It’s an open thread! Pleeeeease feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread…
• The Advocate‘s White House Backs Social Security Admin.’s Pro-Trans Policy:
In a move to help stop workplace discrimination against transgender people, the Social Security Administration has stopped issuing “gender no-match” letters to employers, which alert them when the gender marker on an employee’s W-2 does not match his or her Social Security records.
White House spokesman Shin Inouye told Metro Weekly that the “White House welcomes this move by the Social Security Administration.”
In 2010 alone, 711,488 letters were sent to employers, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, which filed for a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the numbers on gender no-match notifications.
Mara Keisling, NCTE’s executive director, hailed the announcement, because alerting transphobic employers of their workers’ transgender status may put their jobs in jeopardy. This is especially crucial since there is no federal law banning discrimination against LGBT workers, and very few states have antidiscrimination laws covering LGBT workers…
• Diversity Inc‘s Observations on the End of DADT:
…Admiral Mullen has prepared the military for the change; there was a survey, then training, then more testimony to Congress. Today [Tuesday, September 20, 2011] it all ends. I’m sure it will be a huge non-event for those on active duty. Although gay people have served our country since the Revolution, they’ve never been able to serve openly until now. Although it seems trivial to heterosexual people who never had to fear, now we can ALL talk about what we did on the weekend.
There are those who have sent me hate mail saying that LGBT rights are not civil rights. That gay people can hide who they are. There are those who send me nasty email asking, “Why should I know what orientation a person is?” There are those who proclaim to be heterosexual but obsess about “converting” gay people to being heterosexual. All I can say is, “Haters gonna hate.” I wouldn’t hide my orientation; it’s disgusting to me that any American should have to. Gay rights don’t impinge on hetero rights. It’s anti-American to deny a group the rights that others enjoy if it doesn’t limit their own rights. I wouldn’t want to work in an environment where I don’t know who my coworkers’ loved ones are—it’s too long a work week to be that isolated. And finally, unless someone is having sex on the hood of your car, why don’t you mind your own business and think about the root cause of your obsessions?
It’s bad business to discriminate. It destroys productivity and brand image. I’m sorry, but there’s no free ride. You can’t get away with donating money to anti-gay people without damaging your brand; you can’t pass ordinances, laws and state constitutional amendments that limit gay rights and not expect progressive companies to shy away—and your best and brightest to not move out. LGBT rights are every bit civil rights, and as the ADA was a continuation of our nation’s civil-rights era, the long overdue death of DADT is another milestone toward justice.
• Lexology‘s New Connecticut employment laws effective Oct. 1:
Connecticut Prohibits Gender Identity Discrimination
Effective October 1, 2011, Connecticut employers with three or more employees will be prohibited from discriminating against an applicant or employee based on gender identity or expression. The Connecticut law defines “gender identity or expression” as “a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.” Gender-related identity may be established by the assertion of the individual, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, medical history or other evidence that the gender-related identity is a sincerely held element of a person’s core identity. The law protects transgendered people who are not undergoing gender reassignment surgery, and who do not intend to do so, as well as those who have completed such surgery or who are in the process of having the surgery.
One exception to the new law is the exemption of religious corporations or entities “with respect to the employment of individuals to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation … of its activities, or with respect to matters of discipline, faith, internal organization or ecclesiastical rule, custom or law” established by the religious entity.
Employers with employees in Connecticut should include gender identity in their EEO policies and literature and add gender identity issues to their EEO training.
• The Tennessean‘s Nashville paramedic suspended for anti-gay postings; Department veteran wrote on group’s Facebook page:
Nashville Fire Department officials suspended a 20-year department veteran Friday after he made anti-gay comments on a social media site, an incident gay rights advocates say proves that the group needs legal protections.
Fire Chief Steve Halford ordered the two-month suspension after a departmental hearing last week for paramedic Kevin Kennedy. Kennedy was accused of posting on his own Facebook page and the Nashville Fire Department Emergency Medical Services’ page that homosexuality was a perversion. He also said two gay EMS workers should “crawl back into the closet,” said Deputy Chief Kim Lawson, spokeswoman for the department.
The department was notified of the posts on Aug. 3.
“We have a diverse group of employees in the fire department who respond to the needs of a diverse community,” Lawson said. “This disrupts the order of discipline. We have an important job. These actions in no way are tolerated.”
• Our Wiener Story Of The Day: Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Chicago wiener war ends in hot dog truce:
The two-year battle pitted Sara Lee’s Ball Park and Kraft Foods’ Oscar Mayer hot dogs. Both alleged the other exaggerated their claims about being No. 1.
The sides announced Thursday they settled out of court, nearly a month after their civil trial began.
Added from Chicago Sun-Times‘ ‘s No clear wiener in battle over who makes better hot dog:
“While the exact terms are confidential, I can tell you that neither party paid any money to the other as part of the settlement and neither party has changed its current marketing practices as a result of the settlement,” said Sydney S. Lindner, Associate Director of Corporate Affairs for Kraft Foods.
As always, “The weenie tempts you!” — just maybe not the world’s tastiest wiener!
So anywho…It’s an open thread! What are you thinking about today, or what books or articles have you been reading the past few days? Wanna share?
And again, please feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread because…it’s an open thread! Woo-hoo!