The Helena City Commission in Montana voted this week to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters of housing, employment and public accommodation, after a heated discussion that drew hundreds of advocates and opponents.
Caveat: the ordinance does not appear to provide adequate protections on the basis of gender identity. From the Independent Record:
Eight of the 14 people speaking against the measure mentioned what some called the “bathroom” or “locker room” issue — the concern voyeurs or pedophiles would exploit the protections for transgender people to gain access to women’s restrooms or similar areas demanding privacy, or that transgender people themselves would cause alarm in such situations.
An amendment by Commissioner Dick Thweatt passed by the commission Dec. 4 addressed that concern by mandating that in any place where people “ordinarily appear in the nude,” users may be required to use the facilities designated for their anatomical sex, regardless of their gender identity.
But some said the fear of such a situation would make them wary of entering public bathrooms in Helena.
“How will we be able to monitor when a person, male or female, enters the opposing bathroom and says ‘Well, I can do this, because I’m gender-identity confused?’” said Jacqui Garcia, citing situations her children might encounter. “We all have been in bathroom stalls and public stalls, There’s gaps between the doors, and you can still see in them.”
If I understand this correctly, the city commissioner attempted to pass amendments to the bill that would specifically protect transgender people, but those amendments failed. Some protection is progress, especially for Montana, but we could do much better.
The Jim Henson Company (previously Muppets, Inc.), which used to provide toys for Chick-fil-A kids meals, has decided to end its relationship with the company over Chick-fil-A prez Dan Cathy’s announcement that the restaurant doesn’t support marriage equality.
In a note on their Facebook page, Jim Henson Co. announced:
The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.
The very best part of this is that they will donate their payment from Chick-fil-A to GLAAD. I am experiencing newfound love for Muppets.
Stephen Hill and Joshua Snyder were legally married in Washington, D.C. about a year ago. But when they went to a courthouse in their home state of Ohio recently to get their last names hyphenated together, they found the process harder than expected.
Snyder and Hill were pulled aside at the courthouse and told to lie on their name change applications, because they would be denied if they listed “marriage” as the reason for their name change. They refused to lie.
Hill served in the military for 20 years under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell - he’s the soldier Republicans booed after he asked at a debate whether candidates would reinstate the policy. He says he didn’t want to lie about who he is anymore, and as a result, it will be much more complicated for he and his husband to change their names:
A news report about the couple’s request for a name change added to the anticipation for today’s hearing. A judge heard their request today but opted not to issue a decision, instead promising to mail it to them. Changing a last name in Ohio would require a 10-page application, printing their names in the newspaper, $138 each, and then an appearance before the judge who normally renders a verdict on whether to let the name change go forward.
It’s troubling that something as simple as a name change has to be so complicated for LGBT folks. Why oh why?
Our culture expects women’s – and men’s – bodies to be a certain way. People are very invested in the idea that Men Look Like This and Women Look Like That and Never the Twain Shall Meet. Well, guess what? Nature doesn’t give a fuck about your sexual binary. Nature puts us together in a million different ways – actually, about seven billion, give or take a few hundred thousand – and a lot of us are going to walk that imaginary line. There are going to be short, hairless men with high voices and tall women with deep voices and people who are intersexed in a bunch of different ways, and here’s the great thing – it’s all okay. Every single one of us. There’s not a thing wrong with any of us.
Brittney Griner was the only redeeming part of March Madness