Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

NY GENDA B-team Goes Down In Flames At Senate Judiciary Hearing

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | June 08, 2010 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: GENDA, Gender Non-Discrimination Act, New York, New York Senate, transgender

UPDATE: Hearing webcast available after the jump, and New York Daily News article reports on Democratic allegations of double cross by Senators Lanza and Maziarz.

A hearing was held today before the Senate Judiciary Committee.B-team.jpg The bill was voted down 12 to 11.

I listened in on a live webcast, and it was orchestrated very poorly. The first two speakers raised the issues of bathrooms and teachers. The supporters didn't really seem to know their lines.

Senator Savino responded in defense of the bill. She wasn't really clear or definitive about the objections to the bill. She said some good things, like the fact that other jurisdictions have enacted such bills without bathroom or school problems. However, her rhetorical skills were no match for the outspoken objectors. Empire State Pride Agenda has a very clearly written fact sheet on the issue. She should have taken some time to get the facts down.

The man who seemed to be the legislative counsel was not, in my opinion, well prepared to explain the bill. He was asked what "gender expression" meant and he was unable to articulate the concept, except to say that the bill did not explicitly define it. That added fuel to the objection about bathrooms and schools.

I know, we shouldn't attack our allies; we should be grateful. Yes, thank you. But when they're frankly unprepared to advocate well, we need to say so.

Oh, and there was the usual New York Senate intrigue and treachery. Senator Lanza originally voted yes, and then, after a harangue from Senator Diaz, changed his vote to no. That one vote change killed the bill. GENDA lay face down on the floor, with Senator Lanza's knife in its back.

In short, this was Amateur Hour. Clearly, they didn't bring their A-game to this effort. My summary of the sad proceedings after the jump.

It was quite difficult to hear, and there was no indication of who anybody was, so this is a summary of what I was able to glean.

GENDA hearing
June 7, 2010
NY Senate Judiciary Committee

Speaker 1: The main argument against the bill is access to bathrooms and locker rooms invading the privacy of others. Is that a valid point?

Speaker 2: There have been similar laws around NY state for a long time with no problem of voyeurs going into bathrooms. A person who put on a dress to access women's areas would not be expressing a valid gender identity.

Speaker 1: I have a memo from the international association of racquet and sports clubs. Other states have seen fit to explicitly exempt locker rooms and bathrooms. Why don't we amend the bill to put that exemption in and then I would support the bill with regard to housing and credit that were in SONDA. It would be easy to take this number one issue off the table, and I haven't heard any reason to oppose the amendment, so I suppose it is pure obstinacy not to exempt bathrooms.

Speaker 3 (Sen. Diaz): This would invade First Amendment rights of restaurants and schools. (It was a much longer harangue, but impossible to understand.)

Speaker 4 (Sen. Savino): This bill has been trivialized as a bathroom bill. Most people thought that SONDA covered transgender people, and we now know this isn't true. I see transgender men go into bathrooms all the time and I accept them as women. Men go into women's bathroom's all the time when the men's rooms are full. Men bring their female children in the women's room when they need to go to the bathroom. People come into teaching positions in NYC right now because NYC has a law against discrimination.

Sen. Diaz (interrupting): You're twisting what I'm saying.

Speaker 4: No, I am responding to your question.

Chair Sampson: Let her continue.

Speaker 4: They can be transgender teachers in New York City. I've worked with case workers in the welfare department who work with transgender people and they need help.

Speaker 5: This is an issue we should take out of the equation. I ask you to hold the bill so we can vote on an amendment.

Chair Sampson: It isn't necessary at this time.

Speaker 6: If a male wearing a dress was forced to go into the men's bathroom, that would expose them to danger of violence, so it would be safer to allow them into the women's room.

Speaker 7: Your argument is ridiculous.

Speaker 8: I didn't realize men brought their female children into female rest rooms, but that means they're accompanied by a child, so it isn't relevant to the objection. What is gender expression - what does that include? If someone wants to express themselves in a certain way, like outrageous conduct, it is the right of any individual to be outraged by that and to act against that conduct.

Counsel: The bill is silent as to what exactly gender expression is. (Reads the definition)

Speaker 8: How is their expression or choice limited in any way in the workplace?

Counsel: The bill is silent as to what it means. I would take it mean to refer to clothing and hairstyle.

Speaker 8: That's a serious issue.

Vote: 12 ayes, 11 nays, 0 abstentions

Sen. Diaz: (unintelligible)

(Senator Lanza retracts his yes vote.)

New tally: 11 ayes, 12 nayes, 0 abstentions.

Speaker 8: Where is the sponsor, Senator Tom Duane? I thought the idea of the new committee rules was to make this a better process. If the sponsor isn't here to hear our thought process, how can this bill be made better?

The hearing on GENDA starts at 24:00

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Angela Brightfeather | June 8, 2010 2:24 PM

An 11 to 12 vote is the NY Senate is a planned vote ahead of time and any switching was also most likely planned to guarantee the outcome. That's just the way it is in the NY Senate and committees, like the Congress, it doesn't stand a chance if it isn't determined before hand.

My hopes were high and they have been dashed and I will point my finger directly at the the NY Pride Agenda, not only for throwing Trans people under the bus 8 years ago, but also for not doing the work required to make advocates of the bills supporters this time. They are simply rehashing objections they had 8 years ago and revoicing them now after all that time. What does it take, 8 years for the Pride Agenda to sit down and teach the sponsors how to answer the same old questions?

For Pete's sake! Send them on a four day training session/holiday, all expenses paid and educate these sponsors and supporters. 10 years ago in Onondaga County (Syracuse) they went through the same fight with their (Un)Fair Practices Bill and their county legislators asked the same questions (define gender expression). They can't come up with that after 8 years of warning.

Perhaps some level headed GLBT organization might come out in the near future with some kind of manual for legislators and how to answer stupid, biased and ignorant questions, along with the most obvious ones. I think that NGLTF and HRC have come out with all kinds of manuals about how Trans people should interview for jobs and how they should conduct themselves and their lives. Why don't they come out with an instruction manual for legislators who keep on asking the same old stupid questions, or a manual for GLBT groups like the NY Pride Agenda on how to educate the uneducatable?

When you are unable to define gender expression, then it is either time to stop acting like you know what your talking about, or it's time get someone smart enough to be able to vocalize it before any vote.

Jillian, despite the fact that NY is the second largest state in the U.S., your right, when it comes to Trans rights, NY is nothing but a backwater state of upstate conservative ignorant thinking.

SkepticalCidada | June 8, 2010 5:46 PM

"I will point my finger directly at the the NY Pride Agenda"

Surprise! Yeah, because it can't ever be that legislators are hard to convince on trans issues. It has to be that those selfish gays screwed you. It couldn't possibly be fear of an opponent running a Corporal Klinger ad in the next election; it has to be those evil, trans-hating gays stabbing you in the back. Right. If only all gay people could be eradicated, legislatures would just vote in trans restroom regulations from coast to coast with no debate, huh?

If the coalition isn't working for you, you can leave it, because, frankly, the costs of the coalition vastly outweigh the benefits for gays.

And after all, they're the majority, the only ones who are important.

I know, you'll come back for the T's later, right?

Very disappointing.... And I would question just how serious an ally they were if they were not well-versed in the nuances of the discussion. To not be able to answer a question as simple as what is gender expression tells me that they had no clue what the true motivation of the Bill is.... Very sad, not because it died by one vote but because it seems the legislators we rely upon were not able to presnt an adequate case for... And got hung up on the bathrooms issue once again.

Jillian didn't you just author a critique of mission statements that do not have measurable goals? Now we see a bill introduced that seeks to protect an undefined group of people? The irony here is that when the votes are cast legislators may want to "do the right thing" but no one has defined it sufficiently provide understanding. And the horror of being accused of throwing one group or another under the bus means not legislating is the safest course of action.

I expect continued failure until someone crafts some "model language" that establishes a definition of what "gender expression" or "gender identity" actually means under the proposed laws. It has to be more specific than what I have yet seen in ENDA or GENDA. Think of it from an employer's perspective of "how do I avoid mistakes". In other words what can be measured.

Maybe a group effort would be worthy of a separate post here at Bilerico if contributors could propose provisions without others getting angry. I, for example, would like a provision that protects businesses who fire a "flip flopper". I'm not sure how to craft that exactly but a business should be free to fire someone who exhibits confusion about their own gender expression by vacillating. Now maybe that leaves some people hung out to dry but can we really expect efficient organizational dynamics when the staff is subjected to "I wonder what victor/victoria will show up as today"?

On the "bathroom issue" why not define it as "use the bathroom appropriate to your gender evidenced on either your drivers license or, if you reside in a state that requires proof of surgery before changing the drivers license, then the employee must provide confirmation from a psychologist or psychiatrist that ..(someone please insert model language here).

"I expect continued failure until someone crafts some "model language" that establishes a definition of what "gender expression" or "gender identity" actually means under the proposed laws. It has to be more specific than what I have yet seen in ENDA or GENDA. Think of it from an employer's perspective of "how do I avoid mistakes". In other words what can be measured."

LOL! Are you kidding me? Trans activists don't want clear language and fairness for employers. They want to keep it as vague as possible, so as to keep employers guessing, so as to sweep in as much employee conduct as possible, and so as to grow the universe of protected conduct over time w/o sign-off from the legislature.

If you want to see something truly frightening, read the NYC "guidelines" for employers on gender identity discrimination. You can find this via google. It was basically written by trans activists, whom I would bet have never run a business and probably have never been gainfully employed. You read those guidelines and you can only conclude that there is no definable group of people and no set of definable acts that are covered. They can change week-to-week, day-to-day, or hour-to-hour based on the self-perception of the employee of his/her own gender. Employers could be sued for pretty much anything at any time and could never be certain if they were in or out of compliance. It is insanity. It also reflects the disregard for due process that is the hallmark of the trans activist movement.

Even though I hate Diaz, it is a good thing that this bill failed.

First, let's define "Race" though. Or "Religion".

Funny how different standards are applied here. Any excuse will do.

New York State Senator Ruben Diaz doesn't seem intimidated or influenced by the crazy FightBackPAC.

This is Tim Gil's GetEQUAL-ish in-your-face, "we're gonna getcha" group of demanders. Of coure, without a threat demands just make us look stupid.

Senator Diaz, as despicable as he is, doesn't see us as a threat. FightBackPAC should be investing in defeating him, not simply embarrassing or threatening him.

These clowns are the jokers that went to Senator Addabbo's Birthday Party and yelled and screamed and stomped their feet. The lasting image was the Senator's daughters scared and about to cry.

SkepticalCidada | June 8, 2010 3:52 PM

AndrewW's smug condescension is spewing like an oil well again. Yes, yes, AndrewW. We're well aware of your obsessive disdain for direct action and authoritarian decree that no one do anything but raise money at black-tie cocktail parties. Give it a rest already.

I never said anything about "raising money at black tie dinners." I stopped a few years ago.

I said stop wasting time on ineffective "direct actions" that are merely embarrassing publicity stunts or "crazy shenanigans."

SkepticalCidada | June 8, 2010 5:09 PM

Whatever, smuggy.

New York State Senator Ruben Diaz doesn't seem intimidated or influenced by the crazy FightBackPAC.

This is Tim Gil's GetEQUAL-ish in-your-face, "we're gonna getcha" group of demanders. Of course, without a threat demands just make us look stupid.

Senator Diaz, as despicable as he is, doesn't see us as a threat. FightBackPAC should be investing in defeating him, not simply embarrassing or threatening him.

These clowns are the jokers that went to Senator Addabbo's Birthday Party and yelled and screamed and stomped their feet. The lasting image was the Senator's daughters scared and about to cry.

The proponents of the bill were unequipped to defend it. Why is that? Why didn't they have the real and effective counters to the lie that this bill would endanger people in public restrooms, locker rooms and the like? Where was the lobbying effort this year? Oh yeah, there wasn't one - the Empire State Pride Agenda decided not to hold their annual Equality and Justice day. I guess they thought it was a better idea to save those resources to fight against the senators that voted against marriage equality. It's up to our community to give our political representatives the tools to counter the lies of the opposition. Obviously we failed to do so. I guess when you already have your own rights protections in place, doing the hard work to protect other people's rights - promises notwithstanding - is just too damned difficult.

Those who voted against this bill MUST be made to pay a political price for their callous disregard for the survival of gender variant people in New York. Senator Lanza, from Staten Island, especially, for changing his vote. Will the Empire State Pride Agenda work to exact that price? Probably not, or not too hard, if the past is any indication. GENDA has always been their red headed stepchild. The same senators who voted no also voted against marriage equality however, so maybe they'll be targeted on that basis. And in the mean time? More fear, more stress, more poverty, more crime and more egregious harm for the gender variant gay, lesbian, straight and bisexual people in most of New York State.

SkepticalCidada | June 8, 2010 5:32 PM

Cheer up. You've taught those gays that you hate so much a lesson by successfully killing ENDA and making sure gay Alabama factory workers endure discrimination for another decade. You resent ESPA prioritizing marriage equality over your interests, while, with ENDA, you prioritize transgender restroom regulations over the interests of gay Alabama factory workers. This was the predictable result of the strategy of coercively attaching trans rights to gay rights. Instead of pulling along trans rights, it has just held back gay rights. And you call gays selfish!

You really ought to reign your imagination when you read other people's comments. I wouldn't advocate the cohesion of the LTGB community as much as I do if hated them, would I? I have big problems with ESPA, however. It was this New York version of Gay Inc. that stabbed the trans community in the back when SONDA was passed. That betrayal inflicted gender variant gay, lesbian, straight and bisexual New York factory workers with discrimination for another 8 years and counting. It's been 28 years of waiting in Wisconsin. More years of waiting in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Deity knows how many other places in this country.

I resent being thrown off the bus and then being strung along for eight years, being ignored except for some lip service and, of course, the requests for donations. I prioritize equality for the entire community, not just the straight acting GLB people who don't need the protection anyway. Just like SONDA in New York, ENDA without gender identity/expression inclusion helps few - if any - who really need it, in Alabama or anywhere else.

Do you really want to bring up restrooms? How about talking over the apparently successful efforts to get the populace to equate basic civil rights protections for trans people with tall tales about bathroom abuse in the attempt to get people to forget about what many gay men actually do, and what many of those feel that they have the absolute right to do, in public restrooms?

Who I'm disappointed with and angry about are not gay, lesbian or bisexual people. I don't hate myself either. I'm complaining about the privileged upper echelon of the gay/lesbian community in New York State that still think the transgender part of the community is something they can safely push to the back burner in order to preserve their own prerogatives. The same bunch that still call the shots at the HRC. Those are the people I accuse of being selfish.

polargirl360 | June 8, 2010 5:56 PM

When will you people learn! The queer community is NOT about protecting the rights of transsexual people!

Their political goal is to do away with all legal gender distinction right down to the shower and prison level for all people. That is what these bills that are labeled “transgender protection bills” will do to a large extent. This may not be a problem in the queer community where no one is interested in seeing the opposite sex nude, but it IS a problem for the heterosexual population. The only reason no one has abused gender identity protection laws so far is because few people know about them outside of the transgender population and those that deal with them.

A simple gender therapist's note for those who cannot change a driver license stating that the gender opposite of the one their patient (or client if social worker) were assigned at birth is more appropriate for them would have allayed most fears about men self-identifying as a women at the moment for the purpose of gaining access to nude women. If the queer community cannot find volunteer gender therapists to help homeless transgender people get their letters, than they cannot expect politicians to gamble their constituents’ interests to aid transgender people.

When transsexuals realize that the queer / feminist agenda is undermining them politically and go form their own independent organizations, they’ll finally have rights and perhaps some respect but not until then.

Kathleen of Norfolk | June 8, 2010 7:07 PM

That bus left the parking lot over a decade ago. For better or worse, the rights of transsexuals are tied to transgender rights. Additionally, transgender rights are tied to a larger LGBT movement for reasons of societal confusion and the historic association of trans people with the gay community. At this point, it cannot be walked back by trans people.

I will say that some of the most the important policies for transsexuals, state birth certificate amendment laws, were sometimes passed before the advent of a widespread transgender rights movement. For many states, these were likely passed prior to the increased salience of trans identity in politics. For example, it looks like the very good birth certificate law in Virginia was passed in the late 1970's.

UPDATE: GENDA hearing webcast available here

"When transsexuals realize that the queer / feminist agenda is undermining them politically and go form their own independent organizations, they’ll finally have rights and perhaps some respect but not until then."

Here here... We HAVE to advocate on our own behalf instead of relying on others for our voices to be heard. And perhaps it is time to rephrase the equation to one of transsexual rights, for those who live life every day in their desired gender and have no other choices, nor want any, and do not have the basic rights afforded to every other American. As for advocacy, it must take a bottoms-up approach, developed through a grassroots effort and promoted by everyone who lives it, each and every day - to local Congressmen and State Representatives alike, even to local city councils if needed. Nobody else is going to do it for us... Nobody else cares about trans rights.. Nobody can help us if we cannot help ourselves.

polargirl360 | June 8, 2010 8:20 PM

Thank you very much.

If you'd like, email me at [email protected] Two people to start a grassroots independent TRANSSEXUAL rights group is a start.

I did forget about transsexual minors who are too young to get driver licenses in my last post. I wish there was a better way for them to get appropriate bathroom access without having to carry around a doctor's note all the time. This issue is one that needs to be explored further.

Angela Brightfeather | June 8, 2010 8:03 PM

First of all I lived this atrocity enacted by back room politics and smokey mirrors used by the NY Pride Agenda the first time it happenerd when SONDA passed. Had there been even one Trans person 8 years ago on the NY Pride Agenda BOD, I would not be screaming about this happening a second time with the same results. But the fact is that Trans people in NY are not in the position they are because of anything they did or did not do, but because they were ruled out at the NY Pride table to begin with 8 years ago. The guilt for this lays squarely in the laps of those who perpetrated it in the first place, a BOD chuck full of gays and lesbians who did exactly what I said they did. They used Trans people as a negotiating tool and they lied about Trans people being already protected by Title VII and not needing to be included in SONDA. Even after the Pride Agenda tried to enlist a Trans person onto their BOD who would state that Trans people could wait for their rights and it was OK to pass SONDA, and then failed when that Trans person backed out before the negotiations, they still insisted on excluding Trans people. It was exactly like ENDA in one way....Trans was included right up to the last negotiation and within hours before SONDA actually passed and we found out that Trans people had been traded away.

Anyone saying anything different is trying to rewrite history and anyone who thinks that gays and lesbians in the NY Pride Agenda have any right to say they were right in doing what tghey did, is blind and dumb. As proof of that, I don't know one case of any gay or lesbian in the entire state of NY, having to go to court to use SONDA, but I would bet my house that if Trans people wrere included back then, there would be hundreds of cases where SONDA would have made the difference, if not thousands. So the people who didn't need it in the first place, even 8 years ago, got it, and those that needed it the most got nothing but betrayal. Then some of the posting people get all upset about Trans people and can't understand why we are so mad about the same kind of treatment with ENDA.

EIGHT FRIGGIN YEARS folks and we are still trying to become human beings worthy of a job, while smug GLB's with their rights in NY try and play revisionist history.

The big secret in NY is that the conservative, Republican base in every county North of Binghamton, NY needs to be worked on seriously and the NY Pride Agenda has to take serious steps at organizing in that area to win elections, instead of backing away from it and leaving the present split between upstate conservatives and downstate liberals as the status quo. The place to begin that effort is in Onondaga County (Syracuse), where the center of NY State continues to anchor and organize against GLBT rights effectively by blocking a Fair Practices Law. If the Pride Agenda can break that stranglehold, they will go a long way in convincing politicians in that area that GLBT issues need to be passed. Albany, Rochester & Buffalo all have inclusive laws, but Syracuse is the big holdout. When they can get Syracuse to wake up, they will have a lot easier time getting GENDA to pass.

Senator Diaz is from Albany...the NY Pride Agends meets in Albany and has their offices there....that speaks volumes about how affective they have been in educating people in their own area of influence.

polargirl360 | June 8, 2010 9:01 PM

Shame on NY Pride agenda for throwing transsexuals under the bus 8 years ago. Shame on transsexuals for being stupid enough to continue having NY Pride Agenda or other queer / feminist organization represent them while expecting different results yesterday.

I guess I just can't say it enough that transsexuals need their own independent organizations to represent them.

Zoe, go to the comment and click on the title. It's supposed to show up in a different color because it's linked, but for some reason the color of the link is black.

There's no link. It looks like you just use the a href tag with a /a close and no actual url.

Turns out I forgot the "h" in href, Lisa. It should be active now. It's also at the top of the post itself.

Kathleen of Norfolk | June 8, 2010 10:46 PM

Good points. However, Empire State Pride has been proven correct thus far on Title VII (see the Price Waterhouse influenced series of cases...Schwenk v. Barnes, Smith v. City of Salem, Barnes v. Cincy, and Schroer v. Billington). Additionally, the trial courts in NY have included trans people under interpretations of NY laws against sex discrimination. See Maffei v. Kolaeton Industry, Inc., et al. (626 N.Y.S.2d 391, 1995). At the time of SONDA, Maffei and Schwenk had been decided.

Lots of mis-information being peddled here about SONDA eight years ago. The fact was all upstate trans people were sold out for NYC protections by a couple of "trans-activists" about a year before SONDA reached a vote. Others did everything in their power to discredit other trans-activists, Sylvia Rivera was lied to literally on her death bed by the ESPA bigwigs about putting trans language back in the bill a full seven months before the vote.

The last minute efforts included Housing Works Charles King literally bribing two busloads of drooling, illiterate crack whores from NYC with ham sandwiches to parade in front of the legislators, thus assuring trans protections would not be taken seriously. I was there trying to lobby in the middle of this and could not believe what I was seeing. It was a clusterfuck of epic proportions. I vowed I would never take part in any LGBt lobbying again afterwards.

It was an ESPA sellout.

As a direct result, one of my closest friends lost her job on the day SONDA became law, a mere two weeks before her surgery. A doctor herself. She spent two years in hell rebuilding her career as a result. The hospital that fired her knew exactly what they were doing as the last minute SONDA debate established legislative intent not to cover anyone trans anything and post surgically she could have filed a Title VII complaint using the Richards decision. Under Richards, a post operative woman is a woman legally in New York.

To clarify a bit.....ESPA used the then tried and true HRC gamebook to turn trans activist against trans
activist by literally buying the "names" off who then proceeded to undermine all grassroots efforts with the tried and true methods such as joining the communications list and then setting up "secret" ones in opposition to the the grassroots lists.....drawing off anyone they thought they could turn. The same few names from outside the state did this, were involved in the mess in Maryland, Mass and NJ around the same time. Some have disappeared now, some are still around. Some did not have to be bought, just encouraged to engage in ego driven warfare against other trans people for position as "top trans".....all this while we were fighting for our lives.

Traitor trans worked with ESPA to screw the pooch, that's the reality. And I kept my promise to myself and never again attended a Pride event, took part in any LGBt lobby effort and restricted my efforts to trying to make a difference on a more one to one basis in housing and then Katrina relief.

I know, you'll come back for the T's later, right?

This was how they 'come back' for us: The perpetrators of gay-first apartheid get promoted to cushier gigs; those remaining 'suddenly' discover that gay marriage is actually their number one priority; and T rights...gets relegated to the Keystone Cops - and absentee ones at that.

I think it is unfortunate this bill did not pass. The need for protections in so many cases is obvious. I am glad however that the question of title VII protections has been raised in regard to people who are transsexual. The reasoning in Maffei v. Kolaeton Industry, Inc., although not up to date regarding actual and current understanding of karyotype in relation to sex determination, lays out the complexity of sex determination the way it plays out in reality. The reasoning is factual and concrete, not reliant on abstract concepts such as "gender identity". There have always been "XY" females, some of whom have carried a child to term. There have always been "XX" males. There are other karyotypes, as well, beyond "XX" and "XY". External genitalia can be changed, so can hormonal balance and secondary characteristics.

Regardless of prejudice in the judiciary where sex is concerned, the facts remain the same. This makes the reasoning in the Maffei v. Kolaeton Industry, Inc. more significant than that in Ulane v Eastern Airlines or Schroer v. Billington.

The reasoning in the Maffei v. Kolaeton Industry, Inc. is similar to the reasoning John Money used when speaking of sex and gender. A significant difference between Money's reasoning and the Maffei v. Kolaeton Industry, Inc. decision is where the term "gender identity" is changed to "self identity". This is important because of the sexist expectations involved with the term "gender identity" and the tragic outcomes Money forced on some of his patients through those expectations.

Compare the logic between Maffei v. Kolaeton Industry, Inc., Ulane v Eastern Airlines and Schroer v Billingsly below. It seems obvious which line of reasoning has the most substance and the most basis in reality.

Maffei v. Kolaeton Industry


Relevant to the issue at hand is the means by which a person's sex is identified. Of course, at birth sex is identified by external genitalia. However, experts now generally agree that there are at least seven variables that interact to determine the ultimate sex of an individual, to wit: (1) Chromosomes (XX female, XY male); (2) Gonads (ovaries or testes); (3) Hormonal secretions (androgens for males or estrogens for females); (4) Internal reproductive organs (uterus or prostate); (5) External genitalia; (6) Secondary sexual characteristics; and (7) Self-identity. (See, Note, 80 Nw U L Rev 1037 [quoting from Benjamin, The Transsexual Phenomenon, at 14 (1966) ("[E]very Adam contains elements of Eve and every Eve harbors traces of Adam, physically, as well as psychologically.")]; Bowman and Engle, Sex Offenses: The Medical and Legal Implications of Sex Variations, 25 Law and Contemp Probs 292; Comment, The Law and Transsexualism: A Faltering Response to a Conceptual Dilemma, 7 Conn L Rev 288 [1975]; Comment, Transsexualism, Sex Reassignment Surgery and the Law, 56 Cornell L Rev 963 [1971].)


Ulane v Eastern Airlines

"a biological male who takes female hormones, cross-dresses, and has surgically altered parts of her body to make it appear to be female" (supra, at 1087), and the statute does not protect persons based on their sexual identity.


Schroer v Billingsly

Sex is between the legs and gender is between the ears! Well, maybe so, maybe so. But the fact that the two have differences doesn't mean that "sex discrimination" therefore doesn't cover "gender discrimination."From a legal point of view, it would be kind of absurd to say that even though the statute prohibits "sex discrimination," it's okay to boot Diane Schroer out the door because they discriminated against her gender, and not her sex. The academic notion that gender identity can be understood separately from sexual anatomy does not mean that "sex discrimination" is limited to sexual anatomy. In fact, that what the Price-Waterhouse decision was all about - sex discrimination does not end at the belt-buckle.

I can't believe this managed to fail again. After all these attempts....

polargirl360 | June 9, 2010 12:14 PM

I can believe it. The same will happen with ENDA in the US Congress. Transsexualism and homosexuality are two seperate things. Queers have no incentive to support transgender or transsexed people anymore than the NAACP activists did feminism in the 1960s.

A "lesbian community man" such as yourself will never understand why both queers and real transsexed people will never support you.

You can think that gender is just a fluid label all you like and queers will even give you lip service to that affect, but when it comes down to it, lesbians just won't and probably can't relate to men as their sociosexual peers.

People like yourself make me wonder: What would have happened to all the hippies by now if being a hippie was something you had to take hormones and get surgery to become.

Queers are looking to merge with the mainstream population. It makes me wonder what will happen to people like yourself if they succeed even if gender protections are implemented.

I can't say it enough again. Transsexed people need to form independent organizations to represent themselves if they wish to be taken seriously.

Well how about a different reality check. Uhh, hello, there are millions of unemployed hetero men and women. By last fall when ENDA went into a holding pattern the country was in a recession/depression. I think the dynamics on both sides of the aisle shifted simply because of economic and political realities. The elected Congress-critters did not want to be seen granting "special protections" to disenfranchised groups when the vast majority of voters were struggling and jobs are simply scarce as hell. Their attempts are to "hold the broad base" of support not alienate it further. Call it fear if you will but it is real nonetheless.

polargirl360 | June 9, 2010 2:44 PM

Reality countercheck: Whether economic times are good or bad; any reason is a good reson to deny transsexed people their rights.

People weren't ready in 2002, the economy is bad today, the country needs to ambitiously rebuild at the expense of unprotected minorities in the next decade.

Quit being an apologist for narcassists that just want power for power's sake and are willing to sacrifice even their own rights along with other people's to get it.

Over 2/3 of Americans support gender identity protection. This fear tactic is bogus!

At least they get a hearing on the bill in New York State. We do not even get that far here.

"Transsexed people need to form independent organizations to represent themselves if they wish to be taken seriously."

Gotta agree with Polar again... The only community that stands to gain from transsexual protections is the transsexual community, those who have a true stake in the issue. Why do we rely on others to do our dirty-work, and then bitch about it when things go wrong? We'll never make gains until we decide it's time to fight the good fight, ourselves, on our own behalf.

Keri and Polar: I agree with you that an organization for transsexual people would be a fine idea. But there hasn't been any such organization in the last fifty years, and I don't know that there is any likely to occur in the next fifty. There are a lot of reasons for this, and perhaps we could overcome them, but it would be a tall order. The population of out transsexual people is vanishingly small, depending on how you define transsexual. Would a transsexual organization represent anyone who is interested in SRS, anyone who lives in a different gender, fulltime or parttime, or only those who have already have had SRS? And what would qualify as SRS? A lot of transsexuals desire nothing more than to live their lives out of the public eye, and to identify simply as men and women, not as transsexuals. Once they are beyond the awkward transition period, many blend into the woodwork, and don't identify as transsexuals. Another problem is that we are an extraordinarily contentious and cantankerous lot. We tend to oppose each other over differences in theory and policy that are indistinguishable to the outside world. I'm not sure that anyone could lead such a group. And many of us who are out are marginalized and don't have enough resources to hold body and soul together, let alone give to an organization.

All I know Jillian, and you know a bit about the relevant issues I'm facing, is that for the first time in my life I find myself having to look for a new GP and wondering how I find one trans-friendly. I worry about coming home every day and finding an eviction note on my apartment door. I cannot go out and shop as I wish because all my cards and ID are in the wrong gender, and I can't order a drink out for fear of getting carded. As you know, I worry about having my credentials pulled when I tell my employer I'm starting HRT and am transitioning, and never getting them back and being forced out of my job. I worry about getting pulled over by PD - I have a carry letter but what will that really do. And god forbid I get into an accident. Oh yeah, and now I have to worry about having to pee when out and about.

I'm not whining really, and come January, I will freely and gladly give up my "male" priviledges, and take my chances but hopefully in a more emotionally secure and happier place. I am bumping into those glass walls that you and everyone before me has run into, and has to deal with, every day. I just wonder if there is a better way for us to gain some basic rights, rights I now enjoy but will surrender in order to get to that better place.

polargirl360 | June 10, 2010 7:14 PM

There are always plenty of excuses for not doing. Intersex people have their own organizations and they are a smaller population than transsexed people yet get results.

What I mean by transsexed are people who see themselves as like any other woman or man in society of the gender they identify with and the only difference being a birth defect. These are the kind of people I would like to see form organizations. Not oxymoronic psychosexual or sociosexual FUNCTIONALITIES (not self-identities) people such as lesbian community men, gay community women, biological father women, and biological mother men. Perhaps the entire spectrum of secondary transsexuals and transgenders is what I am trying to get at.

Secondary transsexuals would still gain by forming independent organizations since they have an irreversible stake in their identities whether or not those identities fully suit them.

Transgenders do not have such a stake and perhaps don't really want to be identified as and related to as a member of the gender opposite of what they were assigned at birth. I've actually heard things like from them such as wanting to be identified and related to as transsexuals (as oxymoronic as that might be for them) and not as women.

Wait, what? There's no evidence of a true primary/secondary dichotomy among transsexual people. Why do people constantly insist on forcing false hierarchies?

I also do not trust anyone who tries to arrange these hierarchies, because all I see when they do is that they like to decide who else has sufficient ideological purity as a transsexual man or woman and libel/slander the hell out of those who do not fit their narrow ideals.

I don't know that intersex people are actually a smaller population than transsexual people. I'm not sure whether they're larger, but I know their numbers are frequently underestimated. I also think there's more at work than just numbers.

polargirl360 | June 11, 2010 12:02 AM

It's not about hierarchy. It's about psychosexual and often sociosexual differences in the types of transsexuals.

There are some types that really are what they say they are right down to what sex they have always seen themselves as when sexually aroused and what gender of people that naturally feel like sociosexual peers. Lesbian community men peer relate more to lesbians than cis heterosexual men and vice versa with gay community women.

Primary transsexuals don't socialize in trans or queer communities since they see themselves and feel like any other man or woman in society. This busts the narcissistic or psychopathic paranoid myth of trying to set trans social hierarchy.

I always though most of you secondaries were just narcissists. It appears you are outright psychopaths for denying people who feel that they are different from you to not be associated with you. This is no better than what the Xtian right does by insisting that people relate to transsexuals based on the sex assigned at birth.