Queer Bites for the Week of Sept. 6, 2017

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Annise Parker.

Check out the latest in lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex news!

 

Lesbian Houston Mayor responds to Anne Coulter’s Comments on Harvey

(SFGN) Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker has responded to comments made by Right-wing pundit and provocateur Anne Coulter on Twitter regarding Hurricane Harvey, the International Business Times reported.

“I don't believe Hurricane Harvey is God's punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor. But that is more credible than "climate change." 

Coulter’s comments were in response to an article in Politico with the headline “Harvey is what climate change looks like.”

Annise Parker, who is openly gay, served as mayor from 2010 – 2016. She responded to Coulter’s comments

“Darn it, I thought no one knew I had a super power over weather.”

While Parker took the remarks in stride, others, such as Star Trek icon George Takei and comedian Cameron Esposito were clearer in their reproach:

@GeorgeTakei: I don't think Hurricane Harvey is God's punishment for us electing an idiot president. But that is more credible than Ann Coulter.

@CameronEsposito: I know Ann Coulter is objectionable for a living but man is she a piece of shit.

 

Harvard and Yale see Increase in Bisexual Students

(SFGN) Harvard and Yale reported an increase in the number of students who identify as bisexual in their freshman classes according to surveys conducted by the university’s student-run newspapers, GayStarNews reported. 

Out of Harvard’s class of 2021, 7.9 percent of those surveyed identified as bisexual. The Harvard Crimson surveyed 853 students, representing roughly 50 percent of the incoming class. 

Out of Yale’s incoming freshman class, 8 percent surveyed identified as bisexual, an increase of 3 percent from last year. The Yale Daily News surveyed 1,143 students, representing nearly 73 percent of the incoming class.

Of the general U.S. population 1.8 percent openly identify as bisexual, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA.

82.5 percent of freshman at Harvard identified as straight, compared to 77.4 percent at Yale. 3 percent of Harvard freshmen said they were questioning their sexuality, compared to 5 percent at Yale.

 

Indiana Appeals Court Rules in Transgender Birth Certificate Case

(AP) The Indiana Court of Appeals has clarified the process transgender residents can use to legally change their names or birth certificates.

The court ruled unanimously in reversing a Tippecanoe County judge’s decision that required notices about name or gender changes to be published at least three times in a newspaper in the petitioner’s home county, The Northwest Indiana Times reported.

Appellate court Judge John Baker wrote that county judges can’t add conditions to requests for gender changes to birth certificates if a good faith test is satisfied.

A 2014 ruling by the court found that gender changes to birth certificates are allowed if a judge can determine it’s not being made for an unlawful purpose.

State law requires publication when changing names, though individuals who may be endangered by the publication are exempt.

“The statutory requirement for publication in name-change cases does not apply to gender marker changes,” Baker wrote. “It was erroneous to create a requirement where none exists.”

The judges ruled that name changes can occur without publication if the person seeking the name change has personally experienced discrimination or witnessed attacks that were a result of a person’s transgender status.

The plaintiff in the case, a transgender male transitioning from being a female, witnessed a transgender friend beaten because of her gender identity and was denied an internship when his gender identity didn’t match with his Social Security information.

 

Intersex Athletes Await Decision on Required Testosterone Suppression for Competition

(SFGN) Intersex athletes will learn this month whether they will be required to take drugs to suppress their testosterone levels during competition which could cause an upset to the results of the August  International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships in London, the UK’s Telegraph reported

South Africa’s Caster Semenya, Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, and Kenya’s Margaret Wambui are under scrutiny due to claims that they have an unnatural advantage over fellow competitors due to their naturally high levels of testosterone. 

Semenya’s levels have tested at nearly three times that of an average woman, and she has been banned once from competing and ordered to take testosterone suppressing drugs by the IAAF. Semenya won the gold medal in the women’s 800m race and a bronze medal in the 1500m IAAF World Championships last month.

The Telegraph reports that the practice of requiring hyperandrogenic athletes to take the medication was suspended in 2015 after being challenged by Indian sprinter Dutee Chand. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) gave the IAAF two years to present its case as to the impact of high levels of testosterone on performance. 

The IAAF claims to have new evidence that high testosterone levels could shave around 2.5 seconds of an athlete’s time. -- There is typically less than two seconds between runners in 800m heats. The CAS is expected to rule on the evidence this month.


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