Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Guess Who?

Guess who wants to take away our protections in Wisconsin?
War Against Transgender People: The Wisconsin Front
The move by Badger State GOP to roll back trans rights
Shepherd Express
By Paul Masterson
July 11, 2017

Kenosha Lawsuit Goes to Supreme Court
Wisconsin has already jumped into the new wave of anti-transgender sentiment. Kenosha trans high school student Ash Whitaker had already won a historic lawsuit against his school board to allow him access to the men’s bathroom. In a unanimous decision announced May 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the lower court ruling against the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD). However, the celebration would be short lived. Just weeks later, supported by KUSD board member Gary J. Kunich who had ardently argued against Whitaker’s case, KUSD appealed again, this time to the U.S. Supreme Court. In online social media posting in March, when the Whitaker debate and his campaign for reelection to the school board were at their peaks, Kunich used the “privacy and safety” refrain to underscore his opposition. KUSD’s attorney, Ronald Stadler of Milwaukee, said in a Kenosha News statement, “I think it is very important for the Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue because it is affecting schools all across the nation.”

In response, Kenosha County Supervisor Dayvin Hallmon immediately published a seven-point argument against the appeal. His Point 6 clearly cites the clinical realities facing trans individuals and rises beyond the emotional reactions that often come with the politicization of issues or framing them in the context of a religion-based morality. Hallmon cited a 2008 resolution by the American Psychological Association that “encourages legal and social recognition of transgender individuals consistent with their gender identity and expression” and “supports efforts to provide safe and secure educational environments…that promote an understanding and acceptance of self and in which all youths, including youth of all gender identities and expressions, may be free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse.” He also noted a 2017 statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics on protecting transgender youth, which reads, “Transgender children should be supported, nurtured and cared for, whether in their homes, in their schools or through policies enacted at the state and federal levels.” Hallmon added, “The decision of the KUSD school board to appeal this case to the SCOTUS is in violation of the scholarship of our medical professionals.”

Hallmon also noted the pragmatic and financially responsible argument, arguing KUSD can’t afford enough school supplies for its students, let alone pursue a Supreme Court case requiring a private lawyer. He was quick to point to the “coincidence” that Republican White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus resides in the Kenosha and that Kenosha is in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s congressional district.
Well first off, they talk about “State’s Rights” in the article, well we happen to live in a Republic that has a constitution and one of the amendments, number 14 to be precise, require everyone to be treated equally.
The ACLU bases its suit on the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, interpreted as barring discrimination on the basis of transgender status unless there is a an important government objective. The suit also cites Title VII prohibition of “sex discrimination with respect to an employee’s ‘compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, including discrimination in the terms of an employer-sponsored health care plan.” Finally, it refers to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which bars sex discrimination in any health program or activity that receives federal financial assistance or is administered by a federal agency.
Hopefully the case will not go to the Supreme Court and will rest U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruling.

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