URJ passes most comprehensive and extensive guidelines favoring transgender rights of any religious organization

 photo urj_zpsllil2rnz.pngMeeting in Orlando yesterday representatives of the Union for Reform Judaism unanimously approved an historic resolution on transgender rights.

Some 5,000 reform Jews attended the Union for Reform Judaism biennial meeting where they approved the resolution that calls for Jewish congregations and camps to institute gender-neutral bathrooms, gender-neutral language, and arrange gender issues training for teachers and staff at religious schools. The resolution passed on a voice vote without opposition, and applause followed the the results of the vote.



What good are anti-discrimination laws anyway?

The District of Columbia has had anti-discrimination laws protecting transgender people for quite some time (since 2005). But a new study, qualified and transgender", by the Office of Human Rights, reveals that nearly half of D. C. employers prefer less qualified cisgender applicants to more qualified trans applicants.

Five employers will face director's inquiries from the Office of Human Rights for their results—two in the restaurant industry, two in the administrative sector, and one university. These investigations will determine whether the actions were discriminatory and could become public documents.

OHR submitted resumes to openings in various sectors from February to July.



Looking for a spark of brightness

It's a grey day, full of grey people leading their grey lives. The defeat of HERO in Houston was not unexpected. The recent rhetoric from the sidelines is of concern...especially when it comes to the membership at DK.

It's really quite easy:

Transgender men are men. Transgender women are women. A penis on a transgender woman is a woman's penis. A vagina on a transgender man is a man's vagina.

Averring or Insinuating otherwise is the very definition of transphobia.

Suggesting the abandonment of transgender people in order to increase rights for LGB people is not cool. We are of the body, Landru. All of us.

Please tell me you don't want to be grouped with those people who have recently spoken out against transgender people having equal rights: Phyllis Schlafly, Germaine Greer, Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson, et. al.



DoE to Illinois school district: We're serious

Yesterday federal education authorities found that Township High School District in Palatine, IL violated anti-discrimination laws when it denied a transgender girl who participates on a girl's sports team free access to change and shower in the girl's locker room.

Education officials said the decision was the first of its kind on the rights of transgender students, which are emerging as a new cultural battleground in public schools across the country. In previous cases, federal officials had been able to reach settlements giving access to transgender students in similar situations. But in this instance, the school district in Palatine, Ill., has not yet come to an agreement, prompting the federal government to threaten sanctions. The district, northwest of Chicago, has indicated a willingness to fight for its policy in court.



Orange County swim school creates homeless veteran

 photo Owen_zpssjklf99p.jpgJuliet Owen is a veteran. She served in the Marine Corps 1993-94, working in aviation electronics, until being honorably discharged after being diagnosed with chondromalacia (runner's knee). She is currently unemployed and homeless. Being a veteran she has managed to score housing in Long Beach's Villages at Cabrillo.

The reason for her jobless state is a sore point, however. Juliet has filed a wrongful termination complaint October 1 claiming gender identity discrimination against Australian Swim Schools, an Orange County swimming school with students aged three months to adult.

Owen said she had never experienced discrimination because of her transgender status until she moved from Virginia Beach, VA to southern California and began work as a swim instructor in May at Australian Swim Schools Anaheim location. After informing her boss that she is transgender, she was laid off a month later. She was told that not enough students had signed up for summer water safety classes, but when she visited the facility two weeks after her termination, she discovered three new employees.



The Breakfast Club (Banjo's back in town)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club!

Breakfast Tune: The Original Wallies Band - Banjo's back in town

Today in History: November 1st

The Stamp Act takes effect; The United States explodes the first hydrogen bomb; Sistine Chapel paintings are first shown to the public. (Nov. 1)

Something to Think about, Breakfast News & Blogs




Tara Hudson transferred to women's prison

 photo taramove-615904_zps8cilj1gy.jpgIt is not unusual to discover that transgender people self-medicate as we attempt to survive our dysphoria. Sometimes that continues to be a problem after we transition.It is not unusual to discover that transgender people self-medicate as we attempt to survive our dysphoria. Sometimes that continues to be a problem after we transition.

On a personal level, I will admit that I spent my entire transition stoned on marijuana 24/7.

Self-medicating can, of course, lead to encounters with the legal system. That appears to have generated a bunch of Tara's past history...which ended up biting her in the ass.

Tara is a make-up artist by trade. Last Boxing Day she imbibed too much, to the point that she was cut off by a bar manager. An argument ensued, during which Tara headbutted bar manager Christopher Dyer and was arrested. She admitted to the crime in Bristol Crown Court.

Despite the fact that she has lived her entire adult life as a woman and has had six years of sex-reassignment surgery, she was sentenced to serve twelve weeks in a prison for men because her passport still lists her as male.



Rural California town models support

I'm sure that very few of you have ever heard of Denair, CA. It's a "census designated place" in Stanislaus County, CA. Not enough of a hint? It's near Turlock. Doesn't help? That's between Modesto and Merced. Central Valley.

Population was 4404 in 2010. The town encloses a grand total of 2 square miles.

It really epitomizes the phrase "small town." Except the part about the government not thinking it is large enough to be called a town.

Denair calls itself "The Oasis of the San Joaquin Valley."

In 2010 Denair had 10 same-sex married couples/domestic partnerships. 22% of the residences were rentals. 32% of the residents identify as Hispanic or Latino. In 2000 16% of the population lived below the poverty line.

As the Wikipedia entry for Stanislaus County says,

Stanislaus County is not a great place, it's just a place in the Central Valley.

 photo anry-fuentes-x750_zpswls1aeat.jpgAnry Fuentes lives in Denair. She is a transgender teen. When she she told her mother last year that she was going to come out, her mother kicked her out of their home.

Well my mom kicked me out. I’m not mad at her or hate her. I understand where she’s coming from. She was raised differently, and I can’t judge her for that. If I did regret [coming out] then I wouldn’t be this happy. It's much harder to hide than to come out as yourself.




DoE, DoJ step up for Gavin Grimm in 4th Circuit

 photo Gavin_zpsuoaqpjow.jpgWhen last we encountered Gavin Grimm, Gloucester County Schools were still preventing the trans teen from using the boys room and the district had received the blessing of District Court Judge Robert Doumar in Norfolk.

Gavin's ACLU attorneys have asked an appeals court to replace Doumar, who denied his request for a preliminary injunction, because Doumar has made statements that he is "suspicious of modern medical science regarding gender identity." The lawyers say that Doumar has repeatedly referenced Gavin's "mental disorder" and accused him and them of just seeking publicity.

Yesterday the Department of Educations Office of the General Council and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division filed a 40-page friend-of-the-court brief with the 4th US Circuit Court on behalf of Grimm.




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