By Jen Christensen
(CNN)If you’re a guy with an older brother, there’s an increased chance you’re gay.
By Jen Christensen
(CNN)If you’re a guy with an older brother, there’s an increased chance you’re gay.
By Fox News
The DeKalb County School District in Georgia is facing backlash after a “sexual identity” assignment was given to the sixth graders of Lithonia Middle School.
The middle school’s health teacher assigned a quiz that defined 10 “sexual identity” terms, such as gay, lesbian, and transgender. The quiz required the sixth graders to identify and differentiate between various sexual orientations and identities, FOX 5 Atlanta reported.
One mother, Octavia Parks, was particularly shocked when her 12-year-old daughter came home with the assignment.
“Why are they teaching that in school?” Parks said. “What does that have to do with life?”
Parks felt that the material was not appropriate for school, and that her daughter was too young to learn about sexual orientation.
“We’re talking about a sixth grader who still watches Nickelodeon,” Parks said. “I’m not ready to explain what these words are nor what they mean.”
Parks recalls an earlier conversation with the health teacher, during which she was assured that such material would not be taught.
“We had a brief conversation and she assured me that this sort of thing would not happen.” Parks said. “Nonetheless, it is happening.”
Now, Parks has signed a consent form to remove her child from the health class. She is not the only parent to find fault with the controversial quiz.
Eva McClain, the mother of a past Lithonia Middle School student, agrees that the material is inappropriate for school. She also said that the sexual orientation quiz was not part of the health class’ curriculum when her daughter was in school.
“If a kid wants to know about the gender or know about the sex preference, it should come from the parents, not from the school,” McClain said.
It is still unclear if the DeKalb County School District approved this curriculum, but the district did acknowledge the parent’s concern in a written statement.
“DCSD has been made aware of this alleged event, and is working to verify its authenticity. We will investigate this event and take action, as appropriate, once that investigation is completed,” a spokesman for the district said to FOX 5.
Park plans to bring her concerns to the school district headquarters Tuesday, as soon as their fall break ends.
“I will be removing her from that class, and I’m also going to take it to the board of education to see what they have to say about it, as well,” Parks said.
By Rachel Zoll, Eric Tucker, and Sadie Gurman.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In an order that undercuts protections for LGBT people, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a sweeping directive to agencies Friday to do as much as possible to accommodate those who say their religious freedoms are being violated.
The guidance, an attempt to deliver on President Donald Trump’s pledge to his evangelical and other religious supporters, effectively lifts a burden from religious objectors to prove that their beliefs about marriage or other topics are sincerely held.
Under the new policy, a claim of a violation of religious freedom would be enough to override concerns for the civil rights of LGBT people and anti-discrimination protections for women and others. The guidelines are so sweeping that experts on religious liberty are calling them a legal powder-keg that could prompt wide-ranging lawsuits against the government.
“This is putting the world on notice: You better take these claims seriously,” said Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “This is a signal to the rest of these agencies to rethink the protections they have put in place on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Trump announced plans for the directive last May in a Rose Garden ceremony where he was surrounded by religious leaders. Since then, religious conservatives have anxiously awaited the Justice Department guidance, hoping for greatly strengthened protections for their beliefs amid the rapid acceptance of LGBT rights. Religious liberty experts said they would have to see how the guidance would be applied by individual agencies, both in crafting regulations and deciding how to enforce them. But experts said the directive clearly tilted the balance very far in favor of people of faith who do not want to recognize same-sex marriage.
“Except in the narrowest circumstances, no one should be forced to choose between living out his or her faith and complying with the law,” Sessions wrote. “To the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, religious observance and practice should be reasonably accommodated in all government activity.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian law firm, called it “a great day for religious freedom.” The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT-rights group, called the guidelines an “all-out assault” on civil rights and a “sweeping license to discriminate.”
The new document lays the groundwork for legal positions that the Trump administration intends to take in future religious freedom cases, envisioning sweeping protections for faith-based beliefs and practices in private workplaces, at government jobs, in awarding government grants and in running prisons.
In issuing the memo, Sessions is injecting the department into a thicket of highly charged legal questions that have repeatedly reached the U.S. Supreme Court, most notably in the 2014 Hobby Lobby case that said corporations with religious objections could opt out of a health law requirement to cover contraceptives for women.
The memo makes clear the Justice Department’s support of that opinion in noting that the primary religious freedom law — the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 — protects the rights not only of people to worship as they choose but also of corporations, companies and private firms.
In what is likely to be one of the more contested aspects of the document, the Justice Department states that religious organizations can hire workers based on religious beliefs and an employee’s willingness “to adhere to a code of conduct.” Many conservative Christian schools and faith-based agencies require employees to adhere to moral codes that ban sex outside marriage and same-sex relationships, among other behavior.
The document also says the government improperly infringes on individuals’ religious liberty by banning an aspect of their practice or by forcing them to take an action that contradicts their faith. As an example, Justice Department lawyers say government efforts to require employers to provide contraceptives to their workers “substantially burdens their religious practice.” Separately Friday, the Health and Human Services Department allowed more employers with religious objections to opt out of the birth control coverage rule in the Affordable Care Act.
Session’s directive affirms Trump’s earlier directive to the Internal Revenue Service not to enforce the Johnson Amendment, which bars churches and tax-exempt groups from endorsing political candidates. The policy has only rarely been enforced in the past.
The department’s civil rights division will now be involved in reviewing all agency actions to make sure they don’t conflict with federal law regarding religious liberty. Tony Perkins, head of the conservative Family Research Council, in a statement lauding Trump, said his group has set up a hotline for federal employees and others who feel they’ve faced discrimination over their religious beliefs.
By John Paul Brammer
A view of the front range mountains seen from Westminster, Colorado on March 8, 2016.Katie Wood / Denver Post Via Getty Images
Westminster became the first city in Colorado to officially declare its opposition to “conversion therapy” when earlier this week the mayor and town council issued a proclamation against the controversial practice.
“The City of Westminster acknowledges that conversion therapy to change one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression is a harmful abuse to those subjected to these practices,” the proclamation stated.
Brianna Titone, secretary and treasurer of the Jefferson County Democrats LGBTQ+ Caucus, applauded the move.
“After three years of state legislation banning the practice getting stymied before it could reach a vote in the state senate … action on a local level was pivotal,” Titone said in a statement. “It is important that the people of Colorado know that this dangerous practice is happening in our state … Colorado needs to stand on the right side of history, and today, Westminster did just that.”
Conversion therapy is a controversial practice which claims to “treat” homosexuality and turn gay people heterosexual. It is currently legal in Colorado and 40 other states. Nine states and Washington, D.C., have banned the practice.
“These harmful practices use rejection, shame, and psychological abuse to force young people to try to change who they are. Unfortunately, many young people are coerced and subjected to these harmful practices in our state, which puts them at a higher risk for depression, substance abuse, and suicide,” Daniel Ramos, executive director of LGBTQ advocacy group One Colorado said.
While the proclamation is not legally binding, advocates see it as an important first step.”We extend our gratitude to Westminster City Council for the proclamation and hope this action is another step toward getting a ban to pass in the Colorado Legislature,” Ramos said.
Ramos told NBC News the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative Christian legal group that has also supported anti-transgender “bathroom bills” across the country, is one of the main forces speaking out in favor of conversion therapy. He also noted, however, that there are other religious organizations and faith leaders in Colorado “who are speaking out on behalf of LGBTQ young people.”
A request for comment from the ADF was not immediately returned.
The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association and a number of other health organizations have issued statements against conversion therapy (also known as “reparative therapy).
“The potential risks of ‘reparative therapy’ are great and include depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient,” a position statement from the American Psychiatric Association states.
“APA opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy, that is based on the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or is based on the a priori assumption that the patient should change his or her homosexual orientation.”
We should all make sure that no young person is told that who they are or who they love is wrong.
We should all make sure that no young person is told that who they are or who they love is wrong.
Conversion therapy survivor Samuel Brinton, who recently helped launch 50 Bills 50 States, a grass-roots campaign that is trying to end conversion therapy across the U.S., told NBC News he welcomes Westminster’s decision.
“The flurry of cities, counties, and local districts taking matters into their own hands when it comes to protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy is nothing short of exhilarating,” Brinton said. “As state after state submits and passes legislation to end the practice of licensed therapists from selling the snake oil of the dangerous and discredited notion of conversion therapy for minors, cities from Westminster, Colo., to Palm Beach County, Fla., are standing up to let LGBTQ youth know they are safe and don’t need to change.”
Ramos urged politicians on both sides of the aisle to come out against the controversial practice and ban it for good.
“This is a way for us to say that banning conversion therapy is not a partisan issue,” he said. “We should all make sure that no young person is told that who they are or who they love is wrong.”
By Katy Scott
From the moment a child is born, its gender pretty much determines how they will dress, which toys they’ll be given and ultimately how they are meant to behave within society.
By Alia E. Dastagir
In almost every society, from Baltimore to Beijing, boys are told from a young age to go outside and have adventures, while young girls are encouraged to stay home and do chores Time
It doesn’t matter where in the world you live. Lessons about gender start early, and they have lifelong consequences.
A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Healthfound many norms around gender, what’s expected of boys and girls, become entrenched in adolescence and have negative impacts that carry into adulthood.
We knew some of this already. Existing research shows gender roles can harm both sexes. But the Global Early Adolescent Study — which looked at girls and boys between 10-14 years old in 15 countries with varying income levels — found many of these stereotypes are universal, and they become entrenched before 10 years old.
“We were actually anticipating more differences than similarities, and one of the big findings is that there are still very consistent forms of patriarchy around the world,” said Kristin Mmari, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the lead qualitative researcher on the study.
The ideas girls and boys have about gender, the study found, form earlier in adolescence than had previously been measured, Mmari said.
“There seems to be a shift as soon as girls and boys enter this stage, where their attitudes and beliefs about the opposite sex change dramatically,” she said. “And they talked about how this was not so in childhood. That they could have these friends — opposite sex friends — and they were given equal amounts of freedom. They were treated the same, they thought. But once they began puberty, and their bodies developed, their worlds changed.”
The biggest myth perpetuated about gender, researchers found, is that once girls hit puberty, they are vulnerable and in need of protection to preserve their sexual and reproductive health, while boys are seen as strong and independent. It’s this myth, Mmari said, that changes how the world sees both sexes during adolescence, and how it continues to treat them throughout their lives.
“How you perceive girls and boys is socially driven,” Mmari said. “It’s not biologically driven.”
Among consequences that the study noted when girls conform to gender stereotypes:
And consequences when boys conform to gender stereotypes:
Mmari said one of the major takeaways from the study is that it’s important to challenge gender stereotypes when children are young.
“You can look at it as a window of opportunity to really address these attitudes and beliefs before they become cemented later on,” she said.
The next phase of the study, which Mmari said will take about four or five years, will measure how gender norms change over time, what factors influence those changes and how they relate to health-outcomes for boys and girls.
“We need to view gender as more of a system,” Mmari said. “One of the problems … is we typically look at things on an individual level. So we feel like if we just empower girls, make them feel good, then we’ll change. But the problem is they go back to their homes where they’re given messages from their parents that are contradictory. They go to the schools where they’re given messages from their teachers that are contradictory. They look at the media — it’s a whole system out there that’s transmitting these inequitable norms, and so we have to think of it more on that level.”
By Ashleigh Austen
“Boy beauty” has seen male beauty bloggers become gender-fluid muses for the likes of big brands like CoverGirl and Maybelline, not only democratizing the use of makeup but changing the way we talk about gender in the process.
If the millions of social media followers being racked up by the likes of male makeup artists Patrick Starr, Manny Gutierrez and Jeffree Star are anything to go by, then the inclusivity message is being heard loud and clear. But is gender-blending beauty really here to stay?
https://www.instagram.com/p/BS4lI_5AaWb/embed/?cr=1&v=7&wp=770#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A5426.625000000001%7DAccording to a recent report by global market research company Mintel, brands are becoming increasingly aware of the shift in gender barriers (with regards to both sexes,) as being something they need to both cater to and celebrate.
“Consumers are moving away from traditional gender stereotypes, in part driven by the increased visibility of gender diversity. As such, the traditional gender boundaries associated with fashion and beauty trends are becoming progressively blurred,” a spokesperson for the company stated.
Here, the brands we’re giving three big gender-neutral claps for embracing unisex beauty.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BNSaQ2-Bhov/embed/?cr=1&v=7&wp=770#%7B%22ci%22%3A1%2C%22os%22%3A5437.6900000000005%7DThe original unisex fragrance creators, Calvin Klein launched CK One in 1994 and the light, citrusy, herbaceous scent was a best-seller. Their follow-up, CK2, is a woody, fresh scent making it still the OG androgynous cologne.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BYxQEmLj0og/embed/?cr=1&v=7&wp=770#%7B%22ci%22%3A2%2C%22os%22%3A5443.125%7DNot content with being your go-to for on-trend clothes and accessories, ASOS last week launched an entire collection of inclusive in-house beauty products that all genders and skin tones should feel free to use.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BLbN-CzAJsz/embed/?cr=1&v=7&wp=770#%7B%22ci%22%3A3%2C%22os%22%3A12910.225%7DCoverGirl made worldwide headlines when they announced that a 17-year-old makeup artist from New York, James Charles, would be its first “CoverBoy” – gaining him 2.4 million Instagram followers in the process.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BFbyuKeOOYD/embed/?cr=1&v=7&wp=770#%7B%22ci%22%3A4%2C%22os%22%3A12924.01%7DOne of the original supporters of inclusive cosmetics, M.A.C has always proudly stated their products are for all ages, races and sexes. They’ve twice collaborated with model Stephanie Seymour’s sons, Harry and Peter Brant, on a collection of gender-neutral products, which included brow gels, lip stains and eyeshadows.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BZRsJDxAClb/embed/?cr=1&v=7&wp=770#%7B%22ci%22%3A5%2C%22os%22%3A12937.595000000001%7DEarlier this year Maybelline announced Manny Gutierrez (known as Manny MUA) would front their Big Shot Mascara product launch – making him the first male to ever star in a major campaign for the company.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BPaoBrugJth/embed/?cr=1&v=7&wp=770#%7B%22ci%22%3A6%2C%22os%22%3A18132.085%7DRimmel London joined the ranks of high-profile beauty brands extending their advertising inclusivity to men when they featured 17-year-old British YouTube blogger Lewys Ball in their major campaign.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BUCbkg2FqNU/embed/?cr=1&v=7&wp=770#%7B%22ci%22%3A7%2C%22os%22%3A18384.195000000003%7DL’Oreal Paris jumped on-board to support the inclusivity cause with their True Match foundation campaign, which featured makeup artist Gary Thompson from The Plastic Boy. Seriously, that highlighter though
Should children in kindergarten be taught about transgender people?
That’s the question at the center of a controversy that erupted in June after a transgender student at Rocklin Academy Gateway, a charter school in northern California, brought the children’s book “I Am Jazz” to school to share with classmates. The book chronicles the life of a real-life transgender girl named Jazz Jennings.
In a Monday night vote after an impassioned, emotional debate, the Rocklin school board decided to keep its current literature policies in place, which allow similar types of books to be read to children during story time. However, the board passed a provision stating that teachers “will endeavor to notify parents in advance of controversial topics being discussed when they are part of the school’s curriculum or a teacher’s lesson plan so that parents can also share their views at home.”
The policy adopted further states, if advance notice is not possible,
teachers will “endeavor to notify parents via email or verbally after the fact.”
Some parents raised objections that they were not notified, while others at the meeting supported the school’s policies and did not object to the reading material.
Wendy Sickler, a parent of two children at the school, said her “concern is that a book that was read was outside the curriculum, and it was a sensitive topic, and the parents weren’t notified.”
Sickler said she’s not opposed to a transgender child being in the classroom.
“I know that our kids are going to be exposed to different lifestyles, and that to me reinforces that they should notify parents,” she said, according to the Sacramento Bee, adding that she thinks that additional changes are needed other than the issues brought before the school board.
According to the newspaper, Beryl Mayne, of Auburn, arrived before the meeting with other members of the LGBT community holding signs that said: “Trans Rights are Human Rights,” “Trans Kids Have Courage” and “Love and Let Love.”
“It’s important tonight to support transgender children. It’s not about me. It’s about transgender children,” Mayne told the Bee.
After the vote, one school board member urged the community to come together and move forward now that a decision had been made.
“Please let this end tonight,” Larry Steiner said, according to the Bee. “We cannot forget Rocklin Academy is a school of choice. The hostility has to end. Let’s bring back our sense of community.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Israel’s government announced on Sunday that it will legalize children adoption by same-sex families by 2018.
Responding to a petition filed to the Supreme Court by same-sex couples, a representative of the State promised to the court that the government will start the legislation of a law to regulate equal adoption rights to same-sex couples.
The petition was filed by the Israel Religious Action Center of the Reform Movement, a progressive Jewish center.
“We will continue to monitor the legislative process,” Riki Shapira, a lawyer who represented the petitioners, told the Hebrew-language Ynet news site.
“We will insist on the full implementation of the law in an egalitarian manner,” she said.
The recent statement came after in its first response to the court, the State said it will not recognize gay family rights to adopt a child, stating such parenthood might harm the child.
Currently, in Israel, gay people can adopt a child if he or she are over five years old at the time of the adoption or the child was born and legally adopted outside Israel.
Artificial intelligence can accurately guess whether people are gay or straight based on photos of their faces, according to new research that suggests machines can have significantly better “gaydar” than humans.
The study from Stanford University – which found that a computer algorithm could correctly distinguish between gay and straight men 81% of the time, and 74% for women – has raised questions about the biological origins of sexual orientation, the ethics of facial-detection technology, and the potential for this kind of software to violate people’s privacy or be abused for anti-LGBT purposes.
The machine intelligence tested in the research, which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and first reported in the Economist, was based on a sample of more than 35,000 facial images that men and women publicly posted on a US dating website. The researchers, Michal Kosinski and Yilun Wang, extracted features from the images using “deep neural networks”, meaning a sophisticated mathematical system that learns to analyze visuals based on a large dataset.
The research found that gay men and women tended to have “gender-atypical” features, expressions and “grooming styles”, essentially meaning gay men appeared more feminine and vice versa. The data also identified certain trends, including that gay men had narrower jaws, longer noses and larger foreheads than straight men, and that gay women had larger jaws and smaller foreheads compared to straight women.
Human judges performed much worse than the algorithm, accurately identifying orientation only 61% of the time for men and 54% for women. When the software reviewed five images per person, it was even more successful – 91% of the time with men and 83% with women. Broadly, that means “faces contain much more information about sexual orientation than can be perceived and interpreted by the human brain”, the authors wrote.
The paper suggested that the findings provide “strong support” for the theory that sexual orientation stems from exposure to certain hormones before birth, meaning people are born gay and being queer is not a choice. The machine’s lower success rate for women also could support the notion that female sexual orientation is more fluid.
While the findings have clear limits when it comes to gender and sexuality – people of color were not included in the study, and there was no consideration of transgender or bisexual people – the implications for artificial intelligence (AI) are vast and alarming. With billions of facial images of people stored on social media sites and in government databases, the researchers suggested that public data could be used to detect people’s sexual orientation without their consent.
It’s easy to imagine spouses using the technology on partners they suspect are closeted, or teenagers using the algorithm on themselves or their peers. More frighteningly, governments that continue to prosecute LGBT people could hypothetically use the technology to out and target populations. That means building this kind of software and publicizing it is itself controversial given concerns that it could encourage harmful applications.
But the authors argued that the technology already exists, and its capabilities are important to expose so that governments and companies can proactively consider privacy risks and the need for safeguards and regulations.
“It’s certainly unsettling. Like any new tool, if it gets into the wrong hands, it can be used for ill purposes,” said Nick Rule, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, who has published research on the science of gaydar. “If you can start profiling people based on their appearance, then identifying them and doing horrible things to them, that’s really bad.”
Rule argued it was still important to develop and test this technology: “What the authors have done here is to make a very bold statement about how powerful this can be. Now we know that we need protections.”
Kosinski was not immediately available for comment, but after publication of this article on Friday, he spoke to the Guardian about the ethics of the study and implications for LGBT rights. The professor is known for his work with Cambridge University on psychometric profiling, including using Facebook data to make conclusions about personality. Donald Trump’s campaign and Brexit supporters deployed similar tools to target voters, raising concerns about the expanding use of personal data in elections.
In the Stanford study, the authors also noted that artificial intelligence could be used to explore links between facial features and a range of other phenomena, such as political views, psychological conditions or personality.
This type of research further raises concerns about the potential for scenarios like the science-fiction movie Minority Report, in which people can be arrested based solely on the prediction that they will commit a crime.
“AI can tell you anything about anyone with enough data,” said Brian Brackeen, CEO of Kairos, a face recognition company. “The question is as a society, do we want to know?”
Brackeen, who said the Stanford data on sexual orientation was “startlingly correct”, said there needs to be an increased focus on privacy and tools to prevent the misuse of machine learning as it becomes more widespread and advanced.
Rule speculated about AI being used to actively discriminate against people based on a machine’s interpretation of their faces: “We should all be collectively concerned.”
By Robert Barnes
In a major upcoming Supreme Court case that weighs equal rights with religious liberty, the Trump administration on Thursday sided with a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
The Department of Justice on Thursday filed a brief on behalf of baker Jack Phillips, who was found to have violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act by refusing to created a cake to celebrate the marriage of Charlie Craig and David Mullins in 2012. Phillips said he doesn’t create wedding cakes for same-sex couples because it would violate his religious beliefs.
The government agreed with Phillips that his cakes are a form of expression, and he cannot be compelled to use his talents for something in which he does not believe.
“Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights,” Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in the brief.
The DOJ’s decision to support Phillips is the latest in a series of steps the Trump administration has taken to rescind Obama administration positions favorable to gay rights and to advance new policies on the issue.
But Louise Melling, the deputy legal counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the couple, said she was taken aback by the filing.
“Even in an administration that has already made its hostility” toward the gay community clear, Melling said, “I find this nothing short of shocking.”
Since taking office, President Trump has moved to block transgender Americans from serving in the military and his Department of Education has done away with guidance to schools on how they should accommodate transgender students.
The DOJ also has taken the stance that gay workers are not entitled to job protections under federal anti-discrimination laws. Since 2015, the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission has taken the opposite stance, saying Title VII, the civil-rights statute that covers workers, protects against bias based on sexual orientation.
Federal courts are split on that issue, and the Supreme Court this term might take up the issue.
Indeed, lawyers for Jameka Evans, who claims she was fired by Georgia Regional Hospital because of her sexual orientation and “nonconformity with gender norms of appearance and demeanor,” on Thursday asked justices to take her case.
Citing a 1979 precedent, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit rejected her protection claims.
Taking that case, along with Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, would make the coming Supreme Court term the most important for gay rights issues since the justices voted 5 to 4 in 2015 to find a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry.
The case of Phillips, a baker in the Denver suburbs, is similar to lawsuits brought elsewhere involving florists, calligraphers and others who say providing services to same-sex weddings would violate their religious beliefs. But these objectors have found little success in the courts, which have ruled that businesses serving the public must comply with state anti-discrimination laws.
Mullins and Craig visited Masterpiece Cakeshop in July 2012, along with Craig’s mother, to order a cake for their upcoming wedding reception. Mullins and Craig planned to marry in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriages were legal at the time, and then hold a reception in Colorado.
But Phillips refused to discuss the issue, saying his religious beliefs would not allow him to have anything to do with same-sex marriage. He said other bakeries would accommodate them.
The civil rights commission and a Colorado court rejected Phillips’ argument that forcing him to create a cake violated his First Amendment rights of freedom of expression and exercise of religion.
The court said the baker “does not convey a message supporting same-sex marriages merely by abiding by the law.”
By Bethany Mandel
Over the course of the last few months, whenever I write or tweet anything, on any topic, I usually receive a caustic social media response about my position on transgenderism. These trolls post links to my tweets about the subject and screenshots, as if showing me my own recent opinion is some sort of gotcha. These individuals even send tweets to my husband and employers, perhaps in hope that they will use their power over me to get my opinion in check with The Approved Position.
One Twitter follower who “favorited” a tweet of mine about my view on transgenderism even received an email from a stranger demanding to know if her decision to “favorite” my tweet meant she agreed with me. I’ve been called every name in the book: hateful, bigoted, transphobic, etc. All for having a belief that was utterly uncontroversial just three years ago: men are born with penises, women are born with vaginas, and, to quote the great Ben Shapiro, facts don’t care about your feelings.
Many of my fellow millennial conservatives, out of what they view as courtesy, use the preferred pronoun and name for individuals who identify as transgender. Here is why I won’t: We will be made to care.
The phrase is care of another great conservative thinker, Erick Erickson. He coined it in the midst of the gay marriage debate. During that debate, I was like many of these younger millennial conservatives. I naively thought the issue was merely about gay marriage, and thought “Hey, marriage is great, so let’s just give into the Left’s demands about the redefinition of a cornerstone of our society because not doing so would be bigoted.”
But there was more to the Left’s battle with conservatives than that. It wasn’t just about redefining marriage to these activists; it was also about punishing those who weren’t 100 percent on board, especially religious Christians. The livelihoods and lives of bakers, photographers, farmers, and the CEO of Mozilla were destroyed for not completely adhering to the Thought Police’s demands. These Americans were made to care.
My colleague Joy Pullmann provided just the latest example last week of how the progressive Left is making the rest of us care about the transgender debate: “Angry parents stampeded a California charter school board meeting Monday after a teacher read her kindergarten class picture books about transgenderism to affirm a gender dysphoric classmate. During the class, parents say, the gender dysphoric boy also switched clothes to look more like a girl in a ‘gender reveal.’ Parents were not notified beforehand of the discussion or the classmate’s psychological condition, and learned about it when their confused kindergarteners arrived home from school that day.”
For Acculturated recently, I gamed out a frightening thought experiment about how parents who decide not to play along with their child’s gender dysphoria could one day be faced with a visit from Child Protective Services.
The Left has shown the totalitarian manner in which it exacts support, or at least silence, from everyday Americans. We’ve seen how lives were destroyed in the wake of the gay marriage debate, how many individuals were shouted down into submission by the side that proclaims itself to be “open-minded” and employed the slogans “No H8” and “Love Wins.” For many conservatives, including myself, the lesson has been learned.
With every tweet aimed at publicizing and shaming my position on transgenderism, the progressive Left is solidifying my decision to call Bruce Jenner by his given name instead of the name he has chosen because of a condition that mental health professionals once took seriously. Playing along with delusions isn’t a kindness to those suffering from other psychological conditions, and it isn’t a kindness for those with gender dysphoria either.
And if we lend credibility to the notion that adults can choose their sex, parents who refuse to allow a child who, just the week before, self-identified as a butterfly to choose her own gender could then be accused of denying their child health care (because many progressive activists view opposite-sex hormones and plastic surgery as health care now).
My answer for those on the Left who ask me “Why do you care what transgender individuals call themselves?” is simply this: because you have made me.
By Sarah Young
An Australian schoolboy who decided to transition into a female has changed his mind two years later.
At just 12-years-old, Patrick Mitchell, begged with his mother to begin taking oestrogen hormones after doctors diagnosed him with gender dysphoria – a condition where a person experiences distress because there is a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.
“You wish you could just change everything about you, you just see any girl and you say I’d kill to be like that”, Mitchell told 60 Minutes.
After heeding advice from professionals who suggested that it was right choice, his mother was fully supportive and Mitchell began to transition.
He grew out his hair and started to take the hormones, which caused his body to grow breasts. But two years on, Mitchell had a change of heart.
In the beginning of 2017, teachers at school began to refer to him as a girl which triggered Mitchell to question if he had made the right decision.
“I began to realise I was actually comfortable in my body. Every day I just felt better,” he told Now To Love.
As a result, Mitchell confided in his mother and explained that he wanted to transition back into a boy.
“He looked me in the eye and said ‘I’m just not sure that I am a girl’”, his mother explained.
Now, in a bid to revert back to his original body, he has stopped taking his medication and is about to have an operation to remove excess breast tissue in what will be the final stage of his transition.
While gender dysphoria is rare, the number of people being diagnosed with the condition is increasing, due to growing public awareness.
A survey of 10,000 people undertaken in 2012 by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that 1% of the population surveyed was gender variant, to some extent.
If you think you or your child may have gender dysphoria, the NHS suggests seeing your GP who, if necessary, can then refer you to a specialist Gender Identity Clinic (GIC).