Friday 27 May 2016

US Potty Panic Hysteria - Multimedia edition

You're all going to Hell
A freshman U.S. Congressman quickly made a name for himself Thursday morning at a weekly early morning meeting of Republican lawmakers. GOP Rep. Rick Allen of Georgia quoted Bible verses and told his fellow Republicans that they are "going to hell" if they vote for the a vital spending bill later that morning because of an attached amendment that would protect LGBT workers.

Congressman Allen "launched the GOP's regular policy meeting in the Capitol basement by reading a Bible passage condemning homosexuality and suggesting that supporters of the LGBT provision, which passed the House the night before, were defying Christian tenets, attendees said," The Hill reports.

Rep. Allen "opened the weekly GOP conference meeting with a prayer about the LGBT issue, prior to the vote," Politico reports.

"A good number of members were furious," one Republican told Politico. "There was some Scripture that was read and the like. ... Nothing good was going to happen to those that supported [the LGBT provision]. A good number of members were furious."

A few moderate Republicans who supported the LGBT protections bill reportedly walked out of the room.

“Many members were visibly disturbed by the comments,” a GOP source in the room told The Huffington Post.

"It was f---ing ridiculous," one GOP lawmaker also in the room, said, according to The Hill. "A lot of members were clearly uncomfortable and upset," a GOP leadership aide also said.

A sdmall selection of videos that are available of events happening thrpughout the USA at the moment.

There does not appear to be video of Rep. Allen's remarks, nor is it clear exactly which biblical scriptures he quoted.

Some of the leaflets making the rounds, from groups or individual churches

Some of the violence

Man says he was attacked for taking 5-year-old daughter inside men's restroom

CLINTON — A trip to the men’s restroom at a Walmart in Clinton quickly escalated into a full-fledged struggle when one man criticized another for bringing his 5-year-old daughter with him.

Christopher Adams said his 7-year-old son, Kyler, and 5-year-old daughter, Emery, both had to go when the family visited the store Sunday to buy blinds and storage bins, so he took them both inside the men’s restroom in the back of the store.

“This guy walks in and goes to the bathroom, the urinal,” Adams recalled Tuesday. “Then he just, like, turns to me and starts freaking out, dropping the ‘F-bomb,’ and what he was freaking out about was that my daughter was in the men’s bathroom.”

Adams said the man told him it was “inappropriate,” and soon began to push him after Adams gave him a terse response.

The father said he tried to usher his kids away from the man.

“When I turned back around, I got sucker-punched right here,” Adams said, pointing to his left eye, which still was bruised.

From there, Adams said he was punched in the face and kicked in the knee multiple times during the struggle in which the dad ultimately defended himself, forcing the man out of the restroom.

“I just slammed him on the ground and just held him until associates from Walmart could get there,” Adams said.

Clinton Police Lt. Shawn Stoker said the man was cited at the scene for disorderly conduct, and the city attorney was screening a potential assault charge.
Attacked for not looking feminine enough
A woman in Paintsville, Kentucky, said she was assaulted by a man this week for looking like a "dike," according to a Facebook post that's been shared more than 13,600 times, and has now been set to private.

According to a May 11 statement, Brittany Nicole Wallace was viciously assaulted because of her appearance. He apparently told her that he would "beat me like the man I want to be," and that "people like me make him hate the world."

"Anyone that knows me knows that I tried my best to fight back. The truth is he was bigger and stronger than me," she wrote."...This has not only physically but mentally and emotionally damaged me."

Wallace's post posits that if she donned a more "feminine" appearance, others would have stepped in and the attack might have not happened at all.

A Paintsville police spokesperson told ATTN: that the assailant had been arrested and jailed following the incident. Wallace, the spokesperson said, was taken to a nearby medical center.

Some of the politics

Eleven states sue Obama administration over bathroom guidance for transgender students

Eleven states and state officials filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the Obama administration over federal guidance directing schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms....

Sunday 22 May 2016

A US Potty Panic Roundup

Anyone who's been watching the US political scene recently must be wondering if they've all suddenly gone crayzeee.

The State of North Carolina was first cab off the rank. You see, the city of Charlotte, after years of debate and study, passed an ordinance that added 9 words to existing legislation.

Sec. 12-58. - Prohibited acts.
(a) It shall be unlawful to deny any person the full and equal enjoyment of the goods,
services,facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public
accommodation because of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, familial status,
sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression
, or national origin.

Fairly uncontroversial one would have thought. Raleigh, another city in that state, had had such a law on its books for over a year. 17 states and over 200 cities in the US, including 16 of the 20 largest, have similar laws in effect. It mirrors similar wording in some Federal laws too. For example, the Violence against Women Act, passed in a Republican Senate and Republican House, and in force in North Carolina for years.

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (title IV of Public Law 103–322 ; 108 Stat. 1902), the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (division B of Public Law 106–386; 114 Stat. 1491), the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (title IX of Public Law 109–162 ; 119 Stat. 3080), the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 , and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Office on Violence Against Women.
 The NC legislature promptly scheduled an emergency session, writing, voting on, passing, and getting the Governor's signature on HB2, legislation that repeals this dangerous law within a record time of 11 hours.

Er.. what the....?

HB2 amongst other things defines "biological sex" as having nothing to do with biology. Intersex people can't exist. "Biological Sex" is defined as whatever's on the birth certificate, male or female, regardless of biological reality. the object is to compel Trans and Intersex men to use female restrooms apparently, because of the danger. What danger? The Danger! There just is one!

Some proponents claim it's Trans people themselves that are "repulsive perverts".. Other proponents say it's not them, it's people pretending to be Trans who are the danger. The fact that no Trans person, or anyone pretending to be Trans, has ever assaulted someone in a restroom is immaterial. They might do, one day, you see. Any Pervert could just pretend to be an 8 year old Trans schoolgirl for example. Eh? Isn't this getting more than just a little... insane? It's not as if Trans women and men haven't been using the appropriate restrooms for their gender presentation since, oh, about forever. As long as there's been sex-segregated restrooms, from the mid 19th century.

So why? Why would a GOP legislature do something like this?

Here's a Republican National Committee resolution from February that explains it.

WHEREAS, A person’s sex is defined as the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined at conception, identified at birth by a person’s anatomy, recorded on their official birth certificate, and can be confirmed by DNA testing;
WHEREAS , Transgender policies deal with students who choose to be designated by their desired gender identity ; an identity that conflicts with their anatomical sex;
WHEREAS, The U.S. Congress has never included gender identity within the Title IX Federal Law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity and that mandates allowing students of one biological sex to play sports designated for the opposite biological sex;
WHEREAS, Federal courts have ruled that Title IX does not extend to claims of discrimination based on gender identity and that schools can maintain separate restrooms, locker rooms and other facilities on the basis of sex where privacy is a concern;
WHEREAS, The Obama Administration’s Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights released an updated policy letter stating that Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to an individual’s chosen gender identity of male or female;
WHEREAS, Federal courts have ruled that the U.S. Department of Education’s interpretation of Title IX is not legally binding because the Department lacks authority to promulgate such an interpretation; and
WHEREAS, Policies of the Obama Administration, presidential candid ate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and public schools that allow any students to use the restrooms, locker rooms, or other facilities designated for the exclusive use of the other sex infringes on the rights of privacy and conscience of other students; and therefore be it
RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee calls on the Department of Education to rescind its interpretation of Title IX that wrongly includes facility use issues by transgender students;
RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee encourages State Legislatures to recognize that these Obama gender identity policies are a federal governmental overreach, a misinterpretation of Title IX policies, and an infringement upon the majority of students’ Constitutional rights; and
RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee encourages state legislatures to enact laws that protect student privacy and limit the use of restrooms, locker rooms and similar facilities to members of the sex to whom the facility is designated.
 Zey are chust followink orders.

Let's look at the first WHEREAS...
A person’s sex is defined as the physical condition of being male or female,
Intersex people don't exist. Except they do.
which is determined at conception,
Monozygotic twins of opposite sexes don't exist. Except they do.
identified at birth by a person’s anatomy,
Often wrongly, and not always possible.
recorded on their official birth certificate
Often wrongly
, and can be confirmed by DNA testing;
Laughably inaccurate, when 1 in 300 men don't have 46,XY "male" chromosomes, and some women do.  Whoever wrote this was a biological ignoramus, with knowledge at the grade-school level at best.

 This is not a statement of fact, it's a statement of Religious Belief. One that is just plain factually wrong in every area. Like saying "WHEREAS Pi = 3 as the Bible says" or "WHEREAS The Earth is flat".

The aim of these people is spelt out by the Hate Group, the Family Research Council in their manifesto on the subject. Trans and Intersex people must be erased, just as Homosexuality must be criminalised, and Gays subject to capital punishment.

Their 5-point plan to achieve this:
1. States and the federal government should not allow legal gender marker changes.
2. Transgender people should not have any legal protections against discrimination, nor should anyone be forced to respect their identity.
3. Transgender people should not be legally allowed to use facilities in accordance with their gender identity.
4. Medical coverage related to transition should not be provided by the government, or any other entity.
5. Transgender people should not be allowed to serve in the military.

So what harm is HB2 doing by this superstitious balderdash enshrined in law?

Dear Governor McCrory:
As North Carolinians and Pediatricians with specialty training in Endocrinology, we respectfully request that you reconsider Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (HB2).
A law that defines biological sex as “the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person's birth certificate” is inherently flawed and potentially harmful to a group of children that we care for in our pediatric practices.
As professional experts in the field of chromosomes and genital anatomy, we provide professional consultation to our colleagues on babies in whom assigning sex may not be possible at the time of birth. For example, there are babies born in whom chromosomes suggesting one sex do not match the appearance of the genitalia. This can be due to multiple biological causes such as chromosome abnormalities, abnormalities in anatomic development, environmental exposures during pregnancy, genetic mutations in the syn thesis and actions of adrenal and gonadal hormones, and tumors that make sex hormones.
For these children, gender assignment at birth is challenging and takes substantial time - sometimes requiring re - evaluation over months to years. Severe hormonal imbalances at birth may also result in gender assignments at the time of the birth that may require reassignment later in life.
Our patients already face major medical and social challenges and HB2 creates unnecessary hardship for these vulnerable youth. We respectfully ask you to repeal this hurtful bill.
Respectfully, Deanna W.Adkins, MD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Duke University Medical Center
Evelyn Artz, MD Pediatric Endocrinology Mission Children’s Specialties Mission Children’s Hospital
Robert Benjamin, MD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Duke University Medical Center
Ali S. Calikoglu, MD Professor of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Cathrine Constantacos, MD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Section of Pediatric Endocrinology Wake Forest Baptist Health Brenner Children's Hospital
A. Joseph D’Ercole, MD Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Elizabeth Estrada, MD Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Chief, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Michael Freemark, MD Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Professor of Pediatrics Chief, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Duke University Medical Center
Nancy E. Friedman MD Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Duke University Medical Center
Pinar Gumus Balikcioglu, M.D . Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Duke University Medical Center
Nina Jain, MD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Kateryna Kotlyarevska, MD Pediatric Endocrinology New Hanover Regional Medical Center
Jennifer Law, MD, MSCR Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Nancie MacIver, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Duke University Medical Center
Shipra Patel, MD Adjunct Faculty of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Elizabeth Sandberg, MD Incoming Fellow Division of Pediatric Endocrinology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Robert Schwartz,MD Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics Section of Pediatric Endocrinology Wake Forest Baptist Health Brenner Children's Hospital
Maureen A. Su, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 Trans students are also affected of course.

From Transgender Adults’ Access to College Bathrooms and Housing and the Relationship to Suicidality  by Seelman, Journal of Homosexuality
However, few scholars have examined whether college institutional climate factors—such as being denied access to bathrooms or gender-appropriate campus housing—are significantly associated with detrimental psychological outcomes for transgender people. Using the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, this study analyzes whether being denied access to these spaces is associated with lifetime suicide attempts, after controlling for interpersonal victimization by students or teachers. Findings from sequential logistic regression (N = 2,316) indicate that denial of access to either space had a significant relationship to suicidality, even after controlling for interpersonal victimization. This article discusses implications for higher education professionals and researchers.

The US Department of Justice sent a set of guidelines to schools on various methods of implementing existing law in this area. With so many schools already implementing various methods, it is now possible to come up with a set of "best practices" - policies that work under various circumstances. As the press release of May 13 said:
The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released joint guidance today to help provide educators the information they need to ensure that all students, including transgender students, can attend school in an environment free from discrimination based on sex.
Recently, questions have arisen from school districts, colleges and universities, and others about transgender students and how to best ensure these students, and non-transgender students, can all enjoy a safe and discrimination-free environment.
Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student’s sex, including a student’s transgender status. The guidance makes clear that both federal agencies treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX.
“No student should ever have to go through the experience of feeling unwelcome at school or on a college campus,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “This guidance further clarifies what we’ve said repeatedly – that gender identity is protected under Title IX. Educators want to do the right thing for students, and many have reached out to us for guidance on how to follow the law. We must ensure that our young people know that whoever they are or wherever they come from, they have the opportunity to get a great education in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence.”
“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “This guidance gives administrators, teachers, and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies. I look forward to continuing our work with the Department of Education – and with schools across the country – to create classroom environments that are safe, nurturing, and inclusive for all of our young people.”
“Our federal civil rights law guarantees all students, including transgender students, the opportunity to participate equally in school programs and activities without sex discrimination as a core civil right,” said Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon. “This guidance answers questions schools have been asking, with a goal to ensure that all students are treated equally consistent with their gender identity. We look forward to continuing to work with schools and school communities to satisfy Congress’ promise of equality for all.”
“Every child deserves to attend school in a safe, supportive environment that allows them to thrive and grow. And we know that teachers and administrators care deeply about all of their students and want them to succeed in school and life,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Our guidance sends a clear message to transgender students across the country: here in America, you are safe, you are protected and you belong – just as you are. We look forward to working with school officials to make the promise of equal opportunity a reality for all of our children.”
The guidance explains that when students or their parents, as appropriate, notify a school that a student is transgender, the school must treat the student consistent with the student’s gender identity. A school may not require transgender students to have a medical diagnosis, undergo any medical treatment, or produce a birth certificate or other identification document before treating them consistent with their gender identity.
The guidance also explains schools’ obligations to:
* Respond promptly and effectively to sex-based harassment of all students, including harassment based on a student’s actual or perceived gender identity, transgender status, or gender transition;
* Treat students consistent with their gender identity even if their school records or identification documents indicate a different sex;
* Allow students to participate in sex-segregated activities and access sex-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity; and
* Protect students’ privacy related to their transgender status under Title IX and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
At the same time, the guidance makes clear that schools can provide additional privacy options to any student for any reason. The guidance does not require any student to use shared bathrooms or changing spaces, when, for example, there are other appropriate options available; and schools can also take steps to increase privacy within shared facilities.
In addition to the Departments’ joint Title IX guidance, the Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education also released Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students, a compilation of policies and practices that schools across the country are already using to support transgender students. The document shares some common questions on topics such as school records, privacy, and terminology, and then explains how some state and school district policies have answered these questions, which may be useful for other states and school districts that are considering these issues. In this document, the Education Department does not endorse any particular policy, but offers examples from actual policies to help educators develop policies and practices for their own schools.
Many parents, schools, and districts have raised questions about this area of civil rights law. Together, these documents will help navigate what may be a new terrain for some.
The DOJ also sent a strongly worded letter to the Governor of North Carolina, pointing out that HB2 was in violation of Federal Law in several areas, and requesting a reply within a week stating what was going to be done about putting implementation "on hold" till the matter could be sorted out.
H.B. 2 … is facially discriminatory against transgender employees on the basis of sex because it treats transgender employees, whose gender identity does not match their “biological sex,” as defined by H.B. 2, differently from similarly situated non-transgender employees …
H.B. 2 places similar restrictions on access to restrooms and changing facilities for all public agencies in North Carolina. By requiring compliance with H.B. 2, you and the State are therefore resisting the full enjoyment of Title VII rights and discriminating against transgender employees of public agencies by requiring those public agencies to comply with H.B. 2.
The NC Government prompty sued, stating, amongst other things, that HB2 had nothing to do with Gender Identity,
“North Carolina does not treat transgender employees differently from non-transgender employees. All state employees are required to use the bathroom and changing facilities assigned to persons of their same biological sex, regardless of gender identity, or transgendered [sic] status.” 
You know, the way both Blacks and Whites were forbidden from marrying anyone of a different race.... or that everyone with black skin and curly black hair was treated the same way, not just African Americans.

HB2 had nothing whatsoever to do with Charlotte's ordinance, just ignore everything that was said by the legislature and Governor as to why an emergency session was needed.

Playing nice and providing a face-saving excuse not having worked, the DOJ unloaded both barrels with lawsuits of its own.

An extract from the DOJ's lawsuit against NC.
 [30. Individuals are typically assigned a sex on their birth certificate solely on the basis of the appearance of the external genitalia at birth. Additional aspects of sex (for example, chromosomal makeup) typically are not assessed and considered at the time of birth, except in cases of infants born with ambiguous genitalia.]

[31. An individual’s “sex” consists of multiple factors, which may not always be in alignment. Among those factors are hormones, external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, chromosomes, and gender identity, which is an individual’s internal sense of being male or female.]

[32. For individuals who have aspects of their sex that are not in alignment, the person’s gender identity is the primary factor in terms of establishing that person’s sex. External genitalia are, therefore, but one component of sex and not always determinative of a person’s sex.]

[33. Although there is not yet one definitive explanation for what determines gender identity, biological factors, most notably sexual differentiation in the brain, have a role in gender identity development.]

[34. Transgender individuals are individuals who have a gender identity that does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. A transgender man’s sex is male and a transgender woman’s sex is female.]

This post is already long enough. Those interested in the legal arguments should consult original sources - especially GG vs Gloucester School Board

It is not clear to us how the regulation would apply in a number of situations—even under the Board’s own “biological gender” formulation. For example, which restroom would a transgender individual who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery use? What about an intersex individual? What about an individual born with X-X-Y sex chromosomes? What about an individual who lost external genitalia in an accident?
The Department’s interpretation resolves ambiguity by providing that in the case of a transgender individual using a sex-segregated facility, the individual’s sex as male or female is to be generally determined by reference to the student’s gender identity.
Because we conclude that the regulation is ambiguous as applied to transgender individuals, the Department’s interpretation is entitled to Auer deference unless the Board demonstrates that the interpretation is plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation or statute.Auer, 519 U.S. at 461.

Title VII and Title IX forbid discrimination on the basis of "sex". The NC legislature cannot change that to "biological sex", especially when their definition of "biological sex" has nothing to do with biology, and nothing to do with sex for that matter.

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, having suddenly been made aware that Trans and Intersex people have been using the appropriate restrooms for something over a century without issues, they have to rely on .. RELIGION. And declared a State of Emergency to exist.

As used in this section, "sex" means the physical condition of being male or female, as identified at birth by that individual's anatomy.

A student enrolled at a public school district in the state or the parent or legal guardian of a student enrolled at a public school district in the state may submit to the board of education of the school district a request for a religious accommodation based on the student's sincerely held religious beliefs.  The accommodation shall be for the use of restrooms, athletic changing facilities or showers designated for the exclusive use of that student's sex...< br />
Providing access to a single-occupancy restroom, athletic changing facility or showers to a student who has submitted a request for a religious accommodation or to a student whose parent or legal guardian has submitted a request for a religious accommodation pursuant to subsection C of this section shall not be an allowable accommodation.

It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.
Compelling an Intersex or Trans student to use a single-stall facility - that's good enough as an "accomodation". But allowing, not compelling, a good Christian student to do the same if they want to - that's obviously unacceptable, and violates their Religious Freedom.

So the next time you see an argument that "this has nothing to do with Religion", you'll know that they're lying for Jesus.

As for "Safety Issues"...

Reports are already coming in of non-Trans women being assaulted by men as they attempt to use restrooms, because they are "suspected of being trans".

Scott Turner Schofield, a transgender actor and activist who starred on The Bold and the Beautiful, warned that this might happen. Shortly after North Carolina’s law was passed, he told The Daily Beast, “Anybody who has been politicized by these bully politicians now has a license to commit the very kinds of assault that these bills try to prevent.” 
Two short months later, some of those politicians are not just emboldening their anti-transgender supporters, they’re openly encouraging them to break the law.
On Tuesday, as BuzzFeed reported, Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa called for “civil disobedience” in response to the Obama administration’s guidance to public schools on transgender students’ restroom access.
On the far right, the anti-transgender rhetoric has become baldly violent in the past few months. After Target reiterated its support for trans employees and customers, Anita Staver, president of the evangelical legal organization Liberty Counsel, tweeted that she would be taking a gun with her into the women’s room at the retail chain.