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Transgender Updates 4/26/14

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Transgender FlagThere’s a lot happening these days involving transgender rights – here are some of the stories from the last 24 hours.

Indonesia: A school for transgender women that had to close when its founder passed away last month has reopened in a new location. full story

USA, Connecticut: A 16-year-old transgender girl who was transferred into adult prison is speaking out about the experience. full story

USA, Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Representative Mark Cohen plans to introduce a series of transgender rights bills to get the conversation started in the state. full story

USA, Texas: A transgender teacher who was suspended in Texas after parents complained will be allowed to return to work, but will not be permitted to work with kids. full story

Transgender Updates 4/24/14

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Transgender FlagA lot of news on the transgender rights front today.

Bahrain: Two transgender prostitutes have lost an appeal on their 6 month jail sentence. full story

Canada: An Alberta judge ruled that a provincial law that requires gender reassignment surgery before gender can be changed on a birth certificate is unconstitutional. full story

USA: A new study looks at health disparities between transgender people and the population as a while. full story

USA, Illinois: A lawsuit filed last week says a health care services group improperly denied a transgender woman hormone therapy. full story

Transgender activists: “Time to Step Up for Our Own Advocacy”

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Transgender AdvocacyIn the 1950s and 1960s, the United States saw a cultural shift in its approach to civil rights. African-Americans and their allies finally stood together and demanded change. The movement killed segregation, ignited debate about interracial marriage and helped pave the way for equality among races in the United States. Some argue that battle is still continuing.

In 1969, the Gay Rights movement took off after the Stonewall Riots. Forty-Five years later, same-sex couples can legally wed in 17 states (and counting) and more government agencies are granting domestic partnership benefits. But there’s a segment of society that has patiently waited in line for its turn to fight for equality. And that time could be now.

Transgender Americans are finally getting noticed. But that battle for equality could be a good decade or two behind the Gay Rights push. Has the gay community left the transgender community behind, or are the two linked communities actually separate, fighting very different battles?

Authored By David Thomas Moran – See the Full Story at Watermark

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USA: Justice Department to Extend Recognition to All Legally Married Same Sex Couples

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

US Attorney General Eric HolderAttorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will recognize all legal same sex marriage, regardless of where the couple lives.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

In a new milestone for gay rights, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. will issue a directive Monday expanding government recognition of same-sex marriages to all federal courtrooms and prisons, and some federal benefits programs.

The new policy, which Holder plans to announce Saturday night at a gay rights dinner in New York City, means the Justice Department will not object if gay or lesbian partners refuse to testify against their spouses in federal criminal and civil cases, and will push for them to be accorded the same rights in Bankruptcy court as other married couples. These privileges will be extended to same-sex couples even in states that do not recognize their marriages as long as they were legally married in another state.

I’m guessing this won’t sit well with folks in some conservative states… LOL.

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Transgender Rights Update 2/5/14

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Transgender FlagWe have a few stories to share with you today regarding transgender rights around the world.

First off, Amnesty International has a new report out on transgender rights in Europe:

Amnesty International’s report, The state decides who I am: lack of legal recognition for transgender people in Europe, focuses on seven European countries. It highlights how procedures to obtain legal gender recognition violate fundamental human rights in Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Belgium and Germany. And how in Ireland no procedure exists at all, though legislation in this area is planned. It is estimated that there could be as many as 1.5 million transgender people in the European Union. In many states there are strict conditions under which individuals can change their legal gender. Transgender people can obtain legal gender recognition only if they are diagnosed with a mental disorder, agree to undergo medical procedures such as hormone treatments and surgeries resulting in irreversible sterilization, and have to prove that they are single. The whole process can take years.

Also in Europe, the European Parliament strongly condemned homophobia and transphobia.

GayWebSource reports:

The report adopted today “strongly condemns” homophobia and transphobia in the European Union. MEPs ask the European Commission, Member States and EU agencies to ”work jointly on a comprehensive multiannual policy to protect the fundamental rights of LGBTI people”, also known as a roadmap or a strategy. Such strategies already exist in the field of Roma integration, discrimination on the basis of disability, and gender equality.

Next, in Maryland, the Senate held a hearing in a bill to ban discrimination against transgender citizens.

The Washington Blade reports:

Members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee heard testimony from supporters and opponents of Senate Bill 212 that state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) introduced last month. The measure would ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression in employment, housing, public accommodation and credit. “At its core, SB 212 is about securing basic civil rights for transgender Marylanders: the right to a job, a place to live and fair treatment in public spaces,” said Madaleno.

LGBT Weekly reports on transphobia at the Daily Caller:

Media Matters for America’s latest piece reveals how The Daily Caller mocked and objectified transgender students in its report on a recent legal victory for transgender youth. This report also featured the long-debunked claim that transgender students will engage in inappropriate behavior if they’re allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. The Daily Caller mocked and objectified transgender students in its report on a recent legal victory for transgender youth, a report that also featured the long-debunked claim that transgender students will engage in inappropriate behavior if they’re allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

And finally, the case of a transgender teen in the SF Bay Area is proceeding.

Edge Boston reports:

The case of Jewlyes Gutierrez, the 16-year-old Bay Area trans woman whose charge of aggravated battery after defending herself from a schoolyard attack last November set off a firestorm against the Contra County District Attorney, continues to move through the court system and toward a pre-trial conference scheduled for Feb. 5. As her assailants were not charged, the senior deputy district attorney responsible for the charge, Daniel Cabral, is now facing accusations of trans discrimination and bias. A Change.org petition started by Gutierrez’s sister, Valerie Poquiz, has now reached 150,000 supporters since January, and the case has drawn the attention of the Transgender Law Center and the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, several news outlets across the globe, and Charles Ramsey, president of the West Contra Costa County Unified School District, who condemned the charge as “sending the wrong message.” The Transgender Law Center in San Francisco is calling for the case to be dropped.

When we started this blog back in 2008, news stories about transgender people were few and far between, and transgender rights victories were practically nonexistent. It’s encouraging to see that starting to change, though we still face an uphill battle with our transgender brothers and sisters.

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Transgender Rights Round-Up 12/4/13

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Transgender FlagWe have a batch of stories today about transgender rights to share with you.

UK: A Christian transgender group has described the publication of last week’s Pilling Report as having “very little to say about transgender people” in the Church of England. full story

USA, California: A transgender game designer is bringing some diversity to the video game scene. full story

USA, Maryland: The city of Hyattsville unanimously passed an anti-LGBT discrimination ordinance that includes its transgender citizens. full story

USA, Rhode Island: Stephen Alexander has become the first known openly transgender high school coach. full story

USA: New Transgender Law Book from the ABA

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Transgender Persons and the LawThe American Bar Association has just released a new guide book for transgender law.

The Advocate reports:

According to a new poll by Monmouth University/Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, 30 percent of New Jersey residents surveyed said Christie was doing an above-average job when it comes to gay marriage, while 31 percent said he was doing a below-average job, which adds up to an average grade of C, USA Today writes. “It’s a middling grade,” Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray said. “It’s an average grade, but the key thing there I think is that it’s an elective subject as far as most voters are concerned. It’s not part of his core curriculum when they judge how he’s doing his job.” He added that New Jersey residents don’t find marriage equality to be one of the top issues.

The book should be invaluable for transgender rights cases across the US.

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USA, California: New Law Gives Transgender Students More Rights

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Transgender FlagA new law adds rights and protections for transgender students. Pink News reports:

The bill, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, shall take affect from 1 January 2014 and will allow transgender students the right to use whichever toilet they feel most comfortable using and the right to choose which sports activities to take part in based on their own gender identity. A clear majority voted to approve AB1266 with 21 voting in favour and 9 voting against when the bill was first brought to the California Assembly.

It’s a big step forward for transgender students to have the support of the state when it comes to issues that so directly affect their school lives. Maybe this law will make their lives a little easier.

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Delaware, USA: Transgender Rights Bill Signed by Governor

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

DelawareDelaware just passed and signed into law new protections for its transgender citizens. Joe.My.God reports:

This afternoon Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed a transgender rights bill into law hours after it was approved by the state Senate. The Washington Blade reports: Delaware Gov. Jack Markell on Wednesday signed a bill that will add gender identity and expression to his state’s anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws. “Discrimination on basis of gender identity is inherently wrong,” he said. “Legislation to prohibit it is inherently right.” The state Senate by an 11-9 vote margin earlier in the day approved an amended version of Senate Bill 97 that passed in the Delaware House of Representatives on Tuesday.

It’s a good reminder, as we wait in the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decisions, that there’s still a lot of work to do on other issues of importance to the LGBT community. And they don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

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Virginia, USA: 62% Support Rights for Gay Couples, 45% Support Marriage Equality

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

titleA new Roanoke College poll looked at support for gay relationship recognition in Virginia. Think Progress reports:

A new Roanoke College poll shows growing support for marriage equality in Virginia, though still only a close 45 percent plurality supports it over 41 percent who oppose it. Other questions, however, reveal that when separated from the question of “marriage,” Virginians are much more eager to support same-sex couples. A solid 60 percent agree that same-sex couples “can be as good parents as heterosexual couples,” while only 27 percent disagree. Further, 62 percent believe same-sex couples “should have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples,” while just 28 percent disagree.

While some state top 60% in marriage equality support, others are still mired below 50%.

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