All posts by Lia Friedman

I''m a librarian in California.

The Sikh Coalition has released the FlyRights app, a phone app that gives anyone traveling, “who believe they’ve been the victim of discrimination by the TSA the ability to submit formal complaints directly from their smart phones.”

And just in case you haven’t been hearing about the idiotic, embarrassing and rights eroding things happening at your local airports, here is a recent tiny list, courtesy of BoingBoing.


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The Portland City Council has voted unanimously to implement trans inclusive heath care.

As reported by Bilerico:

They [Portland City Council] are only the third municipality ever to do so. This is obviously important to any trans employees of the city, however, it is just as important that the city is recognizing the inherent discrimination involved in trans exclusion clauses, where many specific treatments are covered, until the insurer discovers you are trans.

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it’s june of 2011, but still.


Washington – The Air Force has discharged an airman under the law banning gays from serving openly in the military, the first firing since President Barack Obama signed legislation aimed at ending the ban. The ban, laid out in the 1993 “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, is just months from being lifted.

The service member was discharged April 29, Air Force spokesperson Lt Col Todd Vician said late on Thursday.

“The airman in the case asked to be separated expeditiously, ” Vician said, adding that he didn’t know other details of the case, nor the gender of the service member. The Air Force uses the term “airman” for both men and women.
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I missed this when it happened back in April, but haven’t heard a peep of it since (until I was cleaning out my feed reader and there it was!)

Via The Washington Blade Online


Transgender activists intend to discuss federal policy issues at an upcoming White House meeting that will be the first ever held by the Office of Public Engagement to focus solely on trans issues.

Shin Inouye, a White House spokesperson, said the meeting, which is set to take place Friday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, will include transgender leaders who work on federal policy.

“OPE routinely holds meetings with various stakeholders to discuss various policy issues, ” Inouye said. “Friday’s meeting, like most OPE meetings, will be closed press and off the record.”

Additionally, Inouye said the meeting will be the first ever for the Office of Public Engagement where transgender issues are the sole focus of discussion.

“While transgender issues have been covered in previous OPE meetings, and transgender leaders have been included in other OPE meetings, this would be the first time OPE has held a meeting solely focused on transgender issues, ” Inouye said.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said she plans to attend the meeting.

“This is the first president who has allowed trans people — really allowed LGBT people — to bring forward problems and then advocate for them, ” Keisling said. “In the Bush administration, we couldn’t even do that. They wouldn’t even listen to us. They didn’t care what our problems were. In fact, they were making most of our problems.”

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Police do get away with things that us regular folks never would. This case is sickening and grossly unfair for so many reasons…but on the other hand, “He had been officer of the month a couple times” and this had nothing to do with the fact that the victim was a transsexual sex worker.


A former San Antonio police officer accused of raping a transsexual prostitute while on duty was ordered Tuesday to spend a year in jail. Attorneys for Craig Nash, 39, had asked state District Judge Lori Valenzuela for deferred adjudication probation during the brief sentencing hearing, pointing out that he otherwise had been commended for his service during his six years with the department.

Prosecutors sought the maximum one-year sentence for the official oppression charge, which is a Class A misdemeanor. As part of a plea agreement, Nash waived an indictment last month and pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor. In exchange, prosecutors agreed not to pursue a felony charge of sexual assault by a police officer, which had a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Nash also agreed to never again seek work as a police officer in Texas. Police Chief William McManus had indefinitely suspended Nash — the equivalent of firing him — last March and said the accusation had arrived as “a hard slap to the face” of other officers.

“Officers should be held to a higher standard, ” prosecutor Trey Banack said Tuesday of his request for jail time. “A police officer who is a criminal does not deserve mercy from the system he serves to protect.”

Nash was arrested last February after the victim — currently serving time in a male state jail facility for prostitution — reported that she had just been held captive and raped by the officer.

She had been picked up by Nash at Guadalupe and Zarzamora streets early that morning and handcuffed in the back of the patrol car, she told police. She then was then told to lie down as Nash drove to an unknown location, where she was forced to commit multiple sex acts, she reported.

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via boingboing

For decades, George Alan Rekers has been a general in the culture wars, though his work has often been behind the scenes. In 1983, he and James Dobson, America’s best-known homophobe, formed the Family Research Council, a D.C.-based, rabidly Christian, and vehemently anti-gay lobbying group that has become a standard-bearer of the nation’s extreme right wing. Its annual Values Summit is considered a litmus test for Republican presidential hopefuls, and Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter have spoken there. (The Family Research Council would not comment about Rekers’s Euro-trip.)

He has also influenced American government, serving in advisory roles with Congress, the White House, and the Department of Health and Human Services and testifying as a state’s witness in favor of Florida’s gay adoption ban. A former research fellow at Harvard University and a distinguished professor of neuropsychiatry at the University of South Carolina, Rekers has published papers and books by the hundreds, with titles like “Who Am I? Lord” and “Growing Up Straight: What Families Should Know About Homosexuality.”

“While he keeps a low public profile, his fingerprints are on almost every anti-gay effort to demean and dehumanize LGBT people, ” says Wayne Besen, a gay rights advocate in New York City and the executive director of Truth Wins Out, which investigates the anti-gay movement. “His work is ubiquitously cited by lobby groups that work to deny equality to LGBT Americans. Rekers has caused a great deal of harm to gay and lesbian individuals.”

more HERE and  “there were others escort says”

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‘The more ingenious and accurate our instruments, the more unsusceptible and inexpert become our organs: by assembling a heap of machinery about us, we find afterwards none in ourselves.’

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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The picture says it all really.

A Christian Florida hate group used the picture on the left to describe a couple that was allowed to adopt a family member’s child they had been fostering. FFPC says it was a ‘mistake’.

More Here , Here and Here

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The Australian government has issued what is likely the first gender neutral identification card, or Recognised Details Certificate (similar to a U.S. birth certificate).
Norrie, 48, was born in Scotland and was labeled male at birth. At age 23 Norrie commenced sex and gender conversion to female through hormone and construction of a vagina and was then issued with a gender recognition certificate as female.

But Norrie did not feel that this female identity was correct, so zie ceased hormone treatment and identified as neither male nor female, “resisting further female or male normalisation. In January 2010 doctors declared that they were unable to determine Norrie as either male or female as zie has no gonads, the hormonal system was atypically male or female, and Norrie’s psychological identity was (androgynous).”

For more, go Here, and Here

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(Via Feministing)
Students at John Carroll University in Ohio protested during a school basketball game over the school’s unwillingness to include sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy.

From a student statement on YouTube:

John Carroll’s mission is to create people for others. That means support, protection, love, and understanding for all people without regard to color, creed, sexual preference, gender, age, or other personal factors. That’s the goal of a Jesuit institution.

By not explicitly voicing its support of LGBTQ students, faculty, and alumni, John Carroll’s administration is breaking those unspoken bonds of trust that make JCU a community.

Despite support from the faculty union to include sexual orientation in the policy, the school’s administration is holding firm. JCU President Robert Niehoff issued a statement saying that the policy wouldn’t be changed because it goes against “traditional Catholic moral teaching.”

The nondiscrimination policy is the university’s promise to employees and faculty that the institution will not discriminate based on gender, religion or race. In his message earlier this week, Niehoff issued a lengthy explanation of his views that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should be welcomed and respected at the university. He stopped short of recommending that the policy be changed, however, instead offering a “community standards statement” as a supplement to the policy.

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