Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Top Stories This Week
1. Trans Lives/Trans Voices next week;
2. Polyamory and the law;
3. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation;
4. LGBTQ+ students suing over discrimination;
5. What it’s like to be a pregnant abortion provider;
6. Removing sex from birth certificates; and
7. Supporting Black birthing people.
SFS21: Up next - Trans Lives/Trans Voices
Sam Davis is a Black, Queer native of Washington D.C. and a community activist who is passionate about celebrating and supporting LGBTQIA+ students. Join them as they share their coming out story next Friday.
Get registered today, and check out Ground Floor Theatre’s other fantastic storytellers and their stories here.
Polyamory and the law (Harvard Law Today)
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we have a fundamental human right to form a family. Elaine McArdle details the intersection between polyamory and the law: “While polyamorous relationships come in a wide variety of forms, at their core is the idea that people should be able to choose how they shape their families, including how many consenting adults they wish to be included. [...] Yet despite the emphasis on love among its adherents, polyamorous relationships have few legal protections and people and families face discrimination in such basic needs as jobs, housing, and obtaining health insurance for more than one partner.” Read more.
The Unbearable Narcissism of Andrew Cuomo (The Nation)
The sexual freedom movement recognizes that we all have a human right to safety from abuse and harassment, including in the workplace. Joan Walsh writes about Andrew Cuomo’s resignation: “Minutes before New York Governor Andrew Cuomo belatedly but still shockingly resigned [Tuesday, August 10], his lawyer Rita Glavin spent 45 minutes spewing ever more unbelievable excuses for the 11 credible accusations of sexual harassment and assault against him, attacking at least three of his accusers by name. ‘The complainants need to be scrutinized just as much as the governor, and that didn’t happen here,’ she said. When Cuomo appeared, it looked like he was prepared to continue the pathetic defense he began a week ago. Instead, he resigned—a move both unavoidable and unexpected.” Read more.
LGBTQ+ Students At Religious Schools Are Suing Over Discrimination (Teen Vogue)
Zachariah Sippy and Marie-Rose Sheinerman highlight the class-action suit brought by the Religious Exemption Accountability Project, a group of LGBTQ+ students and alumni who allege that the Christian universities they attended discriminated against them: “One of those students, Elizabeth Hunter, a recent alumna of Bob Jones University, had chosen the school believing it to be the most progressive option her parents would accept. In her junior year, Hunter says, she came to realize she was gay, and at the time hoped to stay in the closet indefinitely: ‘I could, like, never come out to my family, and it was gonna be fine.’ But in the fall of her senior year, Hunter says, she was called into a meeting with university administrators and greeted with a manila envelope full of printouts of her past social media posts. An administrator told her, ‘You must be homosexual because why else would you tweet ‘Happy Pride,’’ Hunter recalls.” Read more.
What It’s Like to Be a Pregnant Abortion Provider (Rewire News Group)
Reproductive rights, including abortion rights, are human rights. Everyone has the right to make informed decisions about their body and health—and to determine whether or when to have children. Stephanie Chen shares what it’s like to be a pregnant abortion provider: “Many of my patients are going through incredible emotional struggles. So I had wondered at first if my visible pregnancy might cause them further distress, and prepared myself for negative reactions. Instead, everyone congratulates me, and patients often want to know every detail of my pregnancy. Despite our different circumstances, talking about my baby allows my patients and me new opportunities to connect and bond.” Read more.
American Medical Association Recommends Removing Sex From Birth Certificates (them.)
Britni de la Cretaz explains a recent recommendation from the American Medical Association: “In an incredibly significant—and long overdue—move, the American Medical Association (AMA) has recommended that the ‘sex’ designation be removed from the public facing portion of babies’ birth certificates, reserving that information for medical professionals. The recommendation comes because ‘assigning sex using a binary variable and placing it on the public portion of the birth certificate perpetuates a view that it is immutable,’ the AMA’s LGBTQ+ advisory committee stated in a June report. […] The current requirement to list a baby’s binary sex or gender category in publicly available documentation can lead to many challenges, disproportionately impacting trans, non-binary, and intersex people.” Read more.
Supporting Black Birthing People (Woodhull’s Sex & Politics Blog)
Tess Joseph comments on the gestational mortality crisis: “Recent years have brought more attention to the U.S. gestational mortality crisis, and a variety of articles have correctly noted that said crisis disproportionately affects Black birthing people. But the vast majority of articles employ gendered language to describe the crisis as one of maternal mortality largely impacting Black women. In so doing, they fail to accurately understand what the crisis is and who it affects. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to mitigate an issue without that information. If we focus only on Black cis-women, we ignore the vast expanse of Black people who can get pregnant and need accessible, quality gestational care. Language, in this context, can be a matter of life and death.” Read more.
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