Fed’l court in California latest to rule against Trump’s trans ban

By : Karen Ocamb OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

Late Friday, the District Court for the Central District of California handed President Trump yet another defeat in his dogged pursuit of banning transgender service members from serving in the US armed forces. The court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, requested by plaintiffs in Stockman v. Trump, to halt enforcement of Trump’s trans military ban while it is being challenged in the courts.

Also on Friday, the Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied the Justice Department’s request for a stay on trans military enlistments that are now slated to start on Jan 1. The three-judge panel noted that trans people “are already serving the country openly in the military.”

Continue Reading >>

Bipartisan legislation introduced to protect trans servicemembers

By : Karen Ocamb of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
Comments: 0

California Reps. Jackie Speier and Susan Davis joined four other members of Congress on Friday to introduce a bipartisan bill intended to protect transgender military servicemembers under siege by the Trump administration. H.R. 4041 prohibits the Department of Defense from discharging trans members of the Armed Forces based solely on their gender identity.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has repeatedly said the current policy of trans open service remains in effect until he has had a chance to develop a policy, under President Trump’s orders, based on recommendations from a panel of experts. Trans servicemembers have been serving openly since June 2016 without incident. However, in a sudden series of tweets last July 26, Trump issued a directive ordering Mattis and the Pentagon to reverse the Obama-era policy and kick out all transgender individuals working in any capacity and prevent any recruitment or promotion through the accessions policy. Trump gave Mattis six months to come up with a new personnel policy, while Mattis is simultaneously preparing for the possibility of nuclear war. LGBT groups have urged Mattis to recruit trans people with military or national security experience to sit on that panel of experts.

Continue Reading >>

California reduces penalty for HIV transmission

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation reducing the penalty for knowingly exposing some to HIV.

The legislation signed Oct. 6 is part of an attempt by Democratic lawmakers to reverse the tough policies enacted during the AIDS scare of the 1980s and 90s.

Continue Reading >>

LGBT groups protest potential California textbooks

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Gay rights groups told a California state commission Wednesday that they object to several of the textbooks that could be recommended for use in schools, saying the books don’t include enough information about the contributions of LGBT Americans.

The state Department of Education is preparing to update textbook recommendations for the first time since California became the first state to require teaching about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Continue Reading >>

Prison doctor sues state alleging LGBTQ discrimination

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. (AP) – A psychologist at a California prison facility has alleged she was twice locked in a room with a dangerous inmate in retaliation for reporting mistreatment of LGBTQ inmates.

Lori Jespersen sued the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Monday for violations of civil rights and whistleblower protection laws, as well as the Prison Rape Elimination Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA. Jespersen is an employee of the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, which provides health care for incarcerated men. Her lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern Division of California, also names several corrections employees as defendants.

Continue Reading >>

State report: California hate crimes up by double digits

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Share this story:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The number of hate crimes in California increased about 11 percent last year, the second consecutive double-digit increase, but the overall number still was a third lower total than a decade ago, the state’s attorney general reported July 3.

Blacks, Jews and gay men were among the most frequent targets.

Continue Reading >>

Supreme Court rejects challenge to California ‘ex-gay’ therapy ban

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
Comments: 0

For the second time, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a lawsuit challenging the California law barring widely discredited “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors.

The court announced in an order list on Monday it had refused to hear the litigation seeking to overturn the law signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012. The law has been the subject of lawsuits on the basis it violates freedom of speech and religion, but has been upheld as constitutional.

Continue Reading >>

California considers update to antiquated HIV laws

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0
cure HIV AIDS red ribbon

Share this story:

SAN FRANCISCO — Legislation slated to be introduced this week would update California’s laws criminalizing HIV, which were adopted during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, so that a person could not be prosecuted for intentionally transmitting the virus if their sex partner tested negative for HIV, the Bay Area Reporter reports.

Under current law, HIV-positive persons may be prosecuted for engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse with the specific intent to transmit HIV even if no actual transmission of the virus occurs. If convicted, they could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison.

Continue Reading >>

California parolee set for sex reassignment surgery

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)- A parolee is set for sex reassignment surgery nearly two years after her lawsuit spurred California to become the first state to offer the operation to inmates.

A federal judge in April 2015 ordered California to provide the surgery to Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, a transgender inmate who was serving a sentence for second-degree murder.

Continue Reading >>

California lawmakers want third-gender option on IDs

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

Share this story:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill Jan. 26 supporters say would make California the first state to add a third gender option on state identifying documents.

State Sen. Toni Atkins’ bill would add a non-binary gender marker option for driver’s licenses, birth certificates, identity cards and gender change court orders. The San Diego Democrat says SB 179 would also simplify the process for changing one’s gender on those documents.

Continue Reading >>

Federal judge who pushed rights of prisoners, gays retiring

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) A federal judge who lost his job as a Justice Department attorney after loaning his car to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and then pushed for gay rights, police reform and health care for prisoners during his time on the bench is retiring.

More than five decades ago, Thelton Henderson became the first African-American attorney in the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division, a position that brought him close to King and other civil rights leaders.

Continue Reading >>

California approves gender-neutral bathrooms

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown waded further into the national debate over transgender rights Sept. 29 as he signed a bill requiring that all single-stall toilets in California be designated as gender neutral.

The measure requires that businesses and governments post non-gender-specific signs on single-occupant restrooms by March 1, 2017. Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco said his legislation would establish the nation’s most inclusive restroom-access law and “chart a new course of equality for the nation.”

Continue Reading >>