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Transgender Guidance Scrubbed From Office of Personnel Management Website

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A Transgender Rights in October fought against the administration's erasure of transgender people

In a second attack on transgender rights over the holiday weekend, guidance protecting transgender people in the workplace was removed from the website of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

The previous version of the page, created during the Obama administration, provided detailed guidance on transgender employees.

The page is now replaced with a more generic one, removing content regarding transgender people.

The previous version included a detailed breakdown of terms surrounding transgender people, and useful policies for employers to treat their transgender employees with dignity and respect.

All of the terminology section has been removed, and much of the directives specific to transgender-specific policies has been removed or reworded.

For example, a section on “Dress and Appearance” suggested changed to gender-specific dress and appearance rules, and allowing a transgender person to use a dress code appropriate to their gender identity.

The new version of that section simply states the following: “Agencies are encouraged to enact policies that lead to efficient and effective mission delivery.  Policies should require employees to follow dress and appearance rules consistent with the professional standards of their occupation.”

Of particular note is language buried in the section titled “Workplace assignments and duties.” In the previous version, it was noted that, “for a transitioning employee, once he or she has begun working full-time in the gender that reflects his or her gender identity, agencies should treat the employee as that gender for purposes of all job assignments and duties.”

The new version is far stricter on such, and includes a statement on “biological sex.”

“Individuals should be hired for, and stationed for assignments and duties, in accordance with the individual’s biological sex, consistent with the plain meaning of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as articulated by the Attorney General memo of October 4, 2017,” reads the section.

That directive seeks to bar protections under title VII from applying to transgender people.

This is the second move against transgender people this week. The Trump administration has also asked the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a quick ruling on their policy barring transgender people from serving in the military.

A ban on transgender troops was lifted under President Barack Obama in 2016, but Donald Trump declared his intent to reverse that via Twitter, leading to an executive order to ban transgender service.

The Trump administration has not won in any court challenge to the order, leading to the push to take it to the Supreme Court.

It was estimated in 2014 by the Williams Institute that approximately 15,500 transgender people are serving in the military, either on active duty or via the National Guard or Army Reserve. An additional 134,300 transgender people are veterans or retired from service.

It is one of the largest employers of transgender people in the country.

The Supreme Court, with the addition of Trump-appointed judges Gorsuch and Kavanaugh has swung to the right, and may uphold such a ban. This could also pave the way for future groups being banned from service by this administration.

It is unknown at this time if the Supreme Court will accept the administration’s unusual request in this case.

Image by Laurel Wreath of Victors [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons.

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Seven Florida Republicans File Slew of Anti-LGBTQ Bills

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Seven Florida Republican lawmakers have filed four bills attacking the LGBTQ community.

NBC News reports “the bills would ban gender-affirming health care for transgender children, repeal municipal and county ordinances protecting LGBTQ workers, and legalize so-called gay conversion therapy in places that had banned the medically debunked practice.”

Conversion therapy has been compared to torture by those who have been victims of it, and states have been banning the practice given its ties to suicide and attempted suicide.

The lawmakers are Rep. Anthony Sabatini, Sen. Dennis Baxley, Rep. Bob Rommel, Sen. Joe Gruters, Rep. Michael Grant, Sen. Keith Perry, and Rep. Byron Donalds (images above, in order of NBC’s reporting.) (NCRM has added links to their Twitter accounts.)

Orlando Weekly’s Solomon Gustavo reports on House Bill 136, filed by Sabatini and Baxley, “which would make it a second-degree felony for health care practitioners to administer treatment for transitioning or changing a child’s sex.”

 

 

 

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Elizabeth Warren Calls for Investigation Into Legality of Trump Tipping Off Mar-a-Lago Guests to Soleimani’s Killing

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Elizabeth Warren is calling for financial regulatory agencies to investigate whether President Trump broke the law when he told guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort to expect something “big” in response to Iran’s killing of an American contractor in Iraq, The Daily Beast reports.

“Individuals who were guests at President Trump’s resort may have obtained confidential market-moving information,” a letter Warren sent to agencies read. “These private individuals … would have had the opportunity to obtain significant profits simply by being guests or members at President Trump’s private resort.”

Read the full report over at The Daily Beast.

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Rupert Murdoch’s Son Rips Fox News for Pushing Falsehoods About Australian Wildfires

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Rupert Murdoch’s younger son and his wife launched an attack on News Corporation for promoting conspiracy theories about Australia’s devastating wildfires.

Columnists and broadcasters from News Corp Australia — which dominates the country’s media — have questioned climate change’s role in the fires and downplayed the devastation, and James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn condemned the family business, reported The Daily Beast.

“Kathryn and James’ views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known,” said a spokesperson for the couple. “They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”

James Murdoch is CEO of the investment firm Lupa Systems but sits on the board of News Corp, which publishes more than 140 newspapers in Australia, and his brother Lachlan runs the Fox News Channel in the U.S.

“They are pissing inside the tent and that’s unusual,” said a longtime News Corp executive. “It’s evidence of how high tensions are within the family over climate change. The majority of people who work here agree with James. We are hoping this may be the tipping point.”

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