Law and Justice

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.




Trans woman raped by corrections officer at Rikers, files federal lawsuit

A transgender woman, identified only as M.T., who is a former inmate at Rikers Island has filed suit in Manhattan Federal Court claiming she was sexually assaulted repeatedly by a corrections officer at the Robert N. Davoren Complex after having been harassed for months by the officer.

M. T. claims she was raped by Officer L. Galan on Dec. 2, 2012.

Galan stated that Plaintiff ‘could do this the easy way or the hard way,’ Plaintiff did not feel that (she) could walk away or call out for help.

--the lawsuit



Pemberton just defending his honor

Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton testified yesterday in his trial for the murder of Fillipina transgender woman Jennifer Laude.

Reporters have not been allowed in the court room, so all information about the proceedings has come from news conferences held by the various lawyers.

Pemberton testified yesterday that his sister is a lesbian, so he is not a if his sister being lesbian automatically implies he could not be transphobic.

Then he proceeded to prove that statement to be in error.

Pemberton testified that he had gotten drunk while on furlough in Olongapo City and had been deceived by transgender sex workers Barbie Gelviro and Jennifer Laude.




Federal Judge nixes Title IX legal theory

Gavin Grimm sat quietly in the audience last November as dozens of parents at a school board meeting in Gloucester County, Va., demanded that he be barred from using the boys’ restrooms at school. They discussed the transgender boy’s genitals, expressed concern that he might expose himself and cautioned that being in a men’s room would make the teenager vulnerable to rape. One person called him a “freak.”

When Gavin, 16, got his turn at the podium, he was remarkably composed. “I didn’t ask to be this way,” Gavin said. “All I want to do is be a normal child and use the restroom in peace.”

Today, Judge Robert Doumar of Federal District Court in Virginia was scheduled to consider whether Gloucester school board's banning of Gavin from the men's restroom consitutes unlawful discrimination.

Judge. Doumar said in federal court in Norfolk on Monday that it was "highly unlikely" that he will grant a preliminary injunction that would require Gloucester County Public Schools to allow a 16-year-old transgender student to use the boys' restroom this fall.

The injunction is a part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of Gavin Grimm by the American Civil Liberties Union, which seeks a court order requiring the school board to let Grimm use the boys' restroom, even though he was born female.

Doumar said he will issue a written opinion on the injunction and after that, set a trial date on the lawsuit.

Doumar did dismiss the Title IX discrimination claims in the lawsuit, saying federal law allows schools to have separate restrooms based on sex.

The DOJ had filed a statement of interest on behalf of Gavin earlier this month.




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