Howe v. Haslam (USA)

The Tennessee Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of Howe v. Haslam, a lawsuit brought against Tennesse’s HB600 the “Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act”, signed  into law on May 23, 2011, that prevents any municipality from extending non-discrimination protections to GLBT people because Tennessee state law does not currently cover sexual orientation or gender identity.

Tennessee law defines “sex” as “the designation of an individual person as male or female as indicated on the individual’s birth certificate.”

Howe v. Haslam Appeal.

HB600: Local government authority regarding civil rights.

What About the WOMEN?

Recently, a friend ran across a PowerPoint from 2009 entitled Transgender Inmates in California’s Prisons: An Empirical Study of a Vulnerable Population. The PowerPoint apparently summarizes a study that examined the significant problem of prison rape and the responsibility of prison officials under the Prison Rape Elimination Act to prevent it. No doubt, prison rape is a significant and troubling problem. No person deserves to be raped under any circumstance, and prison officials have a duty of care to ensure inmates in their custody are free from rape and other bodily harm.

Let me repeat this: No Feminist supports sexual assault of Men or Women who are incarcerated.

Ok, remember that. Let’s proceed.

The PowerPoint is not particularly well done (I don’t know about the study itself), and I am not a statistician, but a few things stand out.

First, methodology.  Dr. Valerie Jenness, the Dean of the School of Social Ecology at UC Irvine and a Professor in the Departments of Criminology, Law and Society and Sociology, conducted the study, which does not seem particularly rigorous with regard to the determination of subject inclusion.  Jenness indicates that the study consisted of interviews with 315 inmates “Determined to be Transgender.”


Continue reading “What About the WOMEN?”

Nugent v. Rush (USA)

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Anthony Nugent, who will be in prison until 2024,  is suing Correctional Officer Rush and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) for violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Nugent alleges that he is a confined transsexual who is also infected with the AIDS/HIV virus. During the time he was housed as the Los Angeles County California State Prison in administrative segregation, Nugent claims that was repeatedly harassed,  i insulted, threatened, and discriminated against by  Rush based on Plaintiff’s gender identity. Specifically, Rush allegedly approached Plaintiff and stated “I hate you. I hate male to female transgenders, especially with AIDS.” On a prior occasion, Defendant Rush stated to Plaintiff in a threatening manner “I’m going to beat you faggot ass and spray you. Then I’ll tear-up your faggot-ass cell, because I don’t like faggots.” The court noted that Nugent failed to state a claim under § 1983 for violation of the Equal Protection Clause based upon sexual orientation discrimination. The only alleged discrimination by Nugent is verbal abuse and derogatory remarks concerning his sexual orientation.  However, allegations of verbal harassment and abuse alone fail to state a claim cognizable under section 1983. As a result, however offensive and derogatory the language that  Rush allegedly used against Nugent, that alone does not give rise to a constitutional claim.  The court thus directed Nugent to show cause why his complaint should not be dismissed.

Nugent v. Rush.

Nugent v. Rush Complaint.



Mathis v. Eagleside Elementary School (USA)


The Colorado Division of Civil Rights has held that a school district violated a boy’s civil rights by denying him access to the girls’ restroom. In so doing, the state agency affirmed that boys who conform to stereotypical “girl” behaviors can be considered female so long as a doctor is willing to write a note supporting this notion.

Coy Mathis Decision.

Prior Blog Post.

Prior Blog Post.

U.S. Personnel Management Office (USA)


The U.S.  Personnel Management Office has issues a proposed rule to governing the Solicitation of Federal Civilian and Uniformed Service Personnel for Contributions to Private Voluntary Organizations. The proposed rule defines “sex” to include “pregnancy and gender identity.”

This appears to be the first time the federal government has expressly included “gender identity” in the definition of “sex.”

Press Release.

Blog Post.


Franklin v. Hardy (USA)


Jose Franklin (“Franklin”), also known as Monica Franklin, is a transgendered Illinois state prisoner confined at the Stateville Correctional Center (“Stateville”) at all times relevant to this action. Prior to his incarceration, Franklin was diagnosed with gender identity disorder (“GID”). Franklin was undergoing hormone therapy and was prescribed several medications, including Spironolactone (an androgen inhibitor and estrogen augmenter) and Estradiol (a steroidal sex hormone). Franklin has not yet had sex reassignment surgery, but was contemplating it in the “near future.” Continue reading “Franklin v. Hardy (USA)”

Delaware (USA)

Senate Bill 97 would ban discrimination based on gender identity.  The bill was recently amended to clarify that gender identity “may be demonstrated by consistent and uniform assertion of the identity or other evidence that it is part of a person’s core identity, and explicitly provides that places of public accommodation may provide reasonable accommodations on the basis of gender identity in areas of facilities where disrobing is likely, such as separate or private areas for the use of persons whose gender-related identity, appearance or expression is different from their assigned sex at birth’.”

Amended Senate Bill 97.


Klein v. Chandler (USA)


Dr. Ira Klein, a Houston doctor serving 11 years in prison for insurance fraud and threatening to kill a federal prosecutor, has lost his motion for habeas corpus claiming that the federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) is ignoring his gender identity disorder (“GID”).  Klein sought an injunction requiring BOP to provide him with sex reassignment and facial feminization surgery, electrolysis and/or laser hair removal, and Rogaine, which he claims prison officials have denied him through “medical negligence” and “deliberate indifference,” in violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment and BOP’s Program Statement 6031.03.

It appears that the court viewed a habeas petition as an improper means to raise these claims; it is likely that Klein will refile this claim as an 8th Amendment lawsuit.

Klein v. Chandler Order.

Klein v. Chandler Opinion.

News Report.

News Reports.

News Report.