Justice For January! Kill a Trans Woman & Get Bail? Friends Say NO!

From planetransgender:  http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2012/12/justice-for-january-kill-trans-woman.html

By Kelli Anne Busey
Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reposted with permission

Charles Jameson Neel charged with killing Transgender woman January Marie Lapuz may get bail before his trial. Friends of January Marie Lapuz Say NO!

Transgender woman January Marie Lapuz from Santiago, Isabela Philippines immigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia to escape what has become known as a very transphobic country only to be murdered Sept. 29 at the age of 26.

Bail in Canada can be denied if “detention is necessary for the protection or safety of the public. This includes whether there is a substantial likelihood the accused will commit a further offence or interfere with the administration of justice.

This precisely what frightens the BC trans community. The crime was violent and resulted in the death of January. This was a real woman, live flesh and blood with hopes, dreams and passions as January’s Facebook page reveals. Does her murder not equate to that of a cisgender woman?

Persons charged with a criminal offence in Canada have a constitutional right to reasonable bail unless there is some compelling reason to deny it. These reasons can be related to the accused’s likelihood to skip bail, or to public danger resulting from the accused being at large. In stark contrast to many other jurisdictions granting a constitutional right to bail, in Canada the accused may even be denied bail because the public confidence in the administration of justice may be disturbed by letting the individual, still legally innocent, go free pending the completion of the trial or passing of sentence (Criminal Code, s. 515 (10)(c)). :Wiki Bail Canada

The Justice for January protest is before this alleged murderers bail hearing is scheduled so if you are in BC you will have a opportunity to demand equality and justice for January.

Justice For January! Kill a Trans Woman & Get Bail? Friends Say NO!

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Transgender no longer a medical disorder

Ah err not a psychiatric disorder is not the same thing as not a medical disorder.

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2012/12/27/transgender_no_longer_a_medical_disorder/

Editions to the new DSM remove “gender identity disorder” but many underlying assumptions remain unchanged

Thursday, Dec 27, 2012

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) will no longer include “gender identity disorder” — the term applied in the manual since 1980 to pathologize transgender individuals.

The new version of the DSM-5 will instead include an entry for “gender dysphoria,” an important shift from “identity disorder” since dysphoria applies only to those individuals feeling distress over their assigned gender identity. Individuals who identify differently from the gender assigned at birth are thus no longer considered to be mentally ill by the APA’s categorization. “We know there is a whole community of people out there who are not seeking medical attention and live between the two binary categories. We wanted to send the message that the therapist’s job isn’t to pathologize,” Jack Drescher, a member of the APA who worked on the this issue, told the Advocate earlier this year.

Retaining “gender dysphoria” within the DSM-5, as opposed to removing all listings relating to gender variance, will allow individuals seeking coverage for hormone treatments or surgery to point to a medical problem within the DSM.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2012/12/27/transgender_no_longer_a_medical_disorder/

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Being transgender no longer a mental ‘disorder’ in diagnostic manual

From CNN:  http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/27/being-transgender-no-longer-a-mental-disorder-in-diagnostic-manual/?hpt=he_c2

By Moni Basu
December 27th, 2012

(CNN) – The American Psychiatric Association announced this month approved changes in its official guide to classifying mental illnesses.

Among the major announced revisions to the manual, known as DSM-5, is that Asperger’s syndrome will now be included in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder “to help more accurately and consistently diagnose children with autism,” the association said in a statement.

But the group made another big change that did not make as many headlines, though it is considered by many to be important.

The new DSM eliminates the term “gender identity disorder,” long considered stigmatizing by mental health specialists and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists.

That old diagnosis meant that a man who believed he was destined to be a woman was considered mentally ill.

No longer so.

The new DSM refers to “gender dysphoria,” which focuses the attention on only those who feel distressed by their gender identity.

“I think it’s a significant change,” said Jack Drescher, a member of the American Psychiatric Association group that made the recommendation after working on it for four years. “It’s clinically defensible, but it reduces the amount of stigma and harm that existed before.”

Continue reading at:  http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/27/being-transgender-no-longer-a-mental-disorder-in-diagnostic-manual/?hpt=he_c2

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Transgender is a fact of life

From The Times Union (Albany, NY):  http://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Transgender-is-a-fact-of-life-4150203.php

Published 7:56 pm, Thursday, December 27, 2012

The movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality has made great strides over the past few years. In 2011, state legislators finally realized that all loving, committed New Yorkers should be free to marry the person they love. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama followed suit, and we are hopeful that the Supreme Court will soon reach the same conclusion.

Despite such progress, there is one life-threatening omission The T in LGBT has been left behind. As parents of a transgender daughter, we are deeply concerned that, merely because of her gender identity and expression, our state’s laws deny our daughter basic civil rights and protections that others take for granted. This is why our New Year’s wish for 2013 is that New York lawmakers pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. It is also our New Year’s resolution not to rest until this law passes.

Without this basic, common sense measure -— which enjoys broad public support — transgender citizens face legal challenges in categories as basic as employment and housing. For living her life openly, with dignity and authenticity, our daughter can be fired from her job or denied or removed from housing, both without recourse, simply because she is transgender. We do not accept that our child or anyone should have to endure these challenges, yet they remain a fact of life for our daughter and thousands of others only because of the lack of action by our state Legislature.

The passage of GENDA, as the proposed law is known, is not only a necessary, life-affirming measure for thousands of New Yorkers and their families. It also finishes a job that is already started. Today, almost 60 percent of New Yorkers are covered by county or municipal laws that protect people based on gender identity and expression, and passage of GENDA would bring parity to the remainder of the state’s residents. Furthermore, 16 states and countless municipalities, many that are far more conservative than New York, have passed such laws, all without incident. Ironically, New York is widely perceived as progressive, yet when it comes to protecting our daughter, we have yet to catch up with Colorado, New Mexico, and Illinois.

Does Gender Identification Have a Place In Our Political System?

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peggy-drexler/does-gender-identificatio_b_2380468.html


The 2012 elections are over and it was a landmark one for women. Female voters made up 54 percent of the electorate, and according to exit polls, 55 percent of those women voted for Obama, coming out in support of equal pay for equal work, funding for preventative health care, and the right to decide what they do with their bodies. Thanks to a few key victories, women now make up 20 percent of the Senate, which boasts its first gay member in Wisconsin’s newly elected Tammy Baldwin. Meanwhile, wins in the state of New Hampshire have created the country’s first all-female delegation: a female governor, two senators, and two Congresswomen. This time around, gender, it would seem, trumped politics.

The question is: does that kind of gender identification have a place in our political system? Simple answer: yes.

Given the stubborn issues still facing women today, gender matters. In this past presidential election there was new life in the move to de-fund Planned Parenthood altogether and a resurrection of the demand that any health care plan offering abortion coverage be barred from participating in insurance exchanges under the health care plan. Not that the new arrivals could turn the tide on those issues alone. Both arms of Congress are still firmly in the hands of men. Women in, women out — what’s the big deal? Yet, in this past election gender’s judicial flashpoint — reproductive choice — was in jeopardy of limiting or denying that choice. Women saw that threat as no man possibly could.

Here’s a quick glimpse of why gender is every bit as important to the Supreme Court. In a case brought by four women against AT&T in 2008 and settled in 2009, the Court ruled that decades-old pregnancy leaves taken under old pension rules do not have to be counted in calculating pension payouts. It was a small case, with limited immediate impact. Business won and women lost — one of those dissenting was the then-lone woman on the Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Justice Ginsburg, who says her tireless support of workplace equality was shaped by her own professional struggles, wrote: “Certain attitudes about pregnancy and childbirth throughout human history have sustained pervasive, often law-sanctioned, restrictions on a woman’s place among paid workers and active citizens.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peggy-drexler/does-gender-identificatio_b_2380468.html

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President Obama urges Illinois to pass marriage equality legislation

From Daily Kos:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/29/1174705/-President-Obama-urges-Illinois-to-pass-marriage-equality-legislation

Scott Wooledge
Sat Dec 29, 2012

Here’s some cheery news to take your mind off the fiscal cliff curb. Posted two 6:00 pm Saturday on the Chicago Sun-Times, which they are calling an exclusive.

WASHINGTON–President Barack Obama is urging the Illinois General Assembly to legalize gay marriage in his home state as lawmakers are poised to take up the measure as early as this week in Springfield.”While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.

“As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally.” Inouye said.

The bill is underway (more here), and enjoys good popular support, and Gov. Quinn will sign it, if it can get out of the legislature.

Continue reading at:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/29/1174705/-President-Obama-urges-Illinois-to-pass-marriage-equality-legislation

See also Huffington Post: Illinois Gay Marriage: Prairie State Could Be Next U.S. State To Approve Marriage Equality

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Woman Accused of Hate-Crime Murder in Subway Push

Hate crimes such as this should lead to sentences of life without possibility of parole.

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/30/nyregion/woman-is-held-in-death-of-man-pushed-onto-subway-tracks-in-queens.html

Published: December 29, 2012

A 31-year-old woman was arrested on Saturday and charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime in connection with the death of a man who was pushed onto the tracks of an elevated subway station in Queens and crushed by an oncoming train.

The woman, Erika Menendez, selected her victim because she believed him to be a Muslim or a Hindu, Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney, said.

“The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter’s nightmare: Being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train,” Mr. Brown said in an interview.

In a statement, Mr. Brown quoted Ms. Menendez, “in sum and substance,” as having told the police: “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.” Ms. Menendez conflated the Muslim and Hindu faiths in her comments to the police and in her target for attack, officials said.

The victim, Sunando Sen, was born in India and, according to a roommate, was raised Hindu.

Mr. Sen “was allegedly shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself,” Mr. Brown said. “Beyond that, the hateful remarks allegedly made by the defendant and which precipitated the defendant’s actions should never be tolerated by a civilized society.”

Mr. Brown said he had no information on the defendant’s criminal or mental history.

“It will be up to the court to determine if she is fit to stand trial,” he said.

Ms. Menendez is expected to be arraigned by Sunday morning. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. By charging her with murder as a hate crime, the possible minimum sentence she faced would be extended to 20 years from 15 years, according to prosecutors.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/30/nyregion/woman-is-held-in-death-of-man-pushed-onto-subway-tracks-in-queens.html

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