The public and costly process for transgender people to legally change the name and gender on their California birth certificate will be streamlined under a law Gov. Jerry Brown signed this week, reports SF Gate.
“Equality California Executive Director John O’Connor said the legislation is “a huge victory for making the world a more inclusive place for transgender people.” It follows several other key bills supported by the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community that were signed by Brown this year. The governor has until Sunday to act on 206 remaining bills on his desk.
“AB1121 by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, allows a transgender person to change the name on their birth certificate without a hearing in open court or publishing their request in a newspaper. Court-ordered name changes are a prerequisite for changing other documents, such as driver’s licenses.
“The process for changing a gender marker on a birth certificate will be an administrative process requiring a doctor’s note indicating the person has undergone a gender transition. Ilona Turner, legal director for the Transgender Law Center, said Atkins’ bill was formed out of concerns from transgender people who were “honestly very nervous about being outed” publicly during the name- or gender-change process. The Transgender Law Center co-sponsored the bill with Equality California.
“A bill to increase access for gay and lesbian couples seeking infertility treatments was also signed Tuesday. AB460 by Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, adds nondiscrimination language to fertility coverage provided under some health plans. While nondiscrimination laws already exist, Ammiano said they are not being followed because of traditional definitions of family planning.” To be classified as infertile under many health plans, a heterosexual married couple must have sex regularly for a year without contraception and without a baby to show for it, Turner said. That definition leaves gay, lesbian or single women unable to use infertility coverage when it’s offered under their health insurance plans.
Continue reading “Transgender name changes to be easier in California”
For well over a decade now the United States has been “a nation at war.” Does that war have a name? This question is posed in today’s edition of Le Monde: “It did at the outset. After 9/11, George W. Bush’s administration
wasted no time in announcing that the U.S. was engaged in a Global War on Terrorism, or GWOT. With few dissenters, the media quickly embraced the term. The GWOT promised to be a gargantuan, transformative enterprise. The conflict begun on 9/11 would define the age. In neoconservative circles, it was known as World War IV.
“Upon succeeding to the presidency in 2009, however, Barack Obama without fanfare junked Bush’s formulation (as he did again in a speech at the National Defense University last week). Yet if the appellation went away, the conflict itself, shorn of identifying marks, continued.
“Does it matter that ours has become and remains a nameless war? Very much so.
“Names bestow meaning. When it comes to war, a name attached to a date can shape our understanding of what the conflict was all about. To specify when a war began and when it ended is to privilege certain explanations of its significance while discrediting others. Let me provide a few illustrations. With rare exceptions, Americans today characterize the horrendous fraternal bloodletting of 1861-1865 as the Civil War. Yet not many decades ago, diehard supporters of the Lost Cause insisted on referring to that conflict as the War Between the States or the War for Southern Independence (or even the War of Northern Aggression). The South may have gone down in defeat, but the purposes for which Southerners had fought — preserving a distinctive way of life and the principle of states’ rights — had been worthy, even noble. So at least they professed to believe, with their preferred names for the war reflecting that belief.Schoolbooks tell us that the Spanish-American War began in April 1898 and ended in August of that same year. The name and dates fit nicely with a widespread inclination from President William McKinley’s day to our own to frame U.S. intervention in Cuba as an altruistic effort to liberate that island from Spanish oppression. Continue reading “The nameless war”
For some people the task of naming a dog is perfectly obvious. Others leave it to the kids. But for some the task becomes a vexing dilemma. today’s New york times carries an essay on the trails and tribulations of coming up with something better than “Spot,” “Fido,” or simply “Dog.”
“What to name the new puppy? For our family, choosing a name was neither simple nor swift. After all, it had taken my daughters a decade of whining and deliberating over breeds that wouldn’t aggravate the allergy-stricken (me), just to get to the point of agreeing to get a Havanese.
“And because I am the family research queen, I found a way to make the process even more complicated. A little research elicited a lot of information.I found lists of the most common dog names. A Web site with thousands of names, sorted into categories like “cool,” “cute” and “unusual.” And countless dos and don’ts from self-anointed dog-naming experts. Continue reading “The art of naming a dog”