Sex and gender at work, in bed, and on the street

25 U.S. prisoners are sexually abused every hour: Your sex and gender morning roundup

March 10, 2011 - 09:00 AM
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Prison rapes are at extreme levels, but the Justice Department has been slow to stop them.

TWENTY-FIVE incarcerated Americans are assaulted every hour. How quickly is the Justice Department moving to remedy this issue? "As part of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, Congress created a commission to study how to best address and prevent prison rape. In a wonderful display of a government commission acting with expediency to address an horrific and ongoing problem, that commission delivered its report . . . in June 2009," writes Reason's Radley Balko. "The law then required the Justice Department to issue recommendations based on the commission's report within 12 months. DOJ still hasn't delivered, and isn't expected to until the end of this year—at the earliest. In its preliminary responses, the DOJ has watered down most of the commission's recommendations. Even after all this is done, the recommendations are still just recommendations. There is unlikely to be any enforcement mechanism."

AFTER THE JUMP: Scare quote redux; trans discrimination debated; not all Maryland ministers oppose gays:

GO MAMA GO!, the Logan Circle shop that became a hub of the neighborhood's gay community, will hold a final show before closing up shop later this spring.

MARYLANDERS DEBATE a bill that would afford anti-discrimination protections for trans people in the state. On the anti-discrimination side:

Transgender resident Owen Smith, who works for Equality Maryland, the statewide LGBT group coordinating the lobbying effort for the bill, gave a first-hand account of how employment discrimination resulted in him becoming homeless.

“I have been harassed and even assaulted at work because I am transgender,” he told the committee. “I was kicked out of my apartment for not being able to afford my monthly rent…I was forced to live out of my car,” he said, adding, “I am just one of the hundreds of transgender Marylanders in need of these protections.”

And on the pro-discrimination side:

Several of the opponents who testified against the bill reiterated arguments made during the committee’s hearings on the bill in past years – that the bill would open the way for male pedophiles and rapists to target heterosexual women in women’s bathrooms or locker rooms at health clubs or other public places.

The bill would protect against discrimination in housing and employment, but would not cover discrimination in public accommodations.

VINCE GRAY'S new D.C. HIV/AIDS Commission begins to fill out: Named to the commission so far are Whitman-Walker Clinic director Don Blanchon, AIDS activist Cornelius Baker, psychiatrist Jeffrey Akman, physician Bruce Rashbaum, and Councilmembers David Catania and Jim Graham.

CRITIQUING the Washington Post story on Maryland ministers who oppose same-sex marriage in the state: "Were these reporters unaware of the more than 100 clergy members who signed Equality Maryland's declaration of religious support for marriage equality?" Rick Rosendall writes for GLAA Forum. "Did the reporters not think to check? Did they just assume that the anti-gay ministers spoke for the entire faith community? They could have met some of the gay-affirming ministers at yesterday's interfaith clergy prayer breakfast in Annapolis. Instead, the Post article gives the impression that the only ministers involved in the battle over Maryland's marriage equality bill are those opposed to it. "

SHOULD "EX-GAY" be couched in quotes? The NLGJA discusses: "A short exchange on an NLGJA listserv failed to get a resolution on whether the quotes–often considered 'scare quotes'–were appropriate. Some people suggested that people should be allowed to label themselves–something that has long been a guiding principle for NLGJA’s style recommendations–and therefore ex-gays should be able to use the term without having it couched in quotes."

MAC MCCLELLAND with the definitive take on the New York Times' victim-blaming-heavy report on the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl.

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  1. hefaestos hefaestos

    Alex T

    Mar 10, 2011 - 11:33:07 AM

    Isn’t it Funny How Gays Are So Willing to Give in to ‘Political Reality’ on Trans Issues, But Never on Gay Marriage? The Blade does a disservice to trans people by downplaying the importance of public accommodations, and the difficulty getting them covered later, in some separate bill, is going to be. TransGriot and TransMaryland have more coverage on why many trans people have issues with this bit of political expediency.

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