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Neighbors Defend Gay Oregon Grandmother Harassed by Property Manager, Hate Graffiti: VIDEO

Diedyke

A grandmother in Rainier, Oregon had a hateful gay slur painted on the side of her home and says it's just the latest incident of targeted harassment she has faced since the park she lives in hired a new property manager.

GrandmotherKOIN reports that Melanie Powell has been living out and proud (with a rainbow flag outside her home) at the same trailer park for 25 years without any trouble but when a new property manager was hired she suddenly felt threatened.

Powell began receiving repair notices for her roof, porch, and paint, and was subjected to harassment from the new manager Maureena Schmaing, KOIN adds:

“I’m tired of being yelled at, screamed at, vulgar language, being accused of doing stuff we are not doing,” said Powell.

Several of Powell’s neighbors, including William Pierce, said they haven’t had any problems with the new property manager and that all focus seems to be on Powell. Neighbors believe they may be targeting Powell because she is gay.

Manager“I’ve watched it enough where I had to come down here myself and stop the manager from yelling at her the way she was,” said Pierce.

When confronted, the park’s manager...denied she was targeting Powell because of her sexual orientation. “I’m a landlord. I follow the Manufacturing Housing Oregon Law, and I follow all the Title 10 Law with any park site I manage,” said Schmaing.

It's unclear who is behind the hateful graffiti.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Mills College Becomes First All-Women's School to Welcome Transgender Students

Mills hall

Yesterday, Mills College in Oakland, California, became the first all-women’s college in the U.S. to openly welcome transgender and gender nonconforming students, reports Think Progress.

Last December, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill providing unprecedented protections for transgender students in the state.

Mills College is one of 119 single-sex universities across the U.S., 48 of which are women’s colleges.

According to Brian O’Rourke, vice president of enrollment and admissions, about three to five of the college’s 1,000 undergraduates identify as transgender or gender non-conforming every year.

The new policy allows for numerous ways to accommodate transgender students while still maintaining an identity as a women’s college:

  • The college welcome any student who self-identifies as a woman, regardless of what sex she was assigned at birth.

  • Applicants “who do not fit into the gender binary” are welcome provided they were assigned “female” at birth.

  • Female students who enroll but later identify as a man may stay and graduate.

  • The policy does not apply to undergraduate students who were assigned “female” at birth but who already legally identify as a man.

Last month we reported that George Fox University in Oregon and The California Baptist University continue to legally discriminate against transgender students.  Under exemptions, George Fox University can legally discriminate against a transgender student who identifies as a man and was refused permission to reside in housing for male students.  In The California Baptist University case, a scholarship student was expelled by the university on the basis of “fraud” after she appeared on a reality television program to discuss her transgender identity.


9th Circuit Denies NOM Request To Halt Gay Marriages In Oregon: READ

OregonThe 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked a request from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to halt gay marriages in Oregon, The Oregonian reports:

The action comes in the wake of the May 19 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane in Eugene to strike down Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage. Voters in 2004 passed an amendment to the state constitution, Measure 36, defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Supporters of same-sex marriage applauded Wednesday's decision.

"We're thrilled by the news but not surprised at all," said Jeana Frazzini, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon. "There was never any merit to their proposal and they've been denied now at every turn."

Frazzini read the court's decision and called it "decisive."

NOM can now either appeal its case to the full 9th Circuit (a three judge panel issued today's decision) or the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court previously denied a request from NOM to get involved in the case back in June. Should NOM appeal to the Supreme Court, the justices would have another chance to intervene. 

Read the 9th Circuit's ruling for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "9th Circuit Denies NOM Request To Halt Gay Marriages In Oregon: READ" »


Religious University Requires Sex Reassignment Surgery For Trans Students Seeking Single-Sex Dorm

G_fox

Oregon’s George Fox University — the Christian school that used a Title IX religious exemption to bar a trans male student from residing in a men’s dormitory — has revised its policy to let trans students live in the dorms as long as they have undergone sex reassignment surgery.

Noting that the university’s student health plan excludes sex reassignment surgery, Zack Ford from Think Progress points out the other shortcomings of George Fox’s “compromise”:

… many transgender people choose not undergo surgical changes to their bodies, either because they cannot afford it, because they do not wish to sacrifice their reproductive ability, or because they simply do not feel it is a necessary step to realize their gender identities. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that at most, a quarter of trans people had already had some form of genital surgery, though many more wanted to someday. In turn, the World Health Organization recently condemned any policy that requires transgender people to undergo sterilizing surgery in order to obtain legal recognition…

Ford has also noted that the school orginally offered to house the student in a single apartment near campus, and that the school's policy defines "common residence halls" as "single-sex, defined anatomically." Makes you wonder if they're checking the bust-size and genitals of everyone who applies.

One year ago, the U.S. Department of Education stated that Title XI granted trans students access to accommodations like bathrooms, locker rooms and dorms. However, the religious exemption allows schools like George Fox University and the Cal Baptist nursing school to discriminate against and even expel trans students under the guise of “religious beliefs.”


Latino Labor Group Stands Up To Catholic Church, Refuses To Cut Ties With LGBT-Friendly Allies

Voz

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has threatened to cut funding to a Latino workers rights organization if it refuses to cut ties with other groups that support marriage equality, reports Think Progress.

Voz, which primarily helps Latino immigrants find work in Portland, Oregon, does not take a position on marriage equality. However, when faced with the decision to end it’s association with Latino rights group the National Council of La Raza or lose $75,000 of it’s $310,000 annual budget, Voz leaders “self-disqualified” the group by voting to continue the affiliation.

The CCHD is subject to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a longtime opponent of marriage equality.

In a press release, Romeo Sosa, Executive Director of Voz, wrote:

“CCHD forced the question of Marriage Equality into the grant process. Ultimately we are an organization that does not discriminate; many of us know people who are gay, lesbian and transgender. They are our aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, friends, co-workers and neighbors.”

However, other local organizations are now rushing in to support Voz. Spokespeople from the Oregon AFL-CIO and Basic Rights Oregon hosted a news conference on Wednesday to declare their solidarity with Voz, and Basic Rights Oregon has already received nearly $10,000 in pledges from pro-LGBT organizations.

Call To Action, a Catholic social justice group, has launched an online Groundswell petition asking the CCHD to “stop bullying social justice organizations with litmus tests over LGBT equality.”

The CCHD’s decision is seen by some as hypocritical given that Catholic groups are currently lobbying President Barack Obama for exemptions from a pending executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees.


Transgender Students Face Discrimination By Religious Colleges

George_fox_university

A July 14th Inside Higher Ed article highlights two cases of discrimination against transgender students that are representative of the broader ability of institutions to ignore federal laws that interfere with their faith.

The article comes following last month’s Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision, which upheld the right of some businesses owned by religious individuals not to finance contraception coverage for employees; and a letter by more than 140 religious organizations and individuals petitioning for an exemption from President Barack Obama’s pending executive order which aims to protect LGBT federal employees.

The article discusses in detail an exemption granted to George Fox University, Oregon, that allows it to discriminate against a transgender student who identifies as a man and was refused permission to reside in housing for male students; and The California Baptist University case in which a scholarship student was expelled by the university on the basis of “fraud” after she appeared on a reality television program to discuss her transgender identity.

The article goes on to consider the case of Gordon College in Massachusetts. College president Michael Lindsay signed the letter to Barack Obama seeking exemptions. Citing Gordon’s anti-gay policies, the City of Salem, Massachusetts, has since killed a contract under which Gordon has operated the city's Old Town Hall. Additionally, the college’s accreditor is now reviewing whether Gordon’s policies violate NEASC’s anti-bias rules.


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