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New Jersey School Backs Down, Allows Transgender Teen To Enroll as a Girl

Rachel pepe

Rachel Pepe, a transgender student from New Jersey who we reported earlier this week was refused permission to return to school using her new gender identity, has since had her refusal reversed by school administrators.

Last year, Pepe attended Thorne Middle School in Middletown, New Jersey, but when she tried to register for classes with her new gender identity, the school district said she would have to return using her birth name “Brian.”

Pepe’s mother Angela Peters said at the time that the school failed to engage with her on proposed solutions to the problem.

However, the superintendent of the school district, William O. George, has since announced that he will work with staff to make sure Rachel can attend school in a safe environment. George also said Middletown Township Public Schools staff would undergo LGBT sensitivity training, reports Huffington Post.

"We as a district want to do everything we can as a district," George told the Asbury Park Press. "Every child is different and their education and social and emotional well being is my priority. We will work with them to find the appropriate placement."

Back in April, the Department of Education issued new guidance that made it clear Title IX law protects transgender students from discrimination.


New Jersey School Refuses To Enroll Transgender Student as Female - VIDEO

Teen

Rachel Pepe, a transitioning transgender student from New Jersey, has been refused permission to return to school using her new gender identity, reports The Raw Story.

Pepe last year attended Thorne Middle School in Middletown, New Jersey, but when she tried to register for classes with her new gender identity, the school district said she would have to return using her birth name “Brian.”

Rachel’s mother Angela Peters said that sending her daughter back to school as “Brian” would cause a recurrence of the crippling depression that she suffered with last year.

“She would get off the bus and just cry. Then she would go to sleep for 17 or 20 hours and refuse to go back there. Although Pepe wouldn’t share her grief, a mother knows when something was wrong.”

An official also told Peters that the school lacked the ability to accommodate Rachel and rejected her attempts to propose possible solutions.

Although Middletown Schools Superintendent William O. George said he had no knowledge of the controversy, he added that “every child is different and their education and social and emotional well being is my priority. We will work with them to find the appropriate placement.”

Last year, California passed a bill requiring schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their chosen gender identity

Watch a report about Rachel Pepe, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "New Jersey School Refuses To Enroll Transgender Student as Female - VIDEO" »


New Jersey Bear Strolls Through Neighborhood On Two Legs: VIDEO

Upright New Jersey bear

For a change of pace, this is a post about bears of the Stephen Colbert "godless eating machines" variety.

Ian Bohman of New Jersey stepped outside his suburban home only to find a local ursimorph out for a stroll. While a bear in your neighborhood is cause for concern, this particular bear tried to blend in with the locals by walking on its hind legs like your standard bipedal human. So either someone is very adept at costuming, or World of Warcraft's Pandaren race are less a flight of fancy and more a plausible evolutionary prediction.

You can watch Baloo saunter down the street AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "New Jersey Bear Strolls Through Neighborhood On Two Legs: VIDEO" »


Michigan Democrat Adam Zemke Introduces Bill To Ban Gay Conversion Therapy in the State

Adam zemke

New legislation has been introduced by Michigan Democrat Rep. Adam Zemke which aims to ban gay conversion therapy for minors in the state, reports mlive.com.

Zemke hopes Michigan can join California and New Jersey in banning “ex-gay” therapy for under-18s.  Efforts to introduce bans on conversion therapy in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York state have been blocked or stalled.

Zemke said:

"The evidence shows you cannot change sexual orientation, so the legislation was kind of a no-brainer. We want to make sure children cannot be exposed to situations that are emotionally harmful to them because of their parents' beliefs or desires to try to change their orientation."

In 2009, the American Psychological Association said that attempts to change sexual orientation are ineffective and can have harmful side effects including depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety.

Zemke has had positive support from some Republicans. However, Republican Rep. Gail Haines, chair of the House Health Policy Committee, said that new laws intervening in the relationship between parents and their children "seems unnecessary."

The “ex-gay” movement has had a number of recent setbacks. Last week, Duane Youngblood was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a teenager. Yesterday, we reported that Yvette Cantu Schneider, one of the most vocal and best known representatives of the ex-gay movement, announced that she no longer wishes to identify with anti-gay groups.


Suspect in Murders of Two Gay Men in Seattle Arrested in New Jersey

Police on Friday arrested Ali Muhammad Brown, suspect in the murders of two gay men in Seattle on June 1, Q13 FOX News reports:

BrownThe West Orange Police Department said officers arrested Brown in the area of the 200 block of Mt. Pleasant Avenue without incident. He was booked at the Homicide Task Force for two open murder warrants from a June 1 double murder in Seattle and an arrest warrant for a carjacking in Point Pleasant, N.J., on June 29.

Brown will be housed at the Essex County Correctional Center and turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service, the department said.

Brown, who is originally from the East Orange, N.J., area but who has lived in Burien, Kent and Federal Way, is accused of gunning down 27-year-old Ahmed Said and 23-year-old Dwone Anderson-Young at 29th and King Street in Seattle on June 1.

Police believe Brown used Grindr to target his victims.


Chris Christie: It's Not Time For Republicans To Drop Opposition to Gay Marriage

C_christie

Gay marriage is legal in New Jersey, and Governor Chris Christie believes that the matter is for now "settled" in his home state. But Governor Christie does not think it's time for the Republican party to drop gay marriage as an issue.

TIME reports that Christie, speaking to reporters over the weekend at the National Governors Association, believes that the U.S. "will resolve this [issue] over a period of time,” and that legal resolutions "should be done state by state."

While the Republican party could feesibly pick up many young voters if it decreased its focus on social issues, including gay marriage, Christie says:

I don’t think that there’s going to be some major referee who’s going to say now it’s time to stop [with the gay marriage debate]...Certainly I’m not going to, because these are opinions that I feel strongly about.

When he was asked whether the U.S. might end up gravitating back toward "traditional" marriage despite the current trend in legal proceedings, Christie said: “I don’t know, I don’t have a crystal ball.”


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