Stepping backward on civil rights at HHS

Roger Severino most recently was director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation, where he concerned himself with "religious liberty, marriage and life issues." But the Trump Administration has been staffing itself with Heritage people, so Severino has been chosen to be director of the Office of Civil Rights at HHS.

The Hate Bus

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They're calling it a "Free Speech Bus." By "they,' I mean The National Organization for Marriage, the International Organization for the Family, and a new hate group called CitizenGO. The latter is a Madrid-based organization with ties to the Church. The leading figure in all these organization is, of course, Brian S. Brown.

Hate Criminality

It's something one doesn't see every day. Well, the hate is often visible, but labeling an attack of a transgender person as a hate crime just doesn't happen all that much. Even when a trans woman, usually a trans woman of color, is murdered, investigators have this way of looking for other reasons as to why it happened. Often there is a blame-the-victim mentality.

Last Friday a New York man beat two transgender women in Jackson Heights, Queens as they attempted to enter a McDonald's.

Too Young?

When I write about the plight of transgender kids, it is not unusual to encounter a comment or two from people who think it necessary to share their opinion that it is impossible for a child younger than 5 to know his gender.

It is also not unusual to encounter articles by people with little to no experience working with transgender kids expressing the same or similar opinion.

This is what hate looks like

Residents of Casa Ruby, a LGBT youth community center and shelter in Washington, D.C., were preparing to turn on a movie on Sunday afternoon to distract themselves from the cold late-winter day.

But before they could settle down in their warm, safe space, a visitor stood up, assaulted a staff member, threw a brick, shattered the glass door, and threatened to return to kill someone.

Survey says!

The majority of Americans oppose laws that would force transgender people to use bathrooms based on the gender listed on their birth certificates according to new polling from the Public Religion Research Institute.

Fifty-three percent of respondents oppose such laws, 39% favor them, and nearly 10% have no opinion.

Evil descended on Austin

That is something everyone can agree on. Just exactly what that evil was is what we disagree on.

This morning SB 6, which is HB 2 reincarnated and beamed over from North Carolina, was passed by the Texas Senate Affairs Committee by a vote on 8-1. That followed testimony on Tuesday of over 250 people which lasted more than 13 hours. There were 253 witnesses who testified against SB6 and 29 who testified in favor of it.

Young and transgender

When I wrote yesterday about a transgender child who was being mistreated by a Chicago-area hospital, I was not surprised to encounter a comment questioning the reality of young transgender children. It is a not-infrequent occurrence.

People who are not transgender have a difficult time understanding an issue that is so far from their own existence. That's why people who are different have such a hard time trying to fit into our society.

This week in the courts

On Monday Judge Mark R Hornak of the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled that three transgender students had a "reasonable likelihood" of success in their argument that the Pine-Richland School District's decision last fall to require them to use bathrooms consistence with the sex on their birth certificates was unconstitutional, and hence granted them a preliminary injunction against that policy.

Add two to this year's list

 photo Chyna_Gibson-1488219408-640x630_zpsqz0w1sit.jpgChyna Gibson, 31, who performed under the name Chyna Doll Dupree in the pageant and ballroom community, was shot to death outside of a shopping center in New Orleans East on Saturday evening.

Residents of the area said that they hear 8 to 10 shots. Chyna died at the scene. Her body was found between to cars parked in front of a clothing store.

A very loving person. She didn't do nothing to nobody.

--Chyna's aunt

Chyna was currently living in California but had traveled to Nola to celebrate Mardi Gras with friends and family.