Tag Archives: transgender

This week in the GOP’s war on the civil rights of women and LGBTQ

The House on Tuesday approved a bill banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, advancing a key GOP priority for the third time in the past four years — this time, with a supportive Republican president in the White House. The purpose of the bill is to create a direct legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, which provides for access to abortion in the first 24 weeks.  With Trump’s backing, House approves ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy:

The bill, known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is not expected to emerge from the Senate, where most Democrats and a handful of moderate Republicans can block its consideration. But antiabortion activists are calling President Trump’s endorsement of the bill a significant advance for their movement.

The White House said in a statement released Monday that the administration “strongly supports” the legislation “and applauds the House of Representatives for continuing its efforts to secure critical pro-life protections.”

The bill provides for abortions after 20 weeks gestation only when they are necessary to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. Under the bill, abortions performed during that period could be carried out “only in the manner which, in reasonable medical judgment, provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive” — note, not the life of the mother — and would require a second physician trained in neonatal resuscitation to be present.

How Arizona’s congressional delegation voted:

Stricter Abortion Ban: The House on Oct. 3 voted, 237-189, to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of fertilization on the belief that the fetus can feel pain by then. This repudiates Roe v. Wade’s ruling that abortion is legal up to viability that occurs at about 24 weeks or later. A yes vote was to pass HR 36

Voting yes: Martha McSally, R-2, Paul Gosar, R-4, Andy Biggs, R-5, David Schweikert, R-6, Trent Franks, R-8

Voting no: Tom O’Halleran, D-1, Raul Grijalva, D-3, Ruben Gallego, D-7, Kyrsten Sinema, D-9

Women’s Health Exemption: The House on Oct. 3 defeated, 181-246, a bid by Democrats to add an overall woman’s health exemption to HR 36 to go with exemptions already in the bill in cases of incest or rape or to save the mother’s life. A yes vote was to permit abortions after 20 weeks if necessary to protect the mother’s health.

Voting Yes: O’Halleran, Grijalva, Gallego, Sinema

Voting No: McSally, Gosar, Biggs, Schweikert, Franks

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Biggs is a Neanderthal

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

In directing public school districts to let students use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity, President Obama’s administration recognized the need to provide top-down cover for a group of people that are routinely subjected to severe discrimination. They also recognized that assuring the civil rights (the right to receive equal treatment and ensure one’s ability to participate in civil life without discrimination or repression) of a minority couldn’t be left to the majority. That’s why Diane Douglas is wrong when she says “Every local community across Arizona is unique, and I know that the people who live in those communities should be making the decisions when it comes to this and many other education issues.” How well did “leaving it to communities” work for Black people in the deep South during the Jim Crow days?

Look, I get that many people are uneasy with the whole transgender issue. I managed Wingspan, (Arizona’s LGBT Community Center), for over a year and had more exposure than most to the transgender community. We had transgender people on staff (a couple of them were transitioning during the time I worked there) and we supported the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance (SAGA.) If I am totally honest, I still struggle with totally embracing this community. But, I have great respect for what transgender people go through just to be themselves. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that no one would put themselves through the ridicule, discrimination and pain of transitioning unless they felt they had no other option. My bottom line is that I accept transgender people and respect their right to live freely and safely as equal members of our society. Continue reading

Bathroom Politics: Preserving the Sanctity of the ‘Ladies’ Room’

"Joan" from Mad Men primping in the Ladies Room.

“Joan” from Mad Men primping in the Ladies’ Room.

In the 1950s the Ladies’ Room was a place of refuge, a wall-papered lounge with a couch, polished mirrors, fresh flowers, and often an attendant armed with fresh towels, perfume, and mints. As men have always suspected, we didn’t go there just to use the facilities; the Ladies’ Room was a safe gathering place.

We went there to talk, to primp,  to smoke, to cry, to adjust a poor wardrobe choice, to sneak away from a bad dinner date, or just to sneak away. The Ladies’ Room was a place where women could be women–a place with no men watching, commenting, judging.

The Politicization of Bathrooms

In the early 1970s, at the height of the feminist era, “Ladies” Rooms came under fire. We feminists were not “ladies” who needed fainting couches in restrooms because we didn’t have the fortitude to work an 8-hour day without a nap or a good cry. “Ladies” were well-behaved women; we early feminists were anything but ladylike. As a result, “Ladies” Rooms became the Women’s Rooms– or Womyn’s Rooms– and the couches all but disappeared.

Further politicization of public bathrooms came later in the 1970s. I remember my first trip to a gay bar with a couple of gay guy friends, George and Henry. As professional photographers, the three of us worked together and played together. The Kismet, a legendary downtown Columbus gay bar, was hopping the night we were there– loud disco music, flashing lights, dancing, plenty of booze, and other adult entertainment and harder drugs, if you knew who to ask.

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