Border Patrol agent-turned-serial killer arrested after murdering a transgender woman

From LGBTQ News:  https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/09/border-patrol-agent-turned-serial-killer-arrested-murdering-transgender-woman/

By
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The third victim of a serial killer in Texas has been identified as a transgender woman.

Janelle Ortiz, 28, was the third woman killed by Juan David Ortiz (no relation) in his string of misogynist murders.

Janelle Ortiz was one of two women killed this past Saturday in Loredo, Texas, after authorities had already been alerted to Juan David Ortiz, 35, by a victim who escaped.

According to court documents, Juan David Ortiz told police that he planned to “eradicate all the prostitutes.” All five of his victims – the four women he killed and the one who escaped – were sex workers.

Juan David Ortiz, a Border Patrol agent, started killing on September 3, when he shot Melissa Ramirez, 29. Ten days later, he killed Claudine Ann Luera, 42.

On Friday night, the third victim escaped from his truck and reported him to a state trooper.

Within hours, though, Juan David Ortiz killed two other people: Janelle Ortiz and a fourth victim, who has not been publicly identified.

Police say that all the women were shot in the head “execution-style” after Juan David Ortiz drove them to the country and forced them out of his truck. All the victims knew him, and police believe that he deliberately gained their trust so that he could kill them.

Janelle Ortiz’s body was found at 1 a.m. on Saturday morning. At 2:30 a.m., he was found in a hotel parking lot.

He wanted to die and hoped a police officer would kill him, so he pretended his cell phone was a gun as the SWAT team approached.

That didn’t work. He was arrested and has confessed to killing the four women. He provided police with details about the killings, including the location of the bodies of the Janelle Ortiz and the fourth victim.

“We’re certain we have the right individual,” Webb County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Fred Garza said.

“I hurt a lot. All I want is justice. I want that guy to die in jail for taking the life of my daughter,” said Maria Cristina, the mother of the first victim.

He is being charged with four counts of murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and unlawful restraint.

Police deadnamed Janelle Ortiz when her identity was announced, and the Aguero Funeral Home deadnamed her, used “he” pronouns, and used an old picture of her in their Facebook announcement of her funeral.

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Jane Fonda’s Activism Drew The Ire Of Nixon

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The Quickie: Let’s Judge Kavanaugh

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Pediatricians’ Group Endorses Affirming Care for Trans Youth

From The Advocate:  https://www.advocate.com/transgender/2018/9/17/pediatricians-group-endorses-affirming-care-trans-youth

Pediatricians “can play an important, if not life-saving, role” in the health of trans youth, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.

By Trudy Ring
September 17 2018

The support of pediatricians is crucial to the well-being of transgender and gender-nonconforming young people, says a new policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The statement, which was  published online today and will be in the October issue of the journal Pediatrics, recommends that what the academy calls “TGD” youth — transgender and gender-diverse young people — “have access to comprehensive, gender-affirming, and developmentally appropriate health care that is provided in a safe and inclusive clinical space.”

It also calls for the availability of family therapy to foster support for TGD youth, for insurance coverage of needed procedures, and for inclusion of TGD health care in medical education. It further calls for increased research on TGD health issues and for pediatricians to advocate for laws and policies that support TGD youth.

In an online article accompanying the policy statement, the AAP notes the stigma and discrimination TGD youth face, and that they have high rates of self-harm and suicidality. A study published in the September issue of Pediatrics found that more than half of trans male teens had attempted suicide, and trans girls and nonbinary youth had high rates as well.

“TGD youths, like all children, flourish when they feel supported,” says the article by Jason Rafferty, MD, who is also the lead author of the policy statement. “Therefore, the policy emphasizes a gender-affirmative model of developmentally appropriate care oriented toward understanding and appreciating the gender experience of all youths.”

“Regardless of developmental stage,” Rafferty continues, even very young children “who assert a TGD identity know their gender as clearly and consistently as their developmentally equivalent peers and benefit from the same level of validation and social acceptance. Instead of attempting to predict, prevent or pathologize who a child may become, or withholding critical support, a gender-affirmative model is aimed at valuing every child for who they are in the present, even at a young age.”

“Overall, pediatric providers can play an important, if not life-saving, role in promoting the health and development of TGD youths,” Rafferty adds. “While every family’s experience is distinct, the need for nonjudgmental affirmation and empathy is universal.”

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I Highly Recommend Joining This Cult

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/18/opinion/cut-spending-budget-cult-of-thrift.html

I am slashing my spending and rethinking my bourgeois ways. You should, too.

By Lisa Pryor
Sept. 18, 2018

Let me tell you about the cult I have joined: the cult of thrift. The indoctrination started gently, with a podcast here, a YouTube video there, about minimalism, debt-free living, frugality, decluttering, zero waste.

Then, before I knew it, I was listening to an American evangelical Christian named Dave Ramsey telling me in his Tennessee drawl that “the borrower is slave to the lender” and that I need to get “gazelle intense” and live on “rice and beans, beans and rice” to get out of debt, be “weird” by having a paid-off house.

Now, having chugged the Kool-Aid, I am slashing my spending and rethinking my bourgeois ways.

Bargain grocery shopping has become a sport. I make soups from scratch and serve casseroles made from cheap cuts of meat. Instead of taking the kids to expensive museum exhibitions to learn about nature, we are spending time in nature. Instead of dance classes, we dance. I am buying less wine, and when I do, it is supermarket wine. Dyeing my hair less, and when I do, using supermarket dye.

And while it would be nice to be original, I am not alone. Mr. Ramsey, a radio host and author who has been preaching the gospel of thrift for decades, has been joined in recent years by a number of overlapping movements, born of the internet and growing concern that stressed-out, debt-ridden consumer culture is unsustainable.

Consider the popularity of the minimalism movement. Two of its most high-profile proponents, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, are friends from Ohio who pursued corporate careers before beginning their journey toward the shedding of things in 2009. They have since built very not-minimal careers out of inspiring others to do the same through podcasting, blogging, writing books and making a documentary that is available on Netflix.

Related to this is the decluttering movement, which reached its peak with Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” a global best-seller that led to Ms. Kondo being named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2015.

There is an abundance of related movements that are focused on finances and living debt-free. Australia has its own proponent, Scott Pape, whose book “The Barefoot Investor” has become one of the country’s best-selling books of all time.

These are messages relevant to our times, with reports in August that United States household debt reached a new peak of $13.3 trillion, an increase of $454 billion from the previous year. In Australia, we have some of the highest levels of household debt in the world, and with no sign of a big increase in wages any time soon, many Australians are having to learn to rein in their profligate ways.

Continue reading at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/18/opinion/cut-spending-budget-cult-of-thrift.html

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Medicare for All Is ‘Not Just Pie in the Sky’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

From Common Dreams:  https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/17/medicare-all-not-just-pie-sky-alexandria-ocasio-cortez

“Medicare for all would save the American people a very large amount of money,” New York congressional candidate tells CNN

Andrea Germanos
Monday, September 17, 2018

New York congressional candidate and democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended a key (and widely supported) pillar of her progressive platform—Medicare for All—on Sunday, saying such systems are “not just pie in the sky” but have been proven in other Western democracies and would be “good for our future.”

Ocasio-Cortez made the comments on CNN‘s “State of the Union” when pressed by host Jake Tapper about how she proposes to fund a platform that also includes a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free public college and trade school, and student loan debt cancellation.

She stressed that “one of the things that we need to realize” is that “Medicare for all would save the American people a very large amount of money.”

“And what we see as well is that these systems are not just pie in the sky.” She noted that “many of them are accomplished by every modern, civilized democracy in the Western world.” For example, she said, “the United Kingdom has a form of single-payer health care, Canada, France, Germany.”

“What we need to realize is that these investments are better and they are good for our future. These are generational investments… they’re not short-term Band-Aids, but they are really profound decisions about who we want to be as a nation… and how we want to act as the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.”

She went on to acknowledge the “political realities” the prove barriers to needed reforms. “They don’t always happen with just the wave of a wand. But we can work to make these things happen.”

Ocasio-Cortez addressed the same issue last month with CNN‘s Chris Cuomo. “People talk about the sticker shock of Medicare for All—they do not talk about the sticker shock of the cost of our existing system,” she said.

“We only have empty pockets when it comes to the morally right things to do,” she said at the time, “but when it comes to tax cuts for billionaires and when it comes to unlimited war, we seem to be able to invent that money very easily.”

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Willie Nelson tells The View ‘I don’t care’ if Trump backers don’t like me

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Study finds no link between transgender rights law and bathroom crimes

Why am I not the least bit surprised.  Maybe 50 years of dealing with reality rather than Christo-Fascist Reich wing propaganda (TERF Bullshit)

From The Boston Globe:  https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/09/11/study-finds-link-between-transgender-rights-law-and-bathroom-crimes/1YWqSptLXOSiobmbH0RBMM/story.html

By
September 12, 2018

A first-of-its-kind study being released Wednesday refutes the premise that the state’s transgender antidiscrimination law threatens public safety, finding no relation between public transgender bathroom access and crimes that occur in bathrooms.

Researchers at the Williams Institute, a think tank focused on gender identity at the UCLA School of Law, examined restroom crime reports in Massachusetts cities of similar size and comparable demographics and found no increase in crime and no difference between cities that had adopted transgender policies and those that had not. The data were collected for a minimum of two years before a statewide antidiscrimination law took effect in 2016.

Activists who want to undo that state law through a ballot question in the Nov. 6 election have focused their campaign message on bathroom safety concerns. They suggest that a new right for transgender people infringes on everyone else’s privacy rights, and could be abused by men who want to prey upon women and children in ladies’ rooms. The vote is being closely watched nationwide because it offers the nation’s first public referendum on transgender rights in the state that first introduced gay marriage.

Transgender activists bristle at the idea that the campaign casts them as potential sexual offenders and have argued that there is no evidence that the law threatens anyone’s safety.

A spokesman for the Freedom for All Massachusetts campaign, which is working to preserve the law, said the Williams Institute study reaffirms that stance.

“It really takes the wind out of the sails of our opponents who have been trying to paint this false picture,” said spokesman Matthew Wilder.

Yvette Ollada, a spokeswoman for the “Vote No on 3” campaign, said she could not speak to the study before reviewing it, but she questioned its objectivity since the opposing campaign was anticipating its release.

“If it’s unbiased, wouldn’t they send it to both campaigns?” Ollada said.

Continue reading at:  https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/09/11/study-finds-link-between-transgender-rights-law-and-bathroom-crimes/1YWqSptLXOSiobmbH0RBMM/story.html

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Florida Sees Fifth Homicide of Trans Woman This Year

From The Advocate:  https://www.advocate.com/crime/2018/9/13/florida-sees-fifth-homicide-trans-woman-year

London Moore, 20, was found shot to death Saturday in North Port.

By Trudy Ring
September 13 2018

A transgender woman was shot to death Saturday in North Port, Fla., marking the 20th known homicide of a trans American this year.

London Moore, 20, was found dead in an undeveloped area of the town, according to local media, which initially deadnamed and misgendered her. Her car was found in a different location the next day, reports southwest Florida TV station WINK.

Police called the killing an isolated incident and said they believe the victim knew her attacker, who remains at large. Activists, though, pointed out that Moore’s death is part of a cycle of violence against transgender people, especially women of color, and should be investigated as a hate crime.

Hal Trejo of All Rainbow and Alllied Youth Inc. noted that Moore is the fifth trans person murdered in Florida this year. Three were in Jacksonville and one was in Orlando. “So we see it’s a huge crisis and needs to be addressed and talked about,” Trejo told another area TV station, WBBH.

Police are reserving judgment. “We have no information at this point that it was a hate crime,” Joshua Taylor of the North Port Police Department told WBBH. “However, it’s on the table; certainly it could come out that way. Part of figuring out why it was done includes talking to who did it. We have to get to that point.”

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We Must Expand Social Security!

They gave this huge tax break to the ultra rich.  Every one said it will send the National Debt through the ceiling.  It did. Now the rich prick Republicans want to screw over poor and working people to give the rich an even bigger tax cut.

How many 25,000 square foot mansions and 300 foot yachts do these rich bastards need.  It is like they are rubbing our noses in it. Roll back the tax breaks on the rich plus add ten percent more to their taxes.

They should remember what happened to the Romanov dynasty and to the French royals.

The poor need to start reading Thomas Paine.

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Beto O’Rourke | Real Time with Bill Maher

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Online Misogyny Is Hate Speech

From Moment:  https://www.momentmag.com/opinion-online-misogyny-is-hate-speech/

by
September 6, 2018

For women who work or spend time online, the idea that online misogyny is dangerous seems like basic common sense. Female journalists, politicians, celebrities and other women with work-related internet presences often face daily harassment, hacking or doxxing—the release of their private information, including phone numbers and home addresses. The hostility is often only loosely, if at all, tied to a woman’s specific work or actions; rather, the mere act of occupying public space seems to be the crime. That level of harassment is increased many times over for women of color.

Whether because of the anonymity, or the nature of internet echo chambers—where people’s thoughts are parroted back to them with no opposition—bigots of all stripes have felt emboldened to share their hate not just within but also outside the “manosphere”—that too-flippantly-named area of the internet designated for those who want to mourn and seethe over what they see as the theft of their masculinity.

So it surprised me that it’s taken this long for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to issue a report officially condemning misogyny in the same way it has other forms of violent hate speech. Until now, the ADL’s “Women’s Equity” category was limited to gender bias, pay inequality and fighting gender stereotypes. It’s about time somebody highlighted the genuinely hazardous aspects of extreme misogyny.

The new report pulls together research establishing a direct connection between misogyny and white supremacy, anti-Semitism and other forms of violent terrorism and says misogyny should be considered “a dangerous and underestimated component of extremism.” It explores the ways misogyny is expressed, both in person and online, and offers a useful taxonomy: There are the men’s rights activists (MRAs), who believe feminism has resulted in discrimination against men; the self-proclaimed “involuntary celibates” or “incels”; and the self-described “pickup artists,” who believe, as the report puts it, that date rape is “not only defensible, but is a skill that can and should be taught.” All of these types of men express ideas stemming from a core set of beliefs: that men are entitled to women’s attention, both emotional and (especially) sexual, and that feminism is a specific evil designed to deny them that right.

The ADL says it intends to continue investigating “the ways in which people in the white supremacist, incel and MRA orbits feed and inform one another’s poisonous hatred of women.” This could actually help. For far too long, these men have been written off as fringe types or as all talk. What few have officially recognized—except for women who have been on the receiving end of this hate—is that this sort of online misogyny can also have serious real-life implications.

Continue reading at:  https://www.momentmag.com/opinion-online-misogyny-is-hate-speech/

Trans 101 #4: ‘TERF’ is Not a Slur

Whose Religious Liberty Is It Anyway?

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/opinion/kavanaugh-supreme-court-religious-liberty.html

At his confirmation hearings, Brett Kavanaugh said just what religious conservatives — and Christian nationalists — wanted to hear.

By Katherine Stewart
Sept. 8, 2018

On day two of the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court, Senator John Cornyn of Texas brought up the 2000 case Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, in which the court ruled that sectarian prayers at high school football games violated the clause of the First Amendment that prohibits the establishment of religion.

Mr. Cornyn repeated Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s complaint that the decision “bristle[d] with hostility to all things religious in public life.” In fact, the plaintiffs in the case identified as Catholic and Mormon, and it is safe to say that they were not hostile to religion, but to the presumption that one religion speaks for all.

Judge Kavanaugh, eager to signal his agreement with Mr. Cornyn, tossed back the catch phrase that Mr. Cornyn appeared to be fishing for: “religious liberty.”

Over the course of this week’s Senate confirmation hearings, the other senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, repeatedly identified Judge Kavanaugh as a jurist who would uphold “religious liberty.” That should concern anyone who cares about actual freedom, religious and otherwise. What senators Cornyn, Cruz and other religious conservatives mean by “religious liberty” is its opposite.

If the Senate confirms Brett Kavanaugh, it will be declaring that the United States is a nation in which one brand of religion enjoys a place of privilege; that we are a nation of laws — except in cases where the law offends those who subscribe to our preferred religion; and that we recognize the dignity of all people unless they belong to specific groups our national religion views with disapproval.

When a pharmacist refuses to fill a prescription on the basis of his own religious beliefs, according to today’s Christian nationalists, that is a shining example of “religious liberty.” It is not. When a Catholic hospital delays or refuses to perform a legal and medically indicated procedure on a woman suffering a miscarriage on the grounds that the procedure violates its religious directives, that isn’t religious liberty. When a private school that miseducates students with scientifically illiterate and historically inaccurate theories claims a public subsidy, or a Medicare-supported retirement home turns away a lesbian couple, that isn’t religious liberty, either.

Let’s call it by its true name: religious privilege, not religious liberty. Today’s Christian nationalists want the ability to override the law where it conflicts with their religious beliefs, and thus to withdraw from the social contract that binds the rest of us together as a nation.

This kind of religious privilege has a history. In the Jim Crow south, for example, when black doctors and black patients were routinely shunted to inferior hospitals, many people justified the practice in terms of their sincerely held “biblical” belief that God intended for the races to be forever separated.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/opinion/kavanaugh-supreme-court-religious-liberty.html

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Medical marijuana users are being shut out of public housing

From Vice:  https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/3kezqk/medical-marijuana-users-are-being-shut-out-of-public-housing

By Emma Ockerman
Sep 10, 2018

Cancer patients and other people with debilitating conditions are being forced to choose between medical marijuana and federal public housing assistance.

Even though some of the most conservative states are passing laws legalizing medical weed, marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance on a federal level, along with heroin and ecstasy, which can make users ineligible for programs like rental assistance or public housing.

Lily Fisher, a 55-year-old breast cancer survivor in Montana, learned that first-hand when she saw her application for a Section 8 rental assistance voucher rejected in August after revealing that she was using medical marijuana to treat her pain, according to the Billings Gazette. Section 8 is a federal program that subsidizes rent for low-income Americans.

In August, another woman seeking Section 8 assistance in Pennsylvania learned the same about the marijuana she uses to treat her back pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. And a third woman, in Arcata, California, was evicted from her federally-subsidized apartment in July after a maintenance worker spotted her legal stash of medicinal edibles, according to the local Times-Standard.

These women are facing homelessness due to the conflict between state and federal law on pot.

“From a civil rights perspective, you’re denying a whole class of people housing that have already been denied other aspects of living their life to the fullest potential because of the federal prohibition on cannabis,” said David Mangone, director of governmental affairs and counsel for the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access.

The majority of states now allow some form of medicinal marijuana. Americans overwhelmingly favor legalizing the drug for medical use. And in New York State — which hosts North America’s largest public housing population — medical marijuana is permitted to treat debilitating conditions such as cancer, chronic pain and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released a memorandum in 2011 saying new admission applications revealing legal marijuana use would be denied, no matter the circumstance. However, the memorandum gave local landlords and public housing authorities the right to determine whether they should evict existing residents for medical marijuana use.

Continue reading at:  https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/3kezqk/medical-marijuana-users-are-being-shut-out-of-public-housing

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UN Scientific Paper Suggests Capitalism Has to Die in Order for the Planet to Be Saved

From Grit:  https://gritpost.com/un-paper-capitalism/


August 28, 2018

Capitalism and global sustainability are incongruous with one another, according to a recent paper for the UN’s 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report.

The team of researchers from various academic institutions throughout Finland who wrote the report gave a sobering assessment of the planet’s future if the current economic order continues unabated. Namely, that all rich Western countries have based their societies on an abundance of cheap energy, which the scientists say is no longer a reality.

“Economies have used up the capacity of planetary ecosystems to handle the waste generated by energy and material use,” the paper reads. “[D]ominant economic theories as well as policy-related economic modeling rely on the presupposition of continued energetic and material growth. The theories and models anticipate only incremental changes in the existing economic order. Hence, they are inadequate for explaining the current turmoil.”

Scientists argued that worsening climate change is having a drastic impact on ecosystems and biodiversity, and that symptoms of unchecked capitalism like rising inequality, unemployment, and debt are also contributing to the destabilization of society. In order to guarantee that humanity is able to have a good quality of life on earth for future generations, the paper’s authors argued that new economic systems will have to be created, rather than the standard band-aid approach governments have taken in the recent past.

“Central banks in the US and the Eurozone have resorted to unconventional measures such as negative interest rates and buying up significant amounts of public debt,” researchers wrote. “This has relieved some economic pressure, but … It can be safely said that no widely applicable economic models have been developed specifically for the upcoming era.”

While the paper didn’t endorse any specific economic system to be used in lieu of capitalism, scientists said it would necessary to “transform the ways in which energy, transport, food, and housing are produced and consumed” with the goal of attaining “production and consumption that provides decent opportunities for a good life while dramatically reducing the burden on natural ecosystems.”

Early in the paper, researchers said it would be necessary to implement a global Marshall plan, as Harvard University atmospheric chemistry professor James Anderson proposed earlier this year. Ideally, such a plan would mean cooperation between countries around the globe to collectively restructure society with the end goal of eliminating carbon dioxide emissions entirely. Researchers gave a deadline for the United States and Europe to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2040, and for the rest of the world to be at zero emissions by 2050.

In order to meet this goal, however, scientists cast doubt on the ability of renewable energy sources to be able to sustain humanity’s current energy consumption rate.

Continue reading at: https://gritpost.com/un-paper-capitalism/

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Sen. Sanders and Rep. Khanna Introduce Bill to End Corporate Welfare

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Massachusetts Could Roll Back Trans Rights This Year — And We Need to Fight Back

From Them:   https://www.them.us/story/massachusetts-question-3-trans-rights

A vote this November on trans rights in Massachusetts could have wide-ranging national consequences.

By and

This November, Massachusetts voters will be the first anywhere to be asked whether they will retain a statewide law protecting transgender people’s equal access to public places. The law, Bill S.2047, was passed in 2016 with bipartisan support and signed by a Republican governor. For over two years, it has worked to promote understanding and support for transgender people, ensuring that they can eat, shop, work, and go to school on equal footing with others. But shortly after the law’s adoption, a small group of anti-transgender activists gathered the minimum number of signatures to put the law — and the rights of transgender people — up for a popular vote. Now, residents must vote YES on Question 3 in order to keep basic protections for transgender people in place.

The law adds transgender people to equality and fairness guarantees that have existed in Massachusetts for over half a century, ensuring that people have access to restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, and other places of public accommodation on equal terms with others. These protections are critical for transgender people and other marginalized groups to be able to access public places without fear that they will be turned away or excluded simply for being who they are. As lawyers who regularly hear from people who face discrimination in a wide range of contexts, and as transgender individuals ourselves, we know all too well the challenges that transgender people navigate in these spaces and the tremendous benefit of having basic anti-discrimination protections that provide clear guidance to business owners and a baseline of equality for all people.

Over the more than 20 years that we have done this work, we have seen tremendous progress and positive change for transgender individuals. The first state to enact express state law protections for transgender people was Minnesota, in 1993. Rhode Island was the second, in 2001. Since then, 18 other states and the District of Columbia have added protections, which have been hugely influential in shaping and changing the experience of day-to-day life for transgender individuals. They mean that young people can attend school in safety and on equal terms with their peers. They mean that transgender people have been able to get jobs to support themselves and their families. And they mean that transgender people can visit stores and restaurants without being turned away.

Just as important, these laws have given transgender people an opportunity to be more visible, to participate in public life, and to share their lives and stories with others. More friends and family members have come forward to speak publicly and freely about their transgender children, parents, neighbors, colleagues, and loved ones. TV shows and movies now have more transgender characters than ever before, and social media better reflects the gender diversity that surrounds us. We are all better for this richness.

But that forward progress is at risk. We are no strangers to attempts by small but powerful groups to roll back advances in equal rights. Following the 2003 Goodridge ruling, we fought for four more years against attempts to roll back marriage equality in Massachusetts. On November 5, 2008, we all woke up to the heartbreak of the passage of Prop 8, which did turn back equality, for a time, in California.

We can’t ever let that happen again.

Continue reading at:  https://www.them.us/story/massachusetts-question-3-trans-rights

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The Problem With ‘Hey Guys’

One Texas/Southern speech term that fits the gender neutral qualification is y’all.  A collective general pronoun.

I must also admit a fondness for “folks”.

From The Atlantic:  https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/08/guys-gender-neutral/568231/

A broad coalition of English speakers—teachers, retail workers, ice-cream scoopers, and plenty of others—is grasping for a more inclusive greeting.


Aug 23, 2018

“Okay, guys,” a female coworker of mine recently began, as she addressed me and a female colleague. Then she stopped herself, said she was making an effort to use more gender-neutral language, and carried on talking.

It was a small self-correction, and a glimpse at the conflicted feelings stirred up by one of the most common greetings in the English language. Guys is an easygoing way to address a group of people, but to many, it’s a symbol of exclusion—a word with an originally male meaning that is frequently used to refer to people who don’t consider themselves “guys.”

My coworker is one of many who have started editing themselves in response to this exclusion. In the course of reporting this story, I heard from teachers who wanted a better way to get students’ attention, an ice-cream scooper who wanted a better way to greet customers, and a debate coach who specifically encourages his students to use y’all. These are representatives of a broad coalition of people who have contemplated, and often gone through with, excising guys from their vocabularies.

There are, of course, plenty of people—including many women—who have no problem being addressed as “guys,” think the word has evolved to be entirely gender-neutral, and don’t see a reason to change their usage. But others aren’t so sure. “I think there’s a really serious and welcome reconception of gender lines and relationships between sex and gender going on,” says John McWhorter, who teaches linguistics at Columbia University and has written several books about language. He says “something has crested in particular over about the past 10 years”—something that has people examining their everyday communications.

In my reporting I heard from several people who said that the word is particularly troubling for trans and gender-nonconforming people. “As a transgender woman, I consciously began trying to stop using guys some years ago,” says Brad Ward, a college counselor at a high school in Atherton, California. She added, “When I’m included with a group that is called guys, there’s some pain, since it takes me back to my male days in a way that I’d rather not go.”

I also heard that guys could grate on women working at male-heavy companies. In tech in particular, some told me they saw the word as yet another symptom of a female-minimizing industry. “There are a lot of guys in tech and ‘guys’ is used all the time in my work and social environments by both men and women, but since it doesn’t resonate with me anymore, I do feel like I’m not part of the group,” says Amy Chong, a 29-year-old user-experience researcher in San Francisco.

In some workplaces, people have used technology to gently push back against the gender-neutral guys so that they themselves don’t have to speak up. A group of government employees wrote a custom response for the messaging app Slack that would have a bot ask questions like “Did you mean friends?” or “Did you mean you all?” whenever a user wrote “Hey guys”; a Spotify employee embraced the idea, and the professional network Ladies Get Paid has a similar feature in its Slack group of some 30,000 members.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/08/guys-gender-neutral/568231/

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The Rich Want To Keep You Dumb

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