Wednesday This & That: Open Thread
It’s an open thread! Pleeeeease feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread…
• The Georgia Voice‘s Judge orders trans woman reinstated to job at Ga. General Assembly :
Vandy Beth Glenn took a step closer to vindication today when a federal judge ordered the Georgia General Assembly to reinstate her to her previous job as a legislative editor. Glenn was fired in 2007 after disclosing her plan to transition from male to female.
“I’ve always know we were in the right,” a tearful Glenn said in an interview in the courtroom after the hearing. “This is our time. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are no longer disposable. We can’t be thrown out with the trash and this decision affirms that.”
Today’s hearing came after the court ruled ruled July 2 that the Georgia General Assembly illegally discriminated against Glenn when Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby fired her for being transgender.
All along, Glenn has said that her ultimate goal would be to get her job back. Today, the judge granted that request – although when, or if, it will actually happen remains unclear at this time. The judge will issue his ruling later today that include a date Glenn is to return to work. Glenn will not receive back pay as part of the today’s ruling.
Brumby attended today’s remedy hearing, during which his attorney asked for a stay on the reinstatement until they could appeal the decision…
Yea Vandy Beth! Boo Georgia (for the planned appeal and request for stay of order)! This is just one more example of why we need a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
• Colorado’s Daily Camera article ACLU: Boy Scouts Shouldn’t Get Discount In Boulder Valley Schools:
Boy Scouts shouldn’t be able to meet in Boulder’s public schools at discounted rates because they openly discriminate against gays, according to the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Johanna Blumenthal, of the Boulder County ACLU, sent a letter Monday to officials with the Boulder Valley School District arguing that the Boy Scouts are a discriminatory group because they have openly defended the right to exclude homosexuals from membership.
The ACLU raised the same concern in 2001 but is now backing its argument with a recent Supreme Court ruling. The ACLU is asking the district to change its policies so that groups using school buildings at discounted rates must comply with district policies.
…The district’s current policy does not require the Boy Scouts, or other groups using school buildings, to comply with the district’s policies to receive reduced rental rates. The school district, though, “reserves the right” to deny use of a building for any activity that violates its rules…
Couldn’t agree more with the ACLU here.
• A two-fer. KIAH-TV Houston‘s Lawyers Battle Over Validity of Transgender Marriage:
Carolyn Bosma came forward on behalf of the firefighter’s widow, Nikki Araguz, Tuesday. Bosma said she she will testify that Thomas Araguz knew his wife was a man by birth.
Bosma, who works at a transgender clinic, said Nikki and Thomas visited the clinic together in 2007.
Representatives with the Transgender Foundation of America said Bosma’s testimony is further proof of the validity of the Araguz marriage.
I don’t know any child that was born a man. Maybe you could say “born with male genitalia” or “born a boy,” but unless a child is born at 18-years of age, a child isn’t born a man or a woman.
More at Fox News‘s Transgender Widow in Texas Says E-mail Proves Husband Knew About Sex Change:
The fight over a deceased Wharton firefighter’s $600,000 estate is heating up.
Thomas Araguz’s transgendered widow, Nikki Araguz, is asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by the firefighter’s family that would keep her from receiving widow benefits.
Thomas Araguz died July 4th fighting an egg farm fire in Boling. Araguz and her legal team believe they’re winning the legal fight and want to dismiss allegations she’s a fraud.
…It’s a supposed email exchange between the couple on the day Nikki had her sex change operation in Colorado.
Thomas Araguz purportedly writes, “What can i say to make you feel better? The only thing I known (sic) is ‘I LOVE YOU.’ Trevor and Tyler miss you dearly, they love you with all their little heats. (sic) Today has been a hell of day, would you agree? After taking (sic) to you, I called my mother and law (sic) to let her known (sic) the good news, about your opt. An (sic) you know she spead (sick) the good news all the world. HEY I TO GO I A HOUSE FIRE. ILU”
Nikki Araguz puportedly writes, “My sweet husband, I LOVE YOU. It has been a day heck and also God answered prayers. I love you so much. We can now move on with the rest of our livrs (sic)…I just got this thing to work somehow and the pain lady came in and gave me morphine…si I am fading fast. You are my best friend, and Praise God fro (sic) you…this is wild that little thing is gone…I think I am supposed to see it for the first timr (sic) tomorrow….Imiss my boys too…Have a great day at school tomorrow…Love you sweet wife, Mrs. Nikki Araguz”
Earlier this year, family attorneys presented Thomas Araguz with a copy of his wife’s birth certificate.
If the coverage of this case got any more salacious in nature…
I will once again quote what Mara Keisling has said about trans people and marriage:
Every trans person who’s in a relationship, regardless of what their gender is or ever was they’re either in a same-sex relationship or in an opposite sex relationships that somebody could claim was a same-sex relationship.
What Mara said is still true. And I’ll repeat what I said in the PHB diary The “Alleged” Transgender Wife Of A Texas Firefighter And Inheritance:
Marriage equality is still a very trans issue.
And that’s because — as Mara said in so many words — no matter who a trans person marries, someone is going to consider that person’s marriage to be a same-sex marriage. If a post-operative transsexual is one of the two members of marriage, the legal reality is that an opposite sex marriage in California would be considered a same-sex marrage in Texas, Florda, and Kansas, and vice versa. That’s why trans people’s marriages are part of the concept of marriage equality, whether some transsexuals like that idea or not.
• Mormon Times‘ BYU Most Sober School For 13 Years In A Row:
PROVO, Utah – In Provo, hops refer to how high you can jump on a basketball court, and brewing is what you do with root-beer extract and dry ice. Ask for a cold one and you’ll get you a Sprite, and if anything starts fermenting, it’s either your roommate’s mystery meat in the fridge or a chemistry experiment in the Clyde.
That’s why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that BYU has, for the 13th year in a row now, been dubbed the nation’s most stone-cold sober school by the Princeton Review.
The LDS-owned school’s Honor Code prohibits anything with more bite than a Barq’s Root Beer and more foam than a mug of hot chocolate…
• Our Wiener Story Of The Day apparently involves me being a wiener. TransForming Media‘s Trans Activist ‘Sky’ Exposes Autumn Sandeen’s “LGB Appropriation” of Transsexual & Intersex Issues such as the Nikki Araguz Story in Texas indicates the writer of the blog considers me a member of “Transgender Inc.”
I wish! It would be nice to be one of the moneyed movers and shakers of the political world, don’t you think? Anywho, I digress.
Apparently what I would think “Transgender Inc.” would mean and the webmistress of Transforming Media believes “Transgender Inc.” would mean are two different things. The Transforming Media webmistress quotes Suzan Cooke (an activist with whom I disagree with fairly often, but deeply respect because of her pioneering community work) as to what “Transgender Inc.” means in the piece Suzan Cooke Responds to Gay, Inc. & TG, Inc. Hijacking & Appropriating the Transsexual Medical Condtion:
Transgender Inc. represents a political identity that places the interests of transgender people who do not get SRS ahead of transsexual people who do get SRS. It has consistently erased the reality of the lives of post-SRS people with transsexualism and demanded that they not pursue legal/political solutions to their particular problems purely as post SRS people with transsexualism.
Instead Transgender Inc uses the willful confusing of post SRS people with non-op transgender people to further their particular goals.
Okaaaaaaay. The term “Inc.” to me implies some sort of corporate — or at least organized — power structure. So, I’m not sure how our differing opinions on how to approach freedom, equality, and justice results in me having some sort of political power besides the one of expressing opinions. But hey, let’s roll with the Transforming Media webmistress’a and Suzan Cooke’s definition of “Transgender Inc.” for a bit longer in within the last two paragraphs of Cooke’s four paragraph quote:
This is not meant to target any particular person putting forth the party line of Transgender Inc. Nor is it meant to denigrate the goals of non-discrimination nor the rights to live as one chooses with all ones human rights protected.
This becomes more a matter of our demanding a say in how we are represented and a say on how matters that are of vital concern to us are represented.”
I blog, state my opinions, and report as a new media reporter — which means when I report, I do so with a visible agenda. I’m also very much an activist. I thank goodness that the TransForming Media webmistress, Suzan Cooke, and I live in the United States where we’re all allowed, by first amendment free speech, forums to state our opinions. I’m thankful that other activists can blog and state as I do, in how freedom, equality, and justice are addressed within our respective communities. In other words, I represent what I believe by what I say and do, and others are free to represent what thay believe by what they say and do — and folks reading the viewpoints have the oppportunity to decide for themselves which viewpoints they agree with more.
I can’t embrace “Transgender Inc.” membership for myself because my take on what the term would mean isn’t one that describes my position in community. Again, I’m not a moneyed power broker for trans community, or a leading member of an transgender — or even LGBT — organization with potential legislative sway. But, if sticking to my values fits me into a “wiener” role, then I embrace that role proudly. I’ll continue to state my opinions and actively work for not only transgender identified people’s civil rights, but for the human rights of minority populations of all sorts.
So anywho…It’s an open thread! What are you thinking about today, or what books or articles have you been reading the past few days? Wanna share?
And again, please feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread because…it’s an open thread! Woo-hoo!