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Archive for Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gregory apologizes over questioning of transsexual woman

February 10, 2011

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— A group that advocates for gay rights on Thursday criticized state Rep. TerriLois Gregory, R-Baldwin City, over her questioning of a transsexual woman. Gregory issued an apology.

The dispute stemmed from a hearing before the House Elections Committee on a bill that would require photo ID to vote and require new voters show proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, to register to vote.

Stephanie Mott of Topeka testified against the bill, saying the requirements could disenfranchise transgender voters.

“My birth certificate still says ‘Steven’ and ‘Male.’ My driver’s license now says ‘Stephanie’ and ‘Female.’ For me to amend my birth certificate, I must complete several years of medically supervised transition, which will ultimately cost more than $20,000,” Mott said.

Gregory then asked Mott if her choices came with certain costs.

The Kansas Equality Coalition criticized Gregory over her remarks.

“For an elected official to suggest that Ms. Mott, and others similarly situated, must accept disenfranchisement as a cost of their transition is both offensive and outrageous,” said Thomas Witt, chairman of the Kansas Equality Coalition. The coalition advocates against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Mott, who is a member of the coalition, and executive director of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, said she had no choice in becoming a woman.

“It was a choice for me between living and dying. If I hadn’t made the decision to transition, I would be dead today,” she said.

When told of the criticism, Gregory responded, saying, “Based on the statement from the Kansas Equality Coalition and Ms. Mott’s response in committee, it’s clear I worded my question in a way that did not reflect my intent and unintentionally offended Ms. Mott. That’s most unfortunate. I offer Ms. Mott my apology again for the poorly-worded question, and had the conversation continued, I feel sure my desire to help resolve her concerns would’ve been evident. I appreciate her testimony, and know we will consider her insight when working the bill.”

Contacted later, Mott said she appreciated Gregory’s statement. Mott said she hoped Gregory and the committee would realize what a hardship the proposed legislation would be to transgender individuals.

Comments

bearded_gnome 3 years, 10 months ago

“It was a choice for me between living and dying. If I hadn’t made the decision to transition, I would be dead today,” she said.

---ScottR, this statement requires some elaboration.

Fwip 3 years, 10 months ago

I thought it was pretty obvious that she was talking about suicide, either directly or indirectly through substance abuse. A recent study put the rate of suicide attempts for trans people at 41%, over 25 times the national average.

Here is a link to a summary of the study: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/staggering_rate_of_attempted_suicides_by_transgenders_highlights_injustices/

Fred Mertz 3 years, 10 months ago

How does one get a drivers license with a different gender than one's birth certificate? I am interested in the answer and perhaps it can be part of the solution. If there is some documentation required it then can be used (maybe) for the voter registration.

madman 3 years, 10 months ago

I want to know too. Because about 8 years ago, I went into the DMV with some one and when were waiting, there was a transgendered female that got her license. She was very upset because they had put male. She said she wasn't male. They said according to her birth certificate she was. She wanted them to put nothing then. They said they couldn't and she asked if they could put "o" for other. They told her they had to put the gender as it was off her legal document, in this case a birth certificate.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 10 months ago

Spoken like a true defender of democracy.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 10 months ago

Such as the right to keep legal voters from voting.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 10 months ago

That's not a right. Voting is a right. A right to ask for identification is how you end up asking someone for papers.

livinginlawrence 3 years, 10 months ago

Tell me Shrek, which right of your own do you suppose you're defending by belittling the stresses faced by others? If anyone's rights are in need of defense in this situation, it's clearly the transgender folks.

ronwell_dobbs 3 years, 10 months ago

The first of many apologies to be issued by our "local" State Rep. to be sure. What's really great about her gig is that she doesn't even have to live in the 10th District to represent it. Go figure.

snooks 3 years, 10 months ago

Guess you don't live in the same district - she has been living in District 10 for over 4 years. Is currently paying Property Taxes on her home as well - check the County Clerks Office. She stands for accountability, do you?

deec 3 years, 10 months ago

I'll be glad to check the county clerk's office.What's the address or parcel # so I can? Thanks.

deec 3 years, 10 months ago

The search engine on Douglas county's website asks for address, pin/parcel # or plate/record i.d., so if you'll provide one of these, I'll be glad to confirm. thanks.

Horace 3 years, 10 months ago

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Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Kontum1972 3 years, 10 months ago

"Walk on the Wild Side"

"Transfomer".......Lou Reed...

Joseph Jarvis 3 years, 10 months ago

What's with all the transphobia by commenters? I would hope for a little more enlightenment from Lawrence readers. I know Stephanie. She has battled a lot in her life (alcoholism, depression, etc.) coming to terms with her gender identity. If you had to walk a mile in her shoes, I don't think you'd be so quick to judge.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 3 years, 10 months ago

The constitutional right to vote is certainly not a special privilege. She is only taking issue with KKKobach's proposal due to the difficulties that it will cause her in exorcising her right to vote. No matter what you may think about her gender identity above all Ms. Mott is an American Citizen.

sherbert 3 years, 10 months ago

I would think she could only have her license changed when her surgeries are completed and she is actually a woman. Just because you want to be and identify yourself as something else, doesn't mean you are that something else. I don't mean any disrespect to anyone in this situation, but legally, you are what you are, until you aren't, right?

verity 3 years, 10 months ago

"you are what you are, until you aren't"

That is just funny (and so true) on so many levels. An no disrespect meant to anyone.

Lisa Rasor 3 years, 10 months ago

Surgery or no surgery, Stephanie is a woman. Gender identity goes beyond how the body looks.

sherbert 3 years, 10 months ago

I agree, this is too complicated to just label, but there has to be some criteria to determine. Otherwise, people could just change their mind on a whim and say whatever serves them at the moment. I apologize to real gender issue people, they probably wouldn't do this, but there's always those who will abuse it as well.

exhawktown 3 years, 10 months ago

I too respect a person's desire to change his/her name/identity and appearance. But, what does Stephanie do when she wants to fly somewhere? Doesn't she have to present a photo id in that situation?

missmagoo 3 years, 10 months ago

Her driver's license reflects her as Stephanie, which is what she would book her ticket as, show her ID, and board a flight as Stephanie Mott. The problem is when she would need 2 forms of ID for something, say... a new social security card... and she has to give them her birth certificate AND her DL... and one reflects her as a man, and one reflects her as a woman.

exhawktown 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh, reread the article--the birth certificate is the "problem" as it could be the proof of citizenship required for voting registration. Interesting. I wonder if there are other alternatives besides a passport (would that work?) or "certificate of naturalization." I don't think requiring proof of citizenship is asking too much for voting registration, especially with the current levels of illegal immigration. However, I hope lawmakers can find a solution to this particular problem. If this person is a citizen (and I presume she is) she should have the right to vote.

MarleneB 3 years, 10 months ago

First, I live in Ohio, so our election laws may be different from Kansas'.

Ohioans can't use a passport as their ID because it isn't issued by the state, even though active duty military can use their federally issued ID.

Second, here in Ohio, I've been able to legally change my name but also can't get it changed on my birth certificate. However, Ohio now has a policy where we can get the gender change on our drivers license, where we had to have surgery beforehand.

Not everyone can afford hormones, let alone trips to the endocrinologist, the psychiatrist, the surgeons and whatnot in order to fully transition. That's the majority of us transfolk.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 10 months ago

What you're describing here is Kobach's ideal voting bloc. You are describing the motivation behind so called "voter ID" legislation.

We don't need no dark skinned voters who don't live like us or think like us. Just honest white Republicans.

All other voters are committing fraud. The Kansas GOP says so.

blogme 3 years, 10 months ago

And the GOP is somehow the party of intolerance? Nice thinkin' Captain Kangaroo. Really opened your mind there. Somehow Republicans are against dark skinned voters who don't live like us or think like us that are here illegally and don't have the right to vote? Maybe the GOP is for following the laws on the books in this instance. Ever thought of that? The real problem is the birth certificate ( in spite of all the other side issues that are being blamed ), not that the GOP actually wants to verify that the person voting is legal to vote.

exhawktown 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't think the motivation behind the voter ID legislation is to keep legal citizens from voting. The "evil GOP" stance is a little tired.

TheStonesSuck 3 years, 10 months ago

"I think the motivation behind the voter ID legislation is to keep poor legal citizens from voting. The "evil GOP" stance is a little spot on." FTFY

MarleneB 3 years, 10 months ago

The legislation is also requiring the voter when they register to produce a valid birth certificate, Mac. If a transsexual can't change the name and gender on it, but produces the drivers license which has the correct name and gender, there's the problem.

This is why most voter ID laws are prejudiced against naturalized citizens, transfolk, the homeless and indigent, etcetera.

sr80 3 years, 10 months ago

i won't make any comment because all of you people would put a pack of wolves to shame with your howling and yipping!!!!!!

sr80 3 years, 10 months ago

true or false,its a fact!!!! i stand by my observations of the past,there is no leeway for criticism in a topic like this and mine is not positive.

sr80 3 years, 10 months ago

i still have not said what i wanted to say.and your already upset and i have not even addressed the topic.whats wrong ophi????

sr80 3 years, 10 months ago

i'm not mad at you baby,oh and by the way you can sleep on the couch tonight. yes my dear. wait!! wait!!! you are thinking of taking a nap after that great lunch!!!! ahaaa right on the money!!!

Fred Mertz 3 years, 10 months ago

I am pretty conservative, Christian and probably considered right-wing by some, but when it comes to the affairs of this country, my bible is the Constitution. Sometimes the Constituion comforts me like a soft baby blanket and sometimes it rubs me raw like cheap toliet paper, but it is the law of the land and I accept it.

i want small government and that means keeping the government out of our lives. My rule is if your actions do not infringe upon my rights then I need to keep my nose out of your business.

I cannot understand what makes Stephanie tick, but I don't have to understand because she has rights and her actions do not infringe upon my rights. i can choose to dislike her and I can choose not to associate with her, but I cannot choose to deny her the right to vote.

Now I support the voter ID because I do not want illegal immigrants voting, i don't want people voting as someone else and so forth, but we need to find a way to make sure that everyone who is entitled to vote has that opportunity.

I do think that Stephanie's situation is a red herring. It should not be an issue. Bring her birth certificate that lists her as Steve and the documentation of her name change and be done with it. Lots of people have names that do not match their birth certificates either because of marriage or because they legally changed their name.

Maybe Stephanie will be inconvenienced a little more that most, but it is not an insurmountable issue and certainly not a reason not to insure the integrity of our voting system.

verity 3 years, 10 months ago

"I cannot understand what makes Stephanie tick, but I don't have to understand because she has rights and her actions do not infringe upon my rights. i can choose to dislike her and I can choose not to associate with her, but I cannot choose to deny her the right to vote."

Hear, hear! You put it very well.

MarleneB 3 years, 10 months ago

Did you read what Stephanie has to do in order to get her birth certificate changed to reflect her true gender?She has to get a complete sex change... do you have an extra $20-30k available so she can get it done?

Even then, Kansas can deny her her right to get married, due to the J'Noel Garnier case of a few years back.

Fred, NO ONE should be inconvenienced whatsoever in order to be able to vote! Homeless residents of Kansas has a right to vote, too!

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 10 months ago

Look and act like consumer1 or don't vote. Very simple.

sr80 3 years, 10 months ago

so that explains why my little brain controls me,now i have a excuse.thanks MIC

oldbaldguy 3 years, 10 months ago

I am so glad we are going to keep the Mexicans from committing mass voter fraud in Southwest Kansas and KCK. This is a solution looking for a problem. Stephanie has a right to vote, if this unneeded law goes through there needs to be accomodations made for some of these issues. What's the deal on Gregory living out of the 10th district? First I heard of it?

riverdrifter 3 years, 10 months ago

Gregory lives out of a box in the Baldwin City post office. I haven't been able to find anyone who can tell me where she really lives.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 10 months ago

The laws on the books are followed in Kansas every election, with no more than 1 or 2 cases of fraud a year.

In states that "verity that the person voting is legal to vote," they have not detected additional fraud than before their new law, nor have they reduced the cases of fraud.

But they have dramatically increased cases of disenfranchised voters, legal voters who are denied their right to vote.

Regardless of the stated "motivation," the Kansas GOP is fully aware of the actual consequences. New laws don't stop fraud, they stop people from voting.

blogme 3 years, 10 months ago

Well, first off, glad that since we're only catching 1-2 cases of fraud a year, that that's all the fraud we have. PHEWwwww!!!! That's a huge relief! Make a law and crime goes away apparently.

OK, now back to reality...

If the laws on the books are being followed, and still we have fraud ( 1-2 cases a year according to you ), sounds like we still have something to fix? 1-2 cases might not be much to you as we posit back and forth, but If someone was voting illegally with GOP tendencies, your vote Capt would be nullified. Is that acceptable to you? Then why should it be otherwise?

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 10 months ago

In states where the law has been changed, still getting 1-2 cases a year. If that sounds repetitive, its because it is.

Changing the law is not reducing fraud, nor has changing the law led to greater discovery of fraud. If you had read the post, you would know that. Try again.

Let me make this simple for you -- this change in the law doesn't fix anything.

Fwip 3 years, 10 months ago

I honestly cannot tell if you are being sarcastic. Your post starts off reading like pure sarcasm but gradually gets less and less over-the-top.

UfoPilot 3 years, 10 months ago

Good. Only I should be allowed to vote.

TheStonesSuck 3 years, 10 months ago

you might as well considering the candidates who end up getting elected in this state. Heyyooooo!

ivalueamerica 3 years, 10 months ago

There is no excuse for bigotry and those that embrace it are sick.

notsobright 3 years, 10 months ago

I could be wrong, but it sounds like you think "bigotry" is immoral and you think the rest of us should agree with both your definition and your morality?? So, if someone does not agree with you, they are "sick." Isn't that a bigoted statement?

ivalueamerica 3 years, 10 months ago

bigotry is abuse. is putting someone as a lesser human being, a form of violence.

It is not immoral, it is a mental illness.

snooks 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm sure among the commentaries someone has worked a campaign end to end. In the process you may have come across an address where no house exists, just a piece of property. As a property owner you have a right to vote on issues that effect your property and thus a voice. Voting is a privilege given in this country as well as property ownership - read history and you'll find that was one of the driving forces to bring people to the "Colonies". After 1791 we have then voices in the decision process through our vote and thus our local representatives. When someone claims to be someone else that is fraud and subject to legal action because you obviously are not the "property owner or legal signatory" of whom you say you are. It is law, and a good one. A matter of proof is the responsibility of the presenter/voter and subject to that law.

deec 3 years, 10 months ago

Property ownership is not a requirement for voting. Residency is.

Mike Ford 3 years, 10 months ago

how is it that a bunch of puritan fascists decide for everyone else. and for the people about to claim offense to my statement, I'm descended from Mayflower people on my dad'[s side and Choctaws on my mom's side. I love the correctness of fascists. Bill O'Reilly just reinforces it.

Armored_One 3 years, 10 months ago

Transgendered...

What a brain-dead concept.

"I don't want to be a boy anymore, I wanna be a girl!!" Or vice versa, of course.

One of the primary definitions of being female is being BORN with the capacity to give birth. Whether you retain the proper equipment throughout your life is irrelevant. It's pretty much a prerequisite for the job title, so to speak.

The easiest way to settle the whole damnable issue is to set up a database of thumb print identification. That won't change, regardless of what gender you are, or portray on TV. Any name changes would be handled the same way they are now, by simply updating the information. Probably take a week or so and a small fee.

I'm all for gay rights, and what not along those lines, but at no point should a subsect of American society supercede the need for base guidelines for laws. Yes, they should be applied equally, and rarely are due to human influence in teh judicial system.

I mean, honestly...

Are we supposed to just scrap everything and start over from scratch just because a few people feel left out? How many exemptions, rewrites and what not are we, the American people, going to be forced to endure? The laws exist for the good of the many, not the needs of the few, and that is how it should always be.

If you want to be a girl, then either be born one or get the damned surgeries required by law. Do not stand there, with your fists on your hips, and demand that you be given consideration simply because you have declared something. And yes, it is just that blasted simple. Scrap marriage laws, since that is political intrusion into religion, and vice versa. All married couple should first file for the LEGAL paperwork. Once that is approved, and the fees paid, everything else should just be window dressing. Get rid of that nonsense, and a lot of the opposition fails to the wayside.

If we go by thumb prints, as I mentioned above, though, it cuts through all this gender BS and gets down to the core of it; proof of identity. Unless someone cuts your thumb off, or starts selling thumb prints from dead people, it's pretty much impossible to fake things like that.

Why must people insist on making things more complicated than they need to be...

Armored_One 3 years, 10 months ago

"Many have no clue they are different"

Way to shoot yourself in the foot, Multi. You were starting to have a valid point until you basically did an about face. Honestly, I was talking directly about people that are making a conscious choice to choose a gender other than the one that they were born as. You are discussing chromosomes, which none of us have any control over, including the sperm donors or incubation chambers (parental units).

Do you take the people at the Renaissance Faire seriously when they are in character? Or do you accept that they are playing a role they choose to play, but know that they are not the physical image that they are presenting?

Those that are demanding this special recognition are not all that much different. If you have boy parts, you can wear all the make up you want, all the dresses and bras and high heels and everything else you want, and it will still not make you female.

If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and has feathers like a duck, it is NOT a great white shark. Transgender is simply another way of saying that they take cross dressing a tad bit too far.

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