Human Rights

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's...sex. " 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

Topic: 

0

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.

--Belkin

[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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topic: 

Column: 

3

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)

Topic: 

Column: 

3

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

Topic: 

Column: 

3

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.

Topic: 

Column: 

3

NCIS: Olongapo City

 photo Jennifer_Laude_t250_zpsb56ca96d.jpgClosed Circuit TV cameras show PFC Joseph Scott Pemberton, 19, and three other Marines were drunk when they entered a Ambyanz Disco in Olongapo City around 11pm on Saturday, October 11. They show Pemberton leaving the bar a few minutes later with Jennifer Laude and three friends. Pemberton is seen holding hands with Jennifer's friend Barbie as they left Ambyanz for Celzone Lodge.

At around 11:35 Pemberton's buddies were seen returning to the bar, looking for him. They asked the bar employees if they might know where he was. They had midnight curfew and had to get back to the ship.

One witness identified Pemberton from a photo line-up by Philippine National Police. That witness also identified the 26-year-old Barbie as a witness of interest. Both witnesses have asked for government protection. Barbie also identified Pemberton.

Barbie has told investigators that she was sent away by Jennifer, who sensed there might be danger because they were transgender, so she and another friend went to another room in the lodge. Barbie said that a room attendant (Elias Gallamos) knocked on their door around 11:45 to tell them that Pemberton had left, leaving the door ajar and Jennifer "passed out" in the bathroom of her room.

Jennifer was, in fact, dead. She had been strangled and drowned in the toilet. Autopsy listed the cause of death as asphyxiation by drowning.

Topic: 

3

Gender Prison: The Fraudulence of 'Family Values'

Family can be so very toxic.

Robby Rikard is a baptist pastor because of course he is...our story just wouldn't be the same if he weren't. However much he wants this story to be about his cousin Jessica and her husband, Robby is the central actor in our drama (written by Rob Watson aka @JandJDad, who deserves major props)..

Other characters in the story are Robby's cousin Jessica and her husband Nick and American Family Association hater-in-chief Bryan Fisher.

Topic: 

Column: 

3

EEOC files first ever lawsuits against companies for discriminating against transgender employees.

EEOC files first ever lawsuits against companies for discriminating against transgender employees.

R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes of Garden City, Michigan and Lakeland Eye Clinic of Lakeland, Florida have been found to have much in common by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

 photo Amiee-Stephens-x400_zps650425d2.jpgIn 2013 Aimee Stephens, an embalmer and Funeral Director told her boss at Harris that she was transitioning from male to female. Two weeks after that the owner of the funeral home chain fired here...telling her that what she proposed to do was "unacceptable."

In 2011 Brandi Branson was fired from her job as director of hearing services at Lakeland Eye Clinic after informing her employer that she was transitioning to female and beginning to wear makeup and women's tailored clothing.

Branson observed that co-workers snickered, rolled their eyes and withdrew from social interactions with her.

EEOC says the companies violated federal law by discriminating based on gender stereotypes. and has filed suit against them.

Federal law “prohibits employers from firing employees because they do not behave according to the employer’s stereotypes of how men and women should act.

--Laurie Young, EEOC attorney.

Topic: 

3

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.

Topic: 

Column: 

3

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.

 

 photo transgendervoting_zpsb8208d4e.jpg
 

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

Topic: 

3

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Human Rights