Sunday, August 31, 2014
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."
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."
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
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.
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.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
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.
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.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
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.
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.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
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.
According to the court, “[I]t cannot be said that there exists any European consensus on allowing same-sex marriages.”
Thursday, July 31, 2014
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
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
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.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
"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."
“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.”
Thursday, July 17, 2014
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."
Saturday, July 12, 2014
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.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
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.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
....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.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
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.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
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.”