Sunday, December 28, 2014

Keystone XL boosters playing LGBTs for suckers on YouTube

Dr. Michaelson
You may not have heard of, but Dr. Jay Michaelson has, and in the Daily Beast he dismantles and excoriates the website's cheap, crude and cynical message, brought to you by TransCanada's apologists (and, perhaps, proxies.)
     The idea, apparently, is to hoodwink LGBTs by guilting them into rendering tangible gratitude, i.e., pipeline support, as a thank you for Canadian gay civil rights that TransCanada never lifted a corporate finger to advance.
     Keystone XL is a complete con. It's an export pipeline through, not to, the United States and TransCanada's own internal memos promise that it will raise gas prices throughout the Midwest.
     The record of the U.S./Canadian oil industry vis-a-vis gay civil rights is so bad that the world's biggest oil company, ExxonMobil, decided to blatantly lie about its practices to the Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. gay civil rights organization, which had this to say about the petroleum Goliath last June:
     ExxonMobil’s shareholders have voted 17 times to kill enumerated non-discrimination protections for ExxonMobil’s LGBT personnel—the most recent occasion was just last month. In fact when Exxon merged with Mobil in 1999, the newly formed company rescinded domestic partner benefits that had previously been offered to Mobil’s gay and lesbian employees. This unprecedented and unmatched record of corporate discrimination has earned ExxonMobil the only negative score in the 12 year history of HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.
Above: Brokeback Mountain's Alberta vs. TransCanada's
Alberta. Do you really need to be told which is which?
But back to Michaelson busts it as: project of a much larger organization,—and here is where things get really interesting. It turns out that EthicalOil, which refuses to divulge its funders, is linked to a network of Conservative party leaders, petrodollars, and right-wing media outlets.
Michaelson continues:
     ...this notion of a global gay identity is easily manipulated. Opechatesgays is one example. So are the cynical statements of American conservatives condemning Iran’s appalling human rights record when it comes to LGBT people. The same people opposing employment protections for gays here at home suddenly wave the rainbow flag when it comes to criticizing Iran. is also an example of “pinkwashing”: the attempt to use a country’s treatment of LGBT people as propaganda. The most controversial case of pinkwashing is that of Israel, which has an excellent record on LGBT equality, and which has trumpeted that record to boast that it is an advanced, liberal democracy, in contrast to Palestine and the rest of the Arab world. Not all Israeli gay propaganda is pinkwashing—a lot of it is good, old-fashioned PR to attract gay tourist dollars to Tel Aviv. But some of it—a photo circulated of two male Israeli soldiers holding hands, and captioned “It’s Pride Month. Did you know the IDF treats all of its soldiers equally?”—definitely is

     The stupidity of the opechatesgays website matches the stupidity of its message. My favorite fail? That gays (and other liberals) should choose Canadian oil because Canada “has no laws prohibiting LGBT lifestyle.”
      Honey, your conservative underwear is showing. “Lifestyle” is a right-wing code word. My sexual orientation is not a “lifestyle.” Nor is someone’s gender identity. They are traits. There is no such thing as a gay lifestyle, except in right-wing propaganda to oppose LGBT equality.
Michaelson has documented TransCanada's cynism in far greater detail than our excerpts show. You really owe it to yourself to read his piece in its entirety over at The Daily Beast.

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