- August 24, 2016
NYT EDITORIAL: TX AG KEN PAXTON’S LAWSUIT “BASED ON BIGOTRY”: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a new lawsuit yesterday aimed at denying healthcare to transgender patients. The lawsuit has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, who earlier this week ruled against the Departments of Justice and Education’s guidance on schools’ obligations to transgender students. Today, The New York Times editorial board slams Paxton’s calculated “legal assaults on equal protection” as “based on bigotry” -- plain and simple. Paxton specifically sought to bring a lawsuit in the Harrold Independent School District because the case would be assigned to Judge O’Connor, who, in an egregious anti-LGBTQ ruling in 2015, sought to block Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights for legally married same-sex couples despite the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor.
EDUCATION OFFICIALS FIGHT BACK FOR TRANS KIDS: The Wall Street Journal’s Tawnell D. Hobbs and Ian Lovett report that school districts are grappling with uncertainty in the wake of Judge O’Connor’s ruling. His decision compromises the safety and well-being of thousands of schoolchildren, but hats off to compassionate leaders like Superintendent Damaris Lau in Lancaster, Penn., for committing to protecting transgender students. “We really want to ensure that all of our kids feel safe,” she said. The ruling does not prohibit schools from voluntarily implementing the guidance. More from The Wall Street Journal.
WILL HE OR WON’T HE: PAXTON PROMISES TO MEET TRANSGENDER CHILD: After Paxton and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, two of the Lone Star State’s most notorious anti-LGBTQ officials, admitted they’d never met a transgender person, one remarkable Texas mom took matters into her own hands. Amber Briggle invited both to dinner with her family, including her 8-year-old transgender son. When asked by a reporter at NBCDFW.com about the invite, Paxton said that he’d be “happy to do that.” More in the Dallas Morning News.
Amber and her son, MG
NO NORTH CAROLINA WEDDING BELLS FOR CIARA AND NFL’s RUSSELL WILSON: Sports Illustrated reports that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and singer/actress Ciara moved their wedding from North Carolina to London because of HB2. They’re not alone in taking their special event out of state. In addition to the risks HB2 poses to the safety and wellbeing of countless LGBTQ participants, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area reports an estimated $1.2 million in losses from event planners going elsewhere. More from The Daily Tar Heel and The News and Observer.
NEW COMPREHENSIVE TRANSGENDER SEXUAL HEALTH GUIDE: Check out this first-of-its-kind resource from HRC and Whitman-Walker Health: Safer Sex for Trans Bodies, a comprehensive sexual health guide for transgender and gender expansive people and their partners. The guide fills a significant gap in inclusive, publicly-available sexual health resources for transgender and gender expansive people. The resource was made in consultation with Casa Ruby, Trans United Fund, and TransLatin@ Coalition. It was made possible with support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation. More from HRC.
Today: Experts from the HRC Foundation and Whitman-Walker Health will participate in a 1:15 p.m. Facebook live conversation about the new guide and more. Tune in at hrc.im/fblive.
A.M. MUST READ: In this The Huffington Post piece, HRC’s Mary Beth Maxwell writes about the struggles of LGBTQ students on their way back to school.
LAWSUIT PROCEEDS AGAINST NJ CATHOLIC SCHOOL FOR FIRING EMPLOYEE IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: A New Jersey Superior Court judge has denied a motion by Paramus Catholic High School to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit brought by an employee fired for being in a same-sex marriage. Attorneys for Kate Drumgoole, the school’s former dean of guidance and basketball coach, say her job did not include religious instruction, arguing that the firing over marital status violated the state’s anti-discrimination law. More than 3,000 alumni and others have signed a letter protesting the firing. Read more about the case at NJ.com.
UNJUST: HOW THE BROKEN JUVENILE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS FAIL LGBTQ YOUTH: A comprehensive new report explores how the U.S. juvenile and criminal justice systems endanger the lives and life chances of LGBTQ young people. Among the report’s most alarming findings: the percentage of LGBTQ youth in juvenile detention is double that of LGBTQ youth in the general population -- 20 percent of youth in juvenile justice facilities identify as LGBTQ or gender nonconforming, compared with 7 to 9 percent of youth in the general population. The report comes from a coalition of partners including HRC. More from the Center for American Progress.
MOMENT OF AWW! After someone swiped a same-sex couple’s rainbow flag and egged their house, their Natick, Mass., neighbors responded by festooning the home with rainbow flags to show their support. More from The Boston Globe.
JAPANESE PARENTS OVERWHELMINGLY ACCEPTING OF LGBTQ CHILDREN: A new survey of parents in Japan found that nearly 90 percent of respondents would accept their children if they came out as LGBTQ. More from Japan Times.
New Republic details Donald Trump’s pathetic pitch to minority groups… The Beijinger takes a look at China’s Rainbow Hotline, a program the LGBTQ community in China can use to obtain legal help… San Diego LGBT Weekly reports that the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation has raised $30,000 for local LGBTQ seniors… AllAfrica looks at a Zambian campaign to give prisoners better access to HIV services… NPR explores the gender clinic at Duke University’s Hospital, the only one of its kind in the South for teens… The Concord Monitor releases the first of it’s five-part series on trans lives