Lege 2021: A coordinated attack against trans kids

From Equality Texas: https://www.equalitytexas.org/attacking-trans-kids-the-fabricated-emergency-of-lege-2021/

January 22, 2021

In the newest attempt to erode support for equal rights in Texas, Representative Steve Toth and Senator Charles Perry are directly targeting transgender youth, putting them under a harmful spotlight in two pieces of dangerous legislation. 

Toth’s bill, HB 68, would ban transgender youth from accessing affirming, best practice healthcare by reclassifying it as child abuse. For transgender youth who are insistent, consistent, and persistent about their gender identity, parents, guardians and medical experts work together to provide age-appropriate care. This is a thoughtful and lengthy process that is personal and private to each family. Classifying best practice medical care as child abuse sets a dangerous precedent for all Texans by allowing non-expert lawmakers to criminalize care that is live-saving and consistent with prevailing medical standards. 

Perry’s bill, SB 373, would require K-12 youth to participate in sports according to the gender on their birth certificate, essentially banning transgender youth from participating in line with their gender identity. Attacking trans youths’ access to sports — a tactic that, like debating bathrooms, has no basis in real-world facts — is another attempt to isolate vulnerable trans kids, barring them from the friendship, education, teamwork, and health benefits of playing a sport.

Every year, opponents of equality in state legislatures present the public with a new, fabricated “emergency” related to LGBTQ+ people. These policies are designed to create fear, spread misinformation about who LGBTQ+ people are, and erode the steady and rising support for laws and policies, like nondiscrimination, that give LGBTQ+ people the opportunities to participate fully in their communities. A majority of Texans in every region, religion and major ethnic group support nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ+ community, according to polling by the Public Religion Research Institute.

You can help us stop these attacks on transgender youth and end the gross misinformation about transgender people by advocating during this legislative session. Being a kid is hard enough. Lawmakers claim these bills are designed to protect vulnerable youth, but they do just the opposite. We don’t need politicians making it even harder for kids who are transgender, denying them best practice medical care and singling them out for increased bullying and harassment.

While this session may look different than others, there are still many ways you can participate and ensure that your voice is heard. Contacting legislators, virtually mobilizing the community, providing testimony (including written), and helping people call decision-makers at the legislature are all ways you can get involved. 

SIGN UP HERE

We’ll walk you through every step of the way. Together we can stop these bills in their tracks and create a Texas with full and lived equality for all of us. 

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As Elliot Page fights for trans people, Caitlyn Jenner whines that everyone likes him better

Not hard to understand why. Caitlyn needs to wake up and stop supporting our enemies.
From LGBTQ Nation: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/01/elliot-page-fights-trans-people-caitlyn-jenner-whines-everyone-likes-better/

Jenner supported Donald Trump and reaffirmed her opposition to marriage equality shortly after coming out as trans. And she wonders why Elliot Page is more popular with LGBTQ people?

By Alex Bollinger
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A mere month since Elliot Page announced that he’s transgender, he’s already helping to fight back against anti-transgender legislation in Montana.

Meanwhile, Caitlyn Jenner is wondering why people didn’t show her the same love they’re showing Page, even though she was one of Donald Trump’s most famous LGBTQ supporters in the 2016 elections.

The Olympic gold-medalist appeared on The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast yesterday, and host Michael Bosstick wanted to talk about “double standards” and brought up Page.

“I feel like when you transitioned,” Bosstick asked, “but I feel there’s a double standard where, like, you also got a lot of shit from a lot of people that are very supportive of other people in Hollywood who are transitioning but maybe if you don’t fit that agenda or that kind of typecast, if they’re not as forgiving with someone like yourself, and I wonder if you’ve ever thought about that double standard.”

“The trans community is probably more critical than the general public,” Jenner said, and Bosstick brought up Page.

Jenner said that transgender people are more critical of her “being white, I have a job, I’ve been successful, I have white privilege, celebrity privilege, I’ve had every privilege there is in the world. I agree with them, I do, I’ve worked hard my whole life.” None of these things distinguish her from Page.

“And for that, you can’t be a spokesperson for the community. You didn’t live in the gutter, and 25% of all prostitutes are trans women. ‘You didn’t go hooking for a living,’ and this and that, ‘So you don’t understand, you don’t understand,’” Jenner said, paraphrasing what she believes her critics have said.

She said that she thought she “could really make a difference and change the world. In a lot of ways, I did that by just being myself. But, I mean, I tried to do things politically, I was back in Washington D.C. all the time, to try to change things.”

She explained that she had a long dinner with major evangelical leaders in D.C. and that she’s “still friends with some of them. I did a lot of that.”

Continue reading at: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/01/elliot-page-fights-trans-people-caitlyn-jenner-whines-everyone-likes-better/

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Transgender athletes look hopefully to White House transition

From PBS: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/transgender-athletes-look-hopefully-to-white-house-transition

Nation
Jan 15, 2021

ransgender athletes are getting an ally in the White House next week as they seek to participate as their identified gender in high school and college sports — although state legislatures, Congress and the courts are all expected to have their say this year, too.

Attorneys on both sides say they expect President-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Education will switch sides in two key legal battles — one in Connecticut, the other in Idaho — that could go a long way in determining whether transgender athletes are treated by the sex on their birth certificates or by how they identify.

Debate is also expected in statehouses. Last year, bills to restrict transgender athletes’ participation to their gender assigned at birth were brought up in 17 states, although only one, Idaho’s, became law.

It may ultimately fall to Congress to clarify once and for all whether Title IX, the civil rights law that guarantees equal opportunities for women and girls in education, protects or bars the participation of transgender females in women’s sports, said Elizabeth Sharrow, an associate professor of public policy at the University of Massachusetts.

“I think if they do that, lawmakers at the state level can propose laws, but it doesn’t mean those proposals are going to be taken seriously in the legislative bodies they serve in or that if the state passes those laws anyway that they would necessarily be considered legitimate,” she said. “The courts will sort that out.”

During his campaign, Biden committed to restoring transgender students’ access to sports, bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity.

“States that like Idaho attempt to bar trans girls from girls sports, regardless of age of transition, medical intervention or anything else, with a new federal administration, will now be risking lawsuits by the federal government, Justice Department intervention and the loss of federal funding,” said Chase Strangio, the American Civil Liberties Union’s deputy director for transgender justice.

In Idaho, a law signed in March became the nation’s first to prohibit transgender students who identify as female from playing on female teams sponsored by public schools, colleges and universities. The law was supported by President Donald Trump’s administration but blocked from implementation by a federal judge while a legal challenge by ACLU proceeds.

Continue reading at: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/transgender-athletes-look-hopefully-to-white-house-transition

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States Are Gearing Up to Attack Trans Kids’ Rights in 2021

From Vice News: https://www.vice.com/en/article/g5b88y/states-are-gearing-up-to-attack-trans-kids-rights-in-2021

Legislation introduced in 13 states is mainly focused on cracking down on health care for trans children.

by Carter Sherman
January 13, 2021

It’s only the second week of 2021, and legislators across 13 states have already introduced 19 bills aimed at stripping away the rights of transgender people.

This onslaught suggests that the U.S. is on track to see a huge amount of anti-trans legislation, according to a tally by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) provided to VICE News. There were 52 bills that explicitly attacked trans rights in 2020, a record, the ACLU found.

The bills introduced so far in 2021, like those from 2020, are mainly focused on prohibiting health care for trans kids or keeping them from participating in sporting events that match their gender. Their texts are, at times, identical, suggesting that they could be based on model legislation provided to state legislators by a special interest group. This kind of “copy-and-paste” legislation occurs across the political spectrum but is a prominent tactic among conservative groups. 

“It’s certainly the most aggressive attack I’ve seen,” said Chase Strangio, deputy director for Trans Justice at the ACLU. “At a time when perhaps bill-drafting and government might be slowed down by the states due to practical constraints because of COVID, you have well-resourced anti-trans groups that are drafting these bills and shipping them out to states. And they’re moving incredibly quickly.”

Last year, states introduced dozens of bills that would have restricted trans people’s ability to change their IDs to match their gender, blocked trans kids from getting health care, or stopped them from participating in sports. But when coronavirus hit and the country ground to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic, just one state—Idaho—managed to pass anti-trans legislation.

This year, a bill in Kentucky and another in South Carolina would expand the ability of individual medical providers as well as corporations—including hospitals and insurance companies—to deny care to trans people based on their “religious, moral, ethical, or philosophical beliefs or principles.” 

Bills in Texas and New Hampshire want to define gender-affirming health care for trans kids as child abuse. A Montana bill, which was slated to be discussed in a legislative committee on Wednesday, would impose fines on health care providers of up to $50,000 for providing trans kids with medical or surgical gender-affirming health care. 

Continue reading at: https://www.vice.com/en/article/g5b88y/states-are-gearing-up-to-attack-trans-kids-rights-in-2021

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House Republican introduces anti-trans legislation that could lead to genital exams for school girls

From LGBTQ Nation: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/01/house-republican-introduces-anti-trans-legislation-lead-genital-exams-school-girls/

His federal bill to ban transgender girls from sports is a direct challenge to Joe Biden’s pro-LGBTQ policies.

By Alex Bollinger
Friday, January 22, 2021

A Congressional Republican has introduced a federal bill that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in school sports.

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) introduced H.R. 426 yesterday, which would threaten federal funds to state and local athletics organizations if they allow “a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls.”

The bill does not describe exactly how schools should determine what someone’s sex assigned at birth is, just vaguely stating that “sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”

In a press release, Steube touted support from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a Christian organization run by men that has already attacked President Joe Biden for supporting “further expansions of abortion and contraception.”

Steube said in the release that the point of the bill is to help cisgender women participate in women’s sports.

The bill – which is unlikely to come up for a vote in the Democratic House – would be a direct challenge to the Biden administration’s position that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is already illegal under federal law and that transgender people have the same rights to participate in sports like anyone else.

In a sweeping executive order signed on Wednesday, Biden expanded protections for LGBTQ people and specifically cited discrimination against transgender people in schools.

“Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports,” Biden’s executive order said.

Continue reading at: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/01/house-republican-introduces-anti-trans-legislation-lead-genital-exams-school-girls/

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Montana Republican targets transgender youth with 2 new bills

From NBC News: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/montana-republican-targets-transgender-youth-2-new-bills-n1254461

State Rep. John Fuller, the bills’ sponsor, called gender-affirming care for transgender youth “barbaric.”

By Dan Avery
Jan. 15, 2021

A Republican lawmaker in Montana has introduced a pair of bills targeting transgender youth.

House Bill 112, authored by state Rep. John Fuller, requires athletic teams at all public educational institutions — from elementary schools to colleges — to be designated based on “biological sex.” The measure, also known as the Save Women’s Sports Act, would prohibit transgender students from joining teams that match their gender identity, no matter how long ago they transitioned.

“Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex,” it reads in part.

Fuller told Montana Public Radio that, as a former women’s soccer coach, he believes allowing transgender girls to play on women’s teams is unfair. His bill would allow students to sue if they feel they’ve been deprived or harmed in some way by a trans athlete participating in school sports.

“I want to protect and defend women’s sports,” he told the Helena Independent Record. “I believe this continued practice of allowing males to compete as females … is egregious and wrong.”

Another bill, also penned by Fuller, would bar health care professionals from providing transgender minors certain transition-related care.

Under House Bill 113, also known as An Act Providing for Youth Health Protection, physicians and other medical professionals are prohibited from treating gender dysphoria in minors by prescribing, providing or administering puberty-suppressing drugs or cross-sex hormones (including estrogen and testosterone); performing gender-reassignment surgery; or removing “any otherwise healthy or nondiseased body part or tissue.” Penalties for providers who violate the law would include fines of up to $50,000.

Continue reading at: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/montana-republican-targets-transgender-youth-2-new-bills-n1254461

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In ‘nasty parting shot,’ HHS finalizes rule axing LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections

From NBC.com: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/nasty-parting-shot-hhs-finalizes-rule-axing-lgbtq-nondiscrimination-protections-n1253959

Under the new Health Department rule, taxpayer-funded adoption agencies can refuse to acknowledge same-sex marriages and turn away qualified LGBTQ parents.

By Dan Avery
Jan. 12, 2021

With little more than a week left to the Trump administration, the Department of Health and Human Services has finalized a rule permitting social-service providers that receive government funds to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Critics claim the new guidance could have wide-ranging implications for agencies that address adoption and foster-parenting, as well as homelessness, HIV prevention, elder care and other public services.

“Even as Trump administration officials abandon ship, HHS has announced yet another dangerous rule that invites discrimination against the very people federal grant programs are meant to help,” Sasha Buchert, senior attorney for the LGBTQ civil rights group Lambda Legal, said.

According to the 77-page release, published Tuesday in the Federal Register, Obama-era requirements that agencies refrain from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity and recognize same-sex marriages as legally valid violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“Given the careful balancing of rights, obligations, and goals in the public-private partnerships in federal grant programs, the Department believes it appropriate to impose only those nondiscrimination requirements required by the Constitution and federal statutes,” the rule states.

Slated to take effect on Feb. 11, the rule change is targeted at child welfare organizations, according to Julie Kruse, director of federal policy for LGBTQ advocacy group Family Equality. Whether private adoption agencies receiving taxpayer money can deny services to same-sex potential parents is at the heart of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, now before the Supreme Court.

Kruse said both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have made allowing discrimination in adoption and foster care a priority over the last four years.

At the National Prayer Breakfast in February 2019, Trump bemoaned that St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Michigan was facing legal action “for living by the values of its Catholic faith” and turning away same-sex prospective parents. The president vowed that his administration was “working to ensure that faith-based adoption agencies are able to help vulnerable children find their forever families, while following their deeply held beliefs.

(For what it is worth: I left the Catholic church over 55 years ago because of its bigotry.)

Continue reading at: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/nasty-parting-shot-hhs-finalizes-rule-axing-lgbtq-nondiscrimination-protections-n1253959

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Songs from the Civil Rights Movement

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