LGBT activists say new bills — including one in Colorado — target transgender youth

LGBT activists say new bills — including one in Colorado — target transgender youth

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis delivers his second state of the state address in the House chambers at the state Capitol on January 9, 2020 in Denver. (Kathryn Scott, Special to The Colorado Sun) By Lindsay Whitehurst and David Crary , The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — At the urging of conservative advocacy groups, Republican legislators in more than a dozen states are promoting bills that focus on transgender young people. One batch of bills would bar doctors from providing them certain gender-related medical treatment; another batch would bar trans students from participating on school sports teams of the gender they identify with.

The proposed laws, if enacted, “would bring devastating harms to the transgender community,” said Chase Strangio, a transgender-rights lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.

He warned that the medical bans — now pending in Colorado , Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota and likely to surface elsewhere — could trigger suicides among young people yearning to undergo gender transition.

The bills’ goals have been endorsed by several national conservative groups, including Alliance Defending Freedom and Eagle Forum. “We’ve got lots of legislators working on this,” said Gayle Ruzicka, an activist with Eagle Forum’s Utah chapter. “We don’t let this happen to children.”

The bill recently introduced in South Dakota would make it a felony for medical providers to perform operations or administer hormone therapy to help minors change their gender. The Missouri bill would subject doctors to revocation of their license if they administered gender-reassignment treatment, and parents who consented to such treatment would be reported to child-welfare officials for child abuse.

“I cannot imagine what happens to transgender people if these criminal bans pass,” said the ACLU’s Strangio, a transgender man. “I don’t think we can possibly raise the alarm enough, because people are going to die.”

The medical director of the Trevor Project, a youth suicide prevention service, also expressed dismay, saying the bills could deprive some young people of potentially life-saving treatment. “They would force doctors to make an untenable decision and could result in their imprisonment for providing best-practice medical care,” said Dr. Alexis Chavez, a transgender psychiatrist.

A Utah legislator, Republican Rep. Brad Daw, said he has accepted Eagle Forum’s request to begin drafting such a bill, though his current proposal now contains some changes from the language suggested by the advocacy group.

While his bill would ban surgeries and hormone therapy for minors, it would allow puberty blockers — medications that temporarily puts puberty on hold.

“We want to do what we think is reasonable practice, which is put off that kind of one-way ticket decision until the youth is an adult,” he said.

Daw said he wants to be sensitive and respectful to transgender kids and their families but remains concerned about medical steps toward transitioning.

“What we want is really good policy off the bat,” said Daw, who’s still drafting the bill for the legislative session that begins Jan. 27.

For transgender kids and their families, though, the idea of putting those steps out of reach is terrifying. Robyn Rumsey of Roy, Utah said her child was withdrawn and angry before coming out as transgender at age 12.

“As parents we were completely thrown, to say the least,” she said. In consultation with a counselor and doctors, Dex Rumsey gradually began wearing short hair and boy’s clothes, then began using puberty blockers and eventually testosterone.

“It wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly,” Robyn Rumsey said. It’s made her son, now 15, into a happy, thriving person, she said. The family is considering surgery later this year.

“We have seen this child completely turn around,” she said. Dex considered suicide before coming out, and if he didn’t have access to hormones she worries those thoughts would return. Just learning about the idea of a ban sent him into a panic and a sleepless night, she said.

“I know that it would be a life or death situation for my son. We would be desperate to find help and medication for him,” she said.

Dex Rumsey said the time since he’s started hormone therapy has been the happiest of his life.

“I was never comfortable under my own skin. I always felt wrong, disgusting and I hated myself. These hormones have allowed me to feel comfortable with who I am. It’s allowed me to be happier. I don’t hate myself, I’m not depressed, I don’t feel suicidal anymore,” he said.

That kind of sentiment should be a particular concern to state leaders looking to bring down the state’s suicide rate, said Troy Williams with the group Equality Utah.

If a law were to pass, Dex Rumsey said he’d want to leave the state. “I don’t think they realize the damage these types of things are causing,” he said.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is also leading a nationwide campaign to prevent transgender girls from competing with other girls in high school sports. It has filed a federal discrimination complaint on behalf of Connecticut girls who competed in track-and-field and say state’s inclusive policy on transgender athletes has cost them top finishes and possibly college scholarships.

“Forcing female athletes to compete against biological males isn’t fair and destroys their athletic opportunities,” said attorney Matt Sharp, the ADF’s state government relations director. “Likewise, every child deserves a childhood that allows them to experience puberty and other natural changes that shape who they will become.”

So far this year, bills to restrict transgender students’ sports participation are pending in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Washington state, according to the ACLU. Idaho State Rep. Barbara Ehardt told the Idaho Statesman she’s preparing a similar bill. In several cases, the bills would override trans-inclusive policies adopted by state high school athletic associations.

The Alabama measure, titled the Gender Is Real Legislative Act, would bar any K-12 public school from participating in interscholastic sports events which allow trans athletes to compete according to their gender identity.

“The GIRL Bill seeks to support female student-athletes, so that they may compete against each other and not have to compete against male students with an unfair advantage,” said the bill’s author, Rep. Chris Pringle.

Several national women’s rights and sports organizations are pushing back, saying that barring transgender people from sports teams aligning with their gender identity often means they are “excluded from participating altogether.”

Crary reported from New York

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Petition revives calls for LGBT street names

Petition revives calls for LGBT street names

A man has started a petition to change the name of Isis Street to Harvey Milk Street. Photo: Courtesy Twitter A petition to rename a South of Market street after Harvey Milk has reignited the issue of honoring LGBT leaders with street names in San Francisco.

Last week, a change.org petition ( https://bit.ly/2uNuSg9 ) was created that asks Mayor London Breed and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to change the name of Isis Street, a small side street in the South of Market neighborhood, to Harvey Milk Street.

As of Tuesday, it had garnered 45 signatures toward a goal of 100.

The first such proposal to rename a street after Milk failed to gather steam back in 1999. Milk was the first openly gay man elected to office in San Francisco and California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. He was assassinated the next year.

But now the creator of the petition — David Collins, 59, a straight ally who owns property on Isis Street — said he would be open to renaming the street after someone else, after members of the LGBT community indicated in Facebook discussions after the Bay Area Reporter’s initial January 15 article online that a street in SOMA should be named for a member of the leather community, or that Milk should be honored with a different street.

"Maybe instead of Isis Street, it could be something that has a patriotic connotation like Veterans Street," Collins said in a January 17 interview with the B.A.R., adding that he may rework his efforts to reflect that. "The most compelling thing is to take the Isis name off.

"The LGBT community is in a better position to name Harvey Milk street, and I would support that," he added.

Terry Beswick, the executive director of the GLBT Historical Society, wrote on Facebook that he would support renaming Market Street for Milk. The 1999 proposal would have renamed a section of Market Street for Milk.

Gerard Koskovich, also of the GLBT Historical Society, suggested renaming Isis Street for Michel Foucault, the French philosopher who frequented the SOMA LGBT scene and died of complications from AIDS in 1984.

At least two San Francisco supervisors expressed their support for the idea after the initial petition was launched. District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney (Isis Street is in his district) wrote to the Bay Area Reporter via text message, "I love it."

"I’m definitely for more streets named after our local LGBT heroes, and it’d be amazing to have a street named after Harvey Milk in West SOMA," Haney wrote. "It’s a great location for that. I’ll check in with the community about it and next steps."

Gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, the lone LGBT member of the board, wrote to the B.A.R. that he supports having a street named for Milk, but would prefer it if such a street would be in the Castro neighborhood that Milk represented.

"I’m a fan of naming everything we can after Harvey Milk! Naming a San Francisco street after Harvey certainly seems appropriate, though I’d obviously love for it to be in the neighborhood he represented on the Board of Supervisors," wrote Mandelman, who now represents the Castro at City Hall. "I’m happy to have discussions about any possibilities with community members and friends and family of Harvey’s."

Isis Street is near the SF Eagle leather bar and the under-construction Eagle Plaza in the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District.

"Its name presumably had paid homage to ‘Isis,’ a goddess from the polytheistic pantheon of Egypt," the petition states. "Unfortunately, Isis has taken on a new, maleficent meaning, referencing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

"This petition will be presented to San Francisco Mayor London Breed and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in hopes that they will take action and change this street name to Harvey Milk St.," it reads.

Collins spoke with the B.A.R. by phone early January 16. He owns a 10-unit building on Isis Street.

"How would you like to be a disabled American veteran in your wheelchair on Isis Street?" he asked.

Collins said that his proposal is primarily about getting the Isis name off the street while honoring Milk, saying his LGBT relatives and friends might not have come out if not for Milk. The gay leader, both in his political columns he wrote for the B.A.R. and in his campaign stump speeches, implored LGBT people to come out of the closet.

"This isn’t about me," Collins said. "If someone in the LGBT community wants to take the mantle, I don’t mind. But if it starts with me, it’s OK. I just want a more positive name for the street and neighborhood."

Collins feels that the location is appropriate because of the historic LGBT presence in the South of Market neighborhood.

"We have the Eagle Plaza on one side and Folsom Street on the other side," Collins said. "Harvey Milk would fit right in."

Robert Goldfarb, a gay man who serves as the president of the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District board, wrote in an email to the B.A.R. January 16 he will see what people in the area think of the proposal.

"Naturally, we are in favor of ways to honor Harvey Milk and we’re also interested in what the residents think of the change," Goldfarb wrote. "Additionally, we believe that on other streets in the leather & LGBTQ district, there are many ways to commemorate leather leaders and the neighborhood’s rich history which would benefit everyone who visits, works, or lives in the district."

Collins said that he reached out to then-District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim "four or five years ago" about the possibility of a name-change for Isis Street and she said she would support it if Collins got a petition started. But at the time he thought that ISIS would fade from people’s memories, and he was occupied with other things.

"I thought ISIS would go away, but in the meantime it’s only gotten worse," he said.

Kim did not respond to a request for comment.

Past effort unsuccessful
San Francisco does not have a street named for the slain LGBT civil rights icon. San Diego had the first street named for Milk, in 2012. Salt Lake City named a street for Milk in 2016, followed by Portland, Oregon in 2018.

Twenty-one years ago a proposal to rename a stretch of Market Street from Octavia Boulevard to Portola Drive — a main artery through the heart of the city’s LGBT Castro district — after Milk went nowhere. A resident and business owner of the Castro, Milk represented the neighborhood at City Hall for 11 months in 1978 until he was assassinated November 27 that year.

That proposal from the Castro Citizens Congress, a neighborhood improvement group, needed 10,500 signatures to make the November 1999 ballot, according to a contemporaneous story in the San Francisco Examiner.

It didn’t make it, according to the San Francisco Department of Elections website.

But in the City by the Bay, and especially in the Castro neighborhood, Milk’s name is still omnipresent.

The San Francisco Public Library branch in the Castro is named for Milk, as is the plaza above the Castro Muni station, and the LGBTQ Democratic club he founded after his 1976 election defeat (originally called the Gay Democratic Club).

Milk’s name appears on Terminal 1 at San Francisco International Airport, the building that houses a Job Corps center on Treasure Island, an elementary school in the Castro, and an arts center in Duboce Triangle.

Milk also has an F Market streetcar, a bust in City Hall, a United States Postal Service stamp (2014), and a state holiday of special significance on May 22, Milk’s birthday.

The U.S. Navy announced last month that it began construction on a ship named for Milk.

Street names
Any request for a street renaming faces a lengthy process. It would need to be scheduled for a supervisors committee and voted on by the full board.

Several street names in San Francisco have changed in recent decades to reflect the diversity of the city’s population. Most notably, there was a bitter fight in 1995 over Army Street.

The Board of Supervisors voted to rename the street after Latino labor leader Cesar Chavez in 1995. But the name change came at a time of racial discord in California in the aftermath of the anti-immigrant Proposition 187, and many white residents wanted the name changed back to Army.

A ballot proposition to remove Chavez’s name went down in defeat November 7, 1995 by 54%-45%, according to the elections department.

In more recent years, there was considerably less controversy when Phelan Way was renamed in 2018 for Latina bisexual artist Frida Kahlo, and when a block of 16th Street was renamed 1 José Sarria Court, after the first openly gay candidate for public office in the United States. Sarria, a legendary drag queen, ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1961 and founded the Imperial Court system.

That block, where the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library is located, was renamed for Sarria in 2006, when he was still alive. (Sarria died in 2013.)

The city has also bestowed honorary street names that recognize LGBT community members, meaning that they do not impact the mailing addresses for businesses and residences on that block.

The 100 block of Taylor Street was renamed Gene Compton’s Cafeteria Way after the business where a transgender-led uprising against police brutality occurred in 1966, three years before the more famous Stonewall riots in Manhattan.

The 100 block of Turk Street was named Vicki Mar Lane, after trans performer Vicki Marlane, who died in 2011 at the age of 76 due to AIDS-related complications.Marlane had hosted a popular drag revue show at gay bar Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, which is located at 133 Turk Street. She is the first transgender person to be honored with a street naming in San Francisco.In 2014, Lech Walesa Alley between Polk Street and Van Ness Avenue was renamed Dr. Tom Waddell Place, due in part, to the former Polish leader making homophobic comments. Waddell was the founder of the Gay Games.A block of Myrtle Street near City Hall is named for lesbian author Alice B. Toklas, who was born nearby. And Jack Kerouac Alley in North Beach honors the bisexual Beat Generation writer.

Online Extra: CA LGBTs urged to fill out census forms

Online Extra: CA LGBTs urged to fill out census forms

Equality California Institute Executive Director Rick Zbur said the organization is launching a campaign for LGBT people to pledge to complete the 2020 census. Photo: Courtesy EQCA With billions of federal funding at stake and California at risk of seeing its congressional representation diminish, the state’s LGBT residents are being urged to fill out their 2020 census forms. Doing so is being pitched as a way to not only protect the Golden State’s political clout and financial resources but also as a protest against the Trump administration’s rollback of federal LGBT rights and protections.

During the Obama administration, a working group of federal agencies had been looking at including questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on the 2020 census form but the final decision was left up to the administration of his successor. And in March 2017, nearly two months after President Donald Trump took office, the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed the forms would not include SOGI questions, causing an uproar among LGBT groups and federal lawmakers supportive of seeing the census collect SOGI data.

Since then LGBT groups and advocates have been using the hashtag #WillBeCounted on social media platforms to drum up awareness about the importance of taking part in the census despite the lack of the SOGI questions. It is especially critical in California, where for the first time in the state’s history it could lose a House seat in Congress because the state’s population is no longer growing as fast as several Western and Southern states that are expected to pick up House seats next year.

Not only is the census population count used to allocate House seats to the states, it also determines funding for myriad social services, from food stamps and Medicaid to Section 8 housing vouchers and community health centers.

Equality California, the statewide LGBT advocacy group, on its website is asking people to pledge that they will fill out their census forms this spring. For the first time people will be able to do so online, or they can return the printed forms that will be mailed to them by April 15.

"Thank you for taking the pledge and letting the Trump-Pence administration know we #WillBeCounted!" states a note that pops up on the screen of those who fill out the online form.

Pledge to be counted
Starting Wednesday (January 22) EQCA will be running ads on Facebook and the hookup app Grindr to encourage people to sign the pledge. It is part of a $1 million campaign the agency is undertaking this year to ensure LGBT people fill out the census.

"The 2020 census is nothing less than a fight for our future — a future that values diversity and invests in the communities that need it most," stated Equality California Institute Executive Director Rick Zbur. "Too often, California’s diverse LGBTQ community is undercounted — which denies us power, representation and funding for programs that the most vulnerable members of our community need to survive. There’s far too much at stake to allow that to happen in 2020. LGBTQ Californians will be counted."

The bulk of the money came from a grant EQCA received from the California Complete Count Office, which is overseeing the state’s 2020 census efforts. It also received funding from the California Community Foundation specifically for outreach efforts in Los Angeles County and from the California Wellness Foundation for its statewide efforts.

"Right now we are just asking people to pledge to complete the census. In March, we will be doing follow up outreach to people to remind them to fill out the census," said EQCA spokesman Samuel Garrett-Pate.

EQCA has been working with a coalition of LGBT groups around the state to prepare for this year’s census. A major awareness drive was conducted last year at Pride events across the Golden State.

Amanda McAllister-Wallner, director of the California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network, told the Bay Area Reporter that the census campaign generated overwhelmingly positive reactions.

"I think people were both receptive to the idea of being counted and that this is important for these services that are important to me and the community," said McAllister-Wallner, adding that the Trump administration’s attempts not to count LGBT people in various government surveys also registered. "They are attacking you at the federal level constantly and this is an opportunity to fight back and demand I will be counted in the census. It is a way for people to say, ‘You can’t erase me. You can’t erase my community.’"

The decennial count of the nation’s population will fall short in terms of collecting exact data on the number of LGBT residents, since the 2020 census will not be asking people to specify if they identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. In terms of a person’s gender, the only choice one can select is either male or female.

There will be a question where same-sex couples can clearly mark their relationship. New to the 2020 census forms in explaining how people living in the same household are related are the options "same-sex husband/wife/spouse" or "same-sex unmarried partner." In 2010 the options on the census form were the generic terms "husband or wife" or "unmarried partner."

Despite the lack of SOGI questions for LGBT individuals, there does not appear to be a concerted effort to depress LGBT participation in the 2020 census, according to half a dozen LGBT leaders the B.A.R. spoke to about this year’s count. Rather, there seems to be a broad recognition within the LGBT community of the critical importance for filling out this year’s form.

"We need to be counted as a community. We need to know we exist," said Miguel Bustos, a gay San Francisco resident who serves on the California Complete Count Committee and is the senior director of the Center for Social Justice at GLIDE SF.

The Bay Area Reporter will have more about efforts to ensure LGBT Californians take part in the 2020 census in its January 30 issue.

8 KC Companies Rank ‘Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality’

8 KC Companies Rank ‘Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality’

Several Kansas City, Missouri, companies have earned the “ Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality ” distinction this year.

Every year, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation ranks businesses for their adoption of inclusive workplace policies and practices such as domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive benefits and non-discriminatory policies, among others. This year eight of the 686 top companies in the U.S. are located in Kansas City.

“Kansas City for such a long time has had a reputation as being an enormously conservative city,” said Suzanne Wheeler, executive director of the Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce in Kansas City.

Wheeler identifies as trans and grew up in the Kansas City suburbs in the 1980s. She spent 30 years away from Kansas City while in the military before she retired. Wheeler admits Kansas City wasn’t the first place she considered to retire, but she gave it a shot and went to a chamber meeting. She was pleasantly surprised.

“It was a completely different city than the one I left,” Wheeler said. “I realized there were plenty of opportunities for me in Kansas City. I wouldn’t just be able to make it but I would be able to thrive.”

The ratings suggest the city has become more inclusive for professional LGBTQ+ individuals, which is good for recruitment and therefore good for business. Every year, Kansas City’s ratings improve, Wheeler said, and the community notices.

“It’s fabulous because ultimately it helps show this eclectic and wonderfully accepting city that we live in,” Wheeler said.

KC companies that earned high scores are listed below: Cerner Corp. — 100

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City — 95

Hallmark Cards Inc. — 100

H&R Block Inc. — 100

Lathrop Gage — 95

Polsinelli — 100

Shook, Hardy & Bacon — 100

Stinson — 100

This non-binary eight-year-old understands identity and acceptance better than most adults

This non-binary eight-year-old understands identity and acceptance better than most adults

R said coming out was like "telling someone about a really cool comic". (Envato) A non-binary second grader at an elementary school in Pennsylvania has explained her thoughts on identity and acceptance, and she’s more insightful than most adults.

The eight-year-old, referred to as “R” in an interview with PublicSource to protect her identity, uses she/her pronouns and wants to be a meteorologist when she grows up.

R came out as non-binary last year, shortly before her eighth birthday, and said: “I’m not a girl, not a boy. I’m just me.”

The first person she told at school was another child in the playground who asked her if she was a boy or a girl. She responded by saying: “I’m non-binary!”

R said the feeling of excitement at being open about her identity was “like you were telling someone about a really cool comic that you like”.

She added: “I feel like… in the gender section of my heart, there is nothing.”

But at eight, R is already learning that other people see her as different. When she came home with district forms that required her mother to tick either a “male” or “female” box, R asked her mother to draw a third box that said “other”.

“It made me feel angry that people don’t include people who are both or neither,” R said.

The stars who went gay for pay

She is able to understand that when other children are mean to her at school, it comes from a place of misunderstanding, insecurity or fear.

She said: “I get called a lot of harsh things just because people don’t understand. They just don’t know what to call me, so they call me something mean.

“I wish that kids who were non-binary got all the same things as kids who are male or female.

“I wish that everybody could know what it means so that they don’t call kids mean names just because they’re non-binary.”

Her mother said that she began discussing the topic of identity, for example around race or gender, with her child when R was four years old.

She said of R coming out: “The fact that she even had the language to use, we were pretty proud of her. We need to have these conversations early and often.”

According to a Trevor Project survey, 78 per cent of transgender and non-binary youth reported being the subject of discrimination and three in 10 have attempted suicide.

But, consistently using the correct name and pronouns for trans people can reduce their rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts to almost the same levels as their cisgender counterparts.

Traumatising conversion therapy for LGBT children has finally been banned in Mormon state Utah

Traumatising conversion therapy for LGBT children has finally been banned in Mormon state Utah

A woman holds a sign at a rally in downtown Salt Lake City demand that the Mormon Church change their policy of doing "worthiness interviews" with children that may involve sexual matters. (George Frey/Getty) Traumatising conversion therapy is now officially illegal for LGBT+ children in Utah, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS church), commonly known as the Mormon Church, is headquartered.

The anti-LGBT+ LDS church dominates politics in Utah and around a third of all Mormons in the US live in the state.

Most US states have a Mormon population of between zero and five percent, but according to the latest LDS figures, 68 percent of the Utah population is Mormon.

The proportion of the population who are members of the LDS church is greater than the proportion of Utah women who have jobs.

In October, 2019, the church announced that it opposed a proposed ban on conversion therapy in the state.

The church’s “family services” branch also sent a letter to the Utah Department of Commerce raising its concerns about the bill.

In the letter , the church said: “Regardless of a person’s sexual orientation, some behaviours related to or associated with sexual orientation can be destructive and psychologically unhealthy… Certainly a minor client with gender dysphoria who desires to change, through appropriate therapies, extreme or destructive ‘behaviours that express aspects of gender’ should be able to find help from responsible therapists.”

A month later, after assurances were added that churches would still be able to provide spiritual counselling, the LDS church u-turned and said it would not resist a ban on the traumatising and debunked practice of conversion therapy.

The change in law became final on Tuesday January 21, making Utah the 19th US state to ban the practice.

According to the Los Angeles Times , the original sponsor of the proposal, Republican Utah representative Craig Hall, said: “This measure will truly save lives.”

A study published in 2019 found that “transgender people who are exposed to conversion efforts anytime in their lives have more than double the odds of attempting suicide compared with those who have never experienced efforts by professionals to convert their gender identity.”

Labour leadership: I can sell ‘hope for the future’, says Long-Bailey

Labour leadership: I can sell 'hope for the future', says Long-Bailey

Labour needs to sell a message of aspiration to voters, says Long-Bailey Labour had "a great set of policies" at the general election but got its "messaging" wrong, Rebecca Long-Bailey has told the BBC.

"We should have been talking about aspiration," the Labour leadership contender said, but too often talked about "handouts" instead.

She said she had the ability to sell "a positive vision" and "hope for the future" that wins elections.

The race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn is down to four after Jess Phillips quit.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy have made it on the final leadership ballot, after securing the necessary trade union and affiliated group support.

Emily Thornberry and Mrs Long-Bailey have yet to reach the threshold.

Ms Phillips said she would be happy with either Ms Nandy or Sir Keir as leader, but argued that Mrs Long-Bailey would be the wrong choice for Labour at this moment. Nandy joins Starmer on Labour leadership ballot

Jess Phillips quits Labour leadership race

Who will be Labour’s next leader?

Mr Corbyn announced he would be standing down after Labour suffered its worst defeat, in terms of seats, since 1935 in December’s election.

But Mrs Long-Bailey – whose campaign is backed by grassroots organisation Momentum – refused to blame the party’s manifesto, saying she was "proud" of the policies in it.

Labour’s "compromise position" on Brexit "didn’t satisfy our communities and meant that we weren’t trusted," she told the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg.

And, she added: "We didn’t tackle anti-Semitism and we weren’t trusted to deal with that issue within our own party."

The manifesto policies – which included nationalising utilities and a big increase in tax-funded public spending – were not drawn together into an "overarching narrative" that chimed with the electorate, she said.

"Our messaging really didn’t resonate with voters. We should have been talking about aspiration and how all of the things within our manifesto would improve your life, would improve the outcome for businesses in our areas, but we didn’t say that.

"Quite often we talked about handouts and how we will help people, rather than providing that broad positive vision of the future."

She said Labour had a history of talking "about how bad the Conservatives are" without "showing that real vision and hope for the future".

"That’s what wins general elections, showing that real vision and hope for the future. And I know that I can do that and that’s why I’m standing to be the leader of the party." ‘Chinese takeaway’

The shadow business secretary said Labour did not do enough to "sell" her flagship policy, the Green Industrial Revolution, which she said "would have transformed our economy and delivered investment in regions and nations". Rebecca Long-Bailey says she supports gender self-identification "Whoever becomes leader, we have to reunite the party to make sure that we’re unified in the message that we’re putting forward. But we had many of the right answers to the right questions."

She also hit back at claims she was not forceful enough to be prime minister.

"I’m not shy. I mean, I have spent last four years, you know, locked in a room developing many of the policies that we’ve been trying to push forward as a party, but I don’t think you could ever describe me as shy."

She said she believed her "forensic approach" to politics would be a challenge to Boris Johnson, whom she described as having "a bit of a struggling relationship with the truth and with detail".

On the prospect of being PM herself one day, she said she could picture herself living in 10 Downing Street, "chilling out" in her pyjamas on a Friday night, with "Netflix and a Chinese takeaway". Trans rights

In a wide-ranging interview, Mrs Long-Bailey was asked whether she had any Conservative friends in Parliament.

"Not really, no," she replied, but added: "I’m friendly to everyone."

She said her non-political friends would not tell her if they supported the Tories "because I’d be angry".

She also reiterated her belief that women had a "right to choose" when it came to abortion and she was not in favour of changing the law, after a row over comments she made to Catholic priests during the general election.

And she backed a change in the law to allow transgender people to self-identify without the need for medical evidence. Four candidates remain in the race for the Labour leadership Labour’s manifesto committed to reform of the Gender Recognition Act to allow self-identification, but critics warn it will make it easier for someone born as a man but now identifying as a woman to gain access to women-only spaces such as toilets, changing rooms, prisons and domestic violence refuges.

Asked whether she had any concerns about the policy, Mrs Long-Bailey said she understood the arguments, but Labour must "fully support our trans community".

Laura Kuenssberg interviewed Sir Keir last week and is aiming to interview Ms Thornberry and Ms Nandy in the coming weeks.

Poster for antifeminist and LGBT event triggers backlash against Wardah Cosmetics

Poster for antifeminist and LGBT event triggers backlash against Wardah Cosmetics

Love wins: A passerby hugs an activist campaigning for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people during Car Free Day in Jakarta on June 16, 2019. (JP/Seto Wardhana) A poster for an antifeminist and lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LGBT) event supposedly sponsored by Wardah Cosmetics has sparked an online backlash against the halal makeup producer.

The poster was first posted on the Instagram account of a religious organization called Majelis Umat Rabbani Nur Islam (MURNI), advertising an open discussion about "The Dangers of Feminism and LGBT".

The post was taken down at noon on Wednesday after Indonesian feminist website Magdalene wrote a comment objecting to the poster’s use of one of its illustrations.

When contacted by The Jakarta Post, Wardah Cosmetics public relations staff member Suci Hendrina said the company was looking into whether it was a sponsor of the event.

A number of activists, feminist groups and other social media users have also asked whether the makeup company was sponsoring the event and threatened to boycott the brand if it did. "Bad marketing, @wardahbeauty. Do you think that there are no feminists or LGBT people among your customers?" the Indonesia Feminis community wrote in a post on Instagram. "If it’s true that you are antifeminism and anti-LGBT, we will stop using Wardah."

LGBT rights activist Lini Zurlia tweeted that she was considering boycotting Wardah over the issue, but was concerned that the move would affect the company’s workers. Mau bikin boikot @wardahbeauty tapi boikot boikot itu yg akan terdampak paling terdepan ya buruh-buruh yg bekerja di pabrik2nya. Kalo warda ya para pekerja di PT Paragon TI ☹️

Mix feeling banget akutu.

Wardah kamu kok gitu sih? — Lini Zurlia (@Lini_ZQ) January 22, 2020 Hartoyo, the director of Suara Kita, an NGO focusing on LGBT rights, also chimed in through a tweet.

"Is it true that @wardahbeauty supports this event?" he wrote. "Aren’t many of Wardah’s customers women and LGBT people? Why are you being mean to your own customers?

A few hours after the poster on MURNI’s Instagram account was taken down, the Instagram account of the Al-Mukhlishin Mosque, where the event was supposed to take place, posted a different poster of what seems to be the same event. The poster did not have Wardah’s logo and the event was now titled "Feminism and LGBT from the View of Islam."

Wardah did not immediately respond to the Post’s further requests for comment.

Editor’s note : This article has been updated.

LGBT Falklands veteran’s ‘over the moon’ at medal return

LGBT Falklands veteran's 'over the moon' at medal return

Media captionLGBT Falklands veteran’s ‘over the moon’ at medal return A Falklands veteran forced out of the Royal Navy due to his sexuality will have a military medal returned later.

Joe Ousalice served as a radio operator for 18 years, but was discharged in 1993 because of a ban on LGBT people serving in the armed forces.

Mr Ousalice from Southampton said he was "over the moon" ahead of a ceremony at HMS Excellent, Portsmouth.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) previously admitted its policy had been "wrong, discriminatory and unjust".

Mr Ousalice will be re-awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and three Good Conduct badges. Joe Ousalice told the BBC in May he was left isolated by his sacking from the Navy He said: "I was living a double life. I had to be careful about what I said and did, and where I went. Basically I wasn’t living my own life.

"They cut it [the medal] off my chest with a big pair of scissors."

Mr Ousalice said he was "over the moon – it’s just such a shame it’s taken 27 years to get it".

"I’m not fighting this just for myself but for hundreds of others who have been treated not too dissimilar to myself." Military chiefs back transgender troops

The bisexuality dating dilemma

Outed in the RAF

He served on board MV Myrmidon, part of the task force dispatched to liberate the Falkland Islands after the Argentinean invasion in 1982.

His career also included six tours of duty in Northern Ireland and he was seconded to a Nato task force.

The medal was stripped from him when he was discharged because his bisexuality was believed to be "prejudicial to good order and naval discipline". Mr Ousalice (highlighted) during his time serving with the Royal Navy The MoD said Mr Ousalice was "treated in a way that would not be acceptable today and for that we apologise".

"We accept our policy in respect of serving homosexuals in the military was wrong, discriminatory and unjust to the individuals involved," it added.

It is understood a scheme will also be set up by the MoD to return medals to other veterans.

On LGBT issues, N.J. may show Pa. the way | Editorial

On LGBT issues, N.J. may show Pa. the way | Editorial

A crowd celebrates outside of the Supreme Court in Washington in June 2015 after the court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. Jacquelyn Martin / AP File Haddon Heights and 11 other public school districts in New Jersey are road-testing a new middle and high school curriculum that includes information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people and will be rolled out statewide next fall. This welcome development could hold useful lessons for Pennsylvania — and for any jurisdictions concerned about the potential impact of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling expected this spring about whether existing federal employment discrimination protections include LGBT Americans.

Measures New Jersey passed in 1991 and 2006 already prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2018, the bill mandating the new curriculum , which also includes material about the contributions disabled people make to the American story, won strong support from educational and grassroots organizations and was approved by overwhelming majorities in both houses of the Democrat-dominated legislature. On the other hand, despite repeated efforts by individual Democrats such as State Sen. Larry Farnese and State Rep. Brian Sims, of Philadelphia, and others, Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled statehouse in Harrisburg has historically shown little or no inclination to move legislation involving the interests of the state’s estimated 400,000 LGBT people .

As The Inquirer’s Melanie Burney reported this week , New Jersey’s curriculum program has so far been generally well-received. But it’s also drawing predictable fire from organizations insisting that secular classroom material about LGBT people somehow violates religious freedom and parental rights . That’s quite a feat for, say, a high school history lesson that includes the fact that Bayard Rustin, who helped organize Martin Luther King Jr.’s epic March on Washington, was a gay man. Even measures that in New Jersey have drawn bipartisan support, such as the bill Gov. Phil Murphy signed Tuesday banning the so-called gay and transgender “panic defense” in criminal homicide cases , would be nonstarters in Pennsylvania, where the existing hate-crime law hasn’t been amended to include criminal acts motivated by anti-LGBT bias. Philadelphia and more than 50 other municipalities or counties in the state protect LGBT people from employment discrimination. But across much of Pennsylvania, an employer can dismiss someone simply for not being heterosexual. This is simply wrong by any standard.