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Equality news round-up: Updates in several transgender rights cases

Transgender Rights

Texas state seal– In the lawsuit involving Texas and other states’ challenge to several Obama administration policy memos and letters suggesting that discrimination because of sex includes gender identity for purposes of school bathrooms, the Department of Justice is asking the federal judge to clarify his recent nationwide preliminary injunction. The DOJ points out that many of the memos at issue in the case deal with more than school bathrooms and include things like bullying, so the injunction could be read to be broader than the scope of the lawsuit itself.

– In a second post on the case involving a Wisconsin school district that is discriminating against transgender students, in part proposing a policy of issuing certain arm bands to trans students, Equality Case Files has further details on the recent hearing in the case.

– Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has filed a lawsuit in Minnesota targeting pro-transgender school bathroom policies.

– CNN recently profiled Gavin Grimm, the student at the center of GG v. Gloucester County School Board, which challenges a Virginia school board’s policy targeting transgender people.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. VIRick  |  September 13, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    North Carolina GOP Comes Unhinged over NCAA Decision to Pull Games over HB2

    The North Carolina GOP is frothing mad after the NCAA yanked their championship games from the state over HB2, the law requiring transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender listed on their birth certificate. The law also nullified local ordinances that protect gays and lesbians from discrimination.

    Kami Mueller, the spokesperson for NCGOP, issued the following unhinged statement last night, 12 September 2016, after the decision was announced:

    "This is so absurd it’s almost comical. I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams. Under the NCAA’s logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers, and hotel rooms. This decision is an assault to female athletes across the nation. If you are unwilling to have women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, how do you have a women’s team? I wish the NCAA were this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor. Perhaps the NCAA should stop with their political peacocking – and instead focus their energies on making sure our nation’s collegiate athletes are safe, both on and off the field.”

    Obviously, the party is reaching for ways to push back against critics of the law, but surely they can do better than comparing cheerleaders and football players showering together to transgender women peeing in peace in the ladies room.

    In the comments section to this article, someone asked: "What is the NCAA?" They were answered thus: "Michael, I think you are probably the gayest one here. Congrats!
    You can pick up your tiara at the concession stand."

    Plus, there's an additional problem with the GOP "straw-man" argument of their picking on Baylor: Baylor has already lost its NCAA football credentials.

  • 2. Fortguy  |  September 13, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Rick says:

    Plus, there's an additional problem with the GOP "straw-man" argument of their picking on Baylor: Baylor has already lost its NCAA football credentials.

    Actually, the Bad New Bears creds are still alive and strong. After the crazy first two weekends of the college football season, Baylor remains undefeated along with Texas and West Virginia in the Big 12. The conference's two preseason favorites, Oklahoma and TCU, have already lost games along with third-place favorite Okie-St. in a huge controversy they could have avoided by putting their opponent, Cent. Mich., away in the first half like they should have to maintain credibility. The only good news for the Big 12 is the first two weekends have been similarly a disaster for most of the SEC.

    Despite loosing head coach Art Briles and their generosity in granting players NCAA waivers to transfer as far away from Waco as they can, Baylor was still predicted in the preseason to be a middling team in the Big 12, and their success so far can certainly be chalked-up to scheduling weak non-conference games–their victories so far have been against Northwestern St. (a Div. I-AA team from Louisiana) and SMU plus a game Friday against Rice that will be televised on ESPN. They will nevertheless enter conference competition with a better record than their rivals. Oklahoma, having lost to Houston, still has to play Ohio St. on Saturday immediately followed by TCU and Texas. We'll know after that whether the Sooners (as well as the Frogs and Horns) are contenders or a train wreck. Although I don't have a lot of confidence in Baylor to win the conference, I won't write them off yet, and they may very likely be bowl-eligible anyway.

  • 3. JayJonson  |  September 14, 2016 at 5:58 am

    The real problem with North Carolina's Republican spokesperson attacking Baylor for its rape crisis is that North Carolina has a rape crisis of its own. A University of North Carolina student has gone public with the story that a football player raped her and the campus police told him "don't sweat it." This is going to be a big story.

  • 4. F_Young  |  September 14, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    North Carolina: Another U.S. college conference rebuffs North Carolina over LGBT law

    The Atlantic Coast Conference on Wednesday said it would move 10 college sports championships from North Carolina, lengthening the list of prominent groups taking a stand this year against a state law that restricts rights for gay and transgender people.

    Two days ago, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced it would relocate seven championship sporting events from North Carolina for the 2016-17 season in protest of the law known as House Bill 2 or H.B. 2.

    …..The ACC's decision will affect championships in soccer, football, swimming and diving, basketball, tennis, golf and baseball that were to be held at neutral sites across North Carolina.

    Read more:

  • 5. Fortguy  |  September 14, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Here is why the ACC snub is a very big deal:

    Stewart Mandel, Fox Sports: Why the ACC pulling its title games is devastating to North Carolina

  • 6. Fortguy  |  September 14, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Chuck Carlton, The Dallas Morning News: Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick criticizes NCAA decision to pull events out of North Carolina because of its LGBT law

    Because of course he does.

    "The NCAA is attempting to be politically correct," Patrick said in a statement in response to an inquiry. "This issue has nothing to do with discrimination. What about a woman's right to privacy and security in a ladies' bathroom, locker room or shower? What about male sexual predators — the ones who use the internet to go after children — who will use such policies as a means to enter a women's dressing room, as we have seen.

    "This is an issue of common sense, common decency and security for women of all ages. The overwhelming majority of Americans understand this issue even if the NCAA doesn't."

    I wish Patrick would speak honestly for once and admit that what keeps him up at night is the fear that big, bearded, burly female sexual predators dressed as men will follow him into the men's room and pussy-whip him.

    In the interviews with reporters in April and May, Patrick has called for the Texas Legislature to possibly consider a bill similar to the one enacted in North Carolina when it returns in January 2017.

    During an appearance on KERA-FM (90.1) in May, Patrick said any sort of backlash was "fear-mongering," citing Houston's experience with the men's Final Four and business after voting down an anti-discrimination measure.

    That's because, although HERO failed, neither Houston nor the state currently require transgender discrimination in bathroom access such as NC passed. Houston's failure to pass anti-discrimination protections merely means the status quo remains in effect as it does through much of the nation.

    After Indiana and North Carolina, repeating the same action and expecting a different outcome is the very definition of Dan Patrick. I have no doubt that Patrick, who leads the Texas Senate, will pass a potty-panic bill through his chamber next year. Thankfully, House Speaker Joe Straus and his team proved very adept at killing anti-LGBT in the last legislative session.

  • 7. VIRick  |  September 13, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Trans Man Sues Indiana Gov. Mike Pence over Indiana Name Change Law

    Per Equality Case Files and Buzzfeed:

    On 13 September 2016, a transgender immigrant granted asylum from his native Mexico has filed suit against Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, the Republican nominee for vice president, claiming enforcement of a 2010 Indiana law requiring proof of US citizenship for a legal name change to be unconstitutional. The federal lawsuit, "John Doe, formerly known as Jane Doe, v. Pence," which also names other Indiana officials, was filed in the Southern District of Indiana by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Transgender Law Center on behalf of the unnamed 31-year-old trans man. The suit was first reported by BuzzFeed and details were released in a news release from the TLC.

    Court records identify the plaintiff as “John Doe, formerly Jane Doe,” to protect his identity. He fears he will be targeted if people know he is transgender, reported BuzzFeed. He is 31 years old, was raised in Indiana since the age of 6 and is now married to a cisgender [not transgender] woman. Together they have a child. His asylum status was granted in 2015, and he was able to change the gender marker on his official government documents to male, according to the complaint, but due to the Indiana law, his legal name must remain female.

    Although the law was passed prior to Pence’s election to governor, Pence made it a priority to pass a religious freedom law that tangentially upholds this anti-transgender legislation. Also, Donald Trump and Pence have made strict laws for immigration a cornerstone of their White House campaign. Among the others named in the suit are Indiana Attorney-General Gregory Zoeller and Marion County Clerk Myla A. Eldridge.

    And here's how the Advocate reported on the filing of this lawsuit, as Pence's come-up-pence, "You Got Served:"

  • 8. VIRick  |  September 13, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Chilean Senate Commission Advances Transgender Rights Bill

    On 12 September 2016, the Chilean Senate’s Human Rights Commission dispatched a transgender rights bill that would allow transgender adults to legally change their name and gender without going before a judge.

    The bill which the Senate’s Human Rights Commission approved last month would allow trans Chileans over the age of 18 and those who have permanent residency in the country to legally change their name and gender at a Civil Registry office. It is part of a broader measure that would allow people to legally change their name and gender in the South American country without undergoing sex-reassignment surgery.

    “This is a fundamental step forward,” said Luis Larrain, executive director of Fundación Iguales, a Chilean LGBT advocacy group, in a statement. The Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, another Chilean advocacy group that is known by the Spanish acronym MOVILH, said the commission dispatched the bill three years after it first went before it. “It was three long, excessive and unjustified years of discussion in this commission that had literally kidnapped this bill,” said MOVILH spokesperson Paula Dinamarca. “Today it has been freed and it can advance.”

    The bill, which President Michelle Bachelet approves, will now go before the full legislative body.

  • 9. VIRick  |  September 13, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Status Up-Date on the Federal LGBT Equality Act

    The legislation, introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) in the House and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in the Senate, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing, jury service, federal programs, credit, education, and public accommodations. The legislation now has 177 co-sponsors in the House and 41 co-sponsors in the Senate.

    On Friday, 9 September 2016, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) — who has a transgender son, Rodrigo — quietly became the second House Republican and third Republican in Congress to co-sponsor the comprehensive LGBT rights legislation.

    In other words, 175 of the co-sponsors in the House and 40 co-sponsors in the Senate are Democrats, with just 2 Republican co-sponsors in the House and 1 in the Senate.

  • 10. scream4ever  |  September 13, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    I remember she was hesitant at first due to concerns with religious organizations.

  • 11. VIRick  |  September 13, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Totally off topic, but definitely worth noticing:

    Here's a picture of my new "boy-friend," Eduardo Ávila, the gold medal winner in judo for Mexico at the Rio Olympics:

  • 12. theperchybird  |  September 13, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Australian plebisicite likely DEAD. Media is reporting that Labor leader Bill Shorten will instruct his party to vote against it. The Liberals are already struggling to get the numbers in the Senate for the bill and with the Greens, smaller parties already against the idea and a gay Liberal threatening to join them in voting NO, this spells the end of the waste of time/waste of millions public question.

  • 13. theperchybird  |  September 14, 2016 at 2:37 am

    PM's poll numbers are tanking since he doubled down on the issue, good. He just sold LGBT out to ensure his slim House majority. He accused Labor of preaching hatred and the plebiscite bill would allow anti-discrimination law exemptions.

    "The law would protect 'conscientious objectors' who reject gay weddings"

    Exclusive: Advocates fear Coalition's proposed exemptions to anti-discrimination law could allow civil celebrants, registrars, bakers and florists to refuse to serve gay weddings

    Bye, Malcolm.

  • 14. Sagesse  |  September 14, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    They kinda buried the lede. Near the end of the article students observed "Vail and Macaluso had shown support for Drumgoole."

    Paramus Catholic ousts top officials following suit on gay marriage firing; no reason given []

    "The two top administrators of Paramus Catholic High School were abruptly removed Tuesday by the Newark Archdiocese, a move that comes with no explanation and leaves a trail of unanswered questions.

    "President James P. Vail and Principal Stephanie Macaluso “are on leave from their posts,” effective Tuesday, said James Goodness, spokes­man for the Archdiocese of Newark, which runs the school….

    "Paramus Catholic has been at the center of a controversy over the dismissal in January of dean of guidance Kate Drumgoole, who was found to be in a same-sex marriage…. The firing is the subject of a wrongful-dismissal lawsuit filed by Drumgoole."

  • 15. VIRick  |  September 14, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Michigan Public Schools Set New Inclusive Policy for Transgender Students

    On Wednesday, 13 September 2016, Michigan’s State Board of Education voted 6-2 in favor of guidance aimed at creating an inclusive environment for LGBTQ students after receiving additional public comments. Although the guidelines are voluntary, they have sparked criticism from conservative lawmakers and parents, particularly over the policies that direct how schools should accommodate transgender students in bathrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, and sports teams.

    The proposed recommendations suggest school leaders make good faith efforts to address students by their chosen name and pronouns. The guidance also urges schools to let transgender students use those bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity.

    Equality Michigan issued a statement following the vote: “At a time when far too many politicians are trying to score political points at the expense of the LGBTQ community, Equality Michigan commends the State Board, particularly President John Austin, for their unwavering support of this important guidance. When our opponents tried to threaten and intimidate these pro-equality public officials, they stood strong. The importance of their commitment cannot be overstated. As far too many of you are all too aware, anti-LGBTQ bullying, harassment, and violence are pervasive in our schools.”

  • 16. scream4ever  |  September 14, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    The dam is starting to burst:

  • 17. VIRick  |  September 15, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    North Carolina: Republican Legislators Begin to Disavow HB 2

    Here's the key sentence from Tuesday's news (13 September 2016) involving Republican politicians finally being persuaded to drop their support of HB 2:

    North Carolina Republican Sen. Tamara Barringer represents Cary, where four NCAA championship events were to occur before the group took them away Monday (12 September 2016) because of the law known as House Bill 2.

    And then, in today's news, 15 September 2016, we have:

    Another North Carolina Republican Calls for Repeal of Anti-LGBT Law

    Another North Carolina Republican state senator is urging colleagues to consider repealing a law about LGBT rights that’s caused the NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference to pull championships from the state this week.

    Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, said late Wednesday, 14 September 2016, he’s concerned about the effect House Bill 2 is having on the state and the region he represents. For more than 60 years, ACC headquarters have been located in nearby Greensboro, which is also where early rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament would have been held in March before the decision.

  • 18. Fortguy  |  September 14, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    The Daily Show with Trevor Noah posted on tonight's episode their long-awaited report from "correspondent" Roy Wood, Jr. from the campus of UT-Austin during the Cocks Not Glocks protest. I'm sure Comedy Central will post it on their website tomorrow. Very funny and must see.

  • 19. Fortguy  |  September 15, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Here is the video clip:

  • 20. Fortguy  |  September 16, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Regardless of how you feel about the Texas Longhorns, I'm not a fan and only root for them when they play BYU, OU or ND, their head football coach is a mensch:

    Lisa L. Moore and Matt Valentine, Austin American-Statesman: Commentary: Charlie Strong’s hard-line on guns is a winning combination

  • 21. Sagesse  |  September 16, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Brian Brown Mobilizing Support For Anti-Gay Marriage Campaign In Mexico [On Top Magazine]

  • 22. VIRick  |  September 16, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    North Carolina: State Plaintiffs Request Dismissal of Federal Bathroom Suit

    Per Equality Case Files:

    In "McCrory v. United States" (North Carolina officials suing federal government seeking a judgment declaring that the so-called “bathroom provision” of HB 2 does not violate Title VII or the Violence Against Women Act), the plaintiffs (North Carolina state officials) filed a notice to voluntarily dismiss the one remaining case still filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina (federal court), saying their interests are sufficiently represented by their counterclaims in the Middle District case and citing the "substantial costs to the State of litigating similar legal issues in two different judicial districts."

    This case was set for a hearing on the federal defendants' motion to dismiss for next Thursday, 22 September. The plaintiffs' notice was filed late today, 16 September 2016.

    See Plaintiffs’ Notice of Voluntary Dismissal Without Prejudice here:

  • 23. allan120102  |  September 17, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Bermuda could have marriage as soon as November if the court rules in favor of us.

  • 24. JayJonson  |  September 18, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Tuesday marks the 5th anniversary of the official end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. For a short history of the long struggle to end the policy, see the article by Claude Summers at New Civil Rights Movement:

  • 25. VIRick  |  September 18, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Italy: Rome Just Had Its First Same-Sex Civil Union

    On 17 September 2016, the first same-sex civil union ceremony was held in Rome, on an occasion which occurred three months after the new law came into force that accepts same-sex unions.

    The couple in question, Luca de Sario, 30, and Francisco Raffaele Villarusso, 43, were considering getting married in Spain. They had even moved abroad to go through with the union elsewhere, but moved back to Italy when the bill was finally approved.

    It is telling, however, that the limited scope of the civil unions, generally unpopular with same-sex couples, as it continues to perpetuate second-class status, plus the complex process required in obtaining documentation, have combined to hamper same-sex couples wishing to marry in Italy, given that it has taken this eager, vanguard couple, the first in Italy's largest city, 3 months to actually become civil-unioned.

    Personally, this couple should probably have stuck with their first plan,– that is, to go to Spain and be married there. And for this, we had all that drawn-out political posturing and extended high drama,– complete with marches and counter-marches, and loud church rantings, plus more overwrought drama of impending doom. All of which also proves that the gays are not necessarily the ones who are the Drama Queens.

  • 26. allan120102  |  September 18, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    A municipality in Puebla says that ss couples might marry without problem in his municiplaity if they want as he need to abide by the jurisprudence issue by the supreme court in 2015.

  • 27. VIRick  |  September 19, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    San Pedro Cholula, Puebla, Abre las Puertas al Matrimonio entre Personas del Mismo Sexo

    El secretario general del ayuntamiento, Ignacio Molina Huerta, dijo que la unión se podría hacer en un juzgado de ese municipio, de acuerdo con la jurisprudencia de la Suprema Corte de Justicia.

    San Pedro Cholula, Puebla, Opens the Doors to Same-Sex Marriage

    The Secretary-General of the municipality, Ignacio Molina Huerta, said that the union can occur in a court of this municipality, in accordance with the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court.

    This news article, dated 18 September 2016, is actually a reiteration of established policy, as San Pedro Cholula, one of the larger cities in the state, has already married at least one same-sex couple, without amparo, and did so over 5 months ago, immediately after Puebla state had hit the 5 amparo limit.

    As noted from my archives:

    On Sunday, 10 April 2016, the LGBTI community noted another milestone in the battle for marriage equality in Puebla, when, without recourse to an injunction (amparo), and despite the refusal of the State Congress to legislate in favor of such unions, a male same-sex couple was married in the municipality of San Pedro Cholula.

    Although this was not the first legal marriage of a same-sex couple registered with the state, it is an unusual case because it is the first to be achieved without resorting to an amparo, thanks to the political will of the local authority.

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