This week, the California State Assembly passed a bill that would prevent murder defendants from using “gay panic” or “trans panic” defenses.
Sometimes in murder cases, defendants justify their crimes by saying that they panicked when they discovered the victim was gay or trans, especially if they were sexually involved. And sometimes, it actually gets them off the hook.
Under current California law, murder charges can be reduced to manslaughter if defendants successfully claim their violent acts were triggered by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. …
The defense has been used in several high-profile cases in the state including in 2002 when 17 year-old Gwen Araujo was beaten and strangled by four men in Newark, California.
Two of the four defendants were only found guilty of manslaughter.
The state Senate has already passed the law, so it’s up to Gov. Brown to sign it into law. Please, please, please.
“I am standing with the people of Ferguson who call for peace and justice not as a distant observer but because this struggle impacts all of us: The ability to be who you are in public spaces is more than just a right of citizenship. It is what it means to be human.”
It costs more to buy the hybrid trim on most models. Do the savings on gas justify the price tag? Not really…unless you buy an MKZ. Take a look below to see how many thousands of miles you’ll need to drive before you break even on that hybrid.
The U.K. is finally getting its first sitcom focused on trans characters.
The show is called “Boy Meets Girl,” about a guy who falls for a trans woman. And word on the street is that in this show, unlike in many others, her trans identity is NOT a punch line! (It’s sad that this is a big deal.) In fact, Boy Meets Girl was chosen for an award because of its positive portrayal of trans characters.
The sitcom is set in and around the city of Manchester, England, and the series pilot stars trans actress Rebecca Root. The synopsis of the series, which will air in six half-hour episodes on BBC2, seems to suggest a classic romantic sitcom with a trans twist:
"Leo’s had a bad day. He’s been fired (again), is being given a hard time by his mum and, to cap it all, his blind date fails to show up. But then he bumps into Judy and finds himself deeply attracted to this surprising and beguiling woman. They bond over drinks and, unfazed by the fact that there’s a bit of an age gap between them, arrange to meet the following evening. Leo’s mother is unhappy that he’s having dinner with an older woman. But Leo doesn’t care what she thinks; he knows that he’s just met someone very special."
The cast and premiere date have yet to be announced, but BBC says it’s committed to having a trans actress play the lead character. Awesome, awesome, awesome to hear.
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is, ‘It’s okay.’ It’s okay for me to be kind to myself. It’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to get mad. It’s okay to be flawed. It’s okay to be happy. It’s okay to move on.”—Hayley Williams (via n-ul)
Black people can't open carry? I must've missed that in the Supreme Court ruling. People suck. It's not blacks or whites or Mexicans or Asians. Human beings. Am I saying this shooting is justified? No, bc idk, but the only stories people are forced to listen are the ones when a black person gets shot. As unfortunate and sad as it is, it's not an excuse to act like blacks are the only ones treated that way and blow up the world with woe is me comments. It's police officer inadequacy. Not racism.
We are going to have to agree to disagree; I’ve spent 26 years as a queer black woman so my perspective on police brutality and misconduct will be a little different.
But if you would like to do some reading on the topic there is this lovely article from the Reno Gazette-Journal
A 2007 investigation by Colorlines and The Chicago Reporter looked at media accounts of police shootings and found that “African-Americans were overrepresented among police shooting victims in every city the publications investigated. The contrast was particularly noticeable in New York, San Diego and Las Vegas. In each of these cities, the percentage of black people killed by police was at least double that of their share of the city’s total population.”
Similar disparities show up across other police actions. Take drugs. (Ha!)
Multiple studies have found white and black people use marijuana at similar rates. Given there are 6.5 times as many white people in America, equality of policing would lead one to expect white people to be arrested 6.5 times as much. Not true.
As a 2013 New York Times story put it: “Black Americans were nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested on charges of marijuana possession in 2010, even though the two groups used the drug at similar rates, according to new federal data.”
An even bigger disparity is seen in [Michael] Brown’s hometown. The International Business Times reported that, based on Missouri government figures, black residents of Ferguson are arrested at four times the rate of white residents.
USA Today examined justifiable homicide reports sent to the FBI. It found that over the seven years ending in 2012, a white police officer killed a black person on average twice a week. That number is based on data from only four percent of law enforcement agencies.
"…the only stories people are forced to listen are the ones when a black person gets shot." Did you miss some news stories? Sandy Hook? The Sikh Temple in Wisconsin? The Aurora shooting? Isla Vista in Santa Barbara? Dude these are the ones that I can think up off the top of my head. I know that people have been shot in Tucson because I’ve had several cases come through my hospital. In 2011 the CDC reported 32,351 firearm deaths in the United States!!!! I’m sure those weren’t all black people. Just because you only pay attention to the national news doesn’t mean other citizens aren’t being shot.
Some Other Stuff that Bothers Me!
Not all people who speak Spanish in the United States are Mexican
Asians covers 60% of the world’s population and 30% of the land. I’m going to assume that you aren’t just talking about people who look like the entertainment stereotype with straight, black hair and an epicanthal fold.
So…yeah. We’re just going to have to agree to disagree.
Ryo Oyamada, a 24 year old student from Japan, was struck and killed by an NYPD vehicle in a hit & run. Witnesses say the police car had no lights or sirens on and was going over 70 mph. The released footage by NYPDwas proven to be heavily altered in a cover-up, showing “lights” on the vehicle, when compared to footage from the NY Housing Authority on the same street with the same timestamp.
On a personal note: I know that this will probably not be shared or reblogged very much, because Asians are not very prominent in American culture. I understand this, because Asians (like me) are partially at fault for being so passive. But I am begging you to please consider signing this petition out of human decency. Ryo was just a student walking home, then struck by a nearly silent police cruiser going at excess speed, and the NYPD covered it up.
Here is the side-by-side comparison of the released video footage, including updates from the case. *Edit* This article contains a link to a graphic video moments after the crash, showing the body of Ryo Oyamada and NY citizens yelling at the police. Please advise, it is highly disturbing.
And the following is an excerpt from the petition, which as of now only has 286 signatures.
On February 21st, 2013, Ryo Oyamada was struck and killed by a police cruiser while crossing the street. NYPD claimed that the cruiser’s lights and sirens were on before the collision, but multiple eyewitnesses stated otherwise, that the lights and sirens were only turned on afterwards, and that the cruiser was speeding in excess of 70 mph down a residential street. None of these eyewitnesses were interviewed for the police report.
Today’s update adds a number of medical resources from across North Carolina as well as a new transgender affirming housing provider in the state! We’ll be continuing the Carolina’s next week with South Carolina, so make sure to check back on Wednesday!