Take Action! Push The ENDA Executive Order Letter!

It’s time to take action!  As reported on Bilerico, President Obama is being urged by LGBT advocates and allies to sign an Executive Order to prohibit job discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  They are pushing the issue because despite the White House stating they are not currently supporting an ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) Policy, then Senator Barak Obama made it one of his election promises to the Houston GLBT Political Caucus.

Bilerico has posted the full content of the Executive order, as well as information on how to contact your U.S. Representative (and those who are LGBT supportive), to make your voice heard.  Standd up for the ENDA and contact them today!

You can view the full content of the Bilerico article here.

Massachussetts Approves Transgender Equal Rights Bill

As recently reported in the Huffington Post:

Massachusetts will become the 16th state to treat transgender citizens as a protected class after legislature passed the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, which not only adds protections to the state’s civil rights laws against employment, education, housing and credit discrimination, but also adds gender identity and expression to the state’s hate crimes law.

After it receives final approval votes in both branches, the bill will move forward to Governor Deval Patrick, who told The Boston Globe yesterday that he plans to sign it. “I think we have hate crimes on the books today,” he said. “They, in the case of transgender people, don’t go far enough.”

This story can be read on the Huffington Post, The Boston Globe and the Associated Press/Boston Herald.

Transgender Student Suspended Over Bathroom Use

It always seems to come back to the right to pee without issue.  The Advocate reports about a 16 year old high school student recently suspended for three days for using the bathroom appropriate for her gender identity:

Two transgender high school students in Fort Collins, Colo., say they have been forbidden to use student restrooms, and one of them, 16-year-old Dionne Malikowski, just got suspended for doing so. Malikowski, a trans girl, and her friend Kurt Peters, also 16 and a trans guy, say they have been told to use the staff bathrooms at Fort Collins High School. But, Malikowski told reporters, “There’s not staff bathrooms all over the school, so when you really got to pee, you got to pee.

That’s what she says happened about a month ago when she used the women’s restroom, reports W9 News in Colorado. And then she was suspended for three days.

W9 News in Colorado also reports:

“I feel like the school doesn’t really understand what it’s like to be in our situation,” Malikowski said.

“It kind of makes us feel like we’re not welcome,”

The Poudre School District says there is not an across-the-board policy for bathroom use by transgender students.

The Colorado Association of School Boards says there really is no case law on this in Colorado and the association hasn’t provided any guidance to school districts.

They say this issue is an emerging legal one and schools are still working their way through it.

While Safe2Pee.org stated that there are six “transgender safe” bathrooms in the Fort Collins area, none are accessible to students who are on campus.

University of Texas To Phase In Gender Neutral Restrooms

After recently reporting that University of South Florida will be incorporating gender neutral housing options for its students, it’s good to see another major university providing gender neutral accommodations as well:

Linda Millstone, the associate vice president for the Office of Institutional Equity and Workforce Diversity, is leading the effort to ensure each campus building has at least one gender-neutral restroom for every five floors. Millstone said she went to the Building Advisory Committee with the idea to include gender-neutral restrooms in the blueprints of all new campus buildings, and they agreed. She said Pat Clubb, vice president for University Operations, agreed to fund the installation of gender-neutral restrooms in all existing campus buildings as well.

The full article can be read in The Daily Texan.

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