Friday, March 22, 2019

I Lost It!

I just flipped out when I found out “she was a man” so I killed her. Or gay, or lesbian or substitute any other protected classes.

There is a bill before the state legislature that will ban gay/trans panic defenses, the bill is SB-58 AN ACT CONCERNING GAY AND TRANSGENDER PANIC DEFENSE.
Gay/Trans Panic Defense
The LGBT Bar

What is the gay and trans “panic” defense?
The gay and trans “panic” defense is a legal strategy which asks a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant’s violent reaction, including murder. It is not a free standing defense to criminal liability, but rather a legal tactic which is used to bolster other defenses. When the defense is employed, the perpetrator claims that their victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity not only explain – but excuse – their loss of self-control and subsequent assault. By fully or partially acquitting the perpetrators of crimes against LGBTQ+ victims, these defenses imply that LGBTQ+ lives are worth less than others.

One of the most recognized cases that employed the gay “panic” defense was that of Matthew Shepard. In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old college student, was beaten to death by two men. The men attempted to use the gay “panic” defense to excuse their actions. Despite widespread public protest, the defense is still being used today.

How is the defense used in court?
Traditionally, the gay/trans “panic” defense has been used in three ways to mitigate a case of murder to manslaughter or justified homicide.
  • Defense of insanity or diminished capacity: The defendant alleges that a sexual proposition by the victim – due to their sexual orientation or gender identity – triggered a nervous breakdown in the defendant, causing a gay or transgender “panic.” This defense is based on an outdated psychological term, “gay panic” disorder, which was debunked by the American Psychiatric Association and removed from the DSM in 1952. Sadly, while the medical field has evolved with our increasingly just society, the legal field has yet to catch up.
  • Defense of provocation: The defense of provocation allows a defendant to argue that the victim’s proposition, sometimes termed a “non-violent sexual advance,” was sufficiently “provocative” to induce the defendant to kill the victim. Defendants claiming a “provocative” advance stigmatize behavior which, on its own, is not illegal or harmful, but is only considered “provocative” when it comes from an LGBTQ+ individual.
  • Defense of self-defense: Defendants claim they believed that the victim, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, was about to cause the defendant serious bodily harm. This defense is offensive and harmful because it argues that a person’s gender or sexual identity makes them more of a threat to safety. In addition, gay or trans “panic” is often employed to justify violence when the victim’s behavior falls short of the serious bodily harm standard, or the defendant used a greater amount of force than reasonably necessary to avoid danger, such as using weapons when their attacker was unarmed.
What can you do to help pass this law?

Today I am up at the True Color conference at UConn main campus in Storrs and I will be doing a workshop on Trans History with a friend.

The conference is the largest LGBT conference in the world! Over 3500 hundred people attend the two day conference with most of the attendees come on Friday. About 2500 people come on Friday.

Now We See Who Got Our Backs

We are being singled out by the current administration in a “divide and conquer” strategy and we will learn who has our backs.

This article is 6 months old but it still is relevant.
A Trans Plea to the L,G,B, and Q: Help Us
What will you do to save your brothers and sisters?
The Advocate
By Amanda Kerri
October 22, 2018

There will be a thousand articles written about Trump’s plan to make it government policy that transgender people don’t exist. Some will explain what’s happening, why it’s happening, and how. Some will attack conservatives and Trump, some will attack those who enabled and empowered them through inaction or lack of concern for anyone but themselves. I can’t write those articles.

I already wrote them. I’ve already called the GOP a hate group, I’ve already called out hypocritical allies, I’ve gone after people condoning casual transphobia, warned of radical evangelicals changing the government, and I’ve laid into “progressives” who will throw us under the bus. Almost to the day, I warned about the “unpersoning” of trans people by the Trump administration a full year ago. To borrow a phrase from black folks, “We done told y’all.”

But here we are. The End. It’s not about bathrooms or celebrities, it’s not about pronouns or dating or anything of the sort, it’s just the end of us. Trump’s government is going to make it state policy that we simply do not exist. Literally every right and protection we had won before is gone. No, this is not hyperbole, we are not overreacting, this is their stated goal and not even in vague terms. We are not trying to distract you from something else, we are not trying to divide the left, we are just trying to survive. You have to understand, this isn’t just going to force us into the wrong bathrooms; people will be able to deny us medical care, access to homeless shelters, the right to work and put food in our mouths.
Yesterday I wrote about the “Log Cabin Republicans” who put their pocketbooks ahead of their rights and they not only threw us under the bus for money but also other lesbians, gays, bi, and queers.

We have seen lesbians and gays who say we should be in sports.

We have seen lesbians and gays who deny our right to exists.

But there are many, many more that have our backs.

I have seen lesbians jump all over another lesbians for saying derogatory things about us. I have been welcomed into the homes of other lesbians. I have many gay friends who stood up for me.

One time when I was leaving a late night LGBT function I was standing in the doorway looking at a bar that I had to walk past to get to the parking garage and there were all dunking men outside at the tables. A group of 4 or 5 lesbians were also leaving and they saw what I was looking at, and one put her arm in mine, together we walked by the dunking men. Yes they did harass us as we walked by making rude comments but the women had my back.

I guess what I am saying is done paint every lesbian women and gay men with a broad brush.

Today I am up at the True Color conference at UConn main campus in Storrs and I will be doing a workshop on Trans History with a friend.

The conference is the largest LGBT conference in the world! Over 3500 hundred people attend the two day conference with most of the attendees come on Friday. About 2500 people come on Friday.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Justice Is Served

I wish it didn’t have to end this way but he left no other choice, he let his bigotry and hatred override the duties of his job.
'You freak me out': School official loses job after allegedly harassing trans teen
A West Virginia school district has decided not to renew the contract of an assistant principal accused of harassing a transgender student in a boys' bathroom.
NBC News
By Tim Fitzsimons and The Associated Press
March 20, 2019

The school board in Harrison County, West Virginia, voted on Tuesday not to renew the contract of a school official who had been temporarily suspended late last year for allegedly harassing a transgender male student.

Lee Livengood, an assistant principal at Liberty High School, allegedly followed Michael Critchfield, 15, into the boys' bathroom last November and told him, “You freak me out.”

Livengood was suspended without pay for four days in December before returning to Liberty High. The American Civil Liberties Union's West Virginia chapter called the suspension "not sufficient."

The ACLU said 1,100 people signed a petition demanding the board take action. The petition was delivered Tuesday.
“I felt really degraded and discriminated against,” Critchfield said, adding that school “should feel like a safe place."
I am not asking for people to change how they think of us, I am asking for them to treat us fairly and equally just like they treat everyone else.*

Before I retired one of the employees at the factory was an asshole and a bigot (Hint: he shot off the tip of one of his fingers), but my job required for me to work with him and I put my bias aside and I did my best to work with him.

*One of the lawyers for the Commission for Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) once said it is not against the law to be an asshole as long as the person is an equal opportunity asshole and isn’t an asshole against a protected class.

Some Judges Do Rule On The Law

The courts are being packed with judges who put their conservative ideology ahead of the law; some of the old judges who put the law above political ideology are still on the bench.
Justices chose fact over ignorance in transgender health ruling
Des Moines Register
By Jeorgia Robinson, Guest columnist
March 20, 2019

Our law is not only based in fact and reason, but also in our evolving knowledge of human nature. Our law is informed by new learning. In the same way, ignorance and injustice are two sides of the same coin. Ignorance hurts us all.

The Iowa Supreme Court refused the path of ignorance in its decision to find Medicaid prohibitions of gender confirmation surgery to be a violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act. The court ordered that transgender Medicaid recipients receive all medically necessary care, the same as everyone else. Our evolving medical knowledge recognizes that medical necessity includes gender confirmation surgery.
Instead of criticizing the Iowa Supreme Court, I thank the court for understanding the transgender experience and striking down unjust and harmful laws. You should, too.
Thank goodness that there are some judges who listen to the facts and not the fear.

We will not be having as many court victories in the future thanks to the Republicans stuffing the courts who put their conservative ideology and the Bible above the law and the Constitution.

What makes an activist judge?

You hear the Republicans always condemning “activist judges” so what constitutes an “activist judges?”

It is when a judges rules counter to what you believe is the law and instead rules on the law.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Going Against Your Own Interests

So what would cause someone to go against their own safety and human rights?
Former Log Cabin Republicans head publicly opposes proposed LGBTQ nondiscrimination law
LGBTQ Nation
By Bil Browning
March 18, 2019

Former Log Cabin Republicans president Gregory Angelo has come out against the Equality Act, the proposed legislation to ban discrimination against LGBTQ people.

Angelo says the bill “would flout bedrock principles that have served as the foundation of the American experience for centuries” and impinge on American’s “religious freedom” to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

“Don’t be fooled by the name,” Angelo writes in the rightwing Washington Examiner. “The Equality Act is legislation that would compromise American civil rights and religious liberty as we know it. All reasonable Americans, especially gay Americans who support pluralism and tolerance, should oppose it.”
So why would he be against the Equality Act? He says “religious freedom” but that is the twisted logic of the Republicans that “religious freedom” means that you can hide your bigotry behind religion.
“Passage of the ‘Equality Act’ would make liars out of the lot of us. It would put the nonprofit status of religious charities at risk; it would force mom-and-pop businesses to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies; and it would flout bedrock principles that have served as the foundation of the American experience for centuries.”
That is totally BULL!

Twenty-two states offer some protection for LGBTQ+ people and in not one of them has a religious non-profit but put out of business. They have lost funding from state governments because they discriminate and many of them lost funding from United Way because of discrimination.

Public funding should be for everyone, when they receive public funding and funding from United Way they agree not to discriminate… something the religious non-profit lied about when they got the funding. There is a famous case down in New Jersey,
Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association broke state’s discrimination law when it denied use of its pavilion for couple’s civil union ceremony

NEWARK – A state administrative law judge has ruled (50k PDF) that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association violated the state’s Law Against Discrimination when it denied Ocean Grove residents Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster the use of its boardwalk pavilion for their 2007 civil union ceremony. The association had allowed members of the public to rent the pavilion and had never before declined a permit other than for scheduling conflicts until it received Paster and Bernstein’s reservation request. The association rejected the couple’s application to use the space, stating that civil unions violated its Methodist doctrine.

“The Camp Meeting Association could have used the pavilion exclusively for its own purposes,” said Lawrence Lustberg of Gibbons, P.C., who represents the couple as a cooperating attorney for the ACLU-NJ. “The judge found, however, that the association opened the pavilion up to the public and thus was obligated to follow anti-discrimination laws.”
… The judge determined that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association breached its agreement to make the pavilion available to the public on an equal basis. The association was also required to make the pavilion public in exchange for a state tax exemption it received that requires equal access on a non-discriminatory basis…
Basically they lied when the association agreed to the terms.

As for Mr. Angelo assertion of “it would force mom-and-pop businesses to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies” he is right, but substitute “black” for same-sex. Would this be okay “it would force mom-and-pop businesses to participate in black marriage ceremonies” or how about “it would force mom-and-pop businesses to participate in Muslin marriage ceremonies?” Somehow it has become more acceptable to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.

So why is Mr. Angelo against the Equality Act all of his arguments don’t hold water? Could it be the reason that he supports the white supremacist, nationalistic, xenophobic, and misogynistic polices of the Republican?

A Big Win!

This is very good news for this Wednesday morning.
Supreme Court rejects anti-LGBTQ Hawaiian bed & breakfast’s ‘religious freedom’ case
LGBTQ Nation
By Bil Browning
March 19, 2019

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear a case involving a Hawaiian bed and breakfast that refused to allow a lesbian couple Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford, to stay there in 2007.

The high court denied certiorari to Aloha Bed & Breakfast after lower courts ruled that the company had discriminated against the couple and violated the state’s civil rights laws despite the owner’s claims of “religious freedom.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision to let the lower court ruling stand reaffirms that the freedom of religion does not give businesses a right to violate nondiscrimination laws that protect all individuals from harm, whether on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation,” Peter Renn, counsel for Lambda Legal’s Western Regional Office, said.
This is big! Really big! Humongous big!


It is that the Roberts’ Court was supposed to be a conservative court and based on “religious freedom” but their refusal to hear the case means “religious freedom” does not give businesses a right to violate nondiscrimination laws that protect all individuals from harm, whether on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation.”

So maybe there is some hope for us after all.