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Open thread and news

Community/Meta Discrimination

– SCOTUSBlog reports that the Supreme Court is being asked to take another case involving a baker and same-sex marriage. In Masterpiece Cakeshop the baker won on narrow grounds and the Court avoided answering the specific question of “religious liberty” to refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex couple. Justice Kennedy was replaced by Justice Kavanaugh and that could potentially change the Court’s view on the question.

– The Trump administration is considering defining “sex” in a way that would erase transgender identity entirely from the protection of federal laws.

This is an open thread and we’ll post any breaking news.


  • 1. VIRick  |  October 22, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Netherlands: First-Ever Gender-Neutral Passport Issued

    On 15 October 2018, the Netherlands issued a gender-neutral passport for the first time, with Leonne Zeegers receiving said document, marking her as gender X instead of male or female, after she won her two-year court battle for it in May 2018.
    The 57-year-old former nurse and sex worker is intersex, had gender confirmation surgery to become a woman in 2001, and now identifies as gender-neutral, using she/her pronouns.

    Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal have all introduced a third gender on passports. Now, we can add Netherlands to the list.

  • 2. VIRick  |  October 22, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Dominican Republic: LGBT/Trans Meeting in San Pedro Macorís

    Per Yimbert Feliz Telemin:

    Encuentro GLBT (el 22 octubre 2018) en San Pedro de Macorís, donde se planteó la necesidad de una ley contra discriminación y para acceso a la salud de las personas trans (transexuales, transgénero y travesti).

    GLBT meeting (22 October 2018) in San Pedro de Macorís, where the need for a law against discrimination and for access to health for trans people (transsexuals, transgender and transvestite) was raised.

    The last two posts in the previous thread discuss the two rather opposite genetic anomalies present in the population in two different areas of the Dominican Republic. For one of them, the group photo from San Pedro Macorís, taken at the meeting, and accompanying this tweet, shows at least three individuals who exhibit the standard characteristics associated with the PAIS genetic anomaly, a condition which I readily recognize from personal real-life experience.

    No one in the photo is identified, let alone identified as having any genetic anomaly. Nor will I finger-point. Instead, just look. Still, imagine having a boyfriend who is genetically-wired to be super-gay. That is PAIS. And that delicate little fact alone should prove the genetic basis of gayness with absolute certainty.

  • 3. VIRick  |  October 22, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Colombia: Quick Court History of Transgenders in the MIlitary

    Per El Duque:

    In 2015, a Colombian transgender woman successfully argued before the Constitutional Court that she should not be required to serve in the military, since military service was only mandatory for men.… …

    Now in October 2018, since Colombia still requires mandatory military service for men, the Constitutional Court has agreed to determine if this same requirement thus applies to transgender men.

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  October 23, 2018 at 12:42 am

    Trump: I'm Only Protecting The Country From Those Icky Transgender People

  • 5. VIRick  |  October 24, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Thank You, Canada, Yet One More Time

    The draft text of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) – the pending trade treaty between the current NAFTA member states – contains protections for LGBTQ workers. Canada, the United States, and Mexico formally agreed to the text earlier this month, although it has not yet received final ratification and implementation by the member states. Canada was key in getting language about sex discrimination into the treaty.

    Article 23.9 asks member states to eliminate sex discrimination in the workplace. The paragraph specifies that sex discrimination includes sexual orientation and gender identity:

    "Parties recognize the goal of eliminating sex-based discrimination in employment and occupation, and support the goal of promoting equality of women in the workplace. Accordingly, each Party shall implement policies that protect workers against employment discrimination on the basis of sex, including with regard to pregnancy, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, gender identity, and caregiving responsibilities, provide job-protected leave for birth or adoption of a child and care of family members, and protect against wage discrimination."

    If the paragraph survives final ratification, it would then be a major win for Canada, which pushed for the provision.

  • 6. VIRick  |  October 24, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    DOJ Sidestepping Court Review of Trans Protections

    Days after an explosive "New York Times" report revealing the Department of Health & Human Services is planning to define transgender people out of existence, the DOJ is sidestepping a question before the US Supreme Court on whether justices should take up a case to review whether the term “sex” under federal laws applies to transgender people.

    The Justice Department took the position Wednesday, 24 October 2018, in a filing responding to a petition from ADF, an anti-LGBT hate group, calling on the Supreme Court to reverse a decision from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals finding transgender protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    The case, "EEOC v. Harris Funeral Homes," involves Aimee Stephens, a transgender worker at Harris Funeral Homes in Michigan who was terminated from her position after she announced she would transition on the job. Although the district court agreed employers could terminate Stephens based on religious freedom principles under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the 6th Circuit Court reversed.

    US Solicitor-General Noel Francisco took the position for the Justice Department as a representative for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which initially brought the complaint on behalf of Stephens. Instead of either calling on the court to accept or reject the petition, the Justice Department asserts the Supreme Court should first make a decision on two petitions requesting clarification on whether sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination and therefore unlawful under Title VII.

    “If the court were to grant the petitions in "Zarda," "Bostock," or both, to resolve that conflict, its decision may bear on the questions petitioner raises concerning gender-identity discrimination and thus may bear on the proper disposition of the petition in this case,” the brief says. “The question presented in those cases is distinct from the issues petitioner raises here, but analysis of the issues may overlap.” In the event the Supreme Court decides to reject the petitions in the "Zarda" and "Bostock" cases, the Justice Department argues it “would be appropriate to deny review of the questions presented in this case at this juncture.”

    Nonetheless, the Justice Department filing asserts the United States “disagrees with the court of appeals’ decision” in the 6th Circuit finding transgender protections under Title VII. “In any event, the court of appeals’ conclusion that gender-identity discrimination categorically constitutes sex discrimination under Title VII is incorrect,” the filing says. “As discussed above, the ordinary meaning of ‘sex’ does not refer to gender identity…The court’s position effectively broadens the scope of that term beyond its ordinary meaning. Its conclusion should be rejected for that reason alone.”

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