Friday, March 24, 2017

Bill proposes banning discrimination on sexual orientation or gender identity in federal jury selection


Congress is considering proposed federal law that would prohibit discrimination on sexual orientation in choosing jurors in federal courts, according to this Blade story by Lou Chibarro, Jr.

The measures were introduced in the House by Susan Davis (D-CA) and Senate by Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Vollins (R-ME).

I was chosen for juries twice in Texas, for local service, and was a foreman in a weapons case in Dallas in 1982.  The judge recognized me because I had sat in on a case in 1980 over a trial resulting from police harassment in gay bars at the time.



Neil Gorsuch, in confirmation hearings as a Supreme Court appointment to replace Scalia (and he is only 49) did say that gay marriage is settled law, but admitted there were some controversies over applying it in a religious freedom context in some unusual business settings, and he said he would not share his personal views, LGBTQNation story by Alex Bollinger here. Gorsuch also said that he made no promised to Trump on Roe v. Wade, which he does see as somewhat vulnerable given advances in fetal medicine and knowledge of unborn personhood (in answering bachelor Sen Lindsey Graham). .

Monday, March 20, 2017

YouTube apologizes for over-protecting parents from LGBTQ-associated videos


YouTube has been criticized and has apologized for placing some LGBTQ videos on “restricted mode” which can require parental approval for viewing. The CNN story is here.

Some videos with LGBT in the title were restricted, as were all on some channels by LGBTQ artists.

There was some concern that this was designed to appeal to advertisers, some of whom don’t want controversial subject matter at all.  That could have the potential to affect Adsense if done with blogs.
  
Trailers for independent R-rated movies often require sign in and warn about adult content.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tennessee bill tries to outflank gay marriage, adoptions


The house in Tennessee has introduced legislation to require words “husband, wife, mother, father” to have their “natural and ordinary meaning”,  This is HB 1111, and is construed as an attempt to deny same-sex marriage licenses, benefits, and probably adoption applications.

The legislation was reported by Bill Palaski on a site called Freedom for All Americans, link.
 
If the law could interpreted as stopping gay marriages, it could obviously attract litigation and get quickly struck down.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

RyanCare could lead to increased HIV disease; gender-fluidity is "replacing" transgender as the current big view


Chris Johnson has a detailed article in the Washington Blade Friday on the devastating effects that “RyanCare” could have on some in the LGBTQ world.

It could jeopardize long term anti-retroviral therapy, which the article maintains has generally worked under Obamacare (but some other reports have said it hasn’t).  PrEP medication would not be covered (most likely), increasing the likelihood of more transmissions.  We all know what Mike Pence has to say about that.

I actually have much greater concern that the budget could slow down vaccine development that could prevent pandemics in many much more contagious diseases, leading to much more heavy-handed contact tracing and quarantining for novel diseases, and these could affect gay men especially disproportionately in some scenarios.



It is unlikely that medical procedures aiming toward gender change for trans people would be covered, meaning birth certificate chances could not happen in many states.

Time Magazine has a big cover story in the March 27, 2017 issue, “Beyond He or She”, by Katy Steinmetz.
 .
The key concept seems to be gender-fluid, not simply choosing “being” the opposite gender in identity to biological organs.  I recall how our French teacher hammered us in ninth grade, “everything is either masculine or feminine, nothing is neuter”.  Or in-between.  Appearance changes lose their existential eventful nature.  The alien assassin character Pie ‘o’ Pah in Clive Barker’s “Imajica” is gender-fluid, as he/she actually changes physically according to desire, a very threatening idea. Gender-fluidity is not the same thing as polarity in the world of Paul Rosenfels, but that's another discussion.

I don’t really see this happening all that much in the clubs and discos, yet at least.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Spicer is lukewarm in answering question on anti-gay vandalism


Sean Spicer was recently asked about a series of attacks against LGBT community centers .


These incidents include minor vandalism at the Casa Ruby center on Georgia Ave. in Washington recently.  I had volunteered there in a clothing sort activity on MLK day.

Spicer’s remarks attracted some criticism as being an insufficient answer insofar as “free speech” and “religious freedom” has been promoted by the right as a cover for continued discrimination.  Also mentioned is Trump’s removal of guidance in using Obama’s more inclusive interpretation of federal  Civil Rights laws in the bathroom bill controversy.

The Washington Blade story by Chris Johnson is here

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mr. Gay New Zealand stokes controversy over HIV+ sex


Milo reported on an article in Vice, “Stop Stigmatizing HIV-Positive Sex”, in which John Walker supports Mr. Gay New Zealand, Charlie Treadway, for his connection to “barebacking”, link .

However Walker’s article indeed gives a glowing record for HIV treatment with protease inhibitors and with PrEP.
 
But a New Zealand Herald editorial takes a more sobering view here.
 
Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Lake Gunn by Jocey under CCSA 2.0.

Friday, March 10, 2017

South Dakota passes religious freedom bill regarding public funds; GA lesbian loses employment case before 11th Circuit


South Dakota, which had been already reported as preparing a bill that would deny trans people the right to birth certificate change, has also passed a bill allowing adoption agencies get public friends to turn away LGBT couples if based on religious conviction.  Instinct Magazine has a story here.  This was Senate Bill 149.

And the 11th Circuit has upheld the firing of a security guard in Jameka Evans v. Georgia Regional hospital, apparently for non-conforming appearance and behavior, opinion here.

Lambda Legal has sent out fund raising literature that poses its mission in terms of "resistance" (an all too trendy term these days of Trump and Sessions).  The plaintiff may appeal to the en banc court.