Thursday, April 13, 2017

Connecticut One Of The Leaders

Connecticut is one of about eight states that do not require trans women to be sterilized to change their birth certificate.
European Court Strikes Down Required Sterilization for Transgender People
The New York Times
By Liam Stack
April 12, 2017

Changing the name or gender on a government-issued document like a driver’s license has long included a frightening step for transgender people in almost two dozen European countries: mandatory sterilization.

But those days may be coming to an end. Gay and transgender activists in Europe have argued for years that the sterilization requirement was an institutionalized violation of human rights, and last week the European Court of Human Rights agreed.

On April 6, it issued a ruling in favor of three transgender people in France who had been barred from changing the names and genders on their birth certificates because they had not been sterilized. In so doing, activists said, the court set a new legal standard that calls for changes to laws in 22 countries under its jurisdiction.

“This decision ends the dark chapter of state-induced sterilization in Europe,” Julia Ehrt, the executive director of Transgender Europe, an advocacy group based in Berlin, said in a statement. “The 22 states in which a sterilization is still mandatory will have to swiftly end this practice.”
Here in the U.S. most states require Gender Confirming Surgery (GCS) before you can change the gender markers on your birth certificate. But for many trans people they cannot have surgery because of preexisting medical conditions, or they cannot afford it even with insurance because they can’t afford the copayment or the doctor wants their money up front. Also for many trans people surgery is not need to quell their gender dysphoria, why force them to have medical procedures that are not need just to change their documents?

I want to say “Congratulations” to a friend Anne Stanback who is receiving the Connecticut Bar Association's Citizen of the Law award tonight. The Hartford Courant writes,
Anne Stanback's advocacy for gay marriage in Connecticut and other LGBT civil rights issues made her no stranger to lawyers. Now, a group representing the state's legal profession is recognizing Stanback for her contributions to the cause.

Gay marriage was legalized in Connecticut by the state's Supreme Court in 2008. As director of the now-closed Love Makes a Family, Stanback was at the center of advocacy efforts that led to the ruling. On Thursday, Stanback will receive the Connecticut Bar Association's Citizen of the Law award. That honor is given annually to someone who is not a lawyer but has made important, voluntary contributions to resolving significant legal issues.

Stanback said on Monday that she is gratified to be recognized because of the support, coaching and mentoring she received from lawyers over the years but sees something in the award that is bigger than her.
I first met her back in around 2006 when I starting working with the Anti-Discrimination Coalition to pass the gender inclusive non-discrimination law. I went around the state with the Love Makes a Family crew to talk about our bill while they talked about marriage. I remember one time when I was speaking at the town hall meeting, a lesbian couple came up to me and said that they never thought about trans rights but now they wanted to know what they could do to help us.

She is a powerhouse for human rights and she fought hard to pass the 2011 law giving us protection from discrimination, even though Love Makes a Family closed she made sure we had enough funding to get the law passed.

Our paths have crossed many times since then, when we were trying to pass the birth certificate bill she was there to help us. Now we are trying to pass the bill to ban conversion therapy here in Connecticut and she is coordinating the effort.

Congratulations Anne!

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