Thursday, January 07, 2010

20 gender identities? - The Ramblings of Austin Ruse

In light of the New Jersey thing, I thought you all would enjoy this.

Did you know that there are 20 gender identities? A member of the religious right seems to think so.

Last week, I wrote a post about a group, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, cheering the fact that the United Nations General Assembly voted to delete the terms "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" from a proposed anti-discrimination document.

The head of the group, Austin Ruse, was quoted as saying:

What this body is trying to do is to elevate the homosexual agenda to a global right that governments are treaty-bound to accept. There was an attempt to have this reinterpretation officially accepted by the General Assembly, and it was defeated."

Naturally my post totally disagreed with that position.

Ruse took it upon himself to write me back. At first, he explained his position rather well. But he was less than forthcoming about why his group opposed the wording. After further questioning, Ruse demonstrates his ignorance about basic gender (his comments are in blue, mine are in red):

A year ago the Holy See and the Bush administration tried to get the General Assembly to endorse a statement condemning precisely the kind of violence against homosexuals that you cite. The effort was quashed by France and her allies in Europe? Why? Because these efforts are not really about stopping violence. They are about forcing a broad range of homosexual "rights" on traditional peoples using the least democratic venues possible.

Austin Ruse

Your statement is a wonderment. Just how do you "force" homosexual rights on "traditional peoples?" Austin, please get rid of the phraseology because you aren't speaking to the choir here. Why don't you be specific in your objections.

It is fairly detailed, but what happens is that UN human rights monitoring bodies re-write langauge from established human rights treaties. These human rights treaties were negotiated by sovereign states and ratified, largely, by democratically elected Parliaments. This new langauge is decided by individuals whose names no one knows without looking and voila there is a new human rights category that nobody knows about and nobody has agreed to. This new language is then adjudicated in national courts where they often find ideological friends This is profoundly anti-democratic and indeed is a kind of coercion. The language that was rejected by the GA was precisely as I describe. Last summer the human rights committee reinterpreted the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to include "gender identity and sexual orientation." Quick, name even one member of that committee! This new language was then placed in a UN GA resolution for the purposes of further banging the drum for a new "treaty norm." This effort this time was defeated. Even so, we expect to see court cases being heard on the committee's orginal reinterpretation.

But Austin, you didn't answer my question. You went through a lot of legalese and "harum," "harum," but did not defend your original point. How does one force "homosexual rights" on "traditional peoples?" You seem to be talking about the process here. But when you (were) originally quoted, you were talking about the fact that the process had to do with gays and lesbians? Is it the process that you disagree with or the fact that through the process, folks are seeking to protect lgbts. And if the latter is the case, you really need to defend defining "traditional peoples" as countries who would persecute and imprison lgbts.

When non-democratic bodies like unknown UN commmittees and courts make decisions like this and then impose them on the people, that is force. Should have made that clearer.Thought i did.

But you didn't make it clear.  . . .  in the One News Now article, you were all "how dare they try to elevate the homosexual agenda to a global right." Don't you think you aren't being honest?

Well, no. Because that is what they are trying to do. They are trying to bootstrap homosexual langauge out of a UNcommittee to a new global norm. Look up the Yogykarta Principles. It's all in there.

Now you are dodging by saying that I should read some third party document. And you still aren't clear. It is the process that you disagree with or the fact as you so put it that they are pushing protection for sexual orientation and gender identity?

You have hit on it. There are two questions. First, there is the question of how human rights law is made. We hold that backdooring it through unknown UN committees is wrong and anti-democratic.Second, is the thing itself. We object to there being special rights for "sexual orientation and gender identity" not the least of which that these are undefined terms that can be spun anyway courts want to. According to some, there are more than 20 gender identities. We believe this is crazy. So, yes, two questions. We oppose both.

There are not 20 gender identities. That doesn't even make sense. You are using propaganda created by groups such as the Traditional Values Coalition. What you are inferring (referring) to are paraphilias, not sexual orientations or gender identities.On that point, you are operating from ignorance. Secondly the ability to live your life without fear of persecution is not a special right and should never be viewed as such.

Well then, how many are there. Name them.

No you don't my friend. You made the charge about the 20 different gender identities. YOU name them.
What you were implying about is here is -
and they have nothing to do with gender identities.

I stand corrected. Now name the genders.

You keep talking about gender. Don't you mean sexual orientations? In that regard, you are still relying on inaccurate data. When you said "20 genders," I think you were referring to an inaccurate claim that there are 20 sexual orientations. You see some religious conservative organizations thought up that nonsense by linking paraphalias to sexual orientations and claiming that they are one and the same, which they aren't. So basically it comes down to the fact that you were trying to refer to a religious right talking point and got it mixed up rather badly.

I'm pretty sure he will write me back. For more updates, if any, check out the original post.

But isn't it sad when folks can't get their distortions right? According to Ruse's bio:

He has briefed members of the U.S. House and Senate on U.N. matters, as well as briefing White House and National Security Council staff. Ruse has also briefed senior government officials, journalists, Church and non-governmental leaders from around the world.

He has appeared on a number of national cable network programs discussing UN and Catholic issues, including news programs on CNN, CBS News, MSNBC, and Fox News.

Ruse has published in First Things, Washington Times, National Review Online, Weekly Standard, Human Events, Touchstone, as well as newspapers around the world.

But apparently he doesn't know the first thing about gender or sexual orientation. Am I the only one scratching my head over that?

Bookmark and Share

Where are the lgbt pundits? and other Thursday midday news briefs

Museveni To Drop Death Penalty, WaPo Says Bill Is Still “Ugly and Ignorant” - More build up against that awful anti-gay Ugandan bill.

Where Are The Gay And Lesbian Opinion Columnists/Pundits? - Amen! No matter how people talk about the "diversity of America," if the only thing I see on my television are heterosexual (and white) pundits talk about the state of affairs, then I refuse to believe any notions about diversity.

The Atwater-esque Evolution of Anti-Gay Bigotry (UPDATED) - An asskicking post!

EDA Study Shows 2008 CA Prop 8 Results Appear to Have Been Corrupted - Keep your eyes on this one. It could be big.

Bookmark and Share

Family Research Council exploiting Amanda Simpson's appointment to stop ENDA

On the heels of  President Obama naming Amanda Simpson as a Senior Technical Advisor to the Department of Commerce (making her the first transgender presidential appointee) and the controversy amongst ignorant people it has caused comes the news that the Family Research Council is trying to use her appointment to stop ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

I received this email from FRC:

Stop Obama's Crossdresser Protection Bill

Dear Alvin,

On New Year's Eve, when most Americans were waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square, the Obama Administration dropped another bombshell in its agenda to radicalize America by appointing its first openly "transgender" person to a high federal post. "Transgender" is an umbrella term for anyone who "expresses" a "gender identity" contrary to their biological sex at birth-in other words, men who claim to be (and dress as) women, and vice versa.

Mitchell Simpson, a man who had sex-change surgery and now calls himself a woman (named "Amanda"), was appointed as Senior Technical Advisor to the Commerce Department. Simpson announced that "as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds."

The day after Simpson began work, The New York Times reported that the main website advertising jobs with the federal government now says there will be no "discrimination" based on "gender identity"-even though Congress has never passed a law saying that.

This new policy applies only to the federal government. But there is a bill being considered in Congress, the so-called "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" (ENDA), which would require every employer in America to open every position to homosexuals (by making "sexual orientation" a protected category) and "transgenders" (by protecting "gender identity").

All American employers including Christian owned businesses and potentially Christian ministries would be affected.

"Gender identity disorder" is a recognized mental illness that should be treated-not affirmed and protected. And the right of employers to set "dress and grooming standards" for their employees should include the most basic standard of all-that people dress in a way appropriate for their biological sex.

Don't let Congress and President Obama force American employers to hire homosexuals, transsexuals, and cross-dressers.

Sign our petition to tell our elected leaders we oppose the so-called "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" (ENDA)


Tony Perkins

Despite my name added to it, Perkins' note is simply a form letter.  I wish it were an actual personal correspondence. That would have meant I could have emailed Perkins back personally with some choice words I haven't used in years.

Seriously, FRC's letter is ludicrous and gay-baiting (i.e. pink-baiting) at its worse. And it's par for the course in terms of how the religious right have reacted to Simpson's appointment:

"Is there going to be a transgender quota now in the Obama administration?" asked Peter LaBarbera, president of the anti-gay group Americans for Truth. "How far does this politics of gay and transgender activism go? Clearly this is an administration that is pandering to the gay lobby."
 "Simpson's nomination was forwarded through to President Obama by a gay activist group, making it appear that this appointment of a male-to-female 'transgender' activist to a high level Commerce Department position to be payback to his far-left base for their political support," a spokeswoman for Focus on the Family said in statement.

However,  it emphasizes something which the lgbt community needs to take to heart.

We know that the religious right will attack ENDA via ugly anti-transgender propaganda. They view ignorance about the transgender community as a weakness which they will try to exploit in an effort to kill protection for us all.

And bottom line - whatever ignorance or infighting we have going on needs to be stopped now.

We may view ourselves as passengers in different ships but when it comes to religious right propaganda and efforts to keep us from getting our rights, we are all in the same boat.

Related posts: 

Family Research Council head misrepresents credible information to hurt ENDA

Bathrooms, Church Exemptions, and Lies: Five ways the religious right misrepresents ENDA

Bookmark and Share