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Posts Tagged ‘transgender rights’

Republicans gear up for full blown gay panic in 2017

You have been warned. Still angry about the Supreme Court’s mandate, some conservative lawmakers hope that it is someday overturned. In the meantime, they expect to propose a series of what they call religious liberty bills to blunt its impact. Those efforts worry liberal advocacy groups — Steve Rudner, with Equality Texas, called them “backlash” […]

Colleges and bathrooms

Texas’ colleges and universities have not yet been affected by Dan Patrick’s potty obsession. At the University of Houston, transgender students can enroll in voice feminization or masculinization clinics. At the University of Texas at Austin, students can write a simple letter to change how their gender is listed in school records. And many colleges […]

UIL punts again on transgender athletes

I say again, please reconsider this. The debate over the University Interscholastic League’s policy for transgender athletes continues after the organization’s legislative council took no action during Tuesday’s meeting in Round Rock. The UIL rule stating a student’s gender is identified by his or her birth certificate is scheduled to go into effect Aug. 1 […]

Benjamin Elder

Meet Benjamin Elder, a better and braver person than Dan Patrick will ever be. Spend a few hours in Benjamin Elder’s company and you’ll realize he’s an average, bubbly 10-year-old kid. All lanky limbs and wavy chestnut-colored hair, he’s easy to pick out of a room by his infectious laughter and toothy grin. His favorite […]

On Dan Patrick’s hostility to the LGBT community

Ross Ramsey sums up the Dan Patrick tweetorrhea situation and tries to make sense of it. Lately, the lieutenant governor has been focused on transgender Texans and which bathrooms they should use — those of their identity or those of the gender listed on their birth certificates. His argument is that perverts — men, to […]

Hotze and Woodfill take their hate statewide

These guys, I swear. The conservative organizers who helped topple Houston’s equal rights ordinance are pledging a $2 million advertising campaign against Target over the big box store’s transgender bathroom policy. Jared Woodfill and Steven Hotze of Conservative Republicans of Texas on Thursday launched the new “Campaign for USA” in what they described as an […]

Patrick doubles down on potty politics

It’s potties all the way down. Declaring that “this fight is just beginning,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Tuesday escalated his battle against guidelines in Texas and across the country that allow students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. Speaking to reporters at the Texas Capitol, Patrick announced a number of […]

Anyone want to help me sue the feds?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? When Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday that he had filed a lawsuit challenging federal guidelines for transgender students, he said it was to protect a Texas school district that had adopted a policy requiring students to use bathrooms according to the gender cited on their birth certificates. He didn’t say […]

Paxton sues over Obama directive on transgender bathroom access

A more transparent publicity stunt you would be hard-pressed to find. Texas, joined by 10 other states, filed a lawsuit Wednesday to stop a federal directive instructing school districts to let transgender students use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday. Calling the Obama administration guidelines “outside the […]

Paxton asks the feds if they’re sure about that bathroom thing

Just checking, I’m sure. Will public schools really lose federal education funding if they refuse to comply with a new Obama administration directive regarding transgender students? That’s the basic query posed by top lawyers from Texas, Oklahoma and West Virginia in a letter sent Tuesday to the U.S. Justice and Education departments seeking clarification on […]

TEA Commissioner has no opinion yet on federal transgender bathroom directive

Noted for the record. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Tuesday praised the state Supreme Court’s recent opinion upholding the state’s public school funding system and demurred on questions about bathroom use by transgender students. “Last time I checked, it was a free country,” Morath said in a wide-ranging interview with The Texas Tribune’s Evan […]

Federal action on schools accommodating transgender bathroom use

Glad to see this. The Obama administration is planning to issue a sweeping directive telling every public school district in the country to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity. A letter to school districts will go out Friday, adding to a highly charged debate over transgender rights in the […]

Dan Patrick is obsessed with children’s bathrooms

This guy, I swear. Transgender advocates derided Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday for what they described as his “fake outrage” over the Fort Worth school district’s new transgender bathroom guidelines, calling the Republican a shameless bully. “A bully like Dan Patrick can’t go unchallenged. He is wrong,” said Joel Burns, an openly gay former […]

Ken Paxton would like to remind you that he really is running for re-election

We all understand that’s what this is about, right? Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned Target this week that the company’s restroom policy could lead to criminal activity and demanded the retailer supply his office with its safety policies, stepping up his fight against transgender access to public accommodations of their choice. In a letter […]

Dan Patrick supports potty package check legislation

Of course he does. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, weighing into a national controversy over transgender restrooms, said Tuesday he supports keeping men out of women’s restrooms, even if it takes legislation to do so. Since the issue erupted into controversy nationally, some Texas lawmakers have said they will support a state law for single-sex restrooms, […]

Federal appeals court sides with transgender teen in bathroom case

This could be big. A federal appeals court in Richmond has sided with a transgender high school student, saying that he can proceed with his lawsuit arguing that his school board’s decision to ban him from the boys’ bathroom is discriminatory. In backing high school junior Gavin Grimm, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the […]

Why North Carolina and not Houston?

John Nova Lomax asks why Houston has not suffered the same backlash as North Carolina after the repeal of HERO last November. In the aftermath of the repeal of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance in November, the bill’s proponents predicted dire economic consequences. Then-Mayor Annise Parker predicted a “direct, economic backlash” for the Bayou City. A #boycotthouston campaign […]

Strategizing for the next HERO fight

Good move. Stung by setbacks related to their access to public restrooms, transgender Americans are taking steps to play a more prominent and vocal role in a nationwide campaign to curtail discrimination against them. Two such initiatives are being launched this week — evidence of how transgender rights has supplanted same-sex marriage as the most […]

Once again with “religious freedom” legislation

I have three things to say about this. State Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, says he plans to re-file legislation next session that would supplement the state’s existing law to allow business owners to refuse services to people whose lifestyles clash with their religious beliefs. “Nobody should be forced to go against their conscience or […]

What will the business lobby do to prevent a North Carolina anti-equality law being passed in Texas?

That’s the question that needs to be asked. Texas business leaders and LGBT advocates hope economic backlash over an anti-LGBT bill in North Carolina will deter lawmakers from taking up similar legislation next year in Austin. More than 100 CEOs and business leaders, including Apple’s Tim Cook and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, sent a letter this week to […]

Lawsuit filed against North Carolina anti-equality law

That was fast. It took only one day for North Carolina’s legislature to pass the country’s most sweeping anti-LGBT bill (HB2), and only four days after that for Lambda Legal and the ACLU of North Carolina to file a lawsuit challenging it. The suit takes direct aim at the law’s ban on transgender people using […]

North Carolina takes a big step backwards on equality

Shameful. Wednesday was a whirlwind day in North Carolina’s government. The legislature convened a special session, a complicated multi-part bill was introduced, it passed through the House and Senate — both Republican controlled — and Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed it into law. Just like that, North Carolina became the state with the most hostile […]

Texas Monthly long read on transgender issues

Mostly about someone I know, as it happens. Boy. Girl. Man. Woman. These terms reflect a binary view of gender. Our language doesn’t allow for the in-between. And yet there are girly girls and tomboys; fey men and macho ones. As the trans community has become more visible, it has become clear that gender, like […]

More on the UIL ban of transgender athletes

From ThinkProgress: Transgender rights in Texas took another step backward last month, when public school superintendents voted 586-32 in favor of a rule that requires schools to use birth certificates to determine the gender of student-athletes. This law is seen not only as “an attempt to handicap transgender student-athletes’ eligibility,” but it’s also believed to […]

School districts vote to approve new UIL policy restricting transgender athletes

Unfortunate. Despite strong opposition from LGBT advocates, representatives from Texas school districts have overwhelmingly endorsed a proposal aimed at barring transgender boys and girls from participating in athletics alongside their cisgender peers. District superintendents and athletic directors voted 409-25 in favor of using birth certificates to determine student athletes’ gender, according to results obtained by […]

Get ready for more “religious freedom” bills

Gird your loins. The next Texas legislative session is almost a year away, but Senate Republicans are already zeroing in on proposals to bolster legal protections for religious opponents of same-sex marriage after its legalization by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. At a hearing of the Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, some Republicans […]

Hotze gets official hater status

Congratulations, I guess. After more than 30 years of anti-gay activism, Steven Hotze picked up the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on Wednesday. The Alabama civil rights group labeled Hotze’s Conservative Republicans of Texas (CRT) an anti-LGBT hate group in its annual report on extremist organizations. Hotze, […]

Transgender people can now get correct birth certificates

Excellent news. Last week, Texas began giving trans people the option of sealing their old birth certificates and issuing new ones, according to Dallas attorney Katie Sprinkle. Previously, Texas issued amended certificates and those were only issued with a surgeon’s letter. Now, Texas is sealing old records and issuing new birth certificates with a court […]

The challenges transgender children face

At least now we’re starting to talk about those challenges openly. One month after voters in Houston rejected an equal rights ordinance that proponents say would have protected transgender people from discrimination, Ben and his parents, Ann and Jim Elder of Friendswood, are among families nationwide challenging their communities to respect the identities of kids […]

Interview with Mayor Annise Parker

We are in the last few days of the administration of Mayor Annise Parker. Having served three terms each as Council member and Controller, she is finishing up eighteen years as an elected official in the city of Houston. I wanted to take the opportunity to talk to her one last time before she heads […]

More HERO public information requests

The bullying continues. Does President Barack Obama regularly drop a line to Houston City Council members? Probably not, but we could soon find out, thanks to a public records request that opponents of the city’s equal rights ordinance, known as HERO, filed this week. It’s a response to a public records request that a nonprofit […]

Council members complain about open records requests

Oh, please. Councilmen Michael Kubosh and Dave Martin on Tuesday blasted a records request from a D.C.-based nonprofit to those council members who voted against the Houston equal rights ordinance, known as HERO, last year. The Campaign for Accountability’s request seeks communication between prominent local anti-HERO activists as well as anti-LGBT groups, such as the […]

Violence against transgender people

There’s way too much of it. For a few transgender Americans, this has been a year of glamour and fame. For many others, 2015 has been fraught with danger, violence and mourning. While Caitlyn Jenner made the cover of Vanity Fair and Laverne Cox prospered as a popular actress, other transgender women have become homicide […]

Transgender acceptance

I have a question to ask about this. The trans civil rights movement began with stacked odds because it represents such a minority, less than 1 percent of the population, according to various studies. The movement is seen as the frontier beyond gay marriage rights, and trans activists “have moved so much faster than any […]