And Every Beneficiary of These Can Still Discriminate Against Trans People at Will

May 26, 2008

From Queer Channel Media:

Despite the objections of some religious leaders, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has signed into law two bills that grant gays hospitalization rights and tax breaks.

Signed by O’Malley on Thursday, the laws become effective July 1.

The Health Care Facility Visitation & Medical Decisions law grants gay Marylanders the right to visit a partner in the hospital and make certain medical decisions for them. It passed the Senate 30-17 and the House 88-46.

Another law, which adds domestic partners to a list of blood and legal relatives that are exempted from recordation and transfer taxes, passed the Senate 26-21 and the House 86-47.

Yet trans people in Maryland can still be shut out of the legitimate economy which allows people to accumulate the wealth that such a law benefits.

More thanks to Free State Just Us.


Jesse Ventura vs. Pat Buchanan……Any Guesses as to Who Wins?

May 23, 2008

My years in Minnesota for the most part coincided with Jesse Ventura’s tenure as governor.  That’s just one of many reasons I cherish those years.  His election in 1998 inspired me to blanket the state with my resume.  ‘If Minnesota can elect him,’ I thought ‘its bound to have a job somewhere for me.’

I even tried getting on with his administration.  That didn’t happen, but I did find a great job there.  As luck would have it, just a few weeks after I moved up there, I had the opportunity to meet him.

Wishes sometimes do come true.

Having said all that, I can’t say I agree with every aspect of Jesse’s political philosophy (for instance, funding of universities is not a priority of his), but on stuff like this, he’s one of the few elected officials at any level in this country to be willing to tell the religionist nutbags that government is not a tool of their religion.

With that, I point you to Crooks and Liars for the encounter between Jesse The Gov and Pat the Constipated on the issue of same-sex marriage.

 

VENTURA: “Well, first of all, I made a statement when I was governor and stand by it today. Love is bigger than government. Who the hell are we as a government to tell people who you can fall in love with? I think it‘s absurd that fact it‘s even being debated. “

Now, again – having praised Jesse, I do want to say that I hope he does not hop into the Minnesota Senate race this year as has been rumored.  He justifiably can’t stand the current occupant of what I still recognize as being Paul Wellstone’s seat – namely, Norm ’empty victory for a hollow man’ Coleman.  However, he also doesn’t have much use for Al Franken (as I said, I don’t share all of Jesse’s political philosophy), who seems poised to force Nahm to find a real job.

Jesse, I know it would be a step down, but could I suggest bopping over to Stillwater and forcing Michelle ‘Minnesota’s Katherine Harris’ Bachmann to find a real job instead?


Backlash? What Backlash? Oh….That Backlash

May 23, 2008

From the LA Times:

By bare majorities, Californians reject the state Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriages and back a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at the November ballot that would outlaw such unions, a Los Angeles Times/KTLA Poll has found.

And what about the effect of such an amendment on transsexuals?

<crickets>

<more crickets>

<lots of crickets>

Don’t get me wrong.  It was an amazing majority opinion.

But what are the plaintiffs going to do for transsexuals if the amendment passes and the so-called Alliance Defense Fund subsequently argues – successfully – that it wipes out transsexuals’ marital rights and even their very transition recognition rights?

<crickets>

<more crickets>

<every cricket in the world>


How Much Did It Spend to Support Trans-Inclusion in New York and Maryland?

May 22, 2008

From Out in Stockton:

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual, and [Kat’s comment here: cough, cough] transgender civil rights organization, today pledged an initial contribution of $500,000 to Equality for All to protect marriage equality in California by defeating a proposed constitutional amendment that could possibly be on the November general election ballot in California.

And how much did the Rhode Island Avenue Cesspool of Transphobia spend to ‘educate’ about trans-inclusion in ENDA?

Five….what?

Cents?

I’d be surprised it it was that much.


Surprise, Surprise…NOT

May 21, 2008

From Queer Channel Media:

Backlash from the California Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage continued this week as U.S. Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) said he plans to introduce an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Broun, a freshman Congressman from Augusta, announced his intent May 20.

Oh, but doesn’t Queer Channel Media know the official narrative?  There is no backlash to same-sex marriage…

Right?


Research This, Fella

May 20, 2008

From the Huffington Post, Palm Center Research Fellow Nathaniel Frank on ‘separate but equal’:

America, the birthplace of freedom and the source of that bold and noble assertion that we are all “created equal,” offers no such right, and in fact barred that right proactively just twelve years ago: no matter how many states allow same-sex marriage, the 1996 “Defense of Marriage Act” makes sure the feds do not recognize a gay marriage.

Here, perhaps more than anywhere, words are not merely symbolic. Unlike Britain, which still has titles and a Queen, our nation was born of rhetoric that contained an idea–one that explicitly swore off the value of blood, birth and the past, and embraced the proposition that all have equal dignity. When African-Americans refused to sit at the back of the bus in the Jim Crow South, it wasn’t because walking a few extra steps was a material deprivation, but because it said to the world that they were second-class citizens.

This is why the Supreme Court declared in 1954 that separate is “inherently unequal.” A law that denies a group of citizens equal access to a public institution serves no other purpose than to declare that group to be lesser. And this is why it is nonsense to say gays and lesbians can enjoy equality before the law while they are barred from taking their place in one of the most fundamental institutions in American life–the one and only “marriage.”

Howza ’bout the E-word: employment?

And howza ’bout the T-word: transsexual?

If you’re going to rant about ‘separate but equal’, don’t forget the separate-and-inherently-unequal status that non-trans gays have created for trans people in several states and, if St. Barney has his way, would also be established at the federal level.

Research that, fella.


Send Andrew Sullivan a Bottle of Whine

May 19, 2008

GOP (Gay Obnoxious Putz) Andrew Sullivan on Barack Obama’s refusal to commit political suicide:

Marriage is the one issue where Obama is still politically afraid, intellectually vacuous, and a moral coward.

This is the civil rights movement of our time. Whatever happened to the fierce urgency of now?

Awwwwwwwwwwwww…

It wooks wike wittew Andwew’s not wiking him some incwementawism when he’s the incwement weft behind.

Even better is how Sullivan begins that blog entry:

Jonathan Martin makes a point:

Because Obama is not where the far left wants him to be (marriage) and McCain not where the far right wants him to be (a federal ban), this is not something either will probably make front and center.

I see his point but I still bristle at the notion of marriage rights being a “far left” position.

Not that I actually disagree with Sullivan, but, let’s consider him as being the source.  There’s only one appropriate reaction:   Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Well, guess what, you conservative gay elitist nincompoop – transsexuals out there weren’t too thrilled about having our ability to obtain legitimate employment being ridiculed by people of your ilk as a far left position – and worse.


Alabama + Zero

May 16, 2008

From the Alabama Legislature’s website:

HB829
By Representative Holmes

Under existing law, additional penalties are imposed against a person if the offense committed is motivated by the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability.

This bill would provide for those additional penalties for a crime motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation.

You know what’s coming, right?

(d) For purposes of this section, “sexual orientation” means heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.

From Gay City News:

The Alabama House has voted to add sexual orientation to the state’s hate crimes law and it was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee late last week. A vote on the Senate floor is expected on May 19.

Now, refer back to my item about the practical permutations of Wisconsin law.

‘Tain’t much that you’ll find in common ‘twixt Alabama and Wisconsin.

Of course, they do both have transsexual birth certificate statutes.

And, in both states (assuming the Alabama bill becomes law), a transsexual who gets physically assaulted whilst on her way to utilize said birth certificate statute because the assaulter can’t stand trannies, will not be the victim of a hate crime.

At least officially.

Even if the assaulter is a gay transphobic adherent of Raymond-Vincent exterminationism seeking to rid the world of a transsexual.

And if the transsexual fights back, the transsexual could conceivably be charged with a hate crime.

‘Equal’ protection in the Incrementalist Age.

Gotta love it.

Not.


Why Same-Sex Marriage Will NOT Solve Everything

May 15, 2008

Okay, this really is not meant to put a damper on the big decision today from the California Supreme Court in The Marriage Cases.

Really, its not.

It was a heavy-duty (albeit 4-3) decision against California’s Prop 22.  And, considering the rumors that had been flying about ominous behind-the-scenes activity, its a bit surprising.  (A more positive, post-decision PHB thread can be found here.)

Now, however, its time for Kat the transsexual lawyer to lose a few more friends and piss off a few more GLB lawyers: Its a damn good thing that California already has a statute recognizing the reality of transsexualism (known colloquially as a transsexual birth certificate statute.)

Why?

Because of all of the uninformed voices I’ve heard over the years spot the following: Once we get same-sex marriage, all that stuff about what sex you are on your drivers license won’t matter.

Uh huh.

Right.

I’m requesting all those who believe that who are non-transsexual females to engage in a lil’ ol’ test to prove how much they really believe it.

Here’s how it goes:

  1. Get yourself a driver’s license that has an ‘M’ in place of your ‘F’.
  2. Drive around in Massachusetts (and, now, California.)
  3. Get yourself pulled over.
  4. Then judge for yourself how not-so-insignificant that gender marker is.

Oh…

Too ‘real’ for ya?  Try this one:

  1. Get yourself a driver’s license that has an ‘M’ in place of your ‘F’.
  2. Go to Massachusetts (or even California, which, unlike Massachusetts, does include Ts in its anti-discrimination laws).
  3. Try to find a job.
  4. Then judge for yourself how not-so-insignificant that gender marker is.

Still too ‘real’ for ya?  Try this one:

  1. Get yourself a driver’s license that has an ‘M’ in place of your ‘F’.
  2. Go to Massachusetts.
  3. Assume that you have a job waiting for you there.
  4. Begin work at that job.
  5. Use the ladies’ room.
  6. Continue to use the ladies’ room.
  7. Then judge for yourself how not-so-insignificant that gender marker is.

Again, I’m really not trying to put a damper on what is truly a very significant day in legal history.

However, I will always caution people to understand that same-sex marriage solves nothing for transsexuals as individual human beings.


In Anticipation of Matthew Shepard + 10

May 14, 2008

[Cross-posted at Pam’s House Blend]

I know there are a lot of hate-crime-statute addicts out there and my opinion of the usefulness of such statutes doesn’t exactly endear me to them.

OKay – lets stick to something we do have in common: hatred of laws (and those who create such laws) that allow gays and lesbians to discriminate against trans people.

Its still a few months off, but in October we’ll all be inundated (and not unjustifiably so) with ten-year remembrances of the disgusting murder of Matthew Shepard.

For some reason, I’m guessing that the following won’t be amonst the officially-consecrated corporate gay remembrances:

18-year-old Transvestite Stabbed, Beaten

 

An 18-year-old male, dressed as a woman, was stabbed late October 13 on South Park Street, just hours after a rally/vigil was held on the Capitol steps at State Street in memory of the murdered college student in Laramie, Wyoming. Madison officials originally considered adding Wisconsin’s Hate Crime enhancement charge onto the charge against the perpetrator, but backed off after carefully studying the law, and realizing “it didn’t cover cross-dressing.”

Johnny Louis Ellis, 43, was tentatively charged with aggravated battery while armed with a dangerous weapon. He was also accused of bail jumping because he was out of jail on bail on a domestic battery case. Ellis said to the victim, “I know what you are – you’re a man.”

Police say Ellis’ comments don’t show he “picked his victim because he thought he was Gay.” Police Office Dave Gouran was quoted in the Wisconsin State Journal saying, “You can be a cross-dresser without being Gay and the (hate crime) statute doesn’t speci fy cross-dressers.”

That was from a news item in the October 22, 1998 issue of WI Light.

Wisconsin law did not (and still does not) cover trans people – even though it does cover gays and lesbians.

I usually point this out in the context of general anti-discrimination laws (i.e., in a jurisdiction such as Wisconsin, the person doing the discriminating against the trans person easily could be GLB – after all, why should we trust those who will pass laws excluding us not to take advantage of that exclusion to avoid having to work with us), but it works here as well.

How do we know that Ellis – the assaulter – was not gay?

Does it matter?

Well, as a legal matter…NO!

With no trans-inclusion in the law, there’s no hate-crime enhancement standing, allegedly, as a disincentive to such assaults.  Translation: its open season against trans people by everyone else, GLBs as well as straights (genuine as well as those who claim to be so.)

But, think about what the situation would have been if the 18-year-old had been accused of assaulting Ellis – with the accusation specifying that the assault was because of Ellis’ sexual orientation – whatever that may happen to be, though, for purposes of this example, let’s assume its not hetero.

The 18-year-old gets tagged with not only the assault charge but also a hate-crime enhancement.

I know, with this I’m making the religionists’ case against hate crime laws.

So be it.

But I also just made the case for trans-inclusion in employment anti-discrimination laws – such as Wisconsin’s, which, in 1998 had been gay only for 16 years and, in 2008, has been gay-only for 26 years.  After all, some people do their discriminatin’ with their fists (or beer bottles, etc.) and some people do it with their power to exclude certain other people from being able to participate in the United States economy.

I don’t trust either group of people.

That means you, christianists.

And that means you too, HRC-oids.