Albania – A new National Action Plan for LGBTI+ persons
Slovenia – Criteria for blood donation are discriminatory based on sexual orientation and gender
Greece – Signing of the Ministerial Decision for the revised Blood Donation Form that disconnects the blood donation from the sexual orientation of the candidate blood donor
Lithuania – Protection against harassment and victimisation is expanded in relation to (notably) the supply of goods and services
US appeals court rules charter school dress code (skirts for girls and pants for boys) violates Equal Protection Clause
The Charter Day School required all female students to wear skirts, noting that “girls are ‘fragile vessels’ deserving of ‘gentle’ treatment by boys.” Male students were required to wear shorts or pants. All students were required to wear a unisex polo shirt. Failure to comply with the dress code resulted in disciplinary measures, including parental notification, removal from class, and even expulsion.
Several mothers of female students sued the school and argued the dress code was a “sex-based classification rooted in gender stereotypes.” They asserted that the dress code made female students feel like they were more delicate than boys, were not worth as much as boys, and should be less active than boys. Additionally, girls avoided numerous physical activities in school, like climbing, using the swings, and playing soccer due to the skirt requirement.
The charter school responded by claiming they emphasized “traditional values” and implemented the dress code to instill discipline and keep order.
The Fourth Circuit decided that the dress code was discriminatory and treated females unequally. The school’s interest in preserving traditional values was not sufficient to withstand judicial scrutiny. The court concluded that if the school wishes to keep its “traditional” dress code, then it cannot operate as a charter school.
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Watch now 10 hours of “II Congreso Internacional LGBTI de Andalucía” (in Spanish and sign language)
Prix senior Maurice Chalumeau (PhD thesis)
Prix senior Maurice Chalumeau
Le «Centre Maurice Chalumeau en sciences des sexualités» octroie chaque année ce prix destiné à récompenser des thèses de doctorat non encore publiées, dans le domaine des sexualités. Délai de dépôt de candidature: 1er septembre 2022.
ECtHR: Inadequate legal response to homophobic murder: Bulgarian law must change
In today’s [14 June 2022] Chamber judgment in the case of Stoyanova v. Bulgaria (application no. 56070/18) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken together with Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case concerned the homophobic murder of the applicant’s 26-year-old son. His attackers, secondary-school students, had singled him out for assault because they had thought he looked like a homosexual. The attackers had been found guilty of aggravated murder, but had been given sentences which were below the statutory minimum after the courts took into account mitigating factors such as their young age and clean criminal records.
The Court found in particular that, although the Bulgarian courts had clearly established that the reason behind the attack had been the perpetrators’ hatred for homosexuals, there had been no tangible legal consequences. This was because the Bulgarian Criminal Code did not provide for homophobia as a specific aggravating factor in respect of the crime of murder. Therefore, under Article 46 (binding force and implementation), the Court found that Bulgaria had to ensure that violent attacks motivated by hostility towards the victim’s actual or presumed sexual
orientation were treated as aggravated in criminal-law terms.
A legal summary of this case will be available in the Court’s database HUDOC (link)
USA: Federal judge temporarily restrains Texas investigations of families over gender-affirming care for minors
A US federal judge Friday temporarily restrained Texas from investigating doctors or parents over gender-affirming care for minors. The order includes families who are a part of LGBTQ+ organization PFLAG.
Ken Paxton, the state’s attorney general, released an opinion which prompted the investigation in February. The opinion states that under Texas law any gender-affirming care provided to a minor is “child abuse.”
Paxton stated following the opinion:
There is no doubt that these procedures are ‘abuse’ under Texas law, and thus must be halted. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has a responsibility to act accordingly. I’ll do everything I can to protect against those who take advantage of and harm young Texans.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott approved the opinion and mandated that state agencies investigate gender-affirming care for minors as child abuse.
The case filed earlier this week is brought by three transgender children and their parents, who began being investigated after the children were prescribed gender-affirming treatment.
Brian Bond, PFLAG executive director, said following the order that “[f]amilies will be protected from invasive, unnecessary, and unnerving investigations by DFPS simply for helping their transgender children thrive and be themselves is a very good thing.”
USA: North Carolina federal judge rules for transgender state employees challenging health plan
A judge for the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina found Friday in favor of transgender state employees who were denied gender-affirming healthcare coverage. Judge Loretta Biggs ruled that the state health plan must offer “medically necessary services for the treatment of gender dysphoria.”
The plaintiffs, represented by Lamda Legal and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), filed their complaint in 2019 and alleged that the refusal of coverage for gender-affirming healthcare by state employer healthcare plans violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, by unlawfully discriminating based on sex and transgender status.
Biggs agreed, concluding:
Issues surrounding transgender healthcare evoke strong emotional and political opinions. … But politics and emotion are not admissible as evidence in a court of law. Plaintiffs’ doctors, their experts, every major medical association, and Defendants’ own third-party administrators all agree that, in certain cases, gender affirming medical and surgical care can be medically necessary to treat gender dysphoria. Defendants attempt to create scientific controversy in this uniform agreement through experts who mix their scientific analysis with hypothetical speculation and political hyperbole. Only science that is relevant, reliable, and offered by a qualified expert is admissible, however, and the admissible portions of Defendants’ expert’s testimony, even when taken in the light most favorable to Defendants, do not justify the exclusion at issue. Defendants’ belief that gender affirming care is ineffective and unnecessary is simply not supported by the record. Consequently, their categorical sex- and transgender-based exclusion of gender affirming treatments from coverage unlawfully discriminates against Plaintiffs in violation of the U.S. Constitution and Title VII.
Julia McKeown, an assistant professor in the College of Education at North Carolina State University, said following the ruling, “I am thrilled beyond measure for this powerful victory not only for myself but other transgender employees across the state.” She also noted, “As government employees, all we want is equal access to healthcare, but we were denied just because we are transgender.”
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