Sunday, July 20, 2014

European Court on Transgender Divorce

"The European Court of Human Rights declared Wednesday that countries can legally require transgender citizens to get divorced before issuing updated identification documents, lest the spouses become a legally recognized same-sex couple, reports U.K. LGBT sitePinkNews."

More here.  

July 20, 2014 in International, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Transgender Lawsuit in Malaysia

From Malaysia.....

“They can be cured simply by dressing as a man again," said Negeri Sembilan state legal adviser Iskandar Ali Dewa.  


He also told the court yesterday that since this is the case, Section 66 of the Syariah Law which states that a man cannot dress or pose as a woman, is applicable to them.


A medical report from the Ministry of Health however cites GID as incurable and life long.

The Court of Appeal is hearing a case where three transgenders are challenging the unconstitutionality of the Negeri Sembilan state Syariah law which prohibits them from expressing their gender identity.

Their lawyer Aston Paiva also showed the court proof that the Health Ministry signed off the medical reports of the transgenders citing that their disorder is incurable.

“According to psychiatrists  from the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, the patients suffering from GID, although born biologically male, are actually female trapped in a man’s body,” stressed Paiva.

Paiva also added that his clients “are in no way challenging Islam but instead are challenging the legislative laws that discriminate them.”

July 20, 2014 in International, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Governor Signs Gay Marriage Law

From the Jurist

 California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] on Monday signed into law [press release] a bill that will change the language in California's marriage code [text] to accommodate same-sex couples. The bill [SB 1306], introduced by California Senator Mark Leno [official website], proposes that all state-statutory references to opposite-gender couples, such as "husband" and "wife," be modified to apply to same-sex couples as well. SB 1306 comments on the California Constitution's "unenforceable" provision [text] that marriage only be between a man and woman but only addresses similar language in the state's family code relating to marriage. Among the new amendments will be the modification of "marriage" from "a personal relationship ... between a man and a woman" to a "personal relation ... between 2 persons." 

July 17, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fixing Intersex Children?

From the Atlantic

When Mark and Pam Crawford took their family to Great Wolf Lodge, a water adventure park, for a week’s vacation, their seven-year-old made a request.

“Since we don’t know anybody,” S asked her parents, “can I be a boy?”

The Crawfords, who adopted S at the age of two, had seen signs for years that she did not think of herself as female.


The Department of Social Services had told the Crawfords their child was born with an intersex condition, meaning the baby’s gender was unclear. S's genitals had been surgically reconstructed to look more female.

More, here.  

July 12, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The 1964 Civil Rights Act and LGBT Rights

Could the 1964 Civil Rights be used to protect LGBT rights? Maybe:

Exactly 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the law is being interpreted to protect LGBT workers.

The Civil Rights Act prohibits various forms of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The question for LGBT advocates is whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which in part prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sex, also applies to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming workers.

July 8, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Golden State Is Now....

....the easiest place for transgendered folks to amend their birth certificates: 

California's Assembly Bill 1121 went into full effect yesterday. The bill, authored by out lesbian Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last fall, and makes California's name and gender change process the easiest in the nation.

July 6, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wyoming and Gay Rights

From the Billings Gazette

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming's only openly gay lawmaker says the state should pass a bill that bars discrimination against gays at the same time as various courts consider the legality of gay marriage.

In many states where gay marriage is legal, people can still be fired for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, described instances in which couples published wedding notices in newspapers and were promptly fired because their states don't include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in anti-discrimination laws.


July 1, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How Anti-Gay Laws Worsen Diseases Like AIDS and TB

From Newsweek:

Recent anti-homosexuality laws don’t just violate human rights—they might worsen the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist warns in a PLOS Medicine essay published today.


While many countries and communities are expanding civil rights to the LGBT community, such as marriage equality, some nations including Nigeria, Uganda, Russia and India are criminalizing homosexuality or intensifying present anti-gay statutes. More nations are poised to follow, putting public health initiatives at risk, Dr. Chris Beyrer writes in “Pushback: The Current Wave of Anti-Homosexuality Laws and Impacts on Health.”  


“These laws and policies make it much more difficult to provide HIV services particularly gay and bisexual men who have sex with men, who really need these services,” Beyrer tells Newsweek. “It can definitely lead to a worsening of the HIV epidemic in these countries.”

June 25, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 20, 2014

What the public thinks, and what is....

So, according to this site

A new poll from YouGov and the Huffington Post found about 62 percent of Americans think it's already illegal under federal law to fire an employee for being gay or lesbian.


Most Americans do overwhelmingly support protecting gay and lesbian workers from being fired over their sexual orientation, the same poll found.


It's legal in most states to fire an employee over his or her sexual orientation, but most Americans are apparently unaware of this fact.


June 20, 2014 in LGBT, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Alabama Sodomy Law Struck Down--11 years after Lawrence v. Texas

From the Advocate

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that the state’s antisodomy law is unconstitutional – 11 years after the U.S. Supreme Court made that ruling regarding all such laws.


Despite the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas,striking down all state antisodomy laws, about a dozen states still have these laws on the books and attempt to enforce them. In the Alabama case, Dewayne Williams was charged with first-degree sodomy in 2010, and a Dallas County jury convicted him of the lesser offense of sexual misconduct, which is included in the sodomy statute, reports the Montgomery Advertiser. His sexual partner claimed Williams forced him to have sex, but Williams said the act was consensual.

Williams appealed his conviction, arguing that the law violates the U.S. Constitution, as the Supreme Court found in Lawrence v. Texas, and the Alabama appeals court agreed unanimously. The court noted in its ruling, issued Friday, that the purpose of the antisodomy law was to ban all homosexual sex acts, including those that are consensual. The statute explicitly states that consent is no defense.

Prosecutors in the case still say the sex between Williams and the other man was nonconsensual, and they asked the appeals court to strike the “consent is no defense” language from the law and allow Williams to be tried again for nonconsensual sodomy. The appeals court judges refused, saying this would subject the defendant to “double jeopardy” – being tried twice for the same crime, which is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.

Civil rights advocates praised the appeals court’s ruling. “Aiming to ban consensual sex is flat-out wrong,” Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, told the Advertiser.“A person’s sexual orientation shouldn’t matter. Consensual sex is consensual sex.”

In a prepared statement, Equality Alabama chairman Ben Cooper said, “Each and every person, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, is entitled to equal protection under the law. The Alabama court’s unanimous decision overturning the statute is a step in the right direction and makes us optimistic for future and ongoing equal rights through the continued elimination of unconstitutional provisions in our state’s constitution that violate privacy and equal protections.”

June 18, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Italian Court on Transgender Rights

From the Jurist

[JURIST] Italy's Constitutional court [official website, in Italian] ruled [judgment, in Italian] Wednesday that an Italian law that annuls a marriage once a partner undergoes a sex change operation is against the national interest because the couple may desire to stay together. Wednesday's ruling overturns a judgment from a lower court in Bologna in the case of 43-year-oldAlessandra Bernaroli [Ansa News report], who underwent surgery in 2009 to become a female, four years after getting married as a man. Bernaroli's marriage was automatically dissolved by national law after the transgender operation. The case will now reach Italy's highest court, La Consulta, where a favorable ruling for Bernaroli could make her and her female partner the first same-sex couple in Italy.

June 16, 2014 in LGBT, Same-sex marriage | Permalink | Comments (0)

Italian Court on Transgender Rights

From the Jurist

[JURIST] Italy's Constitutional court [official website, in Italian] ruled [judgment, in Italian] Wednesday that an Italian law that annuls a marriage once a partner undergoes a sex change operation is against the national interest because the couple may desire to stay together. Wednesday's ruling overturns a judgment from a lower court in Bologna in the case of 43-year-oldAlessandra Bernaroli [Ansa News report], who underwent surgery in 2009 to become a female, four years after getting married as a man. Bernaroli's marriage was automatically dissolved by national law after the transgender operation. The case will now reach Italy's highest court, La Consulta, where a favorable ruling for Bernaroli could make her and her female partner the first same-sex couple in Italy.

June 16, 2014 in LGBT, Same-sex marriage | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Transgender Lawsuit in NYC

From Time:  

A city employee says he was discriminated against at a public pool and is asking courts to affirm that transgender people are protected under city law in locker rooms and restrooms.


A transgender man is suing New York City, claiming he was “harassed and humiliated” after getting kicked out of a public pool’s men’s locker room last summer.

24-year-old Bryan Ellicott said he was asked to use the women’s changing room after the city’s Parks Department was notified of his presence, the Associated Press reports.

June 4, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Vancouver School Board Confronting Student Confidentiality Issues about Sexual Orientation

Vancouver's school board already has in place a laudable policy regarding students' sexual orientation:  

According to the policy statement, the board “is committed to establishing and maintaining a safe, inclusive, equitable, and welcoming learning and working environment for all members of the school community, including all students and employees who identify as (or are perceived as) lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, Two Spirit, intersex, queer and those who are questioning their sexual orientation and/or gender identity”.

But, now there's controversy.  

Ever since draft revisions were released in April, however, a firestorm has ensued, thwarting the board’s initial recommendation for approval at its May 20 meeting. Two public meetings have turned out to be so packed, and the debate so heated, that another is taking place on Thursday (May 29).

But those recommendations aren’t what have some parents so riled. Rather, it’s the suggestion that students who may be experiencing gender dysphoria (which is characterized by a marked difference between the individual’s expressed gender and the gender others would assign him or her) or other gender-identity issues have the right to confidentiality.

Parents, obviously, want to know such issues about their child.  But the child, so too, wants to confide in a teacher and have that discussion remain confidential.  

May 30, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Today's Status on Same-Sex Marriage

A good summary of the national legal status of same-sex marriage as of yesterday.   See Gay Marriage Map: Where is Same-Sex Marriage Legal?  Except, that it even it is outdated, as Montana now has a court challenge filed. 

May 22, 2014 in LGBT, Same-sex marriage | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Massachusetts Youth Pride....

....was this past weekend.  On May 17, LGBT youth in the commonwealth held a parade in Boston, listened to speakers, and learned and participated in political action.  All of this was done with the support of the great city of Boston.  

It is a noble gesture by the city, a gesture that has the effect of welcoming gay teens as full citizens of the community.  

May 21, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Lavender Bar Conference and Job Fair

Prof. Courtney Joslin at UC Davis has asked me to post this, and I am pleased to do so:  


Lavender Law 2014, New York, NY

August 21-23, 2014

Invitation and Call for Papers

Entry-Level Market Forum for Junior Scholars



Dear Friends and Colleagues,


This year the Lavender Law® Conference & Career Fair will be heldAugust 21-23, 2014 at the Sheraton New York in New York City. Lavender Law brings together the best and brightest legal minds in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.


To celebrate our community of scholars, Lavender Law® is hosting a Junior Scholars Forum again this year. This year, the forum will be devoted to individuals who intend to participate in the AALS annual entry-level hiring conference in Washington, D.C. If you are planning to participate in the entry-level hiring process this year, and your work focuses on the nexus between the law, gender, and sexuality, we encourage you to apply.


To submit a proposal for consideration, please email (1) a 5-10 page overview of your job talk; and (2) a copy of your cv to Courtney Joslin ( and Joseph Landau (


The deadline for submissions is Friday, June 13, 2014.


If you are selected to participate, a complete draft of your job talk will be due by August 1, 2014.


May 16, 2014 in Conferences, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

McCune on "Down-Low"

A new book from Jeffrey McCune titled Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing from the U of Chicago Press.  The description from the Press: 

African American men who have sex with men while maintaining a heterosexual lifestyle in public are attracting increasing interest from both the general media and scholars. Commonly referred to as “down-low” or “DL” men, many continue to have relationships with girlfriends and wives who remain unaware of their same-sex desires, and in much of the media, DL men have been portrayed as carriers of HIV who spread the virus to black women. Sexual Discretion explores the DL phenomenon, offering refreshingly innovative analysis of the significance of media, space, and ideals of black masculinity in understanding down low.

May 14, 2014 in Books, LGBT, Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Michael Sam....the story begins....

Michael Sam, the exceptional football player from the U of Missouri (and the first openly gay NFL draftee), was picked by the St. Louis Rams this weekend.  Kudos to the Rams for being secure in its manliness to do so.  Upon being drafted, Sam, understandably, kissed his boyfriend.  

This has caused at least one former NFL player--Derrick Ward, not exactly a household name--to ridicule Sam.  Then again, several comments on Ward's Twitter feed are critical of his remarks, too.  

If Michael Sam is like any other NFL draftee, his chances of making a name for himself as a player are practically nill; he will suffer injuries, he will encounter difficulty with the professional game, he will have to compete with truly first-class athletes whose likes he has never seen at the college level.  

But as long as he continues, I will be watching his story with much interest.  There is a great opportunity for the NFL to man-up and show what a manliness worthy of its name can be by accepting him as a fraternal colleague.  

May 12, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 9, 2014

WaPo Editorial on Maryland GOP's Efforts

From the Editorial Board at WaPo:  

MARYLAND THIS year joined 16 states in extending protection to transgender people in housing, lending, employment, public accommodations and other areas. Now a conservative group, including some of the Republicans who opposed the legislation, is trying to force the issue onto the state ballot this fall, in the hopes that voters will reject it. If it manages to get the proposal on the ballot, it’s not likely to prevail if recent history is any guide. Nor should it.


Incredibly, the conservatives’ main line of attack is that the law will turn women’s restrooms into fertile ground for peeping toms disguised in dresses and wigs, even for similarly attired rapists. This is middle school trash talk disguised as policy analysis. There is no evidence that this is a statistically detectable problem in other states that have banned discrimination against transgender people, nor in Maryland localities, such as Montgomery County, that have had similar statutes on the books for years.


May 9, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)