It’s an open thread! Pleeeeease feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread…
• By Vincent P. Martin, Minneapolis Immigration Lawyer, in the article/PDF onJD Supra entitled Transgender Marriage Based Immigration:
…Are marriages involving a transgender spouse recognized for immigration purposes?
The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) has recognized the grant of immigration benefits to a marriage involving a post-operative transsexual. See Matter of Lovo-Lara, 23 I&N Dec. 746 (BIA 2005). In this case, a USC transgender woman married a noncitizen male. The woman was a post-operative transgender individual and obtained an updated birth certificate from North Carolina after her reassignment surgery. The BIA set forth several requirements in order to qualify the noncitizen for immigration benefits:
- State law must recognize the change in gender;
- State law must recognize the marriage as valid;
- The marriage must qualify for immigration benefits under the INA.
Recently, the BIA issued another decision on this matter, dated February 1, 2012. The decision has not been published as of the time of writing. The BIA recognized for immigration benefits a marriage between a male USC petitioner and a female transgender noncitizen spouse. The noncitizen spouse had undergone sexual reassignment surgery, but was unable to change her listed gender on her Thailand birth certificate. The couple was married in California but resided in Missouri. The BIA chose to recognize the marriage and grant immigration benefits because the couple met the following qualifications:
- The state of marriage had a procedure in place to recognize the postoperative gender;
- The state of residence had a procedure in place to recognize the postoperative gender;
- State law recognized the marriage as valid;
- The marriage qualified for immigration benefits under the INA.
How can one show that a marriage with a transgender individual qualifies for immigration
First, it is necessary to show that the state of residence has recognized the change in gender. This can be shown through an updated birth certificate, a gender-accurate driver’s license, or a gender-accurate state identity card. It may also be necessary to research state laws related to this
issue. If the marriage took place in a state different from the current state of residence, it will also be necessary to show that the state of marriage recognizes the change in gender.
Second, it is necessary to show that the marriage is valid and recognized under state law. This can be shown through a valid marriage certificate and evidence of state laws that recognize marriages involving transgender individuals.
It is important to note that visa applications for immigration benefits derived from marriage involving a transgender spouse are most likely to be successful when the spouse has undergone sexual reassignment surgery. Both cases discussed above involve a post-operative transgender
spouse. When filing the application, it is best to include verification of the medical steps taken to complete the transition. This may be shown through an expert medical opinion.
Finally, as with all marriage-based immigrant petitions, it is necessary to show that the marriage is bona fide and was not entered into for the purpose of circumventing immigration laws.
• Human Rights Campaign‘s press release HRC Offers New Resource to Make Workplaces More Equitable for Transgender Employees:
Today the HRC Workplace Project released their latest resource in the effort to make workplaces more fair and equal for America’s transgender workers. Transgender-Inclusive Health Care Coverage and the Corporate Equality Index is a white paper full of information on transgender-inclusive health care coverage, including relevant concepts and vocabulary as well as specific guidance on meeting the CEI criteria. The white paper is an educational tool for employers engaged in the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey on policies and benefits for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees.
In the decade since the first CEI was first published in 2002, we have seen corporate America leading the charge for fairness for LGBT workers. The concept is really quite simple: to attract and retain the best and brightest talent, employers must treat their LGBT employees equally, including in the administration of health care benefits. However, even the most well-intentioned employer or HR department may not know how to best serve their LGBT employees in today’s ever changing and more tolerant workplace. HRC’s new white paper is the latest resource in our mission to give employers the tools they need to offer equal benefits and stay on pace with other fair-minded companies.
In 2009 HRC announced that earning 100 percent on the 2012 CEI requires employers to offer at least one firm-wide available health insurance plan that affords coverage for medically necessary transition-related care. The internationally accepted standards of care are maintained and published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Other criteria changes that went into effect in 2012 are available at www.hrc.org/cei. The white paper is available at www.hrc.org/transbenefits.
[More below the fold.]
• Focus On The Family’s CitizenLink article entitled Texas Defunds Planned Parenthood Completely:
State Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs signed the final rule into law last Thursday saying no family planning agency that performs or promotes elective abortions will receive any of the $16 million of state funding — and approximately a dozen Planned Parenthood offices across the state have closed so far. The rule takes effect on March 14; the state Legislature passed the law last June.
As a result, the Obama administration is threatening to cut off all $40 million of federal Medicaid funding to Texas, which is used in part to give low-income women health screenings. Planned Parenthood received approximately 44 percent of the Medicaid funds.
“The Legislature has spoken. The attorney general has said it is constitutional. The Commissioner has signed the rule,” said Kyleen Wright, president of the Texas for Life Coalition. “If Planned Parenthood cared as much about affordable health care for women as they say, they would get out of the way so that the program could continue.”
• Yahoo News‘s Gender Nonconformity a Risk Factor for Child Abuse:
Children who exhibit behavior unlike what’s expected for their gender are more likely to be abused, according to new research from the Harvard School of Public Health.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics last week, examined responses from 9,000 young adults about their feelings of masculinity or femininity as a child and whether they suffered abuse. Gender nonconforming kids were more likely to have been physically, psychologically or sexually abused.
Researcher and lead author Andrea Roberts told Northwestern University’s Medill Reports that “discrimination against gender nonconformity affects one in 10 kids,” and that abuse can have effects like PTSD that last well into adulthood.
While most transgender people do not fully come out until adolescence or later, children can exhibit signs of non-gender normative behavior at a much earlier age, with some even taking on identities of the opposite gender as early as grade school. A recent episode of Anderson Cooper’s talk show Anderson featured transgender children and teenagers, and The Tyra Banks Show aired a similar episode in 2010…
• Our Wiener Story Of The Day: Hollywire‘s Our Favorite Moments From the 2012 Academy Awards:
The Cast of Bridesmaids Presenting the Short Film Awards
The Bridesmaids ladies’ presentation of the short film Oscars was hands down one of the funniest moments of the whole show. We caught on pretty early that Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph’s speech about “size” wasn’t just about film length. “As my grandma used to say, it can be short and still make your toes curl,” Maya said. “And I believe in my heart that my grandma was not referring to wieners, but short films.” “See, I’d rather have a short film with some heft that’s nice to me,” Kristen responded thoughtfully. “Rather than a long film that just lies there and makes you do all the work.” Amazing.
As always, “The weenie tempts you!”
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!