Transgender People Reject Bigoted Policy, Say They #WontBeErased
The Trump administration proposes that government agencies should define sex as "a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth."
#WontBeErased hashtag erupted hours after The New York Times reported the Trump administration's push via a memo for a new legal definition of gender, which would essentially eradicate the estimated 1.4 million Americans who identify as a different gender than the one assigned assigned at birth.
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said, "This is a really intrusive policy that doesn't make any sense scientifically."
Keisling quickly planned a response, including protests and the hashtag #WontBeErased.
"What this feels like to transgender people is trying to make us invisible, trying to say that we don't exist, trying to say that we are nothing," she said.
We're not going anywhere - transgender people can't be erased with a memo. Post a selfie. Call a friend. Attend our rally tomorrow. Everything to show them that we #WontBeErased pic.twitter.com/8ipiey6uzM
— National Center for Transgender Equality (@TransEquality) October 21, 2018
Let's create a world where there's more heroes like these women, courageous enough to live their truth everyday despite ignorance and blatant discrimination. #WontBeErased pic.twitter.com/PaakbmXMj1
— Angel Bismark Curiel (@angelbcuriel) October 21, 2018
How ironic is it that millions of men and women are having their gender defined by a President who was born without balls... #WontBeErased #MondayMotivation
— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) October 22, 2018
This is my daughter... she is smart and beautiful and brave and has the biggest heart in the world... her future is bright and there are no limits on what she can accomplish... and she #WontBeErased #TransRightsAreHumanRights pic.twitter.com/WlyCcWkEdZ
— Paria Hassouri, MD (@pariahassouri) October 21, 2018
This doesn't even anger me since we never believed you in the first place. #TransRightsAreHumanRights #WontBeErased pic.twitter.com/59d1ileQji
— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler) October 22, 2018
Following that, on Sunday night, a rally for transgender rights in New York took place, and another in front of the White House on Monday with hundreds in attendance.
The message: "November is coming."
Jay Brown, a deputy director of the Human Rights Campaign, said there were 10 million L.G.B.T.Q. voters and "millions" more who were allies.
The Department of Health and Human Services has called on the "Big Four" agencies that enforce some part of Title IX — the Departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Labor — to adopt a new legal definition of sex as male or female in regulations.
The new definition would be unchangeable and determined by the genitalia a person is born with. Disputes would be settled by genetic testing.
"You saw such a massive response because this attack on the trans community is essentially trying to erase the trans community from the face of this country, and we're not going to stand for that," said Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and chief executive of GLAAD, a media advocacy group for L.G.B.T. Q. people.
This move would affect everything from sex discrimination complaints at higher education institutions receiving federal funding, to health protections in health care law, to employment rights, for example for the many LGBT people serving in the military.
"Transgender people are frightened," said Sarah Warbelow, the legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, which presses for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. "At every step where the administration has had the choice, they've opted to turn their back on transgender people."
Roger Severino, the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the department, declined to speak about the memo.
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The light sentence given to the officer who killed McDonald, "suggests to us that there are no laws on the books for a Black man that a white man is bound to honor," said his great-uncle.
Hours of testimony at Jason Van Dyke's sentencing on Friday ended in shock for one family, and relief and happiness for the other.
"Obviously we've had a second incident in several years," University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly said. "It shows that there must be something systemic. We have work to do."
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is working to stop wheelchairs from getting damaged during air travel.
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is leading the charge for better airline management of customers' motorized wheelchairs. Duckworth has been confined to a wheelchair since her helicopter was shot down in Iraq and she lost both of her legs.
President Donald Trump signed legislation on Wednesday that said all furloughed workers would receive back pay once the government reopens. However, the Trump administration has ordered states not to provide unemployment coverage to federal workers who have been required to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday the U.S. Department of Labor sent states a letter with that mandate, according to NPR. The Department of Labor said the roughly 420,000 federal employees who are "essential" cannot file for unemployment as they are "generally ineligible."
It also reported 10,454 initial claims by federal workers for the week that ended Jan. 5, doubling the previous week's figure. Thousands more have applied since, state officials said.
Newsom said the decision by the Department of Labor's decision was "jaw-dropping."
"So, the good news is, we're going to do it, and shame on them," he said.
"From a moral perspective, there is no debate on this issue and we will blow back aggressively on the Department of Labor."
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reports unemployment claims for one week during the shutdown are up 600 percent from the same time last year. The state has over 245,000 federal employees.
Newsom encouraged people to continue to apply while the state figured out how to get the money. He estimated benefits that would last up to 26 weeks and provided a few hundred extra dollars a month. He said he knows it doesn't fix everything, but hopefully it helps.
His message to Trump: "Let us states do the job you can't seem to do yourself."
Some state officials said they had asked utilities and other companies to extend mercy to federal employees, and the federal Office of Personnel Management published sample letters that furloughed employees could send to creditors to ask for patience.
Texas has received more than 2,900 claims from federal workers since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, while Ohio is approaching 700. Kansas reported 445 filings, and Alabama was closing in on 500. Montana said it had logged almost 1,500.
Trump tweeted on Friday that he would be making a "major announcement" on Saturday about the government shutdown.
I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019
A senior administration official told CNN that Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown.
Reader Question: How are people you know that are furloughed workers surviving?
The dance team's choreographer told Camille Sturdivant that her skin was "too dark" to perform because she "clashed" with uniforms.
Camille Sturdivant has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Blue Valley School District for the abuse she was subjected to as a member of the high school dance team.
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A Black toddler was subjected to having her hair pulled and being pushed by the employee.