Thursday, June 04, 2020

An Analysis.

We have probably all heard about the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights ruling on trans athletes, well here is GLAD’s analysis of that ruling.
Transgender Girls and School Sports: What Does the Office of Civil Rights Letter Mean?

Good news: nothing right now
“For nearly 50 years, Title IX has served as a bedrock for establishing fair and equal educational opportunities. Any move the Office of Civil Rights takes to wield Title IX as a weapon against transgender high school girls erodes the significance of this landmark civil rights law.”
-Jennifer Levi, GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director
What is the effect of the letter?The letter has no immediate effect. To be sure, OCR’s position that CIAC’s trans-inclusive policy violates Title IX is very alarming. It is also in the same vein of civil rights rollbacks and anti-LGBTQ policies we have seen emerge from the Trump administration since January 2017 However, the letter contains no authoritative legal analysis and its issuance has no immediate legal impact on CIAC or the schools to which it was addressed, much less any other schools, districts, or other statewide athletic associations. And, while it threatens the CIAC and the schools with loss of federal funds, OCR has no authority to deny these entities of federal funds by the issuance of this letter. It’s also important to note that in its entire history, OCR has never denied any entity federal funds for either alleged or demonstrated violations of Title IX.

Why doesn’t the letter have any immediate effect?While the U.S. Department of Education is charged with enforcing the law, it does not have the ability to change the law or ultimately decide what the law means. The power to interpret the meaning of Title IX lies with the courts. There is a pending federal lawsuit in which CIAC and the five schools to which OCR’s letter is addressed are defending current Connecticut policy which authorizes transgender girls to participate in girls’ sports. Initially, ADF sought an accelerated determination by the federal court hearing the case. However, with the cancellation of the spring sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the court has taken the case off any accelerated schedule. As a practical matter, any action taken by OCR, in follow up to the letter, will not be able to move more quickly than the pending lawsuit.
This is not going away for a long, long time. There is going to be a lot of court rulings before this is settled with luck we will have a new president, a real president in the White House before this is settled.

We also have a Supreme Court ruling coming out this month on if we and sexual orientation are covered under “sex” in Title VII.

In another case before the Supreme Court this time it is about “religious freedom” to discriminate.
Trump admin to Supreme Court: Let adoption agencies reject LGBTQ families
Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
June 3, 2020

In the latest example of the Trump administration seeking to enable legal discrimination against LGBTQ people, the Justice Department is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to allow religious-affiliated adoption agencies to refuse child placement into LGBTQ homes.

In a 35-page brief, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco and other Justice Department attorneys maintain the City of Philadelphia has “impermissibly discriminated against religious exercise” under the First Amendment by requiring Catholic Social Services to abide by a contract requiring LGBTQ non-discrimination practices in child placement.

“Governmental action tainted by hostility to religion fails strict scrutiny almost by definition,” the brief says. “This court has never recognized even a legitimate governmental interest — much less a compelling one — that justifies hostility toward religion.”
The case is about whether a religious organization that is receiving public funding can discriminate in using that funding. In the past the courts have found that they could not… once again it will boil down to how Chief Justice Roberts votes.
Although the case involves Catholic Social Services refusing to abide by the terms of its contract, the Justice Department framing of the litigation makes it seem like the City of Philadelphia is an aggressor and unfairly targeting Catholic Social Services, asserting the municipality is allowing for exemptions in some cases, but not religious-affiliated adoption agencies.
This June 30th is going to be a busy day for the court.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

I’m Old As Dirt.

I’ve seen a lot and I have seen that nothing has changed
I’ve seen the civil rights movement of the fifties and sixties and nothing has changed.
I’ve have seen the sit-ins and the marches and nothing has changed.
I’ve seen blood on the streets of New Haven and nothing has changed
I’ve seen the uprising in Newark, Los Angles, and other cities around the country and nothing has changed.
I have heard the promises of politicians both Republicans and Democrats and nothing has changed.
I have heard the promises of police departments to change but nothing has changed.

There have been promises made, laws written by both parties but nothing has changed.

Trump has been appointing white judges by the hand full, as of January 85% of his appointments are white.
"What stands out to me is that President Trump is deliberately nominating the least diverse class of judicial nominees that we have seen in modern history," said Kristine Lucius, executive vice president for policy at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. "It is stunning to me that 2 1/2 years in, he has not nominated a single African American or a single Latinx to the appellate courts."
In Congress there are 54 Democrats and 2 Republicans who are minorities and one of the two Republicans is retiring.

In education his Secretary of Education DeVos is cutting funding to public schools and giving the funding to private schools and religious schools.

His Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Carson is doing everything he can to cut housing assistance for low income families.

The voters knew he was a racist but it didn’t matter to them, but they were mad that a black man was president.

A friend say if you hear mean, intervene.

We can pass all the laws but nothing will change until the people change.

Until the people stand up and say enough is enough.

It is amazing that so many people have stood up and marched to end the discrimination and for racial justice. It is also amazing how many are out there for the first time. But what will only count is how they vote on election day.

  • It is not just racist police…
  • It is also education inequalities.
  • It is also income inequalities.
  • It is also housing inequalities.
  • It is also healthcare inequalities.
  • It is also employment inequalities.
  • It is also voting inequalities.

And the list goes on and on…

A trans man friend who has an excellent job and lives in suburbia told me that when “she” walked down the street she never got stopped by the police but once he transitioned “he” was routinely stopped and asked what he was doing in the neighborhood.

What can be done? I don’t know.

It has to come from the people… not just the minorities but all the people.

I read somewhere that most people make up their minds on who they are going to vote for minutes before voting.

There was a meme and video that was circulating around Facebook about how they knew about COVID-19 a year before the pandemic broke out. They claimed that H.R. 748 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act was introduced in January of 2019 proving that the COVID-19 pandemic was planned or known about in advance.

But if they did any homework and researched it they would have found out that it was totally false.

It is quite common for bills to be introduced for one thing and changed to another thing that is all together different from the original bill (They do that to save time. The original that didn’t have enough steam to pass but made it through the committees is gutted and made into a new bill. The resurrected bill doesn’t have to go through the committee process.).

With freedom comes responsibility.
― Eleanor Roosevelt

And part of that responsibility is to educate yourself on the issues of the day and to make informed electorate.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

I Am Concerned

We are at a pivot point where we are facing the direction that our country will go and what concerns me is the person who is in charge of our country.

The COVID-19 virus has created great stress in our country and Trump is driving a wedge into that stress and politicized the virus. And into that gap was another murder of a person of color by a police officer and the outrage that came out of the murder Trump is pouring acid into the wound.

Yesterday he used force to clear a path to a church to make a political speech defiling the church sanctuary to pour more acid into the hate.

Also yesterday he threaten to use the military to curb the protests.

In addition there are outside agitators who are infiltrating the peaceful protests to stir up violence, their goal is a race war. Add to that reports of foreign powers that honed their skills on the 2016 elections are now creating unrest between the races.

My concerns are that Trump will declare marshal law and bring into the military to seize power under an emergency decree.

It happened before.

In 1933 Hitler in the middle of a crisis seized power.

This is from Jewish History
Hitler was able to mobilize criminal elements into street thugs who literally beat up his enemies. These became a paramilitary organization, the “brown shirts,” named after their uniforms. Hitler took unemployed people off the street, gave them a brown shirt with an armband sporting a swastika, taught them the Nazi salute and handed them a stick to beat others. Suddenly, these powerless people had power.

None of this could have come about without financial backing and Hitler found ready financial support among the German industrialists. They were uneasy with him, but at least he wasn’t a communist calling for the seizure and nationalization of their businesses. They were confident that their financial power would control him – but, in the end, it would be he who would manipulate them to do his bidding.
There are so many parallels between now and then.

Trump’s “Brown Shirts” are the Tiki Torch parade of the white supremacist and now we find out that white supremacist are inciting the violence in the protests. Trump has the financial backing of the “One Percenters” of Wall Street.
More than anything else, the Great Depression helped boost Hitler. In the election after the Depression first struck the Nazis doubled their seats in the Reichstag, the German Parliament, going from 7% to 13.5% of the vote. And in the ensuing election they reached 21%. At their height they would reach about 40%.
We are also in the grips of wealth inequities that is creating a divide between the have and the have nots that has been exasperated by the virus with health inequities.
Once Hitler got power, however, no one controlled him. He increased the activities of his brown shirts, even beating to death opposing politicians. Then he presented the Reichstag with the Enabling Act, a bill that would give him absolute powers, in effect making the Reichstag powerless. Although it was political suicide to vote for it, no one dared vote against Hitler and it was passed into law.
We have seen this here in Trump’s impeachment which the Republicans rendered Congress powerless to control Trump.

Throw into this the Posse Comitatus Act and we have a recipe for disaster. The law was modified in 2007 with the Defense Authorization Bill.
`Sec. 333. Interference with State and Federal law
`The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it--
`(1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
`(2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.
In any situation covered by clause (1), the State shall be considered to have denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution.'.
Add a Secretary of Defense Esper who said “I think the sooner that you mass and dominate the battlespace, the quicker this dissipates and we can get back to the right normal” to put down nationwide protests.

Add the November elections.

Stir the mix and you have a recipe for a coup d'etat.

Monday, June 01, 2020

I Don’t Know

Every day I search the headlines look for something to write about, today’s headlines…
  • The Plight of Undocumented Transgender Women During a Health Crisis
Vice is shining a spotlight on the issues facing undocumented transgender Latinx women during the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States. In tonight's ...
  • Betsy DeVos Tells Connecticut: Ban Transgender Athletes, Or Say Goodbye To Your Federal Funding
Allowing transgender girls to compete in school sports with girls who are not transgender is a violation of federal law, and if it's not stopped in 20 days, ...
2 days ago
  • Transgender man fatally shot by officer after pointing gun, Tallahassee police say
The man fatally stabbed his next-door neighbor, then was shot after aiming a gun at an officer, according to Tallahassee police.
Tampa Bay Times
2 days ago
  • Lifting Barriers to Care for Transgender and Non-Binary Patients
Providing gender-affirming care to the transgender and non-binary community is essential. During the COVID-19 pandemic, barriers have been lifted to continue ...
Michigan Medicine
5 days ago
  • A Transgender Woman's Attorneys Fear She Won't Survive Her 60-Month Sentence
New York attorneys have launched a campaign to release transgender, gender nonconforming and nonbinary prisoners during the pandemic.
The Appeal
4 days ago
  • Interrogating the transgender agenda » MercatorNet
Dr Paul McHugh is one of America's leading psychiatrists. The article below is his testimony to the US Supreme Court in the case of R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral ...
7 hours ago
This one looks promising.

Dr Paul McHugh is one of America's leading psychiatrists????

Oh really, who says so?
Interrogating the transgender agenda
A psychiatrist questions the scientific and medical basis for current treatments of gender dyphoria.
By Paul McHugh
Jun 1, 2020
Oh it is just the article that says that he is “one of America's leading psychiatrists”

Then he writes this about the Aimee Stephen case that was heard by the Supreme Court last year and the ruling will be this month on the Title VII case…
Sex refers to the two halves of humanity, male and female. It is well defined based on the binary roles that males and females play in reproduction. “In biology, an organism is male or female if it is structured to perform one of the respective roles in reproduction. This definition does not require any arbitrary measurable or quantifiable physical characteristics or behaviors, it requires understanding the reproductive system and the reproduction process.”

The structural difference for the purpose of reproduction is the only “widely accepted” way of classifying the two sexes. “This conceptual basis for sex roles is binary and stable, and allows us to distinguish males from females on the grounds of their reproductive systems, even when these individuals exhibit behaviors that are not typical of males or females.”

Sex is not and cannot be “assigned at birth,” despite the assertions of the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and Respondents. The language of “assigned at birth” is purposefully misleading and would be identical to an assertion that blood type is assigned at birth. Yes, a doctor can check your blood type and list it. But blood type, like sex, is objectively recognizable, not assigned. In fact, the sex of a child can be ascertained well before birth.
Now get this “one of America's leading psychiatrists” says that the 217,490 members of the AMA and the 38,800 members of the APA are wrong and he is right!

For those of you who do not know who Paul McHugh is, let me enlighten you.
Long shadow cast by psychiatrist on transgender issues finally recedes at Johns Hopkins
Washington Post
By Amy Ellis Nutt
April 5, 2017

Nearly four decades after he derailed a pioneering transgender program at Johns Hopkins Hospital with his views on “guilt-ridden homosexual men,” psychiatrist Paul McHugh is seeing his institution come full circle with the resumption of gender-reassignment surgeries.

McHugh, the hospital’s chief of psychiatry from 1975 to 2001, still believes that being transgender is largely a psychological problem, not a biological phenomenon. And with the title of university distinguished service professor at Johns Hopkins Medicine, he continues to wield enormous influence in certain circles and is quoted frequently on gender issues in conservative media.

“I’m not against transgender people,” he said recently, stressing that he is “anxious they get the help they need.” But such help should be psychiatric rather than surgical, he maintains.
Yup, he is the person who shut down Dr. Harry Benjamin gender clinic of John Hopkins!
Once at the forefront of ­gender-identity science — and site of the nation’s first “change-of-sex operations,” as the headlines announced in 1966 — Hopkins abruptly halted those surgeries in 1979.

The main trigger was a study by Jon Meyer, who ran the hospital’s Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit. In the study, Meyer concluded that although “sex-change” surgery was “subjectively satisfying” for the small sample surveyed, the operations they underwent conferred “no objective advantage in terms of social rehabilitation.”

“With these facts in hand,” McHugh later wrote, “I concluded that Hopkins was fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness.”

Two months later, its gender-identity clinic was shut down.
And then there is the American College of Pediatricians...
Anti-LGBT Hate Group Releases Anti-Trans Position Statement
By Hatewatch Staff
April 07, 2016

Last month, the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) released a new position statement about “gender ideology” and how it “harms children.”
Specifically, the organization disputes that people can be transgender, adding that widespread acceptance of trans people amounts to child abuse. The statement also claims that transgender people are mentally ill.
One of the signatories of the ACPeds’ anti-trans statement is Paul McHugh, a retired University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School. McHugh has held anti-trans views for years, disavowing healthcare options for trans people and pushing ideas like “autogynephilia” – the idea that trans women’s identities are predicated on sexual arousal with the idea of themselves as women.

According to McHugh, trans people should be treated as disordered, like people with anorexia nervosa.
And there is this from Wikipedia
McHugh considers homosexuality to be an “erroneous desire” and supported California Proposition 8.

He co-authored a criticism of medical treatment for transgender youth published by the conservative advocacy group American College of Pediatricians.
So that is who Paul McHugh is, a staunchly transphobic and homophobic who believes that we are all a bunch of pedophiles.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

My Thoughts On COVID-19.

We are living through history, they will be talking about the virus fro centuries to come, just like they talk about the flu of 1917 & 1918.

And to tell the truth, I am very concerned about getting the virus, I am a senior citizen, have diabetes and other health problems. I have limited my contacts with other people, wear a mask when I go out in public, maintain six foot “social distance”, and wash my hands after contact with surfaces like gas pumps.

Once the rules for social contact I still plan on staying at home and limiting contact with people. But I see people flocking to beaches and store ignoring all warnings from health officials. I see a second wave coming not in the fall but within 21 days of the lifting of the stay-at-home orders.

Back in 1918 they also had laws requiring the wearing of masks in public and those who didn’t were called “Mask Slackers” and they had a saying… "Obey the laws, and wear the gauze. Protect your jaws from septic paws."

In the 1918 flu pandemic, not wearing a mask was illegal in some parts of America. What changed?
Now several months the pandemic I see the people are divided into two camps which I call “us” and “me.” The Us’s wear the masks and keep social distancing while the “Me’s” ignore all the health protections because of… well they created several excuses. “Its hot!” “It fogs my glasses.” And the worst excuse of all “It infringes on my liberties!”

Then there are those who still believe that COVID-19 is no worst than the flu but those voices are dying out (probably literally as well as figuratively). I think that they in the “Me” camp because I didn’t get it so it must be a hoax and they deny the reports of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 as deaths from other causes such as heart disease. Their thinking is that they had heart disease before they got COVID-19 when they died of heart failure brought on because of the virus it was really a heart attack and not COVID-19 that killed.

Even worst of that there are politicians that are saying that it is okay that the sick, the disabled, and the elderly are dying.
A planning commissioner of a Northern California city was removed from his post Friday night after saying that just as a forest fire clears dead brush, “the sick, the old, the injured” should be left to meet their “natural course in nature” during the coronavirus outbreak.
I see this as harkening back to the days of NAZI Germany where they murdered the sick, the infirmed, and what they called back then “the mentally deficient.”

Early on in the era of “Stay-at-home” most people followed the rule, traffic behind my house on the state road was almost non-existent but even before the easing of the stay-at-home orders traffic picked up almost to previous traffic levels and more people got bored of staying at home and breaking the governor’s order.

The other concerns that I have over the virus is Trump (I will not call him president until he shows leadership and behaves presidential) who is stirring up descent and making the virus political. Under his administration he had said that he would deny humanitarian assistance to states with Democrat governors and he called for undermining the governor's' authorities when he,
...called on supporters Friday to "liberate" states that have experienced protests over coronavirus lockdowns, a day after he unveiled guidelines aimed at reopening the nation's economy.
His call was met by armed protesters who took over state capitols buildings around the country.

I see Trump’s politicizing of COVID-19 having major consequences when the second wave hits by adding to the frustration of the people to the stay-at-home orders.

The Coronavirus highlighted health disparity that we have in this country. Disparities between the rich and the working class and the health disparities between the races.

If you look at the map…
From yesterday’s COVID-19 Update May 30, 2020
You will see that the virus took hold in the cities while the suburban towns had fewer infections and rural towns in the quite corners the virus is almost non-existent.

I think (and this will probably be studied in the decades to come) one of the reasons is apartment houses and multifamily houses, people are in close contact with other residents of the apartments while in the suburbs homes are isolated by yards. I live in the suburbs and I haven’t been in contact with any of my neighbors, the only people that I come in contact with are the people I choose to be in contact with. The clerks in stores and some of my friends that I trust my life with, those that I know that exercise social distancing.

If you look at the data on race…

From COVID-19 Update May 7, 2020

You will see that minorities have a very high infection and death rate compared to non-Hispanic whites and the question is why?

I think that the main reason boils down to… income.

I think many minorities are working at low paying jobs that do not pay a living wage nor have health insurance. Without health insurance they may not be able to afford proper healthcare. If they have health insurance many of them lost the insurance when they were laid off because of the pandemic.

America is the only western country that ties healthcare with employment, if you have a good paying job it usually comes with health care while minimum paying jobs do not.

This pandemic has shown the need for universal healthcare.

My prognosis:

Is not good, I see a second wave of infections in mid-summer from all those who ignore “social distancing” and the wearing of mask when the stay-at-home orders are lifted. I see the virus coming back with vengeance in the fall and winter.

They will most likely have a vaccination this year which I will get but not one of the first ones, I don’t trust Trump’s FDA to follow proper procedures, I see them cutting corners to get it out by the time that Trump promised.

Another concern is that Trump will use the unrest over the virus and the murdering of George Floyd to impose martial law and to disrupt the November elections.

Coronavirus will go down in the history books

Nurses carry a patient in St. Louis, Missouri, during the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918.

Friday, May 29, 2020

It Isn’t The End Of The World

Did anyone think that the Trump administration would rule anything different?

The ruling flies in the face of court rulings spanning decades going all the way back to the Supreme Court ruling in 1988, back then the court ruled that the word sex meant more than what is between your legs.

The case was Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins and according to Oyez (Oyez (pronounced OH-yay)—a free law project from Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII), Justia, and Chicago-Kent College of Law).
Facts of the case
Ann Hopkins worked at Price Waterhouse for five years before being proposed for partnership. Although Hopkins secured a $25 million government contract that year, the board decided to put her proposal on hold for the following year. The next year, when Price Waterhouse refused to re-propose her for partnership, she sued under Title VII for sex discrimination. Of 622 partners at Price Waterhouse, 7 were women. The partnership selection process relied on recommendations by other partners, some of whom openly opposed women in advanced positions, but Hopkins also had problems with being overly aggressive and not getting along with office staff.
In 2000 the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) issued a declarative  ruling that used in part the Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins Supreme Court case.
    On January 31, 2000, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) received a petition from Attorney Bruce A. Goldberg on behalf of John/Jane Doe (Doe) requesting a declaratory ruling. See Attachment 1 (without exhibits). Under the authority of CONN. GEN. STAT. ' 4-176 and Section 46a-54-122 of the REGULATIONS OF CONNECTICUT STATE AGENCIES, Doe seeks a ruling from the CHRO that the statutory prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sex encompass discrimination based upon a person’s apparent gender, specifically discrimination against transsexual individuals. Doe requests that the CHRO find such prohibitions in CONN. GEN. STAT. ' '  46a-60(a)(1), 46a-64(a)(1), 46a-64c(a)(1) and 46a-66(a).

    At its regular meeting held on March 9, 2000, the CHRO voted to issue a declaratory ruling on Doe’s petition, but amended it to include the question of whether discrimination against transsexual persons constituted discrimination based on physical and/or mental disability. Despite that amendment, however, the CHRO declines to decide whether discrimination against transsexual persons falls within statutory prohibitions against physical and/or mental disability discrimination, and limits this ruling to the narrower question of sex discrimination, as requested in Doe's Petition.
    A. Introduction.
    Doe has asked the CHRO to rule that the statutory prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sex in CONN. GEN. STAT. ' ' 46a-60(a)(1), 46a-64(a)(1), 46a-64c(a)(1) and 46a-66(a) include discrimination based on apparent gender, specifically discrimination against transsexual persons.1

    In arguing that transsexual persons should find protection from sex discrimination under Connecticut law, Doe has asked the CHRO to reject a traditional, narrow definition of sex in favor or a broader, more inclusive one. Historically, federal courts have held that transsexuals are not protected from sex discrimination. Holloway v. Arthur Andersen & Company, 566 F.2d 659, 662-3 (9th Cir. 1977)(court found that Congress did not intend to expand the definition of sex beyond its traditional meaning, rejecting the argument that the term "sex" was synonymous with the term "gender" in Title VII2); Ulane v. Eastern Airlines, Inc., 742 F.2d 1081, 1085 (7th Cir. 1984)(relying on Holloway, court rejected extending Title VII’s coverage to transsexuals stating that the plain language of Title VII does "not outlaw discrimination against a person who has a sexual identity dis-order").3 Over the years, other courts followed suit.
In Price-Waterhouse, a woman’s candidacy for partnership was rejected because her employers determined that she failed to conform to socially constructed gender expectations. In its decision favorable to the woman candidate, the Supreme Court determined that, under Title VII, the term "sex" encompasses both sex and gender. For example, the Court wrote, "Congress’ intent to forbid employers to take gender into account in making employment decisions appears on the face of the statute." Id. at 239. "Indeed, Title VII even forbids employers to make gender an indirect stumbling block to employment opportunities." Id. at 242.

    The Court went on to discuss sex stereotyping as another form of sex discrimination. "In the specific context of sex stereotyping, an employer who acts on the basis of a belief that a woman cannot be aggressive, or that she must not be, has acted on the basis of gender." Id. at 250. Hopkins was accused of being "macho", that she "overcompensated for being a woman", was advised to take "a course at charm school", was criticized for swearing "because it’s a lady using foul language" and was "somewhat masculine". Id. at 235. "Her only hope for achieving partnership", her employer recommended, "was to be more feminine, wear makeup, have her hair styled, and wear jewelry." Id. The Court found this sufficient evidence of sex stereotyping: As for the legal relevance of sex stereotyping, we are beyond the day when an employer could evaluate employees by assuming or insisting that they match the stereotype associated with their group, for "'[i]n forbidding employers to discriminate against individuals because of their sex, Congress intended to strike at the entire spectrum of disparate treatment of men and women resulting from sex stereotypes.'"
They also based their ruling on other Supreme Court cases including,
Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75, 79 (1998).
    The reasoning behind the Court’s ruling in this landmark case seriously undermines the holdings of those federal cases which had previously held that Title VII’s protection does not extend to transsexuals. See also Zalewski v. Overlook Hospital, 300 N.J. Super. 202, 692 A.2d 131 (1996)(male heterosexual’s complaint of sexual harassment by other heterosexual males based on gender stereotyping was actionable as a violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination).
So the Department of Education findings that the Connecticut law violates Title IX uses a very narrow interpretation of “sex” that the courts have rejected.

Okay so where do we go from here?

Well I see the state, towns, and the parties listed in the complaint appealing the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court. I also see there could be a challenge that it is the state’s rights to determine the gender of its citizens and not the federal government.

A caveat…

This only holds true if Trump is defeated in November otherwise he will probably get to fill two more Supreme Court seats and hundreds of lower court judges with his bigoted legal views.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Trans Athletes

There is another push by the Republicans and conservatives to pass legislation blocking trans athletes like the disastrous in Texas* that forced trans masculine student athletes to compete on girl’s teams.
Anti-transgender bill advances as Tennessee lawmakers return to work
By The Associated Press
May 26, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee lawmakers marked their return to legislative offices Tuesday by advancing an anti-transgender proposal after abruptly recessing three months ago because of the coronavirus outbreak.

In March, lawmakers scrambled to approve a newly designed 2020-21 fiscal year budget back when the virus outbreak was just emerging in Tennessee - leaving hundreds of bills in limbo - but promised to formally return on June 1.

House members, however, decided to gather this week and hold legislative committee meetings on a wide variety of bills - many of which were not directly related to COVID-19. This included a proposal dictating that Tennessee elementary and high school students could only play sports based on the sex identified on their birth certificates.

The bill is one of two proposals being considered in the GOP-dominated Statehouse involving transgender students and what sports teams they can play on.
Think about this… the Republicans think that an anti-trans bill is more important than finding relief for small businesses, helping their citizens get though the plague. Nope they see hate as being more important that love for their citizens.

Meanwhile up in Idaho…
Idaho State track athletes want transgender lawsuit tossed
The Oakland Press
By Keith Ridler Associated Press
May 26, 2020

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Two female athletes at Idaho Sta/te University want a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a new state law banning transgender women from competing in women’s sports, the first such law in the nation.

Madison Kenyon, 19, of Johnston, Colorado, and Mary Marshall, 20, of Twin Falls, Idaho, run track and cross-country on scholarships at the university. Each said they’ve lost to a transgender athlete from the University of Montana and contend that transgender athletes are unfair competition.

Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom are representing the two athletes. They filed the request to side with the state of Idaho in fighting the lawsuit and are asking that the lawsuit be dismissed.
Hmm… where did we see Alliance Defending Freedom before?

Oh, I know back here in Connecticut. Guess who they are representing?

A Question of Fairness
Trans women athletes often bear the brunt of hatred and vitriol
CT Voice
By Dawn Ennis (This article was just chosen by the CT Society of Professional Journalism for first place, in the sports category! Congratulations Dawn!)
September 10, 2019

Three teenage girls from Connecticut are the unlikely combatants embroiled in a ferocious debate that has divided athletes, fans, feminists, clerics, pundits, and parents around the world: the issue of transgender inclusion in sports.

At the core of this controversy looms one overarching question: What is fair? That word means different things to different people, depending on which side of the debate you’re on.

On one side, there is a female student athlete who argues she should not have to compete against transgender girls.

On the other side are two girls who are trans, and the private, nonprofit organization that serves as the lone governing body for all of the interscholastic athletic activities throughout the state: the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC). CIAC rules state that trans student athletes can compete according to their gender identity. A similar policy is in effect for high schoolers across New England, in New York, and in several other states.

The CIAC policy follows Connecticut’s anti-discrimination law. But in an ironic twist, the opponents of trans inclusion say the anti-discrimination policy is discriminating against girls who are cisgender, meaning that they identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

To best understand the genesis of this standoff, let’s go back to May 2017, when these three young women competed in the Middletown Varsity Invitational. The results of that meet sparked the firestorm that has made headlines around the world.
On June 18, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian legal advocacy nonprofit organization, joined the fray.

Labeled an extremist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ADF filed a complaint on behalf of Soule and two unnamed Connecticut student athletes, with the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Their attorneys called the CIAC policy “illegal discrimination,” and claim it violates Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.

The ADF misgendered Miller and Yearwood throughout its announcement on Fox News, and in the complaint, as “two biological males.”

“Between them, they have taken 15 women’s state championship titles (titles held in 2016 by 10 different Connecticut girls) and have taken more than 40 opportunities to participate in higher level competitions from female track athletes in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons alone.”

In August, the U.S. Department of Education approved the investigation.

“I’m grateful that the Office of Civil Rights has agreed to investigate our complaint,” Bianca Stanescu told Connecticut Voice, “because girls deserve to compete on an equal and fair playing field and shouldn’t become spectators in their own sport.”
The District Judge Robert Chatigny in the case ruled earlier this month that the ADF lawyers to say “transgender females” instead in an effort to preserve “respectful, humane, intelligent, civil discourse.” And that created a fire storms in the conservative press.

I can’t help but wonder… Doesn’t states get to determine a person’s gender and not the federal government? If the trans athletes’ birth certificate say that they are female doesn’t that mean that under Title IX they are females?**

The ACLU is fighting to make sports accepting of trans athletes,
Four Myths About Trans Athletes, Debunked
Upholding trans athletes' rights requires rooting out the inaccurate beliefs underlying harmful policies sweeping through state legislatures.
April 30, 2020

For years state lawmakers have pushed legislation attempting to shut trans people out of public spaces. In 2020, lawmakers zeroed in on sports and introduced 20 bills seeking to ban trans people from participating in athletics. These statewide efforts have been supported through a coordinated campaign led by anti-LGBTQ groups that have long worked to attack our communities.
FACT: Including trans athletes will benefit everyone.
MYTH: The participation of trans athletes hurts cis women.
Many who oppose the inclusion of trans athletes erroneously claim that allowing trans athletes to compete will harm cisgender women. This divide and conquer tactic gets it exactly wrong. Excluding women who are trans hurts all women. It invites gender policing that could subject any woman to invasive tests or accusations of being “too masculine” or “too good” at their sport to be a “real” woman. In Idaho, the ACLU represents two young women, one trans and one cis, both of whom are hurt by the law that was passed targeting trans athletes.
FACT: Trans athletes do not have an unfair advantage in sports.
MYTH: Trans athletes’ physiological characteristics provide an unfair advantage over cis athletes.
Trans athletes vary in athletic ability just like cisgender athletes. “One high jumper could be taller and have longer legs than another, but the other could have perfect form, and then do better,” explains Andraya Yearwood, a student track athlete and ACLU client. “One sprinter could have parents who spend so much money on personal training for their child, which in turn, would cause that child to run faster," she adds. In Connecticut, where cisgender girl runners have tried to block Andraya from participating in the sport she loves, the very same cis girls who have claimed that trans athletes have an “unfair” advantage have consistently performed as well as or better than transgender competitors.
FACT: Trans girls are girls.
MYTH: Sex is binary, apparent at birth, and identifiable through singular biological characteristics.
Girls who are trans are told repeatedly that they are not “real” girls and boys who are trans are told they are not “real” boys. Non-binary people are told that their gender is not real and that they must be either boys or girls. None of these statements are true. Trans people are exactly who we say we are.

There is no one way for women’s bodies to be. Women, including women who are transgender, intersex, or disabled, have a range of different physical characteristics.
FACT: Trans people belong on the same teams as other students.
MYTH: Trans students need separate teams.
Trans people have the same right to play sports as anybody else. “For the past nine years,” explains Carroll, “transgender athletes have been able to compete on teams at NCAA member collegiates and universities consistent with their gender identity like all other student-athletes with no disruption to women’s collegiate sports.”

*Texas passed a bill that required students to play sports on the team of their birth gender and as a results  trans boys are winning in girls sports.
Transgender Wrestler Wins Texas Championship For Girls
Spring Hill Insider
December 12, 2019

Transgender wrestler wins Texas championship for girls

Feb 26 (Reuters) – Mack Beggs, a 17-year-old high school wrestler who is transitioning from female to male, took home gold in the 110-weight class of the Texas girls state championship after the state refused to allow the student to compete against boys.

Beggs, his family and many of his opponents wanted him to wrestle against male wrestlers, but state sport regulations require athletes to compete according to their birth gender.

**I realize that for some trans athletes that this might create a problem if they haven’t changed their birth certificates. Connecticut law doesn’t require any thing other than a person to self-declare that they’re trans.

News Flash!
Update: 1:15

Department of Education just issued a ruling!

Not good.
Connecticut transgender policy found to violate Title IX

HARTFORD, Conn. – A Connecticut policy that allows transgender athletes to compete in girls sports violates the civil rights of female athletes, the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has ruled.

The ruling, which was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, comes in response to a complaint filed last year by several female track athletes, who argued that two transgender runners who were identified as male at birth had an unfair physical advantage.

The office said in a 45-page letter that it may seek to withhold federal funding over the policy, which allows transgender athletes to participate as the gender with which they identify. It said the policy is a violation of Title IX, the federal civil rights law that guarantees equal education opportunities for women, including in athletics.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which oversees scholastic sports in the state, has said its policy is designed to comply with the state’s law barring schools from discriminating against transgender students. A call seeking comment was left Thursday with CIAC.

Attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom, who represent the girls who brought the complaint, said they would have a comment later on Thursday.
This is from the Trump’s DoEd Office of Civil Rights and it is wasn’t a surprise.

How this will effect the case it is not know at this time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Très Bon

In France there is a new mayor in the town of Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes, what makes it notable is that she is trans.
France elects its first known transgender mayor
The Hill
By Marina Pitofsky
May 26, 2020

A transgender woman was elected mayor of the French town Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes on Saturday, becoming the country’s first known openly transgender mayor, French media reported, according to multiple outlets.

"What's surprising is that this is surprising," Marie Cau told Agence France-Presse, NBC News reported. "They didn’t vote for me or against me because I’m transgender; they voted for a program and for values."

Cau, 55, ran on a platform focused on environmental sustainability issues, in addition to building the local economy, the BBC reported. Cau was elected by the residents of Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes, which has a population of about 600 people, on March 15 in municipal elections alongside other councilors for the city. Those newly elected lawmakers voted Saturday to make Cau mayor.
Stéphanie Nicot, co-founder of France's National Transgender Association, said that Cau’s election demonstrated that "our fellow citizens are more and more progressive,” choosing to vote for "the value of individuals, regardless of their gender identity,” the BBC reported.
I think that this shows, all politics are local. She got elected for her program and for her values.

I think when people know you and see you regularly they are more likely to vote for a trans person. Look at the trans people who voted for Danica Roem they voted for her platform, they looked for her values.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


Protections for trans people and lesbians and gays are hard to define, laws are one thing but the other is enforcing those laws. Here in Connecticut we have excellent protections and the state does try to enforce the laws but there are road blocks… it is not perfect. While in other states they are doing everything that they can think of to thwarted us.

Internationally it is pretty much the same, some countries want to behead us while other countries have strong protections for us.
Trans Rights In Global Recession–One Year After Transgender Removed From WHO List Of Diseases
By Jamie Wareham
May 25, 2020

One year since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declassified transgender people's gender dysphoria as a disease, trans rights are in a global recession, say LGBT+ activists.

Transgender Europe (TGEU) monitor trans rights around the world, with a specific focus on Europe and Asia. They tell me that despite numerous improvements in some countries over recent years, trans rights are in recession:

"The picture is diverse, and some countries are moving forward. But we also see a lot of stagnation and recession." Health Officer Leo Mulió Alvarez tells me.

They've also become the latest in a line of European and Global LGBT+ organisations to point out that COVID-19 crisis is providing a pretence for governments to roll back trans rights.

"The rollback in rights we are seeing is getting even more with the coronavirus situation. Countries are taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to reduce transgender rights," Alvarez says.

"But it's a complicated picture as we are also seeing attacks from religious, anti-gender and even feminist groups."
Gender Dysphoria has been changed in the ICD from "gender identity disorder" to “gender incongruence” which means “marked and persistent incongruence between a person's experienced gender and assigned sex."
Lale Say, the Coordinator of WHO's Department of Reproductive Health and Research, said the change happened because they now have a "better understanding that it was not actually a mental health condition."

Adding, in a UN release last year, that the reclassification will "reduce the stigma" while ensuring "access to necessary health interventions."

And the announcement was received with a mixed response last year. Transgender Europe would still like to see the WHO go even further and remove any reference to gender incongruence.
There are some trans people who say that to remove it completely from the ICD would cause us to lose our health insurance coverage for our hormones, and Gender Confirming Surgeries.

In countries around the world there is still a lot of hate for LGBTQ+ peoples.

In another Forbes article they write about the laws on LGB people around the world.
Map Shows Where It’s Illegal To Be Gay – 30 Years Since WHO Declassified Homosexuality As Disease
By Jamie Wareham
May 17, 2020

It's still illegal to be LGBT+ in 70 countries, and you could be given the death penalty in 12, as the world marks 30 years since “homosexuality” was declassified as a disease.

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), May 17 marks the day the World Health Organisation (WHO) declassified “homosexuality” as a mental disorder.

As the world reaches 30 years since being gay was no longer an internationally designated disease, a map by an international LGBT organization shows it remains illegal to be gay in 70 countries.

The map by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association shows that only 65% of those living in UN countries around the world can now be, legally, in consensual same-sex relationships.
LGBT+ people are being killed in 12 countries who have the death penalty for consensual same-sex sexual acts between adults.

In Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan this death penalty is regularly imposed across the county. You can also be punished by death in some provinces of Somalia and Nigeria.
A further six, have legal or religious provisions that also allow for the death penalty for consensual same-sex sexual acts between adults. In Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the law exists, but there is little evidence LGBT+ are facing the death penalty.

The Trump administration I think is just a symptom of a global conservative/oligarchical movement. As the economies collapse around the world because the wealth/social inequalities we become the scapegoats. Around the world I see further eroding of our rights, the protections that we fought for and won in the previous decades.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Here Comes The Judge… Let’s Hope Not

Another of Trump appointees is a stanch hater of us. No surprise there, all his nominees hate us.
Anti-LGBT+ judge who backed ‘most homophobic bill in US history’ moves one step closer to lifetime seat on court of appeals
Republicans have moved a step closer to the lifetime appointment of judicial nominee Cory Wilson, a man who could potentially set LGBT+ rights back decades.
Pink News UK
By Emma Powys Maurice
May 21, 2020

Wilson is Donald Trump’s latest nominee to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, and appears to have been nominated in part for his fierce hostility to LGBT+ rights, abortion rights and voting rights.

On Wednesday the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to question the Mississippi state judge on his past partisan remarks, and they certainly had a lot to work with.

In 2012 he strongly opposed same-sex marriage, describing it as “a pander to liberal interest groups and an attempt to cast Republicans as intolerant, uncaring and even bigoted.”

Later in 2016, he voted for what has been dubbed the “most homophobic bill in US history” – bill 1523, which allows businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples, people who have sex outside of marriage and transgender people on the basis of religious freedom.
And rubber stamp McConnell will probably ram through his nomination just like he did for all the nominees.

Then the ultra right wing news program is blaming us for the lack of resource to fight the virus…
Breitbart host says American citizens don’t deserve emergency coronavirus aid because trans people exist
A guest on Breitbart News Tonight used the existence of trans people to reject the idea of financial aid for those impacted by coronavirus.
Pink News UK
By Emma Powys Maurice
March 19, 2020

On Tuesday, the right-wing radio show was discussing the implementation of proposed federal emergency aid programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ed Martin, president of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles was acting as guest and co-host along with Republican congressman Larry Bucshon of Indiana.

Martin urged Buschon to oppose any proposed relief efforts for those in need on the basis that “transgenders” might also ask for money.

“Here’s what I told somebody today: If the answer is, ‘We’ll send you $1,000 because times are tough,’ every Democrat in America will tell you times are tough for every hyphenated American,” he said.
Martin presumably used the term “hyphenated American” to refer to any minorities, of which he considers “transgenders” to be the least deserving of aid.
Don’t forget that Steve Bannon, a founding member of the board of Breitbart News was appointed Chief Strategist in the Trump administration.

Then the final Pink News UK article is about the anti-LGBTQ furor coming out of the former Soviet countries.
This is the heartbreaking reality of being queer and living inside one of Poland’s ‘LGBT-free zones’
A 19-year-old queer woman from Poland has revealed the heartbreaking reality of living in the heart of one of the country’s ‘LGBT-free zones’.
By Lilly Wakefield
March 6, 2020

A third of Poland has declared itself to be an official LGBT-free zone as local municipalities sign a pledge adopting resolutions against “LGBT+ propaganda”.

Nearly 100 Polish municipal or local governments have now proclaimed themselves to be “free from LGBT+ ideology”. Local authorities in these areas pledge to refrain from acts that encourage tolerance and must avoid providing financial assistance to NGOs working to promote equal rights.
Alicia, 19, is a queer woman and one of the only openly LGBT+ people in her village. She told Channel 4 News that she was born and raised there.

She said that she is “scared” every day living in the so-called LGBT-free zone, and added: “My neighbours are scared to tell me to my face that they don’t like me, they don’t accept me.”
I worry that the hate spreading.

People are afraid to speak up for us for fear of reprisals from right-wing goon squads or from the government.

You think that it cannot happen here but it has and it is.

Who do you think is behind the armed right-wing terrorist and the White nationalists Tiki torch marchers that descended on the University of Virginia campus. They are the new “Brown shirts.”

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Do You Think So?

Today’s article is about activism, how the LGBTQ+ people are more active not only with LGBTQ+ community issues but also in other causes.
Study Finds Queer Folks Are 20 Times More Likely to Be Activists Than Cishets
Queers don't just advocate for their own rights, but are also more active in other social justice movements.
By Zhana Vrangaloy
July 10, 2018

Social activism is an important tool for enacting social change, especially for stigmatized minorities and poor populations who often lack access to more traditional avenues for change — like elections, the courts, mainstream media, or school curriculums. In those cases, social movement tactics like boycotting, protesting, and civil disobedience prove critical in the fight to secure civil and human rights.

It wouldn’t come as a surprise that people are most likely to engage in activism for their own group: There are far fewer men than women at feminist rallies, for example, and far fewer heterosexuals than queer folks at pride marches. But is there some crossover between social movements? In other words, are people who belong to one stigmatized group more likely to be also active in social movements that primarily affect other stigmatized groups?

A new study using a nationally representative sample of almost 4,000 US adults surveyed in 2012 suggests this might be the case. As the graph below shows, the 4.5% of respondents who considered themselves gay, lesbian, or bisexual (other sexual orientation labels were not offered on the survey, nor were trans identities or movements) were more likely than heterosexuals to have been active in several liberal social movements.

I find this not surprising, when you are a member of an oppressed community you fight for your human rights to be treated as an equal. Many members of the community have empathy for other oppressed groups.

I got my start one day in a support group; a member came in with a battered face that was all black and blue. She was beat up by two men on a construction site and she was the one who got arrested. The police officer refused to arrest her two assailants and she raised her voice and was arrested for disturbing the peace.
A set of follow-up analyses revealed that the greater involvement of LGBs in the liberal social movements was not due to their gender, age, race, or education levels. Instead, factors that mattered included queer folks’ greater endorsement of liberal ideologies and egalitarian values; their increased recognition of the continued existence of heterosexism, racism, and sexism in the U.S.; having had experienced more racial discrimination; and being more personally and emotionally embedded in the LGB community.

When all these factors were taken into consideration, LGB folks were just as likely as heterosexuals to have been involved in the peace, environmental, or labor movements. Yet, even after controlling for all of these variables, they remained significantly more likely to be involved in the LGB rights movement. This suggests that people’s LGB identity; the sense of belongingness it creates; and the structural, organizational, and interpersonal discrimination many nonheterosexual folks experience due to their sexual orientation, are unique drivers of LGB-rights activism in the U.S. above and beyond all of these other factors.
I think that it is only natural when you are being oppressed to be opposed to the ideology of your oppressors.

It is interesting to see those who side with their oppressors. They are more interested in themselves then about the freedom of others; and most of the time they see them as “the others.” Others who are not white, others who were not born here, others who have a different religion, others who…

There was an editorial that hit the nail on its head.

It is all about empathy. Caring for others… all the others.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Saturday 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Saturday 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic (1963)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
Wow! I’m going to be home all weekend! First time in a month.

Unfamiliar with Judy Garland's rendition of this week's tune? Hear it here.

Memorial Day is the federal holiday designated to honor American service people who died in battle.

1) On May 30, 1868, President Grant presided over the Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery. Have you ever visited Arlington Cemetery?
Yes, once when I was little. I remember watching the changing of the guard

2) On Memorial Day, it is customary to fly the flag at half-staff until noon and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset. Will you be flying the flag at your home this weekend?

3) Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, because flowers and ribbons were left on graves of soldiers.  Do you find solace in visiting cemeteries?
No… but I will visit the cemetery on Tuesday. My father died on the 26th in 2006.

4) The lyrics to this week's song were written by Julia Ward Howe in 1861. Her inspiration was a White House visit with Abraham Lincoln. In 2020, under normal circumstances, public tours of the White House are available but you must request your ticket in advance from your Member of Congress (House or Senate). When you travel, do you plan your trip weeks before you go? Or do you decide how your days will unfold once you reach your destination?
I haven’t been on vacation in a very long time, most of the time I go up to the cottage.

5) Judy Garland performed this week's song before a live audience as a tribute to President Kennedy, who had been assassinated just weeks before. She knew Kennedy personally and considered this a farewell to a friend. While the performance was difficult for her -- at one point she flubs the lyrics -- she believed it was important, and could perhaps help the country heal. Tell us about a song that reminds you of someone you loved who is no longer with us.
I don’t have one.

6) John F. Kennedy served in WWII and was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps medal and a Purple Heart. His brother Joe also served and was awarded the Navy Cross, but he received his citation posthumously, having died during a flying mission over East Suffolk, England. Here at Saturday 9, we consider everyone who serves a hero and want to hear about the veterans and active military members in your life.
Just my father, he served in WWII. He was in the coastal defense force until the German U-boats were neutralized and then assigned to the South Pacific

7) Memorial Day is considered the beginning of the summer season. Will you be enjoying warm weather this weekend?
Yes, it supposed to rain Saturday but the other days are to be nice

8) Berries are especially popular in summer. Which is your favorite: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries?
Oh that is like asking how high is high. Where I go walking there are blackberries bushes if you know where to look.

9) If you could attend a Memorial Day picnic with any fictional character, which would you choose?
The Renunciate Magda Lorne
Lets see who know what book series she is from. No fair looking it up.

Answer:The Shattered Chain from the Darkovan series by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Magic Words

Wouldn’t love to be able to say some magic words that will let you get out of obeying the law?

All you have to do is say them any you don’t have to obey any law; what are those words? Simply “It is  against my sincerely held religious beliefs.” That’s it… just those words.

You don’t want to serve people of color in your restaurant just say those words.

You don’t want to a Muslim in your restaurant just say those words.

You don’t want to rent an apartment to an unmarried couple just say those words.

You laugh, that will never happen… well the courts have already let it happen. How many bakeries have refused to make wedding cakes for gay and lesbian couples because the bakery said those magic words?

Or how about a teacher who refuses to call a student by their name or use the student’s preferred pronouns because it goes against their “religious beliefs?”
Jacksonville teacher who sparked inclusion training continued posting homophobic memes. Duval Schools says it will investigate.
The Florida Times Union
By Emily Bloch
May 21, 2020

An award-winning Duval Schools teacher with honors from then-governor Rick Scott refused to abide by a transgender teenager’s pronouns, prompting school-wide training and an apology to his boss. But that same week — and for the rest of the school year — he continued posting bigoted memes mocking the LGBTQ community.

Weeks before the start of this school year, Cesar — a sophomore at Sandalwood High School — anxiously emailed all of her new teachers.

The 15-year-old, whose full name we aren’t using to protect her identity, is transgender. She wrote her incoming teachers to let them know her chosen name and pronouns, since the class roster would say something else.

But her math teacher, Thomas Caggiano, wasn’t having it. He refused to honor Cesar’s pronouns, telling her if she didn’t like it, to switch classes — which is exactly what she did.

Outside of school, his distaste for those who identify as transgender and others in the LGBTQ community isn’t a secret, either. To this day, he publicly shares degrading memes on his personal Facebook page.

Now, as the school year wraps up, he’s still teaching. Duval County Public Schools launched an inquiry into Caggiano shortly after the Times-Union shared some of his transphobic, xenophobic and racist public social media posts.
Now remember, this bigot was praised by the former Republican governor.
Religious exemptions are gutting civil rights protections, advocacy groups warn
The Trump administration's expansion of "religious freedom" is coming at the expense of LGBTQ rights, according to a new report.
NBC News
By Julie Moreau
May 19, 2020

The Trump administration's expansion of religious exemptions is undermining civil rights protections and codifying discrimination against marginalized groups — particularly LGBTQ people — according to a report released Monday by three research and advocacy groups.

Using a combination of new rules, legal interventions and newly created divisions, the departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor and State have all taken steps to advance "religious liberty," often at the expense of LGBTQ rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project argue in their report.

"The many proposals to allow religious discrimination are consistent with the trend of the administration to undercut civil rights broadly," Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the ACLU, told NBC News. "The administration is taking the position that religious freedoms give you a right to discriminate."

The White House disagreed. Spokesman Judd Deere accused the organizations of being "a campaign arm of the Democratic Party" that has "refused to credit the President with any action he's taken to protect LGBTQ Americans."
Keep in mind that Trump and McConnell are packing the courts with judges who put the Bible ahead of the Constitution.

That is not the only that will be decided in the coming weeks.
Supreme Court Hears Three Cases on Rights Of LGBT Employees
Education Week
By Mark Walsh
October 22, 2019

On the first week of its new term, the U.S. Supreme Court held two hours of intense arguments about whether the main federal job-discrimination law protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees, with the justices expressing concerns about how their ruling might play out for restroom and locker room use by transgender individuals in schools or the workplace.

"[The] big issue right now raging the country is bathroom usage—same-sex bathroom usage," Justice Sonia Sotomayor said during the Oct. 8 arguments.

It went without saying that that issue is raging most fiercely in public schools, where there have been numerous skirmishes in recent years about transgender students using facilities that align with their gender identities.
In about six weeks we will know the results of that case, whether we are protected under Title VII and Title IX

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Throw Back Thursday: From The 2016 TDOR

Back in 2016 I was asked to give a speech at the Transgender Day of Remembrance, it turned out that I foretold the future...
When I was invited to speak here tonight I was planning on talking about how the light was at the end of the tunnel, but now…

We are approaching a dark time and we need to take stock on what we have and what we could lose in the future and how we can preserve our gains that we have already made.

We have a lot to lose but those who are not in this room with us have even more to lose. The trans people who were killed this year were trans but they were also black or Latino and all they wanted was to live. Those of us with privilege need to reach out and help people that are living on the margins.

But it is not only the trans community that we need to reach out to but also Muslims, the undocumented, people of color, Latinos, and the disabled, they all need our protection.

We cannot let what happened here in World War II to the Japanese during happen again with Muslims or the undocumented people. We cannot let them be put into internment camps.

Around the country we have seen a rise in hate crimes and a rise in calls to helplines because of the fear that is gripping the country. One report said that the Transgender Hotline received a tenfold increase in the number of calls after last week elections.

You all know the Martin Niemöller's famous quote…
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.
And ends with,
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
We cannot let this happen again!

We need to band together. We need to link arm to arm, march together and leave no one behind.

We must not only look out for those in the trans community but we have to help those who are less fortunate because their race, ethnicity, nationality, or religion intersects with their gender identity. We must care for the trans people who cannot integrate in to society because of their ability to pass and they are the ones who will feel the hate directed against them. They are the one who will feel the bare the blunt of this new reality.

I hope that we will not see an increase in the number of people who will harm themselves but I fear that we will.

We must not only focus on national events but also locally. The Senate is now tied with eighteen Republicans and eighteen Democrats and the same senator who 2011 introduced an amendment to the gender non-discrimination bill that would have required all trans person to register with the Department of Motor Vehicles is now going to be Minority Leader in the Senate.

Last year a bill was introduced that would have stripped away health insurance for trans people and we have to be vigilant that bill like that are soundly defeated in committee and never make it to a vote on the floor of the legislature.

What will the future bring?

How will our school children be affected we can only guess, but we should prepare for the worst.

We will probably lose our insurance coverage for medically necessary trans health care with not only Obamacare but also Medicare, but we cannot let state Husky insurance dump us which so many of us desperately need.

We may lose being able to change our gender markers on Social Security and Medicare and our passports without having surgery. At the worst we may not be able to change them at all.

What will happen to our brave soldiers, airmen, and sailors who came out as trans, or lesbian, or gay we do not know. The worst case scenario is that they will be discharged and hopefully they will still be able to get needed VA benefits.

We will see trans people, lesbians and gays go back into the closet again.

We are going to be going to be going through tough times but we can do it together and we did it before when we were forced into the closets by the laws of the fifties and sixties, and when the plague struck in the eighties. We can survive it again.

We are resilient, we have to be to have come this far. Our journey in life is hard and it is going to get harder, how hard I have no idea but we can weather the storm together, but one thing I do know is that we cannot let fear rule our lives.
I turned out that I wasn't that far off with my prediction.

Now more than ever we have to stand together this November 3rd

A Quandary

I am in a quandary, I love her books but she’s a bigot.

This sound like an opening sentence to a Dear Abby letter but it is about J.K. Rowling and her anti-trans bigotry.
We guess JK Rowling has had another ‘middle-aged moment’, because she’s been caught liking hideously transphobic tweets again
Pink News UK
By Nick Duffy
May 18, 2020

JK Rowling has been criticised for appearing to like anti-transgender tweets targeting a trans woman who has faced years of bullying online.

The author upset many childhood fans of Harry Potter in December by tweeting her support for a woman who was fired for anti-transgender views, and in March before that by appearing to like a tweet that referred to trans women as “men in dresses”.

At the time Rowling’s reps officially sought to blame an accidental “middle-aged moment”, stating that she hadn’t meant to like the tweets.

But this week the multimillionaire [billionaire in US $] has been caught liking a message from an activist linked to the anti-transgender LGB Alliance.
And this is from an author that had gay characters in her book, Entertainment Weekly reported,
It’s been almost 12 years since J.K. Rowling first declared that Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Hogwarts headmaster and half-moon-spectacle enthusiast, was gay. The Harry Potter author made headlines in October 2007 — just a few weeks after the series’ final book, Deathly Hallows, was published — by revealing that the white-haired wizard had, as a teenager, fallen in love with his friend-turned-rival Gellert Grindelwald.

At the time, Rowling’s declaration was met with a mixed response: Some hailed Dumbledore as a triumph for LGBT representation, a major gay character in one of the most influential children’s series of all time. Others, less charitably, questioned why Rowling chose to reveal this news after publication, without mentioning Dumbledore’s sexuality in the canon text.
But since then we find out that she’s transphobic.
This isn't the first time J.K. Rowling has faced backlash for supporting transphobic sentiments.
By Koltan Greenwood
May 20, 2020

J.K. Rowling is again facing backlash for more anti-transgender behavior. JK Rowling has faced criticism a number of times in the past for similar occurrences. She previously liked a tweet stating transgender women are “men in dresses” which a representative clumsily tried to cover up. As well as for following “self-professed transphobe” Magdalen Berns on Twitter.
One user is just in shock that someone who could write something so profound and accepting could end up being bigoted toward anybody.

I can’t believe JK Rowling wrote the words “It matters not what someone is born but what they grow to be.” but is still transphobic…
My quandary is should I continue reading her books?

What do you think?