The Supreme Court on Tuesday left in place a lower court ruling in favor of a Pennsylvania school district policy that allows some transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.

This case is a challenge to a Pennsylvania's school district's policy that allows some transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity. The plaintiffs are students who say the policy violates their privacy rights and constitutes sexual harassment in violation of Title IX, a federal law that bars discrimination based on sex in educational institutions that receive federal funds.
Tuesday's ruling was issued without comment.
In court papers, lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that "forcing a teenager to share a locker room or restroom with a member of the opposite sex can cause embarrassment and distress."
 
"The district's policy was a drastic change from the way locker rooms and restrooms have been regulated for the entire history of public-school systems," they said.
Lawyers for the school district say that they made the decision to allow transgender students to use facilities that aligned with their gender identity because the district "Believes that transgender students should have the right to use school bathroom and locker facilities on the same basis as non-transgender students."
They say the permission is not automatic but that when a transgender student requests to use facilities that comport with his or her gender identity, they have "several conversations" with a guidance counselor.
As a part of their briefs, they include a picture of Aidan DeStefano, who graduated last year from one of the schools and is a transgender male, to show why he doesn't belong in a bathroom that corresponds to the sex he was assigned at birth.
A lower court declined to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the policy.
Under the Obama administration: the departments of Education and Justice issued guidance to school districts that recommended that schools allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that matched their gender identity.
But the Trump administration withdrew that guidance.
When it did so, a pending case concerning a student from Virginia, Gavin Grimm, was dismissed.
This is the reverse case, brought not by a transgender student, but from students who object to sharing a bathroom with transgender individuals.

Gillette shared a new ad on Facebook with the caption “Whenever, wherever, however it happens”, where a father is seen tenderly teaching his transgender son how to shave.

The ad says quote, “Now don’t be scared, shaving is about being confident.”

In the spot, a Toronto based artist shares his experience as a transgender man.

The ad says, quote, “I always knew I was different, I didn’t know there was a term for the kind of man that I was. I went into my transition just wanting to be happy.”

According to CNN the spot has been celebrated by many, as a meaningful gesture of inclusiveness, casting a positive light on a transgender man experiencing family support.

 

On Friday, the Trump Administration released a proposed rule that would roll back nondiscrimination protections for transgender people under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The rule would have devastating effects on transgender people, who already face stark barriers in accessing care.

The rollback is particularly dangerous because it comes at a time when other coverage for transgender people is being eliminated. Under the transgender military ban, for example, the Department of Defense will no longer cover transgender-related healthcare for servicemembers.

Protections at the state level are also limited. Only fourteen US states prohibit health insurance discrimination based on gender identity; ten expressly exclude transgender related care under state Medicaid policies. Most recently, Iowa’s legislature amended the Iowa Civil Rights Act to expressly remove healthcare nondiscrimination protections in late April, rushing the provision through without public hearing and leaving low-income transgender Iowans without much-needed care.

A report released by Human Rights Watch last year documented that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the United States, and especially transgender people, often face difficulty finding and accessing healthcare providers, face discrimination and refusals of service in medical settings, and often forego care out of fear that they will face mistreatment. Another documented the difficulty transgender women in Florida experience accessing HIV treatment and care. This latest rule will almost certainly worsen the persistent health disparities transgender people face.

In 2016, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) interpreted the ACA’s prohibition of discrimination based on sex to include discrimination based on gender identity. The proposed rule from the Trump Administration would reverse this, so that HHS would no longer interpret or enforce the rule to protect transgender people.

Human Rights Watch has joined the Protect Trans Health Coalition, which will be organizing actions in the coming weeks to push back against the proposed rule.

In the meantime, the Trump Administration’s shameful record on transgender rights underscores the importance of the Equality Act, an omnibus nondiscrimination bill that would protect LGBT people from discrimination across a range of domains. The House passed the bill last week, but Senate Majority Leader McConnell has not committed to bringing it to a vote. The rollback of basic nondiscrimination protections illustrates why clear protections are needed – and why Congress should do its job and enact those protections into law.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg gave an girl some advice for dealing with bullies. At a campaign stop in Iowa City, Buttigieg drew questions from a fishbowl and he pulled one from 11-year-old Rebecca Johann: “Do you have any advice about bullying?”

He started by saying that it’s important to talk about it.

“So I think you’re leading the way on that – thank you for raising the question,” he said.

He went on to talk about his experiences.

“I had experiences with bullying when I was growing up,” he said. “Everybody who’s different can be bullied. And the secret is – everybody’s different in some way.“

“When someone is bullying you, they’re making you feel alone sometimes. They’re making you feel like you’re the only one in that situation, and they’re breaking you down.”

He then told Rebecca that she shouldn’t feel ashamed.

“The first thing you’ve got to know is you have nothing to be ashamed of,” he said.

“And the second part, this is a much harder part to remember, is that the person who is bullying you probably has something a little broken in them, and it’s part of why they’re trying to get your attention.”

“I think it really matter that we have a president that doesn’t show that type of behavior – it’s one of the reasons I’m running for president.”

Someone in the audience then shouted, and he said, “It sounds familiar, yeah.”

“I think it really matters that we have a president who doesn’t show that kind of behavior. This is one of the reasons I’m running for president.”

Buttigieg concluded by saying that Rebecca should lead others by example, by not stooping down to the level of a bully.

Dallas police are investigating whether the killing of two transgender women and the assault of third over the past seven months are connected, authorities said Tuesday.

The most recent victim, Muhlaysia Booker, 22, was found fatally shot on Saturday, according to police. The victims are all African-American.
A 29-year-old transgender woman was fatally shot in a vehicle on October 21, 2018, according to police. A 26-year-old transgender woman was stabbed multiple times on April 13 but survived and gave police a description of a suspect, Dallas police Maj. Vincent Weddington told reporters.
"At this time, the department is actively looking into whether or not these assaults, murders have any connection to one another," Weddington said. "At this time, we have not been able to draw up an affirmative link between these offenses. We're working to see if there is any link."
 
Police are working with federal authorities to determine whether the incidents should be classified as hate crimes, Weddington said.
As part of its outreach to the LGBTQ community, Dallas police will hold a LGBTQ town hall on Thursday. The meeting had been planned since last year, according to Amber Roman, the department's LGBTQ liaison officer.
"The department is asking for the public's assistance in closing these three cases," Weddington said.
 
In a Facebook post, Dallas police identified the fatal victim from October as Brittany White. There are no suspects, Weddington said.
Weddington said two victims were in the same area before the alleged offenses took place, although it was not clear which two victims he was referring to.
Two victims got into a car with someone and one victim let someone get into their car, Weddington said.
"Everybody needs to be vigilant and pay attention to their surroundings when they're out in public, and use caution when interacting socially," Weddington said.
 
In a separate incident last month, Booker, 22, was assaulted by several men in the parking lot of a Dallas apartment complex after what police said was a minor traffic accident. Video from the incident showed the suspects repeatedly punching and kicking her while she was on the ground.
The suspects were reported to have used homophobic slurs during the assault, police said.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings condemned the assault at the time.
 
"I am extremely angry about what appears to be mob violence against this woman," Rawlings said. "Those who did this do not represent how Dallasites feel about our thriving LGBTQ community. We will not stand for this kind of behavior."
One man, Edward Thomas, was arrested and faces charges in Booker's assault in April. Weddington has said Thomas, 29, had not been linked to Booker's death.
Attorneys representing Thomas issued a statement Tuesday saying the alleged assault of Booker in April was not a hate crime.
Thomas "had absolutely nothing" to do with Booker's death," said the statement from the law office of Andrew Wilkerson and Michael Campbell Jr.
"We have no doubt that the truth will come to light in this situation after a thorough investigation by the Dallas Police Department," the statement said.
 

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