At Michigan State University, Rapists Get Off, While Anti-Rape Students Get Arrested and Fined

From Change.Org:

by Alex DiBranco
April 29, 2011

Megan Spencer and three fellow students now all have criminal records, thanks to Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon. What did they do? Stay past 6 p.m. at a peaceful teach-in about sexual violence at Michigan State University in response to the Administration’s failure to address rape allegations against two star basketball players. At MSU, the rapists get off scot-free, while students peacefully protesting campus rape culture get arrested, charged, and fined.

“This is a really unfair standard to punish students who were protesting rape and not students who commit rape,” said Spencer, a leader of the MSU Coalition Against Sexual Violence, a group of students formed last fall in response to a shocking incident in which two students athletes were accused of rape, with one corroborating the victim’s testimony to police — yet never faced any consequences. The Coalition of concerned students came together with nine demands to improve sexual violence on campus, demands over 1000 members have signed their petition in support of.

After rallies and protests, the Coalition succeeded in securing a couple of meetings with MSU’s Vice President and Title IX coordinator. But never the president. President Simon apparently doesn’t consider campus sexual violence an issue worthy of her time, although there have been dozens of reported rapes in the past two years and not a single perpetrator suspended or expelled. While some improvements have come out of these meetings, the Coalition continues to fight for the implementation of all their demands, especially disciplinary proceedings against the alleged rapists and a public statement from President Simon denouncing sexual violence.

“We were claiming space on campus because women have such limited action to space,” Spencer explained to regarding the March sit-in. “We also were sitting there and we were talking about rape myths, and we were talking about consent, and student were sharing poetry and they were talking about their experiences, and it was a very positive and productive atmosphere.” But the Administration building they had occupied was closing at 6 p.m. and police told them that they would be arrested — unless President Simon gave them permission to remain.

She didn’t. “Basically the police admitted to it, that she gave the go-ahead on the phone, and the Vice President basically admitted to it.” Spencer and the other students tried to negotiate a reasonable solution, to continue their productive discussion and symbolic act without undue disruption, promising to be out of the building in the morning before anyone arrived at work. But within about 15 minutes, she and the three students who remained were arrested and charged with trespassing.

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White House to host first ever trans meeting

From The Washington Blade:

By Chris Johnson
April 27, 2011

Transgender activists intend to discuss federal policy issues at an upcoming White House meeting that will be the first ever held by the Office of Public Engagement to focus solely on trans issues.

Shin Inouye, a White House spokesperson, said the meeting, which is set to take place Friday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, will include transgender leaders who work on federal policy.

“OPE routinely holds meetings with various stakeholders to discuss various policy issues,” Inouye said. “Friday’s meeting, like most OPE meetings, will be closed press and off the record.”

Additionally, Inouye said the meeting will be the first ever for the Office of Public Engagement where transgender issues are the sole focus of discussion.

“While transgender issues have been covered in previous OPE meetings, and transgender leaders have been included in other OPE meetings, this would be the first time OPE has held a meeting solely focused on transgender issues,” Inouye said.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said she plans to attend the meeting.

“This is the first president who has allowed trans people — really allowed LGBT people — to bring forward problems and then advocate for them,” Keisling said. “In the Bush administration, we couldn’t even do that. They wouldn’t even listen to us. They didn’t care what our problems were. In fact, they were making most of our problems.”

Michael Silverman, executive director for the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, said his organization wasn’t invited to the meeting, but added having the first Office of Public Engagement meeting to focus on transgender issues is “tremendously significant.”

“There was concern at the start that this was a quote-unquote secret meeting and [the fact] that the White House is speaking about it publicly demonstrates there is a commitment to meeting with transgender people and to addressing their needs,” Silverman said.

Inouye deferred to the White House visitor’s access records release process for information on which transgender activists will be in attendance. Informed sources said the National Center for Transgender Equality will form the basis of attendees at the meeting.

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Canadian Elections

I so often look at Canada as a much kinder and gentler version of the US.

I forget that they too have right wingers and are engaged in senseless wars at great economic cost to their nation.

I was kind of stoked when they issued a no confidence vote on their conservatives, even though having to go through elections messed with some trans-friendly measures that were in the legislative works.

Here’s a couple of recent stories related to the elections.

Canada’s massive military budget is off the table in federal election

From Rabble.Ca:

By Matthew Behrens
April 26, 2011

Among many substantive issues not discussed during campaign 2011 is the $23 billion Canada now spends on war, a massive investment that all three major federal parties will maintain if elected.

Add in the ongoing costs of the Afghanistan war plus undisclosed funding for Canada’s bombardment of Libya (well over 200 aerial bombing runs and aerial “sorties” to date), and the $23 billion figure may run higher.

To put this in perspective, slightly more than $63 million a day is spent on Canada’s war machine. That’s the daily equivalent of 420 affordable housing units or 3,000 four-year full-tuition grants for university students. Over the course of a month, that’s 13,000 affordable housing units and 90,000 students going to university without massive debt load.

It is in this context that politicians preaching fiscal restraint and support for burdened families continue proffering blind allegiance to a well-funded institution whose leadership, past and present, has always been clear: in the words of former General Rick Hillier, their role is to kill people.

While many young people join the military because they believe they’re contributing to society (in addition to those who simply need the income or an education), there are other ways for them to live out those aspirations without having to pick up a gun and face the choice of killing or being killed.

But those other choices are not part of the dominant parties’ platforms. (By contrast, the Green Party would reduce war spending to the then historically high 2005 levels, the Bloc has criticized high war spending but is not specific in its plans, and the Communist Party would reduce military spending by 75 per cent).

In the case of the NDP, it’s likely that many supporters are unaware of their party’s willingness to choose guns over butter. After all, the NDP is traditionally seen as the place where anti-war activists park their vote, and the strongest anti-war statements usually come from its MPs, who often speak at peace rallies. But most NDP MPs have long accepted the framework of ever increasing amounts of war funding.

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Canada vote dominated by left-leaning third-party surge

From Raw Story:

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, April 29th, 2011

OTTAWA — A third-party surge has unsettled the status quo as Canada prepares to go to the polls on Monday, with Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper seeking an ever-elusive majority government.

The run-up to Canada’s fourth election in seven years has been dominated by speculation over how the surging support in opinion polls for the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) will play out.

Harper and the Tories failed to earn an overall majority in both the 2006 and 2008 elections, leaving themselves prey to opposition parties bringing the government down, as on this occasion, with a vote of no confidence.

The Conservatives lead all three main opposition parties in pre-election surveys but remain shy of the support needed to win a majority of seats in parliament.

“The most reasonable assumption at the moment is that the Conservatives will win another minority government,” Jon Pammett, a politics professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, told AFP.

“But it’s not clear how long another Harper (minority) government will last because he seems to have ruled out working with the other parties.”

Harper himself has warned that a second-place NDP could form a coalition with the Liberals to seize power if the Conservatives fail to win a majority of the 308 seats in parliament.

But analysts are skeptical that the NDP’s stunning rise in the polls will translate into a projected tripling of seats from 36 prior to the dissolution of parliament, to leapfrog the Liberals and the separatist Bloc Quebecois.
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Ultra Right Wing Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels To Sign Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood Into Law

From Huffington Post:


NDIANAPOLIS — Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels plans to sign a bill that will restrict abortions and make Indiana the first state to cut off all government funding for Planned Parenthood.

The move is likely to beef up his credentials among social conservatives as he considers a 2012 presidential run.

Daniels said Friday that he’s supported the abortion restrictions from the outset and the provision added to defund Planned Parenthood didn’t change his mind. Daniels says women’s health, family planning and other services will remain available.

The move puts at risk $4 million a year in federal family planning grants likely to be cut off because of the bill. The legislation also would ban would abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy unless there’s a substantial threat to the woman’s life or health.

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Cal Beisner: Tornadoes Are A Taste Of God’s Judgment

You just knew you could count on some shit for brains Christo-Nazi to start babbling about how the tornadoes were God’s Punishment for not abusing LGBT/T people enough.

How come none of them ever link “God’s Punishment” to the catastrophe having just wiped out the homes of a bunch of misogynistic, LGBT/T hating, racist bigots and come to a different conclusion? That is to say that maybe magic invisible Sky Daddy is a liberal who hates racist, misogynistic bigots.

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Anti-Transsexual Marriage Bill In Texas

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Louisiana Lawmaker Proposes “the Country’s Most Extreme Anti-Abortion Measure”

From The National Women’s Law Center:

Posted by: Danielle Jackson, Online Outreach Assistant
April 29, 2011

There’s been a lot of news this week about various attacks on reproductive health and women who seek abortions at the state level, and we’ve got some news from Louisiana that is among the worst.

Louisiana Republican State Rep. John LaBruzzo – a man who calls himself “unapologetically pro-life” – recently introduced what is being called “the country’s most extreme anti-abortion measure”: a complete ban on all abortions in Louisiana with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest or when the life of the woman is threatened. He claims to be pro-life, but I guess women’s lives don’t count. It would charge all women who seek abortions as well as the doctors who provide them with “feticide,” which could lead to a 15-year maximum jail sentence with hard labor. LaBruzzo has since claimed that the feticide language in the current draft of the bill wasn’t mean to apply to the women who obtain abortions, just the doctors who provide them, and went on to elaborate further, saying:

“That will be amended out before it is heard in committee. That is a mis-draft; that is not acceptable to me. That would make it too difficult to pass, otherwise.”

Can I just note that it wasn’t a “mis-draft” for being a ridiculous and over-reaching provision on abortion services that would endanger women’s lives and health, but because it would make his bill too difficult to pass? You might wonder exactly how LaBruzzo expects this bill to pass – after all, even after he addresses the “mis-draft,” his bill would still call for jail time for doctors who provide a constitutionally protected medical service.

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Donald Trump Was a Horrific Spoiled Schoolyard Bully

From Politicus USA:

By Scott Rose
April 29, 2011

After I reported on the ex-Trump employee Julian Long’s account of extensive on-the-job harassment suffered under the extraordinarily abusive Donald Trump, the editor-in-chief of one of the world’s premiere yachting magazines read my article and said “I saw an extreme example of this in person at one of our events.  He wasn’t even trying to be discreet.  This is likely just the tip of the iceberg.”

What are the origins of Donald Trump’s sociopathic behavior?  Cursory internet research reveals that Trump as an early teen had “troubles” at the private Kew Forest School in Queens, New York.  Trump publicity materials would have you believe the young Donald got switched to the New York Military Academy merely because his parents wanted to give good direction to his “energy and assertiveness.”

Yet the truth apparently is that young Donald Trump was a bullying menace.  The attitude and behavior that feed his adult bullying and harassment of employees and others were already visible when Trump was 13.

Trump does not want the public to know the specifics of his bullying at the Kew Forest School.  One can imagine that school officials would fear retaliation from him, were they ever to put a reporter in contact with people who witnessed Trump’s despicable behavior when he was there.  After all, when the New York Times’s Gail Collins published things about Trump that Trump did not want published, he sent her the newspaper with her picture and wrote “The Face of a Dog!“on it.  I e-mailed Trump’s longtime secretary and PR contact Rhona Graff-Riccio, telling her I was on deadline for this article and wanted to know specifics of how Donald Trump as a Kew Forest School student had given the school community such nightmares.  It would be interesting to know, additionally, whether Trump feels any remorse over what he inflicted on his victims.  Graff did not give me the courtesy of a reply.

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Maybe Bad-comb-over Donald the  Douche Nozzle should be required to turn over both his tax statements and school record before we let him run for anything.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence RI urges Assembly to reject civil unions

So much for the ultra right wing Christo-Fascist lie about how LGBT/T folks can have civil unions just so long as they don’t have equal rights or call it marriage…

From The Providence Journal:

By Katherine Gregg
Journal State House Bureau
April 30, 2011

PROVIDENCE — After playing a major role in the defeat of same-sex marriage, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence is now urging state lawmakers to reject the compromise that House Speaker Gordon D. Fox is backing: civil unions.

In an unsigned editorial in this week’s Rhode Island Catholic, the Diocese says:

“We hope that those members of the Rhode Island General Assembly who have consistently supported traditional marriage will stay steadfast in their opposition to the legal recognition of same-sex relationships as either marriage or civil unions.

“Government sanctioned civil unions cannot be supported by those who truly understand the unique nature and status afforded a man and a woman in marriage. We call upon the members of the Rhode Island House and Senate to cast aside such compromises and rather work to strengthen marriage in our state by passing a Defense of Marriage Bill that clearly defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

“Only then will the attempts by radical activists to redefine marriage and undermine family life in Rhode Island finally be stopped. Civil Unions are not the answer,” the editorial says.

And “far from settling the issue, the passage of civil union legislation only advances the drive to same-sex marriage by framing the perception of same-sex relationships as ‘separate but equal.’ Such a course of events have taken place in recent years in Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire with civil unions ultimately becoming the stepping stone to the legal recognition of same-sex relationships as marriage,” the editorial says.

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A Taste of the Dead

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A Saturday Zinnia Fix

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Dotting the “i”, Crossing the “t” and Not Trying To Run a Number

As a post-transsexual lesbian I assume that my relationship with any woman either WBT or assigned female at birth is on shaky ground legally.

I know that I can be legally married in a handful of states and not have that marriage recognized beyond the boundaries of those states.

Hence I work for marriage equality for all.

Heterosexual transsexuals have been rubbing my nose in their ability to marry their partners ever since I came out as lesbian in 1975.  That is heterosexual privilege.

The problem is heterosexual post-transsexuals are used to using that heterosexual privilege and aren’t as careful when examining the laws governing the marriage of post-op men and women.

As far as I know one major requirement which seems pretty universal in states that do not have marriage equality is completion of SRS and completion of change of birth certificate prior to getting married.

I’ve also suggested a notarized statement acknowledging the post-transsexual person’s status with a date of completion of SRS dated prior to any marriage license application.

I know everyone is so deep stealth it might actually require the 50 dollar personal background check to reveal your entire past instead of a simple Google search.

But this isn’t about the popular internet game that started on Usenet called “I’m real and you are just a disgusting pervert.”

Not playing by the rules and checking with a lawyer has real consequences.

Not paying attention to details and trying to fudge things has real repercussion.

I’m in Texas, the state where Christie Lee had her marriage voided.  Where one of her relatives, Leticia Van de Putte pushed through a bill to permit post-op transsexuals to marry after completion of sex reassignment surgery.

I sympathize with Nikki Araguz.  I really do, in spite of thinking her claim of “intersex” has no more validity than most I encounter in transworld.

What is happening to her is totally fucked and wouldn’t be happening if we had marriage equality, which covers everyone’s right to marry not just gay men or lesbians.  It makes sure that SRS doesn’t void either a marriage from before or a marriage after.

One thing people with transsexualism pre-op or long time post-transsexual as well as transgender people have to remember is that we never ever have the luxury of assuming we are just ordinary people and can operate without extra caution when dealing with matters where the bigots may try to fuck us over.

Because one thing is absolutely certain, not one of us is an exception.  I don’t care how loudly you proclaim you are not transsexual but rather intersex.  I don’t care about how straight you are, what church you go to or about your being a right wing conservative Republican.

If you change the sex you were assigned at birth, you are a transsexual.

So, you have to follow the rules to the letter.  Maybe even going to a state where it is officially law that people who are post-SRS can marry.

Yesterday I came across the following:

From Boston Bay Windows:

Kolkhorst, who authored the 2009 law that allowed the sex change documentation to be used in getting marriage licenses, did not respond to messages left at her office seeking comment on why she now wants to take it out.

The 2009 law originally was filed without the sex change document provision, but House records show Kolkhorst put it in as part of a lengthy amendment in the last month of the session. The changed legislation passed the House and Senate and Perry signed it into law a month later.

“It would be terrible for Texas, now that it finally caught up with the rest of the country, to take a step back,” said Shannon Minter, an attorney for the national Transgender Law and Policy Institute. He said most states allow marriages for people who have undergone sex reassignment surgery.

Nikki Araguz was at the Capitol last week to lobby against the legislation. Her husband, a volunteer firefighter, was killed in the line of duty in July and she is being sued by her dead husband’s family over control of his $600,000 estate.

Araguz had a final sex change operation in October 2008, two months after they were married, and says her husband knew and supported her. His family argues the marriage should be voided because Araguz was born a man and same-sex marriage is not legal in Texas. A hearing is scheduled for May 13.

“This is crazy. I feel like this is a personal attack on me,” Araguz told The Associated Press. “If this bill is passed, it essentially means women like myself who have had reconstructive surgery will not be allowed to marry their heterosexual partner.”

So my heart goes out to Nikki and the warning to others as well.

  1. Don’t try to play games.
  2. Check with an attorney.
  3. Follow the rules to the exact letter of the law.

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred this will never be an issue.  But divorces happen.  So do deaths of a partner. Have an incontestable will.  Have beneficiary papers made out for insurance policies.

No it isn’t fair nor just.

But fighting it is an absolute horror show that will ruin your life for a long time.

Further you will be condemned to be held up as “the example” by every TS/TG activist trying to get apathetic sisters and brothers to march for and publicly fight for their rights.

Twenty years from now they will be using you as an example.  This applies only to sisters, brothers are forgotten about as soon as their case drops from the papers.