A transgender woman identified in court papers as Sonia Doe has been awarded $125,000 for being forced to live in a men’s prison in New Jersey for a year and a half. The Court also awarded her $45,000 in attorney fees along with a state policy change beginning July 1, 2021, to house inmates by their gender identification.
Between the time Ms. Doe entered prison in March 2018 and filing her lawsuit in August 2019, the DOC confined her in four different men’s prisons, despite its knowledge that she is a woman. DOC staff tried to force Ms. Doe to live as a man, consistently misgendered her, and subjected her to daily discrimination, harassment, and even outright violence because she is transgender.
According to the ACLU of NJ, two weeks after filing the lawsuit, the DOC announced it would transfer Ms. Doe to the women’s prison, a move that her lawyers had asked the Court to order.
“When I was forced to live in men’s prisons, I was terrified I wouldn’t make it out alive. Those memories still haunt me,” Doe said in a statement as reported by the Associated Press. “Though I still have nightmares about that time, said Sonia Doe, it’s a relief to know that as a result of my experience the NJDOC has adopted substantial policy changes so no person should be subjected to the horrors I survived.”
Newsweek reports that other protections include single-cell housing while final housing determinations are being made; being able to shower separately from other inmates; the right to have input into housing decisions and to appeal those decisions, and a prohibition of physical examinations to determine an inmate’s genital status. Pat-down searches or strip searches by transgender women by male officers will be prohibited.
The Supreme Court declined to hear a lower court ruling giving Gavin Grimm yet another win for transgender students’ rights. The Gloucester School Board had appealed the 4th District appeals court ruling that Gavin Grimm was discriminated against when he denied use of the boy’s bathroom.
It all began in 2015 when as a freshman High school student Grimm began his freshman year as a trans man using the boys’ restroom, with the blessing of his school. But soon afterward without reason, Grimm was denied the use of the bathroom that aligned with his gender identity. Grimm and the ACLU filed a lawsuit in the 4th District, in which he won that right.
The School Board appealed that ruling to the appeals court which once again ruled in favor of Gavin Grimm. The Board appealed that case to the Supreme Court which once again declined and left in place the lower court rulings.
While not an outright victory the supreme court left in place three different appeals court rulings in separate cases that all found that trans students have the right to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity.
The lower courts have used as guidance the Supreme Court’s decision last term that found LGBTQ workers are protected under federal civil rights law from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
In declining to hear the case, the Supreme Court leaves the 4th Circuit’s decision in place. Grimm had urged the high court not to take up the legal battle.
California bans travel to five more states in response to recently enacted anti-transgender laws. In addition to the 12 states that were previously banned state-paid travel to Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia will be prohibited on the day that the laws become effective.
“In recent months, we’ve seen 250+ anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures, 95+ directly targeting transgender Americans,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta in a statement Monday. “Make no mistake: We’re in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry & discrimination. CA will not tolerate it.”
SAN FRANCISCO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that California will restrict state-funded travel to Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia as a result of new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation recently enacted in each state. The states are a part of a recent, dangerous wave of discriminatory new bills signed into law in states across the country that directly work to ban transgender youth from playing sports, block access to life-saving care, or otherwise limit the rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community. Many states pushing these new discriminatory laws are already on California’s travel restrictions list. The new restrictions on state-funded travel to the states announced today are prescribed by law in California pursuant to Assembly Bill 1887 (AB 1887), which was enacted in 2016.
“Assembly Bill 1887 is about aligning our dollars with our values,” said Attorney General Bonta. “When states discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans, California law requires our office to take action. These new additions to the state-funded travel restrictions list are about exactly that. It’s been 52 years to the day since the Stonewall Riots began, but that same fight remains all too alive and well in this country. Rather than focusing on solving real issues, some politicians think it’s in their best interest to demonize trans youth and block life-saving care. Make no mistake: We’re in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country — and the State of California is not going to support it.”
In creating AB 1887, the California Legislature determined that California must take action to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. To that end, the law restricts a state agency, department, board, or commission from authorizing state-funded travel to a state that, after June 26, 2015, has enacted a law authorizing, or repealing existing protections against, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Each applicable California agency is responsible for consulting the AB 1887 list created by the California Department of Justice to comply with the travel and funding restrictions imposed by the law. With the additions announced today, there will be a total of 17 states on California’s state-funded travel restrictions list.
Information regarding the reasons and timeline for each new state’s inclusion on the AB 1887 list is as follows:
Arkansas is being added to California’s state-funded travel restrictions list as a result of Senate Bill 354, Senate Bill 289, and House Bill 1570. The first two bills were signed into law by the Governor on March 25 and March 26, respectively. The third bill was passed after Arkansas’ General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto on April 6. Senate Bill 354, among other things, prevents transgender women and girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. Senate Bill 289 allows medical providers to deny care to LGBTQ+ Americans. Lastly, House Bill 1570 is the first law in the nation to prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming healthcare to transgender minors, regardless of the wishes of parents or whether a physician deems such care to be medically necessary. Given the effective date for the new laws, Arkansas, pursuant to AB 1887, will be added to California’s travel restrictions list on July 29, 2021.
Florida is being added to California’s state-funded travel restrictions list as a result of Senate Bill 1028. Signed into law on the first day of Pride Month, Senate Bill 1028 prevents transgender women and girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. Given the effective date for the new law, Florida, pursuant to AB 1887, will be added to California’s travel restrictions list on July 1, 2021.
Montana is being added to California’s state-funded travel restrictions list as a result of House Bill 112 and Senate Bill 215. Signed into law on May 7, House Bill 112 prevents transgender women and girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. Signed into law on April 22, Senate Bill 215 overrides existing state and local laws and policies that prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ+ Americans. It threatens to, among other effects, allow businesses to refuse a broad range of services to same-sex couples because of their sexual orientation alone. Given the effective date for the new laws, Montana, pursuant to AB 1887, will be added to California’s travel restrictions list on July 1, 2021.
North Dakota is being added to California’s state-funded travel restrictions list as a result of House Bill 1503. Signed into law on April 16, House Bill 1503, among other things, repeals existing protections at some North Dakota public universities by permitting certain publicly-funded student organizations to openly discriminate against LGBTQ+ students by restricting participation in those organizations. It also limits the ability of universities and colleges to sanction or discipline student-on-student harassment. Given the effective date for the new law, North Dakota, pursuant to AB 1887, will be added to California’s travel restrictions list on August 1, 2021.
West Virginia is being added to California’s state-funded travel restrictions list as a result of House Bill 3293. Signed into law on April 28, House Bill 3293 prevents transgender women and girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. Given the effective date for the new law, West Virginia, pursuant to AB 1887, will be added to California’s travel restrictions list on July 8, 2021.
For additional information on AB 1887, including the list of states subject to its provisions, visit: https://oag.ca.gov/ab1887.
Ohio Republicans surprised and appalled Democrats when they added a last-minute amendment to a bipartisan bill allowing amateur athletes an option to receive compensation for their name, image, and likeness.
The amendment added text from the transgender athlete ban that had stalled in the House when Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) moved to add the language as an amendment to SB187 which had bipartisan support.
State House News reports that the bill targeting transgender children was passed by the majority-Republican House as an amendment without a public hearing.
The eleventh-hour GOP attempt prompted fellow Republican Gov. Mike DeWine to issue a rare statement Friday against the piece of legislation that has yet to pass both chambers, before making it to his desk.
“This issue is best addressed outside of government, through individual sports leagues and athletic associations, including the Ohio High School Athletic Association, who can tailor policies to meet the needs of their member athletes and member institutions,” DeWine said.
Ohio needs to do more to protect the LGBTQ community, said Eliana Turan, the director of development at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. There isn’t enough legislation in place to preserve the safety and rights of transgender people, she said.
“I’m very cognizant of the fact that as a trans woman, I might be denied service at a bathroom somewhere. There’s no legal remedy for me in many parts of the state,” Turan said. “Unfortunately, that’s true regarding many aspects of life, whether it’s employment or housing or what have you.”
The Ohio High School Athletic Association allows for transgender women to compete in women’s sports with guidelines that say “Participation in interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics is a valuable part of the education experience for all students” and “Transgender student-athletes should have equal opportunity to participate in sports.”
The Ohio High School Athletic Association has ruled in 48 cases of transgender students applying to compete since September 2015 and says and there have been only 11 transgender female approvals.
“Those 11 approvals have resulted in no disruption of competition regarding competitive equity and they have not caused any loss in female participation, championships or scholarship opportunities,” Tim Stried, a spokesperson for the association, said in a statement. “The OHSAA is confident that our policy, which is based on medical science, is appropriate to address transgender requests and works for the benefit of all student-athletes and member schools.”
Washington Spirit forward Kumi Yokoyama, pronouns they/them, recently came out as transgender in a youtube video recorded by a former teammate.
It wasn’t a decision taken lightly by World Cup star Kumi Yokoyama. They are one of the few athletes to do so in Japan where the process of changing legal gender markers is called ‘abusive’ by the Human Rights Watch.
Yokoyama, who represented Japan at the 2019 Women’s World Cup and currently plays for National Women’s Soccer League’s Washington Spirit, told the Japan Times living in the United States made it easier to be “open” about sexuality and gender.
They decided to announce their transition and their extraordinary decision to delay taking Hormones until after they retire so they could live at peace with themselves, their team, and fans.
“Recently, the term LGBTQ has become familiar in Japan, and you see it in the media nowadays,” said the 27-year-old footballer.
“But I thought that if people in my position didn’t speak up, things wouldn’t progress.”
Yokoyama’s message was posted on the YouTube channel of former Japan teammate Yuki Nagasato — a World Cup winner in 2011.
Yokoyama, who wishes to be referred by the gender-neutral pronouns “they” and “them”, had top surgery at the age of 20.
They intend to have further gender reassignment surgery after they have retired from playing.
The forward said there was pressure to conform to gender norms in Japan, but there was less discrimination in the United States and Germany, where Yokoyama previously played for Frankfurt.
“In Japan, you’re always asked ‘do you have a boyfriend?’, but here it’s normal to ask ‘do you prefer men or women’,” Yokoyama said.
“I hid it from my teammates in the beginning, but they told me it was uncool to hide it, and that I didn’t have to.”
Louisiana Gov John Bel Edwards announced that he vetoed the Anti-Trans Sports bill Tuesday. Senate Bill 156 sponsored by Sen. Beth Mizell would prevent transgender girls and women from participating on athletic teams or in sporting events designated for girls or women at elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools.
“As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana,” the governor said in a statement. “Even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single case where this was an issue” in Louisiana.
The Republican Speaker of the House said that he supports holding a veto session in July. Should that take place the legislature will need a two-thirds majority to override the Governor’s veto.
Related: Transgender runner CeCe Telfer was ruled ineligible to compete in the Olympic trials due to new rules governing testosterone levels for specific events. The required level of 5 nanomoles or less per liter (nmol/L) for a span of 12 months can only be achieved through surgical processes that are unavailable to transgender minors.
Louisiana Trans Advocates released the following statement:
In the press release, Governor Edwards said, “it would make life more difficult for transgender children, who are some of the most vulnerable Louisianans when it comes to issues of mental health. We should be looking for more ways to unite rather than divide our citizens.”
Bravo, Governor Edwards, and thank you to all of you for your fierce advocacy throughout the 2021 legislative session. With this veto, we can now say that all four anti-trans bills filed this session will fail to become law.
Two anti-trans / CRT protesters were arrested at the Louden School board on Tuesday. They were there to protest teaching school children about race and gender diversity. The protesters resorted to the same tactics, twisting facts, bullying, and violence that their grandparents used during reconstruction to keep people of color out of school.
As first reported by neg.zone a pickup truck distroyed a $16,000 LGBT pride crosswalk.
The installation was officially inaugurated on June 12th and had a cost of $16,000. Two days later after leaving Donald Trump’s birthday party, Alexander Jerich, 20, drove his pickup across it leaving black skid marks across it.
Alexander Jerich of Lake Worth, FL was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on 06/17/2021 at 2:49 pm and released on his own recognizance, with a $1,000 dollar non-surety bond at 10:15 pm that evening.
Jerich is charged with Damage Property Criminal Mischief of $1000 or more and reckless driving.
However, if he is charged and convicted of a hate crime enhancement and the law Republicans just enacted to protect Confederate Monuments he could be looking at 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine or more.
A quickly accelerating pickup truck ran over two men at the Wilton Manors Florida Pride parade killing one and injuring another. According to reports the two victims and the driver of the truck were members of the Fort Lauderdale gay men’s chorus and participants in the parade.
The Fort Lauderdale mayor said that the incident was “intentional” and a ‘terrorist attack’ against the LGBT community. The FBI is investigating claims that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz’s car was the target.
Some witnesses said the crash appeared to be an intentional act, but Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Ali Adamson told reporters that authorities were investigating all possibilities.
The driver and the victims were a part of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus family, according to a statement reported by news outlets from the group’s president, Justin Knight.
“To my knowledge, it was an accident. This was not an attack on the LGBTQ community,” Knight said in the statement. “We anticipate more details to follow and ask for the community’s love and support.”
Secretary Denis McDonough is expected to announce that transgender veterans will be offered gender confirmation surgery for the first time according to the Military Times.
“[This is ] allowing transgender vets to go through the full gender confirmation process with VA by their side,” McDonough said in prepared remarks for an event at the Orlando VA Healthcare System in Florida. “We’re making these changes not only because they are the right thing to do, but because they can save lives.”
The National Center for Transgender Equality estimates there are more than 134,000 transgender veterans in America today, and another 15,000 transgender individuals serving in the armed forces.
VA officials estimate that around 4,000 veterans nationwide will be interested in the surgeries. Total cost of the program is not yet known. The department also could not say when surgeries will be available, since officials must first go through a formal rule change process.
McDonough said making the change “will require changing VA’s regulations and establishing policy that will ensure the equitable treatment and safety” of transgender veterans.
“There are several steps to take, which will take time. But we are moving ahead, methodically, because we want this important change in policy to be implemented in a manner that has been thoroughly considered to ensure that the services made available to veterans meet VA’s rigorous standards for quality health care.”
In a statement, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano, D-Calif. and the first openly gay minority individual elected to Congress hailed the move.
“Veterans in need of gender confirmation surgery should not have to seek healthcare outside of the VA health system or navigate complicated processes to get the care they need,” he said. “VA must be inclusive of all veterans who have served, regardless of their identity.”
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester, D-Mont., similarly praised the expansion of health care offerings for transgender veterans.
“Every service member and veteran deserves equal access to quality care from VA, and this includes our LGBTQ+ veterans,” he said in a statement. “We must reaffirm our commitment to making VA a more welcoming place for everyone who fought to protect our freedoms.”
The GOP is more than ready for a war on vets now that it is clear legislating against trans children is a fail.
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee ranking member Mike Bost, R-Ill., blasted the announcement as the White House trying to win “the culture wars.”
“This announcement clearly has more to do with advancing a radical liberal agenda than serving veterans,” he said. “It is a disgrace. This administration should rethink their priorities immediately.”