Friday, April 30, 2021

What A Crock

More and more companies are endorsing the Equality Act, and polls show strong support for the act.
More than 400 businesses back LGBTQ rights act
AP News
By Dee-Ann Durbin
April 27, 2021

The Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based LGBTQ advocacy group, said its Business Coalition for the Equality Act has grown to 416 members, including dozens of Fortune 500 companies. Big names like Apple, PepsiCo, General Motors, CVS, Facebook, Marriott, Capital One, Starbucks and Home Depot pepper the list.

“It’s time that civil rights protections be extended to LGBT+ individuals nationwide on a clear, consistent and comprehensive basis,” said Carla Grant Pickens, IBM’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, in a statement distributed by the Human Rights Campaign.

The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights law to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identification as protected characteristics. Those protections would extend to employment, housing, loan applications, education and other areas.
The hogwash part are the companies that have facilities in states that are passing anti-trans bills, it is great that they’re supporting the Equality Act but they should speak up against these draconian laws.

Dawn Ennis wrote yesterday in Forbes
What else could Biden have said or done? One trans activist suggested, "I'm going to direct the DOJ to investigate/bring lawsuits against these violations of the 14th amendment and the Civil Rights Act."

Actions, Mr. President, are what advocates are looking for. The words will surely go down in history, but current events demand action. Now.
It it time for businesses to live up to their non-discrimination policies.

It is time for the NCCA to live up to their statement and not hold any sports events in the states that discrimination.

It is time for the government enforce Title IX and Section 1157 of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Meanwhile more people are supporting passing the Equality Act,
American Public Opinion and the Equality Act
By Framk Newport
March 19, 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act on Feb. 25, and the bill is now undergoing hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The purpose of the Equality Act is to prohibit "discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system."

Public opinion data suggest that the majority of Americans support the bill, or at least the idea behind it. As far back as 2017, Gallup asked a general question about the need for this type of new law and found slim majority support -- 51% -- for "new civil rights laws to reduce discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people."
Another recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute showed that 82% of Americans favored "laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing."

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in June found that 69% of Americans supported "laws that ban discrimination based on whether a person is lesbian, gay or bisexual."
But there is little hope that it will pass in the Senate… the Republicans are strong supporters in the right to discriminate against another person.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

I Got Your Back

What a breath of fresh air!

After four years of persecution by Trump and the pogrom by the Republicans we finally got a caring person back in the White House.
Biden Tells Trans Youth 'Your President Has Your Back'
The Advocate
By Trudy Ring
April 28, 2021

In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden ranged over a wide variety of issues but took time to call for passage of the Equality Act and give a shout-out to transgender Americans.

After promoting his proposed American Jobs Plan, American Families Plan, police reform, and other measures, he said, “I also hope Congress can get to my desk the Equality Act to protect the rights of LGBTQ Americans.”

“To all the transgender Americans watching at home — especially the young people who are so brave — I want you to know that your president has your back,” Biden added.
On his first day in office, January 20, Biden signed an executive order implementing last year’s Bostock v. Clayton County Supreme Court decision across the federal government. That ruling declared that anti-LGBTQ+ job discrimination is a form of sex discrimination and therefore illegal.
Not since President Obama was a pro trans person occupying the White House and I believe president Biden’s statement has given hope to the trans youth in Alabama, Arkansas, North and South Carolina, Texas, and the other Republican states that are oppressing trans youth a ray of hope.

Homelessness in the transgender community is very high. Four years ago I was doing training for homeless shelters around the state with other non-profits and HUD and when Trump came into office the HUD official was yanked from the training and now…
Biden admin scraps Trump-era proposal to limit trans protections at shelters
Transgender people are more likely to experience homelessness and face higher rates of discrimination at shelters.
NBC News
By Jo Yurcaba
April 22, 2021

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Thursday that transgender people would be protected from discrimination at federally funded homeless shelters.

The department said it would withdraw a rule proposed by the Trump administration in July that would’ve weakened the Obama-era Equal Access Rule, which ensures people have equal access to federally funded shelters and facilities regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

HUD will reaffirm the Equal Access Rule and require that transgender and gender-nonconforming people be housed in shelters in accordance with their gender identity.
The Trump administration intended to undo the Obama administration’s trans-inclusive policy, and it would have allowed employees at federally funded shelters, citing their religious beliefs, to turn away transgender people. Under the rule, shelters also would have been able to choose to only house trans people based on their assigned sex at birth as opposed to their gender identity.
I actually don’t think that many of the shelters will comply, I think that the only way to get them in compliance it with a hefty lawsuit or for HUD to cut their funding. Even then we will have to wait and see how the Supreme Court ruling the Fulton v. City of Philadelphia case where the Catholic Social Services believes that they have “Religious Freedom” right to discriminate.

The Biden administration has also appointed LGBTQ+ people to high government office as opposed to the last person sitting in the Oval Office who fired and discriminated against us.
Biden to Nominate Trans, Lesbian Officials to Department of Defense
The Biden administration continues to uplift LGBTQ+ representation in government with Shawn Skelly and Brenda Sue Fulton.
The Advocate
By Daniel Reynolds
April 23 2021

The Biden administration plans to nominate two LGBTQ+ officials to posts within the Department of Defense.

Shawn Skelly is the intended nominee for assistant secretary of defense for readiness. And Brenda Sue Fulton will be the nominee for assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs, a White House press official informed The Advocate.

Skelly, who is transgender, served 20 years as a naval flight officer, retiring with the rank of commander, and then in 2013 joined President Barack Obama’s administration as the first trans veteran appointed by a U.S. president. Her positions included special assistant to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics at the Department of Defense and ultimately as the director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

She most recently worked for CACI International, a company that provides technology and expertise for national security purposes, and she is cofounder and vice president of Out in National Security, an advocacy group for LGBTQ+ people in the military, defense contracting, and related areas.
An article in the Hill by Rebecca Kheel about Biden's two appointees,
If confirmed as assistant secretary of Defense for readiness, Shawn Skelly would be the highest ever ranking openly transgender defense official.

Skelly, a former Navy aviator, most recently served on Biden’s Pentagon transition team.
Fulton is a former Army officer who was in the first U.S. Military Academy at West Point class to admit women. She was the first openly gay member of the academy’s Board of Visitors when then-President Obama appointed her in 2011.
President Biden has been busy in his first 100 days in office according to the, Center for American Progress he has...
Executive orders
  • Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation (EO 13988)
  • Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (EO 13985)
  • Executive orders to combat COVID-19 and ensure a data-driven and equitable response
  • Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in Uniform (EO 14004)
  • Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free From Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity (EO 14021)
Other presidential actions
  • Various actions in support of LGBTQ communities globally
  • Presidential proclamation on Transgender Day of Visibility
Actions from federal agencies
  • Department of Justice takes action to support the Affordable Care Act
  • HUD issues memorandum interpreting that the Bostock decision applies to the Fair Housing Act
  • CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] issues interpretative rule strengthening LGBTQ discrimination protections
  • Department of Education issues letter to address needs of LGBTQ students experiencing harassment, discrimination, and violence
  • HHS proposes rule to restore access to family planning services
  • DOJ files brief clarifying Eighth Amendment rights of incarcerated transgender people
Yes, he has our backs and all of the people backs that the Republicans are stabbing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Bouncing Off The Walls

Some of the anti-trans bills are so off the wall that you have to wonder if in their zeal to marginalize us if they have thought over what they are saying. One bill in South Dakota wants to label us as a religion!
The Anti-Trans Lobby’s Real Agenda
Jewish Current
By Jules Gill-Peterson
April 27, 2021

THIS YEAR, over 100 anti-transgender bills have been introduced in more than 25 state legislatures, the vast majority of them banning trans kids, especially girls, from participating in organized sports in school, as well as prohibiting or even criminalizing the delivery of gender-affirming healthcare. One of these bills was North Dakota’s HB 1476, which sought, in its own words, to “prohibit the state from creating or enforcing policies that directly or symbolically respect nonsecular self-asserted sex-based identity narratives or sexual orientation orthodoxy.” This long, wordy proposal categorized trans people, transition-related healthcare for minors, same-sex marriage, drag queens, and any sexual orientation other than hetero as expressions of a “religion” called “secular humanism.”

Introduced on January 18th by a group of five conservative House members, and withdrawn from further consideration only three days later, HB 1476 generated no debate or commentary on the record, and triggered only a limited response from journalists and progressive groups. The bill depicts trans people as “faith-based” adherents to a religious dogma enacted through taking hormones, changing names, and other aspects of transition; by the same token, it recategorizes advocacy by trans people for their civil rights as an act of proselytization. According to the bill’s legal logic, the state of North Dakota is thus justified by the establishment clause of the US constitution in withdrawing legal recognition, protection, and state spending that would benefit trans youth and adults. Further, the bill claims that the state must discriminate against trans people to the point of expelling them from the public sphere by banning their ability to transition, change legal documents, and assemble and express themselves in spaces like schools, because “the state may not directly or symbolically create, enforce, or endorse a policy that respects or promotes nonsecular” beliefs. In other words, the bill uses the rhetoric of religious freedom to declare trans people unfit for public life.

This bill was so idiotic that it embarrassed even the Republicans. As the Republicans push their “religious freedom” they are at the same time attempting label us as a religion and ban us. Duh!

But this brings up a question what is the ultimate goal of all these anti-trans bills? The article says,
...As HB 1476 shows, this legislative tactic is an attempt to use trans people as a pretext for a broader reformation of civil life and citizenship to advance an authoritarian, Christian state policy on sex and gender. From this vantage point, it shares its strongest affinities with antisemitic, Islamophobic, and New Jim Crow-era anti-Black politics; it is also an example of settler colonial logic, since the state’s indigenous population would find its Two-Spirit cultures and practices disestablished under the law.
The article goes on to say what might be behind this anti-trans push.
The current wave of bills attacking trans children follow this playbook. A close look at HB 1476 suggests that there are two steps to this process. The first is to declare trans people uncivil, aberrations from the desired norms of the state and the law, and therefore unworthy of the status and privileges accorded to citizens. (In this case, trans people are accused of adhering to the religion of “secular humanism” in violation of the political contract for participating publicly in the secular state.)…

...The second axis of the bill’s logic justifies the state’s withdrawal of public welfare in arenas like healthcare, education, and civil rights for all but the Christian ethnostate’s privileged ruling class.
These bills are being push by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Heritage Foundation, and the Family Research Council. Two of the organizations the Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Family Research Council are far right Christian organizations and all the organizations also had a hand in picking the Trump’s judges.

I feel that the author might be on the right track. I feel that they are picking the low hanging fruit… um an apple in the Garden of Eden? They are attacking us because not too many people know anything about us and in that doubt they are pushing their lies about hormones, puberty blockers, and surgery. How many times have you Republican legislators say children are having surgery, or puberty blockers are something new and irreversible, or children are being given hormones. But the public doesn’t know that they are lies.

If these so called Christian organizations get to circumvent the gender non-discrimination laws by declaring it is “against their religious beliefs” where does it end. The Bible can used to justify slavery, wife beating, rape, religious discrimination, and child abuse; will someone say that they didn’t serve a Black person because it goes against their religion?

The Hill had an editorial by Andrew Koppelman that said this about a religious freedom case,
The Supreme Court has just created an aristocracy of the religious, who now can plausibly demand the right to defy almost any law. The Court has sometimes been willing to accommodate conscientious objectors, but its earlier decisions were nothing like what it has now done. By the Court’s logic, human sacrifice now presents a hard case, with a colorable argument for its protection.
I believe that we are a smoke screen for a larger agenda, Koppelman goes on to say.
The Court declares that “government regulations are not neutral and generally applicable, and therefore trigger strict scrutiny under the Free Exercise Clause, whenever they treat any comparable secular activity more favorably than religious exercise.” This calls into question laws that do not mention religion at all, and whose framers almost certainly were not even thinking about religion, such as the one in this case.
I would like to know how the Supreme Court would rule in a case of two people claiming that their religious beliefs were trampled on.

Here is a thought case…
  • A conservative walks into a restaurant and is waited on by a trans server and the conservative demand a cis gender server. (An Uber Eats driver was was let go because of a complaint because she was trans)
  • The owner says no that the trans server is assigned to these tables and the conservative sues the restaurant for religious discrimination and has a Christian law firm handle the case.
  • The owner of the restaurant says it is against his firmly held beliefs for affirmation for all people (And lets throw a monkey wrench in this, the conservative is a member of a well known church and the restaurant owner is an atheist. Will you need to be a member of a church with a written religious code [The Bile] or can you be an individual with a belief system).
  • How would a court rule when confronted two competing religious beliefs?
I think the ultimate goal of the Republicans is to create a theocracy/oligarchy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

An Addendum To This Morning's Post

This morning I wrote about Apple and North Carolina well since then another incident happened in North Carolina with a trans person.
Military vet lost UberEats job ‘after transphobic customers complained about her’
An UberEats driver and military veteran lost her job in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic after customers complained about her being trans.
Pink News
By Josh Milton
April 26, 2021

North Carolina resident Rebecca, who has been driving for the food delivery service since May 2020, told ABC11 that UberEats had been a lifeline for her in the last year.

But two customers, she explained, filed complaints about her – she’s not “who she claims to be”, they said – causing her to lose her job.

While her account has since been reactivated after the broadcaster reached out to Uber, Rebecca stressed that what happened to her captures how companies still have ways to go to better protect trans staffers.
Uber later pressed Rebecca about the complaint, writing in an account notice that “someone has been using your account to complete deliveries” while mounting a review into her account.

“After a lengthy conversation, they understood that I was trans and why someone might vindictively report me and said it would never happen again,” she said.

Yet, following a recent delivery, another user complained – prompting a more severe reprimand from Uber Support. “Permanently deactivating” her account, the department said she was “no longer eligible” to be employed by Uber.

“Our decision is final,” the email concluded.
Then Uber Eats changed their story and said it was “Safety Concerns” that fired her.
“Now your story has changed so it sounds like you are trying to hide the fact you discriminated against me for being transgender.”
As more and more companies see “independent contractors” as a way of cutting cost and passing the burden of Social Security, unemployment insurance, and other cost on to the workers. The companies also get out of Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts because when the laws were written back in the sixties there were no such things as “independent contractors” and therefore are not cover under Title VII.

Before I retired we got bought out and the new company fired… err… laid off the drafting and engineering department for lack of work but the following week they were all back… but as independent contractors who were now responsible to pay their own Social Security and health insurance. They worked each year for 11 month, 3 weeks so that they would not be considered full time employees.

The Almighty Dollar.

The bottom line tops oppression, or how mega-corporations can get away with ignoring their diversity policy.
Apple has just announced plans on building a corporate complex in North Carolina…
Apple commits $430 billion in US investments over five years
The accelerated commitment will fund a new North Carolina campus and job-creating investments in innovative fields like silicon engineering and 5G technology
Press Release
April 26, 2021

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced an acceleration of its US investments, with plans to make new contributions of more than $430 billion and add 20,000 new jobs across the country over the next five years. Over the past three years, Apple’s contributions in the US have significantly outpaced the company’s original five-year goal of $350 billion set in 2018. Apple is now raising its level of commitment by 20 percent over the next five years, supporting American innovation and driving economic benefits in every state. This includes tens of billions of dollars for next-generation silicon development and 5G innovation across nine US states.
As part of its investments and expansion, Apple plans to invest over $1 billion in North Carolina and will begin construction on a new campus and engineering hub in the Research Triangle area. The investment will create at least 3,000 new jobs in machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineering, and other cutting-edge fields.

Apple will also establish a $100 million fund to support schools and community initiatives in the greater Raleigh-Durham area and across the state, and will be contributing over $110 million in infrastructure spending to the 80 North Carolina counties with the greatest need — funds that will go toward broadband, roads and bridges, and public schools. When up and running, Apple’s investments are expected to generate over $1.5 billion in economic benefits annually for North Carolina.
From Apple’s Diversity statement…
We’re all in.
Across Apple, we’ve strengthened our long-standing commitment to making our company more inclusive and the world more just. Where every great idea can be heard. And everybody belongs.
Now tell me how they can reconcile the fact that state that they are expanding to is trying to pass laws attacking trans children and adults?
N.C. General Assembly's three anti-trans bills follow a recent nationwide trend
The Daily Tar Heel
April 26, 2021

In the past month, the N.C. General Assembly has introduced three bills seeking to discriminate against LGBTQ+ individuals, especially those who are transgender and gender-nonconforming, in sports, health care and gender-affirming care.

This follows a recent increase in anti-transgender legislation nationwide, which activists say specifically targets transgender youth.

On March 22, Reps. Mark Brody, (R - Union), Pat McElraft (R - Carteret), Diane Wheatley (R - Cumberland) and Jimmy Dixon (R - Onslow) introduced House Bill 358, titled the “Save Women’s Sports Act.” The bill seeks to segregate women’s sports teams based purely on biological sex, prohibiting transgender individuals from competing on sports teams corresponding with their gender identity.

Two weeks later, on April 5, Sens. Ralph Hise (R - Mitchell), Warren Daniel (R - Burke) and Norman Sanderson (R - Carteret) filed Senate Bills 514 and 515, titled the “Youth Health Protection Act” and “Health Care Heroes Conscience Protection Act,” respectively.

These bills seek to make it illegal for health care providers to provide gender-affirming care to individuals under the age of 21, as well as allowing health care providers to refuse service that “violates his, her, or its conscience," opening the door for discrimination against LGBTQ-identifying individuals on religious or moral grounds.
Tell me if you are an Apple employee and your child comes out a trans how would you feel if the state wants to make you and your child criminals because you gave them proper medically approved treatment?

Apple has a 100% CEI rating from the HRC and the HRC even lists as one of the best LGBTQ friendly employers (And how can the HRC justify giving a company a 100% rating when they are in a state that openly has anti-LGBTQ+ laws on its books?)! 

Not only is state attacking trans children they are also attacking voter rights…
NC’s voter ID law blocks voters, not fraud
The Raleigh News & Observer
By Ned Bernet
April 18, 2021

The legality of North Carolina’s new voter law will be reviewed in a federal trial that starts this week. Fortunately for the law’s GOP authors, they are protected by legislative privilege and won’t have to testify about the motive behind making it harder for people to vote.

But what if they had to? After swearing to tell the truth, they’d have to take the Fifth. Otherwise they’d risk perjury by repeating the claim that the General Assembly changed the voting law to prevent election fraud. Then they’d get into deeper trouble by testifying that the notion that the changes would suppress voting by young people and African Americans – two groups that tend to vote Democratic – never entered their minds.

They’d have to concede that, yes, it’s true, Republicans who control both chambers waited until the U.S. Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act before they passed a wish-list of voting restrictions and changes.

But ultimately, this case brought by the U.S. Justice Department, the N.C. NAACP and voting rights advocates won’t be about the truth. The trial will be about what’s legal. In that respect, the law may survive.
Not only did the horde of voting cheaters shrink from 35,750 to maybe 11, the act of voting in two states would not necessarily be stopped by presenting a photo ID.

The new law goes on trial this week, but the verdict is already clear. The law targets an illusion while doing real damage to the right to vote.
And somehow Apple can justify moving to North Carolina to a racist and anti-LGBTQ+ state.

All hail the mighty dollar!

Apple has lost the moral high ground, they have put profits before human rights.

Yesterday I took part in a panel discussion on the LGBTQ+ non-discrimination laws here in Connecticut at Central Connecticut State University, this year marks the tenth anniversary of the passage of the trans bill and the thirtieth anniversary of the lesbian and gay bill passage and I was invited to be on the panel.

I was leery of such a large panel that I didn’t want to accept the invite at first but others talked me into being on the panel and I was glad that I accepted.

There were eleven panelists and out of the eleven two were trans, so most of the discussion was centered around the passage of the lesbian and gay bill. I was very impressed with the panel most of whom came out when it was still dangerous to come out lesbian or gay and back then trans was never thought of.

However, I did manage to bring into the discussion that trans bill of 2011 and also bring the talk away from youth to our elders.

When the video of the panel discussion is available I will post it.

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Tide Is Turning

Slowly and there are setbacks but public opinion is turning against them in their hate against us and other minorities.
'State of crisis': Advocates warn of 'unprecedented' wave of anti-LGBTQ bills
Eight of these bills have already been enacted and 10 more are on governors’ desks, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
NBC News
By Jo Yurcaba
April 25, 2021

Hundreds of bills that target LGBTQ people have been filed in state legislatures, creating a “state of crisis,” advocates say.

The bills “attempt to erase transgender people and attempt to make LGBTQ people second-class citizens,” Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said during a news conference Thursday.

David said the number of bills, particularly those targeting transgender young people, is “unprecedented” and that 2021 is on track to “become the worst year for state legislative attacks against LGBTQ people in history.”
“Just to underscore the severity of these bills and the dangerous threshold we are about to cross: If these bills are enacted, it would mean that states will have enacted more anti-LGBTQ bills this year alone than in the last three years combined,” David said.
Why now?

Why all this zeal?

I believe that this is Trump’s legacy of packing the courts with anti-LGBTQ+ judges, judges whose names were supplied by the Alliance Defending Freedom and other anti-LGBTQ+ organizations and are now supporting the legislation against us.
Trump's Christian Judges March On
The president has packed the courts with judges friendly to the Christian right — and they could roll back LGBTQ rights as we know them
Rolling Stone
By Sarah Posner
October 9, 2020

Sealing a decades-long mission of the Federalist Society and allied advocacy organizations, Trump, aided by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is remaking the federal judiciary far beyond the Supreme Court. During Trump’s tenure, more than 200 judges have been confirmed to lifetime appointments in trial and appellate courts, including the Supreme Court. Trump has nominated more judges, and most consequentially, more appellate judges, than any other president since the process became hyper-politicized after the failed Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork in 1987. Many of Trump’s judges are young, too, often in their thirties or forties, meaning that the lifetime appointment affords them potentially many decades more on the bench than their predecessors.

More than a quarter of active federal judges now have been appointed by Trump, and several have shown they hold extreme views on religious freedom. Last year, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of two wedding videographers who said they would refuse to shoot at an LGBTQ wedding. In an opinion authored by David Stras, a Trump nominee, the court held that the state law barring discrimination against LGBTQ people infringed on the videographers’ rights.

Never before has the Christian right’s goals for the federal courts — eviscerating the separation of church and state, undermining LGBTQ rights, reversing Roe v. Wade, and expanding religious liberty rights for anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ Christians — been so tantalizingly within reach, raising the stakes ever higher for November’s election and putting judicial nominations front and center in the campaign to turn out the Christian right base for Trump’s reelection. Kelly Shackelford, president and chief counsel for First Liberty Institute, one of several Christian-right legal firms that have forged these religious-liberty arguments in the courts, recounted to a February 2020 gathering of the agenda-setting conservative Council for National Policy the millions of dollars the right has spent to ensure that Trump had the right list of potential judicial nominees from which to choose. “I am watching history change on its axis,” he said. “Every American alive, in my opinion, is about to have more religious freedom than they’ve ever had in their lifetime. And it’s because of what’s happening with the judges.”
Court House News had this to say about Trump’s appointees,
Republican lawmakers praised Juneau ‘s credentials, but Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, chose to focus instead on his membership with the conservative Christian nonprofit, Alliance Defending Freedom.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated [the Alliance] a hate group,” Hirono said.

She went on to cite a report from the law center that says the nonprofit has supported recriminalizing homosexuality both in the U.S. and abroad; defended state sanction sterilization of transgender individuals abroad; and claimed “the homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity and society.
Alliance Defending Freedom and other “Christian” organizations help Republican legislators draft legislation*, the East Idaho News wrote that,
Legislation modeled by Alliance Defending Freedom helped bill spread

Ehardt credited the Alliance Defending Freedom with helping spread the bill they worked on together from state to state via model legislation, where the substance of a bill remains the same, but certain language — such as the name of the state — is changed.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is an Arizona-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that focuses on advocacy, training and funding legal cases. According to its website, it focuses on the issues of “religious freedom, sanctity of life and marriage and family.”

Southern Poverty Law Center classifies Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF, as an anti-LGBTQ hate group.

“Since the election of President Trump, ADF has become one of the most influential groups informing the administration’s attack on LGBTQ rights,” SPLC officials wrote in their file for the alliance.
So they helped Trump pack the courts with anti-LGBTQ+ judges then they introduce anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and then they bring anti-LGBTQ+ court cases like the one in Connecticut against trans athletes.

The NBC News article ended with…
Oakley [State legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign] said the “tide may be turning” for anti-LGBTQ legislation, noting the two recent vetoes by Republican governors in Arizona and North Dakota. A recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll found that two-thirds of Americans are opposed to laws that would limit trans rights.

“Public opinion is absolutely on our side,” Oakley said. But she still doesn’t think it will be enough to prevent 2021 from breaking the record for the most anti-LGBTQ bills to become laws.
“It is not just the NCAA. We also need our entire nation,” David [President of the Human Rights Campaign] said. “We need every single person to make their voices heard and make sure that their voices are clear that these bills are inhumane and unacceptable.”

Speaking of the Connecticut court case…
Judge Dismisses Complaint Against CIAC For Allowing Transgender Athletes To Compete
Connecticut News Junkie
By Christine Stuart
April 26, 2021

A federal court judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference that sought to prevent transgender female athletes from competing in girls high school sports. The plaintiffs, four cisgender females, said through their attorney that they would appeal the ruling.

“I conclude that the plaintiffs’ challenge to the CIAC policy is not justiciable at this time and their claims for monetary relief are barred and dismiss the action on this basis without addressing the other grounds raised in the joint motion,” U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny wrote in a ruling released Sunday.
“I conclude that the request to enjoin enforcement of the CIAC policy has become moot due to the graduation of Yearwood and Miller, whose participation in girls’ track provided the impetus for this action,” Chatigny wrote. “There is no indication that [Alanna] Smith and [Ashley] Nicoletti will encounter competition by a transgender student in a CIAC-sponsored event next season.”
And don’t expect this case to disappear, this case is the prima donna of the ADF, they are using this case to drum up support against us in Republican legislatures.
The plaintiffs, through their Christian law firm, Alliance Defending Freedom, said they would appeal the ruling.

“It’s discouraging that the court ruled to dismiss my right to compete on a level playing field,” Chelsea Mitchell, one of the plaintiffs, said. “Today’s ruling ignores the physical advantages that male athletes have over female athletes. Female athletes like me should have the opportunity to excel and compete fairly. No girl should have to settle into her starting blocks knowing that, no matter how hard she works, she doesn’t have a fair shot at victory.”
My guess is that the appeal court and the Supreme Court will let this case die, they realize that this case is a “hot potato” that no one wants and this gives them an out.

*Suppling draft legislation to legislators is very common, it is done all the time. The non-discrimination  gender identity/expression was supplied by a pro-LGBTQ+ legal non-profit. What is different is the vigor with the ADF and other right wing Christian organization supplying model legislation that is coupled with judicial appointments.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Saturday, April 24, 2021

She Didn’t Learn Her Lesson Well or Our Favorite Punching Bag

My first thought when I heard of Caitlyn Jenner running for governor of California was the Ricky Nelson song Garden Party and how Jenner didn’t learn her lesson.

Some people don’t learn their lessons that they are not wanted, no matter how much they are snubbed. With something like over 200 anti-trans bills that were introduced this year by Republicans you would think that Ms. Jenner might have gotten the message that we weren’t wanted in the Republican party… but Noo…

According to the LA Times the governor’s Newsom recalled efforts are being orchestrated by former Trump loyalists.
“We always knew the Republican recall would be a ludicrous circus full of Trump supporters, which only reinforces how much Californians appreciate Gov. Newsom’s competent, compassionate, experienced leadership during an unprecedented series of crises,” said Dan Newman, a Newsom advisor.
But into that nest jumps Ms. Jenner and she has become a laughing stock over her running.
Don Sipple, a political consultant who produced advertising for Schwarzenegger’s 2003 campaign, burst out laughing at the prospect of Jenner’s candidacy.

“What credentials are there?” he said. “What’s the groundwork that’s been laid in the public policy arena to suggest she would be a plausible candidate or a plausible governor?”
People magazine wrote,
Jenner is "running as someone that's socially liberal and fiscally conservative," a campaign adviser told the outlet. A spokesperson for Jenner did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Unfortunately the Republicans are socially and fiscally conservative so she will have not an up hill battle to become the Republican candidate but it is more like facing a cliff.

Outsports had this to say,
“I’m in!” With those two words, world famous Olympian, reality television star and out transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner launched a bid to unseat California’s embattled Gov. Gavin Newsom, who faces an almost certain recall election this fall.

“Get out!” was the collective response on social media with very few exceptions
The Daily Beast had this to about what Bill Maher said about her on his show Real Time...
Yikes. Maher then moved on to Jenner, the former Olympian turned reality-television star—a lifelong Republican who, despite Trump’s deeply anti-trans platform, was once snapped driving around in a red “Make America Great Again” hat. Still, there’s no excuse for the transphobic jokes that Maher hurled her way.

“How about this for news: Caitlyn Jenner is running for governor. I know you think of her as a reality-show star, but come on, people change,” offered Maher. “She is trans, rested, and ready. She’s got a great slogan: take the ‘sack’ out of ‘Sacramento.’”
Lastly the Outsports article reported that Jennifer Finney Boylan tweeted on her tweeter page…
I’m not going to be commenting on Caitlyn Jenner's candidacy for CA governor. I said everything I have to say when I co-starred on her series. She is my friend, but yes, I did once hit her with a rolled up newspaper.
How do I end this? With “Good Luck” or with “I hope that a dose of reality doesn’t hurt too much?”


Sam’s Saturday 9: ALL I EVER NEED IS YOU (1971)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The lyrics tell us that some men search for silver, some for gold. Are you wearing either silver or gold right now?
I have gold studs.

2) This song was a top 20 hit in the United States but sold much better in Canada. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of our neighbor to the North?
My bucket list, to go and see the northern lights from Canada, some lodge on a lake in northern Quebec Province. Any takers?

3) It's performed by one of pop's most successful duos, Sonny and Cher. Can you name another duo that made hit records?
The Carpenters

4) In addition to their recording career, Sonny and Cher were TV stars. In a recurring sketch on their variety show, Cher played a "v-a-m-p: VAMP!" These characters were always sexy and seductive. Do you consider yourself a good flirt?
Horrible! And I wouldn’t recognize when someone is flirting me.

5) Sonny dropped out of high school in Inglewood, CA. Cher dropped out of high school in Fresno. What's the last year of education you completed?
2011, of course there was a very big gap in between.

6) Sonny first became Mayor of Palm Springs, and then represented the district in Congress. The city erected a statue in Sonny's memory. Tell us about a statue or monument in your town.
Actually we have a pretty neat monument. “... its claim to be the first Civil War monument in the nation, an assertion which it is difficult to prove or disprove. It does appear to be the first in the four New England states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.”

7) Cher is often described as outspoken. Ask her for her opinion on anything from politics to plastic surgery, and you will get a frank answer. Does "outspoken" apply to you, as well?

Well I’m an introvert. I like to stay in the background… but when it comes to human rights don’t get me started,

8) In 1971, when this song was popular, Sears sold a portable manual typewriter. Described at the time as, "lightweight for travelers," it weighed 10 lbs. Today the average laptop weighs half that. Do you own a typewriter?
I don’t have one now but I did in college. My father gave me one for my high school graduation present… but (You always know that there is a “but.”) he got one with small font. But Dad, you have to have 10 pages and smaller font means more words!

9) Random question -- Which has gotten you out of more scrapes: your smarts, or your charm?
Smarts, hands down.

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, April 23, 2021

Some Good News

There is some good news coming out of President Biden’s administration in the housing sector.
HUD Revokes Trump Rule Allowing Transgender Discrimination In Homeless Shelters
The Biden administration has withdrawn the proposed rule, which would have allowed single-sex shelters to turn away transgender people.
Huffington Post
By Amanda Terkel
April 22, 2021

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is pulling back a proposal put forward by President Donald Trump’s administration that would have allowed taxpayer-funded homeless shelters to discriminate against transgender individuals.

“Access to safe, stable housing — and shelter — is a basic necessity,” Secretary Marcia Fudge said Thursday. “Unfortunately, transgender and gender-nonconforming people report more instances of housing instability and homelessness than cisgender people. Today, we are taking a critical step in affirming HUD’s commitment that no person be denied access to housing or other critical services because of their gender identity. HUD is open for business for all.”
Four years ago I was doing training for homeless shelters with HUD and then the woman from HUD was yanked off the training by her HUD bosses by Trump’s HUD secretary, Ben Carson… no more diversity training. They were in the process of passing regulations that sex means what is between your legs.
“We are thrilled to see today’s announcement, which is further confirmation that this administration is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ people are not turned away from federally funded services and programs,” said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “Access to homeless shelters is often a matter of survival for trans people, who are more likely to be homeless, to lack secure housing, and to be the victims of domestic violence.”
We have done training for homeless shelters for years here in Connecticut with little or no effect, it is time to unleash the legal hounds and maybe getting hit with a couple of hundred thousand dollar lawsuits might cause them to see the light.

More good news...
A day after North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum vetoed House Bill 1298, Senate lawmakers did not reach the two-thirds majority needed to override his decision, voting 28-19 in favor of the lightning rod proposal. The bill died after falling four votes shy of the necessary threshold in the Senate.
Grans Fork Herald 
By: Adam Willis
April 22, 2021

BISMARCK — An attempt by North Dakota's Republican-dominated Legislature to override Gov. Doug Burgum's veto of a restriction on the participation of transgender athletes in K-12 sports came up short Thursday, April 22, after it failed to pick up enough votes in the Senate chamber.

A day after Burgum vetoed House Bill 1298, Senate lawmakers did not reach the two-thirds majority needed to override his decision, voting 28-19 in favor of the lightning rod proposal. The bill died after falling four votes shy of the necessary threshold in the Senate.

The vote to sustain the governor's veto followed four speeches by Republican lawmakers defending the proposal. The lead sponsor on the bill, Edinburg Republican Sen. Janne Myrdal, told colleagues Burgum's veto overly focused on the existing policies of the North Dakota High School Activities Association instead of the merits of the bill.
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers who spoke against the proposal said its passage would have dangerous mental health repercussions for members of the transgender and LGBT communities in North Dakota. Critics also warned the policy would drive out corporate investment and create costly, unnecessary lawsuits for the state.
You bet your sweet bippy that there would have been law suits over the ban.

Then in Kansas the bill didn’t get pass their governor…
Leavenworth Times
By Andrew Bahl Topeka Capital-Journal
April 22, 2021

Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed legislation Thursday that would have banned transgender athletes from competing in girls' and women's sports, calling it "a devastating message" to families in Kansas and a threat to the state's economic standing.

Kelly raised concerns over the impact such legislation would have on the state's economy but also argued in her veto message that Senate Bill 55 would have an impact on the mental health of transgender youth and was counter to Kansas' status as "an inclusive state."

“This legislation sends a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families, including those who are transgender — who are already at a higher risk of bullying, discrimination, and suicide," Kelly wrote.

The legislation arrived at Kelly's desk after a tense debate in the Kansas Legislature.
Other bills are also foundering on the shoals of public opinion and remember that Arkansas governor vetoed that states anti-trans bill.
Houston Chronicle
By Taylor Goldenstein
April 21, 2021

A bill that would dictate on which sports teams transgender athletes can compete in public schools was declared all but dead on Wednesday by Rep. Harold Dutton, the Public Education Committee chair who presided over an emotionally charged debate over it a day earlier.

The bill drew criticism from more than 1,000 employers across the state and the NCAA, which threatened to cancel future sports championships in the state if it were enacted.
Then in North Carolina they are also balking at passing an anti-trans bill,
A top North Carolina GOP lawmaker will not advance a proposal seeking to limit medical treatments for transgender people under 21
ABC News
By Bryan Anderson Associated Press/Report for America
April 20, 2021

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The office of North Carolina's Republican Senate leader said on Tuesday the chamber won't advance a controversial bill put forward this month by three GOP members that sought to limit medical treatments for transgender people under 21.

The measure also aimed to punish doctors who facilitate a patient's desire to present themselves or appear in a way that is inconsistent with their biological sex.

“We do not see a pathway to Senate Bill 514 becoming law,” said Pat Ryan, a spokesman for GOP Senate leader Phil Berger, adding that “the bill will not be voted on the Senate floor.”
Is there light for the end of the transgender scourge? Is this the beginning of the end for this year's legislative sessions?

Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Virus Of Hate Spreads

First they came for trans people in coffee shops.
Then they came for gays in bars.

Back in the fifties and sixties the LGBTQ+ their were sit-ins, protests, uprising for our rights, and legal challenges to gain our rights.

Then there was Wisconsin Republican senator Joseph R. McCarthy and the Lavender scare, and the attacks on gays, lesbians, and trans people.

Then there Anita Bryant and the Save Our Children campaign.

Then it was our turn with the bathroom bills.

Then they got down and dirty smelling blood and attacked us with vengeance. They pressed on with their hollow victory and now they have once again turned their attention to the gays.
A 'troubling rise' in business owners refusing gay couples, advocates say
A Kentucky accountant who refuses to serve clients in a “homosexual marriage” is not an anomaly, LGBTQ advocates say.
NBC Out News
By Jo Yurcaba
April 21, 2021

Amy and Stephanie Mudd drove an hour from their home in Glasgow, Kentucky, to the city of Radcliff on April 3 to meet with an accountant at Aries Tax Service.
Stephanie Mudd said the first emotion she felt was anger that businesses can still turn away same-sex couples.

“It just kind of makes your heart fall into your stomach,” Amy Mudd said.
But this is growing especial in the south…
There’s no federal law that explicitly allows people, based on their personal beliefs, to turn away same-sex couples or other classes of people, but there’s also no federal or Kentucky state law that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in public accommodations, such as businesses.

Legal advocates say situations like the Mudds’ are on the rise as conservative religious organizations, such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, have been building campaigns and lawsuits for years to challenge civil rights laws.
Let’s face the religious far right wants to create a theocracy. They want to be above the law.
The Supreme Court creates a new religious aristocracy
The Hill
By Andrew Koppelman, Opinion Contributor
April 19, 2021

The Supreme Court has just created an aristocracy of the religious, who now can plausibly demand the right to defy almost any law. The Court has sometimes been willing to accommodate conscientious objectors, but its earlier decisions were nothing like what it has now done. By the Court’s logic, human sacrifice now presents a hard case, with a colorable argument for its protection.
The Court declares that “government regulations are not neutral and generally applicable, and therefore trigger strict scrutiny under the Free Exercise Clause, whenever they treat any comparable secular activity more favorably than religious exercise.” This calls into question laws that do not mention religion at all, and whose framers almost certainly were not even thinking about religion, such as the one in this case.
These court cases has the potential of voiding all the states non-discriminations laws.

Now here is a thought; suppose a religious bigot walk into a restaurant and the owner refuses to seat him saying that it is against his (meaning the restaurant owner) spiritual beliefs. The bigot sues saying that his religious beliefs were violated. Whose religious beliefs were violated? And do religious beliefs have to be codified in a book?

What a can-of-worms the courts are opening up!

Talking about religious hate, a divorced lesbian got a dose of their hate.
Church sends divorced lesbian a letter saying she’ll be shunned by community unless she “repents”
The church elders were hostile in their letter to the woman, but now they're hiding from the media who want to know why they did something so incredibly offensive.
LGBTQ Nation
By Bil Browning
April 21, 2021

The elders of Atlanta’s Woodstock Church of Christ have abandoned their namesake’s teachings in favor of the opposite of what he taught.

The four men sent a letter to a lesbian parishioner to say they would “no longer treat you as a sister in Christ” if she didn’t somehow become straight and warning her that if the men “withdraw fellowship” that “Christians must not interact with you.”

“Well when I opened it, I was kind of enraged. Like, why am I getting picked on and getting called out when everyone has sin?” hairdresser Krystal Cox told the local CBS station.

“The fact that they’re going to point it out and release my personal business to the entire congregation of the church and tell them that I can no longer come there I just don’t feel like that’s right.”

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." it should be "Hell hath no fury like a religious zealot scorned."

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty

I didn’t think that the jury would have a unanimous verdict, I thought at least one Trump supporter would be on the jury.

The Blue Line has been broken and hopefully it will continue to be split open.

There are still other cases of murder by cop that have to be brought to trial and we have to hope that the guilty continue also.

Two murder cases will be coming up for the two accused of murdering two trans women.
2 Men Accused of Murdering, Robbing 2 Transgender Women in North Carolina
Jadae Peterson and Remy Fennell were at least the 14th and 15th violent deaths of transgender or gender non-conforming persons in 2021, according to the Human Rights Campaign
By Jeff Truesdell
April 20, 2021

Two transgender women found dead by gunshot 11 days apart led police in North Carolina to connect the killings and arrest two men on murder charges.

"No one deserved that," Barbara Prescott, the godsister of victim Remy Fennell, told Charlotte TV station WBTV.

Fennell, 28, was found April 15 in a room at the Sleep Inn. Her death followed the killing of Jadae Peterson, 29, whose body was found April 4 in a room at the Quality Inn.

The two are at least the 14th and 15th violent deaths of transgender or gender non-conforming persons in 2021, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization.

"The loss of two Black transgender women in the last two weeks, in the same city, is devastating," Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for HRC's Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a statement. "It's never been more important for everyone — from community members to those at all levels of government — to speak out, affirm that Black Trans Lives Matter and take action to bring this violence to an end."
They don’t see this as a hate crime but a robbery.
"I can tell you that our investigation has advanced to the point where I feel confident in telling you there is no one else at large that was a part of this," he said. "These two individuals, and these two individuals alone, are responsible for Jadae and Remy's murder."

He said both victims were involved in sex work, and it's believed that's how they connected with the suspects. "If hate crime charges are appropriate," he added, "we'll absolutely pursue those."
We live in tumultuous times, we already had war, pestilence, and death.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Driving The Snakes Out

There are some who believe that the snakes were really an euphemism for the pogrom against the Druids.

The new laws in Republican states is having the same effect on trans youth, it is a pogrom against us to cleanse the states of trans youth.
'It's not safe': Parents of transgender kids plan to flee their states as GOP bills loom
Texas mom Amber Briggle said moving would be hard for her family, but “my son always comes first.”
NBC News
By Jo Yurcaba
April 19, 2021

George and Emily Spurrier are leaving their home of 16 years in central Arkansas due to a new law that will ban the health care that they say their 17-year-old transgender son needs.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, vetoed the measure earlier this month, calling it “a vast government overreach.” But the Arkansas General Assembly overrode the veto, and the bill will become law this summer.

Emily Spurrier said when her son heard the news, he sat in her car and cried for an hour.

“It was just kind of a wave of emotions, thinking about moving and then him worrying about some friends that he has here in the Little Rock area,” she said. “And then just the thought that this is really the only place he ever remembers living.”
George Spurrier said that, in addition to the transition-care ban, the Arkansas Legislature is considering several other bills that create an unsafe environment for his son.

“If it had been one or two bills, we may have been more optimistic about fighting and getting through all of it,” he said. “But the fact that they just kept coming one after another after another ... has just kind of demoralized us. Even if everything gets defeated or repealed, the spirit behind them is still here, and we just can't help but feel like it's not safe.”
Make no mistake this is a pogrom and if you do not know what a pogrom is here are a couple of examples…
  • The Holocaust
  • The Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire
  • The Serbians in Sarajevo
  • The Catholic Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina also by the Ottoman Empire
Make no mistake, the Republican party is doing this to appease the evangelical christian base that wants to eradicating us.

If you vote Republican you are contributing to the eradication of us, you are complicit in our destruction. You can say that you vote for Republicans for smaller government lower taxes but you are also voting for all their other policies including their attacks on us.

Over 400 bills have been introduced in state legislatures to marginalize us, to demonize us, to destroy us. You cannot separate the killing of trans youth from your vote. If you vote Republican you have blood on your hands.
"Families are in a state of panic, asking what state should they move to. They want to know what they should do next and we don't have a clear answer for them."
LGBTQ Nation
By Alex Bollinger 
April 19, 2021

At least four transgender teens at one clinic in Arkansas have reportedly attempted suicide in the two weeks since the state banned gender-affirming health care for transgender minors.

“My families are in a state of panic, asking what state should they move to, saying their child is threatening to kill themselves,” Dr. Michele Hutchison told CTV. “They want to know what they should do next and we don’t have a clear answer for them.”
If I sound bitter it is because I am. No one should have to flee their homes for their safety here in the United States. No one should have to worry if their child will succumb to the hate.

Now the Tennessee Republicans want to try to ban us from bathrooms again…
By Jonathan Mattise
April 19, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee House lawmakers on Monday passed a bill that would put public schools and districts at risk of civil lawsuits if they let transgender students or employees use multi-person bathrooms or locker rooms that don’t reflect their gender at birth.

The proposal must now pass the Senate before it can head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk, with senators expected to vote on the proposal later this week. The bill is one of several LGTBQ-related measures that the GOP-controlled General Assembly have introduced this year that critics have slammed as discriminatory. Most notably, Lee, a Republican, signed a different proposal this year that bars transgender athletes from playing girls’ public high school or middle school sports.

Monday, April 19, 2021

I Do Not Believe It!

I think that their research is flawed… it was a convenience sample that was skewed.

4 in 10 Transgender Women Have HIV: CDC
US News and World Report
By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter
April 16, 2021

 (HealthDay News) -- Four in 10 transgender women have HIV, which shows the urgent need to offer them more prevention and treatment services, according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

In interviews with more than 1,600 transgender women in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle in 2019 and early 2020, researchers found that 42% of those with a valid HIV test result had HIV. Transgender women are those assigned male at birth and identify as female.

The report found significant racial and ethnic disparities. In all, 62% of Black transgender women and 35% of Hispanic transgender women had HIV, compared with 17% of white transgender women.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed lived at or below the poverty level. Forty-two percent had been homeless in the past year.

"These data provide a clear and compelling picture of the severe toll of HIV among transgender women and the social and economic factors -- including systemic racism and transphobia -- that are contributing to this unacceptable burden," said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, director of the CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.

Do you see the flaw?

I do not know if it is the article and the reporter generalized or that there is fault in the study for them to make the statement “according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.”

The flaw is that they only looked in cities, they didn’t look in the towns around the cities nor did they look in the rural towns. That is like psychologist Michael Bailey only interviewing trans people that he found in gay bars for his “study.”

The link to the CDC that they provide says,

Nearly 1 million people identify as transgender in the United States (US); and, adult and adolescent transgender people made up 2% (601) of new HIV diagnoses in the US and dependent areas in 2018. 

That does sound like 40% to me, 2% sounds a lot less than 40%.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Battle Between Light & Dark

There is a battle raging between the love and hate over the lives of children, we need to make sure that love wins out. One side say that they are fighting in the name of god, but in reality they are fighting on the side of the dark and hate. They try to demonize us but we have defeated them so far with the truth.

It is an epic battle that has lasted centuries*.
GOP Oklahoma lawmaker criticized for transgender comments
By Sean Murphy
April 16, 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma lawmaker who helped revive a bill to ban transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports is coming under fire for saying transgender people “have a mental illness.”

Rep. Justin Humphrey, a Republican from the southeast Oklahoma town of Lane, made the comment in an email exchange with a woman who was urging him to vote against the bill.

“I never mind helping to educate the uninformed,” Humphrey wrote in the email obtained by The Associated Press. “I understand ... transgender people have a mental illness.”

Humphrey stood by his comments Friday.

“I don’t have any problem backing up what I said,” Humphrey said in a telephone interview with the AP. “If you’re a male, you’re a male to the core. This is science and logic, and science and logic are on my side.”
The dark use lies like "mental illness" But the light stood up to his hate…
Opponents of the Oklahoma bill have expressed concern that its passage could lead to the NCAA moving its College Softball World Series, which is held each year in Oklahoma City and is expected to generate more than $20 million in revenue for the city.
National medical organizations has stood against the hate, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association all have come out against these bills and laws.
Transgender Children Across The U.S. Are Fighting For Their Lives (Again)
More than 30 states have introduced laws that include banning trans kids from school sports and criminalizing parents for providing gender-affirming medical care.
By Alanna Vagianos
April 16, 2021

Asher McKinney-Ring stepped up to the podium on the floor of the North Carolina General Assembly on Wednesday and took a deep breath. McKinney-Ring is only 15 years old, but the transgender high schooler appeared calm as he argued against North Carolina’s HB358, a bill that would restrict trans kids like him from participating in school sports.

“Words cannot explain how painful and exhausting it is to wake up every morning knowing that my rights to normal childhood experiences like school sports are being debated by elected officials that I’ve never met and that my existence and identity are not protected by law,” he said.

“We are not a threat. We are children,” he said. “And we just want to experience life normally like the rest of our classmates.”
Light and love speak up.
New poll shows Americans overwhelmingly oppose anti-transgender laws
By Matt Loffman
April 16, 2021

The rights of transgender Americans has been a growing topic of debate on sports fields, in state capitols and in Congress. The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, says more than 30 state legislatures have proposed more than 115 bills that would limit transgender rights, from participation on sports teams to access to medical care.

But two-thirds of Americans are against laws that would limit transgender rights, a new PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll found. That opposition includes majorities of every political ideology from liberal to conservative and every age group.

These proposed bills have emerged as a new culture war, with Republican state legislators introducing and voting for them amid Democratic opposition, while a majority of Americans who identify as Republicans are against such laws, according to the poll.

“The parties are speaking to their base people,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducts the poll. “The Democratic coalition is more diverse. It’s broader. The Republicans are speaking to a much narrower base, and that can put you against the overall public opinion within those jurisdictions.”
This really is a battle, people lives are at stake.

Psychology Today reported that one of the causes of the decline in religious beliefs are
“… more tolerance and equality (around race, gender, and sexual orientation), less adherence to social rules (with acceptance of premarital sex at an all-time high)…

Prejudice may never entirely leave us, but will increasingly be tossed into the dustbin of history, with transgender rights becoming the new civil rights movement after gay and lesbian rights become taken for granted. More Americans will disassociate from religion – not just in affiliation but in participation, religiosity, and belief. The America of the future, if these trends hold, will be unchurched, unmarried, and unprejudiced…
The younger generation is growing up with us and they don’t see us as “evil” like their parents do, they see the light, not the dark.

As the PBS article says, the Republicans are speaking to their “christian” base, but they are worshiping a false idol.

Seek the light...

* In December 1771 one of our nation's founders, John Adams, defended a trans person in the case of "Gray vs. Pitts. Assault and Battery."

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday 9: Don't Rain on My Parade

Sam’s Saturday 9: Don't Rain on My Parade (1968)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Is rain expected where you are today?
I am writing this Friday morning and it raining with wet snow mixed in.

2) In this song, Barbra Streisand warns everyone to not spoil her optimistic mood. What is something you're feeling really good about today?
Well today I have to run around getting ready to head up to the Cape.

3) She sings that life is candy and the sun is a ball of butter. Which have you consumed more recently, candy or butter?
Sadly butter, way too much butter.

4) This song is from the musical Funny Girl. It's based on the true story of Fanny Brice, who starred on Broadway, in movies and on the radio between 1910 and 1951. At the beginning of her career, no one thought she would succeed because of her unconventional looks, but she forged ahead, saying, "I make things happen for me." Are you focused, like Fanny?
Yes. My latest project is to organize a LGBTQ+ vaccination day where all the Pride centers will be sponsoring a vaccination day, everyone will be welcome but we are going to advertise in the LGBTQ+ media. Accord to the state DPH we are falling behind in vaccinations.

So I googled Fanny Brice and what came up was this…
1 BSnks #020 Charles Harding Blair to Arrive - OTR The Baby Snooks Show - 25:47

5) When the stage version of Funny Girl was in pre-production, the part of Fanny was offered to actress Anne Bancroft, but she felt the songs were too difficult for her. Singer Eydie Gorme dropped out when told her husband, Steve Lawrence, could not play the male lead. Carol Burnett said she'd love to do it, but also admitted she thought she was wrong for the role. Running out of time and options, producer Ray Stark decided to give lesser-known Barbra Streisand a try... and the rest, as they say, is history. Has there ever been a time in your life when you were glad things didn't work out as you'd originally planned?
Probably, but I don’t remember offhand.

6) Funny Girl was the top grossing movie of 1968. #2 was 2001: A Space Odyssey. Given the choice, would you rather watch a musical or a sci-fi flick?
Um…that is really hard question to answer, as you know I am a devote si-fi fan. But there is always a but. I love going to musicals and I am trying to see if I can get a group together to see South Pacific at the Goodspeed Opera House this fall.

7) Streisand's favorite color is burgundy because it reminds her of when, as a little girl, she received a hand-knitted sweater as a gift and wearing it made her feel special. What color is your favorite sweater?
Well I was hoping to be putting it away for the season but Mother Nature had other ideas. My favorite sweater is a red sweater with a cowl neck.

8) In 1960, she began performing in New York clubs but she had a hard time getting work because she was only 18 and most nightclubs wouldn't hire a girl not yet old enough to drink. Do you remember your first legal alcoholic beverage? What did you have?
Yes, it was a beer and my brother gave me some brotherly advice which was “If you’re drinking get up and walk around every once in awhile so you know how drunk you are.”

9) Random question: How many people know the real you?

How high is high?
I know a lot of people and I think many of them know me and probably a dozen people are close to me.

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!


I will be driving up to the cottage this morning so I will not be able to reply to your posts.
I decided to go up tomorrow it will be showring most of the day today and very windy.

Friday, April 16, 2021

We Are Seeing Something Remarkable

“It is unfortunate that the makeup of our Legislature has changed to the extent that we are weaponizing religion to discriminate against this small minority,” Ferguson said.
I search Google News every morning to search the news and something remarkable is happening in those searches, it is that more and more mainstream news media is coming out against the states that are attacking us. That quote above is from a USA Today article,
These are just some of the headlines that came up in the search this morning.

Also ABC, CBS, NBC, and NPR all have come out in response to the bills and laws, I haven’t found one article or editorial that has come out in favor of the bills.

What is important to consider is that the people are against these bills. Ms magazine reported…
On Wednesday, Hart Research Associates and LGBTQ+ organization the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released a new report that finds that 73 percent of people believe that trans kids should be allowed to play on the team on which they feel comfortable, including 56 percent of Republicans.

The poll also found that 70 percent of the country supports the Equality Act, the watershed nondiscrimination protections bill for LGBTQ+ people that is heading to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The country truly is landing on a place and on the side of equality and opportunity,” said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president of policy and political affairs at HRC. “We continue to see a strength in these numbers, even while there are significant attacks on our community and particularly on transgender youth across the country.”

Wednesday’s poll found that while many initially did express hesitancy about transgender participation in sports, more information quickly shifted their reactions, researchers said. When first asked, just 38 percent said they supported allowing kids to play on sports teams consistent with their gender identities and 28 percent were undecided.
The Republicans have created a backlash but as usual the Republicans are deaf to it and are moving ahead

A Gallup poll found…
Another recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute showed that 82% of Americans favored "laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing."
The Kaiser Family Foundation found that…
The poll finds:
  • 9 in 10 in ten adults agree with last week’s Supreme Court ruling, say it should be illegal for employers to fire or refuse to hire people because they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual (90%) or transgender (89%).
  • About 9 in 10 say it should be illegal for doctors or other health care providers to refuse to treat people because they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual (89%) or transgender (88%).
  • 85% say it should be illegal for health insurance companies to refuse to pay for health care services for people who are transgender.
  • In each case, large majorities across partisan lines, including more than 7 in 10 Republicans, think such discrimination against LGBTQ people should be illegal.
You might remember back in 2018 Massachusetts had Question 3 on their ballot that would have banned protection for us in public accommodation and that was soundly defeated, but the question is will these polling results carry over to the elections? Voters tend to vote their pocketbooks and on local issues.

What we have to do is speak up and speak out against the hate, we have to show what the Republican party really is... a party of hate.

And if you're an ally then you also have to speak up, your voice carries more weight then us because you are speaking from the heart.

The Republican party is a party that is against everything and for nothing.

Thursday, April 15, 2021


This has nothing to with trans stuff this morning…

The last couple of days Today in Connecticut History by the Connecticut by the Office of the State Historian had about inventors from Connecticut.

The U.S. used to be a leader in research but today we are taken a backseat to breaking basic research and the question is why?

Well I have a theory, businesses used to be local;
  • Hartford was the Insurance City,
  • Meriden was the Silver City,
  • New Britain was the Hardware City,
  • Thomaston was the Clock City,
  • Waterbury was the Brass City.
When I started out in industry I worked for an electronic company and they were bought out by another company and moved out of state.

The next company I worked at was bought out five times and the last time we were bought ut they shut down the factory and moved the production line to all over the world.

It used to be companies were local, they hired from within the communities, you could work your way up the company ladder. You knew the company inside and out. You could be there if you wanted from high school until you got your gold watch. The company was a part of the community.

The last company that bought us out put a “bean counter” in Tokyo in charge of an engineering company. Their great idea was to close the manufacturing division saying that they will job shop the manufacturing out.

I remember when I took classes for a certificate in manufacturing, in one class the instructor asked us home many widgets we made in a day. Other students said a hundred… a thousand, and one student said ten thousand! And then it was my turn to answer… one in four or five years.

We were a custom job shop… if you want an Instrumentation and Control System for a factory, power plant, waste treatment plant or any other processes control we did it. Each one was unique.

When you have millions of components that have to come together it takes time and experience to put it altogether and mistakes will be made and corrected. We were a “cost shop” if engineering made a mistake it was just labor cost. But now our new owners began to shop out our jobs and to make a change now cost you money.

I got called down to corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh. One of the vendors was behind schedule so with all these big shots around the table racking the supplier over the coals, while the vendor was trying to explain why they were behind schedule and their engineer mentioned about resistors changing values, now these were very special resistors with very tight tolerances, my ears perked up. I asked one question… who is the manufacture of the resistors? As soon as he said the manufacture name I knew the problem. It was a problem that we found 10 years earlier, the manufacturer skipped a step in making the resistors.

Companies have a lot of tribal knowledge and when they move they lose that knowledge. I heard onetime that a plating company when they moved the quality of the plating dropped and they couldn’t find out why. Well it turned out that the guys who did the plating used to relive themselves in the acid bath, the bathrooms were down the other end of the building. Well the urine changed the pH of the acid bath.

If you ask me why U.S. manufacturing and research are in decline one reason is that companies have no ties to the communities and when they move they not only hurt themselves but also the communities. 

They are only interested in the bottom line, how many companies have you go belly up when they were bought out.

BTW the company that bought us out when 2 billion dollars in debt and declared bankruptcy.