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04/19/2007


Opponents Of California Law Protecting Transgender Students File Suit Against Secretary Of State

Last August, California Governor Jerry Brown (right) signed AB 1266 into law, effectively protecting the rights of transgender students across the state to utilize whichever locker room and bathroom facilities match their gender identities, and to choose sports teams in a similar fashion.

The bill received a large amount of conservative backlash at the time, with one referendum petition from the group Privacy for All Students receiving nearly 500,000 valid signatures, falling just short of the amount needed to get on the 2014 ballot. Though the manual recount of the petition yielded similar results, opponents believe that some signatures were thrown out. Now they have filed suit against California's secretary of state.

JerrybrownThe Daily Bulletin reports:

“We have served the Secretary of State with another legal action asking her to qualify the referendum and we have served county officials across the state with a demand for the documents to prove the abuse of discretion in rejecting more than 131,000 signatures,” Gina Gleason, director of faith and public policy at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, wrote in a press release issued Tuesday morning...

“Keeping boys out of the girls’ bathroom and locker room is an issue of privacy and safety,” she wrote to PFAS supporters. “Counting all of the valid signatures is an issue of integrity and trust. We must fight for all of these things. Thank you for your continued support in this battle.”

The flagrant disregard for the sensitivities and tact necessary when discussing youth who are transgender-identified is disturbing. The evidence being used by the Pacific Justice Institute, the firm working with Privacy for All Students, while justifiably outraged, seems sketchy at best.

In the PFAS press release, Matthew McReynolds, an attorney for the Pacific Justice Institute...said his signature was one of those rejected by his local registrar of voters.

“You read that correctly -- a petition from one of the key backers of the referendum, more familiar than most with the rules, was not good enough to satisfy elections workers here in Sacramento County,” he wrote. “So what did I do wrong? The explanation was that my signature didn’t look exactly like it had on my registration card. And you know what? They’re probably right; my signature has undoubtedly changed over the last few years as I have become totally blind and no longer able to see what I’ve written. That’s a long story that I’ll save for another day. But my disability shouldn’t prevent me from participating in such a core function of democracy as signing a referendum petition.

“What’s really scary is that I only found out I had been disenfranchised because I am very involved in the massive effort by the Privacy for All Students coalition to examine the signatures that were invalidated.”

Proponents of the bill are confident that the lawsuit will not hold up and that the fate of AB 1266 remains secure.


Newly-Appointed Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich Donated To Prop 8 Campaign

On Monday, Brendan Eich (right) became CEO of Mozilla, the software community responsible for developing Firefox, the popular web browser. Formerly the multi-tiered group's chief technology officer, Eich was an understandable but not altogether popular choice for the appointment. One reason some are not pleased? He donated funds in support of California's Proposition 8.

BrendaneichDevelopers Hampton Catlin and his husband Michael have decided to boycott the Mozilla community entirely.

Beta News reports:

"Today we were shocked to read that Brendan Eich has been appointed Mozilla CEO. As a gay couple who were unable to get married in California until recently, we morally cannot support a Foundation that would not only leave someone with hateful views in power, but will give them a promotion and put them in charge of the entire organization", says Hampton Catlin.

Catlin further explains, "I certainly recognize that there are great people at Mozilla. And that lots of people there want the org to be open and supportive. However, the board could have chosen ANY of those other, awesome people at Mozilla to be CEO. Hey, I've got a crazy idea, how about a woman at Mozilla? Nope. Out of all the possible candidates they could have chosen, they chose Brendan Eich. CEO's are extremely important to an organization. Their ideas, beliefs, philosophies, and personalities drive organizations".

Catlin wrote an open letter to Mozilla as well, explaining the boycott and urging the community to remove Eich from his position. 

Statistics reported by Beta News, sourced from the California Secretary of State's office, show that Eich gave $1,000 to support Prop 8. 

Prop8_eich


Gay Councilmember in Rancho Mirage, California Hit with Homophobic 'FAGS' Mailer

Scott Hines, an openly gay city councilmember in Racho Mirage, California, si being targeted by an anonymous homophobic mailer, Frontiers reports:

MailerIn mid-February, some Rancho Mirage voters opened their mailboxes to find an anti-gay postcard attacking openly gay Councilmember Scott Hines with the message “Send Hines Packing Back to Palm Springs (where he belongs).”

The postcards feature a shirtless picture of Hines with a caption in rainbow-colored lettering that says “No More ‘Fab’ Party Guy Scotty.” The letters of the message line up vertically to spell out “FAGS.”

The mailing was sent out without a return address, so no one knows who sent it. Hines, an educational technology company CEO and former Air Force Intelligence officer, has been careful not to point any fingers, but many residents suspect the postcards came from his campaign opponents, a group Hines sometimes refers to as “The Gang of Four.”

The so-called Gang of Four ("three Rancho Mirage City Council incumbents—Dana Hobart, Ted Weill and Iris Smotrich—plus political newcomer Charles Townsend") deny responsibility and suggest that the postcards were sent by Hines's supporters.


AFER paid $6.4 million to Ted Olson and David Boies' Law Firms in Prop 8 Case

The_Case_Against_8_credit_Diana_WalkerAFER

The Washington Blade is reporting that the American Foundation for Equal Rights paid more than $6.4 million to the two law firms that successfully argued against California’s Proposition 8.

Olson_boies2009-2013 tax filings indicate former Republican U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson’s law firm – Gibson, Dunn & Crtcher LLP – received nearly $6 million from AFER for “legal and ancillary legal expenses,” while David Boies’ law firm – Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP received $468,089.

The paper reports that these expenses include payments to expert witnesses who testified against Prop 8, travel and living expenses for lawyers who lived in San Francisco for a month during a three-week trial over which now retired U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker presided in 2010, and legal research costs.

“AFER’s case resulted in the return of marriage equality in California for a fraction of the cost of a ballot measure,” AFER Executive Director Adam Umhoefer told the Washington Blade on Tuesday. 

Tax filings also indicate AFER raised $14,900,467 between April 23, 2009, and March 31, 2013, that Umhoefer told the Blade includes a “large amount” of contributions from Republican donors. He added his organization estimates the Prop 8 case also generated millions of dollars in earned media coverage for which it did not have to pay.

One such piece of media that's generating quite a bit of buzz is The Case Against 8, the film that goes behind the scenes of the high-profile trial. The film has won multiple awards from film festivals this year, including last week's SXSW in Austin. 


ABC News Interviews Chloie Jonsson, Trans Woman Suing Crossfit for Millions: VIDEO

Abc_jonnson

JonnsonLast week we reported on Chloie Jonsson (right), a transgender woman from California who is suing Crossfit, the fitness enterprise, because they would not allow her to compete in the women's division at an annual competition.

Jonsson has filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against Crossfit.

ABC News anchor Dan Kloeffler interviewed Chloie, as well as her lawyer, discussing her newfound (and unappreciated) notoriety, the future of her participation in Crossfit, and the next steps in her lawsuit.

Watch the news coverage, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "ABC News Interviews Chloie Jonsson, Trans Woman Suing Crossfit for Millions: VIDEO" »


Attorney Announces She's Running Against California County Clerk Who Tried to Stop Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Dronenburg

A California comsumer attorney says she plans to run against San Diego County Clerk Ernie Dronenburg, who last year asked the California Supreme Court to halt same-sex marriages and consider whether the Supreme Court's Prop 8 ruling applied only to the plaintiffs involved in the case.

San Diego's KGTV reports:

"I have a history of fighting for taxpayers and consumers, and I will fight for the taxpayers to make sure they get a fair deal," said Susan Guinn, who has also worked on health and environmental sustainability issues.

Guinn is married to her partner, has two children and is on the board of Equality California, but said gay marriage was not her motivation to run against Dronenburg.

She said what fuels her is the impact Dronenburg's challenge could have on his positions as the county's clerk/assessor/recorder.

"Elected officials can't play favorites. They have to follow the law … The perception of playing favorites alone destroys the integrity of the office. It destroys the trust in the office," said Guinn.

Watch KGTV's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Attorney Announces She's Running Against California County Clerk Who Tried to Stop Gay Marriage: VIDEO" »


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