Gay, bisexual and transgender Male inmates filed a federal lawsuit against San Bernardino County and its sheriff, alleging they are kept in a segregated unit that doesn’t give them equal access to rehabilitation services and work programs that could shorten their incarceration and help them learn job skills.
The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles and includes 15 plaintiffs, including current and former inmates at West Valley Detention Center, where San Bernardino County houses gay, bisexual and transgender inmates in a special unit known as the “alternative lifestyle tank.”
We support humane treatment of all persons who are incarcerated. All incarcerated persons, including Women, deserve such treatment.
A 16-year-old boy who identifies as a girl and who is being held at a boys’ detention center alleged that staff members repeatedly call him by his male birth name and male pronouns, force him to wear boys’ uniforms and have banned him from wearing his wig and makeup. The new accusations come in an amended lawsuit filed in federal court. The boy, known only in court documents as Jane Doe, is suing state child welfare and prison officials, alleging they have violated his constitutional rights and federal laws by detaining him in traumatizing solitary confinement for most of this year.
Anthony Elonis is a man who threatened numerous people, including his ex-wife, on social media, including Facebook. Elonis was charged and convicted under federal law with transmitting in interstate commerce a communication containing a threat to injure the person of another. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed his conviction. He is now appealing his conviction to the United States Supreme Court, claiming that he didn’t intend to hurt anyone and that the federal law violates his constitutional rights.
Transgender activists regularly use social media to threaten to rape and kill Women who disagree with their ideology. We hope they take note of this litigation.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has affirmed a New Jersey law banning sexual orientation change efforts (“SOCE”), more commonly called “gay conversion therapy.”
Classifying the speech at issue – the therapists’ advertising of “conversion therapy” and the therapy itself – as “professional,” the court held that professional speech receives diminished protection under the First Amendment, and, accordingly, that prohibitions of professional speech are constitutional only if they directly advance the State’s interest in protecting its citizens from harmful or ineffective professional practices and are no more extensive than necessary to serve that interest.
The court further noted that the “legislative record demonstrates that over the last few decades a number of well-known, reputable professional and scientific organizations have publicly condemned the practice of SOCE, expressing serious concerns about its potential to inflict harm. Among others, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Pan American Health Organization have warned of the “great” or “serious” health risks accompanying SOCE counseling, including depression, anxiety, self-destructive behavior, and suicidality. Many such organizations have also concluded that there is no credible evidence that SOCE counseling is effective.”
We look forward to Gay and Lesbian people using laws banning SOCE to challenge treatment for gender dysphoria/gender identity disorder, as a diagnosis of gender dysphoria is sometimes given to Gay/Lesbian youth.
Jeydon Loredo is a graduating senior at La Feria High School in La Feria, Texas. Jeydon was born female but identifies as male. Jeydon wanted to wear a tuxedo for his high school photo, but the school declined. This is a clear violation of laws banning sex discrimination as well as an example of why gendered clothing standards are bad for girls and boys. The Loredo case echoes the Ceara Sturgis case, in which Sturgis – who did not identify as male and is female and a lesbian – chose to wear a tuxedo for her senior yearbook photo, rather than the drape typically reserved for girls. Her school, Wesson Attendance Center, responded by excluding her entirely from the senior portrait section of the yearbook. In November 2011, after the court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss, the Wesson Attendance Center settled the case and added Ceara’s photo (in a tuxedo) to the wall of senior photos at the school. The school also agreed to change its policy for senior photos to have all students photographed wearing graduation robes and to amend its anti-discrimination policy to add language affirming its commitment to following the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. We expect (and hope for) a similar result in the Loredo case.
Days after Gov. Chris Christie signed the law in August, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of Tara King, a therapist in Brick, Ronald Newman, a therapist in Linwood, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, and the American Association for of Christian Counselors. They argued the law violated their responsibility to their clients who wanted the treatment. They also contend the terms “sexual orientation” and the phrase “sexual orientation change efforts” are too vague to be understood and enforced. A similar lawsuit was filed in California.
In a separate lawsuit, a South Jersey 15-year-old boy and his parents claimed the law interferes with teenager’s “right to self-determination and the parents’ fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children.”
U.S. District Court Judge Freda Wolfson, who presides in Trenton, disagreed.
“Having found that the statute only regulates conduct, and not speech in any constitutionally protected form, Plaintiffs’ arguments regarding the statute” being overly broad “are largely irrelevant,” according to her decision.