Law and Justice

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.



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.



Franken presses Feds to take action on anti-trans violence

On Wednesday, Minnesota Senator Al Franken sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey seeking answers on the reporting of this year's record level of anti-transgender violence. Franken wrote the two-page letter from his position as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I write to express serious concern about the alarming number of homicides and violent crimes targeting transgender and gender nonconforming people. I strongly urge the U.S. Department of Justice to work with state and local authorities in the investigation and prosecution of these incidents, and to redouble its efforts to ensure the accurate reporting of all bias-motivated crimes.




Federal Judge allows transgender discrimination case to move forward

 photo patricia-dawson_zps9co75plu.pngOn Tuesday Judge Susan Webber Wright of the Eastern District of Arkansas has denied a request for summary judgment in the case of Dawson v H&H Electric.

Patricia Dawson of White County claims that she was fired by H & H Electric of Hot Springs because of her sex and because of her failure to conform to expected sex stereotypes.



How much could her life have been worth anyhow?

 photo Tovar_zps2xutybhn.jpgJanette Tovar was a 43-year-old transgender woman. She was said to be a popular nightclub promoter.

Tovar had been in a relationship with Jonathan Stuart Kenney, 29, for over a year and were living together in October of 2012. From all reports, however, it was a "very turbulent relationship." According to the apartment manager, who dived on the floor below their apartment, the couple were always fighting and were at it again between 8am and 9am on October 15, when he heard Tovar yell, "Get off me." The couple left the apartment at that time...still fighting.

Kenney now admits to slamming Tovar's head into the pavement before they returned to the apartment. Kenney then beat Tovar again.

Around 4pm Kenney called 911 to report that Tovar was unconscious and unresponsive...but not before he posted the following on the Book of Face:

I love you my baby Janette, your my love my everything and I will miss you so much. Your the best thing that ever happened to me girl kisses!!!!!! I hope you can see me down here even though I can’t see you I feel your spirit still living in me. Rest in peace mi amor mi vida.

Tovar was determined to have died from blunt force trauma.



Making a new plan, Stan

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has a new plan.

Under a new policy announced yesterday Sheriff Mirkarimi intends to house all inmates in San Francisco County's jails by their gender identity.

He hopes to have transgender inmates living with their preferred population before 2016.

But transgender inmates who choose to remain in segregated housing or to continue living with other inmates who share the their birth sex can do so, according to Kenya Briggs, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.

I carry the perspective forward that the transgender population is marginalized on the streets of America. Consider how magnified that treatment is inside prisons and jails.




Ashley Diamond: I want people to recognize that I am human

 photo diamond_zpsmbsd3ijf.pngWhen I first heard that Ashley Diamond had received early parole from the Georgia Department of Corrections, like many observers, I was quite confident this was a cynical attempt by the GDOC to moot Diamond's pending lawsuit.

Diamond is at her mother's home in Rome, GA now.

It’s a bit overwhelming. I’ve just been taking it day [by] day, really.




9th Circuit: Convention Against Torture applies to transgender deportees

The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals has overruled an immigration judge and the US Board of Immigration Appeals in the case of transgender woman Edin (Carey) Avendano-Hernandez's deportation.

Born in a small town in southern Mexico, Avendano-Hernandez started identifying herself as female at age 5 or 6 and was beaten by her father and schoolmates, and raped by her older brothers and cousins, the court said. She dropped out of high school at 16 and moved to Mexico City, where she was harassed by customers of a nightclub where she worked. After she returned home to care for her dying mother, an older brother threatened her with death.



Parents try to have their adult child declared to be incompetent to prevent surgery

 photo Kitzler_zpstv9dbpmm.jpgPennsylvania Judge Theodore Fritsch, Jr. yesterday dismissed an effort by the parents of a 48-year-old transgender woman to block her gender reassignment surgery. The parents of Christine Kitlzer claimed that their child was mentally incompetent and asked the judge to appoint a legal guardian for her.

Judge Fritsch determined that Ms. Kitzler showed a clear understanding of the procedure she had been scheduled to undergo and the attendant risks involved. He then voided the temporary injunction that had prevented the surgery on Tuesday.

Kitzler's lawyers and Philadelphia-area surgeon were trying to schedule the operation for this week. The surgeon, Dr. Christine McGinn, said she would cover the cost. The operation had been set for Tuesday before Klaus and Ingrid Kitzler won a temporary injunction.



Ashley Diamond paroled early in Georgia

I first reported about Ashley Diamond in April when the US Department of Justice intervened in the the Georgia transgender inmate's federal lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Corrections. In Ashley Diamond v. Owens, et. al, Ms. Diamond sought to have the GDC provide her with the hormones that she began taking the age of 17 and had been denied by prison officials and to protect her from being repeatedly sexually assaulted.

Because of the failure to provide hormones, Ashley changed from looking like the first picture below to the appearance she had in the second.





This had a profound physical and emotional impact on Ms. Diamond. Terminating her hormone therapy created painful side effects, including chest pains, heart palpitations, clinically significant depression, and increased thoughts of suicide, hopelessness and anxiety. According to Ms. Diamond, her gender dysphoria is so severe that she has attempted suicide and self-castration on multiple occasions during her incarceration.

Ashley, in prison for theft, probation violation, escape and obstruction of justice, was sentenced to a maximum of 11 years and has since been shuffled from Georgia male prison to Georgia male prison.

Filing the lawsuit earned her a transfer to the Georgia State Prison in retaliation. GSP has had more sexual assaults between 2009 and 2014 than all but one other state prison.

Since her arrival there, Ms. Diamond has survived an attempted rape in a stairwell, dealt with inmates exposing themselves and masturbating in front of her, and faced relentless sexual coercion, she said last week in an emergency motion seeking an immediate transfer to a safer institution.

Ms. Diamond was not scheduled to have a parole hearing until November. But out of the blue she was paroled on Monday after serving less than a third of her sentence.





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