Gender Identity Watch (Internet)

Gender Identity Watch was a blog started by lesbian feminist lawyers in August 2012 to track legal, regulatory and case law developments that result in the erasure of rights for Women and Girls. In 3.5 years of blogging, Gender Identity Watch produced more than 1,900 blog posts (starting with our first one here and our most popular one here) detailing the steady erasure of advances made for Women and Girls in employment, in political organising, and in the right to Women and Girl-only accommodations. We withstood numerous attacks from Men’s Rights Activists who wanted to shut down the blog, all of which failed.
You cannot silence an idea – and the idea that underpins everything we did is that Women and Girls exist, and that our reality is worth considering when making public policy decisions. 
More than 20 Women have blogged for Gender Identity Watch during the run of the project. After discussions with the Women still active with the project, it was decided that the blog is no longer necessary given the proliferation of feminist bloggers who are now tackling the issue of gender identity and its destructive impact on Women and Girls.
Although we will no longer update this blog on a regular basis, we will update periodically and we will maintain the blog as a resource for Women who want to understand the damage caused by gender identity in feminist organising and legal rights for Women and Girls. We also encourage anyone who wants to submit a blog post on a relevant legal development to email  gidwatch@gmail.com.
We recommend, for further organizing, concentrating efforts in three areas: 1. fighting for Women and Girls who are coerced into accepting males as “Women,” particularly in prisons, homeless shelters and K-12 education; 2. fighting for children whose parents have adopted “gender identity” as a means of control of their gender nonconforming children. 4th Wave Now is an excellent resource on this objective; and 3. preserving the legal right of Women and Girls to identify that we are different from Men and Boys so that Women and Girls may organise politically and advocate for our rights, as our oppression stems from our membership in Class:Female.
Along with this blog, our other properties, the Facebook pagethe Twitter account, and our Tumblr, will no longer be regularly staffed. We encourage Women to seek each other out to continue these conversations in all arenas.
 

Edmonds Tennent Brown IV (USA)

Capture
Edmonds Tennent Brown IV, a man who identifies as a woman named Katheryn Brown, is seeking state-funded hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery (“SRS”) while serving a life sentence without parole in a South Carolina prison for the rape and murder of Mary Lynn Witherspoon.  Continue reading “Edmonds Tennent Brown IV (USA)”

Larry Kowalchuk @Raven_Lark (Canada)

Saskatoon-based lawyer Larry Kowalchuk has filed a lawsuit against the province of Saskatchewan, arguing that requiring a third party (a physician or psychologist) to verify an individual’s gender in order to change the sex listed on their legal identification documents violates their right to freedom of expression.  The suit further alleges that the province and Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission have violated the charter rights of Kowalchuk’s clients through the Vital Statistics Act, which is currently under review by the Ministry of Justice.  Kowalchuk is seeking damages in the amount of $20,000 for each of his nine clients named in the suit, along with legislation changes, document changes at no cost to applicants, and an educational campaign targeted at discrimination.
Transgender residents start lawsuit against Saskatchewan government, human rights agency _ Regina Leader-Post

G.G. v. Gloucester County Sch. Bd. (USA)

Bathroom Challenge
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of Gavin Grimm, 16, a female teen who identifies as a transgender boy.  Grimm is suing Virginia’s Gloucester County School Board, arguing that its policy requiring students to use sex-segregated spaces based on their sex (or “gender-neutral” single-person facilities) is a violation of Title IX of the US Education Amendments of 1972.  Title IX bans discrimination based on sex at schools that receive federal funding.  Continue reading “G.G. v. Gloucester County Sch. Bd. (USA)”

Andrew Burns (Scotland)

Three female prison officers at HM Prison Glenochil in Scotland are refusing to do intimate body checks of Andrew Burns, a violent male inmate who identifies as a woman named Tiffany Scott.  According to a source at the prison, “Nobody blames them. Burns is creepy and quite clearly a man so there’s no reason why professional warders should have to go along with this fantasy.”  The source also added, “The guy is a full-time menace and makes it his daily business to be as difficult and awkward as possible.” The female officers have asked their trade union, Prison Officers’ Association Scotland, to support them in their refusal to strip-search Burns.
Female prison officers refuse to strip search transgender offender they insist is clearly a man – Mirror Online
Prison guards forced to call inmate Mighty Almighty after violent convict previously changed name to Obi Wan Kenobi and God Almighty – Daily Record

Pat McCrory @PatMcCroryNC & HB 2 (USA)


North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory issued an executive order clarifying his reasons for signing HB2 and responding to “people’s feedback for the past several weeks on this issue.”  The order seeks to “affirm and improve the state’s commitment to privacy and equality” by with the following mandates:
“First, it maintains common sense gender-specific restroom and locker room facilities in government buildings and in our schools, and when possible, encourages reasonable accommodations for families and those who have unique or special circumstances.
Second, the private sector can make its own policy with regard to restrooms, locker rooms and/or shower facilities. This is not a government decision. This is your decision in the private sector.
Third, I have affirmed the private sector and local government’s right to establish its own non-discrimination employment policies.
And fourth, as governor, I have expanded our state equal employment opportunity policy to clarify that sexual orientation and gender identity are included.
And fifth, I will immediately seek legislation in the upcoming short session to reinstate the right to sue for discrimination in North Carolina state courts.”

Tennessee Attorney General Herbery Slattery III (USA)

Tennessee Attorney General Herbery Slattery III has issued an opinion regarding HB 2414, a pending bill that seeks to mandate that “Public institutions of higher education shall require that a student use the restroom and locker room facilities that are assigned for use by persons of the same sex as the sex indicated on the student’s original birth certificate.”  Slattery, affirming his position that passing HB 2414 could result in a loss of federal funding due to current interpretations of Title IX, writes:
“In sum, if a transgender student is required by a school district in Tennessee to use a restroom or locker room facility that is consistent with his or her anatomical gender rather than his or her gender expression or gender identity, and if that student files a complaint, DOE, applying its current interpretation of Title IX, will almost certainly require the school district to permit the student access to the facility consistent with his or her gender expression, and refusal to do so could very well result in loss of federal funding — at least until DOE’s interpretation is overruled by authoritative and binding judicial decision.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest also “warned Tennessee it could be subject to economic penalties if HB 2414 becomes law.”
Tenn
White House_ Tennessee anti-trans bathroom bill ‘mean-spirited’

Levy v. Wexford Health Sources (USA)

El Soudani El Wahhabi, a man who identifies as a woman known as Shawnte Anne Levy (“Levy”), has filed a lawsuit against Wexford Health Sources, former Maryland Division of Corrections Commissioner Gregg L Hershberger, and North Branch Correctional Institution (“NBCI”) Warden Frank Bishop.  Levy is incarcerated at NBCI, and alleges that the “Defendants have violated her rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the Maryland Declaration of Rights by denying her requests” for estrogen and psychotherapy as treatment for the inmate’s Gender Identity Disorder.  Levy is seeking injunctive relief in the form of estrogen medication and “to require NBCI to update her commitment record to reflect that name change.”
Levy w. Wexford

Tennessee (USA)


The Tennessee General Assembly recently passed a bill known as HB 1840 that “declares that no person providing counseling or therapy services shall be required to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist.”  Under this bill, counselors who refuse services must “coordinate a referral of the client to another counselor or therapist who will provide the service.”  If Governor Bill Haslam adds his signature, Tennessee would become the only state with such a law, according to the American Counseling Association (a group whose code of ethics states that mental health professionals cannot refuse treatment on the basis of “personally held values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors”).
Gender Identity Watch opposes this bill. 
Tennessee Passes Anti-LGBT Counseling Bill
HB1840

Missouri (USA)

The Missouri General Assembly has issued a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution, known as Senate Joint Resolution No. 39, introduced by Senator Bob Onder.  The proposed amendment,  add a new section to the constitution specifying that “the state shall not impose a penalty on a religious organization on the basis that the organization believes or acts in accordance with a sincere religious belief concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex.”  The proposal also stats “Nothing in this section prevents the state from providing a license to marry or providing any other marital entitlement, service, or benefits authorized by state law,” and “Nothing in this section permits a hospital…to refuse to treat a marriage as valid for purposes of a spouse’s right to visitation or to make surrogate health care decisions.”  This amendment will appear on the November election ballot in Missouri, and if approved, will be effective immediately.
SJR0039-5-I