IMDb alters birth name policy following criticism from LGBTQ+ groups

IMDb will allow people in the entertainment industry to remove their birth names from the site. The move follows criticism from several LGBTQ+ groups for continuing to publish the birth names of transgender people in the industry without their consent (an act known as deadnaming).

via IMDb alters birth name policy following criticism from LGBTQ+ groups

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Websites Can Discriminate Against You Even If You Don’t Use Them, California Supreme Court Rules

Nearly four years ago, a lone bankruptcy lawyer sued Square, the payment processor run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, challenging the app’s terms of use—despite never signing up. As of yesterday, the case will proceed, thanks to an opinion issued by the California Supreme Court that could have wide-reaching implications for online businesses.

The first thing you need to know is that, for whatever reason, Square’s Prohibited Goods and Services policies include “bankruptcy attorneys or collection agencies,” which you’ll recall is plaintiff Robert White’s line of work. California, where this case was tried and where a plurality of online services are headquartered, is also home to a state law—the Unruh Civil Rights Act—which provides broad protections against discrimination of many kinds, including occupation. But the question remained as to whether White needed to have entered into an agreement with Square (by agreeing to the terms of service) in order to have experienced said discrimination barring his “full and equal access” to the service.

via Websites Can Discriminate Against You Even If You Don’t Use Them, California Supreme Court Rules

Here’s How A Christian Group Prevents Same Sex Couples From Adopting, In the Name of ‘Religious Freedom’

Republicans across the country, now bolstered by the Trump administration, have been working very hard to enable healthcare providers, adoption agencies, and other organizations to deny services to LGBTQ people in the name of religious freedom. A disturbing new report by USA Today, the Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity has traced hundreds of so-called “religious freedom” bills back to a non-profit Christian organization that has created an influential playbook which Republicans are copying into bills across the country. So far, more than 60 have been signed into law.

The playbook is called “Project Blitz,” and it was created in 2017 by the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, a Christian non-profit organization whose membership includes “hundreds” of lawmakers nationwide, including from Congress.

via Here’s How A Christian Group Prevents Same Sex Couples From Adopting, In the Name of ‘Religious Freedom’

What Not to Say to Same-Sex Parents

When is the last time you asked a casual acquaintance—or better yet, a stranger!—the details about how their baby was conceived? You probably wouldn’t go up to the random heterosexual couple ahead of you in the grocery store checkout line and request a full conception play-by-play. But same-sex parents find themselves barraged with inappropriate questions about something incredibly private to them all the time. People somehow feel it’s okay to quench their curiosity about how they built their family.

Just because a kid has two moms or two dads does not mean you can pile on the invasive questions. Even if you think you mean well, here’s what you should not be asking.

via What Not to Say to Same-Sex Parents

Sex, lies, and surveillance: Something’s wrong with the war on sex trafficking

Silicon Valley’s biggest companies have partnered with a single organization to fight sex trafficking — one that maintains a data collection pipeline, is partnered with Palantir, and helps law enforcement profile and track sex workers without their consent. Major websites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and others are working with a nonprofit called Thorn (“digital defenders of children”) and, perhaps predictably, its methods are dubious.

Thorn offers internet companies its content moderation tool “Safer,” and for law enforcement, its separate data-mining and user-profiling tool “Spotlight.” Both use data sources and AI to automate policing of sex content. Of Thorn’s 31 nonprofit partners, 27 target adults and vow to abolish consensual sex work under the banner of saving children from sex trafficking.

via Sex, lies, and surveillance: Something’s wrong with the war on sex trafficking

Rapping for change in South Africa – BBC News

Nearly 27 million people are registered to vote in South Africa’s elections on May 8 – that’s less than half the country’s total population.
Six million young eligible voters didn’t even bother to register earlier this year.
So why are young people shunning the elections?
The BBC asked a few rappers in Johannesburg if they had a rhyme to answer that question.

via Rapping for change in South Africa – BBC News

Missouri Republicans Force Pelvic Exams Ahead of Abortions

In Missouri, where the state’s last remaining abortion clinic is in a legal battle to keep its doors open, Republicans have imposed another invasive and unnecessary requirement for anyone obtaining an abortion: now, patients must undergo a pelvic exam at least 72 hours prior to the procedure.

A pelvic exam “includes putting your fingers and other instruments in the vagina, when really that gives no medical information,” Dr. Colleen McNicholas of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services, Missouri’s last abortion clinic, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “It doesn’t do anything to help the patient, or myself, choose what is the best approach for their abortion care.”

via Missouri Republicans Force Pelvic Exams Ahead of Abortions

After Rickie: 5 of our favorite LGBTQ+ teens on TV today

This August marks the 25th anniversary of the debut of My So-Called Life, the short-lived but influential teen drama that was also one of the first network shows to have a gay character as a series regular. Rickie Vasquez (Wilson Cruz) faced some of the same adolescent woes as his peers Angela Chase (Claire Danes) and Rayanne Graff (A.J. Langer), but as an out teen, he also faced homophobia at home and school. Despite the show’s limited run, Rickie became a beacon for queer teen viewers, especially queer teens of color who’d waited a long time to see themselves on TV.

via After Rickie: 5 of our favorite LGBTQ+ teens on TV today

Alabama Mayor Mark Chambers Wants to ‘Kill the Problem’ of ‘Homosexuals’

Last week, Mark Chambers, the mayor of Carbon Hill, Alabama, shared an image on his Facebook page that read, in all-caps, “WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE HOMOSEXUALS LECTURE US ON MORALS, TRANSVESTITES LECTURE US ON HUMAN BIOLOGY, BABY KILLERS LECTURE US ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIALISTS LECTURE US ON ECONOMICS.”

SOUNDS LIKE AN OKAY WORLD TO ME!

In case the post wasn’t clear enough on just where he stands on the issue of LGBT rights (or abortion, or socialism), after a friend commented that it “will take a revolution” to change society, Chambers then replied, “The only way to change it would be to kill the problem out. I know it’s bad to say but with out killing them out there’s no way to fix it.”

via Alabama Mayor Mark Chambers Wants to ‘Kill the Problem’ of ‘Homosexuals’

Kesha Drops ‘Rich, White, Straight Men’: Listen

Has anyone talked to Kesha about the 2020 election recently? Based on the new track she dropped on Monday, she is mad as hell and ready for change. “Rich, White, Straight Men” is a droll, tongue-in-cheek critique of the United States’ treatment of women, immigrants, and same-sex couples who want to get married. Kesha also takes serious issue with the country’s reluctance to adopt universal healthcare and free college for all. The message is clear! (Is she voting Warren?)

Sonically, this song is unlike any other Kesha’s ever released; there are no thumping club beats or glittery opening chords. This is far from the perfectly manicured pop songs that were once her calling card. “Rich, White, Straight Men” opens with the unsettling sound of cashiers opening and coins falling, and then Kesha begins to dryly check off a list of policies that would materially improve our lives, if only the people in power would enact them. The best part, though, is the song’s literal chorus of voices demanding to know “What if the rich, white, straight men didn’t rule the world anymore?” The melody is almost… swashbuckling? Burlesque? Kesha’s voice uncharacteristically slides up and down as she sings “Guess what, God is a woman, I know her.” The whole thing feels slightly uncomfortable, I guess rather like the political climate. It’s an unprecedented and ultimately enjoyable change for her; what would it sound like if this Kesha made a whole album? I look forward to finding out.

via Kesha Drops ‘Rich, White, Straight Men’: Listen