News Round-Up: January 5, 2018

Joss Mooney (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Shoutout/woof to total thirst trap Joss Mooney who recently joined MTV’s The Challenge. The former Ex on the Beach star and online trainer is giving you his best moody-muscle gaze via Instagram.    #Dang

• Twitter says they don’t want to block the tweets of world leaders (we’re looking at you, Donald Trump) because “people should be able to see and debate” important information those leaders may share.

• A transgender cab driver in the UK, who was snubbed by her kids when she came out, will not be sharing her $5.4 million lottery winnings with the hideous offspring.

• The groundbreaking Freeform (formerly ABC Family) series The Fosters will come to an end this Spring. The series, about a lesbian couple raising their adopted and biological children, will see the beginning of the end when the current season picks up January 9.

• Washington state has added a third gender option – “X” – to birth certificates. Additionally, the state has streamlined the process of updating gender identity on state-issued documents.

• Colorado prison guards “smiled” as a gay prisoner begged not to be housed with a rapist. Over the course of three days, the 21-year-old was repeatedly raped and beaten. He has filed suit against the federal government.

• Check out the new music video for “Mystery of Love” by Sufjan Stevens from the soundtrack for the acclaimed feature film, Call Me By Your Name, featuring footage from the film.

I’m thinking Oscar nomination for “Best Song” here.

Franklin Graham Is Mad Target Stores Won’t Label Items Pink Or Blue

Franklin Graham, who it was recently revealed earns $880,000 a year working for a charity organization, posted this little tirade over Target’s announcement that the department store will no longer identify some items as gender-specific.

How that’s a bad thing, I don’t know.

From the well-heeled charity leader himself via Facebook:

“I think Target may be forgetting who has made their stores strong.

“It’s not gender-neutral people out there—it’s working American families, fathers and mothers with boys and girls they love.

“What’s next? Are they going to try to make people believe that pink or blue baby showers are politically incorrect?

“I have news for them and for everyone else—God created two different genders. Jesus said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female’ (Matthew 19:4). You can’t get any clearer than that.

“If you agree, share in the comments below—and let Target know what you think. Let them know that you are perfectly willing to shop where the genders God created are appreciated. (1-800-440-0680) Target is way off-target on this one!”

(h/t JMG)

Maryland Governor Restores “Gender Identity” To Non-Discrimination Provisions

One day after his inauguration, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order dropping the words “gender identity” from non-discrimination provisions for Medicaid.

Two pro-LGBT organizations – Equality Maryland & FreeState Legal Project – were quick to respond.

As such, Gov. Hogan has re-issued his executive order to include the words “gender identity.”

From Equality Maryland:

“We are pleased that Governor Hogan re-issued the Executive Order to reflect current state law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Equality Maryland will continue to advocate for the proposed regulation prohibiting discrimination by Medicaid providers to be revived.”

(via Washington Blade)

Labor Secretary Tom Perez on executive order banning workplace discrimination for transgender individuals

President Obama listens as Labor Secretary Tom Perez speaks at the White House

Labor Secretary Tom Perez on the soon to be issued executive order banning discrimination based on gender identity for employees of federal contractors:

As we celebrate Pride Month and approach the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the Labor Department is reaffirming its commitment to equal opportunity for all. That’s why we are updating enforcement protocols and anti-discrimination guidance to clarify that we provide the full protection of the federal non-discrimination laws that we enforce to transgender individuals.

These changes reflect current law. In Macy v. Holder, for example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded that discrimination because a person is transgender is sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Civil Rights Center, along with the Employment and Training Administration, will issue guidance to make clear that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is discrimination based on sex.

While the department has long protected employees from sex-based discrimination, its guidance to workers and employers will explicitly clarify that this includes workers who identify as transgender. The department will continue to examine its programs to identify additional pportunities to extend the law’s full protection against discrimination to transgender workers.

Our workforce and our entire economy are strongest when we embrace diversity to its fullest, and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone and recognizing that the American Dream excludes no one.

(via press release)

President Obama surprises LGBT White House reception guests with gender identity executive order

Today, as President and Michelle Obama welcomed notable LGBT media figures to the White House to celebrate Pride Month, the President surprised many during his remarks by announcing a NEW executive order banning discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of not only sexual orientation, but gender identity as well.

See below from White House transcript:

“We’ve still got a little more work to do. I’ve repeatedly called on Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Right now, there are more states that let same-sex couples get married than there are states who prohibit discrimination against their LGBT workers. We have laws that say Americans can’t be fired on the basis of the color of their skin or their religion, or because they have a disability. But every day, millions of Americans go to work worried that they could lose their job -– not because of anything they’ve done — (baby cries) — I know, it’s terrible — (laughter) — but because of who they are. It’s upsetting. It is wrong.

“The majority of Fortune 500 companies already have nondiscrimination policies to protect their employees because it’s the right thing to do and because many say it helps to retain and attract the best talent. And I agree. So if Congress won’t act, I will. I have directed my staff to prepare an executive order for my signature that prohibits discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. (Applause.)

“And I’ve asked my staff to prepare a second executive order so that federal employees –- who are already protected on the basis of sexual orientation –- will now formally be protected from discrimination based on gender identity as well. (Applause.)

“So we’ve got a lot to be proud of, but obviously we can’t grow complacent. We’ve got to defend the progress that we’ve made. We’ve got to keep on reaching out to LGBT Americans who are vulnerable and alone, and need our support –- whether it’s teenagers in rough situations to seniors who are struggling to find housing and care. (Baby cries.) I know, it’s tough. (Laughter.)”

You can watch his speech in the video below. You may need to move to the 15:00 mark.