Sunday, July 26

Health Care in Our Country


I don't normally do this, but I feel this is an important issue going on, especially with what's happening with Obama and the Health Care Plan. This is a picture of my friend Francine, or "Frankie" as she's called. Frankie is on dialysis, as you can see; she's been on it since October of 2008, and unfortunately she's not on a transplant list yet. Why? Because she's 5'9, and weighs 447 lbs. The doctors have said that until she gets down to less than 200 lbs she will not be put on the list. (Which to me is ridiculous, but that's my opinion and another story.) In order to lose that much weight, she needs to have gastric bypass surgery. Now, she does have Medicare, which will pay for the surgery; however, and this is the crazy part, there is $500.00 in administrative costs which Medicare WILL NOT PAY!! She is on SSI, which is very limited, and has rent, utilities, and transportation to pay out of that, so where is she supposed to get $500.00? Why does her insurance not pay for that too? They're paying thousands of dollars for not just the bypass surgery but also for the surgeries she will need afterward to move the excess skin, so why not pay a measly $500.00 administrative costs? Grrrr, it makes me so angry....

Anyway; $200.00 of the $500.00 has already been paid, and an organization has already pledged to pay at least $100.00 of the remaining $300.00. That just leaves $200.00 to be raised by August 20, 2009. I want so much to help Frankie; she's a very good friend of mine who right now can't work, or swim, or do any of the physical things she loves to do. She wants to work with homeless addicts helping them to recover and get jobs and permanent housing, and there's a place willing to give her a job, but with her going for dialysis 3 times a week and then the fact that she can't walk very far or stay on her feet long is really going to get in her way. Please, I'm asking for help. Anything that you can do will be appreciated; even if it's only a dollar, every penny helps. Frankie has PayPal; please send it to her at Frankielm@yahoo.com on PayPal. Please, I'm asking for a friend, but I'm also asking for a human being; a citizen of this country who needs help, and who, if this country had the Health Care Plan it should have, would not have to be online asking for help. Please, help her get her surgery, get off dialysis, and back to doing what she's always done, being a productive member of society.

Thanks!!

Monday, July 20

Anger over 'transphobic' columnist

By Staff Writer, PinkNews.co.uk • July 14, 2009 - 14:38

Dozens of members of the Queer Youth Network have written to complain about Sun columnist Jon Gaunt, who described gender reassignment as "misguided" and "slightly sick".

The LGBT youth organization has also lodged a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission.

The article in question focused on Kim Petras, the German 16-year-old trans singer. She underwent gender reassignment a year ago, having fought to have the law changed. Usually, only those over the age of 18 are permitted to undergo the surgery.

Columnist and radio presenter Jon Gaunt described her as "sad and slightly sick". He went on to describe her gender reassignment surgery as "drastic body mutilation" and compared her with Michael Jackson.

In a subsequent SunTalk radio show, Gaunt spoke to Erica Davies, the Sun journalist who first interviewed Kim.

Davies explained that Kim had felt she was "trapped in the wrong body" since the age of two, adding that the "bright" teenager was accepted by her family.

Gaunt said he had no problem with those over the age of 18 undergoing gender reassignment but was "not comfortable" with a child having the procedure, saying it could set "a dangerous precedent".

He added: "I'd love to get Kim on the show but after what I've just said, she probably won't come in."

David Henry, of the Queer Youth Network, has said Gaunt should apologise.

He said: "We accept The Sun is a tabloid newspaper and celebrity gossip mixed with sensationalism is part of what it does best, however demeaning and dehumanising young people in this manner is absolutely unacceptable and potentially damaging to thousands of people, many of whom have strikingly similar experiences to those of Kim Petras.

“Transgender people and those who do not conform to gender norms experience more than their fair share of ridicule and social torment in their every days lives as it is - we do not need this continued abusive onslaught from the mainstream media.

"We accept many people will not be surprised by this offensive and inaccurate comments made by Jon Gaunt in this article, but as Britain's most read-newspaper we would like to hear at least an acknowledgment from the editor of the upset this has caused our community by printing one of the many letters sent in by our members, if not a full apology from Jon Gaunt himself.”

Friday, July 17

Light Sentence for Suspect in Gay Murder


This is truly disgusting; I'm even thinking curse words it makes me so angry! If some man grabs my butt when I'm walking down the street, I'm allowed to beat him to death and get away with it??? What kind of world is this??
By Julie Bolcer

A man suspected of murdering a gay man in a street attack in Washington, D.C., last year pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and avoided substantial jail time, reports WLJA-TV.

Robert Hannah (pictured) pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge on Thursday in the death of Tony Randolph Hunter, who was 37. Invoking a "gay panic" defense, Hannah’s lawyer had argued that Hunter had touched his client inappropriately.

Hunter and two other gay men were attacked while on their way to a gay bar formerly known as BeBar on September 7. Left lying unconscious in the street after the attack, Hunter was taken to Howard University Hospital and died of severe head trauma 10 days later.

Although the murder was at first investigated as a hate crime, it was never characterized as one in court. Under the plea deal, the maximum possible sentence that Hannah, 18, could receive is 180 days in jail. Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese called that prospect “outrageous” in a statement issued by the group on Thursday.

Wednesday, July 15

With Help, Conductor and Wife Ended Lives


Why can't they just allow people the dignity and respect they deserve, and let them choose when and how they want to die? Why make them go through the uncertainty and perhaps pain of waiting around for whatever is going to take them to do so? Let them go when they're ready, in a nice, peaceful, painfree way. That's my opinion anyway...


By JOHN F. BURNS

Published: July 14, 2009

LONDON — The controversy over the ethical and legal issues surrounding assisted suicide for the terminally ill was thrown into stark relief on Tuesday with the announcement that one of Britain’s most distinguished orchestra conductors, Sir Edward Downes, had flown to Switzerland last week with his wife and joined her in drinking a lethal cocktail of barbiturates provided by an assisted-suicide clinic.

Although friends who spoke to the British news media said Sir Edward was not known to have been terminally ill, they said he wanted to die with his ailing wife, who had been his partner for more than half a century.

The couple’s children said in an interview with The London Evening Standard that on Tuesday of last week they accompanied their father, 85, and their mother, Joan, 74, on the flight to Zurich, where the Swiss group Dignitas helped arrange the suicides. On Friday, the children said, they watched, weeping, as their parents drank “a small quantity of clear liquid” before lying down on adjacent beds, holding hands.

“Within a couple of minutes they were asleep, and died within 10 minutes,” Caractacus Downes, the couple’s 41-year-old son, said in the interview after his return to Britain. “They wanted to be next to each other when they died.” He added, “It is a very civilized way to end your life, and I don’t understand why the legal position in this country doesn’t allow it.”

Sir Edward, who was described in a statement issued earlier on Tuesday by Mr. Downes and his sister, Boudicca, 39, as “almost blind and increasingly deaf,” was principal conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra from 1980 to 1991. He was also a conductor of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London, where he led 950 performances over more than 50 years.

Lady Downes, who British newspapers said was in the final stages of terminal cancer, was a former ballet dancer, choreographer and television producer who devoted her later years to working as her husband’s assistant.

“After 54 happy years together, they decided to end their own lives rather than continue to struggle with serious health problems,” the Downes children said in their statement.

British families who have used the Zurich clinic in the past have said that Dignitas charges about $6,570 for each assisted suicide.

Scotland Yard said in a statement on Tuesday that it had been informed on Monday “that a man and a woman” from London had died in Switzerland, and that it was “looking into the circumstances.” The information that prompted the police inquiry appeared to have been given voluntarily by the Downes family, which, Caractacus Downes said, “didn’t want to be untruthful about what had happened.”

“Even if they arrest us and send us to prison, it would have made no difference because it is what our parents wanted,” he said.

Attempting suicide has not been a criminal offense in Britain since 1961, but assisting others to kill themselves is. But since the Zurich clinic run by Dignitas was established in 1998 under Swiss laws that allow clinics to provide lethal drugs, British authorities have effectively turned a blind eye to Britons who go there to die.

None of the family members and friends who have accompanied the 117 people living in Britain who have traveled to the Zurich clinic for help in ending their lives have been charged with an offense. Legal experts said it was unlikely that that would change in the Downes case.

But British news reports about the Downeses’ suicides noted one factor that appeared to set the case apart from others involving the Dignitas clinic: Sir Edward appeared not to have been terminally ill. There have been at least three other cases similar to the Downeses’, in which a spouse who was not terminally ill chose to die with the other.

Sir Edward was known for his support for British composers and his passion for Prokofiev and Verdi. After studying at the Royal College of Music in London, he joined the Royal Opera House in 1952. His first assignment was prompting the soprano Maria Callas. He traveled widely as a conductor and became music director of the Australian Opera in the 1970s.

Friends of Sir Edward said that his decision to die with his wife did not surprise them. “Ted was completely rational,” said Richard Wigley, the general manager of the BBC Philharmonic. “So I can well imagine him, being so rational, saying, ‘It’s been great, so let’s end our lives together.’ ”

Jonathan Groves, Sir Edward’s manager, called their decision “typically brave and courageous.”

But even among those who support decriminalizing assisted suicide, Sir Edward’s death raised troubling questions. Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying, said in a BBC interview that the growing numbers of Britons going abroad to die, and the manner of their deaths, made it more urgent to amend Britain’s laws. There are “no safeguards, no brakes on the process at all,” she said.

The British Medical Association voted this month against legalizing assisted suicide, or lifting the threat of prosecution from “friends and relatives who accompany loved ones to die abroad.” Last week, the House of Lords defeated a bill that would have allowed people, subject to safeguards, to travel abroad to help people choosing to die.

Friday, July 10

House Dems Reverse Obama, Remove Ban On Needle Exchange Funding (VIDEO)

I knew that eventually he was going to start flat-out breaking his promises....

by Ryan Grim
Posted in The Huffington Post


House Democrats have reversed a decision by President Obama and removed a ban on federal funding for needle-exchange programs that he included in the 2010 budget. Including the ban broke a campaign pledge and the flip-flop set off outrage in the gay community and among HIV/AIDS activists. Twenty-six activists were arrested Thursday in the Capitol protesting the policy.

"For us this is a major positive development," said Allan Clear of the Harm Reduction Coalition. "We're optimistic it will stay out. We don't think Democrats would do this unless they thought they could keep it out."

"The fact that Democrats took it out in subcommittee means they're willing to take it all the way," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.

Syringe exchange programs have been demonstrated to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS but opponents charge that they encourage drug use.

The needle-exchange question goes to the heart of a seemingly never-ending debate in Washington: Should policy be made based on sound science or used to drive a wedge between the electorate? Obama has placed himself squarely in the sound science camp, which is why his decision touched off such anger.

It is also, quite literally, a life or death question. "Thirty-thousand people a year get HIV or Hepatitis C directly or indirectly from intravenous drug use," said Piper. "That's 300,000 people that could be saved over the next decade."

Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) highlighted the reversal Of Obama's decision when releasing the budget Friday. Obey is also the chairman of the subcommittee that removed the ban.

"One key exception that I want to mention concerns needle exchange programs. This bill deletes the prohibition on the use of funds for needle exchange programs," he said. "Scientific studies have documented that needle exchange programs, when implemented as part of a comprehensive prevention strategy, are an effective public health intervention for reducing AIDS/HIV infections and do not promote drug use. The judgment we make in this bill is that it is time to lift this ban and let State and local jurisdictions determine if they want to pursue this approach."

At the time of Obama's reversal, spokesman Ben LaBolt said that the president left the ban in because he wanted Congress to take the lead and that the president didn't want to fight policy battles in the budget language.

"We have not removed the ban in our budget proposal because we want to work with Congress and the American public to build support for this change," he said. "We are committed to doing this as part of a National HIV/AIDS strategy and are confident that we can build support for these scientifically-based programs."

He added, "In recent years, Washington has used the budget process to litigate divisive issues and score political points. This practice, which both sides have engaged in, has limited our ability to tackle our major economic challenges. President Obama decided not to play politics as usual with this budget and while he remains committed to supporting the program he wants to address that through the normal legislative process."

That commitment, however, was called into question by the White House decision to remove its support of needle exchange programs from its website. See the before and after here.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) represents San Francisco, which runs a non-federally funded and successful needle exchange program. She was elected to Congress in the midst of the AIDS crisis and has long been a supporter of ending the ban on federal funding of syringe exchange.

"The CDC, NIH, WHO and former Surgeon General David Satcher have all confirmed the scientific evidence in support of needle exchange, which clearly shows these programs are an effective public health intervention that reduces the number of new HIV infections without increasing the use of illegal drugs," said Pelosi in a statement reacting to the removal of the ban. "By lifting the ban on federal funding for needle exchange, the language in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill reflects this sound science. As this bill moves forward, we must ensure science comes first in our public health policy."

In 2000, Pelosi called for a scientific review of the effectiveness of needle exchange. Surgeon General Satcher produced a report that concluded: "The senior scientists of the Department and I have unanimously agreed that there is conclusive scientific evidence that syringe exchange programs, as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy, are an effective public health intervention that reduces transmission of HIV and does not encourage the illegal use of drugs."

On Thursday, AIDS activists chained themselves inside the Capitol to protest Obama's inclusion of the ban in the budget. An Obama spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wednesday, July 8

Hamas tries to detain woman walking with man









Hamas security officers patrol the beach in Gaza City last month.


Attempt raises fears of strict enforcement of Islamic law

JERUSALEM - An attempt by Hamas police to detain a young woman walking with a man along the Gaza beach has raised alarms that the Islamic militant group is seeking to match its political control of the coastal territory with a strict enforcement of Islamic law.

The incident was the first time Hamas has openly tried to punish a woman for behaving in a way it views as un-Islamic since seizing power two years ago. But it follows months of quiet pressure on Gaza's overwhelmingly conservative 1.4 million residents to abide by its strict religious mores.

Hamas officials in Gaza have publicly urged shopkeepers to take down foreign advertisements showing the shape of women's bodies and to stash away lingerie often displayed in windows. Officials search electronic shops to check if they are selling pornography on tiny flash drives.

'Public morals'

"There's an open, public program to preserve public morals in Gaza," said local rights activist Isam Younis. "In reality that means trying to restrict freedoms."

Hamas denies any crackdown is under way. Since taking power, it has said it would only try to lead by example and not impose its views on anyone.

However, the group has taken no public action against small, shadowy groups that have attacked perceived hotbeds of Western immorality, such as the hairdressers and Internet cafes, fueling criticism that it has not been tough enough on hardline Muslim groups.

Freelance journalist Asma al-Ghoul says a group of Hamas police sent a clear message that certain behavior would not be tolerated when she went to the beach one evening in late June.

Al-Ghoul, 26, said she was spending time with a group of friends —two women and three men — on the northern Gaza shore.

'Provocative' outfit

Al-Ghoul is fairly exceptional in Gaza because she does not wear a Muslim headscarf. On that evening she wore jeans and a T-shirt — dress that is considered fairly provocative in Gaza's conservative society and which could have easily attracted the attention of the plain-clothed Hamas vice police who patrol the beaches.

Al-Ghoul swam, fully dressed, with a girlfriend, and then asked a male friend to walk her over to a nearby beach house rented by another couple she knew to shower and change.

Three policemen showed up and waited for al-Ghoul in the beach house garden, said an eyewitness who asked to remain anonymous because of security concerns. They took her identity card and demanded she accompany them to a nearby station — an order she refused.

The eyewitness said the police did not say why they wanted to detain al-Ghoul, but were insinuating that her behavior was unbecoming. Under Hamas' strict interpretation of Islamic law, a woman should not go out in public with men who are not related to her.

Police violence
However, al-Ghoul said her male friends were subsequently beaten by Hamas police, detained for several hours and asked to sign statements saying they would not "violate public moral standards again," she said.

Al-Ghoul said she mostly felt angry that the police made her feel like she had done something wrong.

"I'm not provocative and my dress isn't provocative, and I'm not scandalous either," she said.

Her story only became public after rights groups published excerpts on their Web sites. Her version of events was confirmed by two other witnesses, including Adham Khalil, one of the men who was detained. Khalil said he was beaten.

Hamas police spokesman Islam Shahwan denied the incident took place but said Gaza residents "must preserve our customs and Islamic traditions.

Monday, July 6

Path To Gay Marriage In D.C. Begins Tuesday


Sometimes I am truly ashamed to be a member of the black race. This is totally ridiculous that these black ministers do not realize what an irony this is. Blacks were called "nonhuman" by the white race for hundreds of years; we were apes, we were cattle, we were disgusting animals that did not deserve rights, and yet here they are calling their brothers and sisters the same thing that we were called by the white man! Only now, it's not only blacks you are saying are not human, it is members of every race on this earth because believe me, every race, no matter how homophobic, has some gay members. How can you fight for freedom from oppression of blacks and then turn around and oppress the same people you fought for? Are you saying that because I'm a lesbian that I am not human? God forgive me, I hate to say it, but this man disgusts me; him and all the other hypocrites like him. How can you say that you believe in God, and preach His Word, and then say that gay people are not human? How can you cheer for Obama to be President with his platform of Change, and not be willing to change yourself? How can you say that you preach the Word of God, and not love thy neighbor?

Well, regardless of his viewpoint, or the viewpoint of others like him, DC has spoken, and has joined the ranks of states that have decided to stop persecuting us, and denying us our rights. Thanks DC!!


By Carlos Santoscoy
Published: July 06, 2009

The path to legalizing gay marriage in the District of Columbia begins Tuesday as the city's new gay marriage recognition law takes effect. The law recognizes the marriages of gay and lesbian couples performed elsewhere.

City Council members approved the new ordinance in a 12 to 1 vote in May, with former Mayor Marion Barry the lone dissenter, and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, a Democrat, signed the bill.

Council leaders openly acknowledge their next move is to legalize gay marriage in the District, an idea that has not sat well with Bishop Harry Jackson, the pastor leading the fight against gay marriage in the city.

Jackson quickly rallied opposition, forming the Stand 4 Marriage D.C. Coalition, a group of mostly black ministers. Days after the council acted, the ministers gathered to protest the council's actions and announced they would repeal the measure with a referendum.

“It's a declaration of war,” he said. “We are sending a clear message that this is going to be fought every step of the way.”

A referendum in the District cannot violate the city's Human Rights Act of 1977 that prohibits discrimination based on race, gender and sexual orientation. Whether the referendum would proceed depends on the city's Board of Election and Ethics.

At a packed meeting in early June, the board heard four hours of testimony from gay marriage backers and foes.

“All we are asking for is a public debate,” said the Rev. Dale Wafer, a minister with the Harvest, a religious community in Northeast Washington.

But other opponents didn't mince words, and unleashed a fury of anti-gay sentiment.

Wearing a t-shirt for the anti-gay website thirdgender666.com that read “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Morals are Worse than Animals,” Minister Leroy Swailes, who most likely owns the anonymously registered website, railed against being gay.

Swailes testified that discrimination against gay men and lesbians is “positive discrimination.”

“Me as a black man, when they discriminated against me, I came out of my mother's womb, like I didn't have a choice, that was a negative discrimination. If you discriminate against a homosexual, that's a positive,” Swailes, who went on to call children's books like King and King that explain gay and lesbian relationships pedophile books, said.

He also argued that gay men and lesbians are inhuman and therefore not eligible for human rights: “Everybody should have human rights, but you have to be human. Human means you deal with the opposite sex.”

Gay rights activists Philip E. Pannell accused opponents of “advocating for a popular vote that will give vent to public homophobia.”

“Unfortunately, in our society, it is still acceptable in many polite circles to vilify and victimize gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people,” he testified. “Hopefully, we in the District of Columbia will not have to be subjected to a campaign of misunderstanding, intolerance, fear, bigotry and hatred towards a minority group.”

The board voted to block the referendum the next week, saying it would violate the law and discriminate against gay men and lesbians. Determined opponents sought relief from the courts.

Last Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Judith Retchin upheld the panel's decision. Her 15-page ruling chided opponents: “At bottom, the harm about which petitioners complain is not based on a denial of the right to referendum. Rather, they simply disagree with legislation enacted by our duly-elected [city] council. A citizen's disagreement with constitutionally sound legislation, whether based on political, religious or moral views, does not rise to the level of an actionable harm.”

Retchin also denied petitioner's request to stay the July 7 start of the law, leaving opponents out of legal venues. Except to attempt to amend the law.

“We will definitely fight it – if that's the case – yes,” Jackson told gay weekly the Washington Blade.

Six mostly New England states have legalized gay marriage: Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and Iowa.

District of Columbia lawmakers would like to add their city to that list. How quickly that happens depends not only on Bishop Jackson's resolve, but also on whether Congress is willing to fight city officials.

Because laws passed by the District are subject to a 30-day review period by Congress, before committing to gay marriage, the marriage recognition law was set afloat as a trial balloon. Several Republican congressmen, led by Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, objected to the law, but Democrats refused to join the chorus.

Tuesday's start of the law then is a symbolic nod from Congress, a gay marriage approval, no matter how tenuous.

Wednesday, July 1

Gay News Blog: DOJ Will Not Appeal Veteran’s VictoryIn Transgender Discrimination Case


Slowly but surely it appears that we're getting there; it's just a little too slowly for my taste.


From The Gay News blog:

July 01, 2009


Signals Commitment By Obama Administration To Protect Transgender Workers From Discrimination

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Justice decided not to appeal a federal court ruling awarding transgender veteran Diane Schroer the maximum compensation for the discrimination she suffered after being refused a job with the Library of Congress. The deadline for seeking an appeal was June 30. The American Civil Liberties Union has represented Schroer in her case.

The Obama administration's decision whether to appeal the final ruling in the case has been closely watched in part because the Bush administration defended the case so vigorously, arguing that transgender Americans are not protected by any existing federal laws. The decision not to appeal the verdict is consistent with the Obama administration's campaign promises to protect transgender workers against discrimination and his administration's recent order taking steps to bar gender identity discrimination in federal employment.

"I am grateful that the court took the time to examine the case in detail and come to a fair and unbiased decision. In that same light, I am gratified that the current administration saw this for what it was, a case of sex discrimination focused against transgender people, and recognized that it must end in this country," said Schroer, an Army Special Forces veteran with 25 years service. "The important signal that the administration's decision sends to all LGBT individuals gives me renewed hope and restores some of my shaken faith in what our country stands for."

On April 29, 2009, a federal court awarded Schroer maximum damages of $491,190 for back pay, other financial losses and emotional pain and suffering after finding the Library illegally discriminated against Schroer because of her sex. At trial, Schroer testified that she had applied for a position with the Library of Congress as the senior terrorism research analyst and was offered the job. Prior to starting work, she took her future boss to lunch to explain that she was in the process of transitioning and wished to start work presenting as female. The following day, Schroer received a call from her future boss rescinding the offer, telling her that she wasn't a "good fit" for the Library of Congress.

"We are pleased and relieved that the Obama administration has decided to bring an end not only to years of hard-fought litigation but also to a painful chapter of Ms. Schroer's extraordinary life," said Sharon McGowan, a staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT Project. "The administration's decision not to challenge this important civil rights ruling is a welcome sign that it intends to live up to its commitment to help end transgender discrimination in the workplace."

The ACLU filed the lawsuit against the Library of Congress on June 2, 2005, charging that the library unlawfully refused to hire Schroer in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination in the workplace. In an earlier ruling in this case, the court issued a groundbreaking opinion that discriminating against someone who transitions from living as one gender to another is sex discrimination under federal law. In reaching this decision, the court compared the discrimination faced by Schroer to religious-based discrimination, saying, "Imagine that an employee is fired because she converts from Christianity to Judaism. Imagine too that her employer testified that he harbors no bias toward either Christians or Jews but only 'converts.' That would be a clear case of discrimination 'because of religion.' No court would take seriously the notion that 'converts' are not covered by the statute." The court also ruled that the library was guilty of sex stereotyping against Schroer because of its view that she failed to live up to traditional notions of what is male or female.

"This case put employers on notice that discrimination against transgender individuals is like any other form of discrimination – counterproductive and against our principles as a nation," added Schroer. "But this case alone won't end the rampant discrimination that transgender people face throughout the country. That's why we need Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that was introduced last week."

In addition to McGowan, the legal team consisted of Ken Choe, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU LGBT Project, James Esseks, Litigation Director for the ACLU LGBT Project and Arthur Spitzer, Legal Director of the ACLU of the Nation's Capital.

A copy of the decision, the complaint, a video, a bio and photographs of Diane Schroer are available at:
http://www.aclu.org/lgbt/transgender/24969res20050602.html