Sometimes you get what you need, sometimes you lose what you deserve to lose – eh, North Carolina?


Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports

The NBA has decided to hold the 2017 All-Star Game in New Orleans after taking the midseason event out of North Carolina because of a state law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

New Orleans, announced Friday as the new location of the game, replaces Charlotte, which was set to host the game until the NBA decided last month to move it elsewhere.

Unlike several other Southern states, Louisiana has not been swept up in legislative efforts to pass laws similar to that in North Carolina — a fact Gov. John Bel Edwards has touted while lobbying the NBA to bring its All-Star weekend to New Orleans.

“We embrace our rich cultural heritage and see our diversity as a virtue,” Edwards wrote in a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in late July. “Should the NBA choose to bring the All-Star Game back to New Orleans in 2017, it will strongly reaffirm its commitment to communities that value fairness and inclusion.”

The NBA’s decision — and the economic boost it will bring — provides a timely dose of good news following disastrous flooding across large swaths of southeast Louisiana that has killed at least 13 people and damaged an estimated 40,000 homes…

This marks the third time New Orleans, which became an NBA city for the second time in 2002, has been selected to host the league’s All-Star Game.

A number of entertainment acts, including a Bruce Springsteen concert, have canceled North Carolina events because of its so-called HB2 law…

The Human Rights Campaign, a national civil rights group working on behalf of lesbian, gay and transgender people, applauded the NBA’s decision to choose New Orleans.

The boycott is an old and honorable political act. The opportunity to stick it to a state controlled by voters who elect and re-elect bigots – and take away $100 million in revenue that would have landed in the North Carolina business community – is enough to make an cynical old Leftie like me smile for days.

That the process ends up benefitting the people of a state traumatized by natural disaster – and expands upon services rendered to needy folks by the kindness and social understanding of NBA athletes – is a special bonus.

Girl Scouts turn down $100K from gender bigot

Last May the Girl Scouts took a historic stance for inclusivity and made their long-term policy on accepting transgender girls into their troops official, much to the chagrin of bigots everywhere. Unfortunately, some of those bigots have bank. Fortunately, there are good people in the world too.

An unnamed $100,000 donor sent the Queen Anne offices of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington a note last May asking the chapter to “guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls. If you can’t, please return the money.”

Council CEO Megan Ferland returned the donation, which would have sent 500 girls to camp and helped the troop meet nearly a quarter of their annual fundraising goal, with a note saying “Girl Scouts is for every girl. And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to.”

An Indiegogo has now been set up to help raise back the funds returned to the donor.

SeattleMet reports that the Gender Justice League, an organization designed to support Seattle’s transgender community, has offered to help promote the Indiegogo campaign.

$172,690 has so far been donated to the Indiegogo campaign in a single day. The campaign’s stretch goals will go towards helping the estimated 2,000-plus girls who will require financial assistance to participate in Girl Scouts over the next year.

Bravo! An example of real heart, principled courage, rewarding an old organization with the good sense to change with the times – in a progressive direction.

Transgender woman’s right to marriage recognized in Hong Kong

A transgender woman in Hong Kong has won a groundbreaking court appeal allowing her to marry her boyfriend and forcing the government to rewrite the city’s marriage laws.

The woman in her 30s, known in the Court of Final Appeal as “W” under anonymity rules, successfully overturned earlier verdicts that said marriage is only allowed between couples who were of the opposite sex at birth.

W, who underwent sex realignment surgery more than five years ago, argued that her post-operative gender was recognised by the law and that previous rulings were a violation of her constitutional rights…

She also said that her reassignment surgery had been government-subsidised…

“It is contrary to principle to focus merely on biological features fixed at the time of birth,” the court said in a written judgement by the panel of five judges.

It added that existing laws “impair the very essence of W’s right to marry“.

One more place in the world we might send some of our out-of-date politicians to learn something of changing civil rights.

There is more than a simple wry note to be taken that some jurisdictions that our nation depicts as backwards and lacking all-American freedoms are changing faster than we are.

Welcome to 19th Century Oklahoma – judge denies name change because God decided DNA


No one told me we changed the American f;ag

An Oklahoma County judge is refusing to let men planning sex-change operations switch to feminine names.

District Judge Bill Graves has denied name changes in two such cases so far — last year and again in August. The judge ruled both times the requests were made for a fraudulent purpose.

“I wanted to give up and just die,” said James Dean Ingram, who asked to legally be known as Angela Renee Ingram but was turned down Aug. 30.

“It’s so important because it’s who I am. I can’t be who I am with a male name,” Ingram said.

The judge’s order in the first case is on appeal.

His position also has generated criticism of him at the courthouse.

Five other Oklahoma County judges who handle name change requests told The Oklahoman they routinely grant them in transgender cases…

…Graves wrote…“To grant a name change in this case would be to assist that which is fraudulent…It is notable that Genesis 1:27-28 states: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth …’ The DNA code shows God meant for them to stay male and female…”

The judge in his 2011 order gave three specific reasons against allowing name changes in transgender cases.

He wrote it could result in someone unwittingly marrying a person “who appeared to be of the opposite sex but was actually of the same sex.”

He wrote it also could hinder crime investigations — causing police officers searching for a male based on DNA evidence to ignore a potential suspect the officers believed was female.

He wrote it also could let someone circumvent the state’s prohibitions against same-sex marriage.

The man is an ignoranus. The average college graduate – at least from schools free of administration by fools like this one – has sufficient book-learning to comprehend the importance of gender identification.

I hope I haven’t offended the half-dozen educated, sensible human beings who prefer for whatever reason to continue to subject themselves to the vagaries of Christian Sharia by continuing to live in Oklahoma.

I doubt if even the bass-fishing is worth it.

Transgender civil servant wins her workplace discrimination claim

Transgender groups are applauding a court ruling in favor of a Georgia woman who sued after claiming she was fired from her state position because of a sex change.

A federal appeals court in Atlanta concluded transgender workers are protected under the Constitution. Vandiver Elizabeth Glenn was a legislative editor in the Georgia General Assembly

“The question here is whether discriminating against someone on the basis of his or her gender non-conformity constitutes sex-based discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause,” said the three-judge panel. “We hold that it does…”

The decision is so bloody simple you have to wonder what sort of bigot is asking the question?

Glenn — who was once known as Glenn Morrision — alleged she was told she was let go because her 2005 decision to transition from male to female would be viewed as “immoral” by state lawmakers.

Her boss also objected to Glenn showing up at an office Halloween party dressed as a woman, and asked Glenn to leave.

…The judge, when ruling for Glenn, had said she could return to work, but delayed that until the appeals court ruled. Monday’s decision means she could be back on the job within days.

State attorneys had argued no discrimination laws were broken since protections extended to certain classes of individuals did not include transgender employees. The appeals panel said the reasons cited by the state in its defense were not acceptable.

“An individual cannot be punished because of his or her perceived gender non-conformity,” said the ruling. “Because these protections are afforded to everyone, they cannot be denied to a transgender individual.”

I’m confounded by the lengths politicians will go to construct rationales, excuses, lies to support whatever bigotry advances their cause. It’s popular nowadays for reactionaries to accuse insurgent politics of being the product of some devilish “agenda” – most especially when the question is simply one of civil rights, civil liberties within the definitions afforded by our constitution.

They can’t even stop lying while trying to define their hypocrisy.

Thailand’s election officials confused by ladyboy ID photos

Thailand’s community of “ladyboys” have complained…they were being marginalized in next week’s general election because their ID card pictures were too confusing for polling officials.

It is the latest in a series of gripes among members of the Trans-Female Association of Thailand which groups transgenders and transsexuals known collectively as “katoeys” or “ladyboys.”

“We have a big problem when we use our identity cards in banks, schools, hospitals and now when we vote,” said Yollada Suanyoc, president of the 2,500-strong organization.

The picture may show a woman but it says ‘mister’ on the card. Or the picture may show a teenage boy and the person now looks like a woman.”

Everyone in Thailand has to carry a national ID card with them at all times from the age of 15. It is renewed every seven years.

Transgenders and transsexuals are accepted in Thailand more readily than in most other countries, with one new airline hiring only ladyboys as cabin crew. They are especially common in cosmetics shops and health stores and in bars in some of Bangkok’s racier entertainment districts.

“The government says if they change our title and sex, it’s going to make society confused,” she said. “The government worries that they won’t know about our past.”

As usual, it’s the stodgy bureaucrats in government who are confused at best, as likely to be stuck in the treacle of their own ignorance and misunderstanding.

Transgender worker files discrimination suit over firing

A transgender employee hired to oversee urine tests administered to men has filed a discrimination lawsuit against a Camden drug treatment center that fired him after it confronted him about his gender last summer…

When his employer asked about his gender after he began work, El’Jai Devoureau responded, “I am a man, and I can do the job. They said, ‘You’re fired.'”

According to the lawsuit, Devoureau, of Gloucester County, was hired in June to observe men depositing urine in cups for drug analysis. The supervision is to assure that the sample is fresh and not from a different person. The employer may require male workers for such a job, Michael Silverman of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund said.

In documents filed in January, after Devoureau filed a discrimination complaint with the state, the treatment center stated that it fired Devoureau because he was not a biological male. But it disputed that the termination was discriminatory…

After Devoureau began work, according to the lawsuit, an acquaintance recognized him and passed along to supervisors that Devoureau was physically female at birth and was transgender.

A day later, the lawsuit alleges, Devoureau was confronted by the program’s director, identified as Van Macaluso. She allegedly told Devoureau that he was fired because she had been told “he was not a man, that he did not have the parts of a man, and that the job called for a biological male,” according to legal documents…

New Jersey is a national leader in transgender equality, and New Jersey is a worldwide model in protecting transgender people from discrimination,” Steven Goldstein, chairman of the civil rights organization Garden State Equality, said Monday.

“We’ve never seen or heard of such a brazen disregard for the law,” he said.”

New Jersey law recognizes Mr. Devoureau as male – hence his driver’s license. The U.S. government recognizes Mr. Devoureau as male – his Social Security account identifies him as such. Following the guidelines from New Jersey, Georgia changed his birth certificate to read “male”. As far as employment law in the United States is concerned – Mr. Devoureau is a man.

All other discussion pivots on whether a court of law should allow an employer to discriminate on the basis of their subjective viewpoint – not the law. I would hope the law prevails.

Hate crime conviction for transgender murder is a first


Angie Zapata

A Colorado man was convicted of first-degree murder and a bias-motivated crime and sentenced to life in prison for killing a transgender teen he met on an online social networking site.

It was the first time in the nation that a state hate crime statute resulted in a conviction in a transgender person’s murder.

Seated in the front row of the courtroom, the family of Angie Zapata broke out in tears as the verdicts against Allen Andrade were read Wednesday.

The jury deliberated for just under two hours before returning the verdict shortly after 3 p.m.

“I lost somebody so precious,” said Maria Zapata, the victim’s mother. She glanced at Andrade and continued: “The only thing he can’t take away is the love and the memories that I have of my baby. My beautiful, beautiful baby.”

Andrade spoke just one word. “No,” he said when asked if he wished to address the court.

Judge Marcelo Kopcow then imposed the mandatory sentence for the first-degree murder conviction — life in prison without parole.

So much fear and trembling over sex. How much of any society’s culture is generated by ignorance, fear rooted in hatred of the unknown and different? Bloody Dark Ages of the mind.

Cripes – just leave people alone if you can’t deal with them.

Transgender “man” reportedly gives birth

Thomas Beatie, who was born a woman but after surgery and hormone treatment lives as a man, has given birth to a girl at an Oregon hospital.

Beatie, 34, who kept female reproductive organs after initiating a transgender transformation and legally changing his name from Tracy Lagondino in his 20s, confirmed the birth to the magazine.

The baby, conceived through artificial insemination using donor sperm and Beatie’s own eggs, was born on June 29, and Beatie and the baby are “healthy and doing well,” People reported.

He told the magazine that contrary to published reports, the baby was not delivered by Caesarean section, but no other details about the birth were given.

Phew!

Congratulations, of course.