Trump’s US Supreme Court helps Trump’s transphobia


This 23 January 2019 video from the USA sdays about itself:

Laverne Cox: Trump’s Military Ban Is Part of Larger, Years-Long Attack on Transgender People

The pioneering trans actress and activist Laverne Cox responds to the Supreme Court’s revival of President Donald Trump’s plan to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. She spoke on Tuesday at the National Day of Racial Healing as part of a conversation moderated by Amy Goodman.

By John Burton in the USA:

Supreme Court reinstates Trump’s ban on transgender troops

25 January 2019

On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, issued terse orders staying two trial court injunctions that had prevented the Trump administration from reinstating a ban on transgender personnel in the United States military. No explanation was given for the ruling and no opinion was filed by any of the dissenting justices.

Usually, cases work their way through the trial and appellate courts before the Supreme Court takes any action. In this instance, however, the Supreme Court intervened at the request of the Trump administration before the intermediate appellate court, the Ninth Circuit, could rule.

Starting in the early 1960s, the US Department of Defense formally banned all transgender personnel. That changed in 2015, when President Barack Obama’s secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, announced that the ban would be repealed to make the US military “as attractive as possible to the best people in our country.”

After formal measures were implemented in 2016 to undo the ban, many of the estimated 4,000 active and reserve transgender members came out publicly. Multiple studies confirmed that ending the ban would have no measurable effect on the US military’s ability to rain death and destruction on people and societies standing in the way of the US corporations and oligarchs whose interests it promotes.

Following a series of Trump tweets in July 2017, the ban was reinstated. As the WSWS wrote, “The move to expel transgender soldiers from the military is anti-democratic and oriented toward stoking up the most backward and fascistic elements. Moreover, it has ominous implications for transgender people in other aspects of society, legitimizing discrimination in jobs, education and access to services.”

One might add that irrational discrimination against any segment of the population opens the door for discrimination against others and works against the unification of the working class.

The transgender members of the armed services who came out publicly, relying on the changed policy, have now been exposed to retaliation and expulsion.

Lawsuits were filed by affected persons and organizations representing them. Two federal district courts, both located in the western United States, issued preliminary injunctions preventing Trump from reimposing the ban. Before those rulings could be reviewed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, Trump administration lawyers took the unusual step of filing petitions for certiorari, asking the Supreme Court to step in immediately.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued the stay on the lower court injunctions but declined to review the merits of the underlying cases, sending them back to the lower courts. The effect of these rulings is to reinstate the ban for at least one or two more years while the cases are resolved by the federal courts of appeals.

These two perfunctory and premature rulings reveal that the current five-justice majority, which includes Trump appointees Neal Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, will take extraordinary measures to clamp down on independent judicial actions that restrain the Trump administration’s increasingly autocratic measures.

Tuesday’s rulings are a shot across the bow of lower courts inclined to rule against constitutional deprivations by the executive branch. Similar actions will no doubt occur in the future to prevent lower courts from blocking executive measures of dubious constitutionality, especially those intended to suppress the growing resistance of the working class to war and social inequality.

The lack of any explanation for the Supreme Court’s action is also telling. Courts, when issuing injunctions and stays, usually analyze which side is likely to succeed on the merits, the probability that irreparable harm may result if immediate action is not taken, the balance of equities and the public interest.

When granting the lead injunction on December 11, 2017, for example, United States District Judge Marsha Pechman of Seattle, Washington found that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail because the ban violates the principle of “equal protection” by classifying individuals “based on transgender status and gender identity.” Rejecting the claim that the cost of additional medical services justifies the ban, Judge Pechman explained that “the cost to discharge transgender service members is estimated to be more than 100 times greater than the cost to provide transition-related health care.”

Judge Pechman also found “a likelihood of success” for those appealing the ban on the grounds that “substantive due process protects fundamental liberty interests in individual dignity, autonomy, and privacy from unwarranted government intrusion,” including “the right to make decisions concerning bodily integrity and self-definition central to an individual’s identity.”

By issuing the stays without explanation and without accepting any of the cases for a decision on the merits, the Supreme Court is acting undemocratically and as the direct agent of the Trump administration.

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Donald Trump’s war on transgender people, continued


This 23 January 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

ACLU: Trump’s Anti-Trans Ban Has No Military Justification, Is Driven by Animus & Discrimination

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court revived President Donald Trump’s plan to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court lifted two lower court rulings that had blocked the ban from going into effect on constitutional grounds. Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented. A third injunction remains in place for now. We speak to Chase Strangio, staff attorney at the ACLU, which is challenging the Trump administration’s ban on servicemembers who are transgender.

Women’s March in Dutch Groningen


The Women's March in Groningen, the Netherlands. Photo by Martin Drent | RTV Noord

This photo shows the Women’s March in Groningen, the Netherlands, today. In front on the right a bag of the FNV trade union federation, and a sign saying Oprutte!; meaning right-wing Dutch Prime Minister Rutte, resign!

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Just like in many cities abroad, this afternoon Groningen women also took to the streets to demonstrate against physical and psychological violence. About 150 people marched along. Among them were dozens of boys and men who are concerned about violence against LGBTQ people. …

Nashville Statement

The organization decided to see the theme more broadly than just violence against women. There was also attention for violence against LGBTQ people, partly due to the news about the [homophobic misogynist fundamentalist religious] Nashville Statement and the Dutch signatories of it.

“If we keep quiet, then we can not achieve anything, and if we march along, then we can achieve more”, says a boy who joins the Women’s March.

Trump

The Women’s March began in January 2017 in the United States, after the inauguration of Donald Trump as president. Hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets. Since that time demonstrations around the world have been organized on 19 and 20 January. In the Netherlands this happened today only in Groningen. However, a Women’s March in Amsterdam is scheduled for March 9th.

Religious homophobia in Finland


This 1 March 2017 video is called Gay Marriage Legalized in Finland!

From Yle.fi in Finland:

23.12.2018 14:42

Prof slams Lutheran church over reprimands for gay weddings

So far Finland’s Lutheran Evangelical Church has reprimanded at least six clerics for officiating at gay weddings.

Finland’s Evangelical Lutheran Church has taken to issuing warnings to priests who officiate at gay weddings. The last such case came to light last Monday, when a priest from Mikkeli in southeast Finland received a caution from the diocese for marrying a same-sex couple.

So far this year the church has reprimanded six clerics for officiating at gay weddings. Last year the Helsinki diocese also issued a reprimand to priest Kai Sadinmaa for the practice. His was considered the first case in which a priest was sanctioned for administering marriage vows to a same-sex couple.

The church has said that the priests in question have violated church rulings and guidelines. However from a legal perspective the issue is not as clear. Priests who officiate at weddings are seen as performing official duties and in such cases must comply with Finnish law.

In Finland, same-sex marriage has been legal since 1 March 2017. “Priests act appropriately when they use their official powers to marry same-sex couples,” said Helsinki University civil law emeritus professor Urpo Kangas.

Kangas noted that marriage has a legal status and added that the current cases turn on a clash between secular and religious views.

Bishop: Priest committed official misconduct

Head of the Mikkeli diocese, Bishop Seppo Häkkinen said that priests in Finland’s Lutheran Evangelical Church have neither the right nor the opportunity to officiate at wedding ceremonies for gay couples.

“If a priest acts in violation with the given rules, then he has committed dereliction of duty. In such cases, the diocese must intervene,” Häkkinen observed.

However legal scholar Kangas disagreed. “That statement is not accurate. A priest’s right to marry is not based on church law or regulations, but on marriage laws,” he declared.

Kangas added that any employer has the right to caution an employee, but not necessarily in matters that which also relate to matters of conscience.

“It is entirely open to interpretation whether or not a priest commits official misconduct for marrying two people with the same gender,” Kangas continued.

However Bishop Häkkinen stressed that in the view of the diocese, issuing a reprimand to errant clerics is not a violation of the law.

“On the contrary. We have observed the regulations of church law that bind our diocese council.”

Same-sex penguin couple become parents


This 26 August 2018 video from Australia says about itself:

Gay Penguin Couple Become Parents To Baby Chick After Adopting Egg

The same-sex [gentoo] penguin couple, Sphen and Magic, are celebrating a very special delivery, welcoming their first baby chick named Sphengic. Staff at the Sydney aquarium say they love watching the doting parents care for their little one.

Trump administration wants to abolish trans people


Today, a new stage in the transphobia of the Donald Trump administration in the USA.

The Trump administration’s proposed scheme to redefine sex as “a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth” is not just a calculated swipe at trans people. It’s also part of a broader set of efforts to undermine the contributions of feminism and to increase the marginalizing and criminalizing powers of state institutions: here.

‘Gay’ penguin couple breeds egg


This 11 October 2018 video from Australia says about itself:

“Sphengic” on the ice – Sphen and Magic

Same-Sex [gentoo] penguin couple at Sea Life Aquarium Sydney

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The gay couple were first given a fake egg in their nest, so they could practice breeding. That went so well that they got a real egg. That egg came from the nest of another penguin couple that had two eggs.

‘Natural talents’

In the wild, gentoo penguins can usually only raise one youngster. So, the chick from the second egg will die. The biological parents did not even realize that an egg had been taken away by the caretakers, says [keeper] Hannan.

According to Hannan, Sphen and Magic are “real natural talents” as future parents. “They change jobs on a daily basis”, says Hannan. “One of the two is sitting on the egg and the other bird makes sure nobody can get around to steal stones from the nest.”

This 11 October 2018 video from Australia says about itself:

#LoveWins Sphen and Magic Penguin Couple

Penguins Breeding at Sea Life Sydney 2018