People around the blogosphere are griping about this. They don’t like it. They are saying things like “it should have happened sooner” or “why didn’t he do this sooner” or “I’m still mad” or “oh, that’s just becuase it became obvious that he had to change is position for political reasons.”
The first most obvious fact about any political change like this is that it should have happened sooner. Congratulations for noticing that, you should get a PhD in political science. The second most obvious fact about an issue like this is that actual politicians who are actually elected to non-trivial office play the politics. Thank you for noticing this. Maybe you should write a book about it.
So, what is the next step? I suggest continuing to gripe about how long it took, devaluing the event as a political move so it becomes less important, that sort of thing. We wouldn’t want a very positive and hopeful statement by the most powerful and influential person on the planet to lead to anything good, right?
Or, maybe you could take advantage of the situation. Make this into something other than a mere chance for all of us to show off our political wit!
So, what is the next step?
How about working with the momentum! Try to get the Dems to turn this into a stronger push for election season, a stronger backlash against NC’s boneheaded move, stronger support for action against currently proposed anti-gay legislation or constitutional change!
Or what? Do you have other suggestions? Let’s have them!
North Carolina’s voters went to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether the state would become the 31st in the country, and the last in the South, to have a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Civil unions are close to passing in Colorado, but there’s only a few days left before the legislature adjourns. We’re getting down to the wire on Amendment One in North Carolina. The Prop 8 play is getting new legs as an audiobook. And the guys behind “We Are Young” have some strong words for marriage equality.
Watch this (you will cry), then get off your ass and do something.*
The US Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that transgender workers are a protected class.
In what some are calling a landmark decision, the EEOC has ruled that Title VII protects transgender workers from on-the-job discrimination. In part, the order states that “intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, ‘based on … sex’ and such discrimination … violates” the law.
This protection is backed by solid case law. EEOC rulings generally require propping by court cases, but this is fully expected since the courts have already done so. In fact, one might ask, “why did the EEOC not do this before?”
Denise Dittrich is a Democratic member of the Minneosta House, and is in fact my representative in that legislative body. She lost my confidence as a representative when she broke with the central ideals of the DFL (our term for the Democratic Party) and voted in favor of limiting marriage to a man and a woman in Minnesota. She was one of the only Democrats to do that. On looking more closely at her, I found out that she also pushed for the Northstar Rail, which as our second major rail commuting effort in the Twin Cities is a good thing, but also, that she had a personal financial interest in that project.
Dittrich surprised everyone at our local Senate District Convention on Saturday (click here to find out what the heck a Senate District Convention is) and announced that she would not be running for re-election. She spoke in a statement that “As my youngest child graduates from high school, my family and I are beginning a new chapter in our lives.” Indeed. Run for office, get a bill passed that personally benefits you financially, get lucky that the party in power at the moment is your own so they don’t press for an ethics investigation, then just as the party control of the legislature shifts, vote against your party on a major issue (were you ever a real Democrat, Denise?) and then bug out of there while everyone else is distracted with other issues.
“We don’t have a ‘Bill of Rights’ in Canada. We don’t need one.”
A colleague from Canada told me that once. I was pretty sure she was more or less wrong, but I was working in a lab of mainly Canadians at the time and I know that as an Ugly American I had no chance if I disagreed, so I kept my mouth shut. It turns out that only months before that declaration, Canada had passed the Constitution Act, and before that they had the “Canadian Bill of Rights” and subsequently some other stuff has happened along these lines, but just as in the United States, unless you are really quite specific, these sorts of protections don’t extend to everyone, and especially to people who are in certain groups or categories that many seem comfortable viewing as unworthy for some reason or another.
Well, at the moment, transgender Canadians are not protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the prevailing constitutional law. However …
Next month, in April, an extremely pivotal bill is going to be up for debate in the Canadian parliament. It’s Bill C-279, which will add gender identity and gender expression to the list of statuses protected under the Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms.
Currently, transgender Canadians have no such protections, and may be discriminated against on the basis of their gender by employers, businesses, shelters, institutions (public or private) and individuals without any legal consequence. … This is not okay.
Natalie Reed has all the details here. It appears that Bill C-279 has not received much media attention, and the current political climate in Canada is such that it is at risk of not passing.
So read Natalie’s post and get on this, please. If you know of a petition or something, tell us in the comments!