Wednesday, May 24, 2017

No Mr. Stanton - You are hopelessly confused!

Isn't this preferable to another picture of the smiling imbecile?
Glenn T. Stanton, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, attempts to isolate his employer from criticism by writing his anti-LGBT tirades for unrelated outlets. Wednesday, at The Federalist, Stanton offers: “The Human Rights Campaign Is A Major Hypocrite On Trans Bathroom Policies.” Like most Christian rightists, Stanton does not like HRC and he loathes the Corporate Equality Index. The animus comes shining through.

The subtitle of this confused polemic reads:
The LGBT spear-tip Human Rights Campaign didn’t include trans bathroom access as an essential right in its corporate index, and it never has.
Surely Mr. Stanton isn't concerned for the wellbeing of trans folks. I don't think that he believes that transgender people really exist.

Stanton finds it hard to accept the fact that corporations compete to be LGBT friendly. Stanton would be happier if American businesses discriminated. The problem that the CEI addressed — and continues to address — is workplace discrimination. The transparent objective is to encourage LGBT people, their families and allies to patronize businesses that provide equal employment opportunities for LGBT people and to discourage the patronage of discriminatory companies.

Mr. Stanton thinks that he is far more clever than he actually is:
Glenn T. Stanton
You’ve been asked to rate two major national retailers on their corporate gay friendliness: Target and Walmart. Regardless of your politics and ideology, play along in the spirit of the exercise. Which would you rate higher? Which should be told to try harder? There are fabulous prizes if you get it right, so think carefully.
[…]
Why did every one of you get such an easy question so wrong? Well, the folks at the Human Rights Campaign—the largest, best-funded, and most powerful gay lobby in the world—tell us why in their 2017 Corporate Equality Index. For the last 15 years, the Index has annually judged and reported on leading national and transnational companies, earning gold stars for their pro-LGBT corporate policies.
Before Stanton convinces anyone that HRC is a behemoth, it's most recently reported annual revenues were $36.4 million. Focus on the Family reported $86.5 million. While I am at it, ADF reported $48 million. HRC and other LGBT advocacy organizations are dwarfed by the amount of anti-LGBT money provided by Christendom. But I digress. Stanton clearly does not grasp (or chooses not to grasp) the fact that the CEI gauges workplace equality.

Stanton has even less success masking his innate bigotry (while getting the facts wrong):
Not surprising, Target got a two-thumbs-way-up rating from HRC. Of course they did: Big Red stuck its neck out at great financial and reputational cost to open up access to their lady’s bathrooms and changing rooms to any men who might want to enter.
Target has had the same policy in place for many years. There exists no evidence that this policy has had a “great financial and reputational cost.” Indeed, the company has reported first quarter results that exceeded expectations by 20%. Trans people use gender-appropriate facilities throughout retail America. That probably holds true at the very Christian Hobby Lobby stores.
How did Walmart do? Of course, they got gob-smacked for holding firm to essentially the same policy the state of North Carolina held last year. HRC, in this very report, strongly denounces the policy as “discriminatory” and “dangerous” to LGBT people. Despite that, however, Walmart received the same 100 percent gay-friendly rating as Target. Yes, that’s a head scratcher.
Stanton pretending to be confused (while actually being confused) to denigrate HRC and the CEI. Is his constituency really that stupid (and likewise confused)? With the caveat that I have been unable to get anyone at Walmart, either in the stores or at corporate, to explain their policy on the record; what I surmise is that Walmart has the same policy as Target. The simple fact is that Walmart doesn't employ bathroom police. Nor do other retailers. Trans folks have been using gender-appropriate facilities without incident for many years.

Later on and please observe that Stanton's HRC quote does not match his claim:
HRC didn’t include trans-bathroom access as an essential LGBT right in its corporate index and it never has. Never. The topic only received a brief mention in this year’s entire report and was listed as merely optional. This, given their report explicitly ensures us,
The HRC Foundation continually examines the criteria and gathers input to guide the future of the criteria [for our ratings]:
  1. The changing landscape of legal protections for LGBT employees
and their families, both federally and from state to state, and
  1. Emerging best practices to meet the needs of LGBT employees and
ensure that LGBT employees are treated fairly in the workplace.
Trans Bathroom Access Isn’t Yet Considered ‘Best Practice’

This year’s report, and any prior report, does not consider trans-bathroom access to be a “best practice” in treating LGBT employees fairly in the workplace. …
Well at least Stanton marginally concedes that the CEI measures workplace conditions. Moreover, a normal, thinking person would rightfully presume that companies that ensure equality for transgender employees (which HRC does measure) are not segregating their employee bathrooms.
What’s more, this year’s report has an entire section listing criteria changes and adjustments for coming years’ reports. No bathroom policy is among them. This, despite their boast that “the most significant progress in the [Corporate Equality Index 2017] has been the wide-scale adoption of transgender inclusive initiatives across businesses.”
Stanton is willfully stupid. Normal people are not obsessed with bathrooms. Access is obviously included with “transgender inclusive initiatives.” Stanton manages to be even more idiotic:
Seriously? What does it say to trans folks that the “fundamental right” and “personal dignity” of bathroom access we’ve heard so much about was not worthy of inclusion in their “wide-scale” criteria? Insult to injury. The trans community can only feel stiffed once again by HRC.
Ugh! Even Donald Trump has said that Caitlyn Jenner would use the women's bathroom at Trump Tower. Remotely sane, rational people (not to suggest that Trump is either) are not preoccupied with where transgender people can pee.

After fucking up all of the basics, Stanton attempts to conclude with a point of view:
What if it’s merely an honest oversight? This is certainly possible, given that these things being termed “fundamental human rights” for LGBT people are being created so quick and freely that it’s impossible to keep up with them. Access to transgender surgery has only been presented as a right in the past few years. Our time’s most forward thinking minds—eminent law experts such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama—only recently realized that gay marriage was an inherent constitutional right essential for human dignity. HRC seems yet to appreciate the same regarding bathrooms.

But who can really blame them? When an ideology is making things up as it goes along, it’s easy for anyone to get confused.
Stanton provides a case study in Logical Fallacies. The first of these is to beg the question (it is neither an oversight nor reckless exclusion). The last sentence of the first paragraph disregards evidence to the contrary. In between is the untenable position that civil rights do not change with improved civility. There was a time that I could not live in certain Miami Beach neighborhoods because I am Jewish. South Beach exists, in part, because of lawful anti-Semitism.

Finally, the quest for equality is not an ideology. “Ideology” defines the religion-based discrimination that fosters inequality. Stanton is an advocate of that bigoted ideology which makes Stanton a bigot. At least he admits that he is confused. Stanton is profoundly confused!

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