This is, in part, because there is no service or agency that tracks the number of trans athletes in the States.
While such a figure can be difficult to precisely pin down, a Gallup survey this year found 0.6 per cent of American adults are trans.
In fact, when two dozen state sponsors were asked by the Associated Pressto provide an example, any at all, of a trans teen causing the level of mayhem they make them out to cause, the news agency said most could not “cite a single instance in their own state or region where such participation has caused problems”.
Even Tennessee’s house speaker Cameron Sexton, the outlet reported, admitted that there likely aren’t even any openly trans youth taking part in middle or high school sports.
Around 73 per cent of Americans also support trans children participating in sports, according to a recent poll from the Human Rights Campaign, regardless of how much a hot-button issue it has been made out to be.
Saturday, March 27 at 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST – register
These trainings are 2 hours maximum and following, you will have a chance to sign-up for direct opportunities on the efforts to welcome asylum seekers and campaigns Families Belong Together are a part of in the fight to end family separation and detention, and promotion of family dignity.
The Biden administration signaled on Tuesday anti-LGBTQ discrimination among lenders of credit is illegal, marking the latest policy move to bring the U.S. government into compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced the prohibition on sex discrimination under the Equal Protection Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B prohibits lenders from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity with a proposed regulation, which will become final after publication in the Federal Register and a comment period.
“In issuing this interpretive rule, we’re making it clear that lenders cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” CFPB Acting Director David Uejio said in a statement. “The CFPB will ensure that consumers are protected against such discrimination and provided equal opportunities in credit.”
CFPB’s proposed rule is consistent with the reasoning behind the Supreme Court’s decision last year in Bostock v. Clayton, which found anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, thus illegal under the ban on sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The ruling has broad applications to all laws against discrimination on the basis of sex, including federal bans on discrimination in housing, credit, education, and jury service.
Michael Adams, CEO of the LGBTQ elder group SAGE, said in a statement the announcement from CFPB “lifts a burden for LGBT older people who, for much of their lives, have felt compelled to hide their sexual orientation and/or gender identity when seeking access to credit.”
“SAGE applauds the announcement by Acting Director Uejio and the Biden administration, confirming the vital legal protections LGBT elders – and all LGBT people – deserve regarding something as essential as access to credit,” Adams said.
According to SAGE, LGBTQ older people – particularly transgender and LGBTQ elders who are people of color – face disproportionately higher poverty rates than their straight and cisgender counterparts, which makes access to credit “all the more critical.” Under the new regulation, a loan officer at a bank or an agent taking a credit card application over the phone is prohibited from denying people credit for being LGBTQ as opposed to their financial qualifications.
In 2016, the CFPB previously signaled during the Obama administration in response to an inquiry from SAGE the Equal Protection Credit Opportunity Act affords protections to LGBTQ people. The new proposed regulation, however, offers more formality to that interpretation of the law.
Karen Loewy, senior counsel and seniors strategist at Lambda Legal, also hailed the regulation as a follow up to the initial announcement, saying “this explicit interpretive rule renews and formalizes that commitment.”
“We know that credit discrimination is a huge barrier to financial security for LGBTQ people, depriving people of financing for homes, cars, school, or small businesses,” Loewy said in a statement. “Studies show that same-sex couples routinely have been denied opportunities and faced less favorable terms than different-sex couples in seeking mortgages. LGBTQ people regularly report being denied lines of credit because of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”
According to the proposed rule, at least 20 states and D.C. have prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in certain or all credit transactions. As such, financial institutions subject to such laws were required to comply with those requirements prior to the issuance of the Bostock opinion.
CFPB’s announcement is consistent with the executive order President Biden signed on his first day in office ordering U.S. agencies across the board to implement the Bostock decision. Last month, the Department of Housing & Urban Development announced it would begin accepting complaints of anti-LGBTQ discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.
A Colorado judge will allow a discrimination complaint against Christian baker Jack Phillips, who refused to make a cake in the colours of the trans Pride flag, but has thrown out a second complaint against him.
After Phillips refused to bake the cake, Scardina filed a complaint against him in 2018 through the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Scardini alleged that Philipps’ refused to create the cake because she is trans.
Phillips then sued the state of Colorado, claiming that he was being persecuted for his religious beliefs as he is Christian. Phillips and the state of Colorado agreed to drop the cases against each other in March 2019.
However, Scardini filed her own lawsuit against Philipps in June 2019, claiming his bakery falsely advertised that it would “be happy to provide a variety of baked goods, including birthday cakes, to all members of the public, including LGBT individuals”.
Scardina’s suit claimed that Phillips violated two state laws, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) and the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) when refusing to create the cake.
Phillips’ attorneys filed a motion asking the court to dismiss Scardina’s case, arguing that she should have gone to the appeals court for a second course of action instead of opening a new tab at the trial court level.
But, in a ruling released on Thursday (4 March), Denver district court judge A Bruce Jones dropped the complaint against Phillips that alleged he had violated CAPA by engaging in “an unfair or deceptive trade practice”.
Scardina’s legal team argued, in response to the controversy, Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop “attempted to exploit the news coverage by stating they would sell birthday cakes to LGBT customers”.
But the judge said: “If [they] were engaged in such a stealth advertising campaign, they successfully disguised it within their speech on a matter of public concern.”
As such, the judgment said Scardina’s legal team “failed to establish an actionable unfair or deceptive trade practice” and found in Phillips’ favour on the CCPA claim.
But Jones did not dismiss the second claim which accuses Phillips of violating anti-discrimination law. The judgment said Scardina “need not establish that her transgender status was the ‘sole’ cause of the denial of services”. “Rather, she need only show that the discriminatory action was based, in whole or in part, on her protected status,” the court document read.
Scardina’s attorneys Paula Griesen said the judge’s decision to dismiss the claim was “a very narrow holding on a certain set of facts related to the Colorado Consumer Protection Act that has no bearing on the discrimination claim”.
“It has nothing to do with the merits of whether or not businesses are allowed to refuse service to the LGBTQ+ community,” Griesen added.
Alliance Defending Freedom general counsel Kristen Waggoner, who represented Phillips, said the decision to dismiss one of the claims against her client is “the first step towards final justice”.
“Jack has been threatened with financial ruin simply because he makes decisions about which messages to create and celebrate — decisions that every other artist in Colorado is free to make,” Waggoner said in a statement. “Tolerance for different opinions is essential. We look forward to defending Jack — and ultimately prevailing — on the remaining claim.”
A lesbian who was forced to flee Zimbabwe after facing death threats from her own family has been denied refugee status in Ireland.
In April 2019, an International Protection Officer (IPO) recommended that the woman – who has not been named – be denied asylum, arguing that her claim lacked credibility.×
The woman said she forced into two separate marriages as a child in Zimbabwe at the ages of nine and 13. She claimed she was forced to flee her home country after her family found out that she was a lesbian, leading to threats of violence.
The woman subsequently brought judicial review proceedings in an effort to have the 2019 IPO recommendation overturned – however, Justice Tara Burns denied her request on Friday (22 January), The Irish Timesreports.
In her appeal, the woman argued that her sexuality was a “core element” of her asylum claim and that the IPO had failed to determine her sexuality when it recommended that she be denied asylum.
Before making a recommendation on her asylum claim, the IPO asked her questions about her sexuality and found that she was not aware of any LGBT+ support groups in either Ireland or Zimbabwe.
The IPO used her responses to questions about her sexuality, and other information about the woman, in reaching a recommendation that she should be denied asylum in Ireland.
In her ruling, Justice Burns said the IPO had reached a determination on the question of her sexuality. Her appeal to have the IPO recommendation overturned was denied.
She can now appeal the matter at the International Protection Appeals Tribunal, the judge said.
That ruling sparked international backlash, with the healthcare worker and another queer Zimbabwean woman speaking on condition of anonymity to CNN about their experiences seeking asylum in Ireland.
The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) told PinkNews that it is “appalled” by recent decisions for LGBT+ refugees.
“The Irish state assumes to have the authority to validate or invalidate a person’s sexual orientation in order to deny them protection,” said spokesperson Bulelani Mfaco. “Nowhere in Irish law or practice would the Irish state treat its own citizens in such a manner.”
Mfaco said the Irish government “ignores the difficult and life-threatening conditions LGBTQ+ asylum seekers escape in their home country”. He said queer people in some countries could face prison or death if they were to join an LGBT+ organisation.
“The Irish government doesn’t have the authority to validate a person’s sexual orientation,” Mfaco added.
More than 340,000 people have signed a petition demanding the EU fight back against the rising homophobic hate in Poland’s “LGBT-free” zones.
The petition was launched by the global equality movement All Out and delivered to EU commissioner for equality, Helena Dalli, on Tuesday (September 22).×
It urges her to denounce the discriminatory policies and pass legislation on hate crimes to protect the Polish LGBT+ community.
“LGBT+ people in Poland are under attack,” it reads, describing the spread of “LGBT-free zones” and aggressive “nationalist hooligans and far-right groups” at Pride.
“We call on you to condemn these acts of violence and discrimination and to urge Polish authorities to protect the LGBT+ community and to pass legislation on hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Dalli met with activists from All Out, Lambda Warszawa and Kampania Przeciwko Homofobii (Campaign Against Homophobia) as she accepted the petition earlier this week.
“No place for humanity free zones in the EU or anywhere around the world,” she declared on Twitter after their meeting, echoing the words of European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in her first state of the union speech.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=PinkNews&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1308359353905360899&lang=en-gb&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinknews.co.uk%2F2020%2F09%2F24%2Fpoland-lgbt-free-zone-petition-all-out-eu-intervene-helena-dalli-homophobic-hate%2F&siteScreenName=PinkNews&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px
“Hate and violence against LGBT+ people in Poland have reached a boiling point,” said Matt Beard, executive director of All Out.
He and his fellow activist Marcin Rodzinka, co-chair of KPH, called on the commission to “immediately” trigger infringement procedure against Poland, acting under Article 7(1) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).
“LGBT+ [people] in Poland still have some hope left and the EU cannot leave them alone. Where the human rights are violated, we need to see a clear opposition and strong action,” Rodzinka added.
Police in Russia have detained over 30 people for protesting the arrest of Yulia Tsvetkova, an LGBT+ and feminist activist charged with spreading ‘gay propaganda’.
Yulia Tsvetkova, 27, faces a six year sentence for running a social media page called Vagina Monologues, which encouraged people to share artistic depictions of vaginas to “remove the taboo”.
She was charged with the distribution of “criminal pornography” under Russia’s gay propaganda law, which prohibits the positive depiction of LGBT+ people.
On Saturday (June 27) more than 30 people, mostly women, gathered in in central Moscow to stage separate one-person protests against Tsvetkova’s charges.
Participants stood in line to picket one at a time, with one holding a placard that read: “Today they send [us] to prison for pictures, tomorrow they will send [us] to prison for letters? Freedom for Yulia Tsvetkova!”
According to the OVD-Info group that monitors political arrests in Russia, at least 38 people were detained and taken to a police station. It was not clear if they would be charged.
Russian law usually permits single pickets to be held without permission, but in recent weeks there have been numerous cases of police arresting protesters on the grounds that they violated the ban on mass gatherings imposed during the pandemic.
Police declined to comment on the arrests when questioned by The Guardianon Saturday.
Russia is currently in the midst of a referendum a package of constitutional amendments that will take Russia’s opposition to homosexuality a step further by enshrining traditional “family values” as part of the constitution.
Among the amendments proposed by Putin is one that would legally define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Russian LGBT+ activists fear that, if passed, it would permanently block same-sex marriage or adoption from ever being legalised in the country.
The referendum has been accompanied by a wave of homophobic rhetoric and viral campaign ads denouncing the LGBT+ community.
Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has accused Donald Trump of giving “safe harbour” to anti-LGBT+ hate.
In a message marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Biden called out the Trump administration’s “odious” agenda on LGBT+ issues.
He wrote: “The Trump-Pence administration has done everything it can to undermine LGBT+ rights: giving safe harbour to hate and rolling back protections for LGBT+ persons, blocking the ability of transgender individuals to openly serve their country, denying LGBT+ people access to critical health care, and failing to address the epidemic of violence against transgender people, among other odious policies.
“Today, many LGBT+ people in the United States live in fear, and LGBT+ activists in other countries, who are often fighting desperately for their rights and personal safety, are no longer sure that the United States is their friend and ally.”
Democrat vows to ‘reinvigorate’ efforts to support LGBT+ rights internationally.
Biden stressed that if-elected, he would work across international boundaries to “eliminate discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity”.
He wrote: “As president, I will reinvigorate and expand US efforts to advance the human rights of LGBT+ people at home and around the world.
“The United States will again be a beacon of hope for people anywhere in the world who suffer violence and discrimination for the simple fact of who they are or who they love.
“We will strengthen the coalition of countries determined to eliminate discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Anything less would be un-American.”
LGBT+ rights group are falling in behind Joe Biden.
Human Rights Campaign endorsed the former vice president earlier this month.
HRC president Alphonso David said: “This November, the stakes could not be higher. Far too many LGBT+ people, and particularly those who are most vulnerable, face discrimination, intimidation, and violence simply because of who they are and who they love.
“But rather than have our backs, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have spent the last three and a half years rolling back and rescinding protections for LGBT+ people.
“Joe Biden will be a president who stands up for all of us. HRC and our more than three million members and supporters will work day and night to ensure he is the next president of the United States.”
HRC says that ahead of the 2020 election, it has identified seven key target states – Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania Texas and Wisconsin – where there are 3.4 million voters who support equality “at risk of not turning out” on election day.
Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) on Tuesday defeated Republican challenger Kelly McGinn.
Roem defeated McGinn by 57-43 percent margin.
Roem — a former journalist who has represented the 13th District in the Virginia House of Delegates since 2018 — is the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the U.S. Roem is the first openly trans state legislator re-elected.
Her support of the expansion of Virginia’s Medicaid program and efforts to reduce traffic congestion on Route 28 are among the issues on which she campaigned. Family Foundation Action, an anti-LGBTQ group with which McGinn has strong ties, and the Prince William County Republican Committee are among those that attacked Roem based on her gender identity.
“To the people of the 13th District: Thank you so much for the confidence you’ve shown in my team and me by such an overwhelming margin,” tweeted Roem after she won re-election. “I’m grateful to represent you because of who you are — never despite it.”
Roem spoke to supporters who were attending an Election Night party at City Tavern in Manassas the Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee organized.
“The way that we won this race was by taking care of our constituents for the last two years,” said Roem. “It was by doing what the people asked us to do.”
LGBTQ activists across the country applauded Roem’s re-election.
“Danica Roem has once again made history, becoming the longest-serving and first openly transgender elected official to be re-elected in our nation’s history,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David in a statement.“Throughout her tenure in the House of Delegates, Roem has remained focused on the needs of her constituents, despite hateful and divisive attacks from anti-LGBTQ groups and her opponents. From expanding Medicaid and providing health care to 400,000 Virginians to improving Route 28, Delegate Roem has been an effective leader in Richmond — and she isn’t finished yet.”
LGBTQ Victory Fund President Annise Parker echoed David.
“In 2017, Danica wrote the playbook on how transgender candidates can defeat anti-LGBTQ opponents through authenticity and attention to everyday issues — and her reelection victory sets it in stone,” said Parker in a press release. “Voters did not head to the polls to make history, yet they proved trans candidates can win battleground races in battleground states despite transphobic attacks from opponents.”
“Danica inspired trans people across the nation to run for office,” she added. “Her reelection proves that political revolution is a lasting transformation — not an aberration.”
Daye Pope of the Trans United Fund in a fundraising appeal it sent to supporters described Roem’s re-election as “a victory for trans rights and for working people everywhere.” Roem referred to her constituents when the Washington Blade asked her at City Tavern whether she considers herself a pioneer.
“The people who I represent said, ‘Yeah we know she’s trans and she’s a good legislator and she’s great at constituent service and we think that she’s doing a good job,’” she said after she spoke to her supporters.
“I hope the message that sends to trans people around the country is that politics is open to you too, and not just politics but whatever you want to pursue in life it’s open to you too and people will actually respect your right to do it,” she added.
After enduring anti-gay comments on the job, snide remarks about playing in a gay softball league and ultimately termination, Gerald Bostock finally had his day in court.
But not just any court — the U.S. Supreme Court.
The outcome of his case, which alleges anti-gay discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, and thus prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, will have historic impact on LGBT rights throughout the United States.
In a sit-down interview at the Washington Blade office on Monday — the day before the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in his case — Bostock said being at the forefront of the gay rights movement is something he never envisioned.
“It’s exciting, of course, but at the same time…it’s very surreal,” Bostock said. “You know, I didn’t ask for any of this. But what I’ve learned through my journey, and through my experience with this is that it’s so much more than just me, this is such an issue of national importance. And it impacts so many people, millions and millions of people, and somebody needed to stand up and face this head on.”
Bostock, 55, began working in 2013 for Clayton County as the child welfare services coordinator for the Juvenile Court of Clayton County. Over this time, he was given primary responsibility for the Clayton County Court Appointed Special Advocates program, or CASA. The initiative oversees volunteers working to help at-risk children in the juvenile court system.
Under his leadership, Bostock was given favorable performance reviews. In 2007, Clayton County CASA received the Program of Excellence Award from Georgia CASA. In 2010, it was the first county in the Atlanta area to supply a volunteer to every neglected or abused child in the juvenile court system.
Things changed in recent years. Bostock, who’s gay, became involved in 2013 with the Hotlanta Softball League, a gay recreational sports affiliation. Subsequently, Bostock alleges, his participation in the league and his sexual orientation were openly criticized on the job.
In April 2013, Clayton County told Bostock it was conducting an internal audit on the CASA program funds. Bostock, who insists he never engaged in any misconduct with regard to the program funds, alleges Clayton County initiated the audit as a pretext to discriminate against him for being gay.
In May 2013, during a meeting of the Friends of Clayton County CASA Advisory Board where Bostock’s supervisor was present, at least one person disparaged Bostock’s sexual orientation and his participation in the Hotlanta Softball League.
One month later, Bostock was fired. The stated reason for his termination was “conduct unbecoming of a county employee.”
Bostock, who insists he did nothing wrong and was fired for being gay, said he has suffered significant hardship after losing his job despite excelling in his role.
“I had throughout my tenure with Clayton County, obviously, great performance reviews, again, the success that we were having, which impacted so many children that were innocent victims in this,” Bostock said. “So imagine having all that yanked away from you, and your reputation, you know, ruined within the community that you love, and where you live.”
A spokesperson for Clayton County declined to comment on Bostock’s allegations of anti-gay discrimination, citing a general practice of not commenting on pending litigation.
Bostock filed his first lawsuit alleging anti-gay discrimination in May 2016. But the Eleventh Circuit has precedent indicating anti-gay discrimination is not unlawful. Bostock was unsuccessful at the trial court level and before the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
In May 2018, Bostock filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking redress and a finding that anti-gay discrimination in the workplace is a form of sex discrimination, therefore illegal under Title VII. In April, the court agreed to review the case along with two other cases alleging anti-LGBT discrimination.
“Being successful, that means I’m able to paint my own portrait, the way it should be painted and not by somebody else, especially in such a negative light,” Bostock said. “It also means that I get to come back to the 11th Circuit in Georgia and have my day in court to not only clear my name, but to restore my reputation. But beyond that, it means that, again, nobody will have to go through this experience.”
For those who say the fight for gay rights is over, Bostock’s case is a stark reminder of the work that remains unfinished. In 30 states, no law protects LGBT people from discrimination, and the federal civil rights law contains no explicit protections for them.
“I say that Atlanta is a great community to live in, and I shouldn’t have to move from what I call home, which is Atlanta,” Bostock said. “It shouldn’t be based on the geographical luck of the draw.”
The evidence of ongoing struggles for LGBT people, Bostock said, is not just his own termination, but the harm it has caused for at-risk LGBT youth under his watch.
“What about the children in Clayton County in foster care that identify as LGBTQ?” Bostock said. “They’re probably in state care and custody, because when a parent or parents found out that they are gay, they were kicked out of their home, and were roaming the streets until they were picked up and placed into care. What kind of message does that send to those children? To me, it sends a very clear, homophobic message that you’ve lost a positive role model in your life when they fired Gerald Bostock.”
Brian Sutherland, an attorney with the Atlanta-based law firm Buckley Beal LLP who’s representing Bostock, echoed the sense “the fight for gay rights is absolutely not over,” citing states with no laws against anti-LGBT workplace discrimination.
“And I think also, you know, something I’ve been thinking about because of what’s bit sadly been in the news lately is incidents of bullying and violence, and situations where young gay people are hurting themselves sometimes because of this,” Sutherland said.
Bostock’s case is unique among the three before the Supreme Court because a private law firm, not the American Civil Liberties Union, is taking the lead on it. Further, the case reached the court as the result of a petition from an LGBT worker, not a company accused of anti-LGBT discrimination.
Although the petition to court was submitted in May 2018 just before U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy — who gained a reputation as an LGBT ally — announced he’d step down from the court, it was a risky move.
After all, the resulting decision on the increasingly conservative court could either lead to an affirmation LGBT people are protected under federal civil rights law, or a decision saying no such protections exist whatsoever.
Sutherland, however, said other LGBT legal groups have been “absolutely helpful” in the efforts with Bostock’s litigation.
“We stand united with all the folks that are fighting for gay rights,” Sutherland said. “I, myself, well used to be an attorney for the ACLU. So I was very happy that the ACLU is part of the representation for the case that’s been consolidated with ours.”
In the other two cases where the ACLU is the lead, the plaintiffs are Donald Zarda, a now deceased skydiver who alleged he was fired from his job for being gay, and Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman who was terminated from her job at Harris Funeral Homes when she announced she’d transition.
“I think that, you know, thankfully, there are a lot of organizations that are focused on the issues affecting the LGBT community,” Sutherland said. “And we’re just very proud to represent Gerald and also to play a part in the struggle.”
Now that the case has been argued before the Supreme Court, it’s time to wait until the decision comes down. It’s expected well before the court’s term ends in June 2020.
Regardless of the outcome, Bostock said he’s proud of his work at Clayton County and his pursuit of justice.
“I’m very proud of who I am, and I’m proud of the man I’ve become,” he said. “And I’m very proud of the hard work and successes that we were able to have under my leadership in Clayton County, especially because it impacted so many innocent lives. And you know, nobody’s going to take that away from me. Nobody, especially not Clayton County.”