CHICAGO — Bail was denied Tuesday for a high school senior accused of fatally shooting a transgender woman.

Selena Reyes-Hernandez was shot several times in her home in the 3300 block of West 71st Street in Marquette Park on May 31.

Prosecutors said Orlando Perez, 18, provided an extensive confession to her murder in court.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Perez told investigators he left Reyes-Hernandez’s apartment after finding out she was transgender and was “mad as hell.”

Perez said he returned to her home with a gun, and shot her in the head and back before running out. He then went back inside and fired three more shots at her as she laid on the floor, according to the assistant state’s attorney.

Prosecutors said a number of security cameras captured Perez leaving and then returning with a handgun.

A judge denied bail for Perez and called him a danger to the community. His next court date is scheduled for July 6.

Perez is a senior at Bogan High School.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace protects LGBTQ employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation.

The vote was 6-to-3, with conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch joining the court's four liberal justices in the majority.

"In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee's sex when deciding to fire that employee," the court held in Monday's decision. "We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law."

The lawmakers who drafted and enacted the legislation didn't necessarily need to envision how it might be applied in cases like the ones the court has since considered, Gorsuch wrote for the majority.

"Likely, they weren't thinking about many of the act's consequences that have become apparent over the years, including its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of motherhood or its ban on the sexual harassment of male employees. But the limits of the drafters' imagination supply no reason to ignore the law's demands.

The court's decision came in several cases brought by gay and transgender employees.

Gerald Bostock was the child welfare coordinator for Clayton County, Ga. He contended that he was fired after he joined a gay recreational softball league in 2013.

"From that point on, my life changed," he said in an NPR interview last October. Up until then, he said, his job evaluations had been excellent, and under his guidance, the county "reached the benchmark of serving 100 percent of the children in foster care, which was an unheard of milestone in any metro Atlanta program."

None of that seemed to matter, however, when word got out that he had joined the gay softball league.

"I lost my livelihood. I lost my medical insurance, and I was recovering from prostate cancer when this occurred," he said. "It was devastating."

Aimee Stephens, presented as a man for six years, worked as a funeral director for the Harris Funeral Home in Livonia, Mich. But by 2012, Stephens was in despair over her gender identity, at one point contemplating suicide.

"I stood in the back yard with a gun to my chest. But I couldn't do it," she told NPR last October.

Instead she decided to come out at work as a transgender woman, telling her colleagues and her employer of her decision in a letter. But two weeks after giving the letter to her boss, she was fired.

Stephens died earlier this year, but her case lived on.

Tom Rost, the owner of the Harris Funeral Home, who fired Stephens, explained his decision as one necessitated by the reaction he anticipated from "the families we serve. How would they possibly react to this?" he said, noting that Stephens was "the face of the Harris Funeral Home."

HRC President Alphonso David: “The RNC is hallucinating and advancing misleading and  disingenuous rhetoric. Yes, Trump has taken many ‘unprecedented’ steps, but those steps have been to undermine and eliminate rights protecting LGBTQ people, not empower us. Appointing a small handful of gay people out of thousands of nominations and making a very few -- and unfullfilled -- pledges can hardly qualify as accomplishments.  Don’t gaslight us.  The Trump-Pence administration is the most virulently anti-LGBTQ administration in decades -- the RNC cannot put lipstick on a pig.”

Here’s a list of attacks the Trump-Pence administration has levied against LGBTQ people:

For the full list of Trump’s attacks on LGBTQ people, visit HRC.org/Trump.

  1. Opposition to the Equality Act: Despite support from almost every segment of the U.S. population and a majority of Republicans, President Trump opposed the Equality Act. In May, the House passed the Equality Act, voting to guarantee critical non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people among other crucial rights.
  2. Appointed anti-LGBTQ judges: Trump has appointed anti-LGBTQ judges with alarming anti-LGBTQ records to appointments at every level of the judicial system, including anti-equality Supreme Court Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and federal nominees Kacsmaryk, Mateer, Bounds, Vitter. Menashi and others.
  3. Joked about Pence’s desire to hang LGBTQ people: In 2017, Trump joked about Vice President Pence’s anti-gay agenda saying “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!”

In the Workplace

  1. Supported employment discrimination against LGBTQ people: The Trump administration submitted amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting discrimination against LGBTQ people.
  2. Banned transgender service members from the military: Against the expert advice of military leadership, medical authorities, budget analysts, 70% of Americans and the armed forces of allied countries, Trump and Pence banned transgender people from serving in the military.
  3. Rolled back Obama-era non-discrimination protections: Trump’s Department of Justice upended previous DOJ interpretations of the Civil Rights Act that protect transgender and non-binary workers from employment discrimination and ceased enforcing non-discrimination protections as well as taking a hostile stance to LGBTQ workers in court.
  4. Issued rule to license discrimination: Trump’s Department of Labor issued a regulation designed to allow federal contractors to claim a religious exemption to fire LGBTQ workers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  5. Kicked people living with HIV out of the military because of their status: The Department of Defense instituted a “Deploy or Get Out” policy, which would remove military personnel living with HIV from service solely because of their status.
  6. Created a hostile work environment for LGBTQ federal employees: According to Politico: “[The Trump administration] fostered a climate where six staffers who are LGBT described removing their wedding rings before coming to work in the morning, taking down photos of their partners and families or ultimately finding new jobs further away from certain political appointees. They did not want to be identified; two said they feared being reassigned for being gay.”

In Health Care

  1. Undermine Section 1557 Rule: HHS published a proposed major change to the administrative rule interpreting Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to remove explicit protections for LGBTQ people in healthcare programs and activities by excluding LGBTQ people from protections from discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity.
  2. Advocated for the elimination of the entire Affordable Care Act: The Justice Department issued a legal filing arguing that the entirety of the Affordable Care Act should be overturned. This move would jeopardize health care for over 130 million people with preexisting conditions like HIV and eliminate non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
  3. Created a Religious Discrimination Division: HHS created a new office whose sole purpose would be to defend physicians and other medical professionals who decide to refuse care, including to LGBTQ patients.
  4. Proposed cutting over $1.35 billion from PEPFAR budget: In his proposed FY 2019 budget, Trump cut $1.35 billion from, or 29% of PEPFAR’s budget. PEPFAR is the U.S. government program that fights AIDS abroad.

In Schools

  1. Guidance for Schools on Transgender Students: The Departments of Education and Justice eliminated Obama-era guidance clarifying that schools must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity. This encourages schools officials to permit harassment of transgender students, deny access to facilities consistent with gender identity, and refuse to use correct names and pronouns -- all inflicting untold emotional harm.
  2. Rejected Complaints From Transgender Students: The Department of Education refused to respond to civil complaints filed by transgender students, including those who were barred from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. This increases the burden for transgender students to combat these harmful policies.
  3. Suggested it is acceptable for schools to discriminate against LGBTQ students while accepting tax-payer funds: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has refused to rule out federal funding for schools that discriminate against LGBTQ students and has declined to state she would otherwise intervene should discrimination occur.
  4. Sexual Assault: DeVos rescinded Title IX rules related to schools’ obligations to address sexual harassment, including sexual violence. By eliminating the Obama-era rules, DeVos increased the standard of proof from “preponderance of the evidence” to “clear and convincing evidence” making it more difficult for survivors of sexual assault to obtain justice. LGBTQ people are disproportionately affected by sexual assault and harassment, and the stigma that many LGBTQ people face can make it more difficult for survivors to report.
  5. Eliminated language protecting LGBTQ children participating in the 4-H program: The Trump-Pence Administration ordered 4-H programs to remove a policy specifically welcoming LGBTQ children in the 4-H program, which led to the firing of an official who protested.
  6. Used Title IX to discriminate against trans students: the Department of Education claimed that school policies allowing trans youth to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity violated federal law and threatened to withhold funds.

In Housing

  1. Allowed emergency shelters to deny access to transgender and gender nonconforming people: Despite the fact that LGBTQ people are significantly more likely to experience homelessness in their lives, HUD Secretary Ben Carson has proposed a rule to permit emergency shelters to deny access or otherwise discriminate against transgender and gender nonconforming peoplewho are homeless. HUD also canceled a scheduled survey on LGBTQ homelessness.
  2. Placed transgender incarcerated persons in the wrong prison: The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) rolled back an Obama-era policy that housed transgender prisoners consistent with their gender identity. With transgender people experiencing sexual assault at higher rates than average, this decision only puts them at further risk of assault.

In Families

  1. Allowed foster care programs to discriminate while accepting tax-payer funds: Trump-Pence White House has proposed a federal regulation that would strip away nondiscrimination requirements and permit all Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant recipients, notably adoption and foster care agencies, to discriminate against LGBTQ people, and in many circumstances religious minorities and women, and still receive federal funding.
  2. Refused visas to partners of diplomats: The State Department began refusing visas for same-sex partners of some diplomats and U.N. workers if they are not married.
  3. Changed rules to deny surrogate born children citizenship: The Trump Administration has interpreted  immigration rules specifically so the child of a same-sex couple born abroad via surrogate would be considered "born out of wedlock" and making it more difficult to obtain U.S. citizenship.

In Representation

  1. Erased transgender people: Trump’s HHS proposed a new definition that would narrowly define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by birth. According to the New York Times: “The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million [transgender] Americans.” In addition, agency staff,  including those at the Centers for Disease Control, have been instructed to stop using the word transgender in official reports.
  2. Eliminated information on LGBTQ rights, mentions, and representation on government websites: Within hours of Trump’s swearing-in, pages on LGBTQ rights and recognition were removed from government websites, including the White House.
  3. Blocked questions regarding sexual orientation from consideration for the census: Trump and Pence have sought to block questions on sexual orientation from the census in order to erase LGBTQ people from official counts. This would, in turn, prevent the collection of crucial data that could help improve government programs and resources for LGBTQ people.
  4. Refused to recognize LGBTQ people in National AIDS day Address: Despite being the community most affected by the epidemic, Vice President Pence has consistently refused to acknowledge LGBTQ people in his addresses on National AIDS day.

In the World:

  1. Refusing LGBTQ asylum seekers fleeing violence: Trump issued an executive order to create further obstacles for all people seeking to enter the U.S., preventing refugees from escaping some of the most anti-LGBTQ regimes in the world.
  2. Embassy Pride Flags: Pence defended the State Department directive to ban U.S. embassies across the world from flying the LGBTQ Pride Flag during Pride Month.
  3. Left the U.N. Human Rights Council: Trump and Pence, over LGBTQ and other issues, removed the United States from the U.N. Human Rights Council.
  4. Chechnya: Trump and Pence refused to condemn attacks on LGBTQ people in Chechnya, where atrocities against queer people are horrific and ongoing.
  5. Brunei: The Trump-Pence administration has refused to condemn a Brunei law that imposes barbaric punishments on LGBTQ people, including death by stoning, torture and whipping.

Dozens of advocacy organizations and hundreds of athletes are asking the NCAA to move college sports events out of Idaho in response to a state law that bans transgender women from participating in women’s sports.

The coalition argues that Idaho’s law “blatantly targets an already-marginalized community,” and runs contrary to the values of the NCAA, which governs collegiate athletics. Athletes argue that Idaho should be banned from hosting NCAA events as long as the law is in place.

“This is the time for the NCAA to stand on the right side of history and support the rights of all athletes in Idaho to compete in the sports they love,” reads a letter signed by more than 400 student athletes. “…With HB500 remaining law in Idaho, it is impossible for the NCAA to host events that are inclusive and safe for all athletes.”

The letters specifically ask the NCAA to move the first and second rounds of the 2021 Men’s Division I Basketball Championship games away from Boise State University, as first reported by Sports Illustrated on Wednesday morning.

Idaho became the first state to ban transgender female athletes in women’s sports in March, when Gov. Brad Little signed the so-called “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” written by Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, and Sen. Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene.

Sponsors, and some Idaho athletes, argue the law protects women from having to compete against transgender athletes who could have a physical advantage. The legislation drew multiple protests from opponents who argue that the law is discriminatory and also opens the door to invasive physical exams if an athlete’s gender is in dispute.

Civil rights groups sued the state barely two weeks after Little signed the law, arguing that it violates the U.S. Constitution, as well as Title IX, a law that bans sex discrimination in education. That lawsuit is still winding its way through the courts.

The NCAA has previously stripped states of championship games to protest legislation restricting transgender rights. The organization removed games from North Carolina in 2016-2017 after that state passed a bill requiring transgender people to use the bathrooms matching their sex at birth. The organization later allowed games to return when the bathroom bill was repealed.

Famous LGBT athletes including tennis pro Billie Jean King and Olympic soccer star Megan Rapinoe signed the letter asking the NCAA to disqualify Idaho from hosting events. Two Boise State University athletes were among the 400 student athletes who signed.

Read the full text of the professional athlete letter here, the student letter here, and the organization letter below

"Harry Potter" actor Daniel Radcliffe has sharply criticized controversial comments from author J.K. Rowling. In a piece published Monday for LGBTQ youth nonprofit The Trevor Project, Radcliffe said he felt "compelled to say something at this moment."

"Transgender women are women," Radcliffe wrote. "Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I."

Rowling faced backlash over the weekend for making "anti-trans comments" on Twitter. She took issue with the phrase "people who menstruate" in an article written for Devex.

"'People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people," Rowling tweeted Saturday evening. "Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

Rowling posted an additional series of tweets Saturday night trying to defend and explain her earlier, by-then-viral statement. 

Organizations such as GLADD condemned Rowling's comments:

If you want to direct your rightful anger over JK Rowling's latest anti-trans comments into something positive, support orgs that help Black trans people like @MPJInstitute, @blacktransusa, @TransJusticeFP, @Genderintell and @ukblackpride

Citing statistics compiled by The Trevor Project, Radcliffe noted that "78% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity." He also linked to resources for those interested in becoming better allies of transgender and non-binary youth.

Concluding his piece, Radcliffe apologized to fans for Rowling's remarks, particularly if they negatively impacted the way people associate with the Harry Potter series.

"If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe, capable of overcoming anything; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, nonbinary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual; if you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life — then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred," Radcliffe wrote.

Rowling has yet to respond to Radcliffe.

 

 
 

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