Turning HRC’s Promise Into Action
By DONNA CARTWRIGHT
A resolution adopted earlier this month by the board of directors of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) represents an enormous step forward for the transgender community. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community’s leading voice in Washington is now clearly on the record saying that transgender inclusion in federal anti-discrimination legislation is essential, not optional.
And it seems that, at last, HRC is ready to treat the trans community as a full partner in the LGBT civil rights struggle.
But it is much too early to “declare victory” or even to assume that the most difficult struggles are over. Instead, they may be just beginning. It is important to take note of the fact that HRC’s action has not led to immediate pledges by members of Congress to broaden the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) to cover transgender and gender-different people. In fact, Rep. Barney Frank, the gay Massachusetts Democrat who wields great influence on LGBT legislation, has been quoted in recent days as arguing against broadening the bill.
A good deal remains to be done, by both HRC and the transgender community.
Gay bashing incident resolved
UP, Safe Zone settle conflict over comedian
By Megan Nichols
Student Life Editor
University Programs and Safe Zone, a watchdog group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students' rights on campus, have resolved a conflict stemming from an incidence of gay bashing at a UP-sponsored event Friday night.
Kevin Locke, UP president, acknowledged the incident occurred, but said his organization is not apologizing for the acts of a comedian who insulted a UA student during his show at the Ferguson Center Theater.
"Gay bashing was not a part of his show," Locke said. "This was a public conversation between two people. No one could hear what the student was saying, but the comedian had a mike."
Amanda Schuber, Safe Zone coordinator, said her organization has been in touch with the student and he asked that his name not be released.
School District Votes to Sue State
Westminster trustees agree 3 to 2 to become the plaintiff in Christian group's lawsuit over a regulation on gender anti-discrimination.
By Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writer
Months after narrowly avoiding severe financial sanctions because of its controversial stand against a state anti-discrimination regulation, the Westminster School District resumed the fight Thursday, voting to sue the state Department of Education.
Voting 3 to 2, the small Orange County district agreed to become the plaintiff in a case planned and funded by the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based Christian legal organization that recently argued against same-sex marriages before the California Supreme Court.
At issue is a part of the state education code — and the accompanying regulation written to enforce it — that is meant to protect transsexual teachers and students, as well as others who do not conform to traditional gender roles, from discrimination at school.
Mark Bucher, the lawyer the district hired in April, said the definitions of "gender" in the education code and the regulation contradict each other. The lawsuit, he said, is aimed at forcing state education officials to rewrite the regulation.
School Board bans bias over 'gender ID'
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER STAFF
The School Board decided Wednesday to add "gender identity" to the list of personal characteristics protected against defamation and discrimination in educational opportunity or employment in the schools, for students and staff members.
Race, creed, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status and mental, physical and sensory disability already are protected, with some exceptions for fitness for work.
Although few students are likely to undergo sex-change operations before they graduate from high school, school district lawyer Holly Ferguson said some are contemplating the procedure and may experiment with the clothing or lifestyle of a gender different from the one their biology suggests.
Record 80 Percent of Fortune 500 Companies Protect Gay and Lesbian Employees
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 3 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A record 400 (80 percent) of the 2003 Fortune 500 Companies have adopted personnel policies that protect sexual orientation from workplace discrimination.
In fall 2003, Equality Forum in collaboration with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) wrote to the 177 CEOs of the 2003 Fortune 500 Companies that did not provide workplace protection based on sexual orientation requesting that inclusion in their anti-discrimination policy.
"Over the past ten months, 77 (43 percent) of the 177 noncompliant Fortune 500 Companies added sexual orientation to their workplace discrimination policies. These 77 companies employ over 5.1 million workers. The inclusion of sexual orientation sends a message that their company provides a level playing field with merit as the standard for career advancement," stated Malcolm Lazin, executive director, Equality Forum.
Anti-amendment effort spreads beyond metro Atlanta
‘Biggest obstacle’ in rural areas is coming out, volunteer says
By RYAN LEE
The effort to convince Georgia voters to reject Amendment 1 on Nov. 2 is headquartered in metro Atlanta.
But volunteers are fanning out across the state to win over allies, reaching out in areas like Dahlonega, Athens and Savannah.
Volunteer Donna Waddell, a lesbian and home health nurse, said she is sometimes surprised where opponents of the measure, which would ban same-sex marriage in Georgia, are found.
After Waddell addressed a group in Ellijay last week — Republicans, Independents & Democrats to Defeat Bush — a Vietnam veteran and former POW spoke about the issue.
Gay vote may split in Council race
Long-shot is only Democrat to back gay marriage
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Friday, September 03, 2004
Incumbent D.C. Councilmember Harold Brazil (D-At-Large), who has been in office for 14 years, is facing one of his toughest re-election efforts in the city’s Sept. 14 primary, and Brazil is turning to gay voters for support.
But activists familiar with the at-large Council race say the gay vote is likely to split this year between Brazil and his Democratic opponents, Kwame Brown and Sam Brooks, with many gays expected to base their vote on non-gay issues.
Brazil and Brown, who is considered Brazil’s closet rival, have expressed strong support for virtually all gay civil rights and AIDS-related issues except same-sex marriage. The two say they support civil unions over gay marriage, although they have pledged to support D.C. recognition of same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts or other states.