Daily Fix: F*cking Kim Davis, Man and More News Stories

Order in the Court

+ In a landmark decision, a U.S. appeals court granted a Mexican trans woman asylum on Thursday. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Edin Carey Avendano-Hernandez, an undocumented woman from Oaxaca, must not be deported because “more likely than not” she would be tortured in Mexico. Avendano-Hernandez came to the U.S. as an undocumented worker in 2000 after years of suffering from abuse, beatings and rape. She began hormone therapy and presenting as a woman in 2005. In 2006, she was convicted twice for driving under the influence and convicted of a felony for the second offense after injuring two others in a crash. She served one year in jail and then was deported in 2007. After suffering more abuse in Mexico, Avendano-Hernandez returned to the U.S. and appealed for asylum under the protections afforded refugees in the United Nations Convention Against Torture. The three-judge panel’s ruling found that the immigration board who initially considered Avendano-Hernandez’s plea mixed sexual orientation with gender identity and refused to acknowledge her as a woman. The appeals court also disagreed with the immigration board who found anti-discrimination laws in Mexico made it safer for trans individuals. Reuters reports:

“Country conditions evidence shows that police specifically target the transgender community for extortion and sexual favors and that Mexico suffers from an epidemic of unsolved violent crimes against transgender persons,” Judge Jacqueline Nguyen wrote for the 9th Circuit panel. “Avendano-Hernandez, who takes female hormones and dresses as a woman, is therefore a conspicuous target for harassment and abuse,” Nguyen wrote in the 20-page ruling.

+ UPDATED: Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses since June and who was held in contempt of court for not doing her job on Thursday, has been ordered to be released from jail.

U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning ordered she be released from custody and that she “shall not interfere in any way, directly or indirectly, with the efforts of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.” Bunning ordered her release since many of the couples in the case against Davis were able to get married by deputy clerks so the judge ruled the Rowan County Clerk’s Office is now doing their job and issuing marriage licenses to all eligible couples.

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Kim Davis and her lawyer. via ThinkProgress

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She was escorted out of the office by US Marshals on Thursday. Davis was offered a deal that would have allowed her to leave jail if she permitted several of her deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She refused to allow them to do so and decided to remain in jail. Five out of the six deputy clerks ordered to Judge David Bunning’s courtroom agreed to issue marriage licenses to all eligible couples. After being denied a marriage license five times in the Rowan County clerk’s office, James Yates and William Smith Jr. became the first same-sex couple to be married in the county on Friday. At least three other same-sex couples were issued marriage licenses while anti-gay groups and supporters of the same-sex couples protested outsides. On Saturday about 500 supporters gathered outside the jail Davis is being held at. On Sunday, Davis’ attorney filed an appeal over her contempt ruling.

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Jennifer Cramblett

+ Jennifer Cramblett, a white lesbian mom who sued a sperm bank after being impregnated with the wrong sperm, lost her legal battle. Cramblett and her partner Amanda Zinkon chose a white donor but the Midwest Sperm Bank of Downers Grove, Illinois mixed up the vials and instead of sending No. 380, they confused the handwritten number and sent the couple No. 330 which belonged to a black donor. Cramblett took legal action claiming she was unprepared to raise a mixed-race child, Payton, who is now three, and sought damages for wrongful birth and breach of warranty. She claimed the sperm bank’s mistake caused her family stress, pain, suffering and medical expenses. Cramblett also feared her child would be an outcast in her predominantly white community. Cramblett sought at least $50,000 in damages. DuPage County judge Ronald Sutter rejected both claims and threw out the lawsuit Thursday but suggested she refile the suit as a negligence claim.  The case is due back in December.

+ Christine Kitzler, a 48-year-old trans woman, won her right to undergo gender-affirming surgery after a brief legal battle with her parents who filed an emergency lawsuit to prevent her from undergoing surgery claiming she was incompetent. Kitzler’s lawyer explained in court her parents objected to the surgery itself and not to Kitzler’s mental capability to make medical decisions. Bucks County Orphans Court Judge C. Theodore Fritsch Jr. threw out Kitzler’s parents’ petition.


Past, Present, Future

+ Atlanta’s Center for Civil Rights and Human Rights launched the LGBT Institute in hopes it’ll work with universities and LGBT organizations to further the movement and to improve “lived equality” of LGBT people in the South. “Marriage does not make life wonderful for all,” board member Tim’m West told the Associated Press. “For some, it’s the one box to check. For others, there are four or five more that we need to work on.” The Institute plans to focus on education and employment, public health and wellness, and criminal justice and safety. They also plan to open an exhibit that takes a look at Atlanta’s LGBT life since 1969.

+ Older veterans who were kicked out of the military for being gay are now asking that their discharges be upgraded to honorable. According to the New York Times, “as many as 100,000 service members were discharged for being gay between World War II and the 2011 repeal of the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.” Many were given less-than-honorable discharges which barred them from receiving veteran’s benefits and costing them their jobs. A 2011 policy grants veterans an honorable discharge if they were kicked out of the military for being gay. In reality, requesting to be upgraded to an honorable discharge is difficult since there’s a lot of paperwork involved and can bring up lots of trauma for the veteran. 80 percent of the 500 requests filed since 2011 have been upgraded.

+ The University of Tennessee removed advice that encouraged tutors to use a student’s correct pronouns, including gender-neutral pronouns, after they received backlash.

Catholics Say Traditional Families Ideal; Other Family Arrangements Acceptable. Graphic courtesy of Pew Research Center

Catholics Say Traditional Families Ideal; Other Family Arrangements Acceptable. Graphic courtesy of Pew Research Center

+ A new study by the Pew Research Center finds American Catholics are open to nontraditional families which include same-sex parents raising children. 43 percent said same-sex couples as parents would be just as good as any other arrangement for raising children. 23 percent said the arrangement is acceptable but not ideal and 27 percent find it unacceptable. That means in total, 66 percent of American Catholics are ok with LGBT families.

+ The St. Petersburg Police Department is launching a new training program to inform officers on how to identify transgender individuals. The new program comes two months after black trans woman, India Clark’s body was found in a Tampa park  and misidentified by the police.

Yvonne S. Marquez is a lesbian journalist and former Autostraddle senior editor living in Dallas, TX. She writes about social justice, politics, activism and other things dear to her queer Latina heart. Yvonne was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter. Read more of her work at yvonnesmarquez.com.

Yvonne has written 205 articles for us.

31 Comments

  1. I cannot believe these women are still going through with this lawsuit after their daughter has already been a person for three years. They think the community will cause her mental harm for being a minority? How about the years of counseling she’ll have to go through when she can comprehend these lawsuits about her existence? Also, she’ll most likely be made fun of for her parents more or less not wanting her, not the color of her skin. This is just disgusting. I understand being upset about the mixup initially, but then you look at the reality that you’re still going to have a healthy baby girl, and how can you remain upset? This isn’t about the mixup, though. It’s about a couple who refuses to become culturally competent because they would have to look critically at themselves and address their own racial bias. Instead, they’ve chosen to fuck up their child because it’s easier than being self-aware and admitting their faults (insert punching emoji here.)

    • I don’t know this couple, so I can’t really say what they may be thinking, but the truth is that giving a woman the wrong sperm, regardless of race, is a HUUUUGE fuck up on the part of the sperm bank. Choosing sperm, essentially, choosing your child’s genetic makeup, is a HUGE decision, and a woman who is given the wrong sperm absolutely has a cause of action against the sperm bank. I would tend to agree with the judge that negligence would have been a better route to take, rather than wrongful birth, but maybe this couple just thought (or were given legal advice to that effect) that playing the race card would be more likely to get them a decision in their favour? I think (or at least, I hope) that this case is less about this couple being racist, and more about them being opportunistic.

    • I have been reading about this couple for months and my sympathy only extends so far. I still don’t get why this couple just won’t give this child up for adoption so that she can be raised by a LOVING family that actually WANTS her since they are so “uprepared” to do so instead of her having to endure an entire childhood of complaining about how raising her is “too stressful” and causing her parents “suffering”. I really feel bad for this kid because she is going to need a shitload of therapy when she gets older. If these women were really all that concerned about how she would be treated by their white community they would educate themselves and move out of that damn neighborhood to one that is more diverse.

    • By that reasoning, we could swap around all the healthy babies at the maternity ward. If anyone complained, we could call them “disgusting” because they had a healthy baby. How could they possibly be upset? How could they fuck up their child by taking legal action?

      • Not the same imo. It’s one thing to give birth to a child and have that child taken from you and given to someone else. These women are suing a sperm bank on the basis that they ended up with a sperm donor who wasn’t white. They seem to be specifically put out about the race of the child. They wanted a white baby and didn’t get one. That is what this lawsuit is about period. Again, if as they claim, they are so “unprepared” to raise this child due to her race and are suing these people on the basis of the “stress and suffering” it’s causing them to raise her then give up the child so that she can possibly be raised by people who ARE prepared to deal with it. They can still sue the sperm bank, but they are not martyrs for doing so and I don’t feel sorry for them. The issue with me isn’t specifically that they are suing the bank(which they have a right to) it’s how they are behaving as if this child being brought into the world a different race is what’s really upsetting them about this whole case. I’m not pissed off they are suing the sperm bank, I’m pissed off at the way they are speaking about their child in order to win this court case. Okay, so your child is not the race you originally wanted her to be. What are you prepared to do about that now?

        • @turkish My comment was actually in reply to the OP Korinna who seemed to be suggesting that they shouldn’t complain since they had a healthy baby.

          It’s more of an issue that the sperm bank sent sperm from a black donor, since the girl and others will at some point ask why they didn’t use a donor that looked like them. Either they have to lie to their own child (no longer an option), or they have to explain that the sperm bank sent sperm from the wrong donor, and that’s simply not a discussion that they should be forced to have. It’s a problem if they want to have more children too. Do they go with their original choice of donor, or do they repeat the sperm bank’s error and give their daughter a full genetic sibling? Neither way seems ideal.

          Sperm banks make a big deal about how much information they give about their donors, and how many they have to choose from. For them to make a mix up like this, and not take responsibility is horribly wrong.

          There have been similar cases btw, including one in Northern Ireland with a heterosexual couple, and I’ve never seen anything even close to the level of condemnation in this case.

          • Parents having to explain things to their children? The horror. They are entitled to sue the sperm bank on the basis of getting the wrong donor. Fine. The sperm bank absolutely fucked up. I just don’t have much sympathy about the rest of it. And I don’t see how all this whining they are doing about how they are so unprepared to raise a black child and all the stress and suffering they are enduring because of it doesn’t make them NOT racist. Every article I have read about this case phrases it as if they do not want this kid because it is too difficult a burden. Now explain THAT to the kid 18 years from now. I think I would be more damaged about finding out my parents felt that way about me when I was a baby than by the fact they weren’t the same race as me. It’s not like she’s not going to know she is of a different race than her parents growing up. She’s got two eyes. And if they want to have more kids it’s not like they can’t go with a white donor. That seems like such a strawman argument to me to justify this. People foster and adopt kids of multiple races all the time and they seem to get along just fine without going “OMG you are a different race from me! How will we ever relate to each other!”. Suing the sperm bank for compensation is a separate thing. They are obviously doing that. As to everything else, the simple solution to me seems to either be get your shit together and educate yourself in order to raise this kid right or give this kid up to be raised by people who are better prepared for this.

    • I understand how the sperm bank mix up can be a big deal, but at the same time, being a mixed race child to a white parent myself, I am confused why they’re making such a big deal about the mixed race aspect being stressful. If anyone gave my child crap for being mixed race I would probably move to another neighborhood. I just don’t understand how having a mixed race child could be “so stressful.”

      • They are racist. That’s why. You don’t object to having a mixed race child because you aren’t racist. Unsurprising that Allison is supporting them because shes supported Heather Hogan on here when she made a racist comment and quickly ran away when other white women defended me for calling Hogan out. Birds of a feather and all that.

        • They don’t seem remotely racist to me. They wanted a child that looked like them, just like most other people do, for the children’s sake if not for their own. If there’s an obvious mismatch, then the child and others are going to ask why. How would you like to have to explain to your child that the sperm bank sent sperm from the wrong donor by mistake?

          • No they aren’t racist at all. No white woman is ever capable of racism especially a white lesbian on this site. Please go and white knight (literally) for these two idiots somewhere else. Their entire case is based on the fact that they hate their child being mixed race. I honestly hope she gets taken in by a non white couple that actually want her. And please go and lecture other white women on what is and isn’t racist. I’ve met plenty of gay racist women and I don’t need you telling me what is and isn’t racist.

          • And I (and more importantly they) don’t need you telling them whether or not they’re racist or saying they don’t want their child, that they hate their child, or talking about them giving their child away. Have you even listened to what Jennifer Cramblett has to say?

          • They don’t seem remotely racist? Oh my god. People have mixed race children all the time. People adopt non-white children all the time. And they are able to do so without all this pissing and moaning and yes racism about that child’s skin color and having to explain why they look different. If a kid asks why they have a different skin color than you just answer them like a reasonably intelligent person. It is not the insanely difficult feet you are making it out to be. You sound like one of those people who don’t want to see gay people on television or be around them because then they would have to explain homosexuality to their kids and god forbid they actually have to get up off their asses and parent.

            This couple wanted a white child and didn’t get one. Okay then. GIVE THIS KID UP FOR ADOPTION SO IT CAN BE RAISED BY A COUPLE WHO ACTUALLY GIVES A SHIT ABOUT IT. The sperm bank giving them money isn’t going to change the fact they don’t want this kid. AT ALL.

          • Well actually they are racist and seeing as I’m actually someone who has been the victim of racism I know a lot more about it than you or them. Who are more likely to be the perpetrators of racism. As in this case. I have zero sympathy for either of them, my entire sympathy is with their mixed race child who will be subject to racism both inside and outside her home. I don’t listen to what racist white women say regardless of their sexuality.

          • There’s a big difference between a multiracial couple having a multiracial child, adopting a child with a different racial background, and getting one because of a mistake at a sperm bank. The first two are easy to explain, the sperm bank screwup not so much.

            You seem remarkably quick to judge these people, accuse them of being racist, and suggest that they give their child away. Maybe if you and a partner used a sperm (or embryo) bank and gave birth to a child whose donor was of an obviously different racial background to you both, it would be a total non-issue, but then you could just choose a donor at random, and no-one does that. Is it racist for sperm banks to identify each donor’s race, or for recipients to look at that information?

          • Yes I am quick to judge racists. And if I did use sperm banks with my black gf (not that’s it’s any of your fucking business whether we want kids or not but here you go) and ended up with ooh a white child, I wouldn’t throw a racist tantrum about it all over the media. And make my child feel like shit. You have more sympathy for the racist white women than their mixed race child. Maybe you should examine why that it is? Or would that require a level of self awareness you aren’t capable of?

          • @ml66uk The child has already been born. They are going to have to explain to her the circumstances of her birth at some point. Hopefully, they do it in a way that doesn’t make her feel like shit. I have been reading about this case for months and I have yet to read these parents talk about this child in any sort of positive way. It has all been negative. “A burden”, ” an outcast”, etc. Even the way you talk about this case makes it seem like this girl’s is a serious, insurmountable burden all involved are going to have to suffer through. There are white couples who non-white children every day. It is NOT a burden. It’s only a burden when you don’t want the child and think their race is somehow inferior to your own. They don’t have to raise this kid if they don’t want to. Especially is she is going to be raised with some sort complex about her skin color. If you could link me to any information in which this couple talks about this girl in glowing terms and not as something they are being forced to deal with I would greatly appreciate it. I’m not trying to villify them. I’m only going off the information they have provided.

    • I read a couple articles where after she was released her lawyer said she will not violate her beliefs and that licences issued in her absence are void. It’s not over. She won’t comply. When the court checks on her in fourteen days this is all going to start up again.

  2. Re the sperm donor case:
    With or without a lawsuit, and however much this child is loved, one day she’s going to ask her parents why she’s not the same color as either of them, and they’re going to have to tell her the sperm bank messed up. That’s not a question any of them should have to deal with, and they all deserve compensation. The mothers also have to deal with the issue of which donor to use if they want another child (or more children). In their position, I’d go with the same donor so that the children are full siblings, but they may just avoid having more children, since there are downsides to using the same donor or using their original choice.

    The sperm bank caused all of this, and they should pay.

    Similar issues would apply if two parents with blonde hair and blue eyes had a child with dark hair and brown eyes. I don’t think people discriminate against people based on hair and eye color, but the child and others are going to ask questions, and the parents are going to have to explain that the sperm bank messed up.

    I wouldn’t regard either a lesbian or heterosexual couple to be racist in this situation, but it seems to me like the parents are getting a lot more hostility because they’re two women and not a man and a woman.

    • I’m a lesbian, this website is a website for lesbian/bi/queer women. Nobody here is going to be upset about their sexual orientation. I would feel the same way about a straight white couple talking about their child as if she were a huge burden on them the way this couple is. So let’s just get that out of the way first.

      Every kid who has been adopted by someone of a different race is probably going to ask that question about their parents at some point. That is not an excuse that lets anyone off the hook. If you don’t want to raise a child of a different race then don’t, which is why I suggested just giving up the kid. The issue isn’t that they are suing the sperm bank. By all means, sue the sperm bank. It’s the wording they are using as to why they are suing that I personally take issue with. They are not just suing because they got the wrong sperm donor, they are suing because of the RACE of the sperm donor.

      Okay the sperm bank fucked up. Sue them for fucking up. Where do you go from here? They say they are “unprepared” to raise her and are concerned about how their white community are going to treat their child. 1. Why are they assuming their white community is automatically racist and won’t accept the child. 2. What are they prepared to do in that case? Just sit there and complain about how stressful it is? Or get up off their ass and do the work required to educate themselves about raising a child of a different raise? They would be doing their child more of a disservice by raising her in a hostile, racist environment if that is truly the case. So why not move out of that community? They are in desperate need of some counseling. Or as I’ve said above. Give this child up so she can be raised by people who don’t see her as a burden they are struggling to deal with.

      • Exactly. Dragging this shit out and telling their daughter btw we really didn’t want you because you are mixed race is immensely fucked up. But the defence of white lesbians when called out by non white women on their racism is always ‘you are being homophobic’ even when the non white woman is a lesbian/bisexual/queer woman herself. Fingers crossed their daughter gets taken away otherwise she will end up full of self hatred. It’s hard enough being non white in an area full of white people who hate you even when your parents teach you to be proud of who you are. Like mind did. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for a mixed race child to grow up with two parents who are outright racist like these two.

      • That was actually a cut and paste from another forum with the usual anti-gay parenting rubbish and juvenile comments about sperm donation.

        There’s a big difference between adopting a child with a different racial background and getting one because of a mistake at a sperm bank, and the second one is much harder to explain. Having seen her speak, there’s no way she sees her child as a burden, and there’s no way she’s giving her up. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that some of the arguments in court may have been a lawyer’s idea. Their biggest problem seems to be that US sperm banks seem to have zero accountability. There have been too many cases like this, and that’s just the ones where the parents found out, and where it made the news.

        • Even these arguments were crafted by lawyers, they are still out there to read online now for the entire world to see. Including the child at some point who is likely go jump to the conclusion that we did. That she was a burden whose raising caused great suffering to her parents. I have yet to see this kid discussed in a positive light and that is what I find truly disturbing about all this.

  3. I have several extended family members who live in the same town as the couple in the sperm donor case. I’ve often joked that my family will probably forgive me someday for being gay as long as I don’t marry a black girl. The racism in that place runs deep, man. Like, my uncle had a confederate flag hanging on his porch and it took him years to figure out why my parents had a problem with it. I can’t even imagine how many times in my life I’ve said “you just can’t say that” to some off-color joke someone made. My family is not bad people-I love them and enjoy their company-but it’s infuriating how they are stuck in this trap of racism and close-mindedness for generation after generation. I am grateful that my mother moved away when she got married and realized that was not a region she wanted to raise her kids. But the difference between my extended and this couple is that my family is willing to hear when they might be wrong and learn from their mistakes and not repeat whatever rude joke next time because now they understand why it’s wrong. This couple is claiming it’s an emotional hardship to take their kid to a different neighborhood (which is actually MY neighborhood that I love, which makes this way more infuriating for me) to get their kid a haircut. I understand that if they raise their daughter in that area, she might be the only mixed race kid at her school. So, maybe they should move to a different (better) area and try loving their daughter for who she is, because she sure as hell didn’t have control over the color of her skin. For God’s sake.

    That kid is going to be old enough to understand things soon, and I hope someone in their family steps up and takes care of her before she realizes their her mothers think she is the reason for their stress, pain and suffering.

    • If your family are actively racist then they are bad people. I know you don’t want to hear that but they are actively making non whites lives worse so yes they are bad people. You can love them as much as you want but them accepting your sexuality doesn’t absolve them of their racism.

      • Oh, I definitely don’t disagree. They’re definitely assholes. I think there are a lot of good people who are stuck in that trap of “I know they’re bad people but I’m stuck with them because they’re my family.” I just sort of still have hope that they are bad people with the potential to change.

        I agree with K though. The couple mentioned in the article is probably not very welcome in that town anyway and there are a lot of holes in their story and it seems like some awful scheme to get money. I hope that they fall out of the spotlight for a little bit for their daughter’s sake, but I also am curious to know how this ends up.

    • Why the fuck does this couple live in this town? If a town is that racist, they probably don’t exactly love gay people. At least that is my experience living in Southeast Texas. Seems to me like they may share some of the town’s feelings on race if they live there and find raising a mixed race child such an emotional hardship.

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