North Dakota Lawmakers Ban Transgender Students From Sports

Highway sign reading North Dakota

Highway sign reading North Dakota

North Dakota’s state legislature passed a bill today prohibiting transgender students from participating in a school-sponsored athletic team.

The bill passed 69 to 25 and now goes to Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk.

Bills banning transgender students from sports participation are now awaiting vetoes or signatures from governors of North Dakota, Montana, Kansas and West Virginia.


Three previous states, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee, have signed bills into law, and South Dakota’s governor issued executive orders after expressing concerns about the legality of the state’s ban.

Lawmakers across the country have acknowledged they could not cite an instance of trans participation being an issue in their states.

North Dakota has had a policy regulating trans participation for the last five and a half years.

GLAAD released a guide for journalists covering the wave of anti-LGBTQ bills nationwide.

Statement from Serena Sonoma, GLAAD’s Communications Coordinator and Regional Media Lead, U.S. South:

“Transgender young people just want to be safe, belong, and live free of discrimination, including from some in their own government. There is no evidence that including trans kids harms anyone.

“This bill and similar measures across dozens of states are unnecessary and harmful to all young people. Lawmakers must stop targeting the most vulnerable in their states. They are sending a terrible message that hurts all kids and threatens their states’ economies. Gov. Burgum must veto this damaging bill.”

News Round-Up: April 7, 2021

Our pup Brody on the lookout
Our pup Brody on the lookout
Brody on the lookout

Some news items you might have missed:

Brody Watch: Just to let you know – we are soooooooo safe thanks to our fearless pup (above). Brody has no fear it seems other than not getting enough attention 🙂

NBC News: Lawmakers in North Carolina have introduced a bill that would prevent doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery for anyone under 21. Senate Bill 514 would also compel state employees to notify parents if their child displays “gender nonconformity” or expresses a desire to be treated in a way other than the gender they were assigned at birth.

USA Today: First lady Jill Biden, the military mom in the White House, is working with Joining Forces which helps military and veteran families, caregivers and survivors get the support they need. After weeks of listening sessions with military families, Biden said her priorities will focus on employment and entrepreneurship, military child education and health and well-being.

Daily Beacon: A Tennessee lawmaker has proposed a bill that would prohibit the use of any materials in schools that, in the language of the bill, “promote, normalize, support or address lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender (LGBT) issues or lifestyles.” Opponents say erasing LGBTQ people from history books would send the message to queer kids that they arent’ “normal.”

CNN: At least one of the Capitol riot defendants has flipped against the Proud Boys, agreeing to provide information that could allow the Justice Department to bring a more severe charge against the group’s leadership. The development is the first indication that people charged in the insurrection are cooperating against the pro-Trump extremist group.

Instagram: Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman is the first-ever poet to grace the cover of Vogue Magazine – and when I say ‘grace’….I mean GRACE. #gorgeous

Arkansas Legislature Overrides Governor To Enact Anti-Transgender Law

Voters in Kansas overwhelmingly rejected an attempt to strip women of their right to an abortion in the conservative state

The state flag of Arkansas

The Arkansas state legislature voted Tuesday to override Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto on a bill that would ban gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender minors in the state.

The Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act prohibits physicians from providing gender-affirming health care to anyone under 18-years-old including puberty blockers, hormones, and transition-related surgeries (which doctors don’t do anyway).

Less than 24 hours after Hutchinson’s veto was announced, the state Senate voted 25-8 and the state House voted 71-24 in favor of overriding the governor’s action. In Arkansas, a simple majority is all that’s required to bypass a governor’s veto. This is the only override by the legislature this year.

In doing so, Arkansas becomes the first state to prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming treatment for trans people under age 18.

“If (the bill) becomes law, then we are creating new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people,” Hutchinson said at a news conference.

I still believe Hutchinson’s veto was a CYA move so he could emerge unscathed from the hateful bill.

In light of the legislature’s actions, LGBTQ advocates are promising a legal fight.

“Attempting to block trans youth from the care they need simply because of who they are is not only wrong, it’s also illegal, and we will be filing a lawsuit to challenge this law in court,” said Holly Dickson of the ACLU of Arkansas. “We are hearing from concerned families all over the state who are afraid about the impact of this bill and others like it.”

“We are committed to doing all we can to support these families and ensure they know how to continue to fight for their rights and get the care and resources they need,” added Dickson.

News Round-Up: June 10, 2020

Paulo Batista (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Woofy transgender bodybuilder Paulo Batista (above) is literally pumped to be back in the gym: “One of my first days back to a gym in a while! It felt great to get a real pump and sweat in!”

Buzzfeed News: Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling doubled down on her recent anti-transgender comments, releasing an extensive statement about her fears of “current trans activism,” which recycles dangerous anti-trans stereotypes and cliches. #DeeplyDisappointing

People: CNN anchor Anderson Cooper opens up about being a dad to adorable baby Wyatt. “This is a dream come true,” the veteran journalist says of parenthood.

Pride Month TV: The acclaimed documentary, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, celebrates one of the icons of the gay rights movement, and the self-described “street queen” of NY’s gay ghetto in the 1960s. When Johnson’s body was found in the Hudson River in 1992, police called it a suicide and didn’t investigate. David France’s film seeks to uncover the truth of her death while celebrating her legacy. Streaming now on Netflix.

The Hill: The final testing stage for a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna is set to begin in July. John Mascola, the director of the vaccine research center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Wall Street Journal the trials will involve about 30,000 people at more than 50 sites, which will mostly be within the U.S.

Washington Post: Last week, the hashtag #LadyGraham exploded on social media in response to allegations made on Twitter by gay adult-film star Sean Harding against Sen. Lindsey O. Graham of South Carolina. The hashtag purportedly refers to Graham’s nickname among male sex workers. What followed has been a mixed bag of political commentary, wanton speculation and downright trolling.

Politico: The Trump administration is preparing to open the door to oil and gas drilling off Florida’s coast — but will wait until after the November election to avoid blowback in a swing state whose waters both parties have long considered sacrosanct, according to four people familiar with the plan.

Out Music: Acclaimed out singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright drops his latest music video, “You Ain’t Big,” from his upcoming album Unfollow the Rules.

“I originally wrote the song “You Ain’t Big” about the strange fact that in the music business worldwide until recently (our estimation has fallen considerably) no matter how well you’ve done anywhere else, if you couldn’t make it in the heartland of the US you weren’t really considered a true star,” shares Wainwright. “Think Little Richard, Elvis, the Beatles, and Julio Iglesias.”

“Its vintage sound harkens back to the classical American country music sound of the 40s and 50s and with the help of opposing images in the video of how different life was for white people compared to black people in the 1950’s, as it has sadly remained,” adds the two-time Juno Award winner. “I think it rings appropriate for this time and professes a certain truth.”

Supreme Court Allows Trump Anti-Transgender Military Ban To Go Into Effect

The U.S. Supreme Court has handed down orders that allow Donald Trump’s ban of transgender military service members to go into effect immediately while appeals work their way through the lower courts, according to The New York Times.
Transgender Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland

The U.S. Supreme Court has handed down orders that allow Donald Trump’s ban of transgender military service members to go into effect immediately while appeals work their way through the lower courts, according to The New York Times.

The high court issued a brief, unsigned order this morning saying SCOTUS had lifted the injunctions that, until now, blocked the anti-trans policy.

The vote was 5-4 with Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagen dissenting.

This morning’s orders stay the injunctions initially issued by Federal District Court judges in Washington State (Trump v. Karnoski) and California (Trump v Stockman), both in the Ninth Circuit.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had previoulsy vacated a third injunction on January 4.

For the time being, current trans soldiers will not be booted out immediately.

The policy, as tweaked by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, allows transgender service members who are already serving openly to continue to do so and to receive transition-related care.

In July of 2017, President Trump surprised American military leaders and the world when he announced his plan to ban trans military service members after “consultation with my Generals and military experts” due to the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender service members.

At the time of Trump’s announcement, Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland (pictured above) told Air Force News, “I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military.”

“You are not going to deny me my right to serve my country when I am fully qualified and able and willing to give my life,” he added.

The American Medical Association (AMA) issued a statement saying there is ‘no medically valid reason’ for banning transgender people from serving in the United States military, but all four service chiefs (Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force) have testified they’ve seen no negative effects from transgender military personnel serving the country they love.

According to a 2016 RAND Corporation study, there are an estimated 1,320 to 6,630 transgender individuals out of the 1.3 million service members on active duty.

From The New York Times:

The policy, announced on Twitter by President Trump and refined by the defense secretary at the time, Jim Mattis, generally prohibits people identifying with a gender different from their biological sex from military service. It makes exceptions for several hundred transgender people already serving openly and for those willing to serve “in their biological sex.”

Trump Administration Asks SCOTUS To Allow Trans Military Ban Before Review

The Department of Justice has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Donald Trump’s ban on transgender military service members to go into effect while waiting on SCOTUS to decide whether or not to even take the case up for review.

The Department of Justice has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Donald Trump’s ban on transgender military service members to go into effect while waiting on SCOTUS to decide whether or not to even take the case up for review.

Apparently, the United States is in a state of emergency regarding the few thousand transgender people currently serving with honor in the U.S. military.

I know – it doesn’t make any sense.

Let’s go back a bit, shall we?

In July of 2017, President Trump surprised American military leaders and the world when he announced his plan to ban trans military service members after “consultation with my Generals and military experts” due to the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender service members.

Remember, this is the guy who told Americans during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would ‘fight’ for the LGBTQ community.

Riiiiight.

Conservatives loved the idea; Liberals and LGBTQ activists were outraged.

In the ensuing months, numerous injunctions were ordered by judges blocking the implementation of the policy, and for good reason.

Not only has The American Medical Association (AMA) issued a statement saying there is ‘no medically valid reason’ for banning transgender people from serving in the United States military, but all four service chiefs (Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force) have testified they’ve seen no negative effects from transgender military personnel serving the country they love.

According to a 2016 RAND Corporation study, there are an estimated 1,320 to 6,630 transgender individuals out of the 1.3 million service members on active duty.

That same study estimated the cost of health care coverage for transgender personnel could range from $2.4 million and $8.4 million a year, which is about one-fifth of what

So, we can afford dick pills, but not trained trans soldiers…?

Then, earlier this month, Department of Justice Attorney Brinton Lucas told the D.C. Circuit Court that if the Trump policy were to be implemented, transgender troops would not be “discharged on the basis of their transgender status.”

(Wait for it…)

But, they would have to identify as the biological sex assigned to them at birth meaning they would have to stop any transition-related medical treatment – treatment that every major medical association has deemed necessary and life-saving for trans people.

Then, over Thanksgiving weekend, the Trump administration bypassed the appeals court process and requested the Supreme Court review the case before the circuit level courts even issue their opinions.

This isn’t a very popular approach as SCOTUS doesn’t like to review a case before it has made its way through the lower courts.

The high court likes to have cases work their way through traditional channels so they have the benefit of the opinions of lower court judges by the time cases reaches SCOTUS.

This week, the Trump administration filed emergency briefs asking the high court to allow the transgender ban to go into effect until SCOTUS can review the case in 2019.

According to Think Progress, the emergency briefs claimed waiting any longer to boot transgender military service members poses “too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality” and it would be “contrary to the Nation’s interests.”

But such arguments have gained little traction in the past.

For example, U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal ruled in September that “loss of unit cohesion” was the same argument used to keep Black people, women, and gay people from joining the military.

“The military has repeatedly proven its capacity to adapt and grow stronger specifically by the inclusion of these individuals,” wrote Bernal as he dismissed claims that including trans people would generate any different outcome.

It’s worth noting that the emergency briefs filed this week object to numerous motions for discovery filed in the cases. It seems the Trump administration wants to claim that all documentation related to how the ban was developed would fall under executive privilege.

What they really mean is that if those documents came to light, the American public might discover that Vice President Pence (a known homophobe) and his virulently anti-LGBTQ friends were instrumental in pushing the new ban through.

Should the Supreme Court allow the policy to be implemented before the case reaches SCOTUS, thousands of transgender soldiers could be discharged for being who they are.

This short video from the New York Times introduces just a few of the trans soldiers who are at risk of being discharged.

Trump Responds To Outcry Over Transgender Proposal: “I Want To Protect Our Country”

Before boarding Marine One at the White House earlier today, Donald Trump responded to a question about the outcry regarding the proposed ‘redefining’ of sex by the Department of Health and Human Services that would virtually erase 1.4 million transgender Americans, that he’s “protecting everybody.”

“We’re looking at it, we have a lot of different, ahhhhh…concepts right now,” said Trump. “They have a lot of different things happening with respect to transgender right now – you know that as well as I do.”

When asked about his promise during the 2016 campaign to protect LGBT people, Trump responded, “I’m protecting everybody. I want to protect our country.”

Barry Humphries (AKA Dame Edna) Is Anti-Trans And Pro-Trump

(image via Twitter)

In a new interview with The Spectator, Barry Humphries, whose most famous incarnation is as the over-the-top drag persona, “Dame Edna Everage,” surprises by revealing he is anti-transgender people and praises Donald Trump for ‘stirring up politics.’

This from a man who became famous performing in drag.

In London to perform a three-week residency at the Barbican, Barry Humphries’ Weimar Cabaret, Humphries told journalist Lloyd Evans that he feels the issue of transgender rights to be ‘terrible rat-baggery.’

He refers to transgenderism as ‘a fashion’ asking, “How many kinds of lavatory can you have?”

“And it’s pretty evil when it’s preached to children by crazy teachers,” he added.

Humphries also called out the anger he aroused when he referred to gender confirmation surgery as “mutilation.”

In a 2016 interview with The Telegraph, Humphries agreed with derisive comments about “men who believe that they are women and have themselves castrated”.

“They had their genitalia chopped off and tucked in and whatever they had to do,” said the 84-year-old. “And that aroused a lot of indignation — probably among the people who’d spent a lot of money having it done.”

Humphries tried to soften his position by adding, “But I don’t think I’m right to pontificate – I’m really an actor.”

On another topic, Evans asks if Humphries’ favorite onstage character, the sexist diplomat Sir Les Patterson, has been co-opted by Donald Trump.

“Has the President stolen your act?” asks Evans.

“No, I don’t think so,” replies Humphries. “I’m grateful to Trump for stirring up politics. And I won’t be joining any marches against him.”

(h/t The Spectator)

Unhinged Trump Supporter Harasses Trans Woman In Restaurant Bathroom On Facebook Live

Jazmina Saavedra (L) harassed an unidentified trans woman

A transgender woman using the restroom at a Los Angeles Denny’s restaurant found herself being harassed by a wanna-be Republican Congressional candidate who broadcast the encounter on Facebook Live.

Jazmina Saavedra, a Republican running to represent California’s 44th Congressional district, clearly thought she was going to make some kind of a name for herself in Trump Land by attacking transgender people.

Armed with a selfie stick to make sure her face was clearly seen and proudly sporting her Trump sweatshirt, Saavedra barged into the bathroom attacking the unidentified woman. As she enters the restroom, the restaurant manager is already inside the ladies’ restroom, outside the stall where the trans woman is trying to do her business in peace.

“Why are you using the ladies’ room?” Saavedra demands to know. The trans woman in the stall shouts back, “You guys are harassing me…you’re invading my privacy,”

“You’re invading my privacy because I’m a woman!” Saavedra responds.

As the manager removed Saavedra from the restroom, the would-be politician candidate yells, “You violated my rights! You’re sick. Stupid, sick!”

“This is so stupid in California. You let people say, ‘I’m a lady.’ He’s a man,” Saavedra ranted as she made her way back into the restaurant, still broadcasting on Facebook. “This is so stupid in California. This is what the politicians, the sick politicians, approve. They put us in danger, a woman like me.”

The great irony here is it is the trans woman who is in danger; it is the trans woman’s privacy being invaded; and it’s the trans woman who merely wants to answer nature’s call and go about her life.

Trans woman trying to leave restaurant after being harassed

As the transgender woman was exiting the restaurant she addressed Saavedra asking, “Excuse me, I was using the toilet, how was I invading your privacy? Why are you singling me out, lady? And I’ve seen you yesterday following me.”

“Next time use the men’s room,” Saavedra hissed back. “Or nobody’s room. A transgender room.”

The Democratic congresswoman Saavedra is attempting to unseat is Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, who denounced Saavedra’s actions in a statement: “I was appalled by the treatment that this woman received for simply trying to use the restroom. Everyone has the right to their own identity, and the right not to be discriminated against for who they are.”

Behavior like this from a Trump supporter isn’t news to those who have watched the Trump/Pence administration attack and dismantle rights and protections for transgender individuals. This includes:

• Rolling back guidance that directed schools to recognize a student’s gender identity

• Proposing a ban on transgender military service members

• Revoking regulations that protect trans people from health care discrimination

• Making changes to prison guidelines on where to house trans prisoners

The Advocate contacted Saavedra who held tight to her declaration that she felt she was in danger.

“I was feeling afraid of being inside the bathroom with a man,” she told The Advocate. “I didn’t know he was gay, I just heard the voice was a man. Another customer approached me and said that they were scared to go into the restroom because there was a voice of a man inside, and so I told the manager.”

Watching the video below, Saavedra doesn’t look very “scared.”

As has been widely covered by the press, there has never been a reported incident of a transgender person attacking or harassing anyone in a bathroom anywhere in the country. Ever.

Even in this recorded video, it is Saavedra who is stalking the trans woman.

Watch the Facebook Live video below:

Trump To Roll Back Transgender Health Care Protections

Donald Trump is looking to roll back a 2016 Health and Human Services rule put in place during the Obama administration that bars healthcare providers who receive federal funds from discriminating against transgender Americans.

From The New York Times:

The law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in “any health program or activity” that receives federal financial assistance.

The Obama administration said the rule covered “almost all practicing physicians in the United States” because they accept some form of federal remuneration or reimbursement. It applies, for example, to hospitals that accept Medicare and doctors who receive Medicaid payments, as well as to insurers that participate in health insurance marketplaces.

The rule kept insurers from limiting health services like psychotherapy, counseling or hormone treatment as trans patients transitioned from one gender to another.

Some insurers attempted to dodge coverage for these patients saying the treatments were “cosmetic.”

Transgender Americans have been under fire since Donald Trump took office.

In addition to scaling back healthcare regulations, Trump has also proposed banning openly transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

Plus, Trump’s Education Department has repealed protections allowing transgender students access to school bathrooms that align with their gender identity.