Showing posts with label Transgender Rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transgender Rights. Show all posts

January 22, 2019

Supreme Court Brings-back The Trump Ban on Transgender Soldiers




       







 The Supreme Court on Tuesday revived the Trump administration’s policy of barring most transgender people from serving in the military. In a brief, unsigned order, the justices temporarily stayed trial court decisions blocking the policy while litigation in the lower courts moves forward.

The vote was 5 to 4. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan dissented.

The policy announced on Twitter by President Trump and refined by the defense secretary at the time, Jim Mattis, generally prohibits people from identifying with a gender different from their biological sex from military service. It makes exceptions for several hundred transgender people already serving openly and for those willing to serve “in their biological sex.”

Challenges to the policy have had mixed success in the lower courts. Trial judges around the nation issued injunctions blocking it, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, is expected to rule soon on whether to affirm one of them. 

On Jan. 4, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated a third injunction, that one issued by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a federal trial judge in Washington. The appeals court said its ruling was “not a final determination on the merits.” But it handed the administration at least a provisional victory.

The Supreme Court granted stays of two other injunctions, issued by Federal District Court judges in California and Washington State, both in the Ninth Circuit.

Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco, representing the administration, had argued that the stays were needed to address a troubling phenomenon.

“It is with great reluctance that we seek such emergency relief in this court,” Mr. Francisco wrote. “Unfortunately, this case is part of a growing trend in which federal district courts, at the behest of particular plaintiffs, have issued nationwide injunctions, typically on a preliminary basis, against major policy initiatives.”

“Such injunctions previously were rare, but in recent years they have become routine,” he wrote. “In less than two years, federal courts have issued 25 of them, blocking a wide range of significant policies involving national security, national defense, immigration, and domestic issues.”
The administration had also asked the justices to immediately hear appeals, an unusual request when an appeals court has not yet ruled. The court turned down those requests.

The Supreme Court’s rules say it will review a federal trial court’s ruling before an appeals court has spoken: “only upon a showing that the case is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in this court.”

In a separate brief, Mr. Francisco wrote, “This case satisfies that standard.”

“It involves,” he wrote, “an issue of imperative public importance: the authority of the U.S. military to determine who may serve in the nation’s armed forces.”

He told the justices that prompt action was required to ensure that the Supreme Court could rule before its term ends in June. The alternative, he said, was to defer Supreme Court arguments in the matter to the term that starts in October, with a decision probably not coming until 2020.

But lawyers for current and prospective members of the military challenging the policy said there was no need to upend the status quo while the case proceeded.

“Transgender people have been serving openly in all branches of the United States military since June 2016, including on active duty in combat zones,” their brief said. “Transgender individuals have been permitted to enlist in the military since January 2018.”

“The government has presented no evidence that their doing so harms military readiness, effectiveness or lethality,” the brief said.

The hundreds of people grandfathered in under the new policy, the brief added, “cannot be squared with the government’s claims of urgency to eliminate all other transgender personnel.”

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October 23, 2018

Outcry Over Trump's Plans to Civilly Erased Transgenders #WeWontBeErased


 There has been an outpouring of anger in the US from politicians, celebrities and human rights groups over a report alleging the US policy on gender recognition could be changed.
Protesters in New York. One holds a sign saying 'The future isn't binary'
 Demonstrators in New York protested against the report on Sunday evening
The change would rescind previous policy which eased trans recognition.
Instead, it would define gender solely on the genitalia people are born with.
The administration of former President Barack Obama adopted a definition of gender in federal policy which made it easier to allow individual choice and self-determination.
The Trump administration has previously tried to roll back transgender recognition in areas such as the military and in schools - but it has not commented on the latest report. 
Activists fear the changes allegedly being proposed could in effect "define out of existence" Americans who currently identify as transgender - a community who are said to number at least 1.4 million people.
Transgender and gender non-confirming people have been sharing their personal stories and response to the report using the hashtag #WeWontBeErased.

What do media reports say?

The news report published by the New York Times on Sunday said a memo the newspaper had seen from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed establishing a legal and fixed definition of sex under Title IX - a federal civil rights law that outlaws gender discrimination.
Two protesters hold up a flag for Transgender and Gender Non-comforming peopleImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionProtesters in Washington State Park hold up a flag for the transgender and gender non-conforming community
The report alleges that the department argues the current lack of clarity allowed civil rights protections to be wrongfully extended to some individuals during the Obama administration.
The proposed change would instead mean people's sex would be legally fixed as either male or female by their genitalia. 
"Sex means a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth," the department proposed in the memo, according to the Times.
"The sex listed on a person's birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person's sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence," the memo allegedly says.
The Wall Street Journal has also reported on the issue - saying HHS officials hope to release a rule change, but says internal disputes mean it is not clear how extensive it will be.
No-one from the Trump administration has so far commented on the reports.

What has the reaction been? 

The report has generated an angry response from some people in and outside of the US, including swathes of the LGBTQ community.
Advocacy groups organised a demonstration on Sunday evening in New York and another protest is planned outside the White House in Washington DC on Monday Morning. 
In a series of Tweets on Sunday, the National Centre for Transgender Equality described the changes as an "abomination" and "a reckless attack" on transgender lives.  


We're not going anywhere - transgender people can't be erased with a memo. Post a selfie. Call a friend. Attend our rally tomorrow. Everything to show them that we
 Human Rights Campaign, one of the country's leading LGBTQ rights groups, said the change would set a "destructive precedent". 
Chairman Chad Griffin described the alleged proposal as "the latest effort in a consistent, multi-pronged campaign by the Trump-Pence White House... to undermine the rights and welfare of LGBTQ people."
"Defining 'sex' in this narrow language tailored to the talking points of anti-equality extremists is part of a deliberate strategy to eliminate federal protections for LGBTQ people," he went on.
Members of the transgender community took to social media to protest against the proposal - sharing personal stories and selfies of themselves and family members using #WontBeErased. 

I am a son.
I am a daughter.
I am a father.
I am a mother.
I am a grandfather.
I am a grandmother.
I am a friend.
I am a neighbor.
I am a coworker.
I am a student.

We are transgender. ⚧ https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/us/politics/transgender-trump-administration-sex-definition.html 

June 1, 2018

Dutch Court Ruling, 'It is Time To Recognize a Third Gender'





                                                              





A Dutch citizen on Monday won the right for the first time to be allowed to register as neither a man nor a woman, with judges urging lawmakers to recognize a "third gender".
The Limburg District Court in Roermond ruled that the unnamed plaintiff can now be recorded in the Dutch birth register as "gender undetermined" as opposed to male or female.
"At birth in 1961, this person's gender could not be determined and the parents decided to register the person as male, to make things easier at the time," the court said in a statement.  In 2001 however, the plaintiff underwent medical treatment and changed gender to female.
"Eventually it also turned out that the female gender did not fit the person, whose personality is experienced as gender-neutral," the court said, "feeling neither like a man nor a woman."
Court urges parliament to allow registration of a third gender
Court urges parliament to allow registration of a third gender CREDIT: PICTURESBYROB / ALAMY
The plaintiff then asked authorities to include a third, gender-neutral entry in the birth register.
A similar request by a different person was turned down in 2007 by the Netherlands' highest court, the High Council.
But due to "social and legal developments, the time is ripe for the recognition of a third gender," the judges said.
"To enable the registration of a third gender 'X', a legal amendment is crucial. It's now up to the lawmakers," they added. Meanwhile "the court rules in favor of changing the person's gender in the birth register to 'gender could not be determined'," the judges said.
Activists hailed the ruling, saying it was another step towards recognizing the rights of the Dutch transgender population, estimated to be between 0.2 to 2.0 percent of the country's 17 million people.
Current Transgender Issues:

Transgender

‘Transgender’ is the umbrella term for people who identify with a different gender from the one they were assigned at birth – often diagnosed as ‘gender dysphoria’. The term ‘transsexual’ refers more specifically to someone who has had medical intervention and is considered archaic.

Public awareness

The number of people being diagnosed with gender dysphoria is on the rise, as public awareness increases. When Caitlyn Jenner appeared on the July 2015 cover of Vanity Fair – her first photo shoot since coming out as a trans woman – Google searches of the word ‘transgender’ reached an all-time high worldwide.

Surgery and hormones

In the UK and most countries around the world, children need to wait until they are adults before they can undergo gender reassignment surgery, but they can be prescribed synthetic hormones to suppress puberty. The effects are fully reversible, so treatment can be stopped at any time.

Age limits

There is no specific age when puberty-suppressing drugs can be prescribed: it depends when a child goes through puberty. The US state of Oregon recently made it legal for 15-year-olds to undergo gender reassignment surgery; most countries that do allow such surgery (including the UK) require the patient to be 18 or older.

Military service

Under President Obama, legislation was introduced to allow transgender soldiers to openly serve in the military. His successor, Donald Trump has announced plans to rescind that policy. All branches of Britain’s armed forces welcome transgender recruits.

March 25, 2018

Trump Moves to Ban Most Transgender People From The Military




 Can You Tell the difference? Not in looks which is not important but  in combat  definetly not, they get  the job done




 President Donald Trump released an order Friday night banning most transgender troops from serving in military except under "limited circumstances," following up on his calls last year to ban transgender individuals from serving.

The White House said retaining troops with a history or diagnosis of "gender dysphoria" — those who may require substantial medical treatment — "presents considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality."

Trump surprised the Pentagon's leadership in a 2017 tweet when he declared he would reverse an Obama-era plan to allow transgender individuals to serve openly. His push for the ban has been blocked by several legal challenges, and three federal courts have ruled against the ban. The Pentagon responded by allowing those serving to stay in the military, and began allowing transgender individuals to enlist beginning Jan. 1.

"This new policy will enable the military to apply well-established mental and physical health standards — including those regarding the use of medical drugs — equally to all individuals who want to join and fight for the best military force the world has ever seen," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, accused the Trump administration of pushing "anti-transgender prejudices onto the military."

"There is simply no way to spin it, the Trump-Pence Administration is going all in on its discriminatory, unconstitutional and despicable ban on transgender troops," said HRC President Chad Griffin. 

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann, president of Service members, Partners and Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All, or SPART*A, accused the administration of announcing the move on Friday in order to "hide what they're doing." And he said the policy's implications for transgender members of the armed forces weren't entirely clear: "There’s still some interpretation to be had there."

"We will continue to serve at the standard required by the military until we are told otherwise," Dremann told NBC News. "Transgender service members are currently deployed all over the world, and there's been no demonstrable impact on readiness."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., expressed his opposition to the move on Twitter Friday night. 

Trump received recommendations from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in February for dealing with transgender individuals serving in the military. The White House said Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen agreed with the policy.

In Mattis's Feb. 22 memo to Trump explaining his recommendation, which the Pentagon made public late Friday night, he cited exceptions to the ban.

"Currently serving service members who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria since the previous administration's policy took effect and prior to the effective date of this new policy, may continue to serve in their preferred gender and receive medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria," Mattis wrote.

Earlier Friday, Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said the announcement of a new policy would have no immediate practical effect on the military because the Pentagon is obliged to continue to recruit and retain transgender people in accordance with current law.

The issue has become mired in a complicated string of political statements, court decisions and policy reviews since Trump first stunned his administration with his tweets last July. It's unclear how much impact the court decisions will have on Trump's decision. 

The Justice Department issued a statement Friday saying it will continue to defend the Pentagon's "lawful authority to create and implement personnel policies they have determined are necessary to best defend our nation. Consistent with this new policy, we are asking the courts to lift all related preliminary injunctions."

Activist groups had worried the administration could enact such strict enlistment and health care restrictions that it would become all but impossible for transgender troops to join or continue serving.

Under guidelines presented in December, the Pentagon could disqualify potential recruits with gender dysphoria, those with a history of medical treatments associated with gender transition and those who underwent reconstruction. Such recruits could be allowed in if a medical provider certified they've been clinically stable in the preferred sex for 18 months and are free of significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas.

Transgender individuals receiving hormone therapy must be stable on their medication for 18 months.

The requirements make it challenging for a transgender recruit to pass. But they mirror conditions laid out by President Barack Obama's administration in 2016, when the Pentagon initially lifted its ban on transgender troops serving openly in the military.

by Associated Press and NBC News

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February 9, 2018

Trans Boy Gets Kicked Out of Basketball Team For Using The Boys Bathroom



Junior White identifies as trans gender fluid and told Outsports they prefer any pronouns. This story fluctuates the use of pronouns for Junior to reflect his identity. 
A 12-year-old trans gender fluid student at Berrendos Middle School in Red Bluff, Calif., has been kicked off of the school’s boys basketball team because she requested to use girls restrooms and locker rooms in the school.
Junior White was a part of the Berrendos Matadors boys basketball team until just recently, when her parents received a letter from Antelope School District superintendent Richard Hassay saying that Junior would be allowed to use girls locker rooms. Junior is trans gender fluid, meaning she was assigned male at birth but identifies as both male and female genders and uses both male and female pronouns. Her use of the girls locker room is consistent with her gender identity.
However, Hassay went a step further that stepped outside of state law.
“Junior is no longer eligible to participate on any male only athletic teams, including basketball,” Hassay wrote to the Whites. “Junior will be eligible to participate on co-ed or female only teams.”
The problem is that AB 1266, enacted in California in 2013, allows students to participate on sports teams regardless of their gender. The state law does not say the gender of a student’s athletic team must be consistent with the locker room they choose to utilize. It reads:
“A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”
An email to Berrendos Middle School principal Jim Weber was not returned. Hassay has refused to comment to the media, telling the local Action News Now, “This is a confidential student case. I cannot release any information about this.” 
To be clear, there is no “advantage” issue here. Junior was assigned male at birth but identifies as trans gender fluid. Junior wants to play on the boys teams.



  Earlier this fall Junior came out to his parents as a gay boy. That’s how he identified at the time. His parents, Matt and Vanessa White, were concerned with how it would be received by the local community, so they asked Junior to hide his truth. 
“That was a huge mistake,” Matt told Outsports. “I take responsibility for that.”
Even as he was destroying other teams on the football field, Junior attempted to harm himself as he didn’t know how else to express his need to share his true self. 
That was a wake-up call for Matt and Vanessa. They spoke to the football coach about Junior being gay. That coach then spoke to the team captains. Together they handled it perfectly, rallying support for Junior across the team. By the end of the football season Junior felt at home.
“All of them were accepting,” Junior told Outsports.
Former NFL player Ryan O’Callaghan, who lives in nearby Redding, had even visited Junior and his parents last autumn to provide some insight and inspiration to the family. 
“He seems like a good kid,” O’Callaghan told Outsports of Junior, “the best player on his youth football team.”

The trouble for Junior started when he made another announcement: He was questioning his gender identity and identifying more and more as a girl. 
Junior hadn’t been using any restroom facilities in school for a while because she didn’t feel comfortable walking into the boys bathroom anymore. One day at school it became impossible to avoid. So she walked into a girls bathroom. That’s when all hell broke loose.
She was reported to the principal and called out of class. She was told that she was not allowed to use any restrooms — boys or girls — in the school other than the one in the school’s main office. 
That outraged Junior’s parents, who fought back. That’s when they were informed that Junior could use the girls facilities but she would no longer be allowed to play on any boys basketball teams.
Junior said his teammates want him back on the team, but the principal and superintendent simply won’t let him play. 
“They’re mad at the superintendent,” Junior said of his teammates. Junior is also a competitive gymnast.

 junior White simply wants to be who they are and play on the boy's basketball team.


Junior has already had to watch from the sidelines as his team has continued its season. He and his friends have held signs at the games demanding that “#34” be allowed to play. The basketball games have not been easy on Junior. At one game, Junior was harassed by a parent in the girl's room, and then accosted by another woman when she walked out of the restroom, being told she is never to use a girls room again.

“Just look what they’re doing to my kid,” Matt said, simultaneously saddened and enraged.
Now Junior is simply wanting to play on the team where he feels the most comfortable — with the boys and his friends. Matt said Junior is exceptionally talented athletically and that it makes absolutely no sense to force him to compete against girls. It’s a similar issue Texas wrestler Mack Beggs faced, forced to compete against girls while identifying as a boy.

“It doesn’t matter who’s there, he stands out,” Matt said of his child who plays both sides of the football. “He’s one of the best players on offense and defense. In football, he’s the fullback, and he intimidates the defense.”

In basketball, Matt added, “he jumps the highest” on the team.
Junior’s dream is to play football for Stanford University.

Junior’s plight has given rise to #ISTANDWITH34 on Twitter, which reflects Junior’s number on the boy's basketball team and on the football team.
Now all Junior wants to do is play with those teams again and use the restroom where he feels most comfortable. All that’s standing in the way is a school district insistent that he now compete against girls.

Originally Writen by By 

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December 13, 2017

Opposing Trump Court Rules Military Can Start Recruiting Transgenders After Jan 1

Transgender U.S. Army Capt. Jennifer Sims lifts her uniform 
during a July interview with The Associated Press in Beratzhausen
 near Regensburg, Germany.
Matthias Schrader/AP 
Following a federal court ruling, the Pentagon has confirmed it will allow openly transgender individuals to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1. The Trump administration had resisted that deadline in court, seeking to have its ban on new transgender troops reinstated — but on Monday, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly upheld an earlier decision to temporarily block President Trump's ban.
That ban has been under fire since it was issued in a presidential memorandum in August. It quickly drew several lawsuits, and two federal judges — including Kollar-Kotelly in October — moved to put it on hold while those cases were decided in the courts. As NPR's Camila Domonoske explained then, Kollar-Kotelly found "that trans members of the military have a strong case that the president's ban would violate their Fifth Amendment rights."
The administration appealed that ruling, seeking to implement its ban during the pending court cases, only to see the appeal denied by Kollar-Kotelly on Monday.
Later on Monday, a third judge issued a ruling blocking the president's ban on transgender recruits. U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman ruled in Seattle in the case of a soldier based in Washington state and two men who hope to enlist.
In her decision, she noted that she was "not convinced by the vague claims" that the Jan. 1 deadline needed to be delayed. At the same time, she reiterated her October argument that trans service members have a strong case and questioned the administration's "portrayal of their situation as an emergency," considering more than three weeks passed before it filed the appeal.
"If complying with the military's previously established January 1, 2018 deadline to begin accession was as unmanageable as Defendants now suggest, one would have expected Defendants to act with more alacrity," she added in the final line of her decision. The Department of Defense has announced it will comply with the order to allow transgender recruits — but in a statement Monday, the department made clear that it is doing so reluctantly.
"This policy will be implemented while the Department of Justice appeals those court orders," a Pentagon spokesperson said in the statement, adding: "DoD and the Department of Justice are actively pursuing relief from those court orders in order to allow an ongoing policy review scheduled to be completed before the end of March."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Justice Department is also "reviewing legal options" to ensure that the president's directive can be implemented.
Kollar-Kotelly's ruling marks a new step in a twisting legal drama that promises to continue for some time — and traces its origins to an Obama-era policy announced 18 months ago.
In June 2016, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the Pentagon would be lifting a long-running ban on openly transgender service members. As part of that announcement, a one-year deadline was set for the military to begin admitting new transgender troops. But before that deadline could take effect earlier this year, it was quietly extended by six months — to Jan. 1, 2018.
Then, this past July, Trump tweeted that "the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military." He later issued an official presidential memo, slightly dialing back the severity suggested in his tweet: That order prohibited the enlistment of new troops who are openly transgender, halted the use of federal funds for sex reassignment surgeries, and left it to his defense secretary to decide whether to expel trans troops who are currently serving.
Secretary Jim Mattis announced just days later that current trans troops could remain in the military "in the interim."
Now, under the injunction that was upheld Monday, new trans troops can enlist, as well — at least temporarily as long as the lawsuits against Trump's ban are still pending, and perhaps permanently, if those lawsuits are successful.
"Today's announcements — both by the court and the Pentagon — signal that there is an awareness that it's not right to make military policy by tweets," Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, which works on LGBT issues in the military, tells NPR's Greg Myre. "And when there's a deliberate process of study, then that process should be respected and implemented."

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