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04/19/2007


NYC School Forbids Student to Attend Prom with Transgender Date: VIDEO

Transprom

Martin Luther High School, a Lutheran school in Maspeth, Queens, NYC, is forbidding one of its students, Anais Celini, from coming to prom with her boyfriend Nathaniel Baez because he is transgender, WPIX reports:

“The school said to me that his transition is unconventional and it’s not what he feels beneficial to letting him come to prom,” Celini told PIX11 News exclusively.

Baez said he feels bad for his girlfriend. “It’s hard because I really wanted her to be able to go to prom with her friends and me, as well,” Baez said. “It is one of the stepping stones in high school.” Baez said even if they’re barred from the May 22 dance, he will plan his own private prom weekend for his girlfriend.

Watch the couple's interview with WPIX, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NYC School Forbids Student to Attend Prom with Transgender Date: VIDEO" »


Teacher Told Not to Return to Texas School After Parents Discover She is Transgender: VIDEO

Klug

Laura Jane Klug, a substitute teacher at the Lumberton Independent School District in Lumberton, Texas, was told not to return to her classes after parents complained about the fact that she is transgender, 12 News reports.

Klug said they suspended her pending a decision by the school board on whether to continue using her as a substitute teacher.

BeardSaid one parent, Roger Beard:

"There's some things that we can accept in society that children are not going to accept the same way that we do...It's a very big distraction...I really don't want them teaching, especially this age group. They can do many things in life but if it affects our little children and their ability to learn and grow naturally I think there's an issue with that."

Klug released a statement: "I have always conducted myself in a professional manner and would never discuss my gender identity in school."

Watch the 12 News report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Teacher Told Not to Return to Texas School After Parents Discover She is Transgender: VIDEO" »


'You Should Know I'm a Man Before This Goes Too Far': VIDEO

Truthinadvertising

In a misguided attempt at cheekily demonstrating their new tagline, "The truth's not always easy," Truth In Advertising included a transphobic joke in their ad. The ad features individuals singing confessions about various thoughts, deeds, and misdeeds, one of which is a woman and a man on a bed presumably about to undress for sex. When the woman opens her mouth to sing, a man's voice is dubbed over, saying "You should know I'm a man before this goes too far."

Obviously, a transwoman is a woman, not a man, a distinction that can be lost on people who are more ignorant of trans culture and issues. This misstep would be bad enough on its own if it weren't for the fact that the setup that's played for laughs is the very nasty and pernicious stereotype that trans people - transwomen in particular - engage in deliberate deception to trick a straight cisgendered man into sleeping with them. This irrational fear leads to unnecessary hatred for trans people, sometimes with deadly consequences.

For their part, executive director Bonnie Patten released a public apology for the video and it's going through the review process.

While we attempted to use humor in our ad to engage consumers on the serious issue of misleading marketing, it was truly not our intention to negatively portray a transgender person. We sincerely apologize and are reviewing it now.

Reviews like these tend to lead to removals, so if you'd like to see the ad for yourself while it's still live, you can watch it AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: And the ad has indeed been removed.

Continue reading "'You Should Know I'm a Man Before This Goes Too Far': VIDEO" »


CNN and FOX News Completely Ignored Mississippi's New Anti-Gay Segregation Law: VIDEO

Harrisperry

Late last week, Melissa Harris-Perry dedicated her letter of the week to Governor Phil Bryant for signing the anti-gay 'religious freedom' bill.

Said Harris-Perry in her video message:

It’s not like the people of Mississippi are under the thumb of onerous state laws that protect LGBT people. Same-sex marriage is banned in Mississippi by constitutional amendment. You can’t even have a wedding for a vendor to refuse to work!

And you can already be discriminated against for your sexual orientation in Mississippi. You can be fired or not hired just for being gay. You can be denied housing. So, governor, what you did was make it even easier than it already was to discriminate against LGBT Mississippians. To deny them services available to everyone else. Basically, you gave bigots yet another avenue to dehumanize their LGBT neighbors.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Mscoverage1In related news, Equality Matters reports that CNN and FOX News completely ignored Mississippi's new anti-gay segregation law:

CNN and Fox's failure to cover the Mississippi law is the latest reminder of the media's short attention span. Mere weeks after key Fox personalities condemned the Arizona bill, many of those same personalities went right back to defending anti-gay discrimination this week, after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to reconsider a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling that a photographer had violated the state's non-discrimination law by refusing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony.

CNN, meanwhile, continues its hours upon hours of obsessive speculation over the missing Malaysian jetliner.

As Mississippi wages war on LGBT citizens' basic rights, two of the nation's leading news outlets apparently have nothing better to offer than silence.

Continue reading "CNN and FOX News Completely Ignored Mississippi's New Anti-Gay Segregation Law: VIDEO" »


Tuesday Speed Read: Supreme Court, Nebraska, Chai Feldblum, Peter TerVeer, Annise Parker

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

SUPREME REJECTION:

ElanephotographyThe U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to review a decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court that said the state human rights law does not violate the free speech rights of a wedding photographer who refused services to a same-sex couple. By not taking the case, Elane v. Willock, the Supreme Court leaves intact the state court ruling that said businesses that “choose to be public accommodations must comply” with the non-discrimination law. The photographer had claimed that she had religious beliefs that compelled her to refuse accommodations to the lesbian couple, and the case was viewed as one of many disputes heading to the U.S. high court that pitted religious beliefs against non-discrimination laws. But the case was never pitched as a free exercise case and that may be why the Supreme Court didn’t take it, said Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Jenny Pizer. Tobias Wolff, an attorney helping represent the lesbian couple, said, “No court in the United States has ever found that a business selling commercial services to the general public has a First Amendment right to turn away customers on a discriminatory basis.”

NEBRASKA COMES CLOSE:

NebraskaNebraska’s unicameral legislature voted 26 to 22 Monday to move a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity to the floor. Unfortunately, supporters of the measure needed 33 votes to break the filibuster. The legislative session ends this week and local papers give little chance that the bill’s supporters might get the bill to the floor this year. The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln, vowed to continue the push even though the state’s term limits won’t enable her to come back next session.

EEOC ON THE JOB:

FeldblumChai Feldblum, the openly lesbian member of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), told National Public Radio April 2 that the commission has “about 200 or so pending investigations right now that have been brought to us by LGBT people, and we're looking into those charges.” Feldblum noted the EEOC used to turn away LGBT complaints because there is no federal law prohibiting such discrimination. But she said the Commission is now looking into the complaints as forms of sex discrimination, which is prohibited by federal law. Whether the EEOC has authority to do so, she noted, will probably be determined at the U.S. Supreme Court.

SPEAKING OF SEX DISCRIMINATION:

A U.S. district court judge in Washington, D.C., entered a preliminary ruling April 4 in favor of a man who alleges he was fired from his federal job because he is gay. The order says the man, Library of Congress employee Peter TerVeer, can sue under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act –the title that, among other things, prohibits sex discrimination. The government’s brief in the case, Terveer v. Billington, is due June 3.

HOUSTON’S PARKER GETS HEAT:

ParkerHouston Mayor Annise Parker is being criticized for preparing to propose a human rights ordinance that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing and public accommodations but not in private employment. In her annual State of the City address April 3, Parker noted that Houston is “the only major city in the nation without civil rights protections for its residents.” She is expected to introduce the bill in May, and LoneStarQ says LGBT leaders expect the bill will not prohibit discrimination in private employers, as a way to ensure the bill passes city council. The head of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus told the Texas LGBT paper the omission amounts to “siding with the right of employers to discriminate.”

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Supreme Court Declines Anti-Gay Discrimination Case Involving New Mexico Photographer

ElanephotographyThe U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would not take up the case involving Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin (pictured), who refused to photograph the commitment ceremony of Vanessa Willock, a resident of Albuquerque, on the grounds that same-sex marriage conflicts with Christian beliefs.

The New Mexico Supreme Court had ruled that Elane Photography was violating the antidiscrimination provisions of the New Mexico Human Rights Act in August.

The Washington Blade reports:

In orders published Monday morning, the court listed the case, Elane Photography v. Willock, without comment among as the cases it won’t consider.

The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Elane Photography, which was found to have violated New Mexico’s anti-discrimination law for refusing to take a photo for the same-sex wedding ceremony for Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth in 2006. (The wedding was only ceremonial because the incident took place before the state legalized same-sex marriage.)

Elane Photography filed lawsuit in state court, alleging that its refusal to photograph a same-sex wedding is protected on religious grounds. However, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the claims, saying the businesses service can be regulated because it’s a public accommodation. Following that decision, Elane Photography asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the lawsuit based on First Amendment protections under the U.S. Constitution.


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