Federal judge sides with Gavin Grimm in trans bathroom case

Federal judge sides with Gavin Grimm in trans bathroom case

Gavin Grimm has been fighting for years | Photo: Facebook/Gavin Grimm In the latest step forward of one of the United States’ highest profile transgender bathroom cases, a federal judge in Virginia has sided with student Gavin Grimm and refused to dismiss the case.

Gloucester County School Board request to dismiss the claim that Grimm filed. In his suit, Grimm said his school violated his rights when they refused to let him use the boys’ restroom.

However, U.S. District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen declined the request.

She wrote instead in her 30-page opinion that the school board’s policies ‘singled out and stigmatized Mr. Grimm’. Grimm’s lawyers, on the other hand, successfully argued ‘the school board violated his rights under the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause as well as federal Title IX protections against gender-based discrimination’.

Finally, she ordered both sides to schedule a settlement within the next 30 days. Bringing this trans issue to the forefront

Grimm first brought his case forward in 2014.

It was one of the first transgender bathroom cases that made national headlines. The Obama administration officially supported Grimm in his fight.

In one of the first big court appearances for the case, an appeals court found in favor of the student. Eventually, the case found its way bound for the Supreme Court. That is, until Trump’s administration blocked numerous Obama-era guidances and the Supreme Court declined to hear the case .

Yesterday’s decision, though, is still a major victory.

‘No student should feel unsafe at school, regardless of gender identity. Transgender students are covered by Title IX and are entitled to the same rights and protections as every other student,’ said Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director.

‘With the Trump-Pence Administration’s barrage of attacks on LGBTQ people in this country, including children, we are pleased that yet another federal court has reaffirmed legal rights and dignity of transgender people.’

H/t: AP

More Americans than ever now support same-sex marriage

More Americans than ever now support same-sex marriage

More and more LGBTQ people are getting married | Photo: Flickr/CityofStPete More Americans than ever — 67% — think same-sex marriage should be legally valid. It’s the highest ever reported support for everyone’s right to marry, regardless of sexual orientation.

The data comes from Gallup’s annual Values and Morals poll . They conducted the poll from 1 – 10 May. Results of the poll since 1996 | Photo: Gallup Gallup first began asking about same-sex marriage in their morals and values poll in 1996. Then, only 27% of polled Americans supported legalizing it.

Now, that feeling has jumped a full 40 points.

It’s also higher than last year’s 64% , which, at the point, was the highest ever support. Both of these years counted higher than 2016 , showing support is continuing to increase year over year.

All three political parties — Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — have also seen an increase in their support of same-sex marriage.

83% of Democrats now support it, up from 33% in 1996. This is the highest ever support from their party too. Meanwhile, Independents are at 71% after being at 32% in 1996.

Republicans, naturally, have the lowest support. Still, their support has increased since 22 years ago. 44% of Republicans now support it, compared to only 16% in 1996. Reasons for increased support

Gallup gives one big reason for the increased support over the years.

One of the reasons is that more and more LGBT adults are getting married in the US. As of last year, 10.4% of all LGBT adults in the country are married to a same-sex spouse.

As the organization explains: ‘This means that Americans are more likely to know someone who has married a same-sex partner, and the visibility of these marriages may be playing a role in overturning some folks’ previously held opposition to their legal status.’

Another reason is that the number of LGBTQ Americans is increasing , especially among the millennial generation , who are becoming a more and more vocal group.

Poll: LGBT Population in U.S. Estimated at 4.5%

Poll: LGBT Population in U.S. Estimated at 4.5%

LGBT rainbow flag. (YouTube) (CNSNews.com) — Results from a year-long survey conducted in 2017 show that the estimated LGBT population in the United States is now at 4.5%, and that the biggest increase in LGBT-identification has been among millenials, those people born between 1980 and 1999.

The survey by Gallup also showed that women are more likely to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender than men — 5.1% to 3.9% respectively — and that more people in low-income brackets identify as LGBT than people in high-income brackets.

In the survey, which Gallup has done every year since 2012, the interviewers asked, "Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender?" In 2017, 4.5% said yes to that question. In 2012, the percentage was 3.5% identifying as LGBT. (YouTube) "The percentage of millennials who identify as LGBT expanded from 7.3% to 8.1% from 2016 to 2017, and is up from 5.8% in 2012," reported Gallup .

"By contrast, the LGBT percentage in Generation X (those born from 1965 to 1979) was up only 0.2% from 2016 to 2017," said the survey firm. "There was no change last year in LGBT percentage among baby boomers (born 1946 through 1964) and traditionalists (born prior to 1946)."

"LGBT identification is lower as age increases, although there is a particularly large jump between millennials and those in the next oldest generation, defined as Generation X," said Gallup. (YouTube) The survey showed that LGBT-identification is highest among those people making less than $36,000 a year. For 2017, that percentage was 6.2% LGBT. for people making $90,000 or more, the percentage of LGBT-identification was 3.9%.

"Women continue to be more likely to identify as LGBT than men, and this gender gap expanded last year," said Gallup. "Overall, 5.1% of women in 2017 identified as LGBT, compared with 3.9% of men."

Back in 2012, the LGBT-identification percentage in the population was 3.5% female and 3.4% male.

For the survey, Gallup conducted telephone interviews of 340,604 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, between Jan. 2 and Dec. 30, 2017. The margin of error was +/- 0.1 percentage points.

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Theresa May says transgender people ‘deserve respect’ and reaffirms commitment to gender recognition review

Theresa May says transgender people ‘deserve respect’ and reaffirms commitment to gender recognition review

British Prime Minister Theresa May (Jack Taylor/Getty) Prime Minister Theresa May has reaffirmed her commitments to standing up for transgender rights.

The PM made headlines in October 2017 at the PinkNews Awards when she vowed to stand up for transgender people , giving her support to a review of the Gender Recognition Act.

She said at the PinkNews Awards: “We’ve set out plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act, streamlining and demedicalising the process for changing gender, because being trans is not an illness and it shouldn’t be treated as such.”

Writing in June’s Gay Times magazine for Pride Month, May reaffirmed her commitment to progress on the issue – despite a strong political backlash and negative media coverage. Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May (DARREN STAPLES/AFP/Getty) She said: “That is why we will also publish an LGBT Action Plan this summer. It will set out concrete steps the Government will take to improve lives for LGBT people in this country and address some of the injustices the community has faced.

“We’ve also engaged with experts to understand better the limitations of the current system of gender recognition and will soon publish a public consultation on how we best reform the process.

“Trans people still face indignities and prejudice when they deserve understanding and respect.

“There’s lots to do – but the UK can be proud that we are a world leader in advancing LGBT rights.” (Simon Dawson – WPA Pool/Getty) The consultation on gender recognition reform was expected to launch last year but has been stalled for months amid negative media coverage.

The government recently said it would be published before Parliament’s summer recess in July.

May also promised to publish results from the UK government’s recent LGBT survey.

The PM wrote: “Last summer I announced a survey of LGBT people in Britain. The response was phenomenal with over 100,000 people replying, making it the largest survey of LGBT people anywhere in the world. “One answer that stood out to me was how many LGBT people said they avoided being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity in public, or with their own family and friends.

“I want to help make us a country where no one feels the need to hide who they are or who they love.

“We will publish the full results soon. And while these findings might not come as news to many in the community, they do allow government to focus on what more it needs to do to tackle discrimination in every walk of life.

“Whether that is at home, in the playground, in the workplace, or in public.” Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty) The Prime Minister recently expressed her ‘deep regret’ for Colonial-era anti-gay laws.

Speaking at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) meeting in London in April, May responded to calls from LGBT activists for an apology over the UK’s legacy on the issue.

She said: “Across the world, discriminatory laws made many years ago continue to affect the lives of many people, criminalising same sex relations and failing to protect women and girls.

“I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.

“As the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, I deeply regret the fact that such laws were introduced, and the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that persists today.”

Exclusive: Theresa May announces LGBT Action Plan to improve lives and address injustices

Exclusive: Theresa May announces LGBT Action Plan to improve lives and address injustices

© Crown Copyright / Jay Allen British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced the rollout of a new LGBT Action Plan this summer.

In a letter penned to the LGBTQ community for the new issue of Gay Times , the Conservative leader pledged her government’s support to “help make us a country where no one feels the need to hide who they are or who they love.”

Last summer, May announced a survey of LGBTQ people in Britain, with over 100,000 responding. It was the largest survey of LGBTQ people anywhere in the world.

We will soon find out the results of that survey, along with the publication of an LGBT Action Plan this summer.

“It will set out concrete steps the Government will take to improve lives for LGBT people in this country and address some of the injustices the community has faced,” the PM wrote for Gay Times .

“We’ve also engaged with experts to understand better the limitations of the current system of gender recognition and will soon publish a public consultation on how we best reform the process. © Crown Copyright / Jay Allen

“Trans people still face indignities and prejudice when they deserve understanding and respect. There’s lots to do – but the UK can be proud that we are a world leader in advancing LGBT rights.”

What this LGBT Action Plan will include has yet to be formally revealed, but it is expected to touch upon LGBTQ issues and improvements within healthcare, education and personal safety, amongst more.

This comes weeks after May expressed deep regret for Britain’s archaic discriminatory laws criminalising same-sex relationships in Commonwealth countries during a speech at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting last month.

In 37 countries in the Commonwealth, being LGBTQ is still punishable by jail time, with many of the country’s leaders using laws imposed by Britain to persecute minorities.

“Those laws were wrong then, and they are wrong now,” May says in her Gay Times piece. “And as the UK’s Prime Minister, I expressed my deep regret for both the fact that such laws were ever introduced, and the legacy of discrimination, violence and even death that persists today.

“It’s important to put this right. Nobody should face persecution or discrimination because of who they are or who they love.

“So I have committed the UK to support any Commonwealth member wanting to reform outdated legislation that makes such discrimination possible.”

You can read Theresa May’s full letter to the LGBTQ community in the new issue of Gay Times . MAY TIMES. Get inside the latest Gay Times to discover exclusive interviews with Antoni Porowski, Dexter Mayfield, Daniel Newman, Casey Spooner and many more!. BUY NOW .

New Zealand happy to forget the UK’s ‘betrayal’

New Zealand happy to forget the UK's 'betrayal'

The UK joined the then European Economic Community in 1973, before voters agreed in a 1975 referendum that it should remain It was a story of break-up and betrayal, and of a long-distance relationship that went sour.

It’s not a cliffhanger from Shortland Street, New Zealand’s longest-running TV soap opera, but a real-life tale of abandonment.

It happened back in January 1973 to the South Pacific nation when the UK joined the then European Economic Community (EEC), the precursor to today’s European Union.

At the time, about half of Kiwi exports were shipped 18,500 km (11,500 miles) to the UK, but access to those prized markets would effectively end as a result of the UK joining the EEC.

"It was a massive shock. It was an emotional shock for New Zealand," says Asha Sundaram from the University of Auckland.

"Almost 50% of New Zealand exports went to the UK at the time, and so there was huge anxiety about what would happen.

"Essentially New Zealand was like an outpost of Britain [back then]. It was this parent-child relationship, and I think people were just terrified of the apron strings being cut off.

"I think it was probably panic." New Zealand is today a major exporter of wine to the UK In 1973, colour TV was being beamed into Kiwi living rooms for the first time (in time for another royal wedding, that of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips) while Wellington’s opposition to French nuclear testing in the region was intensifying.

The UK’s attempts to be a part of the EEC had been a long-time coming, but when it finally happened there was a sense in New Zealand of being sold-out by an old friend.

"I do think there was a sense of betrayal, particularly among older New Zealanders," says Stephen Jacobi, executive director of the New Zealand International Business Forum.

"I myself was born in Britain, so my family emigrated from Britain to New Zealand. It is hard to think of Britain as a foreign country.

"We were conceived as a farm for Britain. That was our rationale for existence in the world order as it was."

Fast-forward 45 years and the Kiwi economy has been transformed. Lamb exports are still big business for New Zealand Free trade agreements with Australia, China (in 2008) and others have been critical. So were the bold reforms beginning in the 1980s that opened up an ailing "fortress economy" that had been highly protected.

"New Zealand was the first country to do a high quality free trade deal with China," says Catherine Beard, head of Export NZ, a lobby and advocacy group.

"We’ve taken a really principled approach to trade, so we reduced all the tariffs in New Zealand many years ago, we don’t have subsidies.

"And we don’t have any kind of smoke and mirror support for companies domestically, and the ones that survived have thrived.

"Our industry is actually remarkably robust, and so are our farmers because they have always had to be globally competitive without support."

Farming is important to New Zealand, as are forestry and fishing, along with the services sector, tourism and education.

As Brexit draws closer, are there important lessons for the UK in its former colony’s economic revival? New Zealand’s journey since the early 1970s has been turbulent at times, and tough decisions have been made along the way.

A nimble, creative and diversified economy is key, as is the endeavour to find new markets. New Zealand now has a modern economy In an ultra-competitive world, Kiwi exporters must always be on top of their game, according to Peter Busfield, who represents the marine industry.

"We are a long, long way from any markets, we’re really at the end of a no-exit street as far as the world is concerned," he says.

"We’ve got to go out and introduce ourselves to the various markets, and have a value proposition that satisfies those customers more so than them buying from their next-door neighbouring country.

"So New Zealand always has to perform outstandingly well to break into any market." Global Trade

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Today Australia buys more Kiwi exports than anyone else, while China makes up about 20% of New Zealand’s overseas trade. The UK now accounts for just 3%, which is worth 1.6bn New Zealand dollars ($1.1bn; £830m).

New Zealand’s exports to the UK largely comprise meat, beverages and fruit, and there is appetite for a New Zealand-UK free trade agreement. There are about 30 million sheep in New Zealand "While Britain is…not a major trade partner for New Zealand, it still is a very important investment partner," says Mr Jacobi.

"Britain is the third largest investor in New Zealand after the United States and Australia, so the relationship is still very significant. What we have now, maybe, is an opportunity to bring it up to date and place it more in the 21st Century."

Four-and-a-half decades after a nasty divorce the UK is reaching out to New Zealand again. The irony of this volte-face isn’t lost on many Kiwis, but you’ll find few here who still bear a grudge.

A NZ-UK trade deal will be a priority for post-Brexit UK, according to Theresa May’s government. As it looks for new partners, a faraway friend it spurned in the past could perhaps help it embrace the challenges ahead.

Labour has slammed Theresa May for giving LGBT people “empty PR” instead of action on discrimination

Labour has slammed Theresa May for giving LGBT people “empty PR” instead of action on discrimination

Labour have accused the PM of dragging her heels over discrimination Labour has slammed Theresa May for giving LGBT people “empty PR” instead of action on discrimination.

In an interview with Gay Times, published today, the Prime Minister announced the government will publish its LGBT Action Plan this summer.

But she failed to reveal any information about the plan, or any specific details of the survey that led to its formulation.

She said: “Last summer I announced a survey of LGBT people in Britain.

The response was phenomenal with over 100,000 people replying, making it the largest survey of LGBT people anywhere in the world.

“One answer that stood out to me was how many LGBT people said they avoided being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity in public, or with their own family and friends.

"I want to help make us a country where no one feels the need to hide who they are or who they love.

“We will publish the full results soon.

"And while these findings might not come as news to many in the community, they do allow government to focus on what more it needs to do to tackle discrimination in every walk of life.

"Whether that is at home, in the playground, in the workplace, or in public.” She added: “That is why we will also publish an LGBT Action Plan this summer.

"It will set out concrete steps the Government will take to improve lives for LGBT people in this country and address some of the injustices the community has faced.”

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities said the Prime Minister’s words did not go far enough.

Dawn Butler said: “All this Government seems to do is make announcements about future announcements, it’s just empty PR.

“Theresa May announced a consultation on the Gender Recognition Act last August, but nearly a year later it hasn’t even started.”

“We need to see deeds, not just words, from the Conservatives.

"Today marks 30 years since Thatcher’s Government introduced the cruel Section 28, a grim moment in our country’s history, which was defended by Theresa May.

“It was repealed by the last Labour Government in 2003, a Government which did more than any other in British history to advance LGBT+ equality.”

Gay porn actor and reality TV star found guilty of revenge porn

Gay porn actor and reality TV star found guilty of revenge porn

He posted a photo the day of sentencing, writing: ‘I like to smile at people who don’t like me’ | Photo: Facebook/Kurtis Hartman Kurtis Peters-Hartman, who appeared on Ex on the Beach, was found guilty of publishing and circulating revenge porn.

The 22-year-old former gay porn actor appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 21 May to hear his verdict.

A judge gave him a 16-week sentence, suspended for 18 months. He also must perform 120 hours of community service. Finally, he owes £620 in court fees and £115 to the victim.

Hartman continues to deny the charge. He previously told the Daily Star Online : ‘I have not been charged regarding the revenge porn as my phone was hacked and this is currently still under investigation so I am unable to discuss anymore at this present time due to confidentiality.’ An argument on Twitter

Prosecutor Sabrina Farhan explained in court how Hartman posted a nude photo of his ex on Twitter.

The pair got into an argument on Twitter. During the course of it, Hartman texted his ex that unless she deleted her tweets, his next post would ‘ruin her’.

The photo he posted showed his ex’s face clearly. It was deleted two hours later. His Twitter has over 3,000 followers.

H/t: Metro

This aunt wrote a lovely poem in church about her niece’s pronouns

This aunt wrote a lovely poem in church about her niece's pronouns

The power of the written word | Photo: Unsplash/Hannah Olinger Twitter can be a messy place. But it can also be an inspiring place, like this new story about an aunt writing a poem in her church writing group about her niece’s preferred pronouns.

User @TheoNicole shared the story — and poem — on the social media platform on Monday (21 May).

‘My 73-year-old aunt wrote a poem about my pronouns in her church writing group and it’s the sweetest thing,’ they wrote.

It is indeed very sweet. The shared poem | Photo: Twitter @TheoNicole Poetic compassion

Here is the poem in full:

This person I know
Wants to be called a they.
It cold [sic] bring us much closer
To see them that way.

It’s a strange thing to think
And harder to say,
But they is so happy
When the effort is made.

For all the theys and thems
It is this that I pray,
We be kind and accepting
And just let them be they. Inspiring others

@TheoNicole also shared other facts about their aunt and she only sounds more and more amazing. They also said to attribute the poem to S.R. Vittone, the name their aunt signs her art with. More facts about TheoNicole’s aunt | Photo: Twitter @TheoNicole Many people reached out to @TheoNicole about the poem, sharing how it touched them or their own experiences with pronouns.

Chelsea Clinton called it ‘beautiful and wise’. This is beautiful and wise. — Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) May 22, 2018 Didn’t realize I was being a tad judgmental about some of our daughter’s college friends…one in transition, one nonbinary…then I met them. Your aunt’s poem expresses my own transition to embracing their choices, diversity and kindness. They’ve seen a few things in this world. — MeowBobcat (@PepperLand248) May 22, 2018 i’m crying???? like honestly it made me cry its very nice and i’m very glad you have an accepting aunt — IT WITCH TIME (@AmandaToddArt) May 22, 2018 "Let them be they". So amazingly simple. That’s brilliant. — Jase (@dammitalltohell) May 22, 2018 It also inspired others to write and share their own poetry. Your aunt is wonderful. She inspired me to write a poem, too. pic.twitter.com/yhAgYkPc5w — Zidders RooFurry (@ZiddersRoofurry) May 22, 2018 Recently, people have been taking to Twitter to share their own positive family experiences with LGBTQ people.

One trans woman shared her grandmother’s touching and sweet reaction to her coming out.

Yesterday, Niall Horan of One Direction fame shared a lovely story about a pair of gay dads on a flight.

A promising sign: Two lesbians of color won big elections in the US

A promising sign: Two lesbians of color won big elections in the US

Valdez in her candidate photo | Photo: Facebook/LupeForTexas Elections are starting to ramp up in the United States leading to November’s midterms — and they look promising for Democrats.

Midterms are general elections that take place the two years after a presidential election. They focus on seats in Congress (both House and Senate), governor races, and other various state and local offices.

Many are talking about a ‘blue wave’, in which Democrats can take back majorities in federal and state governments.

Recent primary elections — narrowing the field of candidates for the general election — have shown why energy is so high.

Last night (22 May), two lesbians of color won major elections in the red state of Texas. Gina Ortiz Jones

Jones won the Democratic primary for the 23rd Congressional district in the state. If she wins the general, she’ll become the first openly LGBTQ Congressional politician from Texas.

Jones, a lesbian, Iraq War veteran, and first-generation Filipina-America, announced her candidacy at the start of the year.

Before deciding to run for office, she served under three presidents, including Trump. When he assumed office, Jones was a director in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Her reservations about Trump and his administration is what led her to decide to run.

‘The type of people that were brought in to be public servants were interested in neither the public nor the service,’ she said. ‘That, to me, was a sign that I’m going to have to serve in a different way.’

Now, she’s facing off against Republican and two-time incumbent Will Hurd. Lupe Valdez

Valdez has the chance to be the country’s first openly lesbian governor. Democrats voted for the former Dallas County Sheriff over her opponent, Andrew White.

She now faces off against Republican Governor Greg Abbott. He is heavily favored to win, and Texas has not elected a Democratic candidate to a statewide office since 1994, but Valdez will still fight.

When she became sheriff in 2004, she was the country’s only Latina sheriff and one of Texas’ first openly gay sheriffs.

‘Tonight Texans made history by making Lupe Valdez the first openly lesbian woman to win the gubernatorial nomination from a major political party – the latest in a series of groundbreaking wins for LGBTQ candidates in the state,’ said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund.

‘Texans are voting for LGBTQ candidates because we are authentic, values-driven leaders who deliver on promises. That is why Lupe won, and we will work hard to expose Governor Abbott’s cynical politics of divisiveness and showcase Lupe’s positive agenda for Texans over the next five months.’

The midterm elections take place on Tuesday, 6 November.