A Westbrook resident who identifies as a transgender man his filed a federal lawsuit against his former employer, Cafua Management, a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee, saying he was  harassed and fired in retaliation from his job at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Scarborough. According to Kye Hubbard’s attorney, it’s the first case in Maine to cite new Civil Rights protections since a June 15, 2020 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hubbard has filed a claim in U.S. District Court in Portland against Cafua Management and its subsidiary, Exit 42 Donuts, which owns the franchise at 284 Payne Road. According to the complaint, Cafua Management is the largest Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner in the United States, owning “hundreds” of the popular doughnut shops in seven different states, including Maine.

Hubbard worked as a shift leader at the Scarborough location from February 2018 until he was let go Jan. 25, 2019. The complaint alleges the harassment began when Hubbard’s manager, Brandon Avery, revealed Hubbard’s transgender status to co-workers in May 2018, despite Hubbard’s wish to keep his status confidential. Following that, the complaint said co-workers began harassing Hubbard.

“They called him names like ‘it,’ ‘he/she,’ and ‘thing’ on multiple occasions,” the complaint said.

 

Halle Berry apologized after declaring that she would be interested in playing a transgender man in an upcoming film.

The Hollywood actress has now declared that she should not have been considered for the role and has vowed to be an “ally” of the transgender community.

Berry, 53, had previously said in an Instagram Live that she was preparing for the role and wanted to “dive deep” into “this world.”

” I think about [playing] a character where the woman is a trans character, it is therefore a woman who has become a man, “she said.

“She is a character in a project that I love that I could do. ”

“I want to discover this world, to understand this world. I want to dive deep into the way I made Bruised, ”she added, referring to her next sports film.

“Who this woman was is so interesting to me, and it will probably be my next project, and that will require me to cut my hair. ”

She has been accused of misinterpreting the character by repeatedly referring to them as a woman, and many have said that the role should go to a trans actor.

In a later tweet, she wrote, “Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to discuss my thoughts on a future role as a transgender man and I would like to apologize for these comments.

“As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I should not have considered this role and that the transgender community should definitely have the opportunity to tell its own stories.

“I am grateful for the advice and critical conversation over the past few days and will continue to listen, educate and learn from this error.

“I swear to be an ally in using my voice to promote better screen representation, both in front of and behind the camera. ”

LGBT rights group GLAAD welcomed Berry’s apology, saying, “We are pleased that @halleberry has listened to and learned from the concerns of transgender people. Other powerful people should do the same. ”

The documentary Netflix Disclosure, which explores trans performance on television and in the movies, also thanked the actress for “listening and learning.”

The main transgender roles are largely attributed to cisgender actors – people who identify themselves as the gender that was assigned to them at birth.

In 2018, Avengers star Scarlett Johansson abandoned the movie Rub And Tug after facing a backlash for being portrayed as a transgender man.

Jared Leto, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Huffman all played transgender characters.

Hilary Weaver
 
Photo credit: Jennifer Graylock - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jennifer Graylock - Getty Images

From ELLE

In lieu of Pride marches and parades in the streets this year, we get virtual events. These events are not the same as wearing glitter, waving rainbow flags, and dancing with our best friends at afterparties, but they certainly aren't lacking in joy. This Pride month, the Black Lives Matter protests drove home the origins of Pride; the Stonewall riots of 1969 were largely led by transgender women of color. In her message for Global Pride 2020, Laverne Cox got to the heart of Pride month and what our priorities should be during this time. She stood in front of a lit-up sign that said, "trans is beautiful":

"In the 1980s, many parades around the world marched for the AIDS crisis," she said. "And in recent times marriage equality and transgender rights. As a diverse community, we stand up to hatred together—now and always. We will always call out racism. We stand in solidarity and will not be silenced as long as those in our community endure these atrocities, despite the challenges our global community is currently facing living against the backdrop of COVID-19. Global Pride 2020 seeks to forge onward to the future. While this year's Pride looks different from the Prides of yesteryear, let's not forget the main reason we commemorate Pride. We fight oppression, violence, and discrimination. We lift up those living in intersections of sexual orientation, gender identity, class, race, and other marginalized identities, she said. "We stand united on a global stage. We create space to advocate, educate, and celebrate. Exist, persist, resist."

On June 14, thousands of people showed up for a march at the Brooklyn Museum in honor of Black transgender people who are violently murdered each year. The march came after Black transgender women Riah Milton and Dominique "Rem'mie" Fells were murdered within 24 hours of each other. Cox has long been a voice about the injustice that transgender women face in the world.

"Your attraction to me as a trans woman is not a reason to kill me," Cox said in a 2019 interview on BuzzFeed News' Twitter morning show, AM to DM. "There's this whole sort of myth that trans women are out there tricking people, that they deserve to be murdered, and that's not the case."

Cox is also the executive producer of Netflix documentary Disclosure, which brings light to how transgender people have been portrayed in TV and film for years.

We are at a crossroads as social movements are in direct conversation with Hollywood. Disclosure is the manifestation of this moment for transgender people and their representation," the film's website says. "The increasing visibility of transgender people is exhilarating, and signals the beginnings of positive social change. Nevertheless, violence against trans people persists including the surge of efforts to constrain transgender civil rights. From current bathroom bills that paint trans women as male predators, to a Presidential military ban on trans service, there is an attempt to legislate trans people out of public life. Using history to illuminate the present, Disclosure explores this fear."

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? 

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail. 

New York congressional candidates Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres are on the brink of becoming the first openly LGBTQ Black and Afro-Latino members of Congress. 

The strong possibility of Jones and Torres serving in the House of Representatives has galvanized the LGBTQ community during Pride Month, as well as Americans of color, as nationwide protests over racial injustice continue to take place. 

“The affirmation from nearly 50 percent of Democrats in my district is, I think, really powerful,” Jones, who is running to replace retiring Rep. Nita Lowey (D) in the 17th District, told The Hill.

“I spent a lot of my life questioning whether I could live as an openly gay person, and so now to be one of the most openly gay, Black people in media right now, it’s quite a change of pace.”

Torres, who would replace outgoing Rep. José Serrano (D) in the 15th District, noted the significance of having two black men serving in New York’s congressional delegation 50 years after Stonewall. 

New York holds special significance for LGBTQ Americans as the home of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar that police raided in 1969, leading to days of riots and eventually the modern gay rights movement in the U.S.

“It is shocking that New York City, which is the birthplace of Stonewall, has no LGBTQ representation in the congressional delegation,” Torres said.

However, thousands of votes are still being counted in the two districts. As of Election Night, Jones held 43 percent of the vote in the state's 17th District, while his closest opponent in the seven-person contest, Adam Schleifer, had 20 percent. In the 15th District, Torres held 30 percent of the vote, while his closest opponent in the 12-person race, Michael Blake, stood at 19 percent.

Jones will likely face Republican Maureen McArdle Schulman in the general election if they both win their primaries, while Torres would face Orlando Molina (R). Both districts lean overwhelmingly Democratic.

LGBTQ organizations are hopeful that potential wins from Torres and Jones would galvanize their voters ahead of the general election in November. 

“It is illustrative of what we’ve done in other races, and what we’re going to do moving into November,” Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David said. “LGBTQ voters, pro-equality voters, all over the country are energized and mobilized to vote in this election.”

Both Torres and Jones say they will campaign for Vice President Joe Biden ahead of November, calling President Trump an “existential threat.” 

“I’m going to be out there doing whatever I can to get him elected,” Jones said. “I think what he needs to do is unite the left flank of the party behind him because we cannot afford to have disaffected not going out to support him.”

WASHINGTON – The winners at the Supreme Court this week were the nation's LGBTQ community and undocumented immigrants. The losers were conservatives, led by President Donald Trump.

And the man most responsible for the unexpected turn of events was the leader of the supposedly conservative court – a label that is coming under a little re-examination.

John Roberts, the chief justice of the United States, was in the majority in both cases, along with all four of the court's liberal justices. In delivering the one-two punch to the president and his base, Roberts served notice that he can be either side's punching bag.

More:Supreme Court ruling upholds DACA program for young, undocumented immigrants

In 2010, he voted with conservatives in Citizens United v. FEC to allow unlimited independent spending by corporations in elections. Liberals are still seething.

Two years later, he voted with liberals to uphold President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, which he again saved in 2015. Conservatives have never forgotten.

But while conservatives have more to appreciate in Roberts' overall voting record, he has not been as reliable as they had hoped when he was confirmed as chief justice in 2005, promising to be like an umpire calling balls and strikes. The last 12 months have been perhaps the most obvious case in point.

Last June, the chief justice sided with liberals in striking down the Trump administration's effort to include a question on citizenship in the 2020 census.

"The sole stated reason seems to have been contrived," he said of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' decision. "What was provided here was more of a distraction."

In April, he and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the liberal justices in jettisoning a case that gun-rights groups had pursued in order to bolster the Second Amendment. Earlier this month, his court turned away a bevy of other challenges to states' gun restrictions.

LGBTQ victory:Supreme Court grants federal job protections to gay, lesbian, transgender workers

Then this week, Roberts sided with Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and the liberals in ruling that a federal law banning sex discrimination in the workplace applies to sexual orientation and gender identity. That was followed by Thursday's opinion, which he wrote, saving Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

'We won':DACA recipients overwhelmed by surprise Supreme Court victory over Trump

The Department of Homeland Security, Roberts said, "failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients."

'Playing games'

Conservatives in and out of Congress were apoplectic.

"If Justice Roberts wants to be a politician, he should resign and run for office," Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., tweeted.

"The most disappointing week at SCOTUS in years," tweeted Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who once served Roberts as a law clerk at the high court.

"Judging is not a game. It's not supposed to be a game," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, intoned on the Senate floor. "But sadly, over recent years more and more, Chief Justice Roberts has been playing games with the court to achieve the policy outcomes he desires."

After 15 years at the court's helm, however, the 65-year-old Roberts is accustomed to the criticism. 

“When you live in a politically polarized environment, people tend to see everything in those terms," he told about 2,000 people at Temple Emanu-el in Manhattan last September. "That’s not how we at the court function.”

To label Roberts a closet liberal, on the other hand, would be a colossal mistake. 

In 2013, he wrote the 5-4 decision striking down the key section of the Voting Rights Act, casting aside federal oversight of racial discrimination in elections. Five years later, he wrote the 5-4 decision upholding the final version of Trump's travel ban against several majority-Muslim nations. Last year, he wrote the 5-4 ruling that gave state legislatures unfettered freedom to draw partisan election districts

"He is quite consistent," said former U.S. solicitor general Theodore Olson, a conservative who nevertheless argued on behalf of DACA recipients in the case decided Thursday. "He is very much a rule-of-law individual, and someone who cares a great deal about the process by which legal decisions are being made."

In both the census case and the DACA case, Roberts insisted that the Administrative Procedure Act be followed. For him, that meant federal agencies must be able to explain the reasons for their actions.

"We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies," Roberts wrote. "We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action."

Only the nation's 17th chief justice, Roberts is driven like his predecessors by a desire to maintain the court's legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

Translation: too many 5-4 decisions based on ideology – which for the past decade would mean five justices named by Republican presidents besting four chosen by Democrats – will make the court seem like just another political branch of government.

Roberts is aware, no doubt, that the court is the only branch viewed favorably by a majority of Americans. A Marquette Law School poll in October found 57% of those surveyed trusted the Supreme Court the most, compared to 22% for Congress and 21% for the president. He wants to keep it that way.

Thus it was that during Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate, the chief justice presided even-handedly. When it came time to chastise those arguing for or against the president, he chastised both sides

When Trump criticized an "Obama judge" in 2018 over an immigration ruling, Roberts issued a rare rebuke. "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," he said. 

But earlier this year, he gave Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the same treatment. After Schumer threatened Gorsuch and Kavanaugh if they vote to limit abortion rights, Roberts said such statements "are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous."

Despite his tangles with the executive and legislative branches, Roberts told his New York City audience last fall that he is not influenced by criticisms from the president or Senate Democrats.

“It does not affect how we do our work. We will continue to decide cases according to the Constitution and laws without fear or favor,” he said. "That’s necessary to avoid the politicization of the court.”

As for the critics, Olson, who has known and worked with Roberts over four decades, summarized an old Spanish proverb:

"It's one thing to speak of bulls," he said. "It's another thing to be in the bullring."

 

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