National Media Trail, March 22-28, 2019

National Media Trail, March 22-28, 2019

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Judge grants transgender teen’s name change

An Ohio judge has reversed his earlier denial of a transgender 15-year-old’s legal name change and is allowing that change, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Warren County Probate Judge Joseph Kirby ruled March 12 that the name change “is in the best interest of the child.”

Kirby previously said in his denial that the teen lacked the “maturity, knowledge and stability” to make such a decision.

Kirby’s reversal comes after the 12th District Court of Appeals ruled his denial of the name change was “arbitrary, unreasonable, unconscionable and based solely upon the transgender status of the applicant’s child.”

Court documents show the teen’s parents applied for the name change after the teen underwent about a year of therapy.

The parents, the teen’s doctor and the therapist supported the name change.


Oregon House moves to update LGBTQ language in statute

The Oregon House of Representatives has moved to scrub language offensive to LGBTQ Oregonians in a bill that also specifies that sexual orientation is not a physical or mental impairment, The Oregonian reported.

The bill passed the Oregon House in a 58-2 vote and heads to the state Senate next.

Rep. Rob Nosse, who is gay, said on the House floor that Oregon’s anti-LGBTQ laws date back to the 1850s when Oregon was a territory, and helped put some people into mental institutions and the state penitentiary. They were enforced until the 1970s, but remnants of those sentiments remain, according to the Portland Democrat.

The measure modernizes language referring to transgender people. It clarifies that sexual orientation isn’t considered a physical or mental impairment, and that a person doesn’t have a disability solely due to sexual orientation.


Surgeon denies posting patient genitalia on social media

A prominent gender-reassignment surgeon has resigned from a Florida hospital after being accused of posting photos of patients’ genitalia along with racist and homophobic comments on his Instagram account, the Northwest Florida Daily News reported. He denies making the posts, saying his account was hacked.

Dr. Christopher Salgado said on March 14 that he planned to continue his efforts to support transgender people.

The accusation surfaced in an anonymous petition filed with the American College of Surgeons. The petitioner accused the University of Miami Health System surgeon of posting graphic photos of male and female genitalia in various stages of surgery on his personal Instagram account @sexsurgeon. The account has since been deleted.

The petitioner said the comments were “horrifically inappropriate,” and harmful to an already vulnerable population. The person also questioned whether Salgado had violated patient privacy laws.


Tennessee lawmakers advance transgender ‘bathroom bill’

Tennessee lawmakers have advanced legislation that critics argue is designed to restrict which public restrooms and other areas transgender people can use, CNN reported.

The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee agreed March 13 to send the proposal to a full hearing after debating the language for just 15 minutes. Roughly a dozen protesters sat in the front row and held signs signaling their opposition to the bill.

Republican Rep. John Ragan, the bill’s sponsor, said the bill is needed due to confusion caused by President Barack Obama-era regulations that had instructed schools to allow students to use bathrooms and locker rooms in line with their expressed gender identity as opposed to their sex assigned at birth.

President Donald Trump’s administration has since rolled back those regulations, but Ragan said confusion remains.


Kansas archdiocese denies enrollment to gay couple’s child

A decision by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas to deny enrollment to the kindergarten child of gay parents has prompted thousands of people to sign dueling petitions, The Kansas City Star reported.

A recent online petition supporting the archdiocese’s decision has received more 7,000 signatures. An earlier petition signed by almost 2,000 members of Kansas City-area Catholic parishes asks officials to change their minds.

Local parishioners learned of the decision when the Rev. Craig J. Maxim of St. Ann Catholic Church wrote a letter to parents last month telling families the archdiocese said the child’s parents cannot “model behaviors and attitudes consistent with the Church’s teachings.”

Maxim wrote this creates a conflict for those children and could be a source of confusion for other children.

— compiled by Larry Nichols

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