — is taking ownership of the parade plans…
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Surprise! Mike Pompeo’s “Human Rights” Agenda Applies To Only Some Humans

Just Security obtained a copy of Mike Pompeo’s human rights plan, based on what he called “natural law.”

Some of us are old enough to remember when that phrase was used mostly by the Catholic Church to justify their views on marriage and procreation. But apparently the evangelicals have put their own gloss on it so that it excludes the usual suspects – gays, transgender people, and other miscreants – from human rights.

So that is what Pompeo would inflict on us and the world. Trump has already carried out parts of it in his actions against transgender people. I’m not sure that brown families seeking refuge are explicitly listed as those not qualified for human rights, but the administration has sure been acting that way.

Just Security also analyzes where this “natural law” theory came from. It seems to come primarily from several individuals’ needs to demonize teh gays. And, of course, it comes from God or human nature or whatever you need to make your argument unanswerable.

As a 2017 Heritage Foundation report framed the issue: “Civil and political rights are products of government; natural rights are not.”

It’s disturbing that so many in the government belong to extremist sects and are pushing those extremist beliefs. I’d like to see a reporter pin down Pompeo on what he believes about the Rapture. Nobody who believes that should be anywhere near the control of nuclear weapons.

 

 








Pence Administration Cracks Down on Nefarious LGBT Plot to Have Children

As you are no doubt aware, same-sex couples cannot conceive children the same way opposite-sex couples can. While many choose to adopt, others choose to make what my husband and I call Science Babies. For male* couples, this usually involves one partner’s sperm and a surrogate; for female* couples, one provides the egg (and often womb), and then there is a sperm donor.

In a small but nasty administrative decision, the Pence wing of the administration has combined forces with the Trump wing to begin challenging birthright citizenship for gay couples who have Science Babies overseas:

Last summer, the State Department issued new rules unilaterally changing the department’s interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a 1952 law that, along with the 14th Amendment, codifies eligibility for U.S. birthright citizenship.

“The U.S. Department of State interprets the INA to mean that a child born abroad must be biologically related to a U.S. citizen parent,” the State Department’s website says. “Even if local law recognizes a surrogacy agreement and finds that U.S. parents are the legal parents of a child conceived and born abroad… if the child does not have a biological connection to a U.S. citizen parent, the child will not be a U.S. citizen at birth.”

Under the policy[…] children born via gestational surrogacy and other forms of assisted reproductive technology (ART) are considered to be born “out of wedlock,” in the State Department’s words—even if their parents, like Roee and Adiel, are legally married.

I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that these new rules only seem to apply to children born to same-sex couples.

For parents of non-traditional families, the policy change has been a disaster, leaving them to navigate the labyrinthine immigration legal system with little guidance from the State Department and, at the moment, little recourse for appeal. Children of U.S. citizens are put at risk of deportation or even statelessness—despite no textual legal basis for the policy.

[…]“Assumption of parentage,” as the State Department calls it, now seems to LGBT parents to be reserved solely for heterosexual married couples.

Indeed, friends of ours recently had a Science Baby who was born in Thailand, and they had to jump through a number of hoops, including several genetic tests, to get the kid a passport. The whole article shows just how much of a mess the administrative state is for same-sex couples right now. The pretzels we had to twist ourselves into pre-Obergefell and Windsor have ramifications that will echo through our lives until this is cleaned up by actual laws. Which will not happen any time soon. In the meantime, administrations which decide that they can reinterpret the law to their liking, since nobody is likely to stop them, will do so.

What’s most galling for me is that this is not a large number of people. Many of these people are servicemembers. There is no legitimate reason to do this. I can’t even imagine what they’ll cook up in court to make it seem like there is. In the Trump era, they don’t even have the goddamn courtesy to give us a pretext any more.

*Chromosomal sex








Guest Post: Transgender Day of Visibility

(This is a guest post by valued commenter Sister Golden Bear.)


As I mentioned in the comments, today is Transgender Day of Visibility, held every March 31, intended to honor and celebrate transgender and gender non-conforming people (GNC) — both those visible and those invisible.

It started a decade ago but only took off a few years ago, and is intended as a complement to the annual Nov. 20 Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memories of that year’s victims of anti-trans violence — usually always all trans women, the vast majority of them trans women of color, in particular Black trans women. For years, TDOR was the only national/international event for trans people, and while it is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this, it’s also, needless to say, more than a bit depressing. Hence TDOV, which focuses on the living.

It’s all too rare that trans/GNC people have chance to celebrate who we are, and it’s also a chance to express our defiance of attempts to eradicate us from public life (the Talibaptists have a literal five-point plan to do so, and under the Trump administration, and red state governments,  they’ve made significant progress on several fronts).

But perhaps the most important aspect is being visible. These days roughly 37 percent of Americans know someone who’s trans/GNC. Think you don’t know someone trans, well you actually probably do. There’s still an unfortunately-huge number of us who never leave the closet, and for those who do, there’s can often be a desire to fly under the radar, to blend in. For those in red states, this can be a matter of literal survival. But it’s also because — unlike coming out as LGB, which tells who people who you are — coming out as trans, invariably puts the focus on who you were. At least for a binary trans woman like me, i.e. I’m someone who prefers to be seen as a woman who’s trans. Read more