TV & Radio
The Overlooked Legal Option That Would Let Governor Schwarzenegger Fully Respect Proposition 22 and the Will of the People, Yet Also Sign the Gay Marriage Bill
By VIKRAM DAVID AMAR AND ETHAN LEIB
Friday, Sep. 16, 2005 - FindLaw Writ
Last week, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, through a spokesperson, asserted that "respect for the will of the people" compels him to veto the legislature's recently-enacted bill that attempts to recognize same-sex marriage for in-state residents.
The Governor's reference to "the people" is apparently to Proposition 22, an initiative passed by California voters in 2000 that placed into the statute books the following single sentence: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." On account of this initiative statute, Schwarzenegger believes the legislature's measure is foreclosed. Although Schwarzenegger undoubtedly has the right to veto the bill, his claim that respect for the "will of the people" requires him to flatly reject the legislative proposal is, as we will explain, overstated.
When Attitudes Are Changing Rapidly, the True Will of the Current People is Often Hard to Discern
For starters, more than five years have passed since Californians adopted Proposition 22. The reality is that we don't know what California voters think today -- what their current will really is. The voters have elected new state legislators since 2000, and the electorate of 2005 is itself different from the electorate of 2000 in many ways.
Particularly on the question of gay families, much has changed nationally and in the Golden State. In the past year, for example, California implemented one of the most extensive domestic partnership laws in the country. And recent polls show that although 61% of those who voted favored Proposition 22 in 2000, about half of the state electorate today is supportive of full-fledged gay marriage.
Does The Legislature's Same-Sex Marriage Bill Really Conflict With Proposition 22? Unfortunately, Yes.
Of course, the problem of "changing demographics and changing attitudes" means, more generally, that many statutes on the books - perhaps especially statutes enacted by voter initiatives - might seem anachronistic and out-of-touch with today's views. And yet until these outdated statutes are amended, we must faithfully respect and apply their terms. Indeed, the executive branch's duty to enforce duly enacted state statutes that have not been invalidated by appellate courts was reinforced by last year's California Supreme Court opinion chastising San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom for his own actions permitting gay marriage.
As we analyze in much more detail below, under California's state constitution, amendments or repeals of initiative statutes themselves require approval of the voters to become effective. So it becomes quite important to decide whether Governor Schwarzenegger is right when he says the legislature's bill inevitably conflicts with the operative terms of Proposition 22.
Alas, we think he is. San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno and other sponsors of the bill argue that there is no insoluble tension between it and Proposition 22 because that initiative measure does not define marriage for domestic, in-state purposes. Rather, they claim, it merely requires that California not recognize same-sex marriages that were entered into in other jurisdictions. According to Leno, Proposition 22 says nothing about - is agnostic on - the question of recognizing in-state same-sex marriages.
As one of us wrote in an earlier column, Leno's position has some support. The materials distributed during the initiative campaign in 2000 do reveal a focus on recognition of marriages that take place in other states. We know that the initiative's supporters were especially concerned that California might be forced to recognize same-sex marriages from other states like Hawaii. Moreover, Proposition 22 is codified into California's family law code in the very place where the code discusses recognition of foreign marriages.
Finally, Proposition 22 was self-styled a "Defense of Marriage Act," parallel to the federal act with the same name enacted by Congress under Bill Clinton's presidency. And that federal law explicitly focused on each state's freedom to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
But the question isn't whether Leno's reading of Proposition 22's meaning is non-frivolous; the question is whether it is a winner: In deciding what action to take on a bill, a governor charged with faithfully executing state law must decide whether in his best judgment the bill is in fact legally enforceable - he's got to make a call one way or the other as to the best reading of state law.
On balance, a faithful governor -- obligated by California law to respect and enforce a duly-enacted statute like Proposition 22 until it has been invalidated by state appellate courts -- would conclude there is no lawful way to implement Leno's bill as things stand right now.
Here's why: In addition to the textual awkwardness of reading the broad words of Proposition 22 to apply only to out-of-state marriages, if we embraced Leno's interpretation we would be left with a situation where California recognized in-state same-sex marriage but did not recognize similar marriages entered into by out-of-staters. And this California cannot do under the federal Constitution - particularly Article IV's privileges and immunities clause and/or the so-called "full faith and credit" principle -- which generally prohibits discrimination by a state against persons from other states.
Thus, unless we can say that the voters who enacted Proposition 22 actually intended that their initiative not apply if and when the legislature recognized same-sex marriage for in-staters -- which seems quite unlikely even if Leno is right that only out-of-state unions were actually before the voters -- then implementation of Leno's bill would effectively make Proposition 22's operative language concerning recognition of out-of-state marriages unenforceable.
And that, it seems to us, runs afoul of a state constitutional provision that in effect says the legislature cannot through ordinary legislative processes "amend" or "repeal" a statutory initiative.
A Third Way - Sign the Bill, Defer Implementation and Call for Popular Electoral Approval
But does that mean that the Governor has to veto the bill? To put the question another way, are the Governor's only two choices vetoing the bill on the one hand, or signing it and implementing it right now on the other?
We think not; we think the Governor has a third choice that he should adopt based on a little-known provision in the state constitution. California's constitution, in Section 10 (c) of Article II, affirmatively empowers the legislature to amend or repeal referendum statutes such as Proposition 22 by another statute so long as the new statute "becomes effective only when approved by the electors."
This means that even if (as we believe) Leno's bill can be said to amend or repeal Proposition 22, the bill is not out of constitutional bounds. Rather, the bill simply can't become effective until voters approve it through a mechanism of direct democracy. The Governor may sign the bill and instruct officers not to enforce it until it is approved by the California voters.
Interestingly, the provisions of the California constitution describing this unusual combination of legislative and direct democracy activity do so in terms that invite, rather than discourage, legislative action. The constitution is not phrased to say: "The legislature may not make amendments to statutory initiatives except with the approval of the voters." Instead, it says: "The Legislature may amend or repeal referendum statutes. It may amend or repeal an initiative statute by another statute that becomes effective" when approved by the electors.
Moreover, the legislature has more flexibility to invite popular approval to change statutory initiatives than it does to propose state constitution amendments for popular assent. A constitutional amendment proposal requires two-thirds approval of each house of the legislature, whereas a legislative proposal seeking to amend an earlier statutory initiative requires only a simple majority of both houses if it is approved by the Governor.
To repeat, the state constitution and respect for statutory initiatives do not require a gubernatorial veto of Leno's bill even if the bill conflicts with Proposition 22; rather, the constitution merely requires that the new statute not be placed into effect until it gets approval from the voters.
Thus, if Schwarzenegger really cares about the will of the people and is worried about the seeming conflict with Proposition 22, he can abide by the constitution by signing the bill and delaying its implementation while he seeks a special election so that the people can consider the new law.
And when he calls for such an election, Schwarzenegger should make clear that he thinks Proposition 22 should be amended. When you are Governor, respecting the will of the people involves helping move that will in the direction of fairness and justice. In a well-functioning representative democracy, leaders lead - and don't just reflect -- the polity.
Why Signing the Bill, But Not Putting It Into Effect Right Now, Makes Practical And Theoretical Sense
One further reason why our suggested course of action makes sense is the uncertainty of the legal status of Proposition 22 itself: California courts have before them strong claims that the voter-enacted law is unconstitutional under the state constitution's equal protection, due process, and privacy provisions.
Under our proposed course of signing but delaying implementation pending voter approval, if the California Supreme Court ends up striking Proposition 22 down, the Leno bill's legislative validation of same-sex marriage would become effective immediately, since it would no longer be an amendment or repeal of any valid voter initiative. (And if the high court upholds Proposition 22, then the Governor's "sign-but-delay-implementation" approach would have no world-altering effect unless and until voters confirmed his actions.)
Finally, our approach in this essay recognizes that although there is surely much rhetoric characterizing the legislature's actions as "anti-democratic," there is also much to be said for not fetishizing the results that direct democracy produces. Direct democracy is sometimes (maybe even often) defective in at least four different ways. First, direct democracy as currently designed is extremely susceptible to those with deep pockets controlling the terms of debate.
Second, statutes put to the general population for consideration are routinely drafted in ways that citizens cannot understand. Indeed, the debate about just what California voters enacted in Proposition 22 may attest to this.
Third, empirical evidence reveals that those who vote in ballot measure elections are older, more educated, richer, and more ideological than - and thus not very representative of -- the general population. In this regard, it bears noting Proposition 22 was passed during a small turnout primary election in March rather than on a general Election Day in November. If part of the rationale for direct democracy is that our representative institutions are failing in actually representing the citizenry and their interests, then it is a serious problem that voters in direct democracy do not fare much better on the representativeness scale.
Last, substantial empirical evidence shows that people change their minds about many policy matters when they have had an opportunity to reflect on an issue by discussing it with their fellow citizens and policy experts. Experiments by Stanford's James Fishkin have proven the point time and again: after deliberations, citizens routinely alter their preferences in unpredictable ways.
Given these realities, we should welcome a hybrid political system that facilitates a mix of direct democracy and representative democracy. The California constitution, it turns out, provides for just such a mix: A legislature that carefully thought through its bill can forward it to the Governor who in turn can sign it and send it along to the people for their ratification. Oftentimes, neither elected officials nor directly democratic devices alone can adequately measure the "will of the people" to which Governor Schwarzenegger rightly wishes to defer.
Vikram David Amar is a professor of law at the University of California, Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. He is a 1988 graduate of the Yale Law School, and a former clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun. He is a co-author of the Cohen and Varat constitutional law casebook, and a co-author of several volumes of the Wright & Miller treatise on federal practice and procedure. Before teaching, Professor Amar spent a few years at the firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
Ethan J. Leib is a professor of law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He graduated from Yale Law School in 2003 and received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale in 2004. His book, Deliberative Democracy in America: A Proposal for a Popular Branch on Government, came out in paperback this summer.
NAMIBIA: Rights NGOs call for official's resignation over homophobic remarks
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
© UN DPI
Former president Sam Nujoma announced purges against gays in 2001
WINDHOEK, 15 Sep 2005 (IRIN) - Outraged human rights organisations have called for the resignation of a Namibian government minister for making homophobic remarks.
In a speech at a Heroes Day gathering on 3 September outside the capital, Windhoek, the deputy minister of home affairs and immigration, Theopolina Mushelenga, accused gays and lesbians of causing HIV/AIDS.
Mushelenga reportedly accused gays and lesbians of betraying the country's struggle for freedom, and called them "a slap in the face of African culture".
She also warned the youth not to allow the "prophets of same-sex love" to mislead them.
The Rainbow Project, a local NGO lobbying for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT), said Mushelenga's statement "can only intensify the social stigma and prejudice that LGBT people are already experiencing".
A spokesperson for the NGO said it had recorded over 3,000 cases of violence directed against the LGBT community since the beginning of the year. Nevertheless, 75 percent of the country's LGBT people preferred to suffer in silence to avoid becoming targets of hate speech and crime.
According to a women's rights organisation, Sister Namibia, Mushelenga's speech could incite violence against sexual minorities, and "to make matters worse, people living with HIV/AIDS have been included in this", read a statement by the group.
This week another NGO, the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), called on Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba and his administration to distance themselves from Mushelenga's "hate expressions" and described her speech as unlawful and unconstitutional.
The Namibian constitution guarantees the right to dignity, equality before the law and non-discrimination, said NSHR spokeswoman Dorkas Phillemon.
"LGBT people continue to experience widespread discrimination, homophobia and related intolerance. Sexual minorities also continue to be prejudiced, excluded, stigmatised, assaulted, raped and even brutally murdered," she remarked.
"Singling out these people for such dangerous incitement, and holding them responsible for the country's number one killer disease is not only manifestly false," said Phillemon, "but also constitutes an intentional and reckless effort to expose sexual minorities to even more hate crimes."
Former president Sam Nujoma in 2001 called on police to arrest, deport and imprison gays and lesbians.
IRIN was unable to obtain comment from the Namibian government.
Oakland Tribune Op-Ed.
Article Last Updated: 09/15/2005 08:22:21 AM
Verdicts provide justice for Araujo, family
FINALLY, after two trials and almost three years, an Alameda County jury has provided at least some measure of justice for Gwen Araujo and her family.
Jurors on Monday afternoon found Michael Magidson of Fremont and Jose Merel of Newark guilty of second-degree murder, although they deadlocked on the third defendant, Jason Cazares of Newark. Magidson and Merel will be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
"The jury did an awesome job," Araujo's mother, Sylvia Guerrero, told reporters outside the Hayward Hall of Justice after the verdicts were read. "I totally appreciate their hard work and dedication."
We agree. The eight-man, four-woman jury should be commended for their diligence in this long, grueling case. Unlike the jury in the first trial — which deadlocked on all three defendants in June 2004 — this jury heard Magidson's and Merel's sides of the story. But that only made their job more difficult.
They had to listen to multiple versions of the events leading up to the slaying in the early hours of Oct. 4, 2002, when Araujo was beaten, strangled and buried in a shallow grave in the Sierra foothills.
Merel — who along with Magidson had had sexual relations with Araujo — testified that he hit Araujo in the head with a frying pan and menaced her with a can of food after he learned she had male genitalia. However, he said he didn't know the assault would end in death. Magidson acknowledged that he was the main attacker, but said he didn't kill Araujo. Instead, he told jurors that a fourth man, Jaron Nabors, admitted he strangled the teen.
Cazares, who also testified during the first trial, told jurors that he never hit Araujo and didn't witness the entire assault. But he admitted that he helped his friends bury her body in the El Dorado National Forest east of Placerville.
The jurors had to weigh the defendants' credibility against that of the prosecution's key witness, 22-year-old Nabors, who initially also was charged with murder but pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in exchange for his testimony against the others.
Nabors indicated Magidson was to blame, saying he saw him bring a rope toward Araujo's neck, and that Magidson later told him he twisted it.
The biggest question remaining now, of course, is whether prosecutor Chris Lamiero will decide to try Cazares — whom the jury voted 9-3 to convict of murder as well — for a third time.
"In the next few weeks, we'll decide what to do about that," Lamiero said after Monday's verdicts.
Also, Magidson's attorney, Michael Thorman, said he definitely will appeal the verdict, and Merel's lawyer, William Du Bois, said he may appeal as well.
As the legal process continues, however, Araujo's family may take comfort in the fact that the jury has drawn a line in the sand.
Murder was committed in the early morning hours of Oct. 4, 2002, and at least two men are guilty.
Partial justice in Araujo case
Gwendolyn Ann Smith
Change rarely happens by revolt. Rather, it usually comes as a slow, evolutionary transition. It often moves so slowly that you don't see the change until long after it has happened, like spring turning into summer, then summer into autumn.
Ten years ago, a young transgender woman went home with a man. They had sex. At some point near the end of the evening, this man beat her, and then strangled her for several minutes. She died from this encounter.
Her killer claimed that he panicked when he discovered that the woman, Chanelle Pickett, was biologically male. In this case, decided in May of 1997, the killer, William Palmer, received a 2 1/2 year sentence -- for assault.
Nearly a decade later, a 17-year-old transgender girl hooked up with four boys. Over the course of the three months they knew each other, she had sexual encounters with two of them. Then, one October evening in 2002, they discovered she was biologically a male. She was also beaten and strangled to death.
Two of her killers -- Michael Magidson and Jose Merel -- claimed they had simply panicked when they discovered that Gwen Araujo was transgender, with Magidson's lawyer in particular pushing this claim of "trans panic." Merel's lawyer -- as Palmer's defense did in 1997 -- claimed that his client was culpable only of assault, not murder or even manslaughter.
Things have changed. These two men did not get off lightly, and they will not be back on the streets for some time. They each face a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life that can keep them locked away in the California penal system for decades.
A year after Chanelle Pickett's trial ended, I began to track anti-transgender murders and, in October of 2002, I attended the funeral of Gwen Araujo. This is a day I will never be able to forget -- and also a day I hope never to forget. After seeing Gwen, lying in her coffin in a small chapel that early autumn day, I knew I had to continue to fight for change.
I attended the preliminary trial in her case, and protested outside the courthouse over a bail attempt by Michael Magidson's attorney. I also attended much of the first trial, and saw a jury deadlock on each of the three defendants on trial. As days turned into months and years, my feelings toward this case deepened.
I cannot describe what it is like to view photos that the coroner took of Gwen Araujo, or listen to defense attorneys blame the victim for her own death.
I sat through this most recent trial, and watched spring turn to summer. I waited, as patiently as I could, outside a courtroom over the last couple of days, hoping that this jury would be able to bring forth justice -- and they did, mostly.
Murder is murder, so I am happy that, although the jury did not find for first-degree murder, they did find for second-degree. This alone throws out claims of "trans panic," in which the argument is that -- because it was a "crime of passion" -- the perpetrator can't be held fully accountable for taking another person's life.
Yet this act was not ruled to be a hate crime. Frankly, I don't think enough was presented to determine that and. furthermore, the hate crime statute in California is simply not well-formed: The law, as written, makes it more difficult to prove an act was motivated by hate than it does to prove it was.
There is also another man who, for now, is free on bail. That man, Jason Cazares, was also there that night, and he also participated in the acts that took the life of Gwen Araujo. The jury in this second case deadlocked as to the level of his charge, with nine of the three wishing to convict. Now, Cazares will likely end up in a plea deal, and -- like Jaron Nabors, the fourth man to take part in this killing -- he could end up in jail only for manslaughter. Or even less, as his lawyer is pushing for a very light "accessory after the fact" charge.
So justice, like all change, comes slowly. In 10 years, we've seen the killing of a transgender person go from being a simple assault to being a second-degree murder, and we've seen the "trans panic" defense go from something a jury will buy to something they'll toss out.
Yet there is more change to come. We've not yet seen full justice for Gwen, and other recent cases have shown that there is still work to be done. People are still killed as a result of anti-transgender violence, at a rate of more than one killing a month.
As the differences between the trials of Chanelle Pickett's and Gwen Araujo's killers show, we are growing closer and closer to justice.
Change may be slow, but it is also inevitable.
Gwen Smith is the founder of the Remembering Our Dead Project.
Film review: Transamerica
Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:27 PM ET
By Sheri Linden
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - On the big screen, "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman often has been relegated to the supporting category of friend/sister/neighbor.
With the poignant and often deliriously funny road-trip feature "Transamerica," she steps into the challenging lead role of a solitary pre-operative transsexual and delivers an extraordinary portrait. The film marks an auspicious debut for writer-director Duncan Tucker, whose fresh, character-driven storytelling should make this December release from the Weinstein Co. an art-house favorite.
Whatever it says about the zeitgeist, the theme of unexpected fatherhood has informed the work of a number of filmmakers this year, among them Jim Jarmusch ("Broken Flowers"), Wim Wenders ("Don't Come Knocking") and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne ("The Child"). In this case the reluctant but curious dad who learns he has a son happens to be a woman in tasteful pastels. The transgender spin avoids gimmickiness thanks to Tucker's deft touch and the subtle work of Huffman and the rest of the pitch-perfect cast, especially Kevin Zegers as the lost-and-found offspring.
Gender politics is an element of the film but by no means its subject. Tucker's concerns are loneliness, emotional honesty and the simple need for human kindness. Bree, nee Stanley (Huffman), is self-contained in her little Los Angeles bungalow, and her closest friend is her compassionate therapist, Margaret (Elizabeth Pena). A week before the ultimate surgical step in her gender transformation, she receives a phone call from a 17-year-old New York inmate who claims to be Stanley's son. Single-minded in her countdown to the operating room, Bree dismisses the unwanted disruption, but Margaret refuses to OK the medical procedure until Bree goes to New York to address the matter.
Bree bails out the brooding Toby (Zegers) but hasn't the nerve to divulge why she's there and plays along when he assumes she's a church missionary. A photograph confirms that the boy, a good-looking street hustler who ran away from home after his mother died, is the product of a college coupling, and a sense of responsibility takes hold of Bree. Instead of flying home she buys a chartreuse station wagon to drive Toby cross-country to L.A., where he expects to find his father living large and hopes to break into movies -- of the San Fernando Valley sort.
Bree maintains her "deep stealth" (living as a genetic female), keeping two secrets from Toby - her biological history and his. She's a fascinating character, and Huffman brilliantly embodies the complex layers of self-awareness and denial in this prim yet gutsy individual, who each day must paint on a face and put on a voice to become more truly herself. Self-consciousness is a constant, as the film powerfully demonstrates when a child's innocent but discerning question plunges Bree into despair.
As a boy who considers sex his chief talent, Zegers - of the "Air Bud" films and last year's "Dawn of the Dead" remake - conveys Toby's essential sweetness and hunger for real affection, making him much more than just a vain or damaged kid.
Instead of settling into quirky odd-couple shtick, the film is full of unexpected turns, every character the duo encounters surprising and well observed, from a free-spirited hitcher (Grant Monohon) to a New Mexico rancher (Graham Greene) who gallantly comes to Bree's assistance, more than a bit smitten.
Tucker's astute script and direction weave laugh-out-loud humor into his characters' longing for acceptance, particularly when their journey takes them to the Phoenix McMansion of Bree's family - whose kitsch collectibles, part of Mark White's excellent production design, supply one of the funniest moments in the film. You don't have to be a transsexual to understand the way Bree's parents (Fionnula Flanagan and Burt Young) and sister (Carrie Preston) feed her self-doubt. But even the wonderful Flanagan's turquoise-bedecked, monstrously materialistic Elizabeth is afforded her humanity, because Duncan lets emotions unfold instead of merely scoring points and moving on.
David Mansfield's Americana-tinged score underlines the optimism and the plaintiveness of a journey that's memorably captured in DP Stephen Kazmierski's sensitive camerawork.
Bree: Felicity Huffman
Toby: Kevin Zegers
Elizabeth: Fionnula Flanagan
Margaret: Elizabeth Pena
Calvin: Graham Greene
Murray: Burt Young
Sydney: Carrie Preston
Arletty: Venida Evans
Hitchhiker: Grant Monohon
Director/writer: Duncan Tucker; Producers: Linda Moran, Rene Bastian, Sebastian Dungan; Executive producer: William H. Macy; Director of photography: Stephen Kazmierski; Production designer: Mark White; Music: David Mansfield; Costume designer: Danny Glicker; Editor: Pam Wise.
BMJ 2005;331:628-630 (17 September), doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7517.628
Education and debate
Ethics in practice
Revealing the diagnosis of androgen insensitivity syndrome in adulthood
Jennifer Conn, senior lecturer in medical education1, Lynn Gillam, lecturer in ethics2, Gerard S Conway, consultant endocrinologist3
1 Faculty Education Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia, 2 Centre for the Study of Health and Society, Department of Public Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia, 3 Department of Endocrinology, Middlesex Hospital, London W1T 3AA
Correspondence to: G Conway email@example.com
It is always going to be difficult for a woman to find out that she is genetically male. What are the ethical issues generated by being confronted by outdated practice on disclosure?
continues to http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/331/7517/628
They didn't wait until middle age to question their birth sex. They are the 'Transgeneration.'
- Reyhan Harmanci, SF Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, September 15, 2005
USF student Butch Greenblatt says he knew he wanted to be a boy since age 5. Chronicle photo by Deanne Fitzmaurice
Raci, a UCLA student, bought female hormones off the street. Photo courtesy of the Sundance Channel
Butch Greenblatt entered middle school as a tomboy and left as a girly-girl. At age 14, Butch came out as a lesbian. A year later, Butch came out again. As a guy.
"For a long time, people thought the boy thing was a phase and I'd eventually grow out of it and be pretty and attractive and normal. I tried my best in middle school, but I never was very good at it," he says.
"I was pretty sure, though, for a while, that I'd end up as a butch lesbian."
While at camp for Gay-Straight Alliance organizers, Greenblatt expressed something that had been on his mind for years. "During this time where we did a 'check in,' I said I just wanted to share something and said, 'I don't feel like I'm a woman.' It was definitely scary -- I didn't know what would happen next -- but speaking the truth felt pretty awesome."
Greenblatt is part of a new generation of transgender people who come out at a young age. Now 21, he speaks of gender as a spectrum, not a binary.
"At age 14, it's not uncommon for trans people come out as some flavor of queer," says Gayle Roberts, development director of San Francisco's LYRIC, or Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center, a nonprofit dedicated to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. "It usually takes a few more years, and people often go through various stages of identification before landing on the one that fits best."
Four trans students are the subject of a new documentary series, "Trangeneration," airing on the Sundance Channel this month.
The four featured students -- two women and two men -- didn't wait until middle age to start questioning their birth sex.
"Definitely, we see more and more trans students than in the past," said Brett Beemyn, coordinator of GLBT student services at Ohio State University and board member at the Transgender Law and Policy Institute in New York City. "It used to be that identifying as transgender was more of a middle-age phenomenon. People would feel a sense of shame and uncertainty and wouldn't really come to grips or find recourses until midlife, but now with the Internet and support groups, students don't have that uncertainty or not as much self-hatred as previous generations."
As young transgender people increase in numbers and visibility, they can be the target of derision and violence. Perhaps the most recent evidence of that was the 2002 murder of Newark teenager Gwen Araujo. This week, two of the three defendants in the case were found guilty of second-degree murder.
But while cases such as the Araujo murder are devastating and bring headlines, they are an extreme experience of young transgender people: "Transgeneration" shows how raising consciousness about what it means to be transgender can bring the support and understanding of parents and peers.
"Transgeneration," in addition to appearing at the Frameline film festival in June, has been screened at the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center and because Billy Curtis, co-director of the Gender Equity Center, wept when he first saw it, it was shown three times at UC Berkeley.
"I knew immediately I could use it as an educational tool for faculty, staff, administration and students," Curtis says. "It's not an end at all, it doesn't try to represent the entire trans experience, but it both answers some of the most basic questions about what it means to be trans while being this great conversation starter."
Greenblatt, who grew up in Redwood City, knew from the age of 5 -- "I asked for a sex-change operation before I really knew what it was" -- that he wanted to be a boy. "My parents were social workers and have always been really supportive. I realize this is an atypical experience." For the past three years, he has been on hormone therapy. "If my parents weren't helping me with my transition, I probably wouldn't be going to college. It's one of the reasons they help me so much."
While exact numbers of college-age transgender adults is impossible to ascertain, experts say numbers are growing. Curtis has about 30 trans students on his e-mailing list, which he says is a small slice of the larger group. "I only see the ones who need assistance and want to be serving the community. I don't see the vast majority of LGBT students. They're too invisible, which can mean good or bad things."
Even without clear numbers on how many transgender students are attending college, legal and social pressure has resulted in administrative changes at many schools. The main issues are in the places where normative gender is enforced -- restrooms, on-campus housing, sports teams. Gender-neutral restrooms have become the standard at Wesleyan University, Oberlin, University of Massachusetts, the University of Chicago, Sarah Lawrence College, the University of New Hampshire, Beloit College in Wisconsin and several other schools.
Different schools deal with the housing needs of transgender students in different ways. Some offer special houses, some create gender-neutral hallways in dormitories, some designate certain rooms with individual bathrooms. Schools with amended housing policies include Brown University, Ohio State, UC Berkeley, University of Illinois at Chicago, Carleton College and the University of Minnesota.
Some of these policy changes have been mandated by law, as part of gender nondiscriminatory clauses. AB196, a California bill adding "gender identity or expression" to existing housing and employment statutes, was signed into law in 2003.
"I don't think this is just a college issue," says Carolyn Laub, founder and co-director of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, an organization that coordinates more than 500 GSA clubs in California middle and high schools. "What's happened in the last five or 10 years is that kids are identifying and transitioning as high school or middle school students. San Francisco and Los Angeles unified school districts have led the way in developing clear guidelines for administrators and teachers, as well as working with other districts."
Clearly, though, it's not just the educational institutions that have to change to ensure a comfortable transition for transgender students. "Transgeneration" is a powerful series because it shows how young people question and build their identities in so many ways, gender being only one part of the larger struggle.
The Sundance Channel team got the idea of creating a series around young transgender students after reading an article in the New York Times about college housing options. "It was a subject matter we thought would be very interesting -- we saw the article and thought, 'There's something going on,' " says Adam Pincus, native San Franciscan and senior vice president of original programming. It's a phenomenon that's growing, so let's find characters and stories that show what's happening."
Pincus brought the project to World of Wonder, a primarily gay production company in Los Angeles that made such films as "Inside Deep Throat," the documentary on the '70s porn classic, and "Party Monster," about '80s club promoter Michael Alig.
Producer Thairin Smothers said the main goal of casting was diversity. Director Jeremy Simmons and Smothers searched Internet message boards, campus telephone polls and GLBT e-mail lists to find transgender college students to follow for the 2004-05 school year. In August 2004, they traveled to meet their finalists.
"I heard about it from various Listservs," says T.J., 24, a graduate student in education administration at Michigan State University who was born a girl named Tamar in Beirut and grew up on the island of Cyprus. He was interviewed with the filmmakers and three other stars after the film showed at the Castro Theatre. It was auspicious timing -- not only were the four students getting to meet each other for the first time, but the screening fell over gay pride weekend in San Francisco. "What pushed me to do it was the idea of showing trans people of color, pushing beyond the American image of a gay white man," T.J. says.
While the four students initially had different levels of apprehension about the project, all agreed that the trust they put in the filmmakers paid off. Lukas, who was transitioning to male while attending Smith College, an all-woman's school, said that he was hesitant but thought that "there's nothing that would have been dealt with insensitively."
Lukas says he didn't imagine giving the cameras so much access. The filmmakers didn't just film the kids on campus, stressing about grades and classmates: All four subjects got their families involved to varying degrees.
Gabbie, for instance, the blond computer science major sophomore at the University of Colorado at Boulder, decided to get gender reassignment surgery at the end of the school year. It's the kind of decision that can't be made without the support of a family. Very few health insurance providers cover hormone therapy for trans people looking to medically transition, and none will pay for surgery.
All the students were taking hormones by the end of the school year, although their experiences with it depended greatly on economic and social factors. Raci, 18, a Filipino scholarship student at UCLA, bought hormones from street dealers for a fraction of the price of medical estrogen. Lukas carefully considered injecting testosterone, even as he admitted jealousy of his good friend Kasey's growth as a guy on it.
Greenblatt, although he started medically transitioning even before college, advocates caution. "You need to research what T or E does to you. There's a lot of things that are irreversible. Once vocal cords are stretched, they're stretched. Once hair follicles start growing, they might become thinner, and once you have top surgery, you're not going to grow your mammary tissue back."
The serious nature of medically transitioning makes the idea that this is a "fad" ludicrous. Roberts says about 15 percent of LYRIC's client base is trans or questioning. "The people who fear that young people will start hurting themselves by coming out as trans don't know trans folks or medical protocols. It's actually a very small percentage of people who decide to go through hormone therapy or decide to have some kind of surgery. Surgical options are not for everyone -- some people think of themselves as genderqueer and present differently than given birth gender but aren't interested in pursuing hormones."
"To actually get access to hormones is difficult if you're underage," Roberts said. "Hormonal therapy is not available without parental consent if you're not 18 and over."
The range of gender presentation even among these four people speaks to the difference in how young people think about gender in contrast with previous generations. It's no longer an either/or proposition, although, for some, transitioning is a journey with a definite end point.
Lukas says he's "not really interested in identifying as trans. I see myself as a guy with a specific medical circumstance."
Gabbie, too, viewed her surgery date as "Christmas" and, in conversation in June, was delighted with the result.
"Go with what fits you," she says, beaming. "Surgery was important to me. I don't need to f -- with gender anymore. It's all about finding ways to express yourself."
Raci, the only one of the four to be closeted at school, had a different approach. For her, the school year had been a time to come out to more than her family, and own her identity as a transsexual. "I want to be accepted, be part of the LGBT community, where trans people are still seen as freaks," she says. "We are that last one -- the 'T' in LGBT, and I want to be part of them, share the same human flaws as gay and straight people, not just be seen as the freak part.
"The thing is, though," Raci says with a smile, "as a transsexual, I'm actually a chick with a d -- . How can you top that?"
E-mail Reyhan Harmanci at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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在外選挙権の制限は「違憲」 最高裁判決 3
【社説】2005年09月15日（木曜日）付 - 朝日
【天声人語】2005年09月16日（金曜日）付 - 朝日
社説：在外投票制度 時代に合った選挙法に (中日／東京 2005/09/16)
Transgender killings an investigative quagmire
Marginalized lifestyle makes finding witnesses, prosecuting cases difficult
- Wyatt Buchanan, SF Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, September 15, 2005
The conviction of two men this week in the killing of 17-year-old Gwen Araujo was unusual -- but not because transgender slayings are rare.
Since Araujo was beaten and strangled in 2002 during an attack at a party in Newark by men she knew, four other transgender individuals have been killed in the Bay Area.
No one has been charged in any of those four cases. The difficulty, say police and transgender advocates, is that these incidents are not easy to investigate because society tends to marginalize the victims.
The House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday that for the first time would include gender identity in the federal definition of a hate crime, but even if it clears Congress, barriers are likely to remain.
"A lot of things put (transgender people) in contexts that are inherently more dangerous: where they may have to live, where they may have to work," said Clarence Patton, acting executive director of the National Coalition of Antiviolence Programs, which monitors violent crime in the gay community nationwide.
"It's almost like at every step of the way it's much more difficult for transgender folks to really be in a place where they can take things for granted that others can, even gays and lesbians."
Transgender women often live in high-crime areas because housing is cheaper there, and they often work as prostitutes because they can't find employers who accept their gender identity, Patton said.
Those factors and others make it harder to find witnesses when transgender people are victimized, which in turn makes prosecuting the crimes more difficult.
"Any time there is a homicide case where the victim is more vulnerable because of his or her lifestyle, or has a relationship with the perpetrator, it becomes a bigger challenge for the prosecution," said Nancy O'Malley, chief assistant district attorney for Alameda County.
In Fresno, Estanislao Martineza, who pleaded guilty last month to voluntary manslaughter in the August 2004 killing of Jose Robles, a transgender woman, was sentenced last week to four years in prison. Gay activists were angered by the relatively short sentence.
Prosecutors say they agreed to the sentence because they could not have done better at trial with the evidence they had.
"One thing that it is not is a reflection of our belief that the death of this individual is properly addressed by a four-year prison sentence," Fresno County Assistant District Attorney Robert Ellis said.
The "heat-of-the-moment" or transgender panic defense was one of many challenges that prosecutors in the case faced, Ellis said.
In San Francisco, the district attorney's office has begun training prosecutors how to rebut gay and transgender panic arguments that defense attorneys often present. Defenders have argued in many cases, including Araujo's, that the accused deserve leniency because when they found out the true identity of their victims they responded in the heat of the moment.
Many transgender homicide cases never get that far.
In San Pablo, 24-year-old Sindy Segura was shot to death at 1:48 a.m. on Oct. 1, 2003. Her body was found near the railroad tracks that border Richmond's Iron Triangle. She was last seen the evening before working a nearby street. She had been shot in the groin, the neck and one arm, said Detective Sgt. Mark Foisie of the San Pablo Police Department. The case was suspended this past spring for lack of new leads, he said.
On Nov. 6 that year, Stanley Van Dyke Traylor, 38, was shot to death in a desolate area of West Oakland, the 2700 block of Union Street. Traylor didn't have a permanent residence and stayed with friends or with tenants at motels, according to Oakland police Sgt. Brian Medeiros. Traylor, who often wore women's clothing, was found wearing denim shorts and a T-shirt. A wig was on the ground nearby.
One man was arrested in connection with the incident, but there was not enough evidence to charge him with any crime, Medeiros said.
Tony "Delicious" Green, a 45-year-old lifelong San Franciscan, was found dead in a motel room in Bayview-Hunters Point on Aug. 13, 2004. Green had been beaten, raped and gagged and died of asphyxiation, said Jennifer Rakowski, associate director of Community United Against Violence, which has worked with Green's family. Green is the only victim with family in the area, an element that transgender activists say was key in keeping the Araujo case in newspapers and on television. Araujo's mother has spoken to thousands of students about her.
San Francisco police have two suspects in Green's killing -- men who went to the motel with Green -- but not enough evidence to charge them, said Inspector Mike Mahoney.
On Feb. 28 this year, Eddie Chung Chou Lee, 42, was found stabbed to death in Westlake Park in Daly City. Lee identified both as a man and as a woman -- Michelle -- and was wearing women's clothing when killed, according to a Daly City Police Department statement. Police have no suspects in the case, said Greg Ogelsby, an investigator with the department.
The legislation the House passed Wednesday offers a ray of hope.
"The bill will allow the FBI and Department of Justice to give money to local law enforcement agencies so they are better able to investigate and prosecute crimes," said Lisa Mottet, a transgender rights attorney with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Those tracking transgender homicides say they don't know for sure how many transgender individuals have been killed, though the leader of another San Francisco organization says she hears of one to three homicides per month around the world. The killings often pass unnoticed because police and then the media report the victim's birth name and biological gender, said Mottet.
"My sense is that we have no idea how often this happens," Mottet said.
Gwen Smith, an Antioch resident who started the Transgender Day of Remembrance and operates the Web site Rememberingourdead.org, which lists information on transgender slayings around the world, finds scant information about suspects.
"Very few (transgender homicide) cases are ever taken to court," said Smith.
E-mail Wyatt Buchanan at email@example.com.
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2005年 09月 15日 木曜日 17:05 JST
［ワシントン １４日 ロイター］ 米連邦最高裁長官に指名されているジョン・ロバーツ氏は１４日、上院司法委員会で行われた指名承認公聴会で、上院で指名が承認されたら最高裁の分裂を改善し、それぞれのケースに対して開かれた心と憲法に対する厳格な解釈をもって臨むほか、すべての米国人の権利を擁護する、と言明した。