Soapbox

Gender Prison: Miami-Dade commissioners unanimous in support of transgender protections (preliminary vote)

A year ago Miami-Dade County commissioners withdrew a proposal which would have added gender identity and expression to the county's anti-discrimination law. At the time they said that was done in order to "allow more time" to educate the commission about transgender people.

The plan, which would have banned discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment, could not gather enough votes at the committee level.

This morning commissioners gave unanimous preliminary approval to amending the human-rights ordinance by adding the phrases "gender identity" and "gender expression."

This update that we’re working on would ensure very basic protections for a very vulnerable part of our community that many take for granted.

--Charo Valero, SAVE

The vote this morning was momentous for what did not happen. Nobody showed up to speak against the amendment.

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Sunday Train: Reflections on a visit to the East Coast

Your intrepid sustainable energy and transport reporter was recently required to engage in some official business with an overseas consulate located in New York city, and in order to be able to afford to sit and wait as the wheels of bureaucracy as long as might have been required, obtained lodgings in a relatively cheap motel in New Brunswick and took the NJ Transit Northeast Corridor train back and forth. This week's Sunday Train is a collection of scattered observations made along the way.

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Study estimates 24000 transgender people will be disenfranchised by Voter ID

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law has released a new study, this time concerning the affects of Voter ID. The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters in 2014 General Election, written by Jody Herman, concludes that there could be over 24000 eligible transgender voters across ten states who will not be able to vote because of Voter ID laws.

The Institute finds that there are approximately 84000 eligible transgender voters in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. All those states have photo voter ID laws except Wisconsin...which might have one come election time. The study estimates that 28% of those eligible voters do not have valid photo ID that reflects their gender and name sufficient to the standards of the laws.

 

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Lawmakers should not overlook the consequences of enacting stricter voter ID laws on transgender voters. Election officials must consider the potential impact of these laws in the upcoming November elections. Voter ID laws create a unique barrier for transgender people who would otherwise be eligible to vote.

--Herman

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Gender Prison: Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issues ruling protecting allies

The Human Rights Tribunal basically ruled that is a violation of rights to attempt to force someone else to act in a bigoted manner.

The case was Salsman v. London Sales Arena Corp. Salsman is notable because the highest damages awarded did not go to any of the three transgender individuals involved but to their non-transgender employer.

The case involved three transgender women who were working at the booth of Karen Clarke-McIlwain at the Trails End market in London, Ontario which is operated by London Sales Arena Corp.

Clarke-McIlwain rented the booth at Trails End in order to sell candles.On September 10, 2011, transgender woman Daniella Freeman was working the booth along with two transwomen friends, Judith Salsman and Falicity Chartrand.

That evening Clarke-McIlwain received a telephone call from the market manager on behalf of the store's owner, Edward Kikkert. Market management claimed that the call was to "pass on" complaints about the burning of incense at the booth and that those attending the booth were "scantily clad" and "inappropriate for the family market."

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