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18 December 2012

Some Events of the year 2012: Part 2–Other Legislation

Part 1: Organizations, Equal marriage.
Part 2: Other Legislation.
Part 3: Persons.
Part 4: Spouses, Family, Kids.
Part 5: Political, Celebrities, Sports, Festivals.
Part 6: Schools, Universities & Colleges, Imprisonment, Nemeses, Internet.
Part 7: Doctors & Sexologists, Medicine, Genetics, Obituaries.
Part 11: Bookshops, Archives, Books.

Other Legislation, Litigation, other government and corporate actions, etc

++ added later



The Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed resolution A/C.3/67/L.36 condemning extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The vote reversed the events of 2010 when the same body voted to strip the resolution of reference to "sexual orientation." The UNGA also expanded upon its commitment to the universality of human rights by including "gender identity" for the first time in the resolution’s history.

United Nations ambassadors for South Africa and Brazil have demanded more action and discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity as part as universal human rights standards, and to combat hate crimes. Strong pro LGBT statements were also delivered by Norway, the Council of Europe, and civil society including a joint statement by ILGA-Europe, COC Netherlands and ARC and other organizations.

The G8 foreign ministers "reaffirmed that human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all individuals, male and female, including lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals. These individuals often face death, violence, harassment and discrimination because of their sexual orientation in many countries around the world”. However “the Russian Federation disassociates itself from this language given the absence of any explicit definition or provision relating to such a group or such persons as separate rights holders under international human rights law”.



South Africa: National House of Traditional Leaders have asked for the Parliament to delete the clause in the constitution that guarantees equal rights for gay and trans people. The ruling African National Congress was quick to distance itself from this request.



new Department of Motor Vehicles regulation made it easier for transgender citizens to change their sex identifier on state ID cards.
Proposition 5, which would expand the anti-discrimination laws in Anchorage, Alaska, to include sexual orientation and gender identity failed to gather enough votes to pass (see Adverts in Part 8).

Argentina: Gender Identity Law passed 55-0 by senate. Approval by doctors or judges, or surgery, is not required. Hormones and surgery are now on demand and included in standard public and private health care – therefore no extra charge. Legal guardians cannot deny a change for those under 18. President Fernandez personally delivered the first batch of new identity cards.

British Columbia: Ministry of Health has announced that it will now fund penis-construction surgery for a limited number of transgender men (5) annually under the province’s Medical Services Plan.

The Gender Nondiscrimination Act – added gender identity and expression to list of protected classes.
The Vital Statistics Modernization Act – eases the process of getting a revised birth certificate. Surgery or any one specific treatment not required. If name and gender changed at same time, publication in a newspaper no longer required.
Therapy now banned that seeks: "to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex". Comment. However three providers of such therapy may continue while they appeal.
Los Angeles Police Department announced a separate holding facility for trans prisoners.
San Francisco: gender surgery now included in city subsidized health services for uninsured residents.
Canada: regulatory change to revisions to Aeronautics Act. Sec 5.2(1) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if .... (c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents. 

Chile: announced that gender surgery will soon be available under its public health system, the Fonasa. The cost of the operations will depend on the patient's income bracket, with the poorest citizens able to get sex-reassignment surgeries for free. However bills to permit changes of legal name and gender have been stuck in Congress since 2008.

anti-discrimination law, which includes protections for members of the LGBTI community, was signed into law December 2011.
Bogotá''s local government launched Gender Diversity Week to raises awareness of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Illinois: town of Cicero settled a lawsuit for $10,000 and has pledged to adopt a policy for dealing respectfully with transgender people.

Manitoba: added 'gender identity' and 'social disadvantage' to the Human Rights law.

Montana: Helena added a public nudity exemption to the city's LGBT non-discrimination ordinance.
 "However in any place of public accommodation where users ordinarily appear in the nude, users may be required to use the facilities designated for their anatomical sex regardless of their gender identity. Such requirements shall not constitute discrimination."

Transgender Equal Rights Bill – but public accommodation excluded.
Maryland: Howard and Baltimore counties passed gender identity and expression legislation.

New Jersey: 4 gay men who paid thousands of dollars for 'conversion therapy' only to be told that the lack of change in their sexual feelings was their own fault are, with the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center, suing Jonah (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing). --- Jonah also 'counselled' trans persons of whom the best known is Josef Kirchner.

New York:
Patricia Harrington & Joann Prinzivalli sued New York State because it won’t reissue birth certificates without proof of surgery.
Louis Birney, 69, applied for a revised birth certificate supplying a surgeon's letter. He was asked for more details plus a psychiatric evaluation. He won a ruling in Manhattan Supreme Court that this was an invasion of privacy.
Ida Hammer and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund threatened to sue MVP Health Care and then it agreed to pre-authorize genital surgery.
The lower house passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act for the 5th time. The senate has consistently failed to pass the Act.
Nova Scotia: The New Democrat government added 'gender identity' and 'gender expression' to the Human Rights law.

Oklahoma: District Judge Bill Graves has denied requested name changes by trans women as being "made for a fraudulent purpose". One of these requests was later accepted by the Appeal Court.

Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruled in April that genital surgery as a requirement for changing gender on a birth certificate is discriminatory.
New rules published in October require only a signed declaration and a note from a doctor or psychologist, and that the applicant must be 18 years of age or more.
Toby's bill:
added 'gender identity' and 'gender expression' to the Human Rights law. Named in commemoration of Toby Dancer.
Trans women in Toronto complain that being stopped by police as if they were prostitutes.
Toronto District School Board issued new guidelines to accommodate “transgender and gender non-conforming students and staff”. This includes confidentiality, washroom choice, pronouns – and that dress codes should be flexible to that students are not forced to choose a gender. The CAMH Gender Clinic is commendably absent from the list of local resources.
Passed an anti-bullying act which mandates that students be allowed to form Gay-Straight Alliances in schools, including those run by the Catholic Church.
Pennsylvania: new state-issued voter identification card does not include a gender marker.

Porto Alegre first Brazilian State to issue revised ID for trans.

Rio de Janeiro State:
introduced a new policy that trans persons may identify themselves with their preferred names when they report crimes to the police.
São Paulo:
A campaign to combat homophobia. “See beyond prejudice. Respect differences". All 58 underground stations are covered with bright posters that have pictures of transgender women with the tile: “Look, Look again, and see beyond prejudice. I am trans, I have the right to be who I am.”
Washington, DC: TransRespect campaign on bus shelters.

Wisconsin Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act struck down by US Supreme Court.

Federal Aviation Administration removed extra testing for trans pilots.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement – new standards to protect the health and safety of transgender detainees.
Department of Veterans Affairs. Transgender veterans will now be able to change the gender marker on their medical records by simply providing a physician’s letter confirming gender reassignment.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission established that 14th Amendment protects transgender government employees from discrimination.
Health and Human Services clarified that provisions in the Affordable Care Act prohibiting sex discrimination in health insurance do apply to transgender people.
Citizen and Immigration Services: "will now issue immigration documents that reflect an individual's gender identity, so long as the individual presents "an amended birth certificate, passport, or court order recognizing their new gender; or medical certification of the change in gender from a licensed physician." and "will also approve green-card petitions by American citizens or permanent residents for their spouses if a petitioner establishes that the transgender individual has legally changed their gender and subsequently married an individual of the other gender; that the marriage is recognized as a heterosexual marriage under the law where the union took place; and that the law where the marriage took place does not bar unions between transgender individuals and persons of the other gender".
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined that job bias against employees on the basis of gender identity amounts to sex discrimination under existing law.
US Episcopalian Church will now ordain trans priests.



The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders signed a declaration of human rights which omits sexual orientation and gender identity.

At the end of the public hearing, a jury headed by former Delhi High Court Chief Justice A.P. Shah, recommended the government recognise the transgender community on the basis of their sexual orientation and start welfare schemes for them as a matter of right. He also recommended that every State Government, like Tamil Nadu, form a Transgender Welfare Board and Transgender Commission to protect the human rights of the marginalised community.
Karnataka Chief Minister promised a separate welfare board for trans community.
The Election Commission of India has made voting easier by allowing a voter registration form to be signed by a guru (eg a hijra guru) rather than the parents who no longer recognize their child.
Maharashtra State announced that transgenders and commercial sex workers will help draft the state's women policy.
In February there were continuous reports of militia targeting youths which focus on attacks, kidnapping, torture and murder of ‘emo’ youth and individuals perceived as gay, lesbian or trans. GayAsylumUK has confirmed that the US-backed Iraqi authorities actively conspire in this, arresting LGBT people and handing them over to the militiamen who kill them. The Netherlands is granting asylum to GLBT Iraqis.
Human Rights Watch report on Kuwait.
4 make-up artists challenged Section 66 of the Syariah Criminal (Negeri Sembilan) Enactment, which bars Muslim men from dressing or posing as women, which they argued is unconstitutional. (more). The judge said that they are born male, they are still male .. and cross dressing is condemned in Islam. He also said that the PT Foundation which supports trans people should work with religious authorities to ensure that they get counselling. (more)
Following the orders of the Supreme Court, the Sindh Election Commission on Tuesday convened a meeting with representatives of the transgender community at the commission’s provincial head office in Karachi to ensure that the names of their community members are entered in the voters list ahead of the upcoming elections. The trans representatives were to say whether a name is entered in the male or in the female column.
The youngest age at which hormone treatment for people with gender identity disorder can begin was lowered from 18 to 15 by the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Thai Air: first trans stewardess, but airline in financial trouble 10 months later.



EU Parliament:
Called on the European Commission and the World Health Organization to withdraw gender identity disorders from the list of mental and behavioural disorders while ensuring a non-pathologizing re-coding in the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), and regretted that among others the “right of access to preventive health care and to benefit from medical treatment” is not upheld in all EU countries.
officially acknowledged discrimination on grounds of gender identity, called for accessible gender reassignment procedures, and insisted future EU gender equality initiatives should address issues linked to gender identity and gender reassignment.
The LGBT Intergroup and the European Greens in the EU Parliament held a seminar on “Trans and Intersex People: Challenges for EU Law” on September 26th 2012 at the European Parliament with the presentation of a new Thematic Study on Trans and Intersex Discrimination.
Designated Commissioner for Health and Consumer Rights, Tonio Borg, promised in a letter to European Parliamentarians to work to stop the assumption that transgender people are considered mentally ill, and that he would respect the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, however left and green MEPs remain wary given his conservative past.
European Court of Justice declared that Article 5 of the Gender Goods and Services Directive (2004/113/EC) is void, and from 21/12/2012 all insurance rates will be unisex, which will end all problems resulting from gender changes.
Adopted its annual enlargement progress reports for Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. All the resolutions recommended greater protection for gay, bi and transgender citizens in the potential new member states.
England & Wales:
Re-organization of NHS: the commission of gender identity clinics on a national basis will remove the regional variations in accessibility. However may mean a reduction in the currently better areas, and new Clinical Commissioning Groups are being set up without apparently including the doctors experienced with trans people, and without seeking input from trans organizations.
H v. Finland went to the European Court of Human Rights which ruled that laws which made the marriage of a post-operative transsexual invalid if she officially registered her new gender did not violate her rights under the European Convention, as the reason was that H's wife would not consent to changing the marriage into a civil partnership.
the Senate added 'sexual identity', not 'gender identity' to the list of protections in Article 225-1 of the penal code. The Association national transgenre (ANT) is concerned that the term is not currently defined in law and will be open to France’s judges to interpret it.
Federal Social Court in Kassel ruled that trans women have a legal right to breast enlargement operations when hormone therapy fails to give them a feminine shape, if her new breasts have not yet reached the size of a bra's A-cup .
Lithuania: a bill before Parliament to ban Gender Reassignment.

Malta: added sexual orientation and gender identity to its hate crime laws.

Montenegro: healthcare now covers 80% of therapy, hormones and surgery for trans persons.

Netherlands: surgery and sterilization before change of birth certificate no longer required.

New guidelines issued to health boards: the one-year real-life experience retained, but health boards to pay for electrolysis, hormones drugs given earlier, and breast removals earlier.
announced that they will not modernise a law from the 1970s which makes sterilisation compulsory for transgender people before the state will recognise their gender identity. Later Christian Democrats reversed. ++The requirement for sterilization was finally dropped in December (up till now Swedish law has required that any frozen sperm or eggs must be destroyed for a legal gender change).
61-year-old man attempted to rape a trans woman who turned out to be pre-op. He was acquitted because the rape was ‘impossible’ but the appeals court reversed this and he was sentenced to 15 months and to pay 40,000 kronor compensation.
a bill before Parliament to prohibit any public dissemination of information relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.



New Zealand: persons can now change the gender on their passports through a statutory declaration and without having to change their birth certificates or citizenship documents. The third gender X may be chosen.

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