Thursday, October 25, 2007
|By Jonathan E. Kaplan|
| October 25, 2007 |
| Reps. Tim Walz (Minn.) and Ron Klein (Fla.), leaders of the class of freshman Democrats, carried a message to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday that their fellow first-term lawmakers did not want to vote on an amendment extending civil rights to transgender employees.|
House Education and Labor panel Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.), whose committee passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, said he told the freshman lawmakers at their Wednesday breakfast with Pelosi that the amendment did not have the votes to pass and would not be brought to the House floor.
In addition, Miller told the freshmen he recognized that the amendment exposed the first-term lawmakers to political attacks from conservatives and liberals alike, said two sources who attended the breakfast.
Democratic leaders are wrestling with when and how to bring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) had introduced an amendment extending the civil rights protections to transgender workers. Such language was included in the initial bill until Democratic members convinced House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) to pull it.
Frank approves the transgender language but maintains it lacks the votes to pass.
“People didn’t want to force a ‘hard’ vote that might hurt their election chances,” Hilary Rosen, a Democratic lobbyist and gay and lesbian advocate, wrote on the Huffington Post, a liberal blog.
Meanwhile, the Office of Management and Budget said on Wednesday in its Statement of Administration Policy that President Bush’s senior advisers would recommend he veto the bill on the grounds that it is unconstitutional and restricts religious liberty.
A bill allowing transgender people to use titles appropriate for their new sex has been put on hold after male National Legislative Assembly members spoke against it.
October 25, 2007
They said the "ambiguous identities" of post-operative transgender people could be confusing and affect common practice, such as mandatory Army conscription and ordination into the monkhood.
The assembly yesterday withdrew the bill pending government scrutiny within the next 30 days. Amphol Watthanajinda said unclear gender could be used to deceive partners in courtship or marriage, and a criminal's hard-to-identify sex could make police work and crime prevention difficult. It was counter-productive for the public, he added.
Juree Wijitwathakarn introduced the 10-article bill, which was tabled yesterday with the support of her fellow NLA members. She cited complaints from transsexuals about discrimination and social inequity and injustice. General Ood Buengbon, a former Defence Ministry permanent secretary, said men with ambiguous titles and appearance caused legal problems and headaches during annual Army conscription.
Assemblyman Wallop Tangkhananurak supports Juree's bill. However, he said it needed a provision to allow for the original sex of a citizen to be noted on identity cards. This would prevent confusion and deception.
Deputy Interior Minister Banyat Jansena said the government - which is reportedly reluctant to declare its stance - needed 30 days to scrutinise it. . . .
In arguing against a federal marriage amendment, Mayor Giuliani pointed out that he married 210 couples when he was mayor of New York, and…well, here’s the joke directly from the debate transcript:
GIULIANI: I do not believe under the state that we presently exist, with the Defense of Marriage Act and basically one state that has by judicial fiat created same-sex marriage — and they’re wrong, by the way; I think the governor is absolutely right — I don’t think we need a constitutional amendment at this point.
What I said to Mr. Perkins — which I also said five years ago and have consistently said — is if a lot of states start to do that, three, four, five, six states, where we have that kind of judicial activism, and the kind of situation the governor is talking about actually occurs, if we’re dealing with a real problem, then we should have a constitutional amendment.
I did 210 weddings when I was mayor of New York City. So I have experience doing this. They were all men and women.
GIULIANI: You got to give me a little slack here. It was New York City, you know, but it’s not just a religious institution.
There’s a lot of stigma that would be attached to a candidate joking about ethnicities, women, the disabled, or military veterans — without expecting the media to rip the candidate apart for insensitivity, but apparently there’s not a significant stigma attached to joking about transgender people getting married. Apparently, no matter what I do, no matter how productive a productive citizen I am, Giuliani apparently will thik it’s funny to joke about *me* really being a man.
As a transwoman, I’ll remember that joke — and I’ll especially remember it when it comes time to vote.
Leave it to a girl to take the fun out of sex discrimination.
–Bill Watterson (writing for Calvin in “Calvin and Hobbes”). . .
By Jacob Anderson-Minshall
You may think the brouhaha over the film The Gendercator is heated, but it’s nothing compared to the controversy over 2003’s The Man Who Would Be Queen by J. Michael Bailey, a psych professor at Northwestern University. As Joelle Ruby Ryan—a graduate student at Bowling Green University—can attest, it may be four years later but the Bailey Controversy is still boiling over.
With an impressive c.v. and two documentary films to her credit, Ryan recently became the first MTF-spectrum trans person to receive a prestigious Point Foundation Scholarship, but that’s not what’s getting her noticed these days.
Ryan (joellerubyryan.com) inadvertently stumbled into the fray around Bailey’s book, his research methods and alleged professional misconduct (including accusations that he had sex with several of his trans), and his latest defender, intersex researcher/activist Alice Dreger.
The Man raised the ire of trans women by re-asserting Ray Blanchard’s theory that transsexual women are either “feminine homosexual males who want to be women” (“Perhaps,” Bailey writes, “because many of them seem incapable of sounding or acting like typical males even when they try to do so.”) or they suffer from “autogynephilia: a sexual attraction to, and love of, the idea of oneself as a woman.”
Ryan, who identifies as a transgender woman and a genderqueer, pansexual trans-feminist, says Bailey’s taxonomies are “patently ridiculous. In addition, this theory furthers the notion that transgenderism and transitioning are sexually motivated. People don’t transition for sexual reasons—they transition because of their gender identity.”
She claims that Bailey’s writing is misogynistic and offensive to the LGBT community. “His theories on male bisexuality (it does not exist), his endorsement of gay gene selection (eugenics) and his connection to Kenneth Zucker (who supports reparative therapy for gender-variant youth) [also] taint him as an enemy to [our] community.”
Still, Ryan thought the Bailey controversy was over until this summer, when Dreger (alicedreger.com) released a 62-page paper (to be published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior next year) defending Bailey and accusing a number of high profile trans women of attempting to “ruin” him. In light of the pending Dreger piece, Ryan proposed a panel for 2008’s National Women Studies Association conference entitled “The Bailey Brouhaha: Community Members Speak Out on Resisting Transphobia and Sexism in Academia and Beyond.”
“I briefly considered wording it in such a way that allowed those more sympathetic to Bailey and Dreger’s work to participate,” Ryan admits. “But I quickly discarded the idea. This simply isn’t a both sides type of panel. Trans people have repeatedly been silenced by powerful elites. We’ve been endlessly researched and talked about by others. We’ve been objectified and gazed at like a butterfly pinned to a wall. [Now] we refuse to let others define us in ways that we know to be harmful, specious and destructive. The reaction to Bailey is a pivotal milestone in this history of resistance.” . . .
Clancy A LANDMARK High Court decision on the rights of transgender people in Ireland could lead to “an explosion” of people coming forward with identity issues, a lobby group has predicted.
The judgment last week found Irish law “incompatible” with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Dr. Lydia Foy, a 59-year-old dentist from Athy, Co. Kildare, wanted the right to change her name and sex on her birth certificate, having undergone gender reassignment 15 years ago.
Once the formal court order is issued within in the next three weeks, the government will have 21 days to move on the issue, after Mr. Justice McKechnie said that those with gender identity disorder were suffering from an “incurable condition.”
Foy welcomed the ruling and said she was confident the government would move quickly to amend legislation.
Lobby group Gender Identity Disorder Ireland said the ruling would be welcomed everywhere.
The group’s president Sarah-Jane Cromwell said, “The judgment is going to have a fantastic ripple effect throughout the country, because even the most secretive of people with the condition are going to be looking at this, and it’s going to give them so much hope.”
She said recent international data suggested that as many as one in
2,500 of the population may have gender identity disorder.
She added, “I think there’s going to be an explosion of people coming forward once the law is changed.” . . .