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Trans Inclusion Inches Forward in Michigan, Backward in Minnesota

Compiled by News Editor Charles Anders

[USA] -- "Don't panty-check, don't tell" is what the newly refined policy at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival boils down to.

After confrontations with transgender activists from Transexual Menace, the Lesbian Avengers and Transgender Officers Protect & Serve (TOPS), the festival's organizers tweaked their policy allowing only womyn-born-womyn to enter the festival, which has been notoriously trans-exclusive in the past. The new policy, "No penises on the land," was used to eject pre-operative MTF and postoperative FTM transsexuals who entered the festival after negotiations.

But organizers promised an end to random "panty-checks" aimed at detecting infiltrators and fewer confrontations with trans people. Most encouraging this year, transgender activists said, was the large number of younger lesbians who championed the right of trans people to attend the event.

Meanwhile, the American Center for Law and Justice, a legal group run by the religious right, entered the case of a Minnesota public school teacher who filed a complaint against the school district for discrimination and invasion of privacy because a transgendered school librarian, Debra Davis, used the women's restroom.

Carla Cruzan complained to school authorities, only to be told Davis had been told to use whichever bathroom she chose. Minnesota has included transgendered people in its antidiscrimination laws since 1993.

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