"Another case of the governor not following the law"

Gov. Paul LePage has ordered the Maine Human Rights Commission and state's the Department of Education to cease issuing rules protecting transgender students.

Schools instead are being given guidelines that lack the force of law.

LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said LePage has read the court decision and believes it requires the Legislature to take action, and that new rules are not required.

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New Jersey transgender rights bill resurrected

A bill to allow transgender people born in New Jersey to change the sex listed on on their birth certificate without being required to have undergone surgery rises for the third time today.

Though New Jersey has issued changed birth certificates to residents who undergo sex reassignment surgery since the nineteen-eighties, those who do not want or cannot afford surgery have no recourse. A new version of the bill goes to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee Thursday.

On the previous two occasions the bill appeared, it was passed, only to be vetoed by Governor Chris Christie, who claimed that the bill opened the door for "fraud, deception and abuse."

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Stormi pwns bigot

 photo stormi_zpsermrfcft.jpgStormi is a Girl Scout. She lives in Herrin, IL. When she tried to make a cookie sale to one of her neighbors, he told her,

Nobody wants to buy cookies from a boy in a dress.

You see, Stormi is transgender. She joined the Scouts last fall.

It made me sad, because I’m a girl.

--Stormi

She immediately wanted to go home, said Kim. She cried when she got home.

Stormi was put into foster care and placed with Kim three years ago through an emergency placement plan. She told Kim she wanted to donate cookies to other kids in foster care.

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DoD proposes new rule on transgender healthcare

Preparatory to ending the ban on transgender military service, which is expected to happen this Spring, the Department of Defense has proposed a new rule in regard to TRICARE benefit coverage.

This proposed rule seeks to comprehensively update TRICARE mental health and substance use disorder benefits, consistent with earlier Department of Defense and Institute of Medicine recommendations, current standards of practice in mental health and addiction medicine, and our governing laws. The Department of Defense remains intently focused on ensuring the mental health of our service members and their families, as this continues to be a top priority. The Department is also working to further de-stigmatize mental health treatment and expand the ways by which our beneficiaries can access authorized mental health services. This proposed regulatory action is in furtherance of these goals and imperative in order to eliminate requirements that may be viewed as barriers to medically necessary and appropriate mental health services.

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Minnesota Mother sues her employer for insurance coverage of her son

 photo tovar_zpsgn5elx4b.jpgBrittany Tovar works as a nurse practitioner for Essentia Health at Essentia's hospital in Ada, MN. As such, she and her family are supposedly insured under Essentia's medical insurance provider, HealthPartners.

At least that's what she thought until she sought medical care for her transgender son, Reid Tovar Olson.

I was really disappointed with my employer. It's hard coming to work, and my employer considers my son a second-class citizen.

So Tovar has filed suit in federal court.

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2016: Number 1

 photo Loera_zpsmyqfplfn.jpgMonica Loera was shot and killed on her front doorstep on January 22.

Although police have made an arrest in the case and a suspect has been charged, there’s been no public acknowledgement of her death or the community that has been further traumatized in its wake. And that’s wrong.

Reading the arrest affidavit or local news reports about the death, you’d have no idea that the victim was a transgender woman. The wild curls and wide grins from her Facebook page – and above all else, her chosen name – have been omitted to a staggering degree. Instead Loera has been described using her birth name and masculine pronouns.

--Nina Hernandez, Austin Chronicle

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The Breakfast Club (Elf-king)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 

 

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HHS panel finds insurance must cover sex reassignment

 photo lauderdale_zpsg0nb3z7d.jpg

Charlene Lauderdale was denied coverage for the procedures by her private insurance firm, which is funded through Medicare. But for the first time this month, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services panel found that the insurance provider must cover the procedures. 

The council finds that the vaginoplasty surgery requested in this case is covered and is the responsibility of the plan.

--Medicare Appeals Council

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Backlash!

Lane Moore gets to the root of the matter at Cosmopolitan: Why Do So Many Laws Protect Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual People, but Not Transgender People?

Indiana recently passed a state bill that would allow gay, lesbian, and bisexual people civil rights protections against discrimination, but transgender people were left out of the bill's protection entirely. This means that while gay, lesbian, and bisexual people will receive protection from being fired, denied service, or facing eviction because of who they are, transgender people are basically on their own in that department, and it's not the first time we're seeing that distinction being made.

--Moore

Actually the bill passed out of the Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee, but has yet to pass the full Senate or the House. But her point is valid.

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South Dakota Legislators vote to go full transphobe

 photo SD_zpscuis9krs.jpgState Representative Fred Deutsch has sponsored two bills targeting transgender kids.

The first passed out of committee Monday and restricts transgender students from using bathrooms designated for people with the opposite physical sex. 

That bill, HB 1008, passed the South Dakota House yesterday by a vote of 58-10.

The bill does now contain language calling for schools to provide "reasonable accommodations" for transgender students...as long as they are segregated.

Deutsch claims the bill is intended to protect the privacy of all students.

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