For months, the landmark Violence Against Women Act has languished in Congress, and last month, funding for the bill expired, putting programs that support victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking at risk. On Thursday afternoon, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers reintroduced the bill, hoping that in 2019, with a Democrat-stacked House, Congress will finally reauthorize the critical piece of legislation.
On Thursday morning, four people appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to testify on VAWA: Ramona Gonzalez, a Wisconsin family court judge who oversees cases of domestic violence; Sarah Deer, a law professor who has built her career advocating for the rights of Native Americans in sexual assault and domestic violence cases; Rob Valente, a policy consultant for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; and finally, Julia Beck, a self-identified radical lesbian feminist who has, in recent months, become a beloved figure in conservative media for her exclusionary, anti-trans views.
Footballer Blair Hamilton says “the barriers are coming down” to transgender athletes competing in sport, after recent criticism from Martina Navratilova and Sharron Davies.
Navratilova – one of the most successful tennis players of all time – has been criticised as “transphobic” for writing that transgender women had “unfair” physical advantages over female opponents. She later apologised for using the term “cheating”.
On Saturday, former British swimmer Sharron Davies told BBC Sport that many current athletes “feel the same way” as Navratilova and that trans athletes should not compete in female events to “protect women’s sport”.
On Monday, the South Dakota State House narrowly voted against a bill seeking to reject a policy that allows transgender students to play on whichever sports team matches their gender identity.
The vote was an even split, 34-34, failing to garner the majority required for its transfer to the the state Senate. NBC News reports that this was the fourth anti-trans bill proposed and subsequently rejected by South Dakota lawmakers this session.
It’s awesome being awesome, isn’t it?
This new song and music video from nerdy duo the Doubleclicks, “I’m Winning,” is all about video games and identity, celebrating the feeling that comes from living with your authentic gender. And the band brought 16 non-binary, trans, and genderqueer artists onboard to bring that winning vision to life. Rebecca Sugar would be proud.
A group of state representatives in Kansas introduced legislation Wednesday that seeks to define same-sex marriage as “parody marriage,” stop the state from recognizing gay marriage and establish an “elevated marriage” option for straight couples who seek “higher standards of commitment.”
One of the two bills introduced contends LGBTQ people are aligned with the secular humanism movement, which it calls a religion. It also calls the gay pride rainbow flag a symbol of a “faith-based worldview.”
By doing so, the proposed legislation seeks to define marriage between a man and a woman as “neutral” and same-sex marriage as religious in nature. It then contends the state cannot constitutionally condone a religious practice.
England captain Joe Root showed integrity and leadership in his response to a comment from West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, says former batter Ebony Rainford-Brent.
Sky Sports published a clip of Root, 28, telling Gabriel: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”
Gabriel, 30, was warned by the umpire for the language he used, though his original comment was not picked up.
During the 16 months Jessica Sunderland was incarcerated at the Riverside Correctional Facility in Suffolk County, New York, jail officials refused to give her the hormones she had been taking for two years. In response, in August 2013, Sunderland filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Suffolk County, arguing that the jail’s failure to provide her hormones violated her constitutional rights.
In October of this year, Sunderland won her case. As reported by Melissa Gira Grant at the Appeal, a jury agreed that Sunderland’s constitutional rights had been violated, and awarded her $280,000 in damages, plus an additional $75,000 in punitive damages against Vincent Geraci, the jail’s medical director. It’s a groundbreaking decision, according to Sunderland’s attorney Joel Wertheimer.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, ThinkProgress reported that guidance protecting transgender people in the federal workforce were quietly removed from the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) website. As ThinkProgress noted, the guidelines offered definitional and practical information on how to better ensure that trans employees have essential workplace protections and are free from harassment. The decision to remove that language is just the latest in a series of actions the Trump administration has taken to strip federal protections from trans people in the workplace and at school, but according to audio obtained by Government Executive, Natalie Veeney, the OPM’s diversity program manager, reportedly explained the change to an LGBTQ employee group as a way to “afford agencies more discretion in responding to the needs of their workforce” and give agencies more “autonomy.”
In other words, OPM believes that federal agencies should have more freedom to discriminate how they best see fit. (This mirrors language the administration used when rescinding guidance on protection for trans students: framing an erasure of basic protections as an expansion of freedom for local schools.) Previously, the trans guidances on OPM’s site directed managers to use their trans employees’ preferred names and pronouns and ensure access to bathrooms consistent with their gender. The guidance also noted that even if employees had not yet changed their name legally, agencies should “adopt procedures that allow employees to use the name of daily usage or first initial in or on email accounts, employee directories, business cards, name tags, and similar items.” Basic, but essential, stuff.
The first asylum-seekers from the migrant caravan have arrived in Tijuana after several weeks of traveling from Central America; they are part of a small group of LGBTQ migrants who split off from the larger caravan while in Mexico City. Their decision to travel separately stemmed in large part from discrimination they experienced en route to the United States, according to several asylum-seekers interviewed by the Washington Post and NPR.
An 18-year-old gay man was viciously beaten up on the bus going home “for being different”, a court heard.
Kydis Zellinger was repeatedly punched in the face by a man shouting homophobic abuse in the hate crime.
Mr Zellinger said he was “scared for his life” in the prolonged attack in south Bristol on 15 October.
Paul Austin, 27, of Inns Court, Bristol, pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced, at Bristol Magistrates Court earlier, to 18 weeks in jail.