Day Care Workers File Complaint After Getting Fired For Not Using Trans Child’s Preferred Name

As the chatter about Houston’s failed Equal Rights Ordinance starts to quiet down, the greater conversation about how we treat transgender people in society is not going anywhere.

All too often, for example, we hear stories about transgender children being mistreated, misgendered, or harassed by adults who get away with it because of unsupportive school systems or broken policies. In Katy, Texas this week, the story is a little different: two day care workers were reprimanded because they refused to call a six-year-old transgender child by his preferred name, as his parents requested.

Now, the employees are taking legal action.

One of them, Madeline Kirksey, is filing a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The other, Akesha Wyatt, has chimed in to say she doesn’t think her termination was fair. Their attorney, Andy Taylor, who famously helped to repeal HERO, says they were fired for their beliefs.

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Newt Gingrich Says Congress Should Block Transgender Students’ Rights

This week on Conservatives Say The Darndest Things:

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich appeared on a Houston radio show recently to promote his new book, and he took the opportunity to laud Houston voters for taking away basic human rights via repealing the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).

But then he went a step further, calling trans rights a “strange” cultural phenomenon and suggesting Congress take away the rights of trans students altogether.

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Pastor Kevin Swanson: Better To Drown Than Let Your Kids Read Harry Potter

Pastor Kevin Swanson, friend of conservative Republicans and hater of feminism, Girl Scout Cookies, LGBT people, Disney movies and everything else that is good in the world, has added Harry Potter to his list of social evils.

Right Wing Watch grabbed a clip of Swanson speaking at the National Religious Liberties Conference (following Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal, for what it’s worth). 

In a presentation that is nothing short of terrifying, he yells (yells!):

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Conservative Christians Are Losing Their Minds Because Starbucks Now Has Red Cups

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (and I don’t mean the War on Christmas): #RedCupSeason!

Each winter, Starbucks famously distributes its very merry beverages in festive red cups, and holiday joy abounds.

But something’s different this year. 

While Starbucks’ holiday cups used to feature wintry symbols like snowmen, reindeer, and ornaments, this year’s design is a simple two-tone red color. Most people don’t really care. Some conservative Christians, however, have taken this omission to mean Starbucks is perpetuating a “Christian Culture Cleansing of the West.”

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HERO Opponents May Get Exactly What They Didn’t Want: (Trans) Men in Women’s Bathrooms

On Monday, Houston voted to take away basic human rights.

By a wide margin, voters repealed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), a measure that granted nondiscrimination protections based on race, religion, disability, military status, and other categories — including sexual orientation and gender identity.

While we can’t account for exactly what happened, especially when celebrities, politicians, and President Obama himself endorsed HERO, it’s a given that anti-trans attack ads by conservatives played a role. Anti-LGBT groups funneled time and money into deceptive ads that portrayed trans people as sexual predators, claiming that HERO would allow “men in women’s bathrooms,” and Houston bought it.

Here’s the thing: Not keeping HERO in place is what will force men into women’s bathrooms. Transgender men, that is.

The conservative attack ads were excessive and hysterical from the beginning; HERO is about so much more than LGBT people, and public accommodations accounted for a small part of the measure. Every myth and claim about the horrors of having trans people in public restrooms has been debunked. But the rhetoric of a “man in a dress” entering a bathroom to prey on girls was successful — even though there are no documented cases of trans people abusing these laws.

What’s interesting, though, is that as a result of HERO’s failure, some trans men might actually be required to use women’s bathrooms.

Imagine a giant, burly, bearded man entering a women’s restroom. He looks like a guy, he lives as a guy, his ID says he’s a guy, he is a guy — but because he was born with a vagina, this restroom is where the government has basically assigned him.

In fact, you don’t even have to imagine it.

In the wake of a proposed anti-trans measure in Canada a while back, some trans people deliberately used the bathrooms that corresponded with the gender they were assigned at birth (as they could be required to do if an anti-trans law passed) and took photos showing how awkward it was.

Michael Hughes, a trans guy from Minnesota, started doing the same thing and posting the photos online using the hashtag #WeJustNeedToPee. The obvious mismatch is comical:

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