Posts tagged with "Transgender"

2020 Democratic contenders take Trump to task with State of the Union guests

February 6, 2019

Democratic 2020 contenders are using President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union Address on February 5 to “put a human face” on their points of contention with the current administration, CNN reports.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is bringing a decorated transgender Navy member to the House chambers to view the speech. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has invited a labor leader recently furloughed from his job at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. And California Senator. Kamala Harris will attend along with a woman who lost her home in a wildfire.

Gillibrand’s guest is Blake Dremann, a transgender Navy lieutenant commander who has been deployed 11 times. The invitation comes after the Supreme Court allowed Trump’s ban on transgender military service to go into effect.

Gillibrand, who battled the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, told CNN that she will introduce legislation in the Senate later this week that would protect transgender Americans’ ability to serve in the military.

Transgender service members like Lieutenant Commander Dremann make extraordinary sacrifices every day to defend our freedom and our most sacred values, and President Trump’s decision to ban them from military service is cruel and undermines our military readiness,” she said in a statement on her official website.

Harris invited Trisha Pesiri-Dybvik, whose home was destroyed in the Thomas wildfire that ravaged Southern California last year. What’s more, during a year of adversities, Pesiri-Dybvik and her husband both work for air traffic control and were furloughed during the government shutdown this year, Harris said.

“Trisha’s story is just one of many stories I heard during the shutdown of Americans whose lives were upended and who faced those difficult days with strength and resilience,” Harris said in a statement on her own Senate website. “Washington needs to hear her story and avoid another harmful shutdown.”

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s guest is Sajid Shahriar, a HUD staffer and labor leader with roles in both the local American Federation of Government Employees and the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.

“It’s time to send a message to President Trump and Senate Republicans: federal and contract workers are the backbone of our economy and their livelihoods should never be used as pawns in Republican political games,” Warren said her February 4 statement.

Others considering presidential runs are also using the State of the Union to advance their political priorities.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is taking aim at prescription drug costs, she said on February 1. Her guest is Nicole Smith-Holt, the mother of Alec Raeshawn Smith, a Type 1 diabetic who died from diabetic ketoacidosis because he couldn’t afford his $1,300-a-month insulin prescription.

Highlighting his advocacy for gun control, California Representative Eric Swalwell invited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor and gun reform activist Cameron Kasky.

One of the sharpest critics of the Trump administration’s family separations at the US-Mexico border, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, invited mother and daughter Albertina Contreras Teletor and Yakelin Garcia Contreras, age 12, who were separated at the southern border last spring.

This child separation policy came from a dark and evil place within the heart of this administration,” said Merkley in a statement on his official website. “Innocent children suffered because of deeds that were carried out in our names and using our tax dollars as Americans. I’m bringing Albertina and Yakelin as my guests to the State of the Union because we need to bear witness to the suffering that this cruel policy inflicted, and resolve to make sure that nothing like this ever happens in the United States of America again.” 

Research contact: @ericbradner

Democrats break barriers in August 14 primaries

August 16, 2018

When Democrats broke through barriers to elect Barack Obama to be the 44th U.S. president in 2008, that was only the beginning. Democratic voters selected a diverse array of history-making candidates in primaries across four states on August 14—including nominating a transgender woman for governor of Vermont, Politico reported.

Christine Hallquist, a former energy executive at Vermont Electric Coop, would be the first openly transgender governor in America if she defeats GOP Governor Phil Scott in November. Meanwhile, former high school teacher Jahana Hayes is poised to become the first African-American Democrat to represent Connecticut in Congress after winning her primary in the 5th District; and in Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, a Muslim and a Somali immigrant who had been a state legislator, won the Democratic nomination for the 5th Congressional District.

The night of firsts came as Democrats also hope to rebuild their party in the Midwest, Politico said—especially in Wisconsin, where voters selected state education official Tony Evers to take on two-term Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the fall.

“It’s a classic midterm election where the ‘out’ party has a terrific opportunity to win,” Democratic pollster Paul Maslin told the political news outlet. “That’s what happened the other way in 2010 and 2014. Now it’s our turn. We don’t want to go overboard but I think we are very hopeful of reversing a lot of the Republican gains over the last several cycles.”

According to a poll taken by Gallup in June, the Democratic edge in party affiliation over the GOP has grown to seven percentage points-the largest it has been in over two years. During the late summer and fall of 2016, Democrats averaged a three-point advantage.

Research contact: datainquiry@gallup.com

Transgender issues: GOP says sex is set at birth

November 10, 2017

In a new public opinion poll of 4,573 Americans by the Pew Research Center, Democrats and Republicans have offered sharply different views on transgender rights.

Overall, roughly half of Americans (54%) say that whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by the sex he or she was assigned at birth; while slightly fewer (44%) say someone can be a man or a woman even if that is different from the that person was assigned at birth.

The views of the U.S. political parties reflect the ideas of their constituents. While 80% of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents say that whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by the sex they were assigned at birth, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (64%) take the opposite view and say a person’s gender can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth.

The survey also finds that Democrats with a bachelor’s degree or advanced education are more likely than other Democrats to say that a person’s gender can be different from the sex he or she was assigned at birth. About three-quarters (77%) of Democrats with a bachelor’s degree or more say this, compared with 60% of Democrats with some college and 57% of those with a high school diploma or less. No such divide exists among Republicans.

Democrats’ views also differ surprisingly by race and ethnicity. Some 55% of black Democrats and 41% of Hispanic Democrats say a person’s gender is determined by the sex assigned at birth—a view shared by just 24% of white Democrats.

Finally, people who say they personally know someone who is transgender are more likely to say society has not gone far enough in accepting transgender people. About half (52%) of those who know someone who is transgender say this, compared with 31% of those who don’t know a transgender person.

The link between knowing someone who is transgender and saying society should be more accepting of transgender people is evident among Republicans and Democrats alike. Among Republicans, 18% of those who know a transgender person say society hasn’t gone far enough in accepting people who are transgender, compared with 10% among those who don’t.

The gap is even wider among Democrats: 71% of those who say they know someone who is transgender say society hasn’t gone far enough in accepting transgender people,; versus 52% of Democrats who don’t know someone who is transgender.

The survey comes amid debates over which public bathrooms transgender individuals should be permitted to use, how transgender individuals should be described on official documents and whether they should be allowed to serve their country in the U.S. military.

Research contact: info@pewresearch.org