Wednesday, September 15, 2010

HRC: 1-Year After Hate Crime Law Signed

(Last month, with hate violence spiking in Queer Mecca, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Goddess bless 'em, launched a poster campaign. Image credit: SPI.)

It's been almost one full year since the U.S. Congress passed and President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Law, representing a bright feather in the cap of the Human Rights Campaign, the Democratic gay org that had pushed for the law for over a decade.

HRC was greatly aided and abetted in pursuit of the legislation with Matthew Shepard Inc, which includes his family, the org in his name, plays, movies, concerts, merchandise, books and audio CDs, and every other profit-making enterprise, and there are many, linked to Shepard's death.

The end of October will mark one-year since Obama put his signature on the bill, and I was reading some history, provided last year by Law Dork blogger Chris Geidner:

Will the legacy be that with its passage, the White House and Congress passed a watershed moment in LGBT equality to be followed in short order by action on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; the elimination of Don't Ask, Don't Tell from our Armed Forces; and significant movement toward the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act?

As Elizabeth Birch, the former head of the Human Rights Campaign, said at the [October 28, 2009, signing-day] reception, "This was the moment that was required in order to have new laws follow."

Or, will this be, like so often in legislative struggles, the single trinket doled out to a loyal constituency group until the next time the group demands action?

Expressing gratefulness for today's signing, Judy Shepard, attending the signing ceremony, said that today meant "everything" to her and her family.

Where to start? The legacy of the hate crimes law signing didn't usher in urgency on ENDA or DADT in Congress, Birch's wacky doctrine has not happened, and the only people who really seem to have benefited from the law are those who work in Matthew Shepard Inc or donate to it.

Who else wrote something over the 2009 signing, worth looking at again? Blogger Andrew Sullivan said:

I predict that this congress will be up for re-election with this as the single legislative achievement for gay equality. Which is how HRC lives for another fundraising cycle. And how they get their Democratic paymasters off the hook from the community.

But we'll see, won't we? Once again, I'd dearly love to be proven wrong. So make a fool of me. Please.

Just between us gays, I would love to see HRC make a laughing stock of Andrew, and all the other critics who also aren't impress with HRC or the Democrats. I may be 420 medicated, but I ain't dumb enough to think in the weeks leading up to the November midterm elections that fag love is gonna break out in DC.

Speaking of hate crimes, have you heard the latest from San Francisco, almost one-year after we got the federal law? Assaults of all sorts have gone up, up, up, to such a degree the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have in recent weeks lead marches and marketing campaigns to increase security and safety for fags in the Castro. Read this excellent piece in the Bay Times, for details on rising hate crimes here.

Hey HRC and gay community, how's that hate crime thing working for you?

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