A bill that would ban discrimination based on transgender status in housing and public accommodations won approval in the Nevada Senate last week. The bills now head to the Assembly, which recently voted to ban employment discrimination based on gender identity.
The White House is hosting a meeting with trans activists today, the Washington Blade reports:
Shin Inouye, a White House spokesperson, said the meeting, which is set to take place Friday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, will include transgender leaders who work on federal policy.
“OPE routinely holds meetings with various stakeholders to discuss various policy issues,” Inouye said. “Friday’s meeting, like most OPE meetings, will be closed press and off the record.”
In a lengthy post about the meeting at Pam's house Blend, transgender activist Autumn Sandeen, who was one of the activists arrested during protests at the White House over 'DADT' offers her thoughts, questions, and advice:
I wasn't invited to this White House meeting, and if I had been invited I would have declined attending. I have no desire to be recognized by the White House or others as a member of some sort of organized and/or recognized "transgender power structure." I also have no desire to be an LGBT community DC insider. And even minus those things, I would have no desire to attend an off-the-record meeting with the Obama Administration on transgender issues — I wouldn't be able to personally abide with the off-the-record nature of these kinds of meetings.
But that said, I do have opinions about the meeting — especially about the how transparent this meeting is going to be, and what are actions that will come out of the meeting. I believe the White House actually needs to be transparent about what it's going to do for transgender community members during the remainder of the first term of President Obama.
And, a media release after this meeting seems to me to be an appropriate tool for messaging to the transgender subcommunity of LGBT community, as well as to the LGBT community as a whole.
A transgender woman was reportedly "banned for life" from the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas after going there for a drink and using the women's bathroom.
Here’s what happened. Stephanie goes to the Cosmo in the early hours of the morning – about 2.30am. She sits down at the Vesper Bar, in the lobby of the hotel, and orders drinks. Her drinks are good, the barman is pleasant, all is well. And then, at 4am, she realizes she needs the bathroom.
She goes, as is her wont, to the women’s restroom, just across from the bar. It’s empty, as you’d expect at 4am on a Monday. Not a single person in there. She powders her nose and exits the restroom, only to be met by two security guards who immediately say “Come with us” and start marching her out of the hotel. As they walk her, they demand to see her ID (to establish her legal gender). It’s in her purse, and she fumbles for it as she’s being forcibly marched through the lobby of the hotel. As she fumbles, one of the men tells her to hurry up. She is scared, and starts apologizing, saying she’s not trying to cause trouble, but it’s hard to walk and look for her ID at the same time.
They march her outside the hotel (the bathroom is near the main entrance) and she finds her ID. One of the guards checks it, establishes that her legal gender is male, and pulls out a yellow form from his pocket and starts writing in her details to the blank spaces. As he does so, he says, “Are you working?” Way to add insult to injury. She doesn’t say “Well as it happens, yes I am working, at the conference, douchebag.” She says no.
There's much more on the incident at HotelChatter…
Republican lawmakers in Texas have introduced legislation that would strip marriage rights from transgender people, the AP reports:
"The Texas Constitution," Sen. Tommy Williams (pictured) said, "clearly defines marriage between one man and one woman."
The legislation by Williams, of Houston, and Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, of Brenham, would prohibit county and district clerks from using a court order recognizing a sex change as documentation to get married, effectively requiring the state to recognize a 1999 state appeals court decision that said in cases of marriage, gender is assigned at birth and sticks with a person throughout their life even if they have a sex change.
Not only would the legislation strip away future marriage rights, it could nullify some marriages already in existence.
The legislation has passed a Senate committee vote and awaits approval but the full Senate. Similar legislation in the House has not yet had a hearing.
A vigil and rally organized by Trans-United, TransMaryland, Baltimore County for Equality, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore is planned at 7 pm this evening at the McDonald's where Chrissy Lee Polis was brutally beaten late last week.
Said Caroline Temmerand of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland in a statement: "This is precisely the kind of hatred and bigotry that transgender women and men deal with on a daily basis. We as a society have failed if we cannot do more to protect all Marylanders from this kind of brutality."
Added TransMaryland spokeswoman Jenna Fischetti: "Our primary concern is for Ms. Polis’ well being. We will support her through this difficult time and we ask that the legal process be unhampered and thorough."
Polis spoke out about the attack in a video interview with the Baltimore Sun over the weekend.
The vigil and rally will be held at McDonald's, 6315 Kenwood Ave. in Rosedale, Baltimore.