SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/AP) — A newly proposed California law would prohibit doctors from performing surgery on children born with genitals that don’t fit a single gender unless it is medically necessary or the child consents.
Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill released Monday is the latest effort in California aimed at giving minors more control over their bodies and gender identities.
If passed, the bill would make California the first state in the U.S. to make surgeries performed on intersex infants illegal.
Wiener announced the new legislation at a press conference in San Francisco Monday morning, appearing with several intersex, LGBT and civil rights leaders.
The text posted on the California Legislative Information website states, “The bill would, among other things, require a physician and surgeon to provide a written and oral disclosure prior to performing the treatment or intervention and to obtain the informed consent of the intersex minor to the treatment or intervention, as specified.”
In a tweet, Wiener said the ban would allow those born intersex to “decide for themselves when they’re able to express their gender, as opposed to having physicians & parents decide their gender for them.”
The California Medical Association says it has concerns the bill goes too far in restricting how doctors can treat patients.
Intersex is defined as someone who is born with atypical sex characteristics, including those that don’t conform to a specific gender.
The bill does not define what makes a child old enough to consent and would rely on existing law.
A doctor who deems treatment or surgery medically necessary would need parental consent.
BRENTWOOD (KPIX) – An East Bay library is facing backlash over a children’s storytelling event hosted by a drag queen that some parents say is inappropriate for youngsters.
Although many parents have even called the Brentwood Library to complain, the Contra Costa County library staff stands behind it, saying they’re not cancelling the Drag Queen Storytime.
“This is not a drag performance,” said Contra Costa County Library spokeswoman Brooke Converse. “There’s no agenda attached to it. It’s just someone dressed in a costume and reading books to kids. It’s actually very sweet.”
Converse says the goal is to teach kids about diversity, inclusiveness, and acceptance.
The Drag Queen Storytime event will be held at the community center across from the Brentwood library on February 11th, at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s a healthy way to promote awareness of diversity, different color, different shapes, and different gender identities,” said drag queen Christian Aguirre. Her stage name is Bella Aldama.
At the event, Aldama will read books and do one performance where he’ll lip sync a song.
Still, some parents say a topic related to gender expression is simply not age appropriate for young kids.
Brentwood’s Claire Burr says she will not bring her two boys to the event.
“I don’t have anything against it, but I really don’t want to explain to them this whole thing at the moment,” said Burr.
Another parent at the Brentwood Library said, “Some kids under a certain age, it might be a little confusing.”
The local newspaper, East County Today announced the event on its Facebook page. More than 1,200 people reacted to it. Some called the drag queen event “sick”, “a disgrace,” and an attempt to push “the gay agenda.”
In contrast, parent Jordana Gavarrete supported the event.
“It’s an option for the parents to attend, so it’s not like they’re being forced to attend,” said Gavarrete.
Aguirre said it’s never too early to learn about acceptance and love.
“We all learn at different ages but we all have to learn somehow,” said Aguirre.
The Contra Costa County Library invited Aguirre to a Drag Qreen Storytime event last year at an El Cerrito library. They said they did not encounter much criticism and were surprised by the strong opposition from some of the parents in Brentwood.
They don’t know how many people will attend the free event. Given all the attention, they expect to see a crowd.
WASHINGTON (CBS SF / AP) — The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to go ahead with its plan to restrict military service by transgender people while court challenges continue.
The high court on Tuesday reversed lower-court orders preventing the Pentagon from implementing its plans. But the high court for now declined to take up cases about the plan. The cases will continue to move through lower courts.
Military policy had barred service by transgender people until President Barack Obama’s administration began allowing transgender people already in the military to serve openly and set a date when transgender people would be allowed to enlist.
President Donald Trump’s administration has revisited those policies. The Trump administration has sought to generally restrict service by transgender people to only those who do not seek to undergo gender transitions.
In a written statement, Rick Zbur of Equality California, which brought a case against the ban, condemned the decision.
“Thousands of brave transgender troops around the world are currently serving our nation with honor,” Zbur said. “Their patriotism and sacrifice should be celebrated, not cruelly dismissed by a president who clearly cares more about delivering on campaign promises than he does about our national security.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco also blasted the court’s move, saying the president’s plan “was purpose-built to humiliate brave men & women seeking to serve their country.”
LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Just two days after being named host of the Academy Awards, Kevin Hart has stepped down following an outcry over past homophobic tweets by the comedian.
Capping a swift fallout, Hart wrote on Twitter just after 9 p.m. Thursday that he was withdrawing as Oscars host because he didn’t want to be a distraction.
I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's….this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.
Hart stepped aside just about an hour after refusing to apologize for tweets that resurfaced after he was announced as Oscars host on Tuesday. In a video on Instagram, Hart said the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences gave him an ultimatum: apologize or “we’re going to have to move on and find another host.”
“I chose to pass on the apology,” Hart said. “The reason why I passed is because I’ve addressed this several times.”
Hart has since deleted some of the anti-gay tweets, mostly dated from 2009-2011. But they had already been screen-captured and been shared online. In 2011, he wrote in a since-deleted tweet: “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.”
In an earlier post Thursday, Hart wrote on Instagram that critics should “stop being negative” about his earlier anti-gay remarks.
“I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve? I don’t know what to tell you,” said Hart, who added, in all-caps: “I love everybody.”
Hart’s attitudes about homosexuality were also a well-known part of his stand-up act. In the 2010 special “Seriously Funny,” he said “one of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay.”
(CBS News) — Election Night 2018 turned out to be a night of firsts — with groundbreaking victories for Native American, Muslim, black, gay and female candidates.
The midterms seemed poised to shake things up even before results came in: A record number of women were on the ballot, and there were races across the country that looked likely to diversify the faces in Congress and statehouses. In the end, these are the winners who ended up making history:
Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the first Muslim congresswomen
Two Democratic candidates will become the first Muslim women to serve in Congress. Tlaib, who ran unopposed to represent Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, will become the first Palestinian-American congresswoman. Omar, a former refugee, will be the first Somali-American congresswoman after winning the race for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.
Jared Polis, the first openly gay male governor
Polis won the race for Colorado governor and will become the first openly gay manto claim a governor’s mansion anywhere in America. Polis is also the state’s first Jewish governor.
Only one openly LGBT politician has ever been elected governor before: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who identifies as bisexual. Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey came out as gay only after announcing he would resign in 2004.
Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, the first Native American congresswomen
Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe in New Mexico, will be one of the first two Native American women to serve in the House of Representatives. Davids, who won the race for Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, is a first in two ways: Besides being Native American, she’ll also be the first lesbian congresswoman from Kansas. And she’s a former MMA fighter, as well.
Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee’s first female senator
A Republican who served in the House will become the first woman to represent Tennessee in the Senate. Ironically, Blackburn rose to wider attention when pop star Taylor Swift broke her political silence and encouraged fans to support Democratic challenger Phil Bredesen. But Blackburn prevailed with nearly 55 percent of the vote.
Janet Mills, Maine’s first female governor
After nearly eight years of Maine being run by controversial Republican Gov. Paul LePage — who has received national notoriety for racially charged comments and accusations of abuse of power — the state’s voters replaced him with its first woman governor. Mills, a Democrat, previously served as Maine’s attorney general.
Today, we are powerful. There are only a few hours left to get out the vote. Go #vote for progressive candidates who will fight for equity & justice. Vote for activist leaders who will work in and with community. Vote, because this is your democracy & your voice matters.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman in Congress
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, became an overnight sensation this summer after her upset primary defeat of Rep. Joe Crowley, a 10-term incumbent who was the No. 4 Democrat in the House. Election Night made Ocasio-Cortez’s victory in New York’s 14th Congressional District official. When she’s sworn in, she’ll be the youngest women to ever serve in Congress.
The Hawkeye State has never sent a woman to the House — until now. Finkenauer, a 29-year-old Democrat who served two terms as a state representative, defeated Republican incumbent Rod Blum. And although she has some age on Ocasio-Cortez — she’s turning 30 in December — Finkenauer is still one of the youngest people ever elected to the House.
Tonight we as Iowans made clear who we are. Tonight, Iowa rejected fear and division, and tonight, Iowa proved we step up for our neighbors. I truly believe hope is the reason we got this far – and hope is the reason we still have work to do. https://t.co/HYa19cCosT
The record-breaking number of women running led to another historic moment. With more than 90 women elected to the House as of early Wednesday morning, this election led to more women winning House seats than in any election in American history.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic newcomer Sharice Davids has defeated incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder in Kansas to become the nation’s first LGBT Native American in Congress.
The 38-year-old activist, lawyer and political newcomer already garnered national attention as part of a crop of diverse Democratic candidates.
Yoder was endorsed by President Donald Trump, but the suburban Kansas City district voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The district is a mix of fast-growing bedroom communities, established suburbs and poorer city neighborhoods.
Davids emerged from a six-person Democratic primary and energized voters and Democratic donors by emphasizing her biography. Her history includes mixed martial arts fights.
She’s a member of the Wisconsin-based Ho-Chunk Nation and was raised by a single mother who served in the Army and worked for the U.S. Postal Service.
DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas same-sex couple both wanted to carry their baby and through a special type of in vitro fertilization they were able to. Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter call 5-month-old Stetson their miracle baby.
“The way that Mr. Stetson came into this world was pretty special,” Ashleigh said.
When Ashleigh and Bliss married, they knew they wanted kids and through what’s called “Effortless IVF” they were both able to carry their son.
Ashleigh and Bliss Coulter call 5-month-old Stetson their miracle baby (Coulter family)
“We gave it a try and it was very, very successful,” Bliss said.
“This represents the first time that two women have both physically carried their child together,” fertility specialist Dr. Kathy Doody of The Center for Assisted Reproduction said.
Kathy and her husband, Dr. Kevin Doody made it happen using Bliss’ eggs and sperm from a donor.
“She was so confident when she was saying that they can do it,” Ashleigh said. “I think that was surprising to us but also exciting.”
Through Effortless IVF, instead of placing the sperm and eggs into incubators, they go into an INVOcell. This device is then placed in the body for five days where the egg fertilizes and early embryo development begins.
In the Coluter’s case, after five days, Bliss had the INVOcell removed. The embryos were frozen and then one was transferred to Ashleigh. She carried their baby to term.
The Coulter family
“This is a revolutionary type of IVF,” Kevin said. “It’s more accessible, it’s more affordable and it’s truly more natural.”
He said it’s received mixed feelings from the medical community.
“I think many have been excited about the thought but Kevin is correct, doctors in general, we don’t like change so I think that their ability to share their story is phenomenal,” Kathy said.
Ashleigh and Bliss said they feel blessed to be able to share this experience together and more children are in their future.
“You know your whole life changes obviously with anybody when they have a baby so leaning on your partner I think is really, really important and I definitely think it brought us closer together,” Ashleigh said.
Even though the Coulters were the Doody’s first same sex couple to go through Effortless IVF, they’ve performed the process for around 200 heterosexual couples.
They said the process typically costs about half as much as traditional IVF.
(CNN) — Caitlyn Jenner says she made a “mistake” in thinking she could work with President Donald Trump to benefit the LGBTQ community and is now no longer a Trump supporter.
In a Washington Post op-ed published Thursday, Jenner said at first she believed she could work with Trump and Republicans to change the party’s stance on LGBQT issues.
“Sadly, I was wrong,” Jenner wrote, adding, “The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president.”
She argued that Trump “has shown no regard for an already marginalized and struggling community.”
“Believing that I could work with Trump and his administration to support our community was a mistake,” Jenner wrote.
She pointed to a New York Times report that the Department of Health and Human Services has a draft proposal to define gender under Title IX as solely male or female at birth, with no room for change.
Jenner said her hope in Trump and Republicans was “misplaced” and that she “cannot support anyone who is working against our community.”
“I do not support Trump,” she wrote. “I must learn from my mistakes and move forward.”
Over three years ago, the famed US Olympian came out as transgender in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer. Jenner voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election and told E! in an interview Trump “would be very good for women’s issues.”
However, Jenner began criticizing the President after the Trump administration announced policies that rolled back some protections for the transgender community.
In March, the White House announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military, following Trump’s tweet on the topic.
That was about a year after Jenner visited the White House to meet with administration officials. “He’s not been doing a very good job, but it’s not over yet,” Jenner said in an interview with Variety at the time.
In October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed Obama administration guidance and determined that the 1964 federal civil rights law does not protect transgender workers from employment discrimination.
And just a month into his presidency, the Trump administration withdrew Obama-era protections of transgender students in public schools that let people use the bathrooms and facilities that correspond with their gender identity.
(CNN) — Four years ago, Tim Cook became the first CEO of a major company to come out as gay. He says he’s happy about that distinction — and his decision.
“I’m very proud of it,” the Apple (AAPL) CEO told Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday in an exclusive interview for her program on CNN International and PBS. Being gay is “God’s greatest gift to me,” he said.
Cook came out on October 30, 2014. His sexual orientation had been widely rumored beforehand though he had not confirmed it publicly.
“I was public because I started to receive stories from kids who read online that I was gay,” he told Amanpour.
He said the emails and letters came from children who said they had been ostracized, bullied or abused because of their sexual orientation.
Cook said he is a private person but ultimately decided that he was being “selfish” by keeping quiet about his identity when he could help people by coming out.
“I needed to do something for them,” Cook said. He wanted to demonstrate to gay children that they “can be gay and still go on and do some big jobs in life.”
Cook said he was shocked that he was the first out CEO of a Fortune 500 company. He said he is glad other CEOs have come out since, although that wasn’t his goal.
Coming out has also helped Cook as a leader, he said.
“I learned what it was like to be a minority,” Cook told CNN. “The feeling of being in a minority gives you a level of empathy for other people who are not in the majority.”
Prejudicial comments have also given him a thick skin, Cook said.
“That turns out to be pretty beneficial from this role as well.”