Florida state Rep. Charles McBurney (R) [YouTube]
Arturo Garcia | Raw Story | April 9, 2015
A Florida state legislator seems to scoff at a 10-year-old boy as he curtails the boy’s testimony against a bill restricting same-sex couples’ adoption rights, Slate reported.
Footage from a state House Judiciary Committee shows the boy, Nathaniel Gill, beginning to explain his opposition to the measure, which would allow private adoption agencies to cite religious objections as a reason not to place a child with same-sex parents.
President Obama. (photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Reuters | Reader Supported News | April 9, 2015
US president urges an end to psychiatric therapies that seek to change the sexual orientation of gay, lesbian and transgender people
arack Obama has called for an end to psychiatric therapies that seek to change the sexual orientation of gay, lesbian and transgender youth, the White House said.
The White House statement, written by senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, came on Wednesday in response to a petition calling for Obama to back a law to ban conversion therapy, which is supported by some socially conservative organizations and religious doctors.
The petition was started following the suicide in December of 17-year-old transgender youth Leelah Alcorn, who said she was forced to attend conversion therapy, pulled out of school and isolated.
“The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practised on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm,” Jarrett said.
Catherine McGregor transitioned from male to female in 2012. (Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Emily Sundberg | Yahoo Health | April 8, 2015
Australian military officer Catherine McGregor, considered the most prominent transgender woman in Australia, functioned as a male until just after her 56th birthday, she shared in a speech at a National Press Club event in Canberra, Australia this week.
“I choose the term ‘functioned’ advisedly, because my relationship to my birth gender was fraught from a very young age,” McGregor, who is a group captain in the RAAF Reserve, said during her speech, reported Buzzfeed.
For people who are transgender, there is a difference between that person’s physical gender and the gender he or she actually identifies with. Gender dysphoria is a diagnosis included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which says, “for a person to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, there must be a marked difference between the individual’s expressed/experienced gender and the gender others would assign him or her, and it must continue for at least six months.”
Stephen Peters | HRC Blog | March 19, 2015
Today, HRC sounded the alarm on anti-LGBT legislation in Nevada – SB272 in the Senate and AB277 in the Assembly – that threatens jobs, the state economy, and undermines the state’s civil rights laws. The legislation would allow people to use their religion to challenge or opt out of various laws, including state and local laws, that protect LGBT people and other minorities from discrimination.
“This legislation undermines the enforcement of state non-discrimination protections and will expose Nevada business owners to a wave of lawsuits,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “It has the potential to cause serious harm to the business climate in the state, putting jobs at risk, and making major corporations think twice about investing in the state. To put it simply, this legislation threatens Nevada’s strong pro-business reputation.”
The legislation will bring harmful and unintended consequences to those who call Nevada home, inviting costly legal challenges and making the Silver State unwelcoming to both residents and visitors. Nearly 500,000 jobs and 29% of the state’s employment is a direct result of tourism to Nevada. Jeopardizing the state’s standing as one of the greatest places for people to live and visit, the harm this bill may cause doesn’t end with the LGBT community: an evangelical police officer could feel empowered to refuse to patrol a Jewish street festival; a city clerk could shirk the law and refuse a marriage license to an interracial couple, a divorcee seeking to remarry, or a lesbian couple; an EMT could claim the law is on his side after refusing service to a dying transgender person in the street; and the enforcement of other key sections of state civil rights law could be dramatically undermined.
Major corporations have spoken out strongly against similar bills in other states. In response to one such anti-LGBT bill threatening economic growth and business in Arkansas, both Apple and Wal-Mart spoke out in opposition to precisely this kind of legislation. And Wal-Mart and Apple are not alone. Last year, major multinational corporations including American Airlines, Marriott, PetSmart and many other companies came out against a similar bill in Arizona, concerned about how it would hurt their business and risk millions in economic activity if it became law.
The bill puts all state non-discrimination laws at risk of being undermined. It threatens not just the LGBT community, but women, members of minority faiths and other minority classes.