What the news 07/03/24

Slightly Later What the News this week with potential of shuffling the date of release around, but no matter what we’ll be here! Now what’s been happening this week?

Monday: Man found guilty of killing trans woman in landmark federal hate crime trial

In South Carolina, a man has been found guilty of the murder of a 24-year old Trans Woman named Pebbles LaDime Doe. Her Killer was accused of shooting her in a fit of rage caused by the news of their relationship spreading. After just 4 hours, the Jury found the Killer guilty on three counts, including obstruction of Justice, and use of a firearm in connection with the shooting.

I’m relieved to see that there has been at least some justice in this case, I’m just getting so tired of seeing attacks against queer people but I’m glad to see that this case has had some form of a happy ending but Pebbles LaDime Doe should still be here. Everytime I see one of these articles, it feels as if the world has grown a bit less kind.

Tuesday: Fight hasn’t been ruled out as cause of Nex Benedict’s death, police say 

After the Medical Examiner’s Office preliminary report stated that Nex Benedict “Did not die as a result of trauma” a police spokesperson has clarified that this does not mean that the fight was not the cause of death.

Many took the comment as saying injuries from the fight didn’t kill him. Lt Nick Boatman said “We did not interpret that in any way” and that the statements made in the preliminary report are not intended literally to mean the fight had been ruled out. 

Wednesday: Ghana passes bill making identifying as LGBTQ+ illegal

Ghana has passed a bill that can result in a three year prison sentence for anyone who simply Identifies as being part of the LGBTQ+ community. The law has had the support of both of Ghana’s major political parties. Amnesty International stated that the bill “poses significant threats to the fundamental rights and freedoms’ ‘ of Ghana’s queer communities.

From what I have seen, many west African nations have been growing in anti LGBT sentiment thanks to more Conservative Governments in power. This headline to me is a stark reminder that we can’t just focus on the West or on English speaking nations when we talk of queer justice and liberation. The fight must continue in all places and in all countries and communities, Not just white English speaking ones. I think it’s important that we don’t forget that.

Thursday: World’s largest psych organisation says ‘damaging’ gender affirming care bans are wrong

Following a vote taken by the American Psychological Association they announced that they would fully support gender affirming care and take a firm stance against any bans on Gender Affirming care. “We believe that access to evidence-based health care is a fundamental right for everyone, and this policy reflects our commitment to promoting social justice and equity in health care,” stated the Organisations President Cynthia de las Fuentes. The resolution passed with an almost landslide majority of 153 for and just 3 against. 

It would be amazing if this piece of news had a massive impact, that this ruling would make Health care bans impossible to implement. It is fantastic that such a big organisation has come down on the side of Trans rights, but my worry is that (along with every other statement from every other medical organisation) that this will just be another piece of evidence that will be willfully and gleefully ignored by the ignorant and the bigoted.

Friday: Bill to ban conversion therapy blocked in Parliament | ITV News 

A conversion therapy ban was debated in parliament but was unable to move through due to time running out. Accusations of deliberate delays and filibustering were made towards Tory MPs as there was a limited time allowed for debate due to it being a Private Members Bill. Because of this it is unlikely to be debated again. 

This is the latest in the debacle of parliament dragging its feet on the conversion therapy ban that was promised in 2018 and has yet to be delivered.

Listening to an MP use a reading of a proposed conversion therapy ban (which has had cross-party support) to publicly deny transgender people’s legitimate existence and endorse conversion practices, all while waiting in line at the pharmacist to collect an estrogen prescription is a heck of a clashing experience. Especially to hear it go by without a word or Parliamentary groan (reerrrrrr) of objection. But the simple lack of energy on the part of the government to do anything about these harmful and debunked practices is the real kicker. The bill wasn’t defeated by arguments or protest, it was simply allowed to run out of time, and the government seems uninterested in extending the clock. (It was Miriam Cates by the way.)

Saturday: New York AG sends cease-and-desist over transgender sports ban in Nassau County – ABC News 

Following Nassau County’s executive order that bans trans athletes from competing on any teams other than their assigned sex at birth, the New York Attorney General’s Office sent a cease-and-desist letter as it violates New York State discrimination laws. 

The bill was brought in on Feb 22nd explicitly states that in order to get a permit for a sporting competition at any level any sports team but clearly separate teams according to sex at birth regardless of any person’s gender identity. This also applies to any leagues or organisations.

The letter argues that the ban must immediately be rescinded as it violates state law, that it will force inclusive teams to go elsewhere, and will invite intense policing of sex and gender, particularly of women and girls.

Sunday: Drag Race icon Bimini steals show at Brit Awards with powerful trans rights message

Non-binary drag performer Bimini Bon Boulash made a strong statement in support of trans rights before presenting the international song category at the brits, saying:

“Right now in the UK it’s a really difficult time for a lot of people, and trans people and non binary people more so, and I want you to know that everyone in this room loves you and you are valid, and trans rights are human rights.”

This week has had a lot of legal developments in criminal and civil law regarding trans rights and transphobic violence both here in the UK and across the globe. The introduction of new laws that further put people in danger is never nice to report on. It’s good to see other events that show clarity and resistance to such hate and violence and hopefully next week there are more stories like that to share. 

Article by Christopher, Caelyn, and Leigh