What would an LGBT Discrimination Executive Order Mean

Executive Order Under Consideration by Trump Administration Would Allow Discrimination Against LGBT People

fadaPresident Trump is considering issuing an executive order that provides sweeping protections for employers and service providers that discriminate against LGBT people.  The draft of the executive order circulated on February 1, 2017, would prohibit the federal government from withholding grants, contracts, or federal benefits from entities that discriminate against LGBT employees or beneficiaries based on religious objection—a belief that being LGBT is immoral or inconsistent with religious doctrine.

Such an executive order could potentially impact thousands of same-sex couples seeking to adopt or foster children, tens of thousands of LGBT youth in foster care, and hundreds of thousands of LGBT workers employed by federal contractors and the federal government.

Same-Sex Couples Seeking to Adopt or Foster Children

The draft executive order would allow federally-funded religious organizations providing child welfare services to decline adoption and foster services to same-sex couples.  Williams Institute research shows that many same-sex couples adopt and foster children, and are more likely to do so than different-sex couples.

Same-sex couples are four times more likely to be raising adopted children, and six times more likely to be raising foster children, than different-sex couples in the U.S. An estimated 22,000 adopted children are being raised by 16,000 same-sex couples, and an estimated 3,400 children are being fostered by same-sex couples.

The draft executive order could limit opportunities for family formation among same-sex couples, and leave many children without a foster placement or permanent home.

LGBT Youth in Foster Care

The draft executive order would allow religious organizations providing child welfare services to decline to serve LGBT youth.  Williams Institute research finds that LGBT youth are greatly over-represented in the foster system. For example, in Los Angeles, LGBT youth make up 20 percent of the youth population in care, compared to only 8 percent of the general youth population.

LGBT Federal Employees and LGBT Employees of Federal Contractors

The draft order would open the door for harassment and discrimination against LGBT people who work for the federal government.  An estimated 64,000 LGBT people are federal civil service employees.

Federal Contractors employ over 20 percent of the U.S. workforce – 28 million people.  Under an executive order issued by former President Obama in 2014, federal contractors are prohibited from discriminating against their employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  President Trump’s draft order would limit the scope of the 2014 order, allowing contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees based on their religious beliefs without losing their contracts.

The draft order would potentially strip an important source of legal protections for many LGBT workers of federal contractors, including workers who are not otherwise protected from discrimination under state non-discrimination laws or corporate policies.

The Williams Institute estimated that as a result of the 2014 executive order, 11 million workers, including 400,000 LGBT employees, gained protections from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.  These 11 million employees did not have protections from sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination under a corporate policy or state law before the 2014 order was issued.

Services Provided to Same-Sex Couples and Access to Health Care

The draft order would open the door for denial of services and discrimination against same-sex couples, including over 500,000 married same-sex couples in the United States.  The draft order would also limit federal regulations that protect LGBT people from discrimination in health care, including in services provided by hospitals, insurers, and other entities.  There are over 10 million LGBT adults in the United States.   In particular, 1.4 million transgender adults would be vulnerable to discrimination in health care and denial of services under the draft order.

Naval Ship Named After Gay Rights Leader Harvey Milk

20131127-175739.jpgNavy Secretary Ray Mabus and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi are among the dignitaries expected to attend next week’s historic ship naming ceremony in honor of Harvey Milk.

The Harvey Milk Foundation announced Wednesday that the ceremony will take place Tuesday at Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay Area.

U.S. Naval Institute News reported earlier this month that Mabus will name a fleet oiler the USNS Harvey Milk.

Milk, who served aboard a submarine rescue ship during the Korean War, was the first openly gay elected official of a major U.S. city. He won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 on a pledge to back gay and lesbian rights. He was murdered by a disgruntled former supervisor the following year.

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“Uncle Harvey knew that our individual actions of open authenticity would be the key to changing the lives of LGBT people everywhere,” Stuart Milk, Milk’s nephew and co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation, said in a press release. “And it was his belief in the power of that visibility which gave him the courage to face those bullets that he both anticipated and would ultimately take his life. As a proud Navy veteran, Uncle Harvey was committed to public service, aided by courage, persistence, and the belief that our shared journey is enriched, and not weakened, by our diversity.”

Also expected to attend the ceremony are Mayors Edwin M. Lee of San Francisco and Kevin Faulconer of San Diego. The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will perform at the ceremony. The chorus also performed at the San Francisco unveiling of the Milk stamp in 2014.

New York City adopts ​gender-neutral bathrooms

Single-occupant restrooms at restaurants, bars and other public places in New York City will all be gender-neutral under a new law signed Tuesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The bill, which requires that “men” and “women” signs on single-stall restrooms be replaced with ones indicating they are Gender Neutral is “yet another step toward becoming a place where all can live with dignity, free from fear and free from judgment,” the mayor said.

The legislation was designed with transgender/ gender non-conforming people in mind, though it could also benefit the women who get stuck in long lines while the men’s room is empty and parents tending to children of the opposite sex.

Similar legislation has been adopted in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., West Hollywood, and Austin, Texas .

The New York bill passed the City Council on a 47-2 vote last week and has met with little opposition.

“Most New Yorkers take their unfettered access to bathrooms for granted, yet every single day, transgender and gender nonconforming individuals must grapple with the fact that their choices may lead to harassment or worse,” City Councilman Danny Dromm

“Other places in the country are trying to divide Americans with small-minded things, such as who can use a restroom. We’re dedicated to accommodating all people in New York City,” speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said.

Kevin Dugan, regional director of the New York State Restaurant Association, which has lobbied against previous bills like the one requiring chain eateries to post calorie counts, said he didn’t expect the bathroom law to hurt business.

This piece of legislation was personal for me because for almost a year this has been my project. I saw it thru the legislative process and advocated for it. Read The Text of 871-A

Obama Designates Stonewall as First National Monument for LGBT Rights

With this weekend marking the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling on legalizing Marriage Equality.

President Obama will designate the Stonewall Inn in New York City as a new National Monument, the first official National Park Service monument dedicated to the plight of LGBT Americans.

The protected area will include Christopher Park across from the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, which has long served as a landmark for the LGBT community. The inn, a popular gay bar, continues to serve as a gathering place for demonstrations. The Stonewall riots in 1969 marked a major turning point in the fight for gay rights. The monument commemorates the protests and riots on June 28, 1969 when the New York Police Department raided the Stonewall Inn seeking to crack down on a law prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages to homosexuals. The riots were seen as an inflection point in the LGBT community as protests spread to cities across the country.

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“Today’s designation follows years of strong support from local officials, organizations, members of Congress and citizens in New York City and across the country,” the White House said in a press release.

The announcement from the White House also includes a reference to the Pulse gay nightclub massacre in Orlando on June 12.

“Although the LGBT civil rights movement has made significant progress in the pursuit of equal rights and protections under the law, there is still more work to do,” according to the release. “As seen two weeks ago in Orlando, FL, LGBT Americans continue to face acts of violence, discrimination, and hate. LGBT people of color are especially at risk. The Administration is committed to continuing the fight for dignity, acceptance and equal rights for all Americans — no matter who they are or who they love.”

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The announcement is being framed as a culmination of the eight years of the Obama administration’s policy promoting LGBT rights. After the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage one year ago, the White House celebrated by lighting up the entrance that faces Pennsylvania Avenue in rainbow colors

Democratic Party of Richmond County Convention

Last night the Democratic Party of Richmond held their County Convention nominated State Sen. Diane Savino, Assemblyman Matthew Titone, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, as well as three sitting Civil Court judges, Barbara Panepinto, Kim Dollard, and Philip Straniere to be on the party line for our borough.

Things that happened that WILL NOT be mentioned in our local paper the “Staten Island Advance” half of our party slate is female identified. That’s right HALF! We the Democratic Party of Staten Island are letting Female Identified people LEAD THE WAY. Starting with State Senator Diane Savino.

The party did something else last night that won’t be mentioned in the local paper. The more powerful story somehow missed  last night by the Staten Island Advance was that  for the first time in Staten Island history a transgender person Bryan John Ellicott (Yea that would be me) addressed a political convention, sadly however it was tTHE SAME NIGHT that in  BROOKLYN a TRANSPERSON was ASSAULTED!?! The same day a ciswoman was ASSAULTED in a women’s restroom for “looking like a dude.” in another state. It’s pretty clear that Transgender people are under attack.

I was asked by Assemblymember Matthew Titone to second the nomination for his re-election.

“Few people (we later found out none) like me have had this chance. I made the most of it. However, I am thankful to Chris Bauer, Michael Arvanites, Bobby Digi and the other men in the room…who understand what needed to be said. While we supportAssemblymember Matthew Titone as our voice of the vulnerable citizens of SI.”

I spoke of his continued fight for the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) next to sponsor Assembly Dick Gottfried. The continued struggle of the LGBT community…and how important it is in Staten Island that we support across the borough our only LGBT elected official and one of few in Albany.

(featured photo credit: Michael Arvanites)

 

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Photo Credit: Roy Moskowitz 

 

The Philippines Just Elected Its First Out Transgender Person To Public Office

As polls close on Monday, Geraldine Roman is poised to take a congressional seat in Bataan, making her the first trans person to hold Philippine public office.

At 94.83% of the national election returns processed, she leads with over 102,000 votes.

Roman has been a popular candidate, especially among low-income voters, whose planned policies include an expanded infrastructure and updated medical equipment at local hospitals in Bataan.

“I am living proof that such a law will allow transgender people to pursue happiness and become productive citizens,” Roman

As she campaigned, Roman positioned her election to the Philippine congress as “a statement that even transgender people can serve our country and should not be discriminated against.”

In the lead for the presidential office is Rodrigo Duterte, a mayor from the city of Davao known as “the Punisher” for his tough stance on crime and lax attitude to extrajudicial killings. Recently, Duterte came under fire for a rape joke he made on his campaign trail.

And Bongbong Marcos is in the lead to become vice president. Marcos is the son of Ferdinand Marcos, who was the Philippine president from 1965 to 1986. He ruled as dictator under martial law from 1972 until 1981.

 

Transgender Day of Visibility 2016

-Some men are born in their bodies, other have to fight for it.-

INFORMATION FROM 

What is the Transgender Day of Visibility?
TDOV is a day to show your support for the trans community. It aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people around the globe while fighting cissexism and transphobia by spreading knowledge of the trans community. Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance, this is not a day for mourning: this is a day of empowerment and getting the recognition we deserve!

When is TDOV?
TDoV is on March 31st every year!

Where is TDOV?
Everywhere! We encourage you to create panels, talk to friends, and spread knowledge about the trans community no matter where you are! You can also join our Facebook event and use hashtag #tdov on social media. .

What is this year’s theme?
More Than Visibility (#MoreThanVisibility). This recognizes that while visibility is important, we must take direct action against transphobia around the world. Visibility is not enough alone to bring transgender liberation. Some people experience violence due to their visibility and some others don’t want to be visible. However, we can use visibility as a vital tool for transgender justice.

Who started TDOV?
Rachel Crandall, the head of Transgender Michigan, created in TDoV in 2010 to celebrate the trans community in a positive light. Read more about it here. Since 2013, Trans Student Educational Resources has taken over most social media, promotion, and outreach for TDOV.