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!
Stonewall DFL is the LGBT caucus of the Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party of Minnesota. Our goal is to encourage participation of LGBT persons within the DFL. We screen and endorse candidates from local school board races to United States Senate. We strive to inform the greater DFL, elected officials and citizens about the issues facing the GLBT community. Being an active member of Stonewall DFL provides greater access to the political process through establishing relationships with elected officials past, present and future.
This is a big weekend coming up; the DFL caucuses for many districts happen on Saturday. You may not be hearing a lot from me the next couple of days because I’ll be a bit busy with that.
PHOENIX (CBS5) –
A couple says they were thrown out of a downtown Phoenix restaurant and bar after they shared what they call an innocent hug and kiss. The pair believes they were thrown out because they are women.
“She is the most amazing person who has come into my life,” said Kenyata White of her girlfriend of two years, Aeimee Diaz. Sunday they were at the District, which is located inside the Sheraton Hotel, to celebrate.
“We just kind of sat there in that moment and hugged each other and gave each other a kiss,” White said. But White said shortly after they kissed, a manager walked up to them.
“The management came up to us and told us that we needed to get a room and that our behavior was inappropriate for their establishment and that we needed to leave,” White said.
They did leave, but eventually Diaz went back in to talk with the manager, who told them he was acting on a request from other customers.
Maryland would join the District and seven states in allowing same-sex marriages. Supporters have cast the bill as a major advance in equal rights. Opponents have called it a misguided attempt to redefine the institution of marriage.
Despite one of the largest Democratic majorities in any state legislature, backers of gay marriage in Maryland had to overcome fierce opposition from blocks of African American lawmakers and those with strong Catholic and evangelical views to cobble together coalitions big enough to pass both chambers.
Maryland’s house passed an it’s-ok-to-have-same-sex marriage bill today, and it is expected that the paperwork will soon be passed on to Governor Martin O’Malley soon. He has promised to sign it. Maryland would become the eight state to not be dicks about who gets to get married. Apparently it was a tough fight in Maryland.