More About GLAD and the DOMA Decisions From Yesterday: What Do These Decisions Mean? A Link to the Blog of Dr. Jillian Weiss

I made a post yesterday about the New England-based legal rights organization GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) and their recent victories, one in February in a case decided by the U.S. Tax Court, and one yesterday involving a decision by a U.S. District Court judge on DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act).  If you scroll down, you can see the post.

What I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post was that the lawyers of GLAD sometimes team up with other firms, and I would like to recognize them now.  I would also like to recommend two blog posts by Dr. Jillian Weiss that provide excellent explanations of yesterday’s rulings on the cases put forth by GLAD and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, both involving DOMA.

Collaborating Firms That Worked with GLAD
In the U.S. Tax Court case, O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the lawyers from GLAD cooperated with tax lawyers from the Boston law firm of Sullivan & Worcester LLP.  In the case about DOMA that was decided yesterday, Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management et al., co-counsel with the lawyers from GLAD were attorneys from the firms Foley Hoag LLP, Sullivan & Worcester LLP, Jenner & Block LLP, and Kator, Parks & Weiser, PLLC.

Explanations by Dr. Jillian Weiss About What the DOMA Decisions Mean

If you look to the right margin of the ATM blog, you will see in my blog roll a link to the Bilerico Project and the blog of Dr. Jillian Weiss.  I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Weiss at the First Event transgender conference earlier this year.  In fact, I even got to sit at her table the evening that she gave the keynote address, and I found her to be well-spoken, very intelligent and a nice person.

The reason I read her blog is because she is heavily invested in ENDA and because she posts such well-written, knowledgeable, understandable explanations of legal and workplace issues that affect trans people.  She certainly has the qualifications to do so, as seen in the bio from her web site:

Dr. Jillian T. Weiss has a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Law, Policy & Society. Currently Associate Professor of Law and Society at Ramapo College of New Jersey, she has conducted research involving hundreds of companies and public agencies that have adopted “gender identity” policies. She publishes a popular blog on the subject of Transgender Workplace Diversity, and has numerous research publications on the subject of gender identity. Links to these are found below.

She made two posts today in her blog about the two DOMA case decisions that were released yesterday by the U.S. District Court.  I provide the links here for those who would like to read excellent (and amusing) explanations of what these decisions mean and their ramifications.

Dr. Weiss’ blog posts:

What The Massachusetts DOMA Decisions Mean

Why DOMA? The “What The Heck?” Defense

— ATM

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5 Responses to More About GLAD and the DOMA Decisions From Yesterday: What Do These Decisions Mean? A Link to the Blog of Dr. Jillian Weiss

  1. j says:

    Do you ever wonder how marriage is for trans people in India?
    This ‘story’ appeared in the newspapers a few days ago. The Indian media is quite dumb, as this article proves:

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Bhubaneswar/Woman-lawyer-undergoes-sex-change/articleshow/6127711.cms

    All the leading Indian newspapers ran this story and sensationalised it. Instead of educating the general population on transissues, they chose to create a circus, a parody. None of the so-called ‘stories’ said the person was transgender/transexual.
    I wrote my comments in every e-newspaper that carried the article.
    I tried to explained what transgender is and why this transperson found the need to urgently undergo GRS. I want to educate my countrymen. Would you believe it, the newspapers ran all the crappy derogatory comments and left mine out. One of them put my comment up and removed it after 30 minutes. I re-insterted the comment and they put it up only to take it down again. I’m shocked.
    In the USA, at least you have some newspapers that are fair to the trans community; in India even the so called ‘respected’ newspapers that one trusts to properly represent issues, staunchly refuse to stand by trans people. I’m so utterly distraught.

    • That’s unfortunate that the media are providing misinformation about trans people there. I hope that what I read is better than what would have been published say, 5 years ago. I hope that things are slowly changing in India in that regard.

      The fair treatment of trans people by some newspapers in the U.S. that you mentioned was not always the case. People from GLAAD and other organizations, and trans people themselves and our allies, have had to work hard over the years to educate the media bring about changes in a more respectful direction. There are still media outlets in the U.S., some that are even major outlets, that run stories exactly like the one you posted, and even worse — much worse.

      On a side question, what is the influence of the Hijra in India? This person was FTM and I have read that Hijra are MTF or intersex, but is there not knowledge of them in the general population?

      • j says:

        To answer your questions.
        There are scores of articles on the Aravani (Hijra) community on the internet.
        Google and you will find.

        As you will read, they have a historic and religious place in Indian history.

        No one treats them well. Not the media, not the
        general population that sees them everyday.

        Pls read this article that had transactivists very upset.

        http://www.deccanchronicle.com/dc-comment/male-eunuch-other-chromosomes-814

        And follow it up with this gem written by an Indian transman
        http://kafila.org/2009/11/11/tatte-girao-hijra-hattao-satya-rai-nagpaul/

        The good news is that the Indian government is working to uplift Aravani. And some Aravani
        have even won government elections. However implementation of laws is slow in India.
        Even police and hospitals don’t help the Aravani community.

        And to answer your other question… the mainstream media has changed a bit,
        in their attitudes towards the gay and lesbian community. They’ve changed from
        shunning to being tongue-in-cheek patronizing and sometimes supportive.

        But there is no understanding of trans people like FTMs and MTMs as you can see from the
        story I sent you. The media does not want to take the trouble to understand
        the shades within the TS /TG community (ie Hijra, new men and new women, etc.).
        If you say the word ‘transgender’ they think of the Aravani community only.

        The mainstream media can’t be bothered with new men and new women. And when you try
        to educate them, as I tried in vain, they simply ignore you because it suits them to sensationalize
        issues. They need a ‘shocking’ story… a ‘freak’ they can write about. And in the case of the
        aforementioned lawyer, and other transpeople, just see what they did… they turned him into a ‘freak story’.

        ATM I’m feeling guilty…. Am I hogging too much space on your blog?
        Putting in too many other websites? Are you having too much of me here?
        I don’t want to overwhelm your blog with my inputs. Let me know.
        We can take our discussions over to email. You have mine.

        • I think that people might be interested in what you are posting. I do not police the comments very strictly. Some people use their comments on blogs as their own kind of blog, which is good if it shares information.

          Thank you for the answers to my questions and for the information.

  2. j says:

    I said: “But there is no understanding of trans people like FTMs and MTMs as you can see from the…”
    I meant: FTMs and MTFs.

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