Human Rights

Bigots propose bounty on transgender people using public facilities

A group calling itself the Privacy for All coalition has filed what they call the Personal Privacy Protection Act for consideration as a ballot initiative in California. The PPPA is indeed all about the P (as in pee).

It would require that

a person shall use facilities in accordance with their biological sex in all government buildings

. Without using the word transgender, the PPPA seeks to remove the right of transgender people to actually identify as such by defining "biological sex" as "the biological condition of being male or female as determined at or near the time of birth or through medical examination."

As the mechanism to enforce this the Act would create a cicil claim against any individual who seeks to use facility in accordance with their gender identity rather than their biological well as any government entity that allows that to happen.

Such claim includes equitable relief and damages up to a maximum of three times the amount of actual damage but in no case less than $4,000, and attorney’s fees that may be determined by a court

Yes, you should read the word "bounty" there.



State House Republicans hijinx

Yesterday all three of the the republican members of the Colorado State Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted to defeat House Bill 1265, the Birth Certificate Modernization Act, a bill which would have brought the state into accord with federal policy for transgender people born in Colorado who wished to update their birth certificates.

It was our hope that at least one Republican senator on the committee would side with the six Republicans in the Colorado House of Representatives who voted in favor of House Bill 1265 because it upholds the Republican ideals of freedom, privacy, and limited government.

This much-needed legislation would simply have brought Colorado law in line with existing policies at the federal level, and in doing so would have protected the privacy of transgender Coloradans and protected them from discrimination. Every transgender Coloradan is someone’s son or daughter and deserves to be treated with respect. We will continue to work in the legislature to reduce the many barriers transgender Coloradans face every day.

--Dave Montez, One Colorado

The final vote was 3-2.



Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs

 photo Tudor.Rachel-224x300_zpso54qaj4k.jpgRachel Tudor was hired at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant before she began transition. That link goes to an article published in 2011.

The story now has an update.

When she began transition four years ago, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Douglas N. McMillan is reported to have said that Tudor's "lifestyle" offended his Baptist beliefs and asked whether Tudor could just be summarily dismissed.

He was told that action would constitute gender discrimination under Title IX by the Department of Education.

Tudor was informed that being transgender was a "gave offense" to McMillan's religious sensibilities.



#WeJustNeedToPee, #Occupotty, #TransLivesMatter

I don't use twitter myself. And I've never ever taken a selfie. And I spent the entirety of January and February working on the autobiography project. So I'm probably quite slow on the uptake and late with the info.

Apparently the bathroom selfie campaign has gone viral.

The problem is simple. The question is simple. But the issue is apparently too complex for some people to figure out.

So I guess it is up to me to try to 'splain, it Lucy.

Visual aids probably work best.



Gender Prison: ACLU challenges Gloucester County Public Schools

 photo Grimm_zps7ceeee9d.jpgAs expected, the ACLU has taken legal exception to the new policy adopted by the Gloucester County School Board which required that restrooms and locker rooms would be limited to those of the corresponding biological sex assigned at birth. The policy required that transgender students use "alternative private facilities."

The policy was sparked by the existence of trans boy Gavin Grimm, 15, and the fact that he had been using the boy's restroom since October.

The ACLU filed a complaint last Thursday with the US Justice and Education departments urging that students like Gavin deserve to be accepted as the gender they identify with and that requiring them to use alternate restroom facilities is unfair discrimination.

Since the passage of the policy, Gavin has been using the nurse's bathroom...and getting called a "freak."

The reason for the passage of the policy is ostensibly to stop infringing on the privacy of the non-transgender students.




Holder places government support behind transgender people

With Congressional action on the Employment NonDiscrimination Act distinctly absent for the past two legislative sessions, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder provided employment protection for gender nonconforming people through another means yesterday.

Holder issued aa memo informing all Department of Justice component heads and United States attorneys that the department will no longer assert that Title VII's prohibition against discrimination based on sex excludes discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender discrimination. This reverses an earlier Department of Justice position.

Title VII makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate in the employment of an individual "because of the individual' " among other protected characteristics.

I have determined that the best reading of Title VII’ s prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status

This important shift will ensure that the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status.

This will help to foster fair and consistent treatment for all claimants. And it reaffirms the Justice Department’s commitment to protecting the civil rights of all Americans.

--Attorney General Holder



OMG this slope is slippery: Air Force Secretary supports transgender in military

In an interview with Capitol Download's Susan Page on Wednesday Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said that the ban on transgender troops is likely to be reassessed in the near future and that she believes it should be lifted.

Times Change. [The current policy] is likely to come under review in the next year or so.

From my point of view, anyone who is capable of accomplishing the job should be able to serve.

You know, I think that is likely to come under review in the next year or so. So I think we should stand by, and times change, and we'll just have to see what happens there.

--Secretary James

James is the first secretary of a branch of the armed forces to openly support the idea of ending the ban on transgender troops.

The Williams Institute has estimated that there are currently about 15,500 transgender people now serving in the US military.

Conservative forces say allowing transgender troops to serve openly would create complications on issues of housing and health care.

Aaron Belkin of The Palm Center called James' remarks a positive step.

President Obama is the commander in chief and is ultimately responsible for setting policy, and it is imperative for him to clarify his position as well.


[James' remarks] provide further proof that it is only a question of when, not if, the outdated, discriminatory ban on transgender troops will be lifted.

--Ian Thompson, ACLU














Gender Prison: The Incredibly invisible Hate Crimes

Yesterday, for the first time ever, the FBI released a report on bias crimes based on gender identity, as called for in the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act. The report refers to bias crimes committed in 2013. Unfortunately, the report massively underrepresented the problem, listing only 33 instances of bias crimes against transgender and gender-variant people. This in spite of the fact that the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) issued a comprehensive report in May finding that 344 people were victims of hate crimes on account of being gender-variant. NCAVP's report noted that the number had risen from 305 such crimes in 2012.

The phrase that comes to mind is tip of the iceberg. That is an incredibly low number.

--Osman Ahmed, the education coordinator of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP)




Gender Prison: The battle for equality

The battle for equality

transgender, discrimination, equal rights, equal access, Miami-Dade, Florida, Cleveland, Ohio

In times of trouble federally and at the state level, the battle for equal treatment and access moves to the local level.

In recent times I have written about current attempts to move us forward in South Florida and Northeast Ohio.

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

Transgender Awareness




Gender Prison: Transgender woman speaks to International Bar Association

 photo akkai_zps64963422.jpgTransgender woman Akkai Padmashali of Karnataka, India traveled to Tokyo on her newly issued passport (identifying her a female) to attend a conference and address approximately 5000 legal professionals from the the International Bar Association on "Mr., Ms. or Mx.? Legal issues facing transgender persons’. The conference is to run October 19-24. Ms. Padmashali's special session is set to focus on "key differences and tensions" between laws and political considerations behind them.

Ms. Padmashali told The Hindu that her talk would focus on the violence and human rights violations faced by transgenders in India as well as issues of civic identity. “I will also talk about the recent Supreme Court judgment on transgenders that is very radical in the way it defines the community and elucidates its rights.





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