Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Good news day! Book ban blocked in TX, trans healthcare ban blocked in Idaho, & I receive my 7th GLAAD Media Award nomination.

Me in 2017 with friends celebrating my GLAAD Media award win.

There is so much good news to share right now, so I am going to make this a three-item post. First let's talk about two very important and wonderful recent happenings:

From The Hill:

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that a Texas law banning “sexually explicit” books from public schools likely violates the Constitution, partially upholding a preliminary injunction issued by a lower court. The three-judge appeals panel issued a unanimous ruling that the plaintiffs — two Texas bookstores; three national trade associations representing booksellers, publishers and authors; and a legal defense fund — would likely succeed on their claims that Texas’s law violates their First Amendment right to free speech.  The Restricting Explicit and Adult-Designated Educational Resources Act (READER) requires vendors who want to do business with Texas public schools to give sexual-content ratings for all library material and flag any “sexually explicit” or “sexually relevant” material.

 . . .Texas has said the law aims to protect children and has pushed back on claims of free speech by the booksellers. The state also claimed there would be no irreparable harm, in arguing against the injunction. The court rejected those arguments, however, upholding the district court’s conclusion that the government-speech doctrine does not apply and that “the ratings are the vendor’s speech, not the government’s,” and therefore the law mandating the ratings violates freedom of speech. The court also argued that “compliance costs alone” could cause irreparable harm to the plaintiffs. And while the risk of irreparable injury must be weighed against the public interest, “neither [the State] nor the public has any interest in enforcing a regulation that violates federal law.”

In Idaho, the block on the ban against gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth remains blocked. According to KTV-TV Boise

 A federal judge will continue to enforce a block on Idaho’s law that bans transgender health care for minors. U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill had put a temporary injunction on the ban on Dec. 26, meaning it hasn't yet gone into full effect while it's being challenged in court. Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador has appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

 . . . In his decision, Winmill wrote that the attorney general didn’t provide new evidence to persuade him that the state would likely prevail in its appeal. Labrador had argued in his motion that the judge had failed to consider the “conflicting evidence regarding the risks and benefits associated with gender-affirming care.” He said that the experts brought in by the plaintiffs currently provide gender-affirming care, and thus had a “direct financial stake in ensuring the continued availability of ‘gender-affirming care.’” 

 Winmill cited his earlier decision in which he acknowledged the conflicting evidence but found that “the risks associated with the treatments used in gender-affirming medical care are similar to risks associated with other types of healthcare families may seek for minors.” The judge also noted that the doctors who were brought in as experts don’t provide care in Idaho would thus not be affected by HB 71, so they don’t likely have a financial stake in the case. 

 Last but not least, nominations for the 2024 GLAAD Media Awards came out Wednesday morning and this little ole blog of mine received a nomination in the category of 'Outstanding Blog.' It is my third consecutive nomination and my seventh nomination overall. As seen by the photo above, I was blessed to have won the award in 2017.

 I can't begin to tell you how much this means to me. This blog, my 17-year-old baby, sprang out of the anger, misery, and pain I felt while attempting to come out during my college years. And especially the rage I felt at the forces who peddled and continue to peddle lies designed to undermine LGBTQ lives, health, and safety. Receiving a GLAAD Award nomination means credibility and love from the LGBTQ community - a community I love in return and will continue to fight for in my own way day after day. I'm honored and grateful for the ability to fight and to help create a more positive future for the LGBTQ community, and especially our children. 

If you are interested in the various topics regarding religious right lies I've covered throughout out the years, check out The Best of Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters listings on the right. Or feel free to use the search engine above to see if I covered any LGBTQ topic which interests you.

'Trans students win as SCOTUS leaves bathroom victory in place' & other Wed midday news briefs

Trans students win as Supreme Court leaves school bathroom victory in place​ - Yeah but knowing THIS Supreme Court . . . eh let's celebrate anyway. 

More than 275 bills targeting LGBTQ rights flood state legislatures - But briefly because there is a lot of work to do. 

Meet the Florida drag queen advocating for safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth - More of us need to be advocates for our kids.