Human Rights

BC soon to add gender identity to Human Rights Code

Equality news out of Canada from yesterday:

Attorney General Suzanne Anton said the BC Liberals will table the amendment in the upcoming summer legislative session, after years of lobbying by NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert and transgender advocacy groups.

In Canada-speak, "tabling an amendment" means "bring it to the table."

As British Columbians, we must ensure everyone in B.C., especially those most likely to face discrimination, are not only protected by the law, but feel they are protected and understand that they are protected.




It's not brain surgery, Ben

Really. I mean, I know that it is difficult for people who are not transgender to understand what it feels or means to be transgender, because it is a non-feeling to them, but Ben Carson purports to be the "smartest guy in the room."

But all he is proving is that he is the dumbest "smart guy" in Cleveland.

In an interview with The Hill newspaper, Carson felt it necessary to share his views on transgender. As is usually the case for Carson, his synapses appear not to be firing in good order at the time.




Chicago YMCA stirs the pot

YMCA of Metro Chicago has issued guidelines for accommodating transgender members and guests. They allow access to restrooms and changing areas matching gender identity.

The protocol was explained in a letter posted Wednesday on the organization's website. The YMCA of Metro Chicago said it also sent the letter to its 140,000 members at its 21 Chicagoland centers. The guidelines will cover all YMCA of Metro Chicago programs and services, from gym and pool facilities to summer camps and various classes. The policies wouldn't apply to some smaller, independent YMCA's in the Chicago area.

We recognize our commitment in support of the rights of all individuals can cause some to feel uncomfortable.. Again, it's our goal for all members to thrive at the Y, and this is why we will do our best to support each of you while maintaining an environment that reflects the inclusive values we share.

--Dick Malone, YMCA of Metro Chicago



EEOC files bias case against Bojangles

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a worker identified as Jonathan Wolfe against Bojangles Restaurants, Inc. Wolfe was employed at a Bojangels in Fayetteville, NC.

According to the release, Wolfe "was repeatedly subjected to offensive comments about her gender identity and appearance. The belittling statements often demanded that Wolfe, who identifies and presents as a woman, engage in behavior and grooming practices that are stereotypically male, because that is the sex Wolfe was assigned at birth."

The release said derogatory comments about Wolfe continued, even after she had reported them on at least two occasions.

Wolfe was fired shortly after complaining about the statements.



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




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.


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



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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