Gender Prison: Updating old stories

I try to make a concerted effort to update past stories when appropriate. This week we have movement in four stories from varying measures of the past.

An arrest has been made in the Cleveland area in the gruesome transcide. In California two transgender bills have progressed in the legislature…and a judge in Riverside County has ruled that a transwoman's law suit may move forward. In Hong Kong, a transwoman has won the right for transgender people to marry under their post-operative gender.

The updates and links to the old reports are available inside.

A Riverside County Superior Court judge has rejected California Baptist University's request to have former student Domaine Javier's civil rights complaint against the school dismissed. Javier was expelled from Cal Baptist after appearing on MTV's True Life and disclosing that she was born male. She alleges that the expulsion violates a state law that bars discrimination based on gender identity.

Cal Baptist contends that the university is not subject to the law because it is a private religious institution. But Judge Michael Perantoni has ruled that the case may move forward.

It means so much to me that, after all I’ve been through, something good came from this, not only for me but for anyone else who has experienced the same thing or relates to this case.

--Javier

Javier's attorney argued that even though Cal Baptist is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the university offers primarily secular courses of study for people of all faiths and because of that is subjecxt to all state anti-discrimination laws. The attorney for Cal Baptist countered that the university seeks to indocrinate its students in Southern Baptist teachings and requires all students to take Bible courses and attend chapel services.

[Transgender people in California] live in a state that protects them based upon their gender identity, and whether they’re attending a university to get an education or a hospital to get medical treatment, they cannot be discriminated against based on a factor that has nothing to do with an individual’s merit or worth.

--Paul Southwick, Javier's attorney

On May 9, the California Assembly passed two pro-transgender bills. The bills have moved on to the Senate.

AB 1266 prohibits discrimination against transgender students in every public school district.

The bill would “require that a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities including athletic teams and competitions.” The bill also requires public schools to allow facilities, such as bathrooms and locker rooms, to be used “consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”

Also passed was AB 1121, which makes it easier and less expensive for transgender people to amend their birth certificates without a court order.

[The bill] provides  transgender people with a simple, inexpensive and private process for changing their names and documents to be consistent with their gender identity.

--Toni Atkins, (D-San Diego), co-sponsor of the bill

Terrence Andrey Bridges, also identified as Andrey L. Bridges, 36, of Parma, OH, has been arrested on charges of aggravated murder, kidnapping, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse in the killing of Cemia Dove in Olmstead Township, OH. Bridges' bail was set at $5 million. The case goes to a grand jury on May 16.

The Plain Dealer has doubled down on disrespecting Cemia. You will notice in the first paragraph of that article, Cemia is referred to by her birth name. The newspaper also continues to be fascinated with how the body was dressed when it was recovered. And later on in article, a mug shot is used as Cemia's photo, and she is again identified by her birth name.

In 2012 Bridges was sentenced to probation for assaulting a woman in 2010 severely enough to send her to the hospital with a collapsed lung, broken ribs, and other injuries. Reportedly the suspension was due to concerns over possible violation of Bridges' right to a speedy trial.

 photo hongkongmarriage_zpsf263271d.pngA transgender woman in Hong Kong, identified only as W, has finally won her years-long fight to earn the right to marry her boyfriend. The Court of Appeals yesterday overturned earlier verdicts that said that marriage was only allowed between couples who were opposite sex at birth.

W underwent sex reassignment surgery more than 5 years ago. The surgery was even subsidized by the government. She argued that her post-operative gender was recognized by the law and that previous rulings violated her constitutional rights.

W has a government-issued passport and an identity card identifying her as a woman. She has also been required to use the women's facilities in public toilets and sports events.

The city's Registrar of Marriages argued that she could not wed her boyfriend because her birth certificate, which is unchangeable under Hong Kong law, showed that she was male.

It is contrary to principle to focus merely on biological features fixed at the time of birth.

--The verdict

The verdict added that existing laws "impair the very essence of W's right to marry."

One of the five justices rejected the appeal.

The effect of this decision is that W will be allowed to marry, and should be allowed to marry her boyfriend.

This is a case about sexual minorities being recognised and that their rights are just as important as everyone else's.

--W's lawyer, Michael Vidler

Some 200 Hong Kong residents have undergone surgery at the government's expense. Many more go overseas, to places such as Thailand, for surgery because of privacy concerns.

I have lived my life as a woman and been treated as a woman in all respects except as regards to my right to marry. This decision rights that wrong.
I am very happy that the court of appeal now recognises my desire to marry my boyfriend one day and that that desire is no different to that of any other women who seek the same here in Hong Kong. This is a victory for all women in Hong Kong.

--W, in a written statement

The decision is suspended for 12 months in order to give the government time to amend the city's marriage laws.

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