Health Care for GLBT people

A number of states have passed or are considering laws that appear to permit health care providers to deny services to LGBT people. For example: Michigan’s House recently passed HB 5006, which states: “A health care provider may assert as a matter of conscience an objection to providing or participating in a health care service that conflicts with his or her sincerely held religious or moral beliefs.” Similar legislation has been introduced in in Mississippi, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

The gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) is being asked by the press whether these kinds of laws threaten the health of LGBT people, and specifically, whether we are aware of any real cases in which a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person has been denied a necessary service from a medical professional (including pharmacists) based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

If you are aware of any such case send an email to Joel Ginsberg, GLMA’s Executive Director, at, or call him at 415-255-4547 x314. In your message, describe briefly what happened and give your name, title, organizational affiliation (if any) and contact numbers so they can follow up. Do not communicate any confidential information. Also indicate whether they have your permission to forward your name and contact information to a reporter. If not, they will give a quote that describes the substance of what happened without giving any identifying information.

Please forward this request to any whom you think may have useful information.

Thanks for your help.

For more information on the GLMA, check their website.

Rebecca Juro article

There’s an article by Rebecca Juro up on, and it made me think of a quote by Eugene Debs:

“While there is a lower class I am in it; while there is a criminal element I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

Eugene Debs was a socialist, and ran for President on the Socialist Party ticket five times (once from jail, where he was for protesting the draft).

My feeling personally is that it is too early to expect anyone – much less the stodgy Democratic Party – to include transgender equality. That’s not a reason not to push for it, by any means, and I applaud Juro’s efforts. I will keep working personally on education, which I hope clears some of the pathways to power, over time.

But I’m still picking stodgy over hateful (which is what I find the Republicans to be on GLBT issues), so this year I’m voting Kerry/Edwards.
Continue reading “Rebecca Juro article”

Comments Off

I’m turning the comment feature off because they’re getting spammed. I’m going to upgrade the blog software to something that might actually have a chance at blocking this stuff. When? Soon, I hope.

Thanks to everyone for your support and general all-around loveliness.

Dark Odyssey

Betty & I are going to be presenting at this year’s Dark Odyssey, a sexual vacation for all kinds of sexualities and people. This is not a huge orgy – more a place where couples or singles or the polyamourous can go learn new techniques, meet others of alt sexualities, and play.

Kate Bornstein will also be presenting, and transpeople are encouraged to attend!

Where: Northern Maryland
When: September 9 – 15, 2004

This will be a good safe space for anyone wanting to wander outside of their current sexual practices, who are exploring bisexuality, BDSM, gender role-play, etc.

For more information (pricing, registration, workshop descriptions, etc), visit the Dark Odyssey website.
Continue reading “Dark Odyssey”

FMA Defeated

From The Washington Post:

Senate Scuttles Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage

By David Espo
The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 14, 2004; 12:56 PM

The Senate dealt an election-year defeat Wednesday to a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, rejecting pleas from President Bush and fellow conservatives that the measure was needed to safeguard an institution that has flourished for thousands of years.

The vote was 48-50, 12 short of the 60 needed to keep the measure alive.

“I would argue that the future of our country hangs in the balance because the future of marriage hangs in the balance,” said Sen. Rick Santorum, a leader in the fight to approve the measure. “Isn’t that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?”

But Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle said there was no “urgent need” to amend the Constitution. “Marriage is a sacred union between men and women. That is what the vast majority of Americans believe. It’s what virtually all South Dakotans believe. It’s what I believe.”

“In South Dakota, we’ve never had a single same sex marriage and we won’t have any,” he said. “It’s prohibited by South Dakota law as it is now in 38 other states. There is no confusion. There is no ambiguity.”

Supporters conceded in advance they would fail to win the support needed to advance the measure, and vowed to renew their efforts.

“I don’t think it’s going away after this vote,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said Tuesday on the eve of the test vote. “I think the issue will remain alive,” he added.

Whatever its future in Congress, there also were signs that supporters of the amendment intended to use it in the campaign already unfolding.

“The institution of marriage is under fire from extremist groups in Washington, politicians, even judges who have made it clear that they are willing to run over any state law defining marriage,” Republican senatorial candidate John Thune says in a radio commercial airing in South Dakota. “They have done it in Massachusetts and they can do it here,” adds Thune, who is challenging Daschle for his seat.

“Thune’s ad suggests that some are using this amendment more to protect the Republican majority than to protect marriage,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a spokesman for Daschle’s campaign.

At issue was an amendment providing that marriage within the United States “shall consist only of a man and a woman.”

A second sentence said that neither the federal nor any state constitution “shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.” Some critics argue that the effect of that provision would be to ban civil unions, and its inclusion in the amendment complicated efforts by GOP leaders to gain support from wavering Republicans.

Bush urged the Republican-controlled Congress last February to approve a constitutional amendment, saying it was needed to stop judges from changing the definition of the “most enduring human institution.”

Bush’s fall rival, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, opposes the amendment, as does his vice presidential running mate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. Both men skipped the vote.

The odds have never favored passage in the current Congress, in part because many Democrats oppose it, but also because numerous conservatives are hesitant to overrule state prerogatives on the issue.

At the same time, Republican strategists contend the issue could present a difficult political choice to Democrats, who could be pulled in one direction by polls showing that a majority of voters oppose gay marriage, and pulled in the other by homosexual voters and social liberals who support it. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll taken in March showed about four in 10 support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and half oppose it.

Democrats said that Bush and Republicans were using the issue to distract attention from the war in Iraq and the economy.

“The issue is not ripe. It is not needed. It’s a waste of our time. We should be dealing with other issues,” said Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.

But Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said a decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court had thrust the matter upon the Senate. The ruling opened the way for same sex marriages in the state, and Frist predicted the impact would eventually be far broader.

“Same-sex marriage will be exported to all 50 states. The question is no longer whether the Constitution will be amended. The only question is who will amend it and how will it be amended,” he added.

He said the choice was “activist judges” on the one hand and lawmakers on the other.

� 2004 The Associated Press

UNFPA, instead

While we’re all worried (and mobilized) on the defeat of the FMA, it turns out that Bush will be deciding on whether or not to fund the UNFPA. We’ve been successfully distracted. Here’s the word from Planned Parenthood:

On Thursday, July 15th, the Bush Administration will decide whether to fund UNFPA (The United Nations Population Fund) this year. UNFPA runs life-saving programs for women and girls in 140 countries that increase access to gynecological care and voluntary birth control, reduce infant and maternal mortality, and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The United States helped to create UNFPA in 1969 and, up until recently, has played a leadership role in the program. Unfortunately, in recent years President Bush has refused to release the funds that Congress has set aside for UNFPA. It is time to tell the White House: “We have had enough!”

CALL THE WHITE HOUSE (202-456-1111) TODAY AND SAY: “I am calling to urge the President to release the $34 million that Congress has promised to UNFPA. The work of UNFPA saves lives. The President must release this desperately needed funding. Thank you.”

What’s At Stake:

On Thursday, July 15th, the Bush Administration is expected to decide on this year’s funding for UNFPA (The United Nations Population Fund). UNFPA runs life-saving programs that build healthy families and improve the health and well-being of women and girls in the world’s poorest nations. UNFPA funds programs in more than 140 countries to improve poor women’s reproductive health through access to gynecological care and voluntary birth control, reduce infant and maternal mortality and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The United States helped to create UNFPA in 1969 and, up until recently, has played a leadership role in the program. In recent years, however, the United States has been an unreliable source of financial support for UNFPA. But for fiscal year 2002, in recognition of the critical need for the services provided by UNFPA, Congress earmarked $34 million for the program. President Bush however refused to release the $34 million Congress approved in 2002 and he again refused to release last year’s Congressional appropriation of $25 million. On Thursday, July 15 the administration is expected to decide whether or not to release the $34 million that Congress appropriated this year for these vital efforts.

A recent New York Times (7/6/04) editorial stated: “One of the uglier aspects of the Bush administration’s assault on women’s reproductive rights is its concerted undermining of the United Nations Population Fund based on the false accusation that it supports coerced abortions in China… the State Department’s investigating team found no evidence that the Population Fund has supported or participated in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization”

For more information on UNFPA visit:

Sign the Petition

Please sign on to our emergency petition to Congress to stop this divisive amendment at:

Then please ask your friends and family to sign, by forwarding them this email. We’ll deliver our comments tomorrow, before the vote, so we need as many people as possible to sign on today.

President Bush campaigned on a promise to unite us, not divide us. Yet today, as people are questioning Bush’s handling of everything from the war in Iraq to the economy, Bush and his friends are trying to distract voters from the real issues by turning to the politics of division and hate.

If America stands for anything, it stands for equal rights and opportunities for everyone. Throughout our history, we’ve struggled to guarantee that equality: ending slavery; securing voting rights for women; and passing the Civil Rights Act just 40 years ago.

Equality in marriage is the civil rights issue of our generation. We can’t let anyone, or any group, be singled out for discrimination based on who they are or who they love.

When two people make a deep personal commitment, taking responsibility for each other and doing all the work of marriage, they should be able to share in the legal benefits of marriage as well. These benefits include access to health care and medical decision-making for one’s partner and children, parenting and immigration rights, inheritance, taxation, and Social Security benefits.

This isn’t a partisan issue, notwithstanding Bush’s pandering to his right-wing base. Former President Gerald Ford, a Republican, said this about same-sex couples and marriage: “I think they ought to be treated equally. Period.”
[1] Also, many major corporations, including Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Disney, Coors, and IBM, offer health insurance and other benefits to their employees’ same-sex partners. Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) says the amendment is “Nuts… To be seen as the party that’s coming between two people that love each other doing what they want to do… to me that’s going to be seen as a liability, politically.” [2]

Yet President Bush is bent on moving America backward, by enshrining discrimination in the United States Constitution.

Don’t let him divide us like this. Go to:

Please help make sure your friends have signed on too, before we deliver this
petition tomorrow.

Thank you.

Pharmacists Refuse to Fill Hormone Prescriptions

An article in this month’s explains that some pharmacists are choosing not to fill prescriptions for birth control – prescriptions that doctors have written for their patients.

Birth control pills, as many of you may know, are also used to treat up to 20 other medical problems women experience, things like PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome), extreme cramps, and women with high genetic risks for ovarian cancer take them as prevention.

Why are pharmacists not filling the prescriptions? Because they believe conception is the start of life, and the birth control pill effectively keeps a pregnancy from happening by eliminating the placental wall in the uterus from developing. These pro-life pharmacists – and some doctors – argue that birth control is another form of abortion.

This is madness.

Imagine, TGs: if this is allowed to continue, who is to say that some doctor or pharmacist will decide a TG person’s right to hormones isn’t something that he or she can refuse as well?

From the article: “‘Refusing women access to the Pill is a very disturbing trend,’ says Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. ‘The war on choice is not just about abortion anymore. It’s about our right to birth control.'”

Read the full article at or on the MHB message boards.

Donate to Planned Parenthood now. Trannies, you may be next.

No TG Inclusion in Party Platforms

Transgender Inclusion in Party Platform Falls Short

The transgender community’s efforts to be included in a political platform fell short this past Saturday. The National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC) and other transgender community leaders described the news as “disheartening, but not surprising.”

With an unprecedented seven transgenders participating in the national level delegation process, hopes were high that one of the two major party platforms would add language affirming the need for supporting equality for the transgender community. The party platform holding the most promise for the transgender community was the Democratic National Committee (DNC) platform.

To date, there have been no publicly declared transgendered delegates in the Republican national convention, nor indications of addressing issues of equality within the Republican National Committee (RNC) platform.

The proposed DNC party platform extolled their “ironclad” support of civil rights, and demonstrated as much by extending the support of workplace non-discrimination to cover sexual orientation. The transgender delegation, over the course of the past week, got wind of the limited wording and attempted to amend it via one of the supportive Platform Committee members, Scott Safier of Pennsylvania. Safier authored an amendment to the plank that would’ve extended workplace non-discrimination to include gender identity.

The effort which included much last-minute wrangling ended up being withdrawn after negotiations between the transgender delegation, platform committee member Safier, party and campaign officials hit an impasse. In a discussion with the Democratic transgender delegation, the offer was made by the party contacts to accept a withdrawal and receive undetermined access to party officials in the future. In addition, it was communicated that a withdrawal would be seen as a gesture of goodwill.

The alternative option was to continue pressing forward with the amendment, having it likely fail and being seen as completely self-interested at the expense of the bigger goal – bringing in a friendlier administration. The committee gave indications that there was some support for the amendment including gender identity, but likely not enough support to pass.

The first option would’ve given the opportunity to submit the bill and force the committee to hear it read and possibly debated on televised CSPAN proceedings. With the highly charged political environment, the party was keen to avoid such a debate.

The second option provided no tangible victory for the transgender community, but would demonstrate willingness to see the big picture, to be team players and to have access to address issues without being filtered through gay and lesbian leadership.

“The decision by the party was disheartening,” said NTAC Chair, Vanessa Edwards Foster, who was also elected one of the two delegates from Texas. “But given the tight election season and political rhetoric, it’s not surprising either.”

After some acrimonious deliberation, the transgender delegates opted for the compromise withdrawal. Most expressed disappointment with the process and seeming lack of options. Platform committeeman Safier explained that the reason for the temperance of the DNC platform language was the close election, and the aggressive and pointed anti-GLBT attack strategies from the RNC.

“There was a real sense of Catch-22 – no easy choice,” Foster reported. “We could’ve forced the issue onto the floor, lost the vote, and left the first-impression that we are self-interested – elections be damned. Or we could sacrifice, negotiate something from this while waiting for the better political climate, and face our community’s critics.

“After weighing the options, we recognized the symbolic nature of the platform and the very real feelings that would’ve been bruised by making our case at this juncture. We didn’t want to risk potentially impacting our future with a new administration,” Foster added. “Though it’s disappointing, the platform inclusion was not a critical priority.”

The delegates were quick to note that affixing immediate blame to the DNC isn’t entirely appropriate. NTAC member Barbra ‘Babs’ Casbar, a delegate from New Jersey, commented that “Much of DNC’s knowledge on transgender issues came over the course of years by platform committee members – none of whom were known transgenders.”

“Without a seat at the table, historically, there was no way for an NTAC or for anyone in the transgender community to effectively promote our community’s issues,” said Kathy Padilla, a former charter board member of NTAC and delegate from Pennsylvania. “We’re hopeful that will change.”

The five openly transgendered delegates and two committee members to the Democratic National Convention will carry that message. Our desire for positive change will not remain unheard by gay, lesbian and straight delegates, nor by political leadership. The political platforms of all parties should recognize the need and work to achieve equality for all Americans, including transgendered citizens. Anything less means equality for some, but not for all.

Request for Action

This injustice just came to my attention. Please send emails.

One of the boards which I belong to is the Gender Identity Center of Colorado. There was a post about Kim Dower, a pre-op transsexual who wished to start her cross living and wanted to dress as a woman on the job. Ms. Dower is employed by King Sooper, a part of the Kroger chain of grocery stores. The company would not allow her to, and even demanded medical records (which is against the law).

Denver does have a law protecting transsexuals from workplace discrimination.

We all remember Peter Oiler and how he was fired for crossdressing off the job. How many times have we heard where only one crossdresser particpated in the demonstrations against Winn Dixie.

I believe that it is time we stand up for members of our community, To take a stand saying that we will not tolerate discrimination against us. I am asking us all to be activist right from our computers, to send e-mails to Kroger and tell them that we will not patronize them as long as they practice discrimination against us.

Kroger is a national company. If we flood their office with e-mails we can I believe make a difference for all of us.

Thank You
Barbara Jean

Lambda Letters Challenges HRC

Subject: Please Support The Rights Of Transgender And Intersex People
Date: 7/6/2004

Lambda Letters Alert

Please Support The Rights Of Transgender And Intersex People

Dear Friends,

Today we ask that you write to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) urging
them to assure that transgender and intersex people are added to the
federal Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) now pending in
Congress. We ask you to take the additional step of telling the HRC
that you will not support ENDA until transgender and intersex people
are added to the bill.

The HRC may make a decision on this at their August meeting. So
please write to the HRC as soon as possible and please forward this
message to all your friends so as to maximize the flow of mail to the


I know that what we are asking of you seems controversial. However, I
hope you will read the following information and that it will
persuade you of the importance of what we ask.

The Human Rights Campaign is the most powerful lobby group for the
LGBTI community in Washington DC. For years it has been the sponsor
of ENDA. If anyone can persuade the authors of ENDA to include
transgender and intersex people it is the HRC. We believe they can do
it if they are motivated enough.

The Board of Directors of the Lambda Letters Project feels strongly
enough on the subject that it voted without dissent to tell the HRC
that Lambda Letters will not support ENDA until transgender and
intersex people are added to it.

ENDA is a bill currently before Congress that would ban sexual
orientation based employment discrimination. The bill has been
introduced as HR 3285 in the House of Representatives and as S 1705
in the US Senate.

The original version of the bill was introduced by Bella Abzug, D-New
York in the 1970s. Some version of the bill has been introduced in
almost every session of Congress since then. At first the bills
prohibited discrimination in employment and housing. In the early
1990s it was decided to limit the bill to employment discrimination
in hopes that would improve its chance of passage. However, right
from the start, the only form of discrimination prohibited by the
bill was sexual orientation based discrimination. That would protect
lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. It might even protect straight men who
are perceived as too effeminate and straight women who are perceived
as too masculine. However, it would provide no protection to
transgender or intersex people who are discriminated against because
of their status as transgender or intersex people. The rationale for
excluding these groups from the bill has apparently been that it
would be more likely to pass without them. Clearly, that strategy has

The time has come when our community must push for the inclusion of
these two groups. Things have improved a lot for lesbians, gays, and
bisexuals over the last few years. But progress has been much slower
for transgender and intersex people.

Currently 14 states, and the District of Columbia, have laws that ban
sexual orientation based employment discrimination. Only four states,
and the District of Columbia, have laws prohibiting discrimination
against transgender people. We are not aware of any states with laws
banning employment discrimination against intersex people.

Eleven additional states have executive orders or personnel
regulations that protect their lesbian and gay state government
employees from employment discrimination. Only two states have such
executive orders or regulations to protect transgender state
employees and we are unaware of any that protect intersex state

However, in seven states the courts or government commissions or
agencies have interpreted laws as protecting transgender people from
employment discrimination.

By the way, all these statistics come from the HRC web site. So they
know full well that much more progress has been made in protecting
the rights of lesbians and gays than has occurred for transgender and
intersex people.

The public’s attitude towards lesbians and gays varies, but in
general, people are much more accepting of them than they are of
transgender or intersex people.

We at Lambda Letters feel it is now time to go to bat for the least
protected part of our community. So we ask you to write to the Human
Rights Campaign. Please tell them that you will not support ENDA
until transgender and intersex people are added to the bill.

You may use the following sample message or compose your own. The
addresses of the legislators who need to hear from you follow the
sample message.


Ms. Cheryl Jacques, E.D.
Human Rights Campaign
1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-3278

Dear Ms. Jacques:

It is with regret that I inform you that I will be unable to support
the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) in its present form. I
will not support the bill until it is amended to provide protection
against discrimination for transgender and intersex people.

It has often been said that adding transgender people to the bill
would kill its chances of being approved by Congress. However, ENDA,
in its current form, has been pending in Congress for at least 10
years without being approved. In fact the original version of ENDA
was introduced by Bella Abzug, D-New York, during the 1970s. Clearly,
the tactic of leaving transgender people out of the bill, to ensure
its passage, has failed.

According to your own web page four states,. And the District of
Columbia, have enacted laws banning discrimination against
transgender people. Your site also lists seven other states in which
discrimination against transgender people is banned as the result of
a decision by a court or commission. As I understand it, roughly 25%
of the population of the United States is covered by these laws and
decisions. And yet there has been no great outcry against them. I
believe you will find that not one single legislator, judge, or
commissioner has been ousted from his or her position as the result
of supporting a ban on discrimination against transgender people.

I believe that, if HRC pushed hard enough, it could get a bill
introduced in Congress that bans discrimination against all segments
of the LGBTI community. Passing such a bill would still be hard, but
its comprehensive nature would widen support for it to all portions
of our community. Clearly, for such a bill to pass, it needs as wide
a base of support as possible.

Therefore, I respectfully request that you see that such a
comprehensive bill is introduced. I would gladly support such a bill.
However, I will be unable to support any version of ENDA that does
not prohibit discrimination against transgender and intersex people
along with lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons.




To send your message to THE HRC, use the address link found below.
Cut and paste the sample message, found above, into the body of the
message. Or you can compose your own message. Finally, click on go
and your message will be sent to the HRC. I will also get a copy of

Here is the address to use:

Please Add Transgender and Intersex People To ENDA


Boyce Hinman
Chief Lobbyist

Do you like our services? Would you like to make an on-line
contribution to support the work that we do? If so, please visit our
contribution site at: Lambda Letters Project – Donations and

Lambda Letters Project, a statewide organization, uniquely offers
Californians direct access to the legislative process in order to
affect public policy in four areas of concern: LGBTI issues; HIV/AIDS
issues; people of color issues, and women’s issues. We provide you
sample letters and e-mails each month. You can sign and return these
letters as is, or use them to create your own message. Lambda Letters
Project has a Legislative Advocate who works full-time on behalf of
the community. Last year Lambda Letters Project delivered over a
quarter-million letters and e-mails on your behalf. For more
information, please visit

Helen & Betty on SexTV

Hi everybody! I wanted to tell you that the story “My Husband Betty: Love, Sex, and Life with a Crossdresser” will be airing on Citytv’s Sextv on July 10th and July 11th (at 11:30 p.m.) in Toronto and throughout the province of Ontario.

Sex TV

From there it will air nationally (in most major cities across Canada) and then it will be sent out to international markets (via the Trio channel in the US). I’ll get more information as I receive it.

We’re joined by two other couples, friends of ours: Minerva & Christine, Zoe & Kat.

NY TG Congressional Candidate Press Release

Christina Rosetti is now a candidate for Congress against incumbent James Walsh (-R-) in the 25th Congressional District, (which includes Onondaga, Cayuga, Wayne and Monroe Counties). James Walsh is opposed to Gay Marriage and will support the Bush agenda in instituting a new military draft.

Christina Rosetti strongly supports Gay Marriage and is adamantly opposed to any military draft and is opposed to the war in Iraq. James Walsh is anti-choice, while Christina Rosetti is pro-choice. Christina Rosetti supports Gender-Variant rights, whereas Jim Walsh opposes such rights. Christina Rosetti is a person of faith who firmly believes that church and state must be kept separate.

Anyone wishing to volunteer for the Rosetti Campaign (even if you don’t live in the 25th District) please use the contact information below.

Christina Rosetti
Congressional Candidate for the 25th District of New York
Author of: The New Spiritual Bible
Email: Rosetti2005@y…
Campaign Website:
Home Page: (Under Construction)
National Political Website Listing: and scroll down to the 25th District
Phone: (315) 251-9028

Interview with HB

INTRAA (Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance) ran a review of My Husband Betty that inspired me to get in touch with them, and the author of the review, for the interesting points about feminism it brought up.

What resulted was an interview that ran in their July/August newsletter, which proved for me as interesting as the intial review.