SCOTUS Oct. 8, 2019

Was the US more progressive in embracing trans/gender nonconforming workers in 1908 than it is today? We’ll soon find out. #SCOTUS#RiseUpOctober8

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Landmark Civil Rights Law Applies to Gay and Transgender Workers
SCOTUS Is Debating LGBTQ Protections on a National Scale. But What About State Laws?
LGBTQ Advocates Flood Capitol Hill on Day One of Supreme Court’s First Trans Civil Rights Case in US History

Throughout history, trans people have been discriminated against precisely because of sex (Forgive the circulation of a newspaper article that misgenders Brandon Teena – it is to make an important point) #RiseUpOctober8#SCOTUS

Some thoughts while reading the transcript:

  1. Can I object to Justice Robert’s question that literally makes no sense? “In other words, if the objection of a transgender man transitioning to woman is that he should be allowed to use, he or she, should be allowed to use the women’s bathroom, now, how do you analyze that?”
  2. Roberts pushed hard for “transgender status” as the key issue at hand rather than sex-based discrimination. “Because if it’s just biological sex, there’s no problem b/c there is no disadvantage. But if you’re looking at transgender status, there is a huge problem…”
  3. Bursch for petitioner (funeral home) states “What Title VII says is that sex-based differentiation is not the same as sex discrimination.” hmmmm….
  4. The basis of the Bursh/funeral home/anti-trans argument is to fundamentally deny the existence & legitimacy of trans people. It may work before #SCOTUS but young people will not stand for it. #future#LGBTQ#RiseUpOctober8
  5. EEOC/anti-trans side argued, “If you treat an aggressive woman worse than an aggressive man, you are violating Title VII because you’re treating similarly situated people differently.” Is someone going to clue him in? #AG#stud#pride
  6. SOTOMAYOR: “We can’t deny that homosexuals are being fired merely for being who they are & not because of religious reasons. . .They may have power in some regions, but they are still being beaten, they are still being ostracized from certain things.” #scotus#thanks#RiseUpOct8
  7. History shows this not to be true at all: EEOC “Everybody here agrees that Congress never thought that by prohibiting discrimination based on sex, they would also be prohibiting discrimination based on two very different traits, sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Resources for Secular Chapel

“What RBG Means to Me,” Sunday Sept. 29, Noon at Johnson Chapel. A gathering for Amherst College students, faculty and staff hosted by Associate Professors Jen Manion and Michael Kunichika. There will be a light reception.

For inspiration, read “Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Unlikely Path to the Supreme Court,” by Jill Lepore and “The Irony of Modern Feminism’s Obsession with Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” by Dahlia Lithwick and watch the documentary “RBG” and the drama “On the Basis of Sex.”

Five Colleges Queer/Trans/Sexuality Studies Certificate

Tuesday Sept. 17th 5:30-7:30pm @ the Powerhouse, Amherst College

Join faculty, staff and students from Amherst, UMass, Smith, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire to kick off the school year and learn more about the Five College Queer/Trans/Sexuality Studies Certificate. An informal reception will be followed by a panel discussion on “Queer/Trans/Sexuality Studies Now!” featuring faculty from each college.

Panelists include: Khary Polk, Amherst College (facilitator); Ren-Yo Hwang, Mt. Holyoke College; Kelly Anderson, Smith College; Sony Bolton, Amherst College; Patricia Montoya, Hampshire College; and Cameron Awkward-Rich, UMASS

Click here for more information about the certificate and eligible courses

New to the subject? As a historian, some of my favorite books are:

Resources for Secular Chapel

“What Serena Williams Means to Me,” Sunday Sept. 8, 2019 11am-12noon at Johnson Chapel. A gathering for Amherst College students, faculty, and staff hosted by Associate Professors Jen Manion and Michael Kunichika.

For inspiration, see “The Meaning of Serena Williams,” by Claudia Rankine and/or the documentary “Being Serena,” on HBO; and on tennis generally, see “The String Theory,” by David Foster-Wallace ’85