Human Rights

Gender Prison: Malta becomes first European country to recognize gender identity in Constitution

Yesterday Malta became the first European country to recognize gender identity in its constitution. Last evening the Maltese parliament passed a constitutional amendment which included gender identity as a protected ground, allowed transgender people who have changed their legal gender to legally enter into a marriage, and introduced civil unions for couples of all gender combinations with "nearly the same rights as married couples."

Oh, yeah…I guess more people would be interested in the latter event. Malta now becomes one of 21 European countries which legally recognize same-sex couples and their families.

These are fantastic news. It has been a long way for Malta, and we congratulate the activists who have fought over all the years for the recognition and protection of transgender people.

—Julia Ehrt, Transgender Europe executive director

The Maltese amendment is seen as a call for all other countries to lift the state of transgender humanity out of the dark shadows of unenlightened prejudice.

Countries must say loud and clear: we stand proudly by our transgender population. We need more trans champions like Malta.

—Richard Köhler, TGEU




Connecticut transgender teen sent to adult prison...convicted of no crime

In Connecticut a transgender teen (16, according to reports) who had been in the custody of the Department of Children and Families was transferred out of that custody and sent to an adult prison, York Correctional Institution in Niantic (East Lyme). On the one hand, the transgender girl was sent to an all-female facility. On the other hand, it is an adult facility…and the teen had been convicted of no crime.

DCF said that it could no longer care for the transgender girl, claiming that she had a history of assaulting staff members. DCF officials referred to a a statute which hasn’t been used in 14 years that allows the transfer when there is no other option for a treatment program. It is the first time in 20 years that the statute was used against a ward of the state.

Connecticut corrections officials say the teen will be evaluated at York and could be sent to the Manson Youth Institution, which only houses males, aged 14-20.

Sandra Staub, legal director of the ACLU of Connecticut, criticized the DCF, saying the teen was being targeted because she is transgender.

No other girl in DCF custody has been endangered in this way. The result, if not the intent, is clearly discriminatory.


People are discussing this online at #ReThinkMalloy.

Connecticut’s history indicates the youth will be housed based on her sex at birth, although DOC officials say housing decisions are made on a case-by-case evaluation.



A problematic gay rights victory in Lebanon

On the one hand, the fact that a judge in Lebanon ruled in January that criminalization of gay sex in that country must cease is a very good thing.

On the other hand, the case way that happened…the case that won that ruling…and the aftermath are off-putting.

Although the case was decided at the end of January the result was not made public until it was released in the arabic legal magazine Legal Agenda last week.

Judge Naji El Dahdah of Jdeide Court in Beirut dismissed a case on January 28 in which the country of Lebanon accused a self-described transgender woman of having a same-sex relationship with a man. From a transgender perspective, these two individuals were having a heterosexual relationship.

The defendant, whom the report does not name, was born with deformed or incomplete genitalia, but was described as male on her personal status registry. However, she said she always felt she was a woman, and underwent surgery in the 1990s to remove her male genitals and create a vagina.

--Venetia Rainey, The Daily Star

So here we discover that the transgender woman was, in fact, intersex.

And the gay news media was all about the legalization of gay sex…even though the ruling was about penis/vagina sex.

Can you say erasure.



Hellraisers Journal: Defense Further Demolishes Case Against Cripple Creek Strike Leaders

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Wednesday March 2, 1904
Cripple Creek District - Witnesses for the Defense Demolish Case Against Union Leaders

Cripple Creek Strike, Colorado: The Bull Pen

The work of demolishing the case against the district leaders of the Western Federation of Miners, begun early last week by the "persecution's" own witnesses, was completed later in the week by the witnesses for the defense. The case for the defense was presented, beginning on Friday. Mrs. Emma F. Langdon offers this report from the courtroom:




Hellraisers Journal: Mounted Chicago Police Attack Unemployed and Striking Waitresses at Henrici's

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Sunday March 1, 1914
From The Inter Ocean: Chicago Police Attack Unemployed, Arrests Striking Waitresses

Unemployed at Soup Kitchen, Chicago
Unemployed Men Line Up at Soup Kitchen

As the unemployment crisis deepens across the nation, we can expect more scenes such as the one which took place in Chicago two days ago, described below as justifiable police action against "mobs."




Hellraisers Journal: Annie Clemenc In Chicago, Stands With Young Waitresses On Strike at Henrici's

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Saturday February 28, 1914
Chicago, Illinois - Annie Clemenc Stands with Striking Waitresses at Henrici's

Annie Clemenc, The Joan of Arc of Calumet

From today's edition of The Day Book comes the story of Annie on the picket line with the courageous young waitresses of Chicago:





Portsmouth seeks to ignite transgender rights in New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire is perhaps going to be the ignition point for transgender rights in New Hampshire. The state is the only New England state which has not passed protections for transgender people.

New Hampshire is one of four states which has protections for people on the basis of sexual orientation, but not on the basis of gender identity or expression. The others are New York, Wisconsin and Maryland. I reported on efforts to change that status in Maryland in January.

 photo splaine_zps8ccbc750.jpg

I want to make sure the 'City of the Open Door' has a welcome mat for all residents and visitors. There's nothing more important than the way we treat one another. 

--Portsmouth Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine

Splaine and transgender advocates spoke Wednesday to the editorial board of the Seacoast Media Group.



Gender Prison: Victories, though rare, should be acknowledged when they occur

At the end of January, I published It's never to late to discriminate, concerning the tribulations Robina Asti encountered when she sought to access survivor benefits from the Social Security Administration after the death of her husband.

The 92-year-old Robina was told that her marriage did not meet the Federal requirements for Social Security widow's benefits because "at the time of your marriage, you were not legally a woman"…even though the federal government had recognized her as a woman for over 30 years.

 photo Robina-Asti_CURRENTX400_zps7ad6b395.jpg

I am so insulted that the Social Security Administration refused to recognize me as a woman and treated my marriage to Norwood in such a disrespectful way. I have lived a very private life, but the SSA is forcing me to speak out. I don’t want other people to have to experience this. 

--Robina Asti

Well, Lambda Legal announced yesterday that the SSA paid Robina the back survivor benefits to which she is entitled…receiving the amount to on Valentine's Day. We presume that her March check from the SSA will reflect the survivor benefits as well.




Hate Crime on Campus

A transgender woman was the victim of a hate crime at the University of North Florida on February 6. University police say it is the first reported hate crime on the campus.

The victim apparently feared legal reprisal if she used the women's restroom and so used the men's restroom in the Social Sciences building. A male followed her into the restroom, verbally assaulted her and tried to touch her inappropriately.






Subscribe to RSS - Human Rights