Slain Philly trans woman identified, vigil planned, police have no leads

From Lexie Cannes:

By Lexie Cannes
September 10, 2012

With Permission

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Finally, we’ve an identification — her name is Kyra Kruz. She was found shot in the head in Philadelphia’s Frankford area a week ago on Sept 3rd, without ID or a phone.

I reported earlier on this story 2 days ago about the lack of information then some 6 days after the shooting —

Although we now know the identity of the victim, the Philadelphia police don’t have much other information other than their informing the public that Kruz bought food and a drink a half a mile from the scene of the shooting. Police are asking for help. Call the homicide unit at 215-686-3334.

Kruz was well-known in the trans community and was  involved in community outreach and just recently had her last name legally changed to Cordova. Philadelphia City Office of LGBT Affairs’ Gloria Casarez: “She was a visible, friendly presence, this has been surprising and upsetting to all of us.”

Police seek information on transgender woman’s killing.

From G Philly: BLITZ is holding a candlelight vigil this week for Kruz (Sept. 13) at 8 p.m. at the William Way LGBT Community Center. People will be walking from the center throughout the Gayborhood, sharing stories and remembering the young woman. Anyone interested in speaking, performing or even donating candles and snacks is asked to email Jaden at

(Thanks to Zander Elliot for the tip.)

ACA’s sex discrimination policy to be reinforced for transgender people


By Hope Gillette
September 10, 2012

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions regarding sex discrimination in health insurance policies are inclusive of transgender people, stated the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a recent letter. These ACA provisions however will not require insurance companies to cover gender-transition surgeries.

Approximately 2 to 5 percent of the population is considered transgender, which the American Psychological Association defines as “persons whose gender identity, gender expression, or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.”

Approximately 27 percent of male-to-female transgender people are Hispanics, compared to 12 percent of female-to-male transgender people.

“This is a population that’s very underserved and in need of a lot of health care,” said to the Huffington Post M. Dru Lavasseur, a transgender rights attorney at Lambda Legal, an advocacy group based in New York. “This HHS letter sends a message that we need to address its problems.”

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To the Religious Right, I am No Longer a Woman

From RH Reality Check:

by Robin Marty, Senior Political Reporter, RH Reality Check
September 11, 2012

In just the last seven years, I have experienced nearly every biological joy and trial that comes with being a woman. I’ve been on hormonal contraception. I’ve struggled with unexplained infertility. I’ve had a miscarriage. I’ve attempted vaginal birth. I’ve had an emergency c-section. I’ve had planned c-sections. I’ve used natural family planning to try to conceive. I’ve used natural family planning to try to not conceive. And, as a result of that, I became a woman with an unplanned pregnancy.

Currently, I am enjoying a state that I have never been in before–one where I don’t have to think at all about my reproduction, fertility, trying to get pregnant, trying to avoid pregnancy or being in a state of pregnancy. It’s a huge and welcome relief, frankly. Between miscarriage and two fairly closely-spaced births, I’ve spent well over two of the last three years having enough HCG in my bloodstream to be able to produce a positive pee test if I was so inclined. The seven months that have passed since I have had my last (and I do mean last) child is the longest I have been unencumbered by pregnancy hormones since 2009.

So it’s with a bit of irony that I read the incessant assertions from the religious right that I am in fact not a true woman anymore, simply because I have chosen to remove myself from the baby game. I already had one strike against me, obviously, just for advocating that women should be allowed to decide when or if they want to have children, and for believing that sex can be meaningful even if there isn’t some potential for conception to occur during the process. I’ve had sex to try and create children, and honestly, it can be a very stressful, non-magical endevor. As much as I can guarantee that all of my children were conceived equally in love, I can’t say the same about the… um… enthusiasm.

Since the birth of my son (and, nearly as importantly, the snipping and cauterizing of my fallopian tubes) I’ve had the chance to relearn both emotional and physical intimacy, two items that are often lost among couples with a houseful of small children or an empty house two partners are trying desperately to fill. It’s a task that is much more emotionally charged now that sex is for us alone, and without a worry about the “consequences” of sex that the religious right seems so focused on making a part of the bargain. We don’t need potential consequences. Our family is complete. After all, they already outnumber us. I’d hate to get even further behind.

But to them, I am no longer a woman.

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Opinion: In Regnerus Study Scandal, Anti-Gay Rights Funder Manipulated Data

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

by Scott Rose
on September 11, 2012

Reposted with Permission

University of Texas at Austin researcher Mark Regnerus took $785,000 in funding from anti-gay-rights groups — including the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation — to carry out a study on same-sex parents’ child outcomes.

Regnerus alleges to have proven correlations between same-sex parents and negative child outcomes.

Among scientists with expertise in family sociology generally and same-sex parenting in particular, however, Regnerus’s study has overwhelmingly been judged scientifically invalid.

For Regnerus as a non-topic-expert to presume to make a study of same-sex parenting is preposterous.

Yes, he is a sociologist. No, he does not have the first clue about legitimate science involving homosexuality, homosexuals or same-sex parenting. To begin to comprehend how irresponsible Regnerus is in this, think of a scholar of English literature, with no knowledge of either Japanese or Japanese literature, presuming to carry out a professional-level study on Japanese literature.

Withespoon’s top-most officials also hold positions of authority with other anti-gay-rights groups.  Witherspoon senior fellow Robert P. George, for example, is co-founder and current mastermind of the National Organization for Marriage, and the Family Research Council, an SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group. Both NOM and FRC have been heavily promoting the Regnerus study in anti-gay-rights political contexts in the 2012 elections.

In Section 2 of his study – titled Data collection, measures, and analytic approach – Regnerus alleges that:

the funding sources played no role at all in the design or conduct of the study, the analyses, the interpretations of the data, or in the preparation of this manuscript. ”

However, documentation reveals that a top Witherspoon Institute official — W. Bradford Wilcox — assisted Regnerus with data analysis for his study.

Witherspoon’s 2010 IRS 990 form shows that Wilcox is Director of the Witherspoon program that is Regnerus’s chief funder; the program for Marriage, Family and Democracy.

At this link, contracts for two Regnerus study consultants may be viewed; one for Paul Amato, the other for Wilcox.

The Wilcox contract states that Wilcox was and is being paid to assist Regnerus with data analysis.

The public does not know how Regnerus derived his published study’s numerical “findings” from his raw data. The raw data have not yet been made public. What the public so far may access, is Regnerus’s study Codebook and the numerical figures given in his published study.

The numbers given in Regnerus’s Codebook do not match the numbers given in his published study. Regnerus told a source that the lack of correspondence is due to the Codebook containing “unweighted” data and the published study containing “weighted” data.

Weighting” is one among many different options sociologists may employ, ideally in order to have their findings be as close to accurate as possible for whichever populations and characteristics they are studying.

However, Regnerus’s raw data as recorded in his Codebook are profoundly dubious. For example, consider the Regnerus Codebook response rates for Regnerus’s study question “Have you ever masturbated?”

Out of 2,988 respondents between 18 and 39-years-old, 620 said that they had never once in their lives masturbated.

Regnerus makes the claim that all of the results of his study have “statistical power” and apply to all young adult children of same sex parents in the United States.

Yet, if Regnerus’s “statistical power” claim were correct for his data, then one would have to believe it true that out of every 2,988 Americans between 18 and 39-years-old, 620 had never once in their lives masturbated.

On the basis of such blatant error, Regnerus and his funders have been using the study to demonize gay people in political contexts.

Regnerus, Wilcox and the University of Texas at Austin were asked to comment on Regnerus’s apparent lie about none of his funders having been involved with his data analyses.

As of publication time, none of those parties had responded.

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on,, The New York Blade,, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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Why I Called the Log Cabin Republicans “Uncle Toms”

From Huffington Post:


I am not surprised that members of the Log Cabin Republicans are offended by my comparing them to Uncle Tom. They are no more offended than I am by their campaigning in the name of LGBT rights to elect the candidate and party who diametrically oppose our rights against a president who has forcefully and effectively supported our rights.

That is the first reason for my admittedly very harsh criticism. This election is clearly one in which there is an extremely stark contrast between the two parties on LGBT rights. The Democratic President and platform fully embrace all of the legal issues we are seeking to resolve in favor of equality. The Republican candidate for president and the platform on which he runs vehemently oppose us in all cases. On the face of this, for a group of largely LGBT people to work for our strong opponent against our greatest ally is a betrayal of any supposed commitment to our legal equality.

But my use of “Uncle Tom” was based not simply on the awful fact that they have chosen to be actively on the wrong side of an election that will have an enormous impact on our right to equality, both in fact and in the public perception of the popularity of that cause. If the Log Cabin Republicans — or their even more outlandish cousins, the oddly-named GOProud — were honestly to acknowledge that they let their own economic interests, or their opposition to strong environmental policies, or their belief that we need to be spending far more on the military or some other reason ahead of any commitment to LGBT equality, and on that ground have decided to prefer the anti-LGBT candidate to the supportive one, I would disagree with the values expressed, but would have no complaint about their logic.

The damaging aspect of the Log Cabin argument, to repeat the most important point, is that they may mislead people who do not share their view that tax cuts for the wealthy are more important than LGBT rights into thinking that they are somehow helping the latter by supporting Mitt Romney and his Rick Santorum platform.

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Is Obama mobilizing 1000s of lawyers for Voter ID battle?

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Romney election triumph would sink US reputation in Europe, poll finds

From The Guardian UK:

Europeans hold strongly negative views about GOP contender but Obama’s favourability poor in Pakistan and Middle East

in Washington, Tuesday 11 September 2012

The reputation of the US in Europe risks sinking back to Bush-era levels of unpopularity if Mitt Romney becomes president, according to new international polling published on Tuesday.

Only around one in 20 of those surveyed in Britain, France and Germany by YouGov held a positive view of the Republican presidential nominee.

The poll of more than 12,000 people across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and China was prepared for the YouGov-Cambridge forum this week at which the Guardian is a media partner.

The results are a sign that affection for Barack Obama has diminished little since his 2008 speech in Berlin in which he promised to restore America’s reputation on the world stage, even though, four years on, Guantánamo remains open and the US is still engaged in military action in Afghanistan.

But while Europeans had a strongly negative reaction to Romney, the prospect of him winning the White House was greeted with less dismay in Pakistan, where about 13% of respondents said it would make them more favourable to the US, compared to just 9% who said it would make them less favourable.

This is possibly a reflection of the anger towards the Obama administration over drone attacks which have led to civilian deaths and are viewed as an infringement of Pakistani sovereignty.

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Ann Romney criticized over planned remarks at ‘anti-LGBT Hate Group’ Values Voter Summit

From Raw Story:

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Progressive groups are questioning Ann Romney’s scheduled appearance at the upcoming Values Voter Summit, an event hosted by organizations they say demonize the LGBT community.

“The Romney campaign must have its reasons, but it sure seems like an odd way to deploy Ann Romney,” Josh Glasstetter of RightWingWatch said. “No one really expected Mitt Romney to show for the event – too radical, too close to the election. That’s why, when the conference schedule was recently posted, it was a shock to see not only ‘Romney’ on the lineup, but Ann Romney.”

Mitt Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), is also scheduled to speak at the event.

The high-profile political conference in Washington, D.C. is organized by the Family Research Council and sponsored by Christian conservative groups like the American Family Association. The annual Values Voter Summit has attracted a wide swath of conservatives since it first began in 2006.

Speakers at the conference this year include Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, TV and radio host Glenn Beck and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), among others.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which considers the Family Research Council and American Family Association to be anti-LGBT hate groups, has urged public officials to avoid the conference.

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Photographers labeled potential terrorists

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The Deafness Before the Storm

From The New York Times:

Published: September 10, 2012

IT was perhaps the most famous presidential briefing in history.

On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.

On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief — and only that daily brief in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.

That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.

The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.

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