Colorado GOP Eagerly Embraces Newest Transgender Hate Fad

Rep. Brianna Titone (D-Arvada).

Colorado Newsline’s Faith Miller reports on a quasi-filibustering yesterday by minority Republicans in the Colorado House of House Bill 21-1108: a bill that clarifies Colorado’s robust anti-discrimination laws to specifically include transgender people under such protections, which is already how the courts have interpreted the law in practice.

HB-1108 would clarify that the state’s existing protections for lesbian, gay and bisexual people also apply to discrimination against transgender people. These protections extend to many areas of life, including employment, housing, health care, education and more.

The bill updates state law to reflect how the courts have already interpreted Colorado’s protections based on sexual orientation, Esgar said on the House floor.

“We are modernizing the law to codify existing practice,” she said.

But in case you were thinking Colorado House Republicans might allow this minor update to existing anti-discrimination law that would change nothing about how the courts actually interpret the law to pass without a full-scale obstructionist grandstand, think again:

Republican Rep. Tonya Van Beber of Weld County spoke at length about the case of a Shawnee State University professor who refused to address a transgender student by her preferred pronouns. She asked for her colleagues to support an amendment that would provide protections for people who wished to exercise their constitutional right to free speech in how they referred to transgender people — as did the professor, Van Beber argued.

The amendment would help constituents “understand that while we all need to have our sensitivities and our love for one another — our acceptance of one another — we need not be in fear for our speech, which is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” said Rep. Mark Baisley, a Roxborough Park Republican.

After that amendment failed, several Republican legislators, including Reps. Shane Sandridge of Colorado Springs and Janice Rich of Grand Junction, spoke at length in defense of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker being sued by a transgender woman after Phillips refused to make her a cake celebrating her transition.

Again, the clarification of existing anti-discrimination law to uphold what’s already been the interpretation of the law by courts should not be a major controversy. Unlike at the federal level where protections for LGBT Americans like Colorado already has on the books are a major battleground, we’re ahead of the curve on this issue.

But as we learned in Washington during the recent debate over the H.R.5 Equality Act, in which Republicans prominently including Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado relished in repeating the most vile, most dehumanizing smears against transgender people she could conjure up, there is an additional degree of liberty being taken in the current debate over civil rights in America among conservatives to demonize transgender people. Even as public attitudes have shifted dramatically in the last 15 years from broad public opposition to LGBT rights to equally broad support, transgender people remain subject to persistent discrimination and violence that would be considered impermissible directed against more tolerated “traditional” gay and lesbian stereotypes.

Based on how this debate has progressed in recent months, it’s pretty clear that there is a Republican strategist somewhere who has figured this out, and the result has been a growing political fixation by Republicans on transgender people even as attacks on other LGBT communities have become less politically acceptable. But in the end, transgender rights are just another frontier in the larger struggle for civil rights. It will inevitably be confronted and overcome.  In the long run, this latest flavor of the politics of division as just as doomed as the battles against marriage equality and racial discrimination.

In the short run, it’s about giving “culture warriors” something to rally around while they can.

Thus the long moral arc bends toward justice–and the bad guys show their true colors along the way.

64 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit! says:

    This touches on an important point. Hate is literally the fuel of the right, and once they run out of people to hate they will run out of fuel.

    The sooner the better please.

    • unnamed says:

       Hate is literally the fuel of the right, and once they run out of people to hate they will run out of fuel.


      Sadly they're good at finding new people to hate. It's their singular talent.



  2. davebarnes says:

    The data say that trans people are 0.6% of the population. A clear and present danger.

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    I'm wondering how supportive Mark Blaisley might be to the exercising of their constitutional free speech rights by folks on the floor of the House who prefer to refer to him is "the phobic idiot dipshit from Roxborough"???

    . . . and, if Jack Philips happens to be one of your exemplars, you've got some very low standards for decency and civility.

  4. kwtree says:

    The article should have included the connection between the photo of Representative Brianna Titone and the testimony on the bill. Not every reader knows that Rep. Titone is herself a trans woman. 

    As reported in Colorado Newsline:

    Rep. Brianna Titone, an Arvada Democrat who is the General Assembly’s first transgender lawmaker, asked her colleagues for respect.

    “No person in this chamber knows what it’s like to be transgender or nonbinary,” Titone said.

    “This bill puts into law what we already do,” she continued. “I stand before you today asking for respect. … We’re talking about me. I’m your colleague.”

  5. ElliotFladen says:

    Trying to penalize people for pronoun usage is thought control.

    The Dems have gone too far.

    • Voyageur says:

      How do you stand on the issue of whether failing to bake a celebratory cake should be a crime, Elliot?

      Be a good girl and give us your opinion.

    • unnamed says:

      The fact that you think making sure Trans individuals are shown respect is thought control is part of the problem.  This bill exists because trans people have been treated as less than.  If it can't stop through civility, it has to stop through law.

      • ElliotFladen says:

        Is it disrespectful to call me 5 foot 7 when I am 5 foot 7?  Or should I have the right to mandate that you call me 6 foot tall?  Because feelings and such?

        • unnamed says:

          If you were transitioning yourself to be 6 feet tall, yes I would.  You know, if such a process exists analogous to the process for transgender people who are transitioning.

          • ElliotFladen says:

            There is no process to transition from male to female.  Or vice versa.  

            There is a process to make one have less of the body type typical of the gender they were born with and become more of a “miscellaneous” gender.  And I don’t have any issues with people going forward with such a process.  Live and let live after all. 

            So again, this is about reality. Do you want to compel people to lie or do you want them to have at least the option to tell the truth? Because even if government should have the right to compel certain speech that right should be drastically diminished if the speech to be compelled is a lie.

            The problem is when people try to compel others to lie and say that the process has more of an effect than it actually has.  Those sorts of compelled lies lead to facially silly stories as the attached link:

            The dad who gave birth: ‘Being pregnant doesn’t change me being a trans man’ | Transgender | The Guardian

            • unnamed says:

              WebMD disagrees with you:

              Step 2: Hormone Therapy

              Hormones control what doctors call secondary sexual characteristics, such as body hair, muscle mass, and breast size. 

              Women making the transition to men take male hormones, or androgens. These hormones make them appear more masculine. The treatment:

              • Deepens the voice
              • Enhances muscles and strength
              • Boosts the growth of facial and body hair
              • Enlarges the clitoris


              And this is only part of the PROCESS.  You can read about the rest HERE


              • ElliotFladen says:

                You do understand that Gender is not a medical concept, right? It is a philosophical concept. 

                Your article is akin to trying to design a falsifiable experiment on a normative question. 

                • unnamed says:

                  You do understand that Gender is not a medical concept, right? It is a philosophical concept. 


                  And yet you are willing to die on the hill of addressing someone by their preferred pronoun is thought control as well as speech control.

                  If it is a philosophical concept, why get hung up on addressing a transgender person with their preferred pronoun as being a lie?

                  And, it's rich that you go from definitively saying there is no process for transitioning to talking around it when you are shown to be wrong.

                  • ElliotFladen says:

                    Because regardless of its derivation it both exists and also exists for good reasons.  And forcing people to pretend otherwise has compelled speech aspects. 

                    I'll give you some real world examples.  My brothers (who I hardly agree with on anything) are ultra-orthodox rabbis.  They are simply – by religious beliefs – not allowed to (a) shake hands or touch a non-immediate family member female; (b) pray in the same section as a woman or have a woman count towards a minyan (minimum number of people that make a quoroum to have a religious service); (c) be in eye sight of a woman in a bathing suit; (d) be alone in a house with an unrelated woman (pretty sure on that one but not 100% positive); and even (e) even listen to a recording of a woman singing. 

                    Now you can get into whether those rules make sense or not.  I personally think they are ridiculous.  But no matter, the point is that they believe in them.  And guess what: a woman that purports to "transition" to a man does not change the application of them.  She will still trigger them, even if she goes around seeking to compel people to refer to her as him. 

                    And that gets to the fundamental issue here: gender doesn't simply cease to exist simply because it is a philosophical concept.  It is out there, it is real, and forcing people to pretend otherwise is compelling them to lie.  

                    • unnamed says:

                      Okay.  So, if somebody is taking hormone therapy and undergoing transitional surgery as part of the PROCESS you at first claim didn't exist and then tried to dismiss and dance around it and then claim that when a transgendered person who wishes to be called by their preferred pronoun, as being part of an Orwellian plot to convince you 2+2 = 5 because of how it works in religious institutions.

                      But asking that basic respect be shown to people is just a bridge too far:

                      A recent study showed that in transgender youth, using correct pronouns and names reduces depression and suicide risks.

                      Having trouble understanding why this would upset someone? Think about your pronoun (it’s probably “he” or “she”). Now imagine someone calling you the one you don’t think of yourself as. Imagine them doing it over and over and over, even after you’ve corrected them.


                      By all means, if you identify as male, nobody should contradict that.  Identifying transgendered people by their preferred pronoun does not hurt you, and it is beneficial to them.

                    • ElliotFladen says:

                      I have never disputed that there is a hormonal and genitalia altering process.  There clearly is.  I have simply disputed that it successfully changes one's gender from male to female (or, even more difficult to argue, female to male). 

                      The remainder of your argument is simply that it is morally correct to compel people to lie to protect feelings of people hurt by truth.  We just aren't going to agree there. 

                    • unnamed says:

                      I don't expect that you would agree with me on that.  But, hey it's okay to hurt trans people in the name of (YOUR) truth, because not doing so is thought control.

                    • ElliotFladen says:

                      But “your” truth is a cop out. 

                      Again, gender is either:

                      1) Sex outright;

                      2) A social construct (which means it is still sex because that is how most people view it); or

                      3) An individual construct. 

                      But if gender is simply whatever the hell you individually determine it to be based on your own self-identification, what point is there in it in the first place?  So I’d contend that arguing that it is #3 is utterly disingenuous. 

    • kwtree says:

      Hey, Elliot. Nice to hear from you. But there is no “pronoun” law in Bill 21-1108.

      The bill simply adds transgender people as a class specifically protected from discrimination in housing, employment, etc. 

      Rep. Van Beber ( R- Weld) made the usual distracting slippery slope argument that 1108 would mandate penalties for misgendering someone, as Shawnee State U may have done. The misgendering prof won in court, which in my opinion doesnt make him a free speech warrior….just another right wing dick. But it had absolutely nothing to do with Colorado’s law.. 

      • ElliotFladen says:

        My understanding from contacts is that similar language has been used in other jurisdictions to give rise to a cause of action to compel pronoun use corresponding to an employee's desired versus actual gender.  Regardless of whether that will in fact happen here in Colorado there was no good reason to shoot down the amendment.  It should have been utterly uncontroversial and the fact that it was both killed and that ColoradoPols thinks that such killing was the correct decision shows that there is both a massive echo chamber effect going on here and also a massive blind spot to Dem overreaching on this issue. 

        To be clear, I don't have a problem with certain Trans issues.  For example, I think puberty blockers to Trans kids makes eminent good sense in certain contexts.  But when you start moving from enabling Trans people to live the life they want to live and more towards compelling speech and beliefs on pain of potential civil/licensure liability, that is WAY too far for both me – and my guess – Colorado. 

    • Old Time Dem says:

      Janet Weiss and Brad Majors are students, married to each other, in Professor Fairwether’s class. In the first class, the good Professor calls on Brad and addresses him as “Mr. Majors,” and calls on Janet and addresses her as “Mrs. Majors.”  After class, Janet approaches the Professor and tells him her name is Janet Weiss, and she uses the honorific “Ms.”

      The Professor says, “Sorry, Mrs. Majors. I address all married students with the honorific ‘Mrs.’ and the surname of their husband.”

      Janet complains to the Dean, and the Dean points out to the Professor that it is both common courtesy and the University’s policy to (1) refer to student’s by their actual names and (2) not use Mrs. except when the student requests it (and no student in 40 years has requested it).

      Professor says, “I’m religious! My sincere belief is that woman are their husband’s property and must take their husband’s surname. And, the honorific Ms. is a creation of devil-worshipping feminazis. It isn’t even actually a contraction of anything!”

      Dean writes up the Professor. Professor sues.

      Result? And what is the difference between a pronoun and an honorific? And, how is this scenario meaningfully different from Jane Doe, who only wants Professor Meriwether to call her by her correct name?

      • kwtree says:

        There is no law requiring a woman to take her husband’s surname, nor to use the title “Mrs.” That law was decided about 50 years ago. 

        However, if Professor Fairwether insists on being an arrogant, sexist dick, the present Supreme Court will uphold his “freedom of speech”. That’s my reading of the 2018 decision I cited below in my long-ass discussion with Elliott. Amicus Center for Arizona Policy BOM.pdf  

        The only ambiguity I see is whether the university would have to pay the Prof. damages or rehire him. That seems to depend on whether said school is a private or public entity. 

  6. ElliotFladen says:

    Not sure whether to give you Karma for an on topic microaggression or just simply chuckle Voyageur.

    The government should not be in the business of compelling speech. That the Dems are doing this at the same time the GOP is going nuts on other crap really makes things the choice between two evils. 

    • Duke Cox says:

      Ask anyone, Elliot, who ever worked with developmentally disabled people about the damage that can be inflicted with words.

      The 1st Amendment is not inviolate. Compelling speech that protects a class of citizens from harm seems just what government SHOULD be about…

      …Don’t you think?


      • ElliotFladen says:

        This isn’t simply a question of words.  It is a question of reality and compelling others to lie to deny it.   Reality may be painful to some people.  It was painful for me to be only 5 foot 7 inches when my younger brothers were each over 6 feet tall.  But guess what: that hardly made it a moral imperative for people to lie and call me a 6 foot tall person.  

        Same concept here: it doesn’t matter that the reality that some men wish they were born as women and vice versa is painful to those people.  They were born the way they were born and forcing people – on pain of liability – to lie about the same is not moral.  In fact, it is compelled speech.  That it is the Democrats refusing to create a safe harbor for such first amendment rights (for pure speech, not different treatment) shows that they are significantly overreaching on this issue. 

        • kwtree says:

          Oh, OK. You’re rejecting the entire legitimacy of transgender identity. You should have said so at the start. That puts you at odds with modern medicine and psychology, not just “Democrats”. 

          But whatever…you do you. 

          • ElliotFladen says:

            Wrong.  Transgender people clearly exist.  Both people born with genitalia conditions (i.e. androgen insensitivity, micropenis, Klinefelter’s Syndrome, etc.) along with people who simply have brain chemistry that corresponds to their desired versus their actual gender.  No dispute on either point there. 

            The question is not whether transgender people exist.  Instead it is what the meaning of gender is?  Is gender (a) simply sex; (b) a social construct; or (c) an individual construct?

            I go with (a) – it is simply sex.  But even if it is (b), in our society, it remains simply sex because that is the predominant view of what gender is.  To the extent you want to argue it is (c), an individual construct, I’d question what you think even the point of gender is in the first place. 

            • kwtree says:

              If you’re asking, I think gender is complex, comprising physiological, social, and individual influences. I’ve never been comfortable with a traditional female role, for example, but that’s just not accepting sexism – I’m quite happy with my gender identity as a woman. I can’t really understand what it might feel like to not fit in my own skin– but I’ve met enough trans kids and adults to know that pain is real. 

              You are the king of “hypotheticals” – fighting grand mock battles on possible problems of compelled speech that are not at issue in daily life – certainly not in the legislation that is the subject of this post. If you find a real “compelled speech” case that those horrid Democrats are encouraging, then bring it and try to engage people on it, if you must. 


              • ElliotFladen says:

                But whether “gender roles” should be given deference is a distinct issue from whether “gender” exists.  I don’t give a shit about gender roles: disregard them or follow them to your heart’s (and your partner’s heart (?)) content.  Whether you choose to follow “gender roles” or tell them to f-off has no bearing on whether “gender” exists in the first place.  

                Gender exists.  And yes, its existence clearly causes pain for people who wish they had been born a different gender.  If the last few decades have taught us anything on this subject it is that this pain is real, is not a mental illness, and should be treated with dignity and respect. 

                But that does NOT mean we should lie to ameliorate the pain.   And here that is precisely what the Dems and ColoradoPols are demanding be done through the shooting down of the amendment and the cheering on of the same: that people have their speech chilled to the point that they feel compelled to lie about a person’s gender. 

                That is both outside what is permissible amelioration that society should demand in these situations and also repugnant to the First Amendment.  As I said before, the Dems have gone too far here as has ColoradoPols on this topic.  Does not mean I will go back to supporting the now Boebert-led GOP.  But it does mean that I am more nauseous than before with opposing it in this post-Trump era.

                • kwtree says:

                  This is settled law. SCOTUS has struck down “compelled speech” multiple times, so it’s really a non- issue, and a straw man for you to go after Dems. An exception is commercial and business compelled speech; they can fire you if you don’t talk right. 

                  In a public school setting, teachers are given “suggestions” to use a trans student’s preferred name and pronouns. There is no penalty for non-compliance, except that penalty for  generally being an obnoxious a-hole to children. That penalty is you don’t get to work at a  school that values tolerance and compassion. SCOTUS would likely uphold the fired teacher’s rights to “free speech”  in a public school, but not those of an employee in a business. 

                  • ElliotFladen says:

                    Duplicate comment deleted for being in wrong place

                  • ElliotFladen says:

                    SCOTUS ruled (wrongly IMHO but whatever), that Title VII's prohibition on sex discrimination implicitly included gender discrimination. 

                    Its been a few months since I read the opinion but I cannot recall that decision dealing with a compelled speech argument.  Can you please provide a pin cite? 

                    • kwtree says:

                      Nope, can’t do that. I’m no lawyer, just a competent researcher. The closest I found was a 2018 case brought by a funeral home. It looks to me like SCOTUS followed its precedents and ruled that public institutions can’t compel speech, including preferred pronouns. As a trained lawyer, it will make more sense to you. 

                      I  just point out that SCOTUS has repeatedly ruled in favor of people complaining that some entity has tried to compel their speech. Absent a 2 person change in the makeup of SCOTUS, your right to be a hateful, inconsiderate asshole to transfolk is still protected.

                    • ElliotFladen says:

                      Usually compelled speech arguments come up where there is some combination of speech and conduct.  My understanding (and it is has been a LONG time since I studied first amendment law), is that the more the government tries to regulate something that is pure speech and not conduct, the weaker the position it is standing on is.  

                      And assuming I am right there, forcing somebody to say a specific pronoun is much more speech and much less conduct than baking a cake.  Of course, I'll defer to first amendment experts on this one. 

    • JohnInDenver says:

      ElliotFladen — what “speech” has been implicated by the existing civil rights law, which will have transgender added to the list?

      If you are worried about the icing on the cake issues, do you really assume whoever wrote something on a cake is responsible for the expression?  If it is “art” rather than “commerce,” and thus the artist is having expression coerced?  I don’t think the laws as they have developed OR most of the people in our society would label someone who takes an order for particular materials, colors, size, expression to be on the product, and a firm delivery date, then produces to match that order, to be “artistic.”  I guess your sense may vary.


      • Voyageur says:

        In fairness, John, Elliott never raised the cake issue.  I did, just to mess with him by “misgendering” him as “girlie.” 

         He took the line in the humorous way it was intended and we both got a chuckle.

        As to the cake issue, it would be wise to let the issue lie.  Do you really want Amy Barret to rule on this issue?  The court would probably use the chance to reinstate stoning as the punishment for same sex relations.

      • ElliotFladen says:

        I'm concerned about the following scenarios:

        1) Employer who believes gender is determined by chromosomes (largely presumed from birth certificate and ignoring rare cases like androgen insensitivity and Klinefelter's syndrome) gets a workplace discrimination lawsuit because employer insists on calling the employee the pronoun corresponding with the employee's actual (and not desired) gender.  PURE COMPELLED SPEECH

        2) Attorney, doctor, other professional is required, on pain of professional discipline, to call opposing counsel/opposing party/witness/patient/colleague/etc. pronoun corresponding with said person's desired gender instead of pronoun corresponding and not actual gender.  PURE COMPELLED SPEECH

      • ElliotFladen says:

        Duplicate comment edited for deletion

  7. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Life seemed to be a lot simpler back in the day when the late Dr. Stanley Biber was doing his thing down at Mount San Raphael Hospital in Trinidad. 

    Biber didn’t indulge in any feel good stuff. He made his prospective patients wait for a year, and undergo intensive psychotherapy, before he would initiate hormone treatment and perform the sex change surgery. I did disability work for a year or two, and had a couple of applicants who had all the prep work before surgery, and then filed for disability afterwards. Reason: they were depressed and despite all the prep, regretted the surgery. They didn’t get benefits because they could still work.

    Biber never got near anyone under age 18. He was wise, unlike some of the “woke” types of today.

    Whatever happened to plain old common sense politeness of meeting people where they want to be? If I ever meet her, it would be “Hello Representative Titone,” or “Hello Ms. Titone.”  If I knew her, it would be “Hey Brianna.” And heck with the pronouns. 

    For VG: to paraphrase Marie Antoinette’s alleged comment: “let them eat cake, unless it’s made by Jack Phillips.”

    Oh, if you think trans gender folks have problems, try running for office in most states if you’re an admitted atheist.

    • kwtree says:

      Ah, Trinidad. Beautiful little hilly town. And the only place with storefront displays of sexy shoes in women’s extra-large sizes.

      Out of curiosity, I looked to see who represents Trinidad in the Leg. Richard Holtorf in the House and Cleave Simpson in the Senate. Both Republicans. Holtorf is an election “truther” who wants an election audit to happen. No word on how Holtorf may vote on Daneya Esgar’s bill 1108. Simpson seems moderate.

      Just a hunch, but transgender folks may have more real-world problems than atheists considering running for office.

      • notaskinnycook says:

        kwtree, you’re wasting keystrokes on Elliot, on this topic. He has a visceral problem with transfolk. Maybe someday he’ll ‘fess up and tell us why. He couches it in legal nonsense but there’s something very personal about it for him. If anyone here ought to care that he’s such a jerk about it, it is I, but I just can’t be bothered. He has a constitutional right to be an ass.


        • ElliotFladen says:

          You seem to be one of these lazy activist types who mistake disagreements over semantics/classifications for disagreements over conduct/treatment.  

          If you take a look above, I made quite clear that I am ok with trans children getting puberty blockers in certain contexts, which is utterly inconsistent with your “visceral problem with transfolk” slur.  In fact, at no point did I make a single comment attacking trans people such as saying they have a mental illness or should be discriminated against.  Instead, my remarks have been primarily (once you get past compelled speech issues) on this point: being transgender does not make you your desired gender. That’s it.  

          Yet you insisted on pretending otherwise with your “visceral problem” remark. So let’s call a spade a spade.  I have a “visceral problem” with people who GASLIGHT.  That includes not just people like Sean Spicer who claimed Donald Trump had the biggest inauguration ever, the Kraken attorney Sidney Powell who made one unfounded claim after another regarding the 2020 election, and trans activists who claim that they are men when they are pregnant and/or menstruating.  That also apparently now includes you unless your comment was based not on malice but sheer laziness/stupidity. 

          • Voyageur says:

            Elliot, three points.

            1. In my mind’s eye, you’re 6′ tall and 185 lbs.

            of course, I visualize all men I haven’t met as about that, which puts them about 2 and a half inches shorter and 35 pounds lighter than I was while serving as varsity defensive tackle for the Holyoke Dragons.

            just remember that Dynamite comes in small packages.

            2. You have waged an honorable if exhaustive fight against kwtree on a point of political correctness.  That sound of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” you hear is her summoning all her reserves to ideological battle.  

            She will never surrender while Google still offers her logistical support.  Like the Russians at Stalingrad, she will wear you down by sheer persistence, hurling wave after wave of dazed infantry across the Volga every night to hold the Red October Factory at all costs. 

            Fight on if you must but consider retreating to more defensible ground.  Your compelled speech line is right, legally and philosophically.   But as he so often does, Duke cut to the heart of the matter by noting that it amounts to defending the right to be rude and discourteous.  There is, as there must be, such a right in law, just as Rudy Guiliani has the right to fart in a crowded elevator.  But in a world direly in need of more kindness and civility, the exercise of the right to be rude is the most dubious of battles.

            3.  Please change your mind about Notaskinnycook.  If you ever meet her and her wife, Karen, you will find them to be loving, caring and, in Karen’s case, rather shy .

            Your defense of the right to be rude caused pain to someone dear to the Cook and earned her rebuke.  She was thus right to recognize that you were exercising your constitutional right to be an ass.

            I would suggest that you draw up to your full six feet of Pols dignity and apologize to these two most decent of women for any pain you may have inadvertently caused them.

            • MichaelBowman says:

              I echo your sentiments on skinny and Karen completely, V. Thank you.  For a dragon you’re not a bad guy 😂

              • Voyageur says:

                I still remember the cool night in Yuma in 1963 when Bernie McCall, who would later quarterback CU, forced us into a goal line stand.  I blew by their guard and hit him with everything I had.  It was like running into a tree.  I remember sliding slowly down his legs while he glared at me.  At last, reinforcements arrived and we dragged him down,  short of the goal.

                Alas, next play they ran to the left side of the line and scored.

                Ahh, how fleeting is glory.  But 59 years later I still remember I stopped Bernie McCall for one play.

                • Duke Cox says:

                  You have triggered a memory of my own, V.

                  Never a large boy, I stood 5'7" and weighed in at 145 pounds, soaking wet, my senior year of high school. My athletic career in school was very spotty as I spent most of my time in the library…a bookworm was I.

                  I played defensive back on a team of suburban white boys who finished the season with one win and nine losses. During the game against Naples H.S. which we lost 64-0, they ran the states #1 running back right at me, three times in succession. 

                  What I remember was how much it hurt to tackle that guy. The first tackle jarred me to my bones…the second time hurt so bad my ancestors could feel it. After I stopped him the third time, just short of the goal line I am proud to say, I could not get up without help. I felt like I had been hit by a truck.

                   I did not play football in college. A wise decision, I think.

            • ElliotFladen says:

              The Flight of the Valkyrie paragraph brought a smile to my face.  That said, I keep seeing in discussions (not limited to this discussion here) an effort to put my objections on semantics/classifications as one of “transphobia” or “visceral hatred”. 

              Those efforts to limit my objections are just lazy arguments borne out of something akin to bigotry towards conservative views.  I’ll take your word that NotASkinnyCook is a decent person.  Her point that I was reacting to though was completely off base.  

        • kwtree says:

          Cook, when I research and write to explore a topic, it’s as much for myself and my own understanding as for anything else. So I don’t consider it a “waste”, although clearly Elliott’s out of step with most progressive people in his claim that

          being transgender does not make you your desired gender

          Also pretty clear that he won’t change his mind on that. His law firm hopefully will never assign him a case with a transgender or gender-nonconforming asylum seeker, who often face horrific repression in their home countries. That client would probably prefer a lawyer that doesn’t misgender them, if they have a choice.

          His pro bono immigration work, by the way, is a reason why I’m willing to take the time to engage with Elliott, in spite of his weird obsessiveness on this issue, and knee-jerk insulting of your intelligence.

          His nonsense about  “Dems compelling speech” was something I felt compelled to research, although he was too lazy to look up the sources himself, instead citing anonymous “contacts” , who were “concerned” that Democrats would criminalize people who refuse to use preferred pronouns. 

          That “compelled speech” straw man is foundational to the hundreds of anti-Trans laws now being introduced in state legislatures. RWNJs apparently think anti-Trans hate and fear is a winning issue for their party. It’s why it’s worth becoming informed on it, which was the pointof the original post.

          • ElliotFladen says:

            Just to be clear, I haven’t done pro bono immigration stuff in years (too depressing with the 1996/1997 law changes) and have been practicing on my own for years.  Also, I’m able to segregate my personal views on a topic and the views of my client.  I’ve referred to opposing counsel as that counsel’s desired gender (though I thought it wrong), because I believed that was what was in my client’s best interest to do.  Similarly, when I was at DOJ I prosecuted Fair Housing Act claims and defended the Government’s efforts to reject asylum claims though I disagreed with both on a philosophical level.  

            As attorneys, we don’t always get the luxury of being white knights for our views.  We are advocates, to the extent ethically allowed, for what is in our clients’ best interest.  Nothing more. 

            • kwtree says:

              So in your professional capacity, you are capable of courtesy and deference to your client’s interests. That’s hopeful, I guess.

              If you did advocate for a transgender asylum-seeker, would your “principles” cause you to emulate the people who drove them from their native country? Would you insist on using your , rather than their, preferred pronouns? 

              Following the latest culture war fad of insisting that physiology is destiny would endear you to the Boebert/Gaetz wing of the Republican Party. So there’s that.

              • ElliotFladen says:

                Client comes first.  

                So if I were taking on such a case, I would use the language most likely to advance their position within realm of what is ethically permissible. 

                • Duke Cox says:

                  Elliot…do you think people who prefer to write with their left hand should be forced to use their right one…like the rest of us?

                  They seem to be that way from birth and were discouraged for centuries from writing with their left hand. Maybe we should still do so. Isn't that kinda what you are saying?

                  • ElliotFladen says:

                    Well, I don't think that people who identify as the wrong gender should be forced to present as the gender they are (certain privacy and competition issues excluded). 

                    As for hand dominance, that isn't a social construct so a bit of apples/oranges there. 


    • JohnInDenver says:

      "Different" people almost always have problems — and based on numbers alone, the number of elected officials who are "admitted atheists" (what are they admitted to?), outspoken agnostics, transgender women, transgender men, bisexuals, and prominent naturists/nudists all have a claim on being "rarest."  All who succeed are still being described as "the first xxx" ….

      We've made modest progress … we have many fewer "firsts," and those who get the ordinal numbers represent smaller and smaller portions of our population and are further up the political hierarchy. 

    • notaskinnycook says:

      Just for the record, CHB, Dr. Stan followed the standards of care for the treatment of transfolk. They weren't his rules:


  8. notaskinnycook says:

    Deleting duplicate

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