By Terry Davidson
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
TORONTO – Kids have the right to use any school washroom they wish — as long as the choice corresponds with their view of whether they’re a boy or a girl, according to the Toronto District School Board.
The board released guidelines Wednesday for transgendered kids which address the issue of whether students should use washrooms designated for boys or girls.
“All students have … the right to use a washroom that corresponds to the student’s gender identity, regardless of the student’s sex assigned at birth,” states the 30-page document, Guidelines for the Accommodation of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students and Staff.
It adds that a student will not have to provide a doctor’s note or “identity documents,” and that “a student’s self-identification” is proof enough.
Schools should also provide an “all-gender, single-stall” washroom for transgendered pupils if one is available, but that it is up to the student to decide if they want to take advantage of such an option, according to the document. “We’re talking about a very small minority of the (school) population — a very beleaguered and marginalized minority,” said NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo, a proponent of the guidelines.
Transgendered students are a tremendously vulnerable group, added DiNovo, saying there are statistics showing high rates of attempted suicide among those dealing with gender issues while attending school.
Monday, October 1, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma (ACLU) has announced that it will represent a transgender woman who was denied a name change by an Oklahoma judge who told her “you can’t change what God gave you.”
The ACLU is seeking to overturn a ruling by Oklahoma County District Court Judge Bill Graves, who denied an application by Angela Ingram to change her legally recognized name from James Dean Ingram to Angela Renee Ingram. Angela lives as a woman, and is seeking to change her legal name to match her identity.
Prior to denying Angela’s request to change her name, Graves had denied another application for a name change because that applicant, like Angela, “did not conform to his narrow concept of gender identity,” the ACLU said, in a statement.
In both cases, Graves denied the name change requests, citing science, DNA, and God’s own desire “for them to stay male.”
“What we do see here is evidence of an imposition of a personal idea of what gender is supposed to be,” said Brady Henderson, Legal Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “The fact is we have a choice over what our names are and what the names of our children are and in this case we feel that Angela was denied that choice unfairly.”
From Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund: http://tldef.org/headline_show.php?id=384
October 3, 2012
We are thrilled to announce that we have resolved a claim on behalf of a transgender woman who had been denied health insurance coverage for sex reassignment surgery. Ida Hammer, a 34-year-old New York City resident, applied for pre-authorization for male-to-female sex reassignment surgery in July 2011. MVP Health Care denied her claim on the grounds that the surgery was “cosmetic” and therefore was not covered under the policy. MVP refused to alter its position and denied two internal appeals, even after TLDEF submitted extensive evidence in support of Ms. Hammer’s claim.
Only after TLDEF threatened to file a lawsuit did MVP reverse its position and agree to cover the doctor-recommended procedure. MVP stated in its letter authorizing the surgery that “the requested surgery is medically necessary.”
“I have been undergoing treatment for gender dysphoria for the past five years. My doctors determined that surgery is the only adequate treatment for my condition,” said Ms. Hammer. “My insurance company should not be second-guessing my doctors. I’m relieved that it is finally treating me fairly and covering the health care I need.”
“The well-established medical and legal consensus is that transgender-related health care is medically necessary care,” said TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman. “This surgery is not designed to improve one’s appearance, but rather to treat a recognized medical condition. Transgender individuals pay the same premiums and simply want the same benefits as anyone else,” he added.
The medical necessity of sex reassignment surgery has been widely recognized in medicine and law. Organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health recognize surgery as medically necessary and support insurance coverage for it. Since the 1970s, numerous state and federal courts have recognized this surgery as non-cosmetic, medically necessary surgery. Even the Internal Revenue Service recognizes transgender-related surgery as medically necessary and tax deductible.
Continue reading at: http://tldef.org/headline_show.php?id=384
Christine P. Sun
With a stroke of his pen, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown sent a powerful message to the rest of the nation about the dangers of conversion therapy.
By signing S.B. 1172, Brown made California the first state in the nation to ban conversion therapy for children. This dangerous and discredited “therapy” — sometimes known as “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay therapy” — claims to change people from gay to straight. The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, not only protects California children but paves the way for a national effort to end this dangerous practice. It has already inspired a similar bill in New Jersey.
People need to know that conversion therapy is junk science. It has been discredited or highly criticized by all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological, and professional counseling organizations. In 2006 the American Psychological Association stated, “There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.”
Nevertheless, the conversion therapy movement continues to push its message, churning out ludicrous claims, such as the belief that people aren’t lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender but simply “latent heterosexuals,” a common precept of conversion therapy.
Absurd treatments also abound within the movement. A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, written by Joseph Nicolosi, advises, “The penis is the essential symbol of masculinity — the unmistakable difference between male and female. This undeniable anatomical difference should be emphasized to the boy in therapy.”
From The Family Scholars Org: http://familyscholars.org/2012/10/03/professor-regnerus-study-seems-deceptive-about-his-funding-sources-participation/
In his post earlier tonight, Brad Wilcox writes that I “asked about [his] affiliation with the Witherspoon Institute.”
The reason I emailed Brad was that I had grown curious about an issue that lgbt-rights blogger Scott Rose has raised.
To provide context, here’s the full text of the email I sent to Brad, with links added:
Hi, Brad. Barry Deutsch here – we’ve exchanged a few comments on “family scholars blog” from time to time.
I’ve been reading about something that I will probably blog about, but I wanted to ask you if you wanted to comment.
I’m hesitant to ask you about this at all, because so many of the folks who have criticized Regnerus’ study have been, in my opinion, over-the-top, and have made personal attacks on Professor Regnerus. That’s not something I want to be associated with. Although I’ve criticized Professor Regnerus’ study, I bear him no ill will.
Professor Regnerus has said a couple of times, referring to the NFSS, 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.”
by David Badash
on October 3, 2012
Tony Perkins told Mike Huckabee that he and the Family Research Council are “pursuing everything possible” against LGBT activist Dan Savage, “because he is out of control.” Perkins and Huckabee today were discussing Savage’s address last week at Winona State University, during which Savage said, “every dead gay kid is a victory for the Family Research Council.” It’s unclear, but it certainly sounded like Perkins was suggesting — or threatening — legal action against Savage, though not sure on what grounds.
“Tony Perkins tells parents whose kids come out to reject them,” Savage told the audience at Winona State.
“Tony Perkins tells the parents of queer kids to do what Tony Perkins damn well knows drives those kids to suicide — doubles their already quadruple rate of suicide. Why would someone who calls themselves a Christian do that? Because every dead gay kid is a victory for the Family Research Council. They argue that the gay lifestyle is sick and sinful and dangerous and they point to the suicide rate, and then they turn around and do everything in their power to make sure that suicide rate does not come down and to drive it up. Tony Perkins sits on a pile of dead gay kids every day when he goes to work — and he calls himself a Christian. I don’t understand how real Christians let that little fucker get away with that.”
“I found Dan Savage to be unnecessarily rude, vile, and angry,” Huckabee told Perkins, the President of the Family Research Council, an active anti-gay hate group. “Just angry. He was not a happy person and he just takes out his venom on other people, but he’s gone to a level I’ve never seen.”
Perkins responded, “As my teenagers would say, he has some issues. He is a man with some real deep-seated issues … and Dan Savage is nowhere near, he’s a hundred and eighty degrees from the positions that we have taken. It’s wrong and I will tell you this, we are pursuing everything possible to deal with him because he is out of control.”
Perkins certainly was right there — Dan Savage, and most of America, for that matter, are “a hundred and eighty degrees from the positions” that the Family Research Council has taken.