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Texas Bill Targeting Transgender Students for Discrimination on Hold

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The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) responded to news that the Texas Legislature’s State House Affairs Committee had delayed a bill singling out transgender students for discrimination. Introduced by Republican State Representative Gilbert Peña, House Bill 2801 would have required schools to adopt policies prohibiting transgender students from using bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with who they are as boys and girls. It would also have made schools liable for a minimum of $2,000 in damages that they would have had to pay to students who complained that they encountered a transgender student in a prohibited bathroom.

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TLDEF Renews Call for Open Transgender Military Service After Sgt. Shane Ortega Shares His Story With the Washington Post

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The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) reiterates its support for lifting the ban on open transgender military service after Shane Ortega, a transgender Army Sergeant, shared his compelling story in the Washington Post last week. Sgt. Ortega is an Army helicopter crew chief who serves in the the 25th Infantry Division at Wheeler Airfield in Oahu, Hawaii.

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TLDEF Praises White House For Stance Against Conversion Therapy

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The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) commends the White House for speaking out against so-called conversion therapy for LGBT minors. Conversion therapy is a widely discredited practice that attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Late yesterday the Obama Administration made its opinion known in response to a White House “We the People” petition calling for a ban on the practice. The petition, signed by more than 120,000 people, came in response to the tragic loss of a transgender teen from Ohio named Leelah Alcorn who died by suicide in late December. The petition says that prior to her death Leelah’s parents “forced her to attend conversion therapy, pulled her out of school and isolated her in an attempt to change her gender identity.”

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TLDEF Applauds EEOC Ruling Affirming Right to Bathroom Access For Transgender People

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The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) strongly commends a ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which found that the Army discriminated against a transgender civilian employee when it required her to use a single-user restroom at work and reprimanded her for using the women’s restroom when the single-user restroom was unavailable. The EEOC concluded that Tamara Lusardi, a Software Quality Assurance Specialist in the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center in Huntsville, Alabama, “was subjected to disparate treatment on the basis of sex” in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Anti-Transgender Petition Drive in Houston Fails

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The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) responded to news that a Houston petition drive aimed at removing protections for transgender people in the city had failed. Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced late yesterday that the group spearheading the petition, Houstonians For Family Values, had failed to collect the 20,000 signatures needed to amend Houston’s city charter. The group was seeking amend the city charter to remove existing nondiscrimination protections for transgender people in the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and in a 2012 Executive Order banning workplace discrimination against city workers.