Friday, October 10, 2008

Connecticut Allows Gay Marriage

Another history news day today, as the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that gay couples have the right to get married. Connecticut is now the 3rd state to allow same-sex marriages, after Massachusetts and California.

The AP news article quotes Gov. M. Jodi Rel as saying, "I do not believe their voice reflects the majority of the people of Connecticut," which is probably very true...

When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves, "Public opinion as a whole was against it." This always seems to be a common theme in our world history every time a new law or discovery comes around to improve human rights (support for gay rights), to reduce or end discrimination (anti-discrimination on race, color, etc.), or to set facts straight (stating the Earth NOT being in the center of the solar system or the universe). It seems that there's always a large group of people wanting to hang on to the traditional view at the expense of others, or their own fates, but eventually it gives way to a new truth down the line.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another Restroom for Transgender People

A couple days ago, another news article appeared describing how the University of Manchester in England has renamed their restrooms from "Men" and "Women" to a more practical label - "toilets with urinals" and "toilets."

Although not quite elegant, this is another effort to address appropriate usage of restrooms for men, women, or transgendered people. Let the user decide.

Earlier this year another article appeared describing a Thailand secondary school designating a bathroom specifically for transgender people, labeling it the "transvestite toilet." This label in Thailand actually does not have a strong stigma as it does in the U.S., as transgender people in Thailand are quite common.

The bathroom issue still remains to be a large mental issue for most people - both traditional men and women and for transgender people. For transgender individuals going through a formal transition plan in a company with anti-discrimination policies on gender identity and/or gender expression, typically the bathroom usage policy guides the transitioning individual to use the appropriate restroom matching his/her new gender identity post-transition, to help the transition be successful and to help the individual be accepted in the newly assumed identity.

More examples of facilities usage by transgender people in company transition plans is well explained by Dr. Jillian T. Weiss, an expert on Transgender issues who addresses the topic in her blog, website, and book, Transgender Workplace Diversity: Policy Tools, Training Issues and Communication Strategies for HR and Legal Professionals.