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3/22 open thread w/ UPDATE

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

UPDATE: Dr. Rachel Levine became the first publicly transgender person to win US Senate confirmation for a government role. The vote was 58-42. She will serve as the Assistant Secretary for Health for the Department of Health and Human Services.

38 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. VIRick  |  March 22, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    Namibia: Gay Rights Protest Planned after Surrogate Babies Denied Entry Documents

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Namibian Equal Rights Movement is planning a protest march to the High Court in Windhoek to condemn all forms of discrimination against people in same-sex marriages. The protest stems from an incident in which the twin babies of a Namibian father, Phillip Lühl, and his husband Guillermo Delgado, originally from Mexico, have been denied entry into Namibia. Paula and Maya Delgado Lühl were born on 13 March 2021 in Durban through surrogacy.

    Lühl welcomed them into the world and planned to return to Namibia as soon as medically advisable, to be reunited with his husband and their two-year-old son, Yona, and to start the process of applying for the twins’ Namibian citizenship by descent. The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security has, however, refused to issue travel documents to the twins to enter Namibia, as not only is same-sex marriage not recognized, neither are children born to same-sex couples.

    According to Lühl, the ministry disregards birth certificates regularly issued by South African authorities identifying Phillip and Guillermo as the parents of both the twins and their two-year-old son. Lühl stated that the minister, by refusing to issue travel documents to the twins, has rendered the newborns de facto stateless persons, and that his persistence in the matter keeps the family separated, thus also putting the minister in contravention of Namibian and international law.

    The Namibian Equal Rights Movement has condemned the home affairs ministry’s action and said that the March of Allies will be held on 25 March. The protest action will start at the head office of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security and will end at the Windhoek High Court where the case to issue the newborn twins with citizenship and travel documents will be heard at 09:00.
    https://informante.web.na/?p=302406

  • 2. VIRick  |  March 23, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Tennessee/Arkansas: Anti-Trans Sports Bills to Governors

    Legislators in Arkansas and Tennessee have sent their governors bills restricting transgender students’ sports participation. In both states, on Monday, 22 March 2021, members of the House of Representatives approved bills that had already been passed by their respective Senates, mandating that athletes in interscholastic sports compete according to the gender they were assigned at birth, not their gender identity. The Tennessee bill applies to sports in public middle and high schools, while the Arkansas measure applies to public elementary, secondary, and college teams, as well as to private school teams that compete against the public institutions.

    Both states’ bills, like many across the nation, are aimed primarily at keeping transgender females from competing with cisgender girls and women, due to the perception that trans female athletes have an inherent and unfair advantage over their cis counterparts, something that is much disputed by both activists and scientists.

    In Tennessee, several other transphobic and/or homophobic bills are scheduled for action in committees or subcommittees this week, according to the Tennessee Equality Project. These include proposals to ban gender-affirming care to trans minors; to restrict trans students’ restroom usage in schools or to add transphobic language to restroom signs; and to let parents keep their children out of sex education classes that include LGBTQ+ content.

    The only state where an anti-trans sports bill has become law is Idaho, and it has been blocked by a federal judge while a court challenge proceeds. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has signed a similar measure, due to take effect on 1 July 2021. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has backtracked about signing such a bill, demanding that legislators change it so that it does not apply to colleges, but she has announced she’s forming a multi-state coalition to fight the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s efforts to punish states with trans-exclusionary laws.
    https://www.advocate.com/transgender/2021/3/22/an

  • 3. VIRick  |  March 23, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    Minnesota: Transgender School Discrimination Case Settled

    A transgender youth has won a $300,000 settlement in his discrimination lawsuit against the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota. The young man, identified as Nick or N.H., was barred from using the boys’ changing room as a member of the swim team early in 2016, even though he had been using it for several months without incident.

    “Nick was singled out and forced to use segregated changing facilities that no other students were required to use. This discrimination led to bullying and threats against his family, causing Nick emotional distress and harm,” says a press release from Gender Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, and Stinson LLP, all of which represented him the suit. He was hospitalized three times for mental health concerns because of the situation and eventually transferred out of the district. He filed the suit in 2019 in Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District Court.

    The district, located just north of the Twin Cities and the largest in the state, agreed to take several actions as part of the settlement. These include reaffirming its commitment to comply with the Minnesota Human Rights Act and not discriminate against transgender students; developing a policy to allow every student to use all facilities consistent with their gender identity that includes a complaint procedure and a prohibition on retaliation; training all school board members, staff, and students on these policies; and affirming that students of all gender identities are valued and welcome.

    The settlement comes after a ruling by the state Court of Appeals affirmed that it is a violation of both the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the Minnesota Constitution for school districts to segregate transgender students from their peers in locker room facilities. The school district had sought unsuccessfully to have the suit dismissed, and it could have been liable for punitive damages if the suit had gone to trial and Nick had won, the Minneapolis "Star Tribune" notes.
    https://www.advocate.com/transgender/2021/3/23/no

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  March 24, 2021 at 2:08 am

    Poll: Majority of Republicans support same-sex marriage for the first time

    A majority within all partisan groups, including Republicans, now support same-sex marriage, according to a poll from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) released on Tuesday.

    In 2019, less than half of those who identify as Republican — 47 percent — backed gay marriage, but the survey indicates that number rose to 51 percent last year.

    The same survey found that the majority of all partisan groups also support LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in housing, careers and public accommodations, including 62 percent of Republicans, 85 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of independents.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/news/544500-poll-maj

  • 5. ianbirmingham  |  March 24, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    Tight Israeli vote means homophobic Arab Islamist could choose next PM

    Tuesday’s elections have left a razor-thin margin between a right-wing coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a diverse array of parties bent on ousting him.

    To prevail, each side may need the support of an Arab Islamist party that appears to have clinched just five seats in the 120-member Knesset but is not committed to either, according to near-final results.

    That means the United Arab List, known by the Hebrew name Ra’am, could decide whether Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, remains in office. [It] has adopted a conciliatory stance toward Israel and is focused more on socio-economic issues than the conflict with the Palestinians. It has allied with secular and left-wing Arab parties in past elections, but has broken with them on issues related to its religious conservatism, such as support for LGBTQ rights.

    Arabs make up around 20% of Israel’s population of 9.3 million. They have citizenship, speak fluent Hebrew and are well-represented in the medical profession and at universities. But they face widespread discrimination in housing and public services.

    https://apnews.com/article/israel-elections-2021-

  • 6. VIRick  |  March 24, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    Rachel Levine, Historic Transgender Nominee, Confirmed as Asst. Secretary for Health

    On Wednesday, 24 March 2021, the Senate voted 52 to 48 to confirm Rachel Levine as the nation’s Assistant Secretary for Health, making her the highest-ranking openly transgender official in US history. All Democrats and independents voted to support Levine, with Senators Collins (R-ME) and Murkowski (R-AK) crossing the aisle to support her, prompting cheers from advocates who called the vote a breakthrough.

    Levine, who most recently served as Pennsylvania’s top health official, is the first openly transgender official to be confirmed by the Senate. Her candidacy was widely opposed by religious rights groups, and some Republican critics also zeroed in on gaps in Pennsylvania’s nursing home data that they said complicated the state’s response to the pandemic.

    The Assistant Secretary for Health oversees a broad portfolio of public-health initiatives, and President Biden has said that Levine will play a key role in the nation’s coronavirus response. The Assistant Secretary for Health also oversees the Surgeon-General. Vivek H. Murthy, was confirmed for that role on 23 March 2021. Levine is expected to be sworn in later this week.
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/rachel-le

  • 7. ianbirmingham  |  March 24, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    DC statehood would enfranchise the 70,000 LGBTQ Americans who live there.

    DC has the largest per capita LGBTQ population in the nation. Nearly 10 percent of the population is queer, according to an analysis by the Williams Institute. That means almost 70,000 LGBTQ people in DC don’t have federal representation.

    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/03/dc-largest-pe

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2021 at 5:45 am

    The rainbow flag is flying proudly above the Bank of England in the heart of London’s financial district to commemorate World War II codebreaker Alan Turing, the new face of Britain’s 50-pound note

    The 250,000 or so votes supporting Turing's nomination … represented a recognition of the discrimination that he faced as a gay man after the war.

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/ww

  • 9. VIRick  |  March 25, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    Colombia: First Same-Sex Marriage in Amazonian Department of Vaupés

    Matrimonio igualitario: el nuevo capítulo de la historia que escribe la comunidad LGBTI en Vaupés. También en la región Amazónica colombiana (como en el resto del país), esta comunidad busca ejercer sus derechos, y el pasado viernes, el 19 de marzo 2021, celebró el primer matrimonio igualitario en la ciudad de Mitú.

    John Alexander Trujillo y Johann Sebastián García fundaron en 2015 la asociación DiverGente del Vaupés, con la idea de apoyar, sensibilizar, y proteger los derechos de la comunidad LGTBI en la región. Ahora, seis años después, se convirtieron en la primera pareja homosexual en contraer matrimonio en el departamento.
    https://www.semana.com/mejor-colombia/articulo/ma

    Marriage equality: a new chapter in history, as written by the LGBTI community in Vaupés. In the Colombian Amazonian region, as well (as in the rest of the country), this community seeks to exercise their rights, and last Friday, 19 March 2021, they celebrated the first equal marriage in the city of Mitú.

    John Alexander Trujillo and Johann Sebastián García founded the DiverGente del Vaupés association in 2015, with the idea of supporting, raising awareness, and protecting the rights of the LGTBI community in the region. Now, six years later, they became the first gay couple to marry in the department.

    Vaupés is in southeastern Colombia, well within the Amazonian region, abutting Brasil. The entire department only has around 41,000 inhabitants, the least populous of all the departments. Most of its area consists of Indigenous territory (resguardo Indígena). Its administrative capital is Mitú.

  • 10. VIRick  |  March 27, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Arkansas Governor Signs Anti-Transgender Sports Bill Into Law

    On Thursday, 25 March 2021, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill into law that will bar transgender student athletes from competing under their gender identity. The measure, Senate Bill 354, was approved on Monday, 22 March, by the Arkansas House of Representatives and earlier by the state’s Senate.

    The Arkansas law will apply to public elementary, secondary, and college teams as well as to private school teams that compete against the public institutions. It is set to take effect this summer. Hutchinson is the second governor to sign such a bill into law this year. Gov. Tate Reeves of Mississippi signed a similar bill recently, also due to take effect this summer.

    Also on Thursday, 25 March 2021, West Virginia advanced an anti-trans sports bill. The House of Delegates approved the measure 78-20 and sent it on to the state’s Senate.
    https://www.advocate.com/transgender/2021/3/25/ar

  • 11. VIRick  |  March 27, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    Tennessee Governor Signs Anti-Transgender Sports Bill into Law

    On 26 March 2021, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed Senate Bill 228 into law, banning transgender individuals in the state from competing in middle or high school sports in accordance with their gender identity. This comes just one day after Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed a similar anti-trans law banning trans girls and women from playing in sports in accord with their gender identity, from elementary through collegiate-level sports. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) was the first to sign a ban on trans individuals in sports this year, all following in the footsteps of Idaho, which passed the ban into law last year.

    Tennessee’s law, however, is the first to ban both trans girls and trans boys from participating in sports. All the others have banned or have sought to only ban trans girls. Tennessee Senate Bill 228 was infused with Tennessee House Bill 3 before being passed and sent to the governor. Middle school in Tennessee’s bill is defined as Grades 5-8, and high school as grades 9-12. As long as said law remains in effect, trans individuals in Tennessee can only play in school-based sports in elementary school and in college.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/03/tennessees-go

  • 12. VIRick  |  March 28, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    Arkansas Will Allow Medical Workers to Legally Refuse Treating LGBTQ People

    On 25 March 2021, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) announced that he has signed into law Senate Bill 289, which is erroneously entitled the “Medical Ethics and Diversity Act.” This means that Arkansas will now grant medical workers the “right” to refuse to provide healthcare or to medically assist someone because of the worker’s “religious, moral, or ethical” beliefs. That could open the door for LGBTQ people (as well as for all sorts of other individuals) to face denial from life-saving services from doctors, nurses, EMTs, and other healthcare providers.

    The bill lists protected health care professionals as to include doctors and nurses and any “individual who furnishes or assists in the provision of a healthcare service,” including social workers and pharmacists. The bill even mentions employers who provide health care as part of their employees’ compensation – even they can ask that employees be denied a specific medical procedure, as long as they claim that their “conscience” requires them to do so.
    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/03/arkansas-will

  • 13. bayareajohn  |  March 28, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    That one surely looks to be booted by the court… eventually.

    Any insight yet on if someone will be fixing the RECENT COMMENTS on the site front page? The previously existing page code must still be around… somewhere…

  • 14. ianbirmingham  |  March 28, 2021 at 8:23 pm

    Try contacting EoT site manager Scottie Thomaston via the EoT Facebook page.

  • 15. bayareajohn  |  March 28, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    If I had a Facebook account, I'd shoot myself.

  • 16. ianbirmingham  |  March 29, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    Set up an account in the name "Celebes crested macaque" using your EoT photo. Then you can easily have the selfie monkey contact Scottie. Problem solved! 😀

  • 17. bayareajohn  |  March 29, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Not. Even. Once.

  • 18. ianbirmingham  |  March 28, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    Nebraska Supreme Court upholds adoption by same-sex married couple

    The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday that a same-sex married couple can adopt the 3-year-old girl who has lived with them since birth.

    In a unanimous opinion, the state high court overturned Dixon County Judge Douglas Luebe's decision to toss out an adoption petition filed by two women, K.H. and M.V.

    The two married in Van Nuys, California, in 2008. The case involved their effort to adopt Y.S., who was born to M.V.'s sister in 2017. The child's biological mother relinquished her, and her father never sought custody.

    According to court documents, the couple filed for adoption in Dixon County Court in May. Luebe dismissed their case after calling a special hearing on legal issues raised by the petition, during which he described himself as "old-fashioned."

    Sara Rips, an attorney with the ACLU of Nebraska and one of those representing the couple, called the decision "huge" because it affirms that same-sex married couples have the right to adopt a child together.

    Rips noted that the court issued the ruling less than a month after hearing oral arguments.

    "This was a clear issue," she said, adding that other same-sex married couples have adopted in Nebraska in the last five years without being challenged.

    https://starherald.com/news/state-and-regional/ne

  • 19. VIRick  |  March 28, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    Cuba Takes a Step Toward the Legalization of Marriage Equality

    Cuba Da un Paso Hacia la Legalización del Matrimonio Igualitario

    El Consejo de Estado de Cuba designó a los encargados de redactar el anteproyecto del Código de Familia, una esperada legislación en la que se prevé que se incluya el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo y que será sometida a referendo.

    La Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular (el Parlamento unicameral) informó que los miembros de la comisión que elaborará la propuesta para su presentación al Legislativo cubano son diputados, representantes de organizaciones oficialistas y sociales, especialistas, y profesores expertos en la materia. El cronograma legislativo estipula que el primer borrador del Código de Familia será presentado este mes, para luego iniciar el proceso de convocatoria del referendo.
    https://escandala.com/cuba-da-un-paso-hacia-la-le

    The Cuban Council of State appointed those in charge of finalizing the draft of the Family Code, long-awaited legislation that is expected to include marriage between same sex couples and that will then be submitted to a referendum.

    The National Assembly of People's Power (the unicameral Parliament) reported that the members of the commission who will prepare the proposal for presentation to the Cuban Legislature are deputies, representatives of government and social organizations, specialists, and expert professors in the matter. The legislative schedule stipulates that the first draft of the Family Code will be presented this month, to then begin the process of convoking the referendum.

  • 20. Randolph_Finder  |  March 28, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    I'm *really* torn here. On the one hand LGBT rights should not be up for a vote. OTOH, when was the last time that Cuba had a vote whose results weren't a forgone conclusion…

  • 21. ianbirmingham  |  March 29, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    Maine, Maryland, Washington State and Ireland all legalized same-sex marriage via referendum; if it's good enough for them, it should be good enough for Cuba.

  • 22. Randolph_Finder  |  March 29, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Not sure on the others, but I really don't think of Maryland fitting in there. Maryland approved SSM in the legislature and was signed by the governor and then *opponents* forced it to referendum and as a referendum, SSM passed.

    (oddly enough, in the election, only 6 counties had more votes yes than no, but it represented 6 of the 7 most populous counties)

  • 23. ianbirmingham  |  March 29, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    Ireland – https://www.cnn.com/2015/05/23/europe/ireland-ref

    Voters in Ireland overwhelmingly chose to change their nation’s constitution Friday, becoming the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through popular vote.

    Maine, Maryland, Washington State – https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-campaign-g

    Voters in Maryland, Maine and Washington state approved same-sex marriage on Tuesday, marking the first time marriage rights have been extended to same-sex couples by popular vote.

  • 24. DevilWearsZrada  |  March 29, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    Referendums are not among the best practices for advancing LGBT rights.

  • 25. ianbirmingham  |  March 29, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Riding in the back of a pickup truck is not among the best practices for transportation, but if it's the only ride going my way I'll take it!

  • 26. Randolph_Finder  |  March 29, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    True. In Maryland, we didn't have any choice.

  • 27. DevilWearsZrada  |  March 29, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    "However, regardless, the Cuban government seems quite intent on proceeding in this specific direction, as it nicely fits within their long-running narrative of "popular participation.""

    But there have been only two referendums in the history of Cuba and both are constitutional ones. So is a referendum on marriage equality _really_ necessary in Cuban political system?

  • 28. VIRick  |  March 29, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    Devil, originally, Mariela Castro's plan was to include a marriage equality provision in the new Cuban Constitution, one which was to replace the same-sex marriage ban, as stated in the old constitution. However, the evangelicals caused such a stir that the proposed provision was subsequently removed, and the new constitution was then approved by referendum without any specific mention of same-sex marriage (but at least the old ban per the old constitution was gone).

    Her alternative plan was then floated to include marriage equality in the new Cuban Family Code, another massive re-writing project also subject to a second referendum. And that is where we are at the moment, as the official re-writing of the Family Code proceeds, step-by-step. So far, the evangelicals have yet to stir themselves in opposition, most likely because no one has yet seen the final draft, given that nothing has yet been finalized. It is also unclear as to how much "feedback" will subsequently be tolerated/allowed.

    Regardless of whether anything is truly "necessary," in Cuba's current political system, "popular participation" via referenda is an official concept which itself is officially popular within the regime as a means of convincing everyone, domestic and foreign, that Cuba's authoritarian regime is actually one based on said "popular participation."

  • 29. VIRick  |  March 28, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    Perú: General Elections to Occur on 11 April 2021

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    Perú: Las Elecciones Generales 2021 del Próximo 11 de Abril.
    https://peru21.pe/politica/elecciones-2021-este-s

    Needless to say, marriage equality is a major issue among the various candidates vying for office, given that Perú is seen as lagging behind most of its neighbors in South America on this matter.

  • 30. VIRick  |  March 28, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    Chile: Local Elections, Plus Selection of Delegates to Constitutional Convention

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 10-11 April 2021, Chileans will vote in local elections, as well as for the delegates to a new constitutional convention. Left-leaning coalitions are seeking to enshrine LGBT rights and marriage equality into the new draft constitution, thus placing these issues high on the election agenda:

    Chile y el Populismo de la Convención Constituyente

    El 10 y 11 de abril se realizarán las elecciones de alcaldes, concejales, gobernadores, y constituyentes constitucionales en Chile, algo inédito en el país porque solo en dos ocasiones se realizaron elecciones en dos días. Las elecciones de alcaldes y concejales se deberían haber realizado en octubre de 2020, pero debido a la pandemia del COVID-19, se decidió atrasar para este año los comicios.
    https://panampost.com/esteban-zapata/2021/03/27/c

    On 10-11 April 2021, elections for mayors, council members, governors, and constitutional delegates will be held in Chile, something unusual in the country because elections lasting two days were only ever held twice before. The elections for mayors and council members were to have taken place in October 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided to delay those elections until this year.

    It should be noted that the delay in holding local elections had one good side-effect in that it allowed for a speeding up in the selection process for the constitutional delegates, so that the two separate elections could thus be scheduled for the same time.

  • 31. VIRick  |  March 28, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    Switzerland/Liechtenstein Marriage Equality Up-Date

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    In Switzerland, as of 20 March 2021, the anti-marriage-equality campaign claims it has collected 41,000 unverified signatures in its effort to force the government to hold a referendum to block the LGBT marriage law. They need at least 50,000 certified/verified signatures by 10 April or the "Ehe fur Alle" law takes effect without the referendum.

    We are not linking to any source, as we do not wish to encourage anyone to be able to find the petition. Instead, we will note:

    In Liechtenstein, following last month's elections, the governing coalition agreement there calls for "legal certainty of non-traditional family models to be improved."
    https://vu-online.li
    https://www.vaterland.li/liechtenstein/politik/ru

  • 32. scream4ever  |  March 29, 2021 at 1:32 am

    I did not expect them to fall so short in Switzerland.

  • 33. ianbirmingham  |  March 29, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Switzerland is encircled by legal-SSM countries, except at its southern border. There, Italy recognizes civil unions which are largely equivalent to marriage, the main difference being partial (rather than full) adoption rights.

  • 34. Randolph_Finder  |  March 29, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    They haven't fallen short yet in Switzerland and as for Liechtenstein, I believe that the Prince can veto any bill without the possibility of override and is personally opposed to SSM. Best case scenario in the next 5 years or so is probably fairly Robust Civil Unions. Not sure that will allow for Adoption (or even adoption of children of one parent by their new partner).

  • 35. DevilWearsZrada  |  March 29, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    The prince stated that he won't oppose SSM bill if it excludes adoption rights.

  • 36. Randolph_Finder  |  March 29, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    there are at least two levels there.
    1) Ms. A and Ms. B get married and Ms. B adopts Ms. A's birth kids she had with Mr. A before he died.
    2) Ms. A and Ms. B get married and adopt a child that has no legal relationship with either.

    We can assume he opposes #2, the question is #1.

    And how does he feel about
    3) Ms. A and Ms. B are married, Mr C is a sperm donor for Ms. A and can Ms. B become the legal mother of the baby when it was born…
    and
    4) Ms. A is a Litchenstein, Ms B is an austrian, they marry in Austria and together adopt baby C and move to Lietchensten…

  • 37. VIRick  |  March 29, 2021 at 7:07 pm

    Arkansas: A Third Anti-Transgender Bill Passes in the Legislature

    Arkansas may soon be the first state to ban gender-affirming health care for minors. On Monday, 29 March 2021, the Arkansas Senate approved a bill banning said care for minors, one already passed by the House of Representatives, the "Arkansas Times" reports. Now the bill goes to Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) for his signature or veto. He has not said what his action will be, but he’s recently signed two other anti-LGBTQ bills into law.

    House Bill 1570 would bar doctors and other health care workers from not only performing gender-confirmation surgeries on people under 18, but also from prescribing hormones or puberty-blocking drugs for them. Such surgeries are not usually performed on minors anyway, while hormones and puberty blockers have been shown to have a positive effect on young transgender individuals. The legislation would also ban referrals for such care and would allow private insurers to refuse to cover gender-affirming care for individuals of any age.
    https://www.advocate.com/transgender/2021/3/29/ar

  • 38. VIRick  |  March 30, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Biden's Initial Slate of Federal Judicial Nominees

    On Tuesday, 30 March 2021, the White House announced President Joe Biden’s first slate of federal court nominees, putting forward a list of barrier-breaking candidates in an aggressive first push to counterbalance the wave of conservative judges confirmed over the past four years.

    As had been widely expected for months, Biden will nominate US District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the powerful US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, to fill Attorney-General Merrick Garland’s former seat. A post on that court — long a springboard to the US Supreme Court — cements Jackson’s status as a frontrunner if a justice steps down under Biden, especially since Biden pledged to choose a Black woman for the high court. As a former public defender and member of the US Sentencing Commission, Jackson’s nomination also elevates a judge with the kind of diverse professional background that liberals hoped Biden would embrace.

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