From the March-April 2021 issue of News & Letters
When Ohio refused to change the birth certificate of Transgender man Jack Henning-Sepkoski to recognize his gender identity, he created a Change.org petition to change Ohio’s law. More than 136,000 individuals have signed. Until Ohio resumes honoring gender marker changes on birth certificates, as it had done until 2016, it is not complying with a federal judge’s ruling that Ohio’s law banning such changes is unconstitutional.
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Chicago’s famous Boystown neighborhood has been struggling with racism for a long time. In a summer 2020 virtual town hall, the Chicago Black Drag Council made sure performers of color voices were heard, confronting the white performers, show runners and bar owners for their racist actions that made it difficult for their colleagues of color to perform. The town hall happened after protests objected to the racism performers and their audiences faced from business owners and customers, who were afraid of the crowds that rap and hip hop performers would attract. Performers of color are now finally allowed to entertain in Boystown bars.
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Three countries are denying Baby S a passport. Her Spanish birth certificate lists her two married mothers, but neither are Spanish citizens, and Spain does not grant birthright citizenship. Gibraltar, British Overseas Territory, doesn’t recognize Baby S as a citizen, ruling that her Gibraltarian mother can’t pass her citizenship on to any children not born in the UK. Because Bulgaria recognizes marriages only between one woman and one man, and does not grant passports to children from same-sex marriages, her Bulgarian mother is suing Bulgaria in the European Union Court of Justice. The Court is hearing a similar case brought by married mothers from Poland and Ireland. The judgments in the two cases will be far-reaching, because many same-sex couples have stateless children. Such children can have difficulty enrolling in school, gaining employment and accessing healthcare. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she will work to strengthen the rights of LGBTQ families.