Using private health insurance claims data to estimate the cost of extending gender transition–related health care coverage to transgender personnel indicated that active-component health care costs would increase by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually, representing a 0.04- to 0.13-percent increase in active-component health care expenditures [Agens Gereben Schaefer et al., “Assessing the Implications of Allowing Transgender Personnel to Serve Openly,” RAND Corporation, 2016].
For comparison, we learned last week that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will cost us $27.5 billion more than we thought last year. The three F-35 models will cost $94.6 million to $122.8 million apiece. That’s tremendous.
Trump also blurbs that transgender soldiers cause “disruption“. The Rand study analyzed the transgender-service policies of Australia, Canada, Israel, and the United Kingdom—four of eighteen countries that allow openly transgender soldiers to serve—and found “In no case was there any evidence of an effect on the operational effectiveness, operational readiness, or cohesion of the force.”
Once again, Trump is making claims that are patently false to justify a policy reversal whose only real motivation appears to be his insatiable vindictiveness toward his predecessor.
Speaking of good Christian behavior, the Union Gospel Mission of Sioux Falls works hard serving the poor in our eastern Queen City. The shelter describes its mission with this poem by longtime supporter Tony Javurek:
Union Gospel Mission is a Haven of Trust Needful and shielding when life seems unjust. Its workings inspired by God’s Holy Word Obeying when cries for assistance are heard No one’s denied its offering hand…
[Tony Javurek, 1985, posted on ugmsf.com]
Well, no one except folks management thinks shouldn’t be wearing dresses:
A transgender woman asked to leave the Union Gospel Mission said she’d hoped to find more acceptance.
Isabella Red Cloud went to the Mission on Saturday for breakfast, but was told she needed to change out of her dress and into male clothing before being served.
“I was told I could come back when I was dressed appropriately,” Red Cloud said.
Red Cloud went live on Facebook after being asked to leave. She said she was depressed about the situation until the following day, when she saw a steady stream of support from her Facebook friends.
At the urging of her friends, she returned to the mission with them and broadcast live once again, as the same unidentified employee escorted her out.
“I don’t know a thing about a woman being turned away,” director Fran Stenberg told LGBTQ Nation in a phone interview. “It was a man that was turned away,” he said, and confirmed he understood what the term “transgender” means when informed Red Cloud identifies as a transgender woman [Dawn Ennis, “Transgender Woman Denied Food at Shelter Because She Was Wearing a Dress,” LGBTQ Nation, 2017.04.24].
Stenberg says Red Cloud’s presence in a dress at the Mission creates division:
“It’s not about transgender, it’s about what’s in the heart and soul of a man. God created you as a man,” Stenberg said.
Stenberg said that visitors to the kitchen who rebel against the expectations – including sobriety and a peaceful demeanor – “create division,” which means they’re asked to leave.
“We’re more concerned with how you’re being than how you look,” Stenberg said, noting that the Mission had crossed paths with Red Cloud before [Hult, 2017.04.24].
Ah—so transgender status is equivalent to being drunk or starting fights.
“We need to, first of all, make sure that it is a safe place because we have women and children here. Sometimes certain situations bring about animosity and so we have to eliminate that and sometimes that causes us to have to make the decision to deny a service, “says Executive Director of Union Gospel Mission Fran Stenberg [Rebecca David, “Transgender Woman Speaks Out After Being Denied Service at Union Gospel Mission,” KDLT, 2017.04.24].
Does this mean that when gubernatorial candidate Marty Jackley gets done putting Ehab Jaber through the wringer of overhyped, under-evidenced terrorism charges, if Jaber is down on his luck and goes to the Mission for a meal, the Mission will turn him away because he’s Muslim and his faith “brings about animosity” from others? Who really creates division, the person who does not conform to majority expectations, or the majority who respond with disruptive animosity toward the non-conformist?
This isn’t about illegal discrimination. The people who run Christian shelters have every right to be bigots, and South Dakota has no law preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. But the Christians don’t deserve a reputation for being kindhearted and magnanimous when their generosity only extends so far. If they can kick you out for wearing a dress, then let’s not pretend they actually care about helping the “least of these.” Their love is very, very conditional [Hemant Mehta, “Christian Shelter Director Ejects Transgender Woman for Wearing Dress: ‘God Created You as a Man’,” Patheos, 2017.04.25].
Union Gospel Mission has a right to control entrance to its property. It has a duty to maintain a safe environment for all whom it serves. But the Mission also professes a duty to serve all who cry for assistance. The Mission serves and was even founded by people who have done much worse than wear a dress. Ennis notes that the Union Gospel Mission was founded by Thomas F. Morse, who served time for shooting a man in Sisseton. Red Cloud just got out of prison for stealing a car. Red Cloud’s crime doesn’t disqualify her from assistance; neither should wearing a dress.
The former Republican governor says HB2 “has impacted me to this day, even after I left office. People are reluctant to hire me, because, ‘oh my gosh, he’s a bigot’—which is the last thing I am.”
…McCrory declined to name the companies he’s working for. But the former governor said that he’s been considered for part-time university teaching positions—he wouldn’t say where—but that academic leaders “have shown reluctance because of student protests.”
“That’s not the way our American system should operate – having people purged due to political thought,” he told The N&O.
…In the earlier podcast interview with WORLD, McCrory said the liberal groups opposing HB2 have harmed his reputation. “If you disagree with the politically correct thought police on this new definition of gender, you’re a bigot, you’re the worst of evil,” he said. “It’s almost as if I broke a law” [Travis Long, “McCrory, Working as Consultant, Says HB2 Makes Some Employers ‘Reluctant to Hire Me’,” Raleigh News & Observer, 2017.03.13].
Note that McCrory doesn’t actually say that his politics have cost him a job; he apparently has several consulting gigs (getting paid to tell people stuff that they could figure out for themselves—that ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it…). And I would suggest that the person who signs a bigoted law is far more responsible for damage to his reputation than the observers who point out and protest that signing.
Novstrup and McCrory help raise today’s moral and political question: can employers justify turning down former public officials for jobs because those former public officials’ policies appear not to reflect the employers’ organizations’ values?
Dana Ferguson reports that Jack Heyd of Box Elder plans to follow through with his plan to petition an anti-transgender potty bill onto the 2018 ballot. Ferguson reports that Heyd has submitted two drafts to the Legislative Research Council and plans to petition the “narrower of the two measures.”
Read Heyd’s first draft from November 2016 here; read Heyd’s second draft from February 2017 here. I’m not sure the second draft is significantly narrower than the first. Both drafts define “biological sex” as determined at birth by anatomy (draft #1 mentions chromosomes; draft #2 mentions genetics). The second draft emphasizes that biological sex is “immutable” and designates a person’s original birth certificate as “definitive evidence of the person’s biological sex.”
Both drafts forbid transgender students from using the school locker room, restroom, or changing facility of their choice. Both drafts prohibit local school boards from accommodating transgender students by allowing them to use the shared facilities that correspond to their gender identification. The first draft requires that schools provide transgender students with “reasonable accommodation”; the second draft backs away from that guarantee, saying nothing in the initiative prohibits public schools from providing accommodations.
The second draft does clarify that lady janitors can clean the boys’ room, male plumbers can go work on the girls’ showers, and anyone of any sex can rush in to render medical assistance or “to prevent a serious threat to good order or safety during a natural disaster or emergency.”
Heyd doesn’t have his Attorney General’s explanation or the Secretary of State’s go-ahead to circulate draft #2 yet. But watch for those petitions… and be ready not to sign them. Let’s keep potty panic and the culture war off the 2018 ballot.
So did you hear the one about the President who invited a girl to sing at his Inauguration, then told her sister she can’t pee in the ladies’ room?
Jackie Evancho sang the National Anthem at the Inauguration last month. Her sister Juliet, born Jacob, is a transgender woman.
Yesterday, President Trump tore up President Obama’s guidance to schools that transgender students have a right under Title IX to use the bathroom that fits their gender identity—i.e., their gender identity, not the gender others say they should be.
“I guess I just want to enlighten him on what my sister, I’ve seen her go through every single day in school and people just like her, what they deal with,” Jackie Evancho said. “The discrimination, it’s terrible.”
…On Thursday, Juliet Evancho said she would also bring a message of understanding were she to meet with Trump.
“Basically that being at a high school where the policies on the bathroom are unclear, I, as Jackie has said, I kind of live it every day, going through discrimination,” she said she would tell the president. “I’ve had things thrown at me. I’ve had people say pretty horrible things and the unsafe environment is just very unhealthy so I feel like Donald Trump needs to know that being in such an unsafe environment won’t do any good not only for the transgenders and the LGBTQ community but as well as everyone as a whole.”
In a filing Friday with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal government asked to withdraw a motion filed last year that asked a judge to scale back a temporary injunction blocking Obama administration guidance on the issue.
The Department of Justice’s filing, which came a day after Jeff Sessions was sworn in as Trump’s attorney general, said the parties were “currently considering how best to proceed in this appeal.”
…Sarah Warbelow, legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, said they were “incredibly disappointed” by the filing on Friday.
“Our concern is that it’s a very clear signal that at a minimum the Department of Justice — and possibly more broadly throughout the Trump administration — will not protect transgender students,” she said [Jamie Stengle, “US Withdraws Stay Request in Transgender Bathroom Case,” Salon, 2017.02.11].
Equality South Dakota has the unnecessary, discriminatory, and richly hypocritical SB 115 in its sights:
If it feels like déjà vu from last year you are correct.
Some of South Dakota’s extremists have introduced an anti-transgender bathroom bill again this session and is on its way to becoming law unless you join us in the fight! SB 115 is an attack on transgender students by singling out already-vulnerable kids with unequal and discriminatory treatment. Those in Pierre pushing this discriminatory bill are hoping that we are not paying attention and they can quickly sneak this past you [Equality South Dakota, e-mail, 2017.01.28].
Remember what happened to North Carolina when it passed it’s transgender potty law?
ACC tournament pulled out. NCAA events pulled out. NBA All Star Game pulled out. PayPay decided not to expand. One study puts the economic impact on North Carolina at $680 million–and counting.
Mark Lee, the lobbyist for the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, said South Dakota and Sioux Falls in particularly could be looking at the loss of NCAA events and major corporations deciding not to expand here or even pulling out of the state if the measure is passed.
On morals and money, SB 115 is bad for South Dakota. But Senate Education has three somewhat sensible Senators (Heinert, Soholt, Solano) and four with a penchant for yahoolery (Bolin, Jensen, Klumb, and Monroe). Soholt and Solano resisted one anti-trans legislation last year (see 2016 HB 1112); Soholt opposed while Solano supported the more prominent 2016 anti-trans bill (see 2016 HB 1008). Bolin, Klumb, Jensen, and Monroe sponsor anti-trans paranoia bills whenever they get the chance. Thus, expect SB 115 to pass committee today and head to the Senate floor.
It is a solution in search of a problem…. I think to the extent that there are issues that concern transgender students in our schools that, as I mentioned in my veto message, those are being addressed at the local level and there is no need for a state one-size-fits all solution to be imposed upon local governments when those governments can manage the situation already [Governor Dennis Daugaard, in Dana Ferguson, “Daugaard Says South Dakota Doesn’t Need Transgender Bathroom Bill,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2017.01.09].
…not if you don’t want South Dakota to lose tens of millions of dollars:
I know that the Chamber of Commerce in Sioux Falls is very concerned about all the NCAA tournaments and the other kinds of sports tournaments we are hosting at the Sanford Pentagon and at the Premier Center. And those are tens of millions of dollars of tournaments that are at risk if the state jumps into this arena unnecessarily [Daugaard, in Ferguson, 2017.01.09].
On this issue, the Governor is talking sense. Legislators, stick with the budget and corruption.
Dale Bartscher, executive director of the Family Heritage Alliance, said the conservative Christian group approved a draft of a bill last week that would bar transgender students from using the bathroom, locker room or shower room if it doesn’t match their biological gender at birth. The bill calls for schools to offer accommodations for “students with unique privacy needs, including transgender students” [Dana Ferguson, “Conservative Group to Push Transgender Bathroom Bill,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.12.21].
[Bartscher: “Quite frankly, we don’t want to see any initiated measure in 2018, we want to see the Legislature approve it and the governor sign it…. This issue is on the front burner for a lot of South Dakotans” [Ferguson, 2016.12.21].