Civil Unions vs Marriage

Lately some sisters have been telling lesbian sisters they should settle forr civil unions that give the same rights.  These sisters have been proclaiming how they hold traditional values because they are straight.

Well I’ll forgo quoting Audre Lourde about how the master’s tool will never dismantle the master’s house.  I’ll also forgo citing Paul Robeson Jr.’s treatise regarding the difference between field slaves and house slaves.

I am a stone atheist so don’t bother citing religion to me.  We don’t live in freaking Saudi Arabia or any other theocracy and we threw the Republi-Nazis out.

You want marriage to be a religious matter.  Fine.  Everyone gets civil unions at the court house and marriage from their church with marriage in and of itself having no legal standing and only civil unions being legal.

You see I don’t believe in certain groups having special privileges.  I believe in equality.  From what I’ve seen there isn’t a single aspect of the straight community that makes them one single iota better than the LGBT/T communities.  Nothing that makes them entitled to greater privilege.

I do not belive straights should be rewarded simply for being heterosexual.  That they can vote to deny non-straight people their rights is un-American and is the sort of lynch mob rule that is oppressive in the extreme.

Gainesville voters reject repeal of LGBT civil rights

[I’ve been following this story with great interest.  You see transsexual and transgender people have become the new scary people with the transvestite rapist being the leading red herring.  Anyone familiar with  the history of discrimination and scapegoating knows the shadowy monster threatening innocent women motif.  The one used to justify the torture, mutilation and murder of Emmett Till way back in the 1950s when I was a kid and Southern Trees Still bore Strange Fruit.
Now it is the transvestite/transgender/transsexual being used to stoke the flame of know nothing bigotry but the people are catching on.  People are realizing that the same bastards who are using these scare tactics are the same people ripping them off.
To be a real American is to believe in equality.  If you believe in discrimination and treating some people as second or even third class citizens then you are a travesty of what this country’s ideals represent.  Go read the damned Constitution. ]

(Gainesville, Florida) Voters on Tuesday turned down a measure that could have stripped Gainesville government’s anti-discrimination protections for LGBT residents.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, the vote was 58 percent against changing the law.

“Gainesville is a place that will not allow discrimination,” said Craig Lowe, a city commissioner who led the group known as Equality is Gainesville’s Business to defeat the charter amendment. “Gainesville has shown itself to be a welcoming place.”

The fight began after the city commission last year revised Gainesville’s anti-discrimination ordinance to protect transgender people – those who are born one sex but identify with the other. That allows the city’s approximately 100 transgender residents to use the public restroom of their choosing, along with protecting them from job and housing discrimination.

The charter amendment would have voided the city’s ordinances barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The vote was 11,717 or 58.32 percent against changing the law compared with 8,375 or 41.6 percent in favor.

Jim Gilbert, a spokesman for Citizens for Good Public Policy, had said the message of those supporting repeal has remained consistent: “Keep men out of women’s restrooms!”

The group said it regrets the outcome of the referendum.

Its chairman Mark Minck said in a news release that the group also regrets that “out-of-town money and influence played such a major role in diverting attention away from the real issue of public safety, to highly implausible scenarios of discrimination, which, in fact, pose little threat in a city long known for openness.”

On the other side was Equality is Gainesville’s Business, which argued the city ordinance does not need amending and that the transgender argument is really a screen for a larger attack on sexual minorities. Home to the University of Florida, Gainesville is generally considered a gay-friendly city surrounded by conservative north Florida.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which supported the Equality effort, applauded the decision.

“Protecting Gainesville’s anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people is a significant achievement. I congratulate everyone who worked so hard to help bring about today’s victory,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.

The measure also would have prohibited the city from enforcing anti-discrimination laws that protect other categories of people not specified by the Florida Civil Rights Act, which recognizes race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, handicap, martial and familial status.

A steady line of students cast ballots at the Reitz Student Union.

Jeanette Paulino, 20, a political science major from Miami, voted to keep the city’s policy in place.

“I don’t think we should discriminate against anyone,” she said.

Alex Harper, 21, a public relations major from West Palm Beach, said he also voted to retain the city’s protections and viewed it as a free speech issue.

Harper said he viewed the restroom issue as “conservative propaganda.”

University of Florida President Bernie Machen and his wife, Chris, said they both opposed changing the law.

“It’s not needed,” said Machen, who added that one of the things his family likes about Gainesville is its diversity.

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Gender Equality Coalition Urges Blue Cross to Reconsider Policy Changes

The Michigan Coalition for Gender Equality expressed deep disappointment today regarding changes to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) policies that will eliminate reimbursements for gender reassignment surgeries for new customers. This change was approved by Michigan’s Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation without any opportunity for public comment or input.

The Michigan Coalition for Gender Equality (MCGE) includes Affirmations, American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, Michigan Equality, Michigan Project for Informed Public Policy, Transgender Detroit, Triangle Foundation, the Rainbow Law Center Michigan Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers’ Michigan Chapter.

“We are concerned that BCBSM underestimates the profound impact of these medically necessary procedures,” said Andre Wilson of MCGE. “Gender reassignment surgeries can be a critical part of the transition process and these new exclusions will place many transgender individuals and their families at real risk.”

The American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers, and World Professional Association for Transgender Health have called for coverage by public and private insurers of all medically necessary procedures for the treatment of gender dysphoria or transsexualism, including gender reassignment surgeries. Treatment delays or denials for such services often lead to more serious and expensive health problems, states the AMA, which has also called exclusions of transgender-related services discriminatory. WPATH affirms that gender reassignment surgeries are “cost-effective, not cost-prohibitive” and can be “essential to achieving well-being for the transsexual patient.”

“Many people are unaware of the distress accompanying gender dysphoria and of the damage caused by insurance exclusions,” said Maxine Thome Executive Director of NASW Michigan. “Research shows the effectiveness of treatment, and Social Workers see the difference firsthand. Access to services brings dramatic improvements in health status, as well as increased employability and social acceptance.”

MCGE members learned of the BCBSM changes from the Detroit Free Press which reported, “The changes do not affect 170,000 customers already in individual Blue Cross plans or with Blue Cross insurance through their employer. But they will affect thousands losing insurance as employers drop coverage or lay off staff.”

“Excluding medically necessary gender reassignment surgeries endangers patients’ health which strains the entire health care system, driving costs up for everyone,” said Jay Kaplan of the ACLU of Michigan. “We urge both BCBSM and the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation to reconsider this benefit change.

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