Tag: discrimination

HUD Backs Trans Couple

Posted by – October 12, 2013

So this is cool news: a trans person and her partner were evicted from their housing, and…

 More than a year later, the Justice Department followed through on filing the case, which seeks any injunction restoring the couple’s housing, barring discrimination against them, and awarding them unspecified money damages.

     Transgender Equality’s director of policy Harper Jean Tobin said in an email that she was not aware of any other case in which the HUD has gone to court over anti-transgender discrimination.

     “The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education recently settled an administrative complaint brought under Title IX by a transgender student in California – the case was investigated by the two departments but the settlement kept it from ever going to court,” Tobin wrote.

Although every time I read a similar story I’m still always stuck thinking about how exactly stupid it is that, as a country, it’s still okay to deny people housing (or anything else) based on their genders.

Go Canada!

Posted by – March 22, 2013

Canada has just passed a bill that would protect transgender people nationally. The Prime Minister voted against it, and it still has to make it through the Senate, but still: impressive.

I’m adding a bit sent in by a reader about how the Canadian system works, and some info on what’s actually going on up there in terms of this specific bill. Interesting stuff.

 

More

Huge News: Trans & Title VII

Posted by – April 23, 2012

HUGE news, and long awaited:

An employer who discriminates against an employee or applicant on the basis of the person’s gender identity is violating the prohibition on sex discrimination contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to an opinion issued on April 20 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

and from Shannon Minter:

THE IMPLICATIONS: Minter, who has been working for LGBT legal equality since law school in the early 1990s, says, ”This is huge. This is a real sea change.

”To have just a clear, definitive EEOC ruling that Title VII protects transgender people gives us so much more certainty and security and solid, reliable legal protection. For decades now, advocates and scholars both have been saying Title VII should be applied to protect transgender people,” he says. ”And now, to have the EEOC confirm that, ‘Yes … Title VII should and does protect transgender people when they’re discriminated against because they’ve changed their sex or intend to change their sex or because they’re gender nonconforming. That is sex discrimination.’ That is really an important capstone.”

There is some good coverage of the history of the ruling, previously attempted cases, and other cool trans/gender history here.

New HUD Rules

Posted by – February 18, 2012

HUD, or the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, has made LGBTQ a protected identity when it comes to discrimination in housing.

Amazing news.

Anti-Non-Discrimination, or Legal Discrimination

Posted by – May 11, 2011

What the hell is going on in this country? While I find most of my students are surprised – and appalled – that there is no federal non-discrimination legislation that includes LGBTQs, states are now passing amendments to prevent any cities or towns in that state from passing any.

That is, states are passing legislation that makes it illegal to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.

What?

Bill Headed to Vote in State Senate Would Gut Nashville’s Anti-LGBT Discrimination Ordinance

In a letter to Tennessee state Senators, TLDEF and the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) raised concerns about the constitutionality of a proposed bill that would make it unlawful for any city or town in the state to pass a law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Tennesseans from discrimination. If this sounds familiar, it should. We recently faced a similar bill in Montana.

Senate Bill 632 – which today passed the Senate State and Local Government Committee by a vote of 6-3 – would strike down local legal protections from discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Tennesseans, and would make it impossible to pass such protections in the future. It previously passed the House of Representatives (where it was known as House Bill 600) on April 25 by a vote of 73-24. It is expected to be voted upon in the full Senate shortly.

On April 5, 2011, the Nashville and Davidson County Metropolitan Council passed an anti-discrimination ordinance which bars the Nashville government from doing business with any entity that does not prohibit discrimination in employment against LGBT workers. Mayor Karl Dean signed it into law three days later. SB 632 was immediately rushed through the Tennessee House of Representatives by opponents of Nashville’s anti-discrimination ordinance. Their goal was to strike down Nashville’s ordinance and ensure that no city or town in Tennessee could ever enact a law protecting LGBT Tennesseans from discrimination again.

SB 632 is motivated by bias, which is a constitutionally impermissible basis for legislation. It would deprive LGBT Tennesseans of their right to participate in the political process and seek help from their local governments. It would turn lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Tennesseans into strangers to Tennessee’s government and would violate constitutional guarantees of equal protection under established United States Supreme Court precedent.

“Tennesseans have spoken through their local governments and have stated clearly that they want to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Tennesseans from discrimination,” said TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman. “Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Tennesseans want the same right to live and work free from discrimination that everyone else enjoys. It is unconstitutional for Tennessee to target them by taking away their right to pass local laws that protect them from the discrimination that they face in the cities and towns where they live,” he added. “Tennessee must treat all Tennesseans equally. It violates the Constitution when it closes its doors to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Tennesseans simply because some people do not like them.”

“This bill is blatantly discriminatory,” said TTPC President Dr. Marisa Richmond. “It is an attempt to deny basic rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Tennesseans and we hope that the Senate will defeat it when it comes up for a vote.”

I’m really starting to wonder if I live in the US anymore. This kind of thinking seems antithetical to what I was always taught was American.

We need a national ENDA, and we need one with teeth.

DOL Adds Gender Identity to EEOC

Posted by – April 29, 2011

Good to see.

TLDEF applauds the United States Department of Labor’s announcement yesterday that it has taken steps to protect its transgender workers from employment discrimination. The Department of Labor added gender identity as a protected category in its equal employment opportunity statement. The policy applies to all hiring, promotion and disciplinary practices for the approximately 17,000 employees of the Department of Labor.

“Whether in private or public employment, what matters is not who you are, but how you do your job,” said TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman. “The Department of Labor now joins the many public and private employers that have recognized that discrimination is bad business. We applaud Labor Secretary Hilda Solis for her leadership on this issue.”

Transgender people face tremendous discrimination in the workplace. In a recent survey, 47% of transgender people reported being fired, or denied a job or promotion, just because of who they are. In a recent case, TLDEF filed a lawsuit on behalf of a transgender man who was fired from a male-only job solely because he is transgender.

“Employers like the Department of Labor set an example for other employers to follow. It is a great day when diversity is embraced and discrimination is rejected in the workplace,” added Silverman.

Discrimination Suit: Man Enough

Posted by – April 11, 2011

A man whose job it was to make sure men in recovery don’t switch their urine for someone else’s got fired because he wasn’t born with a penis.

TLDEF brought the case, which has now been reported in The New York Times.

So here’s how you tell this is discrimination: if a man who had lost his penis in an accident had this job, no one would have fired him for being penis-less. If a man who had hypospadias & had to pee sitting down had this job, likewise. If a man who had a penis that required a catheter for him to pee had this job, he wouldn’t have been fired.

THUS: El’Jai Devoureau was fired for being trans. As a culture, we still haven’t worked out how wholly incorrect this “genitals at birth determine gender for a lifetime” idea is.

Go Massachusetts!

Posted by – February 18, 2011

The governor of MA just signed a law that bans discrimination against state employees who are trans.

“This is going to make a real difference in the lives of transgender state workers and their families,” said G­unner Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, and a leading partner in the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition. “No one should have to work in fear that they could lose their job simply because of who they are.”

Yay, Gunner Scott! Thanks to all your work, and to all of MTPC’s work!

Discrimination Against Trans People Documented

Posted by – February 4, 2011

NCTE and The Task Force released the findings of an extensive survey on the kinds of discrimination faced by trans people in the US. It’s not good news, and anyone who is surprised that it’s not good news hasn’t been paying attention.

Said Mara Keisling, Executive Director of NCTE: “Reading these results is heartbreaking on a personal level—each of these facts and figures represents pain and hardship endured by real people, every single day. This survey is a call to the conscience of every American who believes that everyone has the right to a fair chance to work hard, to have a roof overhead, and to support a family. Equality, not discrimination, is the ideal that Americans believe in, have fought for, and need to apply here.”

You can read the Executive Summary, or the entire survey.

We need a gender-inclusive ENDA.

Discrimination by Medical Personnel

Posted by – July 26, 2010

Sadly, a sickening case of discrimination just happened at a hospital in Indiana. This treatment is the kind we all fear.

Missive from Missoula

Posted by – April 14, 2010

Missoula, Montana passed an ordinance preventing their citizens from discriminating against other citizens on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It seems so sane, and simple, really. I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, those of us in places that don’t have such an ordinance might shame our neighbors: Really, we’re gonna be beaten out by Missoula?!

Housing Discrimination Protections

Posted by – April 10, 2010

A transgender apartment-hunter thought he’d found a perfect place in Baltimore. But when he showed up, the woman raised the rent by $100 over the advertised price, said she would only take cash and was clearly uncomfortable.

Last year, the Task Force joined forces with the National Center for Transgender Equality to survey 6,456 transgender people. An alarming 11 percent reported having been evicted because of their gender identity and 19 percent said they’d become homeless, the survey found. And while 68 percent of Americans own a home, only 32 percent of transgender Americans have achieved that level of security in their living arrangements.

Of course, gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans are also frequently the victims of housing discrimination. Using testers posing as would-be renters or buyers, the Michigan Fair Housing Centers reported in 2007 that 27 percent of same-sex couples were treated differently: “We found differences in rental rates, level of encouragement and application fees that favored the male/female test teams. We also saw behavior bordering on sexual harassment directed toward testers posing as same-sex couples,” the group noted . . .

Likewise, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported in 2001 that 34 percent of lesbians, gays or bisexuals said “they or someone they know” had experienced discrimination while trying to rent an apartment or buy a house . . .

Nothing in federal law prohibits refusing to rent or sell to those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. And as Rep. Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, recently stressed, “Housing discrimination remains a persistent problem in our country.”

Nadler recently introduced legislation to amend the Fair Housing Act to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected categories. Enacted in 1968 to outlaw housing discrimination based on race, color, religion or national original, the measure has gradually been expanded to also cover sex, disability and familial status. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., is co-sponsoring Nadler’s drive for a much-needed upgrade.

Read the whole article here.

ENDA Petition

Posted by – March 29, 2010

Sign the petition to Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the Courage Campaign and GetEQUAL.

Dear Speaker Nancy Pelosi –

With health care legislation passing, now is the time to institute workplace protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Rep. Tammy Baldwin says she believes that we have the votes to pass ENDA, and Rep. George Miller has said the bill is ready to come out of committee now that the health care bill has passed. As Speaker of the House of Representatives, we call on you to act boldly and decisively and bring ENDA to the floor for a vote now.

*First Name

*Last Name

*Zip

*Email

Cell Phone**

** You may receive text messages or calls from GetEQUAL.org. Standard text messaging charges will apply.

No Discrimination Based on Gender Identity

Posted by – January 6, 2010

From today’s NYT:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has inserted language into the federal jobs Web site explicitly banning employment discrimination based on gender identity.

More here. But yeah, let’s keep criticizing the guy for not doing enough fast enough. Honestly? This blows my mind, though lately I’ve been wondering if the LGBT community has general amnesia.

(h/t to SJ)

Transgender Workplace Discrimination Stats

Posted by – October 25, 2009

I don’t remember hearing anything about this study, nor that the results were in, but I thought others might want to check it out.

The key findings are:

  1. Survey respondents reported twice the unemployment rate of the population at large.
  2. 97% of respondents reported harassment on the job.
  3. 47% reported an adverse job situation (firing, lack of raise/promotion, not hired).
  4. 15% of transgender people lived on $10k a year or less.

I expect my usual skeptics to be surprised by these stats, and to want to know more about how the survey worked & who responded. It was done by NCTE and The Task Force, and included participants from all 50 states.