The US now even further behind

 photo kDIXLnji_zpsfy5wr35l.jpgThe Vietnamese National Assembly last Tuesday approved a revision to the Civil Code that includes a new provision of recognition of the right to have one's gender reassigned. The measure received 77% support in the Assembly (282-84).

Congratulations to all of us, after years of sweat and tears.

--Tran Khang Di, Ho Chi Minh City

The law is an attempt to “meet the demands of a part of society … in accordance with international practice, without countering the nation’s traditions.

--report from the parliament



Leaving the US in the dust

Lest you be an ardent believer in American Exceptionalism one should take note that some countries are leaving the US in the dust when it comes to human rights advances.

Bolivian Justice Minister Virginia Velasco Condori on Wednesday announced new policy which will allow transgender people to register legal documents using their new identities.

The policy is not perfect.

People who want to alter their name and sex on official identity documents must apply to the Ministry of Justice where a "psychological examination will be held to approve the process.

--Velasquez Condori

But it is light years ahead of the US, which has no federal policy on transgender people whatsoever.



Turkey Table Data

Just in time for Thanksgiving the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication has released a new study to support your holiday table debates.

The National survey on rights, protections for transgender people has found that 71% of people favor protection of transgender individuals in schools and 70% favor such protections in the workplace. Sixty-two percent of the public supports allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military.



At the corner of Hate and Hate

I grew up just about two miles, as the crow flies, or as the child finds a path through what we called the Creek, from Lewis and Clark College. My older brother matriculated there, played basketball for them in the late 60s for awhile. One of my major life heroes, William Stafford, taught English there for many years while I was growing up.

So it has been a major blow to me to discover that this past weekend at least two hate crimes occurred on the campus in the span of a couple of hours.




She's having a bad year

I first wrote about Samantha Hulsey back in January, when she was attacked with a friend on a Muni bus by a man who stabbed her twice with a steak knife while calling Hulsey and her friend "faggots".

On November 15 a San Francisco couple, Dewayne Edward Kemp, 36, and Rebecca Louise Westover, 42, were arrested near Eighth and Mission for allegedly assaulting transgender resident Samantha Hulsey.

In court Friday afternoon, Kemp and Westover pleaded not guilty to the charges, contending that they were acting in self-defense when Westover threw a cup of hot coffee an Hulsey and her girlfriend, Daira Hopwood and Kemp punched Hulsey four times in the face while uttering transphobic comments.



HUD: Proposed new rule requires transgender people to be treated as their identified gender rather than their sex assigned at birth

HUD Secretary Julián Castro has announced the agency has proposed a new rule to update the existing policy that bars discrimination against LGBT people seeking public housing or housing assistance from the federal government.

Under the new proposal HUD would provide access to housing and services based on a person's gender, not sex assigned at birth.



Transgender Day of Remembrance - 2015




Bleeding photo bleed2x_zpss85pxy0n.jpg 







The blood runs thin
In the dark settings
the dangerous regions
where the ragged people
attempt to assemble themselves
people building meaningful identities
unwanted anywhere uptown
And when the blood spills
into the bleak gutters and rickety dwellings
those identities are so often
then erased
stolen in the night
just like the bodies of the people
who strove to own them

On this day we remember those lost souls. We remember their names, and try to summon memories of those who chose them.



Transgender Awareness Week -- Bathroom Break

The recent spate of stories about the transgender teen in Palatine, IL has, among other things, drawn some real exhibition of lack of might even call it ignorance...on the part of some of those commenting. It's the sort of thing one might expect to find from the right-wing commentariat rather than at Daily Kos.

It has made me question whether the 11 years I have spent posting at DK have done anything good whatsoever.

Tuesday's Editorial at WaPo An Illinois high school’s tragic discrimination against a transgender student serves a couple of necessary purposes beyond what I have written or what Kerry Eleveld has written about the situation.

First of all it will be read by more people. Secondly, it includes some facts previously not mentioned.

The writer begins by decrying the fear-mongering, which is good. When it comes to trans people, the Fearmongers Shoppe is always open.

The Fearmongers Shoppe, serving all your phobia needs since 1947.



Federal Judge: Lawsuit against MI Sec. of State continues

A federal judge in Michigan has refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a group of transgender people against Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.

The six trans people and the ACLU are claiming their constitutional rights are being violated.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds found that the plaintiffs raised a cognizable claim that their constitutional rights to privacy are being violated by a state policy that makes it difficult or impossible to change the gender recorded on their driver's licenses.

Emani Love, Tina Seitz, Codie Stone and three other trans people claim that the under the policy promulgated by the state, the ability to change the gender on a driver's license is denied them.



Equal Dignity for all



 photo A_TransGender-Symbol.png


If you are like me, Laurence Tribe is a name that evokes memories, but you are not totally sure which ones. The professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School since 1968 taught the subject to Barack Obama, John Roberts and Elena Kagan.

As a lawyer he represented the National Gay and Lesbian Task force in 1985 in National Gay Task Force v. Board of Education v. Board of Education, a case that ultimately prohibited the State of Oklahoma from firing teachers because they had same sex attraction or spoke in favor of civil rights for LGBT people. In 1986 he was the losing attorney in Bowers v. Hardwick, but in 2003 he wrote the ACLU's amicus curiae brief in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned Bowers v. Hardwick.

Tribe testified extensively against the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. And he represented Al Gore in 2000, arguing the initial case in Miami to continue to count the votes.

He is cofounder of the American Constitutional Society and was judicial advisor to President Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

His voice is more likely to be heard than any of us. Yesterday he authored an opinion in the Boston Globe, entitled Achieving dignity for all. If the principle of equal dignity sparks a synapse, it was articulated in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court case that brought us marriage equality.



Subscribe to Soapbox