Norway Moves Ahead on Trans Rights.

A general view inside the Norwegian parliament in Oslo August 1, 2011. © 2011 Reuters

A general view inside the Norwegian parliament in Oslo August 1, 2011.
© 2011 Reuters

Thanks to a new healthcare law voted in by Norway’s Parliament yesterday, the country’s transgender people will be able to self-declare their appropriate legal gender. In the past, they needed to undergo compulsory psychiatric evaluations, diagnoses, and sterilization surgeries in order to be legally recognized as who they are.

The vote makes Norway only Europe’s fourth country to separate medical and legal processes for legally recognizing transgender people.

Already in Denmark, Ireland, and Malta (following a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights), transgender people can legally self-declare their own gender free of any medical assessment or procedures.


Norway’s new law was introduced in parliament by the Ministry of Health. Healthcare professionals have an important role providing affirmative care for transgender people, free from discrimination and to the highest standard possible. But the process for legal recognition of gender identity should be separate from any medical interventions.

Since the 1970s, Norway has required that the Oslo University Hospital certify to the Norwegian Tax Administration that a “real sex conversion” – based on surgeries and psychiatric evaluations – had taken place. This subjected transgender Norwegians to a bureaucratic nightmare while simultaneously stripping them of their autonomy.

Forty-one states in Europe have legal gender recognition provisions in place. Thirty-five of them require a psychiatric diagnosis to obtain recognition. Twenty-four require sterilisation before recognizing gender identity.

Legal gender recognition has been gaining global momentum as governments start to uphold their commitment to the core idea that the state or other actors will not decide for people who they are.

Countries like Norway are charting a path others should follow. This basic legal dignity cannot come a moment too soon for a minority that shoulders a disproportionate burden of violence, discrimination, and negative health consequences often stemming from the lack of recognition before the law.

Kyle Knight has the Full Story.

I don’t want to sound like a victim, but I’m a victim.


Former Major League Baseball player Curt Schilling, who was recently fired from his ESPN analyst position for a transphobic Facebook post, joined conservative radio host Rick Wiles on his show on May 18, where he attacked ESPN and its parent company, Disney, claiming that his firing was just another case of white Christians being marginalized in America.

“I don’t want to sound like a victim because I’m not trying to sound like a victim but I think the only thing people now acknowledge publicly is that it’s okay to infringe upon or talk down on white Christians,” Schilling said.

“We all knew this was coming,” he continued. “The Scripture’s pretty clear on what’s gonna happen with us, to us, and about us in, you know, many parts of the Bible.”


“The only positive I’ve seen in this administration is the sale of firearms has gone through the roof in the last seven and a half years because law-abiding citizens are arming themselves to protect themselves from what feels to be every bit that the tyrannical government, the Second Amendment was created to protect us against,” Schilling said.

Wiles claimed that “the left is pushing us towards civil war and they don’t realize we have all the guns.”

“The left is pushing a civil war that they would never fight,” Schilling said. “They don’t have the guts to stand up.” He then claimed the left wants the government to fight in the civil war for them, as, unlike conservatives, “they want the government to do everything for them.”

Right Wing Watch has the full rant.


Stuart Shepard. Family Policy Alliance.

Stuart Shepard, of Family Policy Alliance, descended into incoherence when trying to express how much transgender people are victimizing and oppressing all the normal humans.

Shepard claimed that transgender people reject the existence of a God who creates everyone with purpose in mind. “When you reject the idea of the ability to know what’s true, you’re essentially rejecting God,” he said. “You’re saying, ‘You put me in the wrong body,’ if you accept that there’s a God, or, ‘There can’t possibly be a God so none of this matters and everything is fluid and unknowable therefore.’”


Regarding the federal government’s protection of transgender individuals’ rights, Shepard said, “All of these, I mean every time you see it, they say, ‘Well, this is about discrimination.’ Well, their solution is to discriminate against all of us who don’t accept that point of view. It is a discriminatory act that they’re proposing, but they don’t even see it as that.”

He said of transgender people, “They just can’t get to that view of the world to realize that their own actions are discriminatory at the most private level possible, with the other humans that we share this country with.”

Ultimately, Shepard said, accepting transgender rights will undermine the traditional family structure and create chaos. “It comes down to this rejection of everything that’s come before, the idea of mom and dad and male and female and marriage or not married, about all of those things, they want to throw it all out,” he said. “…They want to bring us to a state, essentially of chaos where whatever you feel about anything is acceptable, and we all just think and feel the way that we do about everything, including the most foundational elements of culture and society: the family.”

“There is a deeper question here of, ‘What can we know is true if you can’t even know whether your child is a boy or a girl, what can you know?” Shepard said. “I mean, what’s left that is knowable? And that’s where we’ve gone. We’ve gone from an understanding of everything to be found through science to this understanding of, ‘Everything I know is what I feel. I feel this way. Therefore, it is. And you can have your own feelings and feel the way you do.’”

Hey, Stuart, about knowing the gender of your child? It’s pretty easy, you just listen to your child, they know what gender they are. There are good parents everywhere who could have clued you into that little bit of knowledge. As for this “understanding of everything to be found through science”, how did science get in the word salad? I thought this was all about god. You should stick with god, Stuart. You really wouldn’t like what science has to say about, well, pretty much everything.

Right Wing Watch has the full word salad.

Eeeeeee, Bloody Good Goodies!

A wonderful box of delights from Marcus Ranum has been picked up. Handmade soap (more importantly, bloody soap!), handmade cream, handmade incense, which I’m burning now – it’s intoxicating, everything beautifully wrapped with tags. Going by my experience, pestering Marcus for delicious and fun things is seriously worth it. Thank you so very much, Marcus!



Look Past Pink And Blue Campaign.


New York City Commission on Human Rights

“Use the restroom consistent with who you are,” say the ads, sponsored by the New York City Commission on Human Rights. They will appear in subway cars, bus shelters, phone booths, newspapers, and more. The ads will also run in ethnic newspapers in Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Russian, and Bengali.

“In NYC, it’s the law,” the ads say. “No questions asked.”

The campaign, which will cost $265,000, comes after transgender people filed complaints with the city about being barred from restrooms and facing other types of discrimination in places of public accommodation.

Seth Hoy, spokesperson for the Commission on Human Rights, told BuzzFeed News in a statement that the agency “has investigated such cases in the past and continues to receive and investigate complaints where individuals are harassed or denied entry to restrooms because of their actual or perceived gender identity.”

That sort of discrimination is illegal in New York City.


New York City Commission on Human Rights

In December, the commission released enforcement guidance on gender identity protections under the city’s 2002 nondiscrimination law, making clear that transgender people are entitled to access restrooms consistent with their gender.

Mayor Bill de Blasio followed up in March with an executive order directing agencies to provide access to single­-sex facilities without requiring people to show identification or other documents that verify their gender.

The ads feature trans New Yorkers, including Alisha King and Charles Solidum.

“Bathroom discrimination is a regular occurrence for the transgender community,” King said in a statement. “So much so that many of us avoid even using public restrooms to begin with. I sincerely hope these ads help people understand that transgender people are just people just like you. We just want to use the restroom safely and be treated with respect.”

Via Buzzfeed.

Mourning Contraception.


Griswold Vigils to Be Hosted Around the State!
Every year pro-lifers throughout Wisconsin mark the anniversary of the June 7, 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut U.S. Supreme Court decision with prayer vigils at local birth control centers. The landmark Griswold decision paved the way for abortion on demand in America by legalizing contraception and defining the so-called “right to privacy” upon which the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was based.


In an email to members yesterday, the anti-abortion group Pro-Life Wisconsin announced the latest round of its annual “prayer vigils at local birth control centers” marking the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, which struck down laws banning married women from accessing birth control.

Pro-Life Wisconsin, which advocates for a fetal “personhood” amendment in the state that would ban abortion with no exceptions, boasts that in contrast to the state’s National Right to Life Committee affiliate, it “opposes all forms of artificial birth control.”

I cannot express the depth of my disgust for these people, and those with similar views. It’s not enough to try and remove every person’s right to bodily autonomy, no. You want to make sure that people are slaves to their reproductive systems. Nosiness isn’t a virtue, and these people take it to despicable lengths. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how my personal reproductive choices could possibly matter to people I don’t know, and will never know. What kind of an evil person do you have to be, to take enjoyment and satisfaction from the thought that you might be able to shut down bodily autonomy rights? You folks are a fucktonne nastier than the bloodthirsty, psychopathic god you worship, who, by the way, didn’t really have a problem with abortion.

While looking at their announcement for vigils mourning contraception, I noticed an ad for a coffee company, Lifeboat Coffee, where there’s a donation to your favourite group of evil, anti-life assholes every time you purchase coffee.


1. All human life is sacred, beautiful and deserving of protection from natural conception to natural death. No exceptions & no compromise.

2. Our coffees must be ethically sourced, sustainable and of superior quality and taste.

3. We’ll give 10% of every purchase back to YOUR favorite life-affirming charity. 


Our founder and President, John Lillis, (known affectionately as: The Skipper), is married and he and his wife have been blessed with seven children. He is, in fact, a proto-survivor of America’s abortion-holocaust, being born and abandoned (left for adoption), in San Francisco at the end of August of 1967, some five-months after the California legislature passed the Therapeutic Abortion Act!  This is personal.

Personal. Right. I’d dearly like to to make Mind Your Own Fucking Business a commandment. One of the items you can purchase from the anti-life coffee store is an incredibly tacky little doll, fully kitsched out, so you can spiritually adopt an unborn child. Yep.

This is a great opportunity to Spiritually Adopt an unborn child who is at-risk for abortion!  Along with your gorgeous ornament, you’ll receive an Adoption Certificate where you can Name and Pray for this little-one!  What an experience! Add to that this hand-designed ornament is made by legendary doll maker Yolonda Bello and is featured here exclusively!  This pro-life ornament stands 8″ tall and is wrapped with a vine over a brass stand with the baby swaddled in cotton inside the glass ornament!  Proudly display your Spiritual Adoption Certificate and it makes a great conversation piece!

Yes, what an experience! What. The. Fuck.


The certificate of adoption reads: On this day______, I___________ do spiritually adopt and name this child___________ I will pray and intercede for this child. And I will be ever mindful of how great a gift life is and how precious this child.

Well. That should take care of the problem of all those medical decisions being made (that are none of your business), right? After all, your god is mighty and all that stuff, so you get everyone to buy adopt a dolly, and pray. Everything is settled!

Via Right Wing Watch.

Pink. Amazing, Miraculous Pink.

Saad sent this fine example of everyday patriarchy, and the Power of Pink™:


Okay, the only actual difference I see here is the pill colour. Orange in the standard package, pink in the special Pink Power package. Oh, wait, the Pink Power states it’s for sensitive stomachs. Going by the handy dandy coding, this means only women have sensitive stomachs. Sorry men, you can’t have one of those. There’s a bit more interesting coding, too. The standard package: Gentle, predictable overnight relief. The Pink Power package: Gentle, dependable relief for sensitive stomachs. Women aren’t interested in predictable, no. They want dependable. Got to have that specifically coded assurance of stability and security, a pat on the hand, a pink promise you’ll be taken care of, sensitively.

Jesus, what a load of shit. A bright pink load of shit.

Going Catholic On Condoms.


Perhaps I should say, doing Catholics one better on condoms. The Catholic Church has been telling people, for decades, that condoms don’t prevent HIV at all, and that they are against god. It seems Russia is prepared to outdo them on the misinformation score.

A Russian study actually blames condoms for the spread of HIV. The Russian Institute for Strategic Research (RISR), which was set up by the Kremlin in 2012, presented a report on Tuesday to Moscow’s city council that casts doubt over the validity of well documented statistics showing the spread of HIV in Russia.

It’s worth noting that one of stated goals of the RISR is “Family-based solutions as a strategy for overcoming depopulation.” Which is perhaps why it’s not a surprise to see that the study’s authors alluded to “traditional values” being the route to stopping the spread of HIV, blaming promiscuity and homosexuality for infections.

That certainly sounds familiar. Looks like the U.S. and Russia have a lot on common these days.

Tatyana Guzenkova, deputy head of the organization, presented the report, as according to the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant. It is also not a stretch to imagine this being used by the Kremlin to buttress its ongoing hostility towards Russia’s LGBT movement.

Like most things under the Putin regime, the RISR is hard to see as anything but government loyalists, especially because internal dispute about the study was quite vocal. The head of the Federal Center for fighting AIDS, Vadim Pokrovsky, for example, stressed the importance of focusing on condoms to reduce the spread of HIV.

Via Plus.

Denmark: Historic Step in Trans Rights

File photo: Iris/Scanpix DK.

File photo: Iris/Scanpix DK.

From January 1st, 2017, transgender will no longer appear on Denmark’s definition of mental illnesses, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

The move would make Denmark a groundbreaker if the World Health Organisation (WHO) does not make a similar move before the autumn, news agency Ritzau reported.

“At the moment, transgender is listed as a mental illness or behavioural problem. That is incredibly stigmatising and in no way reflects how we see transgender people in Denmark. It should be a neutral diagnosis,” Social Democrat health spokesman Flemming Møller Mortensen told Ritzau.

“The WHO is currently working on a new system for registering diagnoses. It has been working on it for a very, very long time. Now we’ve run out of patience, and want to send out a signal saying that if the system is not changed by October, then we in Denmark will go it alone,” said Mortensen.

Full Story Here. A huge shout-out to Denmark, for realizing that every day of waiting increases the stigmatization of transgender people, and wanting no part of that any longer. Now, the rest of the world needs to catch up.

HIV+ Organ Transplants Okayed in California.

Credit: Shutterstock.

Credit: Shutterstock.

Organ donation and transplantation between HIV-positive people is now legal in the state of California.

On May 27, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1408, a new piece of legislation that protects surgeons who transplant organs from HIV-positive donors into HIV-positive patients from being penalized by the state’s medical board. President Barack Obama’s HOPE Act technically reversed the federal ban on this procedure back in 2013, but as Medical Daily previously reported, there’s been a delay in uptake. Apparently the National Institutes of Health needed time to “properly iron out the act’s guidelines,” so up until now in California, doctors were criminals and even faced jail time if they condoned HIV transplantation and donation, Tech Times­ reported.


The surgeons at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore had a similar feeling in March when they were approved to conduct the first HIV-positive organ transplant in the U.S. Dr. Dorry Segev, an associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, told NPR that both HIV-positive and negative patients would benefit from the ban reversal when it comes to the organ transplant waiting list.

“Imagine now we take hundreds or maybe thousands of people off of the list, then everybody behind them moves forward,” he said. “So people with HIV are benefited directly and everybody else on the list is benefitted indirectly. And we’re all very excited to get started.”

Full Story Here.

God’s Almighty Health Care Workers.


You’ve probably heard of the credentials M.D. and R.N., and maybe N.P. The people using those letters are doctors, registered nurses and nurse practitioners. But what about PSC.D or D.PSc? Those letters refer to someone who practices pastoral medicine — or “Bible-based” health care.

It’s a relatively new title being used by some alternative health practitioners. The Texas-based Pastoral Medical Association gives out “pastoral provider licenses” in all 50 states and 30 countries. Some providers call themselves doctors of pastoral medicine. But these licenses are not medical degrees. That has watchdog organizations concerned that some patients may not understand what this certification really means.

Thankfully, I have not run across this, and hadn’t heard of anyone with a PSC.D or D.PSc. They’d need heaven’s help if I ever do run into someone sporting a god badge. Healthcare is difficult enough without this depth of bullshit.

The good folks at the Pastoral Medical Association were too busy doing God’s work to have a deep discussion with those aggressively atheist elitists at NPR, only providing a statement “explaining it was founded by a group of Christians concerned with the increase in chronic illness. The association says it seeks to protect ‘the Almighty’s Health Care workers.'”

Lo, the association’s website (“optimized for Firefox”) is a wonder to behold. It comes complete with a constitution, which begins:

We of this mighty western Republic have to grapple with the dangers that spring from popular self-government tried on a scale incomparably vaster than ever before in the history of mankind, and from an abounding material prosperity greater also than anything which the world has hitherto seen.


So, how many members does the Pastoral Medical Association have? Screw you, that’s how many. According to the site’s awesome FAQ section, “policy prevents the PMA from releasing exact membership numbers, however we can affirm that the PMA family is many many thousands, growing at an average rate of over 3,000 new members monthly.” At that rate, it’s only a matter of time before we’re all members.

And in case you’re wondering if a PMA license is “recognized,” the answer is a resounding yes. See, “because of the nature of PMA license it has a very solid legal basis in all U.S. states and is also respected in a large number of other countries. The PMA is a well organized private ecclesiastical association operating in according with U.S. Constitutional provisions and overwhelming Supreme Court precedence.”

That’s good enough for us. The next time we feel a cold coming on, or lupus, we’ll eschew science and reach for the PMA directory and our comprehensive wellness quart.

Via Houston Press and NPR.

Republicans: Who cares if your baby is brain damaged?

The Zika virus is a flu-like disease that is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito (AFP Photo/Luis Robayo)

The Zika virus is a flu-like disease that is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito (AFP Photo/Luis Robayo)

As the Zika outbreak grows in the US, President Obama is blasting Republicans for planning to go on Memorial Day vacation before passing needed funding to combat this potential public health crisis.

President Obama spoke to the press after being briefed about the Zika outbreak by public health officials.

The President said:

So we’ve got to get moving. And what essentially NIH and CDC have been doing is taking pots of money from other things — universal flu funds or Ebola funds or other funds — just to get the thing rolling. But we have to reimburse those pots of money that have already been depleted and we have to be able to sustain the work that’s going to need to be done to finish the job.

So bottom line is Congress needs to get me a bill. It needs to get me a bill that has sufficient funds to do the job. They should not be going off on recess before this is done. And certainly this has to get done over the course of the next several weeks in order for us to be able to provide confidence to the American people that we’re handling this piece of business.

If I’m a young family right now, or somebody who’s thinking about starting a family, this is just a piece of insurance that I want to purchase. And I think that’s true for most Americans. And understand that this is not something where we can build a wall to prevent — mosquitoes don’t go through Customs. To the extent that we’re not handling this thing on the front end, we’re going to have bigger problems on the back end.

Obama also urged the American people to tell Congress to do their jobs.


Republicans would rather go vacation than pass the needed funding to combat the outbreak of a virus that causes brain damage in infants. The Republican Congress is once again placing the priorities of the American people last.

Look what has happened to that mighty republican value of saving the unborn children – they don’t seem to care at all if there is no ungodly woman to punish. They don’t seem to be the least bit disturbed to use this as a way to punish the president, acting like temperamental toddlers, running off to vacation land while people are left to deal with the potential fallout from the Zika virus. Thanks, Republicans.

Via Politicususa.

Stay #BraveEnough!



South Africa’s gay population numbers close to 5 million people, and the Anova Health Institute along with the Elton John Aids Foundation have released a video to educate around and destigmatize homosexual relationships as part of their initiative We The Brave.

In the clip, two men of differing races stand up at the dinner table and kiss in slow motion, while an older man, presumably one of their fathers, looks on in shock. The next shot is a closeup of a condom wrapper being ripped open, with a slogan declaring “We’re definitely brave enough to cover up.”

While the video might seem just a bit heavy-handed, it is under fire from various South African sources, including a number of broadcasters who have refused to air the spot. Twitter users have targeted the commercial, calling it “inappropriate” and even “disgusting.” It marks the first time a gay kiss has aired locally in South Africa.


We say, let the haters tweet. The message behind the commercial is obviously too important to let that rhetoric win out. Stay #BraveEnough!

Via Out.

The neural basis of seeing God?


A remarkable case report describes the brain activity in a man at the moment that he underwent a revelatory experience.

According to the authors, Israeli researchers Arzy and Schurr, the man was 46 years old. He was Jewish, but he had never been especially religious. His supernatural experience occured in hospital where he was undergoing tests to help treat his right temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), a condition which he had suffered from for forty years. As part of the testing procedure, the patient stopped taking his anti-convulsant medication. Here’s how the authors describe what happened:

While lying in bed, the patient abruptly “froze” and stared at the ceiling for several minutes, stating later that he felt that God was approaching him. He then started chanting prayers quietly, looked for his Kippa and put it on his head, chanting the prayers more excessively. Then, abruptly, he yelled “And you are Adonai (name of the Hebrew God) the Lord!”, stating later that god had revealed to him, ordering him to bring redemption to the people of Israel.

The patient then stood up, detached the EEG electrodes from his skin, and went around the department trying to convince people to follow him, stating that “God has sent me to you”. When further questioned, he said that he does not have a concrete plan, but he is sure that God is going to instruct him what he and his followers should do on their way to redemption.

The full article is here. The Times of Israel also has this story.