The Biden administration must pause enforcement of federal guidelines seeking to protect transgender students and workers in 20 states, a federal judge ruled Friday, siding with Republican-led states competing for enforce anti-trans policies on their books.

The order issued Friday allows the 20 states to continue to enforce controversial laws without the risk of government retaliation, including the loss of federal funding for schools. It received praise from Tennessee, which leads the states in a lawsuit, and condemnation of LGBTQ advocates who criticized the judge for “legislation from the bench.


Tennessee and 19 other GOP-led states filed a lawsuit last August arguing that the guidelines issued earlier that year by the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission constituted an unlawful overstepping of executive power.

According to the agencies’ guidelines, transgender students and workers fall under Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in federally funded schools, and Title VII, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, and national origin. . The directive is designed to protect transgender people from a range of anti-trans policies, including bans on school sports teams, bathrooms and locker rooms in line with their gender identity, as well as measures that allow employers to intentionally refuse to use an employee’s favorite pronouns.

“As shown above, the damages alleged by plaintiff states are already occurring – their sovereign power to enforce their own legal code is hampered by the defendants’ issuance of directives and as a result they are under significant pressure to enforce their state laws.” change,” Judge Charles ruled. E. Atchley Jr., a Trump appointee, wrote in his preliminary injunction.

“As it stands, plaintiffs must choose between the threat of legal repercussions — enforcement action, civil penalties and withholding federal funding — or changing their state laws to ensure compliance with the guidelines and avoid such adverse action,” it said. the order. .

CNN has reached out to the Department of Education and the EEOC for comment on the order.

The Biden administration based its advice on the 2020 Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County that the federal civil rights law protects transgender, gay and lesbian workers. The government has used the ruling to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ people in the US in many areas of life. The Department of Education guidelines issued last year reversed the Trump administration’s stance that gay and transgender students were not protected by the law.

But Atchley said in his order that the Department of Education is “ignoring Bostock’s limited reach”.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III applauded the order in a statement Sunday, saying Atchley “rightly acknowledged that the federal government put Tennessee and other states in an impossible situation: choose between the threat of legal repercussions, including withholding federal funding, or changing our state laws to comply.”

“We are grateful that the court ended it, maintained the status quo as the lawsuit progressed, and reminded the federal government that it cannot order its agencies to rewrite the law,” he added.

The order sparked outrage from LGBTQ advocates, with one of the country’s largest LGBTQ rights groups calling it “another example of far-right judges legislating from the bench.”

“Nothing in this decision can stop schools from treating students in accordance with their gender identity. And nothing in this decision eliminates the obligations of Title IX schools or the ability of students or parents to file lawsuits in federal court,” Joni Madison, interim president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement Saturday. “HRC will continue to fight these anti-transgender statements with every tool in our toolbox.”

The government has been working to strengthen some of the protections challenged in the lawsuit. President Joe Biden announced last month that the Department of Education issued new rules that would clarify that Title IX protections against discrimination apply to sexual orientation and gender identity and that it would be against anyone to participate in a school program. or activity consistent with their gender identity the law.

The proposed changes will undergo a public comment period before being finalized.

Superficially, Americans and their legislators accept and understand LGBTQ+ individuals more now than even a decade ago. The Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to legalize same-gender marriage stands as of the most tangible and significant wins for LGBTQ+ rights—yet the 2015 ruling only directly protected cisgender lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals.

At least 19 states in 2016 considered bathroom bills, legislation that would force every person to use the gendered restroom matching the gender listed on their birth certificate. North Carolina passed this legislation, igniting conversations across the country and empowering lawmakers to draft similar bills in other states. But sister bills struggled to pass, and even North Carolina has since repealed its bathroom bill.

Several congressional representatives have turned to gender legislation to target a new group: transgender youth.

Stacker took a look at state-by-state data on sexual orientation and gender identity policies that affect transgender youth from the Transgender Law Center. All 50 states and Washington D.C. were then ranked by their total policy “tallies” (the number of laws and policies driving equality for LGBTQ+ people), with #51 being the most restrictive state and #1 being the most protective state of trans youth. Negative tallies mean more discrimination laws exist than protection laws.

TLC’s policy tally accounts only for passed legislation and does not take into account activism efforts, attitudes, and feelings expressed by people in the state, nor implementations of these laws. The core categories TLC considered revolve around relationships and parental recognition, nondiscrimination, religious exemptions, LGBTQ+ youth, health care, criminal justice, and identity documents.

TLC’s findings capture how trans youth remain protected or vulnerable by statutory law, but legislation is elastic and lawmakers introduce new bills constantly. One category of these rankings only capture laws pertaining to sexuality since significant overlap exists within the queer community and within the legislation. Many lesbian, gay, or bisexual individuals also identify as transgender, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming, meaning LGBTQ+ individuals can identify with more than one queer identity.

Tennessee by the numbers

– Overall tally: -6
– Gender identity policy tally: -5.75
– Sexual orientation policy tally: -0.25

Since 2020, anti-trans youth legislation claiming to protect children popped up more frequently in state legislatures, entering the more mainstream lexicon in 2021. During the first three months of 2022, lawmakers filed about 240 anti-LGBTQ+ laws—most of which targeted trans people.

Tennessee, the top state for anti-trans youth legislation, in 2017 signed a bill into law preventing trans children from receiving gender-affirming care. It was the fifth anti-trans law to pass in the state. Bills like these claim to protect parents and children, yet lawmakers in Tennessee are also considering a bill that would establish common-law marriages in the state between “one man and one woman” while eliminating age restrictions for marriage.

While anti-trans youth legislation outnumbers legislation to protect trans youth, several states have enacted or are considering laws intended to protect trans children. California has gone so far as to introduce a bill to accept families escaping anti-trans youth legislation. Colorado—formerly known as the “Hate State” for its history of passing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation throughout the ’90s—passed legislation banning conversion therapyprohibiting bullying based on LGBTQ+ identities, and ending discrimination against LGBTQ+ families adopting children. Hawaii passed legislation in March that would require health insurance companies to pay for gender-affirming care—but not until 2060.

 

Continue reading to find out which states have the most legislation that restricts or protects trans youth.

States with the most legislation that restricts trans youth

#1. Tennessee: -6 overall
#2. Arkansas: -5.5 overall
#3. South Dakota: -4.5 overall
#4. Alabama: -4 overall
#5. Mississippi: -3.5 overall

States with the most legislation that protects trans youth

#1. Colorado: 39.5 overall
#2. California: 39.25 overall
#3. New York: 39 overall
#4. Nevada: 38 overall
#5. Connecticut: 37.5 overall

One of the most egregious bills passed by the 2022 Kentucky legislature was SB83, “AN ACT relating to athletics.”  The last entry of the act, on page ten, states: “This Act may be cited as ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.’”  Of course, the act is really a pandering to a very small segment of a conservative electorate that is obsessed with sexuality.

By now, you probably understand that the act being referred to is the one that bans transgender students from participating in primary and secondary school sports.  But only in girls’ and women’s sports.  Isn’t it interesting that there is so much effort to restrict participation on the side of female sports activities but nothing similar regarding male sports?

Yet there is something even more interesting (disturbing?) about this act. 

Section 1(2)(g) states: “The state board or any agency designated by the state board to manage interscholastic athletics shall promulgate administrative regulations or bylaws that provide that:

  1. A member school shall designate all athletic teams, activities, and sports for students in grades six (6) through twelve (12) of the following categories: a. “Boys”; b. “Coed”; or c. “Girls”.
  2. The sex of a student for the purpose of determining eligibility to participate in an athletic activity or sport shall be determined by:  a. A student’s biological sex as indicated on the student’s original, unedited birth certificate issued at the time of birth; or b. An affidavit signed and sworn to by the physician, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse, or chiropractor that conducted the annual medical examination required by Paragraph (e) of this subsection under penalty of perjury establishing the student’s biological sex at the time or birth;
  3. a. An athletic activity or sport designated as “girls” for students in grades six (6) through twelve (12) shall not be open to members of the male sex.

What makes it interesting is what is included in the rules stated by the KHSAA, rules that the bill sponsors apparently didn’t know about or simply decided to ignore them in order to pander.

KHSAA Rules for Transgender Athletes Participation state:

a. Each student-athlete shall participate according to the gender as listed on their birth certificate unless they were legally reassigned.
b. Reassignment may be demonstrated through the use of a birth certificate, driver’s license, passport, or other certified medical record as verified to the member school.
c. Each member school is responsible for making this initial determination for its student-athlete.
d. A student-athlete who has undergone sex reassignment is eligible to compete in the reas-signed gender, provided such is not precluded by additional adopted bylaw or policy, when:

  1. The student-athlete has undergone sex reassignment before puberty, or
  2. The student-athlete has undergone sex reassignment after puberty under all the fol-lowing conditions:
    a. Surgical anatomical changes have been completed, including external genitalia changes and gonadectomy;
    b. Hormonal therapy appropriate for the assigned sex has been administered in a verifiable manner and for a sufficient length of time to minimize gender-related advantages in sports competition; and
    c. If the student-athlete stops taking hormonal treatment, they will be required to participate in the sport consistent with their birth gender.

The key sponsor of SB83, when testifying before committee, admitted that he knew of no instance in which the issue of transgender athletes had been revealed as a problem (and he, most assuredly, has absolutely no idea what a gonadectomy is). In fact, the number of transgender athletes in Kentucky is so miniscule that the very existence of the act (and the rules by KHSAA) is an abomination of Kentucky law and deprives a small number of kids from being who they really are.

So much for our vaunted legislature and its ability to address real problems in this state.

Laverne Cox will be honored as advocate of the year at the upcoming 2022 Webby Awards.

The actor and producer will be recognized by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS) for her LGBTQ advocacy work around Black trans lives and rights.

“Laverne Cox understands the true power of showing up by example,” Webby Awards president Claire Graves told Variety exclusively on Tuesday morning. “She is a clear, consistent and powerful voice advocating in defense of Black trans lives, and we are so proud to recognize her as the 2022 Webby Advocate of the Year, selected by a committee chaired by the NAACP and IADAS.”

Hosted by comedian Roy Wood Jr., the Webby Awards will take place May 16 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. The ceremony will be presented by Verizon.

The evening will feature the awards’ signature five-word winner speeches.

Cox, best known for work as Sophia on “Orange Is the New Black,” is an Emmy nominee who has also been honored by GLAAD, The Transgender Law Center, Out, Time, Glamour and Ebony.

In addition to Cox, others special achievement honorees include Megan Thee Stallion, Drew Barrymore, Takashi Murakami, “Severance” star Adam Scott, organizers of Florida’s “Say Gay” movement and NFT inventors Anil Dash and Kevin McCoy.

Previously announced Webby Award winners include Savage x Fenty, Gordon Ramsay, “Sesame Street’s” YouTube channel, the Smartless podcast, The 1619 Project, “The Laverne Cox Show,” “The Queen of Basketball,” Billie Eilish x Beat Saber for Oculus Quest 2, “The Roxanne Gay Agenda,” “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” “Lilly Singh Celebrates Diwali Traditions and New Beginnings With Johnnie Walker,” The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live! Mean Tweets” and “The Problem With Jon Stewart.”

Show highlights will be available on webbyawards.com and on Twitter and Instagram using #Webbys.

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Kids who feel their true gender identity doesn't match the sex they were given at birth are sometimes given the chance to adopt the lifestyle and characteristics of the opposite gender, in a process known as "social transitioning."

It involves no treatments or surgery, yet some people question whether kids who socially transition at a very young age might end up regretting the decision, raising the risk for a traumatic re-transition. But new research finds that's rarely the case: Among children under age 12, investigators found that more than nine in 10 stuck with their initial transition decision as much as five years out. And the few who re-transitioned back did not typically find the process traumatic.

"Social transitioning refers to a change in pronouns, first name, hairstyles and clothing," explained study author Kristina Olson, a psychology professor at Princeton University, in New Jersey. It's "the 'social' part of gender."

Such transitions may be the first step families take in tackling the distress often experienced by children who feel that their gender identity doesn't match their assigned gender.

Social transitions are distinct from medical transitions "that can involve the use of gender-affirming hormones or surgeries," Olson explained.

Olson said only one other small study — involving just four children — had explored long-term re-transition risk. That study found none of the kids had returned to their birth-assigned gender.

But to dig deeper, Olson and her team focused on more than 300 children who had undergone a social transition.

About two-thirds were transgender boys, meaning boys who had been assigned a female gender at birth; about one-third were transgender girls.

All were enrolled in the TransYouth Project between 2013 and 2017. The project tracked transition experiences over a five-year period, with children being between the ages of 3 and 12 when first socially transitioning.

Though Olson's focus was on social transitioning, she noted that some of the children had embarked on a medical transition as well, though she emphasized that was only the case among the oldest kids, given that "youth are not eligible for medical transition until after the onset of puberty."

Specifically, nearly 12% had begun taking puberty blockers during the study period. (After the study period ended, however, 190 kids ultimately began taking blockers; nearly 100 of those children also started taking gender-affirming hormones, Olson noted.)

Solely on the social transition front, Olson noted that over five years only about 7% of the children transitioned back at least once.

By the end of the study period, 94% of the kids continued to identify as the gender they had embraced when first socially transitioning. (That figure includes the just over 1% who had at one point re-transitioned back to their birth gender, before then returning back again to the gender to which they had initially transitioned.)

Of the 6% who did not stick with their initial transition, a little more than 3% described themselves as non-binary by the end of the study period, while just under 3% said they identified with their birth gender. (Identifying with one's birth gender was notably more common among kids who had socially transitioned before the age of 6.)

"Interestingly, we are not finding that the youth who re-transitioned in our study are experiencing that as traumatic," Olson noted. "We've been finding that when youth are in supportive environments — supportive in the sense of being OK with the exploration of gender — both the initial transition and a later re-transition are fine."

The study findings were published online May 4 in the journal Pediatrics, but Olson said her team plans to keep tracking the study participants.

Meanwhile, a couple of experts not involved in the study hailed the effort to date.

The findings are already "important," said Dr. Jack Turban, chief fellow of child and adolescent psychiatry at Stanford University's School of Medicine, in Palo Alto, Calif.

"The main takeaway here is that gender identity, for binary transgender children, appears to be quite stable," he said.

And Turban — whose research focus is on the mental health of transgender youth — stressed that "social transition has value, regardless of the ultimate gender trajectory."

That, he said, is because "prohibiting a social transition can send the message to a child that their identity is wrong or invalid. And this can drive shame and damaged relationships within a family."

Indeed, "socially transitioning youth are [simply] making the same 'decisions' that cisgender children are making, in that they are seeking clothes, hairstyles, names, accessories, activities and playmates that reflect their gender identity and the resources in their community," said Matt Goldenberg, a psychologist in adolescent medicine with the Seattle Children's Gender Clinic.

And empowering children to explore their gender identity in an environment that "honors their authenticity and wisdom" is all a "healthy and normative aspect of human development," Goldenberg added.

And Turban — whose research focus is on the mental health of transgender youth — stressed that "social transition has value, regardless of the ultimate gender trajectory."

That, he said, is because "prohibiting a social transition can send the message to a child that their identity is wrong or invalid. And this can drive shame and damaged relationships within a family."

Indeed, "socially transitioning youth are [simply] making the same 'decisions' that cisgender children are making, in that they are seeking clothes, hairstyles, names, accessories, activities and playmates that reflect their gender identity and the resources in their community," said Matt Goldenberg, a psychologist in adolescent medicine with the Seattle Children's Gender Clinic.

And empowering children to explore their gender identity in an environment that "honors their authenticity and wisdom" is all a "healthy and normative aspect of human development," Goldenberg added.

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