Should Trans People Have to Disclose Their Birth Gender Before Sex?

From Vice:

By Paris Lees
July 2, 2013

It’s now against the law to suck dick if you have a dick and you don’t tell the dick you’re sucking that you have a dick. Or if you used to have a dick. Or if you have a pussy when they think you have a dick. Or a pussy. Or something.
In the UK, you see, it’s become illegal for trans people not to disclose. You can be sent to prison for it, and some people already have been. Late last week, the UK Court of Appeal made case law by rejecting the appeal of someone called McNally. McNally was born female but identifies as male in certain social settings. McNally’s crime? To meet a girl online, date her—presenting himself to her as Scott—and give her oral sex. When the girl’s mother discovered that McNally was born female, she told the police. McNally says his girlfriend consented to the sexual activity. British law disagreed.
Apparently, you don’t consent to “someone fingering me,” you consent to “someone with a dick fingering me” or “someone with a pussy fingering me.” So maybe you could also prosecute a woman who had her womb removed? Or a woman whose breasts were removed? Or a man who was born intersex and has hidden ovaries? Or is circumcised? Or Andrew Wardle, who was born without a penis because his bladder formed outside his body? He was recently on British TV show This Morning explaining his dating struggles: “I was punched in the face once when I told a girl… I guess she was angry as she felt like I had lied but it’s not something you can say right away.” His story was reported with sympathy, and rightly so. But if Andrew finds it hard to tell potentially punching lovers, how should trans people feel? It seems you can lie about lots of stuff to people you’re having sex with—age, marital status, even HIV status—and that’s fine. But mislead people about the shape of your genitals and you’re a criminal. Unless of course you’re a regular dude lying about the size of your dick. That’s totally cool.
Now, I like the odd one night-stand as much as the next girl. Not to mention the occasional orgy, nights out in sex clubs and casual sex with strangers in public. Threesomes with people I picked up at fetish nights. Giving strangers blowjobs in the park. Getting my tits felt on the bus home by randoms. I’m not a slut or anything like that—God no—I’m sexually liberated. Fancy a fuck? I do.
Oh yeah and I’m transgender. Know that. I was born male. Not a man. A baby. With a penis. A baby one. I didn’t want it. I wanted a baby vagina. I was majorly unhappy as a child and actually felt like a nasty trick had been played on me—that deep down I was really a girly-whirly, made of sugar and spice and all things nice. Then I hit my teens and said, fuck you society, I am a girl! I made a few changes, got my hair done and my nails did and now I’m basically a super hot babe goddess in heat. My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard—but do they know what milkshake they’re licking their lips over? Because this goodness looks like strawberry and tastes like strawberry but it used to be banana. Know what I mean?
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State lawmakers pass K-12 transgender-rights bill

From KCRA:

Transgender students could choose restrooms, teams to join

Jul 03, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. —California lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday that would require public K-12 schools to let transgender students choose which restrooms they use and which school teams they join based on their gender identity instead of their chromosomes.

Some school districts around the country have implemented similar policies, but the bill’s author says AB1266 would mark the first time a state has mandated such treatment by statute.

“It’s going to make everything easier at school – everything!” said Ashton Lee, a 16-year-old student from Manteca.

Lee, who was born as a girl, began identifying as a boy 2 1/2 years ago.

“I was thinking about trying out for football.  I think I would make a pretty good football player,” Lee told KCRA 3.

Existing state law already prohibits California schools from discriminating against students based on their gender identity, but the legislation that passed the state Senate on Wednesday spells that out in more detail, said Carlos Alcala, a spokesman for the bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco.

At least two others state, Massachusetts and Connecticut, have statewide policies granting the same protections, but neither policy is in statute, according to the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.

The issue has become a battle in some local school districts around the country.

For instance, a Colorado family filed a complaint with the state’s civil rights office in March, claiming that their local school had violated the state’s nondiscrimination laws.

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Marching for Bradley Manning in NYC Pride

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Forcing down Evo Morales’s plane was an act of air piracy

From The Guardian UK:

Denying the Bolivian president air space was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world

The Guardian, Thursday 4 July 2013

Imagine the aircraft of the president of France being forced down in Latin America on “suspicion” that it was carrying a political refugee to safety – and not just any refugee but someone who has provided the people of the world with proof of criminal activity on an epic scale.

Imagine the response from Paris, let alone the “international community”, as the governments of the west call themselves. To a chorus of baying indignation from Whitehall to Washington, Brussels to Madrid, heroic special forces would be dispatched to rescue their leader and, as sport, smash up the source of such flagrant international gangsterism. Editorials would cheer them on, perhaps reminding readers that this kind of piracy was exhibited by the German Reich in the 1930s.

The forcing down of Bolivian President Evo Morales’s plane – denied airspace by France, Spain and Portugal, followed by his 14-hour confinement while Austrian officials demanded to “inspect” his aircraft for the “fugitive” Edward Snowden – was an act of air piracy and state terrorism. It was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world and the cowardice and hypocrisy of bystanders who dare not speak its name.

In Moscow, Morales had been asked about Snowden – who remains trapped in the city’s airport. “If there were a request [for political asylum],” he said, “of course, we would be willing to debate and consider the idea.” That was clearly enough provocation for the Godfather. “We have been in touch with a range of countries that had a chance of having Snowden land or travel through their country,” said a US state department official.

The French – having squealed about Washington spying on their every move, as revealed by Snowden – were first off the mark, followed by the Portuguese. The Spanish then did their bit by enforcing a flight ban of their airspace, giving the Godfather’s Viennese hirelings enough time to find out if Snowden was indeed invoking article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”

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Bolivia vs Europe Over Snowden-Linked Plane Delay

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For US, Assistance Given to Snowden Is No Trifling Matter

From Common Dreams:

US sends strong message that whoever takes in the NSA whistleblower ‘will face serious repercussions’

by Diana Cariboni and Jared Metzker
MONTEVIDEO/WASHINGTON – The suspicion that Bolivian President Evo Morales’ jet was carrying Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who has become Washington´s public enemy number one, triggered an unprecedented international incident.Four European countries – France, Italy, Spain and Portugal – denied Morales’ presidential jet permission to fly through their airspace on his way back from Moscow to La Paz.

Snowden, the former technical contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) who released dozens of top secret documents proving that the U.S. government has been tapping global internet and phone systems on a massive scale, is in hiding in the Moscow airport.

Morales’ aircraft was rerouted and forced to land in Austria, where it was stuck on the tarmac for 14 hours. The governments implicated in the incident brandished technical explanations, and after hours of heated negotiations, the presidential jet was allowed to take off again.

While it was grounded, the plane and its passengers were apparently subjected to some kind of inspection, the scope of which is not yet clear. But afterwards, Austria’s foreign minister, Michael Spindelegger, stated that there were only Bolivian citizens in the aircraft.

The incident violates international law, because aircraft carrying national leaders have diplomatic immunity. Bolivian diplomats complained at the United Nations that Morales had been “kidnapped” during the time he was grounded in Austria. And the indignation spread to other South American governments.

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To Big U.S. Corporations: What About Some Patriotism for America?

From Huffington Post:


The 4th of July is synonymous with patriotism. Tomorrow, all over the country, Americans will congregate to spend time with family and friends, barbecue, watch fireworks, and celebrate our nation’s independence. Many will recite the pledge of allegiance or sing the national anthem. Wouldn’t it be appropriate for the large corporations that were founded in the United States to show a similar acknowledgement of patriotism?

After all, these corporations rose to their enormous size on the backs of American workers. Their success can be attributed to taxpayer-subsidized research and development handouts. Not to mention those corporations that rushed to Washington D.C. for huge bailouts from the taxpayers when mismanagement or corruption got them into serious trouble.

How do these companies show their gratitude to their home country? Many of them send jobs overseas to dictatorial regimes and oligarchic societies who abuse their impoverished workers — all in the name of greater profits. Meanwhile, back home, corporate lobbyists continue to press for more privileges and immunities so as to be less accountable under U.S. law for corporate crimes and other misbehaviors.

In a survey conducted by the Center for Study of Responsive Law, twenty of the largest unions and twenty of the largest U.S. Chartered corporations were asked the following simple question on three separate occasions:

Do you think it desirable to have your CEO and/or your president at your annual shareholders meetings stand up on the stage and, in the name of your company (not your diverse board of directors), pledge allegiance to our flag that is completed by the ringing phrase “with liberty and justice for all?”

In this survey, nine of the twenty unions replied that they do “pledge allegiance to the flag …with liberty and justice for all” or, as a substitute, sing the national anthem.

Only two of the twenty corporations — Chevron and Walmart — responded with an explanation of their company’s view of patriotism, but declined to respond directly to the question. Some of the companies that chose not to respond are: Apple, GE, GM, Verizon, J.P. Morgan Chase and Co., AT&T, Ford, ExxonMobil, Bank of America and others.

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Business Journalists: Climate Change Deniers Have No Place in Our Reporting

From Media Matters:

Veteran Financial Scribes React to CNBC Voices Denying Climate Change

July 3, 2013

Climate change deniers should not be given a place in business coverage at a time when industries from agriculture to insurance are making real financial decisions dealing with its impact, according to some of the nation’s top business journalists.

Last month Media Matters reported that more than half of the climate change segments on CNBC this year cast doubt on man-made climate change. That network’s coverage drew criticism from top business journalists who said such coverage does not serve their viewers.

“It doesn’t seem to me at this point to be a point of serious controversy within the corporate establishment,” said Paul Barrett a Bloomberg BusinessWeek reporter (Bloomberg BusinessWeek‘s sister company Bloomberg News is a CNBC competitor). “The insurance industry, which is a key barometer of these things, has reached the conclusion that whatever your politics are on this, the costs of extreme weather are so great and the patterns over the last couple of decades are so distinct that the corporate establishment absolutely must recognize these risks.”

Barrett added, “It’s past the point of letting ideology shape the dollars-and-cents calculations that businesses are already making, it is not a question of whether business should do this, business is doing this.”

Michael Hiltzik, a veteran Los Angeles Times business columnist, agreed.

“I accept the evidence of climate change,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever run into a legitimate business leader or business owner in the course of my reporting who doesn’t. I think, for the most part, it is settled science and the debate is really over what to do about it.”

Hiltzik and others stressed that in business reporting, information is so vital to those running large and small companies that facts have to be on point and disregard political calculations.

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