Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Miami Gives Early OK to Transgender Protection Law

Near my neck of the woods, and from the Miami Herald: 

Gay-rights activists prepared for a political skirmish Tuesday at Miami-Dade County Hall. They wore matching T-shirts, arrived early and filled several rows of the commission chambers in support of legislation expanding protections to transgender people.

But no one — in the audience or on the dais — showed up in opposition.

More: 

Commissioners gave unanimous — though preliminary — approval toamending the Miami-Dade’s human-rights ordinance to ban discrimination on the base of “gender identity” and “gender expression.” The law applies to public places and government services, as well as to employment and housing in the county as a whole.

“This update that we’re working on would ensure very basic protections for a very vulnerable part of our community that many take for granted,” said Charo Valero, field organizer for SAVE, Miami-Dade’s leading gay-rights organization that has been pushing for the legislative change.


 

 

September 24, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Riveting Essay on Male Identity by Charles Blow

In the NYT.  An exceprt:  

I was engulfed in an irrepressible rage. Everything in me was churning and pumping and boiling. All reason and restraint were lost to it. I was about to do something I wouldn’t be able to undo. Bullets and blood and death. I gave myself over to the idea.

The scene from the night when I was 7 years old kept replaying in my mind: waking up to him pushed up behind me, his arms locked around me, my underwear down around my thighs. The weight of the guilt and grieving that followed. The years of the bullying designed to keep me from telling — and the years of questioning my role in his betrayal.

I jumped in the car, grabbed the gun from under the car seat. It was a .22 with a long black barrel and a wooden grip, the gun my mother had insisted I take with me to college, “just in case.”

September 21, 2014 in LGBT, Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Philly Stumbles on Anti-Hate Law

The story here

Many people have called last week's brutal attack on two gay men in Center City a hate crime, but it can't be prosecuted as one under Pennsylvania law.

That gap in Pennsylvania's ethnic intimidation statute -- the law used to prosecute hate crimes -- has prompted calls for changes to the law and a federal hate-crime investigation.

Pennsylvania law defines ethnic-intimidation offenses as crimes motivated by "malicious intention toward the race, color, religion or national origin" of a person or group.

That means attacks based on sexual orientation aren't considered hate crimes.



September 19, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Broward County and Transgender Folk

From my neck of the woods, near Ft. Lauderdale, the Sun Sentinel reports

Broward County's tourism bureau has been marketing to the LGBT community since 1996, but results of a survey released Monday show extra effort is needed to attract more transgender travelers.

In August, some 700 members of the transgender community across 48 states participated in the online survey conducted by Community Marketing & Insights, a San Francisco-based specialty marketing and research firm.

Only 10 percent of participants perceived Fort Lauderdale to be very trans-friendly, the study revealed.

September 16, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cruz on U.S. v. Windsor

David Cruz at USC Law has uploaded "Baker v. Nelson: Flotsam in the Tidal Wave of Windsor's Wake" on SSRN.  The abstract reads: 

Part I of this Article sketches the virtually unbroken string of pro-marriage decisions in the lower federal and state courts since the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor (2013) to give a sense of the size and magnitude of this “tidal wave” of precedent. Next, Part II briefly explores some of the reasons that might help account for the flood of litigation and overwhelmingly positive outcomes. Part III tentatively suggests one way this flow of decisions in favor of marriage equality might influence the Supreme Court when it returns to the issue. It then at some length shows one particular aspect of Windsor’s wake: the way it has helped lower federal courts unanimously and properly conclude that doctrinal developments after the Supreme Court summarily rejected a same-sex couple’s constitutional claims to a right to marry in Baker v. Nelson (1972) have rendered that decision no longer dispositive. Although Baker would in no event prevent the Supreme Court itself from revisiting the constitutional issues, the ability to declare Baker doctrinally undermined has positive repercussions for the social equality and lived reality of same-sex couples across the country in the mean time. Finally, Part IV of the Article addresses some of the ways in which United States v. Windsor itself developed constitutional doctrine in ways that advance the cause of constitutional justice and same-sex couples’ rights to equal protection and to marry.

September 12, 2014 in LGBT, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Was Gay Teacher Fired by Catholic School for Getting Pregnant?

From WaPo: 

For nine years, Barbara Webb, 33, taught honors chemistry and coached sports at Marian High School, a private Roman Catholic girls’ school in Bloomfield Hills, a Detroit suburb.

When she told her employer she was pregnant, she says she was given two options: resign or be fired.

Why?

Because she got pregnant “outside the Catholic way,” as she put it in a Facebook post in late August announcing her pregnancy with Kristen Lasecki, her partner of more than five years. In same post, she announced the news of her dismissal.

In August, the school offered to pay for her healthcare through May if she left quietly, Webb said. She refused. Not just because the offer was insulting to her, but she felt it sent the wrong message to her students.

And: 

“It is part of Marian’s mission to educate women about human diversity and in this have really missed out on a true life opportunity to set an example. Instead they are only perpetuating hate,” she wrote. She added: “It is a shame because Marian is an amazing school with a wonderful staff and a very promising student body. I feel horrible for the students that I was forced to leave behind and wish them only the best.”

The president of the school, Sister Lenore Pochelski, confirmed to the Detroit Free Press that Webb was no longer at the school as of Aug. 19, but refused to comment further.

September 10, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Denmark's Trans Law--Model for the World?

From Slate: 

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(a cathedral in Copenhagen)

From Slate: 

 

Even in countries that are nominally supportive of transgender people, sterilization—whether by surgery or hormones—is often the price a trans individual must pay in order to receive legal recognition of his or her transition. It’s a paradigm that theWorld Health Organization has called "counter to respect for bodily integrity, self-determination and human dignity," and it’s one that doesn’t acknowledge the fact that for many trans people, transition is not necessarily tied to invasive physical changes.

Earlier this week, Denmark moved beyond this inhumane legal logic when its new gender recognition law came into effect. Under the new policy, trans people in the country are now only required to fill out some paperwork in order to receive a new social security number and accompanying personal documentation for their gender. Medical intervention, including surgery, psychological diagnosis, and official statements, are no longer necessary prerequisites—in Denmark, gender identification is now based solely on self-determination.

September 5, 2014 in International, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fight for Gay Rights Ends in Jamaica

The story

KINGSTON, JAMAICA - Young Jamaican gay rights activist who brought a legal challenged to the Caribbean island's anti-sodomy law has withdrawn the claim after multiple threats and violent backlashes, advocacy groups and colleagues said Aug. 29.

Javed Jaghai made headlines in 2013 after he initiated a constitutional court challenge to Jamaica's 1864 law that bans sex between men. Jaghai argues the law fuels homophobia and violates the 2011 adopted Human Rights Charter that guarantees people the right to privacy. However, Jaghai is withdrawing his challenge due to threats of violence.

More. 

September 5, 2014 in International, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Gender Neutral Bathrooms on Austin's Agenda

The story: 

City Council today (Thursday, Aug. 28) could make Austin the first city in Texas to pass a resolution (Item 84) requiring single-stall public restrooms to be gender-neutral. Sponsored by Council Member Chris Rileyand co-sponsored by Bill Spelman and Sheryl Cole, the draft resolution directs the city manager to "process any necessary code amendments to require gender-neutral signage for single-occupancy restrooms, to create an implementation plan, and to report back to Council by September 25."

And: 

The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT civil rights organization, has led the call for gender-neutral restroom requirements across the country. Members of the transgender community may face harassment and even violence when using gender-segregated restrooms, when suspicious onlookers decide they've entered the "wrong" restroom. According to a statement from Riley's office, "Austin has demonstrated leadership on LGBTQ issues, and gender-free restrooms are one more way that we can lead. This change will make our city safer and more inclusive, which is better for all Austinites."

August 31, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Catholic Website Condemns Transgenderism

From the Catholic Online

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into objects of use and degrades the dignity of human sexuality. 

And: 

Sadly, the same spirit of the age fails to recognize the integral unity of the human person, body, soul and spirit, and has turned the human body into a machine with parts which the revolutionaries think can simply be interchanged.  Removal of genitals and attachment of artificially constructed ones which are absolutely incapable of ovulation or conception, does not change the structure of reality. The removal constitutes mutilation and the construction of artificial organs with no reproductive function does not alter the gender or sex of the person.

August 26, 2014 in LGBT, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

33 states don't protect LGBT youth from bullying

According to Vox: 

Anti-bullying_lgbt_laws

August 24, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Did a 1972 Supreme Court Already Decide Right to Gay Marriage?

From WaPo

A whole lot of judges who are being asked to decide whether states may ban same-sex couples from marrying think the Supreme Court clearly gave them the answer last year: no.

But a few judges think the Supreme Court provided the answer more than 40 years ago: yes.

More: 

That reading comes from a one-sentence order the court issued in a 1972 case, Baker v. Nelson, which said there was no “substantial federal question” in a state’s decision to ban same-sex marriages.

The dismissal of that long-ago case might be the reason that same-sex marriage supporters see their winning streak in federal courts come to an end.

August 19, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Irish Law on Transgendered Individuals

From the Irish Times:

....many members of the trans community still exist on the fringes of Irish society and experience high levels of stigmatisation and discrimination.

A major cause of the marginalisation of trans people in Ireland is the lack of State recognition of trans identities. While you can change your gender marker on certain documents such as your passport or driving licence, there is no legal process to change the gender on your birth cert.

And: 

People are forcibly “outed” every time they are asked to produce a birth certificate. Young people miss out on their college places because the CAO office has no capacity for dealing with trans people. Trans people have to explain ourselves – to validate our identity – over and over. But legal gender recognition goes beyond the practicalities of daily life; it is about the State recognising that we exist.

August 14, 2014 in International, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gay Divorce...Just Like Any Other

So goes one view

"It's just like any other divorce now," said Jonathan Huerta, an attorney at the King Spry law firm in Bethlehem whose practice focuses on family law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples.


August 7, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

No Human Right to Gay Marriage

Or, so declared the European Court of Human Rights: 

Gay marriage is not recognized in Finland, and it appears to be staying that way at least for now.

 The European Court of Human Rights has declined to issue a ruling that, as a practical matter, would have imposed same-sex marriage on that country and perhaps by precedent other countries in the euro zone.

According to the court, “[I]t cannot be said that there exists any European consensus on allowing same-sex marriages.”

 

August 5, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Not all Quakers Agree on Religious Exemption for Transgender Student

We previously posted about the religious exemption from Title IX granted to a religious school over dormitory housing for a transgender student.  The school is run by the Quakers, but the Quaker leaders don't agree that on what their religion holds.  Debate Over Transgender Student Reveals Division in Quaker Church

July 31, 2014 in Education, LGBT, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Child Lawfully Changes Her Gender Identity in Canada

The story

Harriette Cunningham, 11, was born a boy called Declan.

She filed paperwork in 2013 to change her name with support of her family.

She also began a letter-writing campaign to government officials allowing her to change her gender on official documents.

"It just made me so mad and made me almost frustrated to know that I'm a girl and then I look on my passport and it says that I'm a boy," Cunninghamtold CTV News.

She is one of the first 30 people in British Columbia, Canada, to do so without having gender reassignment surgery, which the new legislation allows.

 

July 29, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Maryland Becomes Third State.....

From the Baltimore Sun: 

Maryland has officially become the third state in the nation to provide insurance coverage for transition-related care,The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.

The policy shift, which went into effect July 1 but was only announced publicly this week, means that any state employee, retiree, or dependent will be able to access mental health services, hormone therapy, and a range of surgeries associated with gender reassignment without having to pay entirely out of pocket. California and Oregon are the only other states that provide similar insurance coverage for their transgender employees.

July 27, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Interactive Map of Same-Sex Marriage

A detailed and useful map available here.  

July 24, 2014 in LGBT, Same-sex marriage | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Spouse" is the new word in California's law

From the LA Times: 

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Monday a measure that would update state law to reflect that same-sex marriage is legal in California, including replacing "husband" or "wife" with the gender-neutral term "spouse." 

July 22, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)