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USA, Florida: Student Brings Florida Marriage Equality Lawsuit After Being Denied In-State Tuition

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

FloridaA student has filed another Florida marriage equality lawsuit, after he was denied in-state tuition.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Gildas Dousset filed an appeal in state court Wednesday, which alleges Florida’s laws barring recognition of valid out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples are unconstitutional. Dousset is a student at Florida Atlantic University. He and his spouse legally married in Massachusetts in 2013. Dousset applied for in-state tuition as the spouse of a long-time Florida resident, but says he was turned down because the school refused to recognize his marriage. The National Center for Lesbian Rights is handling Dousset’s case. Doussett said in a statement, “I would like my marriage to be recognized just as other students’ marriages are.”

It’s a great reminder of just how painful and debilitating these bans can be, and how the damage can show up in all kinds of unexpected ways.

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Canada: Transgender High School Students Speak Out

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Transgender FlagAttending the Breaking the Silence conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, transgender high school students spoke out.

Global News reports:

Bailey Lindsay, a Grade 12 transgender student, was one of the speakers at the event. He said he suffers discrimination. “Currently there is a high tolerance level for teachers who say homophobic and transphobic things during class,” Lindsay explained, adding how one teacher in particular has insulted him many times. “She referred to trans people as cross-dressing freaks,” he said.

I’m sorry, but any teacher who refers to one of his/her students as a “freak” should be fired.

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Australia: Students Confront Prime Minister Abbot Over Marriage Equality Opposition

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Australia Prime Minister Tony AbbottKids in Australia don’t understand the ban on marriage equality anymore than kids in the US do. Prime Minister Tony Abbott was questioned by high school students over the issue. reports:

High school students from the Newtown High School of the Performing Arts (a school in the suburbs of Sydney) confronted Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a question and answer session on Friday about his opposition to same-sex marriage. Asked one student, to wild cheers from the others: “Why are you so against legalizing gay marriage?”

Abbott replied: “Well look, I’m not against people having a wonderful relationship, I’m all in favor of people having loving, permanent relationships, but I guess it’s a definitional thing.”

To which another student shouted, to more wild cheers: “There’s a lot of gay people in our school. I have a lot of gay friends, and it’s sad to think that they can’t get married just because they’re attracted to the same sex!”

He has no good answer because there is no good answer.

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China: Students Urge Lawmakers to Legalize Marriage Equality

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Great Wall of ChinaA group of Chinese students has sent letters to the Government to urge them to legalize marriage equality.

Gay Star News reports:

Liang Wenhui, a graduate student from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and founder of Chinese Gay-Straight Alliance, with the help of other students wrote and posted 3,000 individually-addressed letters to individual deputies of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) last week urging them to legalize same-sex marriage. Twenty-two students from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou are said to have spent five and half hours stuffing the letters in the envelopes, piling them into four big boxes before taking them to the post office. According to The Nanfang news website, Liang says that same-sex couples have experienced a lot of discrimination when it comes to receiving medical and health services, social welfare, and rights related to the disposal of property, commercial insurance, banking and the purchase of a home.

Change comes, albeit slowly, even in communist China.

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USA, Utah: Lawmakers Want to Force Transgender Students to Birth Gender Bathrooms

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Transgender FlagAs transgender rights begin to progress across the US, Utah wants to march in the opposite direction.

Think Progress reports:

Utah state legislator filed a bill Wednesday that would prevent students from using school bathrooms that were not consistent with their biological “male or female phenotype.” By defining gender as the same as sex, it would reject the existence of gender identity and force transgender kids to either risk their safety and use the wrong bathroom or face isolation by using a separate private bathroom. Rep. Mark Kennedy’s (R) House Bill 87 would change Utah law to prohibit students from using “a public school’s gender-segregated bathroom if the bathroom does not correspond to the student’s gender.” Kennedy told a local newspaper that the bill was a reaction to California and designed to make sure that no similar protections are given in Utah to transgender students. “We are just trying to make sure people are comfortable,” he argued.

Will transgender women be “comfortable” going into a men’s restroom? Will straight men be “comfortable” when a woman walks in?

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USA, Maine: Victory in Court for Transgender Students

Friday, January 31st, 2014


Photo courtesy of GLAD

Maine’s Supreme Court handed transgender students in the state a big victory yesterday.

The Washington Blade reports:

Maine’s highest state court ruled on Thursday that schools within the state must permit transgender students to use communal bathrooms in accordance with their gender identity. In a 5-1 decision, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled in the case of Doe v. Clenchy that Regional School Unit 26 violated the Maine’s Human Rights Act by denying Nicole Maines, a transgender girl, access to the girl’s restroom. It’s the first time a state court has ruled that trans students must be allowed to use a bathroom consistent with their gender identity.

It’s about time. Kudos to these kids for having the guts to stand up for themselves and fight for this.

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USA, California: Anti-Transgender Initiative Unlikely to Qualify for Ballot

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Transgender FlagAn initiative that would overturn California’s new law allowing transgender kids to use the bathroom of their choice at school looks unlikely to make the ballot this year.

The Washington Blade reports:

A total of 504,760 signatures were due last Thursday, which are required to place the law, known as the School Success & Opportunity Act, on the ballot for the 2014 election. Opponents of the measure, led by the Privacy for All Students Coalition, submitted 613,120 signatures from a majority of state counties in favor of overturning the law. But they’re averaging just 75 percent authenticity in the random sample as of Friday, which is significantly below the average ultimately needed to qualify. If the number of valid signatures is less than 95 percent of the 504,760 needed, the measure would fail to qualify for the ballot.

Let’s hope this trend continues. It’s disgusting that these people going after kids. Especially transgender kids, who are going through one of the most difficult things imaginable just dealing with understanding and accepting their gender.

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USA, California: Transgender Law Opponents Have New Rallying Cry

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Transgender FlagApparently, physical facilities are more important than transgender students, as opponents of a new law to protect those students are starting to call for “Saving Our Locker Rooms”.

Think Progress reports:

Sex-segregated personal facilities exist because there are some very particular ways in which men and women remain different, and always will be different. We need not go into detail to observe that men and women have different experiences in restrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-segregated places because of the differences in their anatomy. Separating the sexes in these facilities allows for distinct physical accommodations proper to the needs of men and women, but more importantly it allows for camaraderie among those who share the whole life experience of manhood or womanhood—among those who are the same. Advice, help, humor—there are some things that only those of the same sex can fully understand and appreciate, and which would not only be awkward but senseless to discuss with someone of the opposite sex (other than, perhaps, a spouse). Secondarily, these personal facilities also implicate parts of the body that are particularly sexual in nature, even if nudity is not present. Personal facilities are sex-segregated in order to reduce their sexual nature. Healthy and professional non-sexual relationships between men and women depend on banishing the specter of sexuality from public facilities—even placing to one side the threat of harassment and general boorishness.

As Think Progress explains:

McGinley’s argument requires the assumption that everybody in the locker room presents as the same gender and is attracted to the same (opposite) gender, thereby erasing not only transgender people, but all LGBT people.

We won’t be made invisible anymore. And we won’t let them erase our transgender friends, family and loved ones, either.

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USA, California: Transgender Rights Opponents Plan to Put Repeal on the Ballot

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Transgender FlagOpponents of a new California law that offers protections to transgender students have vowed to take it to the ballot in November.

Gay Star News reports:

A group calling themselves ‘Privacy For All Students’ is aiming to get the issue on the ballot in November. Assemblyman Curt Hagman has criticised the new law, stating: ‘Brown signed this measure into law despite having received thousands of letters from concerned parents urging him to veto it. ‘Many people who wrote to the governor wrote to me as well, asking the state to not impose the social values of the most liberal politicians on our classrooms.’

Not quite sure how that’s going to work, since it takes quite a while to gather signatures, and the only other way to get it on the ballot is through the legislature, which passed the law the first place. Good luck with that.

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USA, California: Anti Gay Group Pushes for Repeal of Transgender Students Law

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

Capitol Resource Institute LogoJust days ago, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill to offer more protections to California’s transgender students. Now a conservative group wants to take it away. Joe.My.God reports:

The anti-gay Capitol Resource Institute has launched a referendum drive to place a repeal of California’s just-approved transgender student rights bill to a public vote. “We respect that some students are struggling with their own sexual identity, but we ask for respect for the other students who will be humiliated when a boy walks into the girl’s locker room,” said Karen England, Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute. “This is a privacy issue, a safety issue, and a common sense issue.”

Disgusting. These people lack any sense of compassion or understanding of what it is to be transgender. Even though I’m not, I can see what great struggles transgender folks go though, and to try to take away their hard-won rights and dignity through a public vote is beyond repulsive.

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