Gov. Hassan makes a move

In the transgender community New Hampshire is mostly known as one of three states that have anti-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation, but not on the basis of gender identity (Wisconsin, New York).

On Thursday Gov. Maggie Hassan followed New York's Gov. Andrew Governor by utilizing the power of her office to do what she could. Gov. Hassan signed an executive order that bans discrimination in state government against transgender people,

Throughout our history, it has been clear time and again that we always grow stronger when we work to ensure the full inclusion of all citizens in our democracy, our economy and our communities. By making clear that gender identity and gender expression are protected in the State’s anti-discrimination policies, this Executive Order helps ensure that New Hampshire state government welcomes and incorporates the talents and contributions of all of our citizens.

--Gov. Hassan

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Reactions

Captain Jennifer Peace is an intelligence officer at Joint Base Lewis McChord near Tacoma, WA. She says she found herself "moved" as she watched Sec. Ashton Carter's announcement yesterday of the lifting of the ban on open service by transgender members.

Transgender people have served honorably in the military for years. To hear that validated by the secretary of Defense, it was an incredible feeling. It had a lot more impact than I anticipated.

--Peace

Captain Peace is one of an estimated 15,000 transgender service members on active duty.

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Before the Beginning

In the Beginning
Was the Light
And the Light was With God
And the Light was God

World Without End, Amen. Ah, men.

Ah, womyn.
Why must you always set it right?
Why must you always cross the borders in the middle of the night

Before the beginning
You were the Heavens and the Earth
You were the fire in the hearth
And you were born to cross the border in the middle of my heart

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Republicans rejecting science: It's what they do

Nico Lang has an essay at the LA Times: Being transgender isn’t a mental illness. What’s sick is a society that treats it that way

Attacking Obama, Kansas state Sen. Steve Fitzgerald:

You’re either male or you’re female, and it’s not changeable. It’s reality. Inability to deal with that reality, or to recognize that reality, is disoriented, and can be disoriented to the point of insanity.

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Revisiting Massachusetts

When last we checked on Massachusetts, it seemed as if progress were...er...progressing apace. The Senate had passed their version of the Transgender Public Accommodation bill 33-4, the House had passed their version 116-36 and Governor Charlie Baker had said he would sign the House version.

Now somehow we have slowed to whatever is less than a snail's pace. I'd suggest a glacial pace...but you know how vanishing those are becoming.

And the current legislative session is fast approaching conclusion.

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Hate strikes in Seattle

 photo SEattle_zpscr8gvdmp.jpgMichael Volz, a 36-year-old transgender man, was leaving a fundraiser for Orlando victims  held Wednesday evening at a nightclub when he was approached by a man of about 20 who said "Hey, Happy Pride" before grabbing the transman by the throat while yelling a transgender slur.

The transgender man was choked to unconsciousness and beaten. Then the suspect fled the scene.

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Military's transgender ban may be lifted before the Fourth

After a delay that has lasted several months the Pentagon is planning to publicly announce the repeal on its ban on service by transgender troops on July 1.

Top personnel officials plan to meet as early as Monday to finalize details of the plan, and Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work could sign off on it by Wednesday, according to a Defense official familiar with the timetable but who spoke on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to speak publicly about it. Final approval would come from Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and the announcement will be on the eve of the Fourth of July weekend.

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Bathroom Bits

US District Court Judge Robert G. Doumar, having been overruled on the topic of the applicability of Title IX by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, has ordered that the Gloucester County School System must allow Gavin Grimm to use the boys restroom while his discrimination case continues to be litigated.

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Dorchester County, SC, School District settles discrimination case

The US DoE's Office of Civil Rights yesterday announced that Dorchester County School District Two in South Carolina has entered into a voluntary agreement to stop discriminating against a transgender elementary school student. THE OCR had found that the district was in violation of Title IX's prohibition on sex-based discrimination.

I commend Dorchester County School District Two for committing to protect the civil rights of all students and ensuring that all students have equal access to education programs and activities.

--Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights

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