Showing posts with label Transphobia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transphobia. Show all posts

December 22, 2016

NC Failed on Repealing Bathroom Bill

A deal to repeal North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill,” which limited LGBT access to facilities, fell apart late Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature clashed over the measure’s provisions.

Legislators then adjourned a special session called to consider the issue, leaving the law still in place.

A repeal measure put forward by state Senate Republicans Wednesday would have included a six-month moratorium on any local government that wants to “enact or amend an ordinance regulating employment practices or regulating public accommodations or access to restrooms, showers or changing facilities.”

Democrats argued the measure was only a partial repeal, because the moratorium could be renewed repeatedly, essentially making it impossible for cities to pass nondiscrimination laws.

“This wasn’t the deal,’’ Democratic state Senator Jeff Jackson said.

What is HB2?

In March, the Republican-controlled state legislature passed the law, commonly referred to as the bathroom bill. A wide-ranging bill, it’s most known for banning individuals from using public bathrooms, such as in schools or government buildings, that do not correspond with their biological sex, as dictated by their birth certificates.

It also bars cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances to protect gay and transgender people.

The state pushed through HB2 after the city of Charlotte passed a nondiscrimination ordinance in February that allowed transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.

North Carolina’s Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper said on Monday that lawmakers were to meet in a special legislative session to repeal the controversial measure that triggered a social and economic backlash against the southern U.S. state, costing it millions of dollars in tourism, sports and entertainment revenue.

“Full repeal will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state,” Cooper said.

Citing the right to privacy, outgoing North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has staunchly defended the law, which largely impacts transgender people.

Backlash and lawsuits

However, HB2 has been blasted by gay rights groups. The backlash against the law resulted in job losses and sporting event cancellations for the state.

The bathroom measure led to lawsuits against the state, including in May by the Obama administration, which sued the state, saying the law breaks federal anti-discrimination laws.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the law is “state-sponsored discrimination” that reminds her of a time when blacks were barred from public facilities and states could dictate who was allowed to marry.

The gay advocacy groups Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina said in a statement, “It’s time for state lawmakers to repeal HB2 and begin repairing the harm this bill has done to people and the damage it has done to North Carolina’s reputation and economy.”

May 5, 2016

Justice Dept. to Weigh in N.Carolina Bathroom bill

Image result for bathroom whites only

 “The More things change the more they stay the same”


The U.S. Department of Justice is joining Bruce Springsteen, Paypal, and the NBA in weighing in against North Carolina’s HB2, the controversial law that—among other conditions—mandates that transgender people use the bathroom conforming to the gender on their birth certificate, rather than the one which they associate, in state buildings, and bars cities from enacting ordinances to require transgender-bathroom accommodation.

In a letter to Governor Pat McCrory on Wednesday, the Justice Department said that HB2 violates Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act. In the letter, first reported by The Charlotte Observer, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta notes that Title VII of the law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender, and that courts have interpreted that to include gender identity of transgender people. The letter (via WRAL) states:

H.B. 2 … is facially discriminatory against transgender employees on the basis of sex because it treats transgender employees, whose gender identity does not match their “biological sex,” as defined by H.B. 2, differently from similarly situated non-transgender employees …

H.B. 2 places similar restrictions on access to restrooms and changing facilities for all public agencies in North Carolina. By requiring compliance with H.B. 2, you and the State are therefore resisting the full enjoyment of Title VII rights and discriminating against transgender employees of public agencies by requiring those public agencies to comply with H.B. 2.
The department demands that McCrory respond by close of business on May 9 that he will remedy the violations, “including by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement H.B. 2.”
The Atlantic

June 4, 2015

TD Bank Locking Out Trans Customers in Toronto


A TD Bank Group employee shut out a Toronto trans woman from her bank accounts and credit card because he didn’t like the sound of her voice on the phone, the woman alleges.
“I got locked out of all my accounts because . . . my voice wasn’t completely perfect,” says Emily-Rose Kinsley, a self-employed business owner. “He was calling me ‘ma’am’ but then switched to ‘sir,’” she says. “[He] refused access [to my records] and then called me a man because of my voice and said that I was being locked out . . . [he] didn’t even ask me my security questions,” she claims.
Kinsley says TD’s customer service representatives refused to listen to her when she called back and appeared to have no awareness of trans issues. “I even told them I was transsexual, and they just hung up,” she explains. “I was shocked; it made me cry.”
Without access to her money, Kinsley was at a loss. “I couldn’t eat or smoke or anything for two days.” She says she used to trust TD with her money “but not anymore.”
“They made me cry; they made me scared to be me. They told me I was a guy. I can’t trust anyone who would treat me with such disrespect.”
Many trans women, depending on what age they transitioned, have already experienced the testosterone-based puberty typically associated with boys growing into men. Whereas trans men (who were designated female at birth) can gain a deepened voice from testosterone treatments, estrogen cannot reverse or “heighten” a voice for trans women if it’s already become deep (facial hair works by similar rules).
Although there are throat and larynx surgeries designed to alter the voices of trans women to make them sound more conventionally feminine, these surgeries are risky, they leave visible scars and they don’t guarantee good results. Also, like all surgical treatments related to gender identity, they are difficult to access and can be prohibitively expensive.
Some trans women can adjust their natural speaking voices on their own, through practice or by guided speech therapy, but not all trans women are able to — or even want to.
“Why should I have to be in a constant state of panic over how my voice sounds?” complains trans activist Christine Newman, who describes her voice as “low and throaty, like Lauren Bacall, naturally.” She says the need to “pass constantly,” for transgender people to fit into an expected set of standards based on how cisgender people look and sound, is unfair.
“It’s one more expectation put upon trans people [to be just like cis people] instead of just being able to be yourself,” she says.
Eventually, Kinsley regained access to her money. “It took me five attempts, and five hangups, to get any help,” she explains. She says someone from TD told her that they have annotated her computer file in a way that “outs” her without her consent: “All my accounts now say I’m a deep-voiced transsexual,” she reports. “That is not okay.”
Newman agrees. “I personally find it disturbing that you are forced to be outed as trans just so some call-centre rep doesn’t lock out all your banking because you don’t sound like your proper gender.”
Kinsley is not the only transgender customer who has had problems with TD. Sam (who asked that Xtrause only her first name) reports an almost identical experience. “I had forgotten my PIN number and been locked out of my bank account. So I called [TD customer service]. They asked me security questions, which I knew the answers to.” Despite passing the standard security test, Sam says she was still refused phone service.
“They said I had to go in to the bank,” she says. Unlike Kinsley, Sam had a backup account at a different bank, so she had other options. When she did visit her branch, she says, she was told “there was a note on my account saying a guy called in pretending to be (me), and we locked the account.” Sam also reports that her bank manager insisted on adding a notation to the file, saying she is a transgender woman.
“TD is a proud supporter of the LGBT community,” says Ron Puccini, senior manager of diversity at TD. TD Canada Trust is a major annual sponsor of Pride Toronto, including 2014’s WorldPride, and routinely runs pro-gay and -lesbian banking advertisements during the Pride season.
Despite the experiences reported by both Kinsley and Sam, Puccini says that “we do not practise putting personal information on customer profiles that ‘outs’ them.” However, he does not deny that TD judges callers on the quality of their voices: “In order to prevent fraud against our customers, TD uses a variety of best practices, including voice authentication.”
In 2011, a gay man in Vancouver told Xtra that he was denied access to his account after a call centre representative mistook his voice for a woman’s.
At that time, TD spokesperson Suzanna Cohen apologized for the “bad service.”
“We don’t want this type of situation to happen. People shouldn’t have to call and experience this type of frustration and bad service,” she said.
For TD, raising a red flag against uncommonly pitched voices is an effective way of protecting accounts, but Puccini acknowledges that TD doesn’t have a concrete solution for its trans customers.
“We are aware of the recent concerns, and we take them seriously. We also recognize that we don’t get it right every time,” he says. “We are continuously looking at ways to improve our customer service, and this includes looking at ways to improve the customer experience for customers in the transgender community.”
MP Randall Garrison, who is the federal NDP critic on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual issues, says that stories like these point to the need for increased protection for transgender people in Canada.
“Banks are regulated federally,” Garrison says. He introduced bill C-279 in 2012, to add gender identity to the Human Rights Act, which would solidify the government’s position against anti-transgender discrimination. That bill hasn’t passed yet, but even without it, Garrison says these women might have a case. “They could [make a complaint against TD] to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and a decision would be made,” he explains. “But it would certainly be easier to find resolution after 279 passes.”

October 28, 2013

Jelly Bean Does Not Like "Trans” Donated to Stop Help Effort

Herman Rowland Sr., Chair of the Jelly Belly Candy Company, is a major contributor to the Privacy for All Students initiative campaign led by Prop. 8 strategist Frank Schubert, political director for the National Organization for Marriage. Just as he did with Prop. 8, Schubert is using misrepresentations and scare tactics to collect signatures to qualify an initiative on the 2014 ballot that would repeal the historic “School Success and Opportunity Act, ” AB 1266, authored by out Assemblymember Tom Ammiano. The transgender student law goes into effect on Jan. 1, unless the measure qualifies, which would put the law on hold.
Schubert, initiative sponsor Capitol Resource Institute and the Pacific Justice Institute have blatantly and shamelessly sexualized AB 1266. “Yesterday afternoon I spoke with a father who wants to help,” Schubert wrote in a fundraising email. “His daughter just started kindergarten at a K-8 public school. He reminded me that an 8th grader looks pretty big to a little kindergartner. The last thing she needs is to be confronted in the bathroom by an 8th grade male who claims a ‘gender identity’ with the female sex.”
                                                                                                          (by Karen Ocamb  Posted at Frontiers
 But Schubert’s fearful image of a hormonal 8th grade boy pretending to be a girl distorts the truth—trans kids fear the bathroom, fear being exposed, fear being bullied and beaten up by people who share Schubert’s point of view. In truth, trans girls are more like 12-year-old Jazz, who wanted to play on the girls’ soccer team at school, and 6-year-old Coy Mathis, whose family fought back after her school said she was not allowed to use the girls’ bathroom. For their courage, the two trans girls were honored at GLAAD’s 24th Media Awards in New York City last March.
Nonetheless, Schubert, CRI and PJI continue to use ugly misrepresentations for their Machiavellian political purposes, no matter who they hurt or how precisely, widely and firmly their claims have been debunked. For instance, PJI warned about school districts that promote LGBT History Month with icons who “will alarm many.” People such as “California transgender Gwen Araujo. Living as a woman, he was killed in 2002 after tricking several men at a party into having sexual relations with him,” reported conservative One News Now.
The coalition is also warning “what the future holds if the law is not overturned by referendum,” citing in their fundraising email a discredited story about a trans student at Florence High School in Colorado Springs, Colo., who PJI claimed had harassed other girls. PJI also claimed that the girls were “warned” by the school “that if they continued to speak out against the boy's presence in their restrooms, they could face punishment including being removed from the school’s athletic teams or even charged with hate crimes.  [PJI] also claims the girls were told that if they didn’t like sharing a bathroom with the boy, they could simply refrain from using those facilities at all.”
“This is exactly the kind of horror story we have been warning would accompany the push for radical transgender rights in schools, and it is the type of situation that LGBT activists have been insisting would not happen,” PJI attorney Matthew McReynolds said in a statement, reported by LifeSite News.
But school superintendent Rhonda Vendetti told Transadvocate blogger Cristan Williams that “[t]his is one parent basically bringing their viewpoint about this situation to the media because they weren’t getting the responses that they hoped they would get from the district, from parents of students at the high school or from the board and myself.”
Meanwhile, PJI has turned the life of that trans student, whom Transadvocate identified only as Jane Doe, into a living hell. “I know my daughter,” Doe's mother told The Advocate. “She’s a shy and timid person. It was upsetting. As a matter of fact, before we moved to this town, she was afraid that she would be bullied at school. She had a fear that if she went to this new school, something would happen and she wouldn’t be safe.”
The Advocate pointed out that “[a]fter the truth came to light that no ‘harassment’ occurred and the report was from a lone parent who feared this kind of ‘harassment’ might take place, the anti-gay PJI clarified its complaint by alleging that the mere presence of a transgender girl in the girl's bathroom constituted harassment against the cisgender students.”
But Schubert does care who’s hurt. “Our challenge is to get on the ballot,” Schubert told the Los Angeles Times’ George Skelton. “If we do, I don't think we'll have a great deal of difficulty winning the campaign. Most people I talk to can't believe they [Gov. Brown, the California Legislature, Democrats] did this. What were they thinking? To say that we need to open up our school showers and bathrooms just doesn't make sense.”
But Wendy Hill, an Assembly staffer who helped pass AB 1266, told Skelton “the common fear” about open showers is outdated—water, towels, janitorial services cost too much. “[A]nd most important,” said Hill, “they don't want to be responsible for watching all the naked minors,” which could lead to accusations of teacher molestation. “In some schools that still have showers, they're single-stalled, with curtains.”
“They have bathrooms and changing areas,” Schubert countered. “Kids are going to be exposed.”
“[T]he very last thing” transgender children want to expose is their genitalia, Hill told Skelton. “It gives them away. They're not old enough to have had transgender surgery.” Indeed, while school districts in L.A. and San Francisco have long had trans policies similar to AB 1266 without incident, in schools that don’t, “some transgender students just don't go to the bathroom. They hold it all day long. There are higher incidences of urinary tract infections. They don't eat breakfast—the most important meal of the day—or even drink water in order to avoid going to the bathroom. Dehydrated, hungry kids aren't learning as well. They cut school and even leave school.”
‘So what?’ Schubert suggests. “[L]et’s not act as if gender identity is some innate, inborn characteristic of humanity, because it’s not,” he told The Daily Beast. “It’s a political creation designed to advance an agenda.”
Sara Train, head of Project SPIN (Suicide Prevention Intervention Now) at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, works very closely with the Los Angeles Unified School District and disagrees. “Most students don't know that one of their classmates is transgender. When students are allowed to use the facilities that they identify with, other students get it,” she told Frontiers. “By contrast, forcing students to use facilities that don't correspond with their gender identity is uncomfortable for all.” 
The Center, Equality California, the Transgender Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights are closely monitoring the situation and asking people to decline to sign Schubert’s petitions.
“We have no evidence to suggest they were able to achieve 500,000 signatures,” as Schubert claimed in his interview with the L.A. Times, Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, told Frontiers. “Regardless, we are confident that fair-minded Californians will prevail. I know this issue might be new to some folks, even in the LGB community, so let’s be clear: transgender boys are boys and transgender girls are girls, and all students should be supported and able to attend school as their authentic selves. Every student should have a fair chance at success, that’s what this law is all about.”
But Schubert’s ties with NOM and with anti-LGBT Catholics have certainly helped raise money. In 2010, Jelly Belly disavowed any anti-gay attitudes when the sad NOM-backed Latino tour bus (tracked by the Courage Campaign) tried to pay a visit. “Jelly Belly does not allow any group to promote their special interests, pass out flyers or approach our visitors for their own interests at our public tours,” Jelly Belly Consumer Affairs Manager Kit McCoy said.
Apparently the chair of the Jelly Belly Candy Company makes exceptions. According to the New York Times, Herman G. Rowland Sr. hosted a Jelly Belly rally for Rick Santorum in March 2012. The Times reported that Rowland Sr. calls himself “an ultra-conservative” who contributed to Santorum, Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.
But Rowland’s $5,000 contribution is dwarfed by those of Sean Fieler, managing member of New York-based Equinox Partners and the Kuroto Fund. He’s another conservative Catholic according to a bio on the Catholic Finance Association website. In a New York Times story about former anti-gay marriage proponent David Blankenhorn, whose Institute for American Values Sean Fieler once financially supported, the hedge fund manager’s average annual donation “ranged from $200,000 to $250,000.” According to the California Secretary of State website, so far Fieler has contributed $150,000.
The money-pitch is stepping up. On Oct. 23, Privacy for All Students sent out a somewhat confusing email, saying the organization doesn’t know how many signatures it has gathered so far but “we know exactly how many signatures the paid gatherers have collected. ... We have donor commitments for $50,000 but a need to match it with another $50,000 to complete the target number of paid signatures collected.”
The next day, on Oct. 24, NOM asked for “an immediate donation” to NOM California to help the coalition effort. “Because nakedness trumps sincerity. I do not want a naked boy in front of a young girl in the shower or bathroom even if he sincerely identifies as a girl,” NOM President Brian Brown wrote.
To qualify the Referendum to Overturn Non-Discrimination Requirements for School Programs and Activities, Schubert and Privacy for All Students must submit 504,760 valid signatures to the counties by Nov. 8 and to the state by Nov. 10.

by Karen Ocamb  
Posted at Frontiers

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