Wednesday, June 15, 2016

This And That In The News

There are so many trans topics in the news today covering education and employment, we really are making headway but there still are setbacks.
Library board says no to transgender benefits
By Sharon Coolidge
June 14, 2016

Cincinnati's public library Tuesday stood by its previous decision not to cover an employee's transgender transition surgery, citing costs.

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Library employee Rachel Dovel, who legally changed her name from Nathan last year, brought the issue to light earlier this year after her insurance declined to cover gender confirmation surgery. The board initially declined to change their policy,

Tuesday's policy vote – which was unanimous – came after several people spoke, some emotionally about their own journey.
Gazing into my crystal ball I see lawsuits in the library’s future.

Then there is this article in on the Workforce website,
A Transgender Transition in the Workplace
Some companies offer sex reassignment benefits as a way to attract LGBT workers.
By Rita Pyrillis
June 14, 2016

While legal campaigns targeting the rights of LGBT people seem to be mushrooming across the country, a growing number of employers are leading the way in supporting the rights of transgender people in the workplace.

From Target Corp.’s recent announcement about allowing transgender employees and customers to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity to companies like Facebook Inc., Kroger Co. and Visa Inc. offering coverage for gender reassignment surgery, more employers are looking for ways to attract and retain lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers. Offering comprehensive insurance coverage of procedures and therapies related to sex reassignment is one way of doing that.

The number of major U.S. companies surveyed by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation offering transgender-inclusive health care coverage has spiked from 49 in 2009 to 511 in 2016, according to the organization’s annual Corporate Equality Index.
The Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010, prohibits insurers and providers from discriminating against patients because of their gender identity.
“This is an important time for people in HR to pay attention to these things and to make sure that they have fair and equal treatment when it comes to company health care policies,” he said. “People may not be aware that what’s in their insurance contract is unlawful. It’s important for HR to understand what constitutes discrimination.”
Too bad the Cincinnati's public library didn’t read this first, it might save them so litigation costs.

Then there is this in Kansas where the state board of education thumbed its nose at Title IX.
Kansas education board votes to ignore transgender decree
The Kansas State Board of Education has voted unanimously to ignore a directive from President Obama's administration that public schools allow transgender students to use restrooms matching their gender identity
U.S. News & World Report
By Melissa Hellmann, Associated Press
June 14, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas State Board of Education voted unanimously on Tuesday to ignore a directive from President Obama's administration that public schools allow transgender students to use restrooms matching their gender identity, and instead the board left decisions up to school districts.

What remains unclear is whether the 10-0 vote will endanger over $479 million in federal aid, or about 10 percent of the state's education budget.

Scott Gordon, general counsel for the state's education department, said that the threat of loss of federal funding is not sweeping. The entire state would not lose federal education funding if one school is found out of compliance with the anti-discrimination law. Gordon told The Associated Press that he didn't think the board's statement would jeopardize federal aid.

He noted that only one transgender student had filed a complaint for alleged discrimination with the Office of Civil Rights in 2015, which board members cited as proof that districts already have adequate regulations in place.
My guess is that only one person is willing to stand up to fight the discrimination, that the other trans students are bullied into silence.

Then down in Texas, one school board is fighting to buck the state.
FWISD forms committee to oversee transgender policy changes
By Fox4 News Staff
June 14, 2016

The Fort Worth ISD superintendent announced a committee will be formed to go over their controversial “transgender guidelines” and possibly make changes.

The new policies have been the subject of protest and were challenged by the Lieutenant Governor and the Attorney General.

The Fort Worth school board convened yet another meeting filled with people either for or against the controversial transgender guidelines. Once again, Superintendent Kent Scribner addressed the issue. This time, it was a post mortem on six community forums over the past two weeks.

The guidelines are vague on how, and under what circumstances, boys who identify as a female would be allowed to use a girl's restroom. The district says its practice with transgender students, which is not clarified in the eight-page guidelines, is to require transgender students meet with an administrator to work out bathroom issues. Scribner announced a plan to clarify that.
And who is the most vocal against the board’s plan, why it is none other than Lt. Governor Dan Patrick whose tweets quoting the Bible after the Orlando Massacre has resulted in calls for him to stepdown from office. Dallas/Fort Worth NBC News 5 reported…
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Deletes Bible Tweet After Orlando Massacre
Scheduled tweet deleted, Lt. Gov. issues formal statement after mass shooting

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has deleted a tweet quoting the New Testament in the wake of the deadly Orlando nightclub shooting.

Hours after the shooting at a gay nightclub that left 50 dead, Patrick sent a tweet from his personal account: "Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."

The tweet received harsh criticism online. North Texas Congressman, Marc Veasey, specifically called out the Lt. Gov. for his tweet.
"It was a sad day in Texas history for all the great representation of Texas we've had over the years," Veasey said. "For a second-ranking state official to do something like that [shakes head]."
The Lt. Governor’s office said that the tweet was pre-scheduled just like his other Sunday tweets.

As an ancient Chinese proverb says; “May You Live In Interesting Times” and that we are.

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