Transgender Hub

Houston Rejects Anti-Trans Petition Due To Bigot's Embarrassing Blunder


Last week we told you how anti-LGBT Houston activist Dave Wilson wants to enshrine a transgender bathroom ban in the city charter.

Earlier today, Wilson turned in his petition seeking to repeal transgender protections in both the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and Mayor Annise Parker's 2012 executive order covering city employees.

But apparently Wilson misread the rules for amending the city charter. He was under the impression that he needed only 17,200 signatures on the petition for his proposal to appear on the ballot. However, Texas law clearly states that he needed 20,000 signatures. As a result, the city rejected Wilson's petition. 


Parker.Annise4"On its face, there's no reason to count them," said Mayor Annise Parker. "And I have no clue what he thought he might achieve by turning in an insufficient number of petitions, other than to show that he couldn't collect enough petitions."

Wilson later conceded he hadn't turned in enough signatures because he misread the arcane rules surrounding petition drives.

He confused the city's requirements for repealing an ordinance with the state's rules for amending city charters. Wilson said he collected roughly 19,700 signatures, but the state's local government code requires at least 20,000.

Wilson — who infamously got elected to the Houston Community College board by pretending to be black — plans to collect the additional 300 required signatures. However, Parker said it's too late — he's already turned in the petition. Besides, the mayor said, because Wilson's petition aims to repeal the Equal Rights Ordinance, it needed to be turned in within 30 days of the law's passage last May: 

"We're going to stack 'em up and put 'em on a shelf someplace," Parker said of the petitions. "And we're not going to process them."

The city also rejected a separate petition to repeal the Equal Rights Ordinance, saying it didn't have enough valid signatures due to problems such as rampant forgery. Anti-LGBT activists sued the city over the decision, and a judge is expected to issue a ruling soon. 

At some point, you'd think these folks would learn not to mess with Parker. 

ABC News to Air 'Far-Ranging and Exclusive' Interview Between Diane Sawyer and Bruce Jenner April 24

JennerBruce Jenner will sit down for a two-hour interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer airing April 24, Variety reports:

ABC News declined to offer much detail on the content of the talks, but said in a statement that the interview was “far-ranging and exclusive” and would appear as a special two-hour edition of “20/20″ starting at 9 p.m. Eastern on Friday, April 24.

Back in February, Jenner was involved in a fatal car accident on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. 

Previously, "Jamie Foxx Mocks Bruce Jenner's Reported Transition at 'iHeartRadio" Music Awards" [tlrd]

Department of Justice Weighs In on Lawsuit Against Transphobic Georgia Prison System


In the three years since Ashley Diamond has been an inmate at Georgia State Prison she’s been denied access to her medically prescribed hormones, assaulted, and repeated raped by other inmates. Diamond, who is a transgender woman, first filed a lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Corrections in February after years of unsuccessfully trying to convince corrections officials to provide her proper medical treatment and protection.

When the Department of Corrections wasn’t flat out ignoring Diamond’s pleas it fell back on Georgia’s freeze-frame policy that determines how prisons recognize inmates as they enter the system. When inmates are first processed they are typically given full health panels so as to assess any pre-existing medical conditions that may arise during their incarceration.

In her lawsuit Diamond describes that she was made to disrobe in front of male inmates despite asserting her female identity and physically presenting as a woman. It was determined that Diamond was a man, and thus should be put into the general male population within the prison. Over the weekend the Department of Justice issued a statement of interest regarding Diamond’s lawsuit and highlighted how the freeze-frame policy was being used to discriminate against trans-identified people.

"Freeze-frame policies and other policies that apply blanket prohibitions to such treatment are facially unconstitutional because they fail to provide individualized assessment and treatment of a serious medical need," the letter reads.

In fighting for her own rights Diamond is drawing attention to the very real obstacles facing transpeople who are tied up in the penal system. Part of what makes Diamond’s argument compelling is the fact that she began transitioning as a young teenager and reads physically as a woman. The larger issue that she’s tackling through her lawsuit, however, are transpeople’s fundamental right to assert their identities regardless of their physical appearances.

Diamond’s case is scheduled to be heard for the first time in court on April 13. Read the Department of Justice’s letter of interest in full AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Department of Justice Weighs In on Lawsuit Against Transphobic Georgia Prison System" »

Trans Man Settles Discrimination Claim Against AT&T, Despite San Antonio's 'Broken' LGBT Protections


A transgender man has settled his 15-month-old discrimination claim against AT&T Inc., despite what his attorney calls "broken" LGBT protections in San Antonio.  

In January 2014, Mathew Hileman (above) filed the first complaint under the city's nondiscrimination ordinance, which was approved amid controversy in 2013. Hileman alleged he was fired by Resource Global Professionals, an IT consulting firm and AT&T contractor, based on his gender identity. 

When Hileman overheard two co-workers threatening violence against trans people if they were found in the bathroom, he reported it, only to later find a "no fags" sign on his chair. When Hileman told supervisors he feared for his safety, they said he was being reassigned but actually terminated him. 

Hileman's complaint immediately revealed problems with the newly passed ordinance. The City Council never established a process for implementing the law, and it doesn't cover employment citywide. The complaint was filed against AT&T based on the fact that the company is a city contractor. 

AT&T, a strong corporate LGBT ally, fought Hileman's complaint bitterly. But Hileman's attorney, Justin Nichols, announced this week the claim was finally settled. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. In addition to the city, Hileman filed a complaint against AT&T with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Out In SA reports: 

Nichols told Out In SA that the settlement with AT&T owed nothing to the nondiscrimination ordinance which he said offered no remedy to claimants that they didn’t already have before it was was approved by the City Council.

“The NDO is broken and does not offer any protection for contract employees,” Nichols said. He added that Mayor Ivy Taylor’s office showed no interest in helping Hileman work through his claim.

“I don’t mean to diminish the efforts of those who passed the NDO,” says Nichols. “It was a valiant and important effort. What I want to convey is the NDO needs fixing, and under the current mayoral administration, there is no effort to improve and implement the NDO, rendering it wholly ineffective.”

If the NDO still isn't being implemented properly, it wouldn't be terribly surprising given that interim Mayor Ivy Taylor voted against the law and recently called it a "a political stunt."

Taylor, who was appointed to serve the remainder of Julian Castro's term after he was named HUD secretary, faces two formidable LGBT-friendly candidates in the May election, former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and former Rep. Mike Villarreal, both Latino Democrats.

Hopefully, the winner will make it a priority to fix the ordinance, assuming that the state Legislature doesn't gut it before then

Anti-LGBT Houston Activist Wants To Enshrine Transgender Bathroom Ban In City Charter: VIDEO


An anti-LGBT Houston activist says he has enough signatures to force a public vote on a charter amendment that would ban transgender protections in the city. 

Dave Wilson (above), of Houstonians For Family Values, led efforts to pass a charter amendment prohibiting domestic partner benefits in 2001. He also made headlines in 2013 when he deceived voters into thinking he was black to get elected to the Houston Community College board.

Now, Wilson wants to repeal transgender protections in both the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and Mayor Annise Parker's 2012 executive order covering city employees.     


"Whatever you're born with you have to live with, that's what this is basically saying," said Dave Wilson, a HCC Trustee. ... 

"What I'm talking about doing is a charter amendment change, which permanently codifies into the city charter the fact that men cannot use the women's bathroom," said Wilson.

Last May, the Houston City Council passed an Equal Rights Ordinance that includes transgender protections. However, opponents of the ordinance sued the city after officials rejected their petition to repeal it. The case is still pending, but Wilson says the effort to repeal the Equal Rights Ordinance isn't enough. From the mailer that accompanies Wilson's petition: 

"The current lawsuit against the Mayor's bathroom ordinance will not stop her. We must change the City Charter to prohibit her (or any future mayor) from passing Executive Orders or Ordinances. An amendment to the City Charter is the only permanent solution. What happens to the citizens of Houston and their City government when both have largely forgotten God and instead worship pleasure over principle and elevate lust over love? If you feel that getting involved in politics and signing the enclosed petition is beneath your dignity because you want to focus on worshipping and not politics, you better think again! Your religious freedom will evaporate in the absence of political freedom." 

According to the website of Houstonians For Family Values, the charter amendment would read as follows: 

"Except as required by State or Federal law, the City of Houston shall only define 'Gender Identity' as an Individual's Innate Identification, as either male or female, which Is assigned at birth. Perceived gender identification Is not allowed In defining 'Gender Identity.' Furthermore, the City of Houston shall require entities doing business with the city to adopt the same definition of 'Gender Identity.'" 

According to Texas state law, the proposed charter amendment would need 20,000 signatures to be placed on the ballot. In the case of the Equal Rights Ordinance, the city said opponents failed to gather the required 17,269 signatures. 

Wilson told KHOU he has enough signatures to put the charter amendment on the ballot and plans to turn them in next week. Even assuming that's true, the real question will be, how many of them are actually valid?

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

Continue reading "Anti-LGBT Houston Activist Wants To Enshrine Transgender Bathroom Ban In City Charter: VIDEO" »

Justice Dept. Sues University For Firing Professor Who Transitioned


The Justice Department has announced the filing of a lawsuit against Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU) and the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) for discriminating against a transgender employee.

The lawsuit claims that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, SOSU and RUSO discriminated against the transgender employee on the basis of her sex and retaliated against her when she complained.

Attorney General Eric Holder (above) announced last year that the Department of Justice will extend Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination protection to claims based on an individual’s gender identity, including transgender status.

2000px-Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_Justice.svgAccording to the complaint, Rachel Tudor began working at SOSU as an associate professor in 2004. At this time, Tudor identified as a man. In 2007, she began to present as a woman. However, in 2009 the university  denied an application for a tenured promotion and overruled the recommendations of her department chair and other tenured faculty from her department.  

The following year, Tudor filed complaints regarding the denial of her application. Shortly after it learned of her complaints, SOSU refused to let Tudor re-apply for promotion and tenure despite the college’s policies permitting re-application.  At the end of the 2010-11 academic year, SOSU and RUSO terminated Tudor’s employment because she had not obtained tenure.

On the announcement of the lawsuit, Holder said:

“By standing beside Dr. Tudor, the Department of Justice sends a clear message that we are committed to eliminating discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity.

We will not allow unfair biases and unjust prejudices to prevent transgender Americans from reaching their full potential as workers and as citizens.  And we will continue to work tirelessly, using every legal tool available, to ensure that transgender individuals are guaranteed the rights and protections that all Americans deserve.”

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Jenny R. Yang added:

“This is a tremendous example of how collaboration between EEOC and the Department of Justice leads to strong and coordinated enforcement of Title VII. This case furthers the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan, which includes coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII's sex discrimination provisions as a national enforcement priority.”


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