Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Fight Continues

Only 16 states and the District of Columbia have legal equality for us and I think as each state passes protection for gender identity and expression the harder it becomes for the other states to pass equality. I believe the more states that pass anti-discrimination laws protecting us, the tougher the opposition pushes back and the wilder the accusations become.

An article in Time I think highlights one of the reasons why we have a hard time passing legislation,
One reason that transgender rights remain murky is because the American public is still coming to understand who they are: a survey released in 2011 showed that 3 in 10 Americans cannot identify what it means to be transgender and dictionary definitions aren’t cut-and-dry. (The Oxford English Dictionary’s rather tortured entry: “a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender, but combines or moves between these.”) Confusion or discomfort about where gender lines are drawn make bathrooms a perennial hot-button, because those are the only places most people are self-segregating based on their gender in an average day.
And the opposition has keyed in one the public lack of knowledge on transgender issues and has created what Barney Franks call the “Ick Factor.” As a result Arizona is trying to pass a “Show me your papers” bathroom bill and Massachusetts passed their gender inclusive non-discrimination law without public accommodations.

What we have to do is to continue to educate the public and we have to speak up again media that tries to marginalize us.
# # # # #

In Wisconsin a gay man was beating and the authorities didn’t charge the attacker with a hate crime even though the attacker called the man a “faggot” before the incident. The Wisconsin Gazette reported,
A gay employee of Applebee’s in Rice Lake was brutally bashed by the husband of a co-worker, then told by the restaurant’s manager he could not return to his job due to publicity surrounding the incident, he said.

Timothy Phares subsequently did return to his job as a server after Greg Flynn, CEO of Apple American Group franchise, intervened on his behalf.

According to Phares and his sister Krista katherine, they were getting out of his car in the parking lot of a Perkins restaurant at about 6 a.m. on March 17 when Rien Hendricks and his wife Shannon Hendricks pulled up behind them in an SUV.

“(Hendricks) was getting out of his vehicle, and he said, ‘Fucking faggot, I’m going to kill you,’” Phares said.
Despite the anti-gay slur shouted prior to the attack, there is not adequate evidence to prosecute the alleged assault as a hate crime, according to Barron County District Attorney Angela Beranek. She said Wisconsin law requires evidence that a crime was committed wholly or in part due to the perceived sexual orientation of the victim in order to attach a hate-crime enhancement to the charges.

Beranek said no such evidence exists in this case.
I guess you have to get your attacker to say, “I’m trying to kill you because you are gay” while you are being beating in order for it to be a hate crime, that saying before the beating “Fucking faggot, I’m going to kill you” doesn’t qualify as a hate crime.

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