HHS includes trans people in health care rule that bans sex discrimination

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/06/hhs-includes-trans-people-in-health-care-rule-that-bans-sex-discrimination/

By Kay Steiger
Monday, August 6, 2012

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) clarified recently that the much-touted rule that says health insurance companies can not discriminate based on sex also extends to trans people.

“This anti-discrimination law, enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, creates an important new tool to combat anti-LGBT and especially anti-transgender discrimination in health care,” said National Center for Transgender Equality (CTE) Executive Director Mara Keisling in a press release.

This clarification determines that section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which “extends federal nondiscrimination protections to the health care system for the first time,” according to an analysis by left-of-center policy and advocacy organization the Center for American Progress.

Any trans person who experiences gender discrimination at a hospital, clinic, doctor’s office or other medical center that accepts federal dollars through Medicare or Medicaid can file a complaint with HHS and “expect to have those complaints taken seriously,” according to the CTE press release.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled this spring that gender identity was covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits sex discrimination, offering unprecedented protections for trans people under existing employment discrimination law.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/06/hhs-includes-trans-people-in-health-care-rule-that-bans-sex-discrimination/

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Alleged Sikh temple shooter former member of Skinhead band

From Southern Poverty Law Center:  http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/news/alleged-sikh-temple-shooter-former-member-of-skinhead-band#more-9503

By Mark Potok

Wade Michael Page was a member of two racist skinhead bands –– End Apathy and Definite Hate, a band whose album “Violent Victory” featured a gruesome drawing of a disembodied white arm punching a black man in the face. In the drawing, the fist is tattooed with the letters “HFFH,” the acronym for the phrase “Hammerskins Forever, Forever Hammerskins.”

The Hammerskins is a nationwide skinhead organization with regional factions and chapters that once dominated the racist skinhead movement in the United States.

Both of Page’s bands played with a revolving lineup of musicians, and their music was at one time featured on the Hammerskin Nation record label. In 2010, Page and his band mates –– including Brent Rackley, a member of a Confederate Hammerskins chapter in North Carolina –– played at a racist music festival called Independent Artist Uprise in Baltimore. Other bands featured at the show were Blue Eyed Devils and Max Resist, both influential mainstays on the hate music scene.

The man who allegedly murdered six people at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee yesterday, identified in media reports as Wade Michael Page, was a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band.

In 2010, Page, then the leader of the band End Apathy, gave an interview to the white supremacist website Label 56. He said that when he started the band in 2005, its name reflected his wish to “figure out how to end people’s apathetic ways” and start “moving forward.” “I was willing to point out some of my faults on how I was holding myself back,” Page said. Later, he added, “The inspiration was based on frustration that we have the potential to accomplish so much more as individuals and a society in whole.” He did not discuss violence in the interview.

Complete article at:  http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/news/alleged-sikh-temple-shooter-former-member-of-skinhead-band#more-9503

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Fuck Racism

I am proud to state this blog is anti-racism, anti-bigotry and anti-fascist.

Some people have a problem with that and say I am too left wing, too radical.

So the bigots call me names for telling the truth about the harm done by hate and bigotry, about how it lessens all humanity.

Many bigots love to claim they are only putting forth the message of a higher power, an imaginary invisible bully who lives somewhere beyond the clouds.

This is bullshit and an abuse of religion as well as a violation of one of their Ten Commandments regarding “taking the Lord’s name in vain.”

Racism is but one form of bigotry for bigotry wears a thousand different masks and goes by many names including xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.

Hate is a value embraced by those who claim to be conservatives.  Ahh… A Klansman in a suit…  An anti-Semite dressed in Armani, an Aryan Nation member with a silk tie.

Coat the bigotry in euphemism, repeat the lies used as justification so many times people start to think they are true.

Keep your hands clean while the ignorant lumpen proles who listen to Beck and Rush Limpdick do the dirty work.

Preach hatred from the pulpit but cry tears of Niobe when people question the practice of using churches to advance neo-Nazi politics, all in the name of Jesus.

If there ever was a demigod named Jesus and half the things said about him have some truth, then this man-god must be  ashamed of the crimes and bigotry performed in his name.

For over four years now I have listened to the racist abuse leveled at President Barrack Obama and his family, often poured forth by ignorant white people who could never even dream of matching his achievements.

I’ve listened to the vile threats of assassination put forth by a second rate guitar playing  child fucking gun loving pervert.

The only people who stand up and speak out against this racism are liberals and progressives, those reviled left wingers stand up for the real American values of human dignity, equality, justice and human rights for all.

Now is the time for decent people to stand up and speak out against the racism and bigotry.

Now is the time for good white people to stand beside people of color and say, “Racism is utterly morally wrong.  It is un-American.  We will not permit it to continue.  We will not permit it to pollute our world.  We will banish this vile hate speech from our air waves just as we have banished pornography.  We will make racism something to be ashamed of.”

Time to end the Apartheid Nation of private schools for white and minimal funding of public schools for people of color.

Time to end the Police State and the Prison Industrial Complex that exists due to racism denying people of color the economic resources they need to live lives of simple dignity.

Smash Racism.  Smash Bigotry.

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Are ‘gay gene’ studies a waste of money?

I’ve been saying for year now that finding physical proof for what ever causes TS/TG people to be TS or TG is pretty meaningless as it will do nothing to change the hearts of bigots.

From Gay Star News:  http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/are-%E2%80%98gay-gene%E2%80%99-studies-waste-money010812

We would be better off investigating what makes people homophobes or transphobic, rather than studying the origins of sexuality

By Tris Reid-Smith
01 August 2012

‘Know thyself’ were the words inscribed above the temple of the oracle at Delphi in ancient Greece and Plato says it’s this phrase that motivated Socrates in his dialogues.

So it’s natural that as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people we should be fascinated by why our sexuality or gender identity is different from the majority of the population.

But those questions also frustrate me for two reasons. Firstly, what difference can the answer possibly make? And, more importantly, is it a distraction from a more important question?

Plenty of scientists have secured wodges of research cash to investigate ‘what makes us gay’ but far fewer have bothered to investigate what turns people in to homophobes.

Lets assume that casual homophobia in the media, in schools and in the home play a part. If that was proved statistically through a proper psychological study, the effect would be revolutionary. It would mean governments and the media could be forced to take these issues much more seriously. And it wouldn’t be difficult to provide more scientific evidence about the harm that this does to LGBT people, society at large and the homophobes themselves, further powering a fundamental shift in attitudes.

Researchers could also do more to study and categorize the most effective strategies for tackling anti-gay hate. Armed with this information, campaigners could push for real investment in education, awareness building and more.

Continue reading at:  http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/are-%E2%80%98gay-gene%E2%80%99-studies-waste-money010812

Our enduring truth

From Zinnia Jones:  http://freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones/2012/08/our-enduring-truth/

From Zinnia Jones
Aug. 2, 2012

The margins of society are a rough place for anyone to live. As minorities that are regarded with suspicion and distrust by the wider culture, gay, lesbian, bi and trans people predictably experience higher levels of abuse, discrimination, homelessness, completed and attempted suicide, substance use, and a variety of health conditions. The statistics are all too familiar by now.

But some people don’t believe these facts compel us to identify and address the underlying causes of such inequalities. Instead, they draw completely different conclusions, and focus on the individual rather than the world LGBT people have to live in. It might take the form of “ex-gays” who lament how their lives used to be an unsatisfying blur of drinking, drugs, porn, loveless relationships and casual sex, until God pulled them out of that “lifestyle”. It might be the friends and family members who, out of genuine or feigned concern, warn us that we’ll be unhappy, unfulfilled, and vulnerable to discrimination and diseases if we’re gay. It might be the social conservatives who declare that “if we want to see fewer students commit suicide, we want fewer homosexual students”. We might even inflict it on ourselves, recoiling in fear from the countless stories of how difficult it can be to go through life as a trans person, and deciding we couldn’t possibly be that.

Continue reading at:  http://freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones/2012/08/our-enduring-truth/

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Making Roommate Assignments Less Sexy (or Gender-y)

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-a-goodman/college-dorms-same-sex-housing_b_1727013.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices


This year’s college freshmen start soon, and those living away from home will receive roommate assignments shortly if they haven’t already. While first-years may have a roommate of a different race or religion, from a different socioeconomic background, or from another part of the country, their roommate will almost universally be someone of the same sex.

Though separating students by gender and sex sounds benign enough, same-gender only housing policies perpetuate problematic gender and sex norms and cause discomfort for some students. A handful of colleges, such as U.C. Berkeley and Penn, offer gender- and sex-neutral housing to incoming students, and over 50 offer it to upperclass students. Students at other schools would benefit if their colleges followed suit; here’s why:

1. Same-gender only housing is heteronormative

Intentional man-man and woman-woman roommate pairings are based on the assumption that such pairs will not have sex with each other or try to sexually take advantage of one another.

That, of course, assumes that they’re both heterosexual. While the majority of the population is heterosexual, it is wrong to base housing decisions on an assumption of sexual orientation — even the most conservative schools have lesbian, gay and bisexual students.

This heteronormative mindset makes life harder for LGBT people; it is the reason gay, but not straight, people must come out for others to know their orientation, and why lesbians get asked if they have a boyfriend. While same-gender only housing policies promote heteronormativity, gender-neutral options help to combat that mindset by enabling students to pick a roommate or have one assigned without their (presumed heterosexual) orientation in mind.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-a-goodman/college-dorms-same-sex-housing_b_1727013.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices

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Shafilea Ahmed’s death was not the fault of liberal lefties

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/05/barbara-ellen-shafilea-ahmed-political-correctness

As Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed were sentenced, there was a feeling that their crime happened because of a cult of political correctness

The Observer, Saturday 4 August 2012

Reading about the case of Shafilea Ahmed, the 17-year-old Warrington girl murdered by her parents in front of her siblings for being “too westernised”, there was much to contemplate: the jarring oxymoron of the phrase “honour killings”, which, to their credit, the police refused to use; the astounding courage, indeed the honour, of Shafilea’s sister in standing alone and telling the truth about the murder; the despair of Shafilea, who drank bleach to avoid a forced marriage, but still slipped through the net of social services.

There was another strange aspect of the story, a sidebar in the scheme of things, but gathering force as Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed were sentenced. It amounted to an open season on liberal-bashing: the overwhelming consensus that a culture of political correctness, liberalism, leftie cultural squeamishness, call it what you will, was largely to blame. That this kind of thing only happens because people are too scared of offending other cultures to confront such problems as forced marriage, “ownership” of females, and other embedded misogynies. That this is where slavish PC tolerance gets us: girls such as Shafilea Ahmed are betrayed. What dangerous, foolish nonsense.

Do people seriously believe that tolerance towards other races and cultures is a “problem”, equal to, or worse, say, than intolerance towards other races and cultures? In fact, I’m confused: where is this liberal-leftie sensibility that’s so often cited and attacked, this blinkered ideology that’s so far up its own right-on backside, so anxious not to cause offence, that it finds it acceptable to leave young girls such as Shafilea in danger? Does it exist or is it just a convenient myth?

In truth, Shafilea’s plight was beyond real or imagined uber-liberal sensibilities. Shafilea was abused, beaten, imprisoned, abducted and, in the end, murdered. Her situation was exacerbated by mistakes and communication breakdowns between the few lifelines she had. Such as the acceptance of Shafilea’s claim (in the presence of her father) that everything was fine, even after her previous appeals for help, and the swallowing of the bleach. This failure wasn’t about some misguided PC wish not to offend Islam, or anything else, it was about incompetence, pure and simple: the collapse of a system of care, leading to a young girl falling through the cracks.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/05/barbara-ellen-shafilea-ahmed-political-correctness

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