Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Monday that there is “no room for compromise” in the policy debate surrounding how society should cater to the desires of transgender people.

“Let’s be clear: Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time. There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights,” Biden wrote Saturday on Twitter.

The former vice president’s statement comes after fellow 2020 Democrat Bernie Sanders received backlash from liberal activists for promoting popular podcast host Joe Rogan’s endorsement.

Rogan, a libertarian, has faced criticism from the left for his frequent criticism of political correctness, particularly as it relates to gender identity. The comedian has said he is “100 percent in favor of transgender people” but has said he opposes puberty blockers for transgender children and has repeatedly objected to biological males competing in women’s sporting events.

“He’s been insanely consistent his entire life. He’s basically been saying the same thing, been for the same thing his whole life. And that in and of itself is a very powerful structure to operate from,” Rogan said.

The Sanders campaign on Thursday shared the video clip of Rogan’s praise for the Vermont senator along with his quote.

The Sanders campaign the next day defended their promotion of Rogan’s remarks.

“Sharing a big tent requires including those who do not share every one of our beliefs, while always making clear that we will never compromise our values,” Sanders’s campaign press secretary said in a statement. “The truth is that by standing together in solidarity, we share the values of love and respect that will move us in the direction of a more humane, more equal world.”

Biden, who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, has received scrutiny for his own record on LGBT issues.

“I didn’t have to evolve,” he said in September, noting that he came out in support of same-sex marriage before former President Barack Obama did.

 The Senate passed a bill earlier this week that would allow a person who changed their sex to have a new birth certificate issued, something that the transgender community said will help eliminate problems experienced when their legal identification doesn’t match their transition.

Senate Bill 657 would allow a person to receive a new birth certificate to reflect the a change of sex, without the requirement of surgery. The individual seeking a new birth certificate also may list a new name if they provide a certified copy of a court order of the name change.

“I just think it’s important to try to make life easier for people without being discriminated (against) or bullied,” said Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-Fairfax. “Allowing an individual who is transgender to change their birth certificate without having to go through the full surgery allows them to live the life that they are due to have.”

The bill requires proof from a health care provider that the individual went through “clinically appropriate treatment for gender transition.” The assessment and treatment, according to Boysko’s office, is up to the medical provider. There is not a specific standard approach for an individual’s transition. Treatment could include any of the following: counseling, hormone therapy, sex reassignment surgery, or a patient-specific approach from the medical provider.

A similair process is required to obtain a passport after change of sex, according to the State Department.

Once the paperwork is complete, it is submitted to the Virginia Department of Health vital records department, Boysko said.

Boysko said her constituents have reported issues when they need to show legal documents in situations like leasing apartments, opening a bank account or applying for jobs.

This is the third year that Boysko has introduced the bill. Neither bill made it out of subcommittee in previous years, but Boysko believes the bill has a better chance of becoming law this year.

“I believe that we have a more open and accepting General Assembly then we’ve had in the past, where people are more comfortable working with the LGBTQ community and have expressed more of an interest in addressing some of these long overdue changes,” Boysko said.

Vee Lamneck, executive director of Equality Virginia, a group that advocates for LGBTQ equality, said the organization is “really pleased that this bill is moving through.”

“This bill is really important for the transgender community,” Lamneck said. “Right now many transgendered people do not have identity documents … this is really problematic when people apply for jobs or try to open a bank account.”

There are 22 other states in America that have adopted legislation similar to this, including the District of Columbia, Boysko said. The senator said that “it’s time for Virginia to move forward and be the 23rd state.”

The Senate also passed Tuesday Boysko’s bill requiring the Department of Education to develop policies concerning the treatment of transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools, along with a bill outlawing conversion therapy with any person under 18 years of age.

The bills now advance to the House, where they must pass before heading to the governor’s desk

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced it earned its second consecutive perfect score on the 2020 Corporate Equality Index, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation's national benchmarking tool for corporate policies and practices supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) employees.

The annual survey assesses non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care, competency programs and public engagement with the LGBTQ community. Kroger met or exceeded all Corporate Equality Index criteria, resulting in a perfect score of 100 and designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

"Kroger is extremely proud that HRC has once again recognized our unwavering commitment to promoting and celebrating diversity, inclusion and belonging across our company, our industry and our communities," said Tim Massa, Kroger's senior vice president and chief people officer. "This recognition reinforces the people-first, inclusive culture that we've built at Kroger. It's also a testament to the LGBTQ associates and allies who have shown us what we do well and where we can improve."

Kroger's LGBTQ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Highlights:

  • Kroger offers an associate resource group, providing an uplifting community for LGBTQ employees and allies
  • Kroger provides same-sex partner benefits and transgender-inclusive health care
  • Kroger partners with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to create and enhance partnerships with LGBTQ suppliers
  • Kroger achieved Billion Dollar Roundtable status for reaching more than $1 billion in spend with certified minority- and women-owned suppliers
  • Kroger ranked 13th on Omnikal's 2019 Omni50 list, which recognizes America's top 50 corporate and government buyers of products and services from inclusive and diverse suppliers
  • Kroger ranked fourth on The Wall Street Journal's list of the top 20 most diverse Fortune 500 companies
  • Kroger was named Company of the Year for Corporate Equality by HRC's Greater Cincinnati Chapter, recognizing the company's commitment to diversity and inclusion in the region that features its corporate headquarters and more than 21,000 Kroger associates

"We will continue to put action behind our words to ensure every Kroger associate is empowered to be their true self at work," added Massa. "There is great power in recognizing our unconscious biases, learning from each other and listening to understand, so we can best support the people who matter most: our associates."

The Human Rights Campaign is the nation's largest LGBTQ civil rights organization that envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured equality at home, work and in every community.

For more information on the 2020 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit

About The Kroger Co.
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless shopping experience under a variety of banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.

SAN FRANCISCOJan. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- This Thursday, the coalition and Mayor Breed will cut the ribbon for Trans Home SF on Washington Street, San Francisco's first home for trans adults.

Trans Home SF on Washington Street is a transitional housing program that will provide much needed shelter and wrap around services to up to thirteen transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals annually. The home falls under San Francisco's new Our Trans Home program that will support hundreds of low income TGNC community members find or keep their housing through rental subsidies, housing navigation, and case management.

"Every day our trans community struggles to find affordable and inclusive housing. Despite Trumps ongoing attacks San Francisco continues to have some of the strongest non-discrimination protections, although our ongoing housing crisis continues to impact our diverse community," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. "With one out of every two transgender San Franciscan having experienced homelessness, we knew we had to take bold steps to fix these inequities. I am honored to join the coalition to launch this first of it's kind program because everyone deserves a safe place to call home."

"We are grateful for Mayor London Breed's ongoing support and the groundswell of community support for Our Trans Home SF. San Francisco will invest over $2.3 Million to support trans housing and rental subsidies for our community," said Clair Farley, Director Of the Office of Transgender Initiatives and Senior Advisor to Mayo Breed. "This vital program will save lives and provide safe shelter as our community continues to face attacks from Washington and ongoing rollbacks of Obama era LGBTQ protections. We can make real progress to help end trans homelessness in our City."

The coalition partners includes St. James Infirmary. Larkin Street Youth Services, Transgender Advisory Committee SF,  Our Trans Home SF, TAJA's Coalition, El/La para TransLatinas, TGI Justice Project, Trans Thrive, API Equality, Lyon Martin, Trans Health Consulting, Open House, SF LGBT Center, CUAV, SFAF, PRC, San Francisco Community Health Center and Transgender Law Center.

"We are honored to be the leader in the Our Trans Home SF initiative partnering with Mayor Breed and the community to address the housing crisis that is having a devastating impact on trans people of color across the Bay Area," said Toni Newman, Executive Director of St. James Infirmary and administrator of the new initiative. "As a Black trans-led nonprofit, we are hitting the ground running to provide housing to our community members who need it the most and will continue to lead the country in developing solutions for and by our community."

"We have no time to waste if we are going to address the root issues that are keeping our community in poverty and on the streets," said the members of the Our Trans Home Coalition. "We thank Mayor Breed and the Office of Transgender Initiatives for their support in resourcing our community so we flourish and thrive."

St. James Infirmary is also hosting an orientation to the Trans Home SF Rental Support Program, where providers and trans and gender nonconforming community members can learn about the program and enroll into the program on site.

The Trans Home SF Orientation takes place at Noon on Wednesday, January 29, in the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Main Public Library. Located on 101 Larkin Street.

Twice a week for four years when he was in high school, gay student Zach Meiners underwent “conversion therapy,” a practice that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Once the sessions ended, it took almost 10 years before he started “to heal and learn to love” himself, Meiners said Tuesday during a rally to promote bills that would effectively ban conversion therapy in Kentucky.

“It was ingrained in my head that to be gay meant that I was apart from God and that I could never find acceptance, love or fulfillment unless my identity changed,” said Meiners, now 30. “I was publicly shamed. I was taught to hate who I was.”

Bills aimed at effectively ending the practice have been introduced in the Republican-dominated House and Senate.

Republican Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr of Lexington, lead sponsor of the Senate measure, on Tuesday referred to the practice as “conversion torture.” Democratic Rep. Lisa Willner of Louisville, lead sponsor of the House bill, denounced it as a “discredited and dangerous” practice.

“This practice is in fact not a therapy at all,” Willner said. “This is a practice that attempts to fix something that was never broken. It is a practice that targets some of our most vulnerable and disenfranchised youth.”

The proposals would ban mental health professionals from engaging in conversion therapy with people under age 18. The same ban would apply for adults who are under guardianship or those who are wards of the state because they have been determined to lack the capacity for responsible decision-making, Willner said.

Mental health professionals violating the measures would face disciplinary action by their professional licensing agency. The bills also would prohibit public funds from going to any organization that provides conversion therapy.

Supporters of the bills said Kentucky would be the 20th state to pass legislation limiting the practice.

Meiners, a Louisville filmmaker, began working on a documentary last year about conversion therapy. He traveled the country to interview “survivors” of the practice as well as licensed therapists. The documentary will be released later this year, he said.

“No parent wants to hurt their child,” Meiners said at the rally. “I know mine sure didn’t. Most parents simply do not have the education or resources they need when their kid comes out. They’re told about a conversion therapy, usually by a friend or a pastor. So they try it as if they’re going to see a specialist for some sort of health problem. But that’s not what this is.”

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