Posts tagged with "north dakota"

illustration by Maria Soloman for use by 360 magazine

California bans travel to five new states over anti-LGBTQ laws

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced on Monday that five more states would join California’s state-funded travel restriction list. This is in response to those states having passed discriminatory anti-transgender laws restricting or prohibiting the participation of transgender women and girls in sports consistent with their gender identity. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia join 12 other states on the list.

Bonta explained that the five new states were added due to lawmakers’ recent passage of anti-LGBTQ laws, “When states discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans, California law requires our office to take action. These new additions to the state-funded travel restrictions list are about exactly that.”

The law that Bonta referenced is known as Assembly Bill 1887, “a law that (1) has the effect of voiding or repealing existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; (2) authorizes or requires discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; or (3) creates an exemption to antidiscrimination laws in order to permit discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

The bill prohibits the state from requiring employees to travel to a state subject to AB 1887’s travel prohibition and prohibits California from approving a request for state-funded or state-sponsored travel to such a state. It does not apply to personal travel.

It’s unfortunate that some politicians would rather demonize trans youth than focus on solving real issues like tackling gun violence, beating back this pandemic and rebuilding our economy,” Bonta said at a news conference Monday.

While the California attorney general’s office said the ban applies to all state-funded travel, there are exceptions; for example, if travel is required to maintain grant funding or licensure, or for auditing and revenue collection purposes.

The state attorney general’s office told CNN in a statement that “it’s ultimately up to each California agency, including universities, to make determinations about the steps they’ll need to take to comply with AB 1887.”

California has previously received pushback for its travel bans.

Last year, Oklahoma’s Republican governor, Kevin Stitt, issued an executive order that prohibits state employees from “all non-essential travel” to California after being added to the Golden State’s restricted travel list.

On Monday, news of California’s expanded travel ban was celebrated by LGBTQ rights advocates, including the Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy groups.

“California’s announcement today shows that states passing anti-transgender laws will face real world consequences for their cruel actions. The legislatures that have enacted these laws are choosing to trade away economic opportunities in order to target transgender young people based with no pretext,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David told CNN in a statement.

The majority of bills would affect transgender youth, a group that researchers and medical professionals warn is already susceptible to high rates of suicide and depression.

“Make no mistake: We’re in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country – and the state of California is not going to support it,” Bonta said in a statement.

Music note illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

NEEDTOBREATHE – SUNSHINE – INTO THE MYSTERY

GRAMMY® Award-nominated rock band NEEDTOBREATHE have released “Sunshine” the fourth track off their forthcoming studio album Into The Mystery. The song is available to stream and download starting today hereInto The Mystery is due for release on July 30 via Elektra Records and is available for pre-order now here. Limited edition merch offerings are available exclusively through NEEDTOBREATHE’s online store here.

Last week NEEDTOBREATHE delivered the television debut performance of Into The Mystery’s current single “I Wanna Remember” alongside seven-time GRAMMY® Award winner Carrie Underwood at the 2021 “CMT Music Awards.” Watch their unforgettable performance here. Crowned as one of the most show-stopping moments of the evening by both US Weekly and Entertainment TonightBillboard shared “Bear Rinehart and Underwood’s vocals intertwining like leather and lace,” and praised, “the love song about wanting to remember an especially romantic moment felt particularly poignant as we head into a summer where new memories will be made after putting dreams on hold for more than a year.”

Into The Mystery was announced last month alongside the release of the album’s lead single and title track. Earlier this month, the band unveiled the album’s opening track “What I’m Here ForInto The Mystery’s early songs have received praise from Rolling Stone, Billboard, People, American Songwriter, and more. The album will also feature collaborations with Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and Natalie Hemby of The Highwomen.

This Fall, NEEDTOBREATHE will embark on their massive Into The Mystery Tour with support from Switchfoot and The New Respects. The 38-city trek will visit iconic venues such as Denver, CO’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre (fifth consecutive sold out appearance) and Los Angeles, CA’s Greek Theatre, and see the band perform their first-ever headline show at Nashville, TN’s Bridgestone Arena. The Into The Mystery Tour will kick off on September 7 in St. Louis, MO, and wrap on October 30 in Atlanta, GA. Tickets for all dates are available now here.

Just as their critically acclaimed 2020 album Out of Body impacted audiences, NEEDTOBREATHE capitalized on a rush of inspiration and rode the wave of creativity. Without telling a soul, the band decamped to a historic house-turned-recording studio in Columbia, TN to begin working on new music. Over the course of three weeks, they resided under one roof, laughed during meals, explored their surroundings, and recorded together with co-producer and engineer Konrad Snyder and special guests. Out of this de facto creative hub and “extended summer camp,” they handcrafted an album reflective of the moment, yet independent of all expectations, even their own. For as intimate as the story may seem, they filmed every minute of it for an upcoming documentary entitled, Into The Mystery. Watch a teaser for the film here.

The past 12 months represent one of the most prolific periods in the band’s career thus far. They recently unveiled Live from the Woods Vol. 2, a live album recorded during three sold out, socially distanced outdoor concerts at Pelham, TN’s famed The Caverns. The band previewed the album with a performance of “Alive” on CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden. Meanwhile, Out of Body debuted in the top 5 across three Billboard charts, and received critical acclaim from Billboard, Spin, Southern Living, American Songwriter, Taste of Country, and more.

Into The Mystery Tour Dates

September 07, 2021 – St. Louis, MO – Saint Louis Music Park

September 08, 2021 – Kansas City, MO – Midland Theatre

September 10, 2021 – Denver, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – SOLD OUT

September 11, 2021 – Salt Lake City, UT – Sandy City Amphitheater

September 13, 2021 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theatre

September 14, 2021 – San Diego, CA – Cal Coast Credit Union OAT

September 16, 2021 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre

September 17, 2021 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery

September 18, 2021 – Bend, OR – Les Schwab Amphitheater

September 19, 2021 – Seattle, WA – Marymoor Amphitheater

September 21, 2021 – Missoula, MT – KettleHouse Amphitheater

September 23, 2021 – Fargo, ND – Bluestem Center for the Arts – Bluestem Amphitheater

September 24, 2021 – Minneapolis, MN – Armory

September 25, 2021 – Madison, WI – The Sylvee

September 26, 2021 – Indianapolis, IN – Amphitheater at White River State Park

September 28, 2021 – Cincinnati, OH – Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center

September 30, 2021 – Chicago, IL – Radius

October 01, 2021 – Detroit, MI – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill

October 02, 2021 – Cleveland, OH – Nautica Pavilion

October 03, 2021 – Pittsburgh, PA – Robert Morris University – UPMC Events Center

October 07, 2021 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia

October 08, 2021 – Boston, MA – Leader Bank Pavilion

October 09, 2021 – New York, NY – The Rooftop at Pier 17

October 10, 2021 – Washington, DC – The Anthem

October 12, 2021 – Louisville, KY – The Louisville Palace Theater

October 14, 2021 – Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre

October 15, 2021 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater

October 16, 2021 – Greenville, SC – Bon Secours Wellness Arena

October 17, 2021 – Charleston, SC – North Charleston Coliseum

October 19, 2021 – Rogers, AR – Walmart AMP

October 21, 2021 – Austin, TX – Moody Amphitheater

October 22, 2021 – Houston, TX – Smart Financial Centre

October 23, 2021 – Dallas, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory

October 24, 2021 – Oklahoma City, OK – Zoo Amphitheatre

October 27, 2021 – Memphis, TN – Memphis Botanic Garden

October 28, 2021 – Birmingham, AL – Oak Mountain Amphitheatre

October 29, 2021 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena

October 30, 2021 – Atlanta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre

About NEEDTOBREATHE:

Since 1998, NEEDTOBREATHE have quietly emerged as a dynamic force in rock music, topping the charts, selling out historic venues, and generating hundreds of millions of streams to date. The band has gathered one platinum single, four gold singles, and a gold album. Along the way, “Multiplied” notched their first GRAMMY® nomination. Simultaneously, they performed to sold out crowds at arenas and amphitheaters coast to coast. In addition to garnering two nods at the Billboard Music Awards, they’ve attracted acclaim from People, Rolling Stone, Forbes, and many more. In 2020, they sowed the seeds for rebirth with Out of Body. It bowed in the Top 5 of three Billboard charts and reeled in acclaim. Within weeks of its release, the quintet, Bear Rinehart [vocals, guitar], Seth Bolt [bass, vocals], Josh Lovelace [keys, vocals], Randall Harris [drums], and Tyler Burkum [guitar], stole away to an old historic house in Columbia, TN where they lived together, ate together, laughed together, and recorded together for three weeks in the fall of 2020. They returned home with their eighth album and documentary Into The Mystery [Elektra Records]. It’s the kind of record that could only be made by a band who has been through it all and still has enough faith to keep encouraging one another. It’s NEEDTOBREATHE.

Stay Connected with NEEDTOBREATHE

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LGBTQ illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

LGBTQ State Legislative Attacks

UPDATE: With Unprecedented 18 Anti-LGBTQ Bills Enacted, 2021 Officially Becomes Worst Year in Recent History for LGBTQ State Legislative Attacks 

With Anti-LGBTQ Momentum Sweeping through State Legislatures, 2021 Surpasses 2015 as Worst Year In Recent History 

Detailed Breakdown of 2021 Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation Below

With an unprecedented number of anti-LGBTQ measures sweeping through state legislatures across the country, 2021 has officially surpassed 2015 as the worst year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in recent history, according to updated tracking and analysis by the Human Rights Campaign (detailed breakdown below). The previous record — set six years ago in 2015, when 15 anti-LGBTQ bills were enacted into law — was broken on Friday, as the sixteenth and seventeenth anti-LGBTQ bills were enacted into law as well as the eighteenth anti-LGBTQ bill today. In addition, 7 anti-LGBTQ bills are on governors’ desks awaiting signature or veto and several more are continuing to move through state legislatures across the country.

“The rights of LGBTQ people — and especially transgender people — across the country are being systematically threatened and undermined by national anti-LGBTQ groups coordinating with anti-equality lawmakers to wage an unprecedented war on the LGBTQ community. In fact, some of these bills are similar to or even worse than anti-LGBTQ legislation that has been rejected in previous years, including the Indiana religious refusal bill of 2015 and North Carolina’s infamous HB2. Bills that have become law so far this year range from making it a felony to provide transgender youth with life saving health care to banning transgender girls from participating in sports to erasing LGBTQ people from school curriculum to granting broad licenses to discriminate against LGBTQ people. This crisis cannot be ignored and necessitates concrete action from all those with the ability to speak out,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “These bills are not only harmful and discriminatory, but also represent a failure in our democracy and the commitment elected officials make to protect and serve their constituents. Now is not the time for reluctance or passivity, it is time to take urgent action to protect the basic rights and humanity of LGBTQ people in America.”

The wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation — a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local lawmakers – is part of a broader strategy to score political points with the conservative base by curtailing the rights of LGBTQ people and specifically trans youth — under the guise of responding to nonexistent and baseless threats. These bills represent a cruel effort to further stigmatize and discriminate against LGBTQ people across the country, specifically trans youth who simply want to live as their true selves and grow into who they are.

Breakdown of Anti-LGBTQ Legislation Sweeping State Legislatures in 2021

  • So far in 2021, eighteen anti-LGBTQ bills have been enacted into law surpassing 2015 as the worst year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in recent history (when 15 anti-LGBTQ bills were enacted into law), including:
    • 7 anti-trans sports bans in Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Montana, and West Virginia
    • 4 religious refusal bills, including in Arkansas, Montana, and South Dakota
    • 2 anti-LGBTQ education bills in Tennessee and Montana
    • 1 anti-trans medical care ban bill in Arkansas
    • 1 sham “hate crimes” bill in Arkansas
    • 1 anti-all comers bill in North Dakota
    • 1 anti-trans birth certificate bill in Montana
    • 1 discriminatory diversity training ban bill in Oklahoma
  • With eighteen bills now signed into law, states have enacted more anti-LGBTQ laws this year than in the last three years combined (anti-LGBTQ bills enacted in previous years include 2 bills in 2018, 7 bills in 2019, and 4 bills in 2020).
  • More than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures in 2021, including:
    • At least 35 bills that would prohibit transgender youth from being able to access best-practice, age-appropriate, gender-affirming medical care
    • At least 69 bills that would prohibit transgender youth (and in some cases college students) from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity
    • At least 43 bills that would allow people to assert a religious belief as justification for failing to abide by the law or provide services to people of whom they disapprove
    • At least 15 bills that would prohibit transgender people from having access to restrooms or locker rooms consistent with their gender identity

Wide range of business and advocacy groups oppose anti-trans legislation

  • More than 90 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoke out to oppose anti-transgender legislation being proposed in states across the country. New companies like Facebook, Pfizer, Altria, Peloton, and Dell join companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Google, Hilton, IBM, IKEA, Microsoft, Nike, Paypal, Uber, and Verizon in objecting to these bills. Four of the largest U.S. food companies also condemned “dangerous, discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly transgender and nonbinary people,” and the Walton Family Foundation issued a statement expressing “alarm” at the trend of anti-transgender legislation that has recently become law in Arkansas.
  • The nation’s leading child health and welfare groups representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1000 child welfare organizations released an open letter calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose dozens of bills that target LGBTQ people, and transgender children in particular.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

LGBTQ illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Ten Anti-LGBTQ Bills Sit on Governors’ Desks

Ten Anti-LGBTQ Bills Sit on Governors’ Desks, Poised to Undermine Rights Across the Country

As a fast and furious effort led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states continues to intensify, ten anti-LGBTQ bills currently sit on the desks of governors across the country waiting to be signed into law. These bills are only the latest examples of a concerted effort in state legislatures to undermine LGBTQ rights that has already resulted in the passage of several anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation in recent months.

“State legislators across the country were elected to represent all of us, not just some of us and yet they continue to send hateful and discriminatory anti-LGBTQ bills to the desks of governors to sign into law, threatening the well-being, health, and fundamental rights of thousands of LGBTQ Americans in states from coast to coast,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “From anti-transgender sports bans to erasing LGBTQ people from school curriculum, these bills are driven by fear and would have a significant negative impact on the lives of so many LGBTQ people. The governors of these states are responsible for protecting their citizens, and they must refuse to sign these baseless and unconscionable cruel bills into law.  Otherwise, they should and will be held accountable for the consequences.”

These bills include blatant attacks on transgender youth, including prohibiting transgender kids from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity, allow student organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ students under the guise of free speech, erase LGBTQ people from history books, and add substantial hurdles for transgender people who want to change the gender on their birth certificate by first requiring gender-affirming surgery.

Below is a roundup of the ten anti-LGBTQ bills currently sitting on the desks of governors:

  • ALABAMA
    • House Bill 391 – ANTI-TRANS SPORTS BILL
      • The Alabama Senate and House passed House Bill 391, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender youth from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. The bill now heads to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk for signature or veto.
  • ARIZONA
    • Senate Bill 1456 – SEX ED PARENTAL NOTIFICATION BILL
      • The Arizona State House passed Senate Bill 1456 – discriminatory legislation that affects not only sexual education material, but all learning materials in the classroom and makes it harder for LGBTQ kids to see themselves in school curriculum.
      • The bill, which would make Arizona’s sex education laws some of the strictest in the nation when it comes to teaching about LGBTQ issues, now heads to Governor Doug Ducey’s desk for consideration.
  • ARKANSAS
    • Senate Bill 389 – SEX ED PARENTAL NOTIFICATON BILL
      • The Arkansas Senate passed Senate Bill 389, a bill which would require a school district to notify parents before “providing a sexual orientation curriculum or gender identity curriculum” in any kind of instruction, including but not limited to education on sexuality.
      • In addition to making it harder for students kids to access sex education, it could also preclude discussion about sexuality more broadly, including in literature and history classes, for example. A district could be forced to notify parents, provide curriculum materials, and allow parents to opt students out of learning about important modern and historical events, from the A.I.D.S. epidemic to the Stonewall riots to even Supreme Court jurisprudence. This bill disproportionately disadvantages LGBTQ youth who may not have supportive families and put children at greater risk of health consequences.
  • KANSAS
    • Kansas Senate Bill 55 – ANTI-TRANS SPORTS BILL
      • The Kansas Senate passed Senate Bill 55, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.
  • MONTANA
    • Senate Bill 280    – BIRTH CERTIFICATE BILL
      • The Montana Senate passed SB 280, a bill that adds substantial hurdles for transgender people who want to change the gender on their birth certificate by first requiring gender-affirming surgery.
    • Senate Bill 215 – RELIGIOUS REFUSAL BILL
      • The Montana House passed SB 215, an expansive religious refusal bill that could grant a license to discriminate against Montanans and visitors, including LGBTQ people, people of faith, and women, across a wide range of goods and services in the state.
  • NORTH DAKOTA
    • House Bill 1503 – ANTI-ALL COMERS BILL
      • Many public colleges and universities have long had “all-comers” policies that require student organizations receiving financial and other support from the institution not to discriminate against students based on race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.
      • These policies allow all members of the student body to participate in student organizations and prevent such organizations from discriminating against students with state funding. The Supreme Court upheld these all-comers policies as constitutional in the Christian Legal Society v. Martinez decision in 2010.
      • North Dakota HB 1503, in part, undermines inclusive “all-comers” policies at North Dakota public colleges and universities, by allowing student organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ students under the guise of free speech.
    • House Bill 1298 – ANTI-TRANS SPORTS BILL
      • The North Dakota Senate passed House Bill 1298, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.
  • TENNESSEE
    • Senate Bill 1229 – SEX ED PARENTAL NOTIFICATION
      • The Tennessee Senate passed Senate Bill 1229, a bill which would require a school district to notify parents before “providing a sexual orientation curriculum or gender identity curriculum” in any kind of instruction, including but not limited to education on sexuality.
      • In addition to making it harder for students kids to access sex education, it could also preclude discussion about sexuality more broadly, including in literature and history classes, for example. A district could be forced to notify parents, provide curriculum materials, and allow parents to opt students out of learning about important modern and historical events, from the A.I.D.S. epidemic to the Stonewall riots to even Supreme Court jurisprudence.
      • SB 389 also disproportionately disadvantages LGBTQ youth who may not have supportive families and puts children at greater risk of health consequences.
  • WEST VIRGINIA
    • House Bill 3293 – ANTI-TRANS SPORTS BILL
      • The West Virginia Senate passed House Bill 3293, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.

Wide range of businesses and advocacy groups oppose anti-trans legislation

  • More than 65 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoken out to oppose anti-transgender legislation being proposed in states across the country. New companies like Facebook, Pfizer, Altria, Peloton, and Dell join companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Google, Hilton, IBM, IKEA, Microsoft, Nike, Paypal, Uber, and Verizon in objecting to these bills.
  • The nation’s leading child health and welfare groups representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1000 child welfare organizations released an open letter calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose dozens of bills that target LGBTQ people, and transgender children in particular.

The NCAA opposes efforts to limit participation of transgender students

The NCAA Board of Governors released a public letter making clear that it “firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports.” Moreover, “When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected.” This puts the 30 states with discriminatory anti-transgender legislation under consideration on notice that their actions will have repercussions for their states.

A fight driven by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local legislators or public concern

These bills come from the same forces that drove previous anti-equality fights by pushing copycat bills across state houses — dangerous anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom (designated by Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group), and Eagle Forum among others.

  • For example, Montana’s HB 112, the first anti-transgender sports bill to be passed through a legislative chamber in any state, was worked on by the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Trans equality is popular: Anti-transgender legislation is a low priority, even among Trump voters

A new PBS/NPR/Marist poll states that 67% of Americans, including 66% of Republicans, oppose the anti-transgender sports ban legislation proliferating across 30 states.

In a 10-swing-state poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group last fall:

  • At least 60% of Trump voters across each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should be able to live freely and openly.
  • At least 87% of respondents across each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should have equal access to medical care, with many states breaking 90% support
  • When respondents were asked about how they prioritized the importance of banning transgender people from participating in sports as compared to other policy issues, the issue came in dead last, with between 1% and 3% prioritizing the issue.

Another more recent poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group revealed that, with respect to transgender youth participation in sports, the public’s strong inclination is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student athletes. 73% of voters agree that “sports are important in young people’s lives. Young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.”

States that pass anti-transgender legislation suffer economic, legal, reputational harm

Analyses conducted in the aftermath of previous divisive anti-transgender bills across the country, like the bathroom bills introduced in Texas and North Carolina and an anti-transgender sports ban in Idaho, show that there would be or has been devastating fallout.

  • The Idaho anti-transgender sports bill that passed was swiftly suspended by a federal district court. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) came out against the Idaho bill and others like it and subsequently moved planned tournament games out of Idaho.
  • The Associated Press projected that the North Carolina bathroom bill could have cost the state $3.76 billion over 10 years.
  • During a fight over an anti-transgender bathroom bill in 2017, the Texas Association of Business estimated $8.5 billion in economic losses, risking 185,000 jobs in the process due to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and professional sporting event cancellations, a ban on taxpayer funded travel to those states, cancellation of movie productions, and businesses moving projects out of state.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Transgender Sports illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

NCAA LGBTQ OneTeam

NCAA LGBTQ OneTeam facilitators publish open letter condemning anti-transgender legislation

The NCAA LGBTQ OneTeam, a group of NCAA- trained facilitators at colleges across the country published an open letter condemning the actions taken by 28 states across the country to introduce, pass, and sign anti-transgender legislation. 2021 has been a record year for anti-transgender legislation, with 93 anti-transgender bills introduced across the country, the vast majority of which attempt to ban transgender women and girls’ participation in girls’ sports or ban transgender youth from accessing medically necessary, gender-affirming health care.

Laws have been signed banning transgender women and girls’ participation in girls’ sports in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas, with Executive Orders being signed to the same effect in South Dakota.  Legislators across the country have failed to provide examples of issues in their states to attempt to justify these attacks, laying bare the reality that these are attacks on transgender youth that are fueled by discrimination and not supported by fact.  Collegiate and professional sports organizations have had trans-inclusive policies for years without incident, and there is no reason any state would need a ban on transgender participation in sports.

The NCAA LGBTQ OneTeam open letter reads as follows:

An Open Letter in Support of Transgender Student-Athletes

We, the undersigned, are facilitators of the National Collegiate Athletics Association’s (NCAA)Division III LGBTQ OneTeam Program, which is a national training program that fosters LGBTQ+ inclusion in NCAA Division III athletics, and members of the NCAA’s Division III LGBTQ Working Group. Given the recent rise in legislation that is focused on excluding transgender people from athletics across the country, we have decided to use our collective voice to condemn such actions. We call on elected officials across the country to immediately halt legislation that is aimed at excluding transgender youth and young adults from equal and equitable participation in sport.

In our role with the NCAA’s LGBTQ OneTeam Program, we train coaches, athletics administrators, and student-athletes across the whole of Division III athletics. This program is aimed at helping to understand the importance of LGBTQ inclusion in college athletics, while also identifying strategies and best practices for institutions and conferences to better ensure that all student-athletes–regardless of their sexuality, gender identity, and/or gender expression–can participate in an inclusive and safe athletic climate. We cannot, in good conscience, fail to speak out at this critical moment.

In the past several weeks, actions–which are aimed at excluding transgender youth and young adults from equal and equitable participation in sport–have been taken by elected officials inseveral states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. At the time of this writing, the Governors ofArkansas,Idaho,Mississippi, andTennessee have already signed such dangerous legislation into law. 

Legislation aimed at categorically banning transgender people–and particularly transgender girls and women–from sport is inherently discriminatory. Such legislation is often “informed” by hate and misinformation rather than science, and it is most certainly “informed” byfear instead of fact. Conversely, trans-inclusive policies, such as those established by theNCAA and theInternational Olympic Committee (IOC), are better informed by the current scientific evidence, and this evidence shows that transgender women do not have an inherent competitive advantage over cisgender women.

Furthermore, discriminatory legislation that is aimed at excluding transgender people from sport has a number ofserious consequences for transgender students. Such legislation dehumanizes transgender students, refuses them the opportunity to participate equally and equitably in athletics, undermines their support in educational settings, damages their mental health, and ultimately harms these students, while also contributing to an exclusionary athletic environment and a more hostile school climate for all students.

We immediately call for 1) an end to such legislation in all states and 2) a repeal of such laws in Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, and Tennessee. And finally, we also encourage our legislators to better consider theNCAA best practices and importance of an inclusive athletic environment for all student-athletes.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Timothy R. Bussey, Ph.D.

Pronouns: they/them

Associate Director, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Kenyon College

Kayla Hayes, M.Ed.

Pronouns: she/her

Associate Head Women’s Basketball Coach Dept. of Athletics | Denison University

Kyrstin Krist, Ph.D.

Pronouns: she/her

Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Faculty Athletic Representative | Methodist University

Melynda Link, M.B.A.

Pronouns: she/her

Director of Athletic Facilities & Game Day Operations, Dept. of Athletics | Haverford College

Kathleen M. Murray

Pronouns: she/her

President, Office of the President | Whitman College

Jess Duff

Pronouns: she/her

Assistant Athletic Director for Student Athlete Services & Internal Operations Dept. of Athletics | Bates College

Jessica Weiss

Pronouns: she/her

Head Field Hockey Coach, Dept. of Athletics | Randolph-Macon College

Jennifer Dubow

Pronouns: she/her

Executive Director | Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC)

Maura Johnston

Pronouns: she/her

Head Field Hockey Coach, Dept. of Athletics | Fairleigh Dickinson University

Scott McGuiness

Pronouns: no pronouns

Director of Athletics, Dept. of Athletics | Washington & Jefferson College

Danielle Lynch, M.S.Ed.

Pronouns: she/her

Senior Woman Administrator and Head Track and Field/Cross Country Coach Athletic Department | Penn State University – Harrisburg

Melissa Walton

Pronouns: she/her

Senior Associate Athletic Director Athletic Department | Albion College

Amy Reed

Pronouns: she/her

Senior Woman Administrator and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Dept. of Athletics | Rochester Institute of Technology

Donna M. Ledwin

Pronouns: she/her

Commissioner | Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC)

Donnesha Blake, Ph.D.

Pronouns: she/her

Director of Diversity and Inclusion Dept. of Student Affairs | Alma College

Tim Wilson

Pronouns: he/him

Assistant Track and Field Coach, Dept. of Athletics | Stevens Institute of Technology

Anne Kietzman

Pronouns: she/her

Head Field Hockey Coach, Dept. of Athletics | Washington College

Ashley Crossway, D.A.T., A.T.C.

Pronouns: she/her

Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Clinical Education Dept. of Kinesiology | SUNY Cortland

Melissa Brooks

Pronouns: she/her

Head Women’s Basketball Coach Athletic Department | Fairleigh Dickinson University – Florham 

Tiffany Thompson

Pronouns: she/her

Associate Director of Gender and Sexuality Initiatives, Intercultural Center | Swarthmore College

Kirsten Clark

Pronouns: she/her

Associate Athletic Director, Dept. of Athletics and Recreation | Clark University

Kate Levin

Pronouns: she/her

Assistant Sports Information Director Dept. of Athletics | Ramapo College

Cori Collinsworth

Pronouns: she/her

Head Softball Coach, Athletic Department | Hanover College

Bethany Dannelly

Pronouns: she/her

Associate Director of Athletics, Dept. of Physical Education and Athletics | Washington and Lee University

Jennifer Childress-White, M.Ed.

Pronouns: she/her

Assistant Athletic Director and University Title IX Coordinator Dept. of Athletics | Pacific Lutheran University

Elise Fitzsimmons, M.S., A.T.C.

Pronouns: she/her

Assistant Athletic Trainer, Dept. of Athletics| SUNY Oswego 

Amanda Walker

Pronouns: she/her

Athletic Program Coordinator Athletics Department | Lake Forest College

Danielle O’Leary

Pronouns: she/her

Senior Woman Administrator and Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach Athletics Department | Mount Aloysius College

Crystal Lanning

Pronouns: she/her

Director of Athletics, Dept. of Athletics | University of Wisconsin – River Falls

Neil Virtue

Pronouns: he/him

Assistant Director of Athletics and Head Swimming Coach | Dept. of Athletics, P.E., and Recreation Mills College

Jose’ Rodriguez, M.Ed.

Pronouns: he/him

Chief Diversity Officer, Office of University Diversity Initiatives | Cabrini University

Karen Moberg, M.Ed., L.A.T., A.T.C.

Pronouns: she/her

Associate Athletic Trainer, Athletic Department | Macalester College

Yishka Chin

Pronouns: she/her

Coordinator for Tutoring Services and Trailblazer Program Director, Dept. of Student Success | Notre Dame of Maryland University

Renee Bostic

Pronouns: she/her

Director of Athletics & Wellness Dept. of Athletics & Wellness | Notre Dame of Maryland University

Megan Cullinane

Pronouns: she/her

Assistant Athletic Director and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics Dept. of Athletics and Recreation | University of Massachusetts – Boston

Maureen Harty

Pronouns: she/her

Executive Director | College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW)

Stephanie Dutton

Pronouns: she/her

Commissioner | North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC)

Sharia Marcus-Carter

Pronouns: she/her

Senior Woman Administrator and Director of Compliance, Athletics Department | Brooklyn College

California Dips to 43rd in Highway Report

California Dips to 43rd in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness The 24th Annual Highway Report, based on data that states submitted to the federal government, ranks each state’s highway system in 13 categories, including traffic fatalities, pavement condition, congestion, spending per mile, administrative costs and more. California’s highway system ranks 43rd in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report published today by Reason Foundation. This is a one-spot decrease from the previous Annual Highway Report, where California ranked 42nd overall.

In safety and performance categories, California ranks 18th in overall fatality rate, 19th in structurally deficient bridges, 48th in traffic congestion, 47th in urban Interstate pavement condition and 45th in rural Interstate pavement condition. On spending, California ranks 40th in total spending per mile. “The traffic congestion in California’s large cities hurts the overall ranking, but, in addition to reducing congestion, the state could significantly improve its ranking by reducing fatalities on rural highways, improving its pavement conditions, and lowering its administrative costs,” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and assistant director of transportation at Reason Foundation. “Compared to nearby states, California’s overall highway performance is worse than Arizona (ranks 29th), Nevada (ranks 27th) and Oregon (ranks 12th). Compared to the other most populated states in America, California ranks ahead of New York (45th), trails Florida (40th), and ranks well behind Texas (ranks 23rd).”

California’s best rankings are in overall fatality rate (18th) and structurally deficient bridges (19th). California’s worst rankings are in urban arterial pavement condition (49th) and urban area congestion (48th). California’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 15th largest highway system in the country. Utilizing data that states submitted to the federal government, Reason Foundation’s 24th Annual Highway Report measures the condition and cost-effectiveness of state-owned roads in 13 categories, including pavement condition on urban and rural Interstates, deficient bridges, traffic fatalities, administrative costs, and spending per mile on state roads.

North Dakota ranks first in the Annual Highway Report’s overall performance and cost-effectiveness rankings for the second year in a row. Virginia and Missouri, two of the 20 most populated states in the country, are second and third in overall performance and cost-effectiveness. Maine and Kentucky round out the top five states. The highway systems in New Jersey (50th), Alaska (49th), Rhode Island (48th), Hawaii and Massachusetts rank at the bottom of the nation in overall performance and cost-effectiveness. The full Annual Highway Report, complete rankings in each category, and historical data from previous editions are available here.

California’s Complete Results Ranking (out of 50 states)   

Overall Rank (*see explanation below): #43

Overall Rank in Previous Report: #42

Ranking in Each Category  

Total Disbursements per Mile – #40

Capital-Bridge Disbursements per Mile – #30

Maintenance Disbursements per Mile – #44

Administrative Disbursements per Mile – #44

Rural Interstate Percent in Poor Condition – #45

Urban Interstate Percent in Poor Condition – #47

Rural Other Principal Arterial Percent in Poor Condition – #35

Urban Other Principal Arterial Percent in Poor Condition – #49

Urban Area Congestion* – #48

Structurally Deficient Bridges, Percent* – #19

Overall Fatality Rate – #18

Rural Fatality Rate – #47

Urban Fatality Rate – #21

*The Annual Highway Report is based on spending and performance data submitted by state highway agencies to the federal government for 2016 as well as urban congestion data from INRIX and bridge condition data from the Better Roads inventory for 2017. For more details on the calculation of each of the 13 performance measures used in the report, as well as the overall performance measure, please refer to the appendix in the main report. The report’s dataset includes Interstate, federal and state roads but not county or local roads. All rankings are based on performance measures that are ratios rather than absolute values: the financial measures are disbursements per mile, the fatality rate is fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles of travel, the urban congestion measure is the annual delay per auto commuter, and the others are percentages. For example, the state ranking first in structurally deficient bridges has the smallest percentage of structurally deficient bridges, not the smallest number of structurally deficient bridges.

Reason Foundation’s transportation experts have advised four presidential administrations, along with numerous state and metro transportation departments and planning organizations. Baruch Feigenbaum is lead author of the Annual Highway Report and his bio information is available here.

Why Dakota’s Thriving Economy Could Be a Good Bet

There are a number of factors that help decide whether a location is likely to be prosperous should you decide to set up home there. A recent study by Play USA took a look at all 52 states in the US and came up with a list of the ones that are thriving economically.

While states such as Alaska and Nevada may not be worth the gamble, you might be surprised to find that North Dakota, Washington and Massachusetts made it to the top of the table. All three have the fastest economic growth over the last decade and, according to the research, could well be pretty good places to settle down.

It’s long been known that the state of the economy in the location where you live is closely linked to your potential financial wellbeing. If you’re tempted by the prospect of the big city, however, you may be perplexed to find that New York lags a way behind states such as North Dakota.

The research looked at different parameters including growth in GDP, the rise in students going to college and percentage increases in house prices. Along with the number of new business that have started over the last ten years and levels of household income and employment opportunities, the list gives a good idea which states are currently the most prosperous in a purely economic sense.

The Top Five States With the Best Economic Prospects

  1. North Dakota: With a growth of 5.83% in new businesses and GDP up by 7.36%, it’s a surprise to find this state on the list. Growth has been driven by the oil industry over the last decade and this has led to a strong economic profile compared to many other states.

  2. Washington: Employment is up by just over 3% in the Garden State and household income has increased by 3.39% over the last ten years, some of which has been driven by the development in the information sector.

  3. Massachusetts: The state has seen a 3.42% increase in college admissions, which usually means that economic health is good, as well as boost to GDP of over 4%. Local household income took a big rise just before the financial crisis and jumped up 6%. Overall, it’s risen by 3.69% in the last ten years.

  4. California: You might expect this state to be on the list and that’s born out by a college admission growth of over 7%. Employment has also increased in a pretty healthy manner and is up by 3.35%.

  5. Missouri: Another surprise on the list, a 5.46% rise in new businesses indicates this state is the place to set up a company. Much of this has been due to high tech industries moving into the area.

The research was carried out using 6 measurements that point to good economic health between 2007 and 2018. You can view the full infographic on the Play USA website as well as download more detailed information about the performance of different states.

Missouri, California, Massachusetts, north Dakota, Washington, 360 MAGAZINE

Make The Most Out Of Your Vacation

Any trip to the USA should fill you with excitement and even a little awe. It’s a huge, sprawling country with much to see and do. The problem is picking the best state to visit so you get the most out of your vacation.

Is California better than New York? What does Alaska offer that you can’t get in New Jersey? Is Nevada just for gamblers or can you take in a show or two? These are just a few of the questions you might want answers to before you plan your trip.

The team at PlayNJ have done some research to help and now have an interactive map of the US which makes that decision making process a whole lot easier. They’ve taken a range of parameters including tourism income, gambling and theatre, things to do, and general happiness level to rank each of 50 states.

The general ranking gives a listing of overall performance and it’s no surprise that states such as California, Texas, Florida and New York figure at the top. Curiously, the team have also included a happiness ranking which shows a slightly different story. While California comes first in general classification, it only manages 13 for happiness. Hawaii only hits 20 on the general ranking but comes out on top for fun.

While you may have to take some of the listings with a pinch of salt, the interactive map does give you a good idea where the strong point of each state lies.

California has the highest tourist income at $126.3 billion, mainly because it’s one of the most popular holiday destinations on the planet. Not only is it home to Hollywood and the iconic city of San Francisco, it’s also got Disneyland and the Yosemite National Park. Wyoming has a much lower income but does have some noteworthy places to visit such as The Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains.

If gambling is your big thing and you want to combine it with a show or two, then the obvious choice is Nevada. Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the western world and is full of casinos. There are also plenty of shows to take in and the service, so visitors say, is second to none. There are even a couple of zoos and a few theme parks to give you something different to do. For overall happiness ranking though it rates well down at 34.

For those looking for variety in their trip, it’s best to look at the ‘Things to Do’ map. Here Florida is top of the list with 1,699 separate activities and Alaska is not far behind on 1,644. These are two totally different locations, so it’s wise to take a deeper look at what’s on offer. Florida is famous for sun, sea and sangria as well as its numerous theme parks. Alaska is more for your outdoor types with breath-taking locations like Winner Creak, Kincaid Park and Resurrection Bay.

For those who want to take in some sport, Texas and California top the list for stadiums. You can go see the Dallas Cowboys play in Arlington or visit the world famous Rose Bowl in California. If you don’t like sport and won’t be visiting a stadium anytime soon, Vermont is the place to go, they don’t have any. Of course, it will all depend on who your favourite team is and the sport you want to watch.

Next time you’re planning a trip somewhere in the USA, take a look at the PlayNJ interactive map to help you begin planning the best locations to visit. It’s a great way to start exploring what this vast, sprawling country has to offer for the humble tourist.

Halloween Candy Map

In case you haven’t noticed all of the pumpkin-lined porch steps or the multitude of horror movie marathons on TV, it’s spooky season! Halloween is less than two weeks away, which means hayrides, haunted houses, and, most importantly, FREE CANDY!!! Well, free for cute kids dressed up like Spiderman or Moana. For adults, Halloween means stocking up on the good stuff to avoid a yard full of toilet paper or having your car decorated with egg yolks. Halloween is a candy manufacturer’s Christmas. According to The National Retail Federation, it’s expected that 2.7 billion dollars will be spent on trick-or-treat candy this year. It may seem like a good idea to buy the cheapest bag of candy you can find, however, when November 1st rolls around and you’re left with three pounds of store-brand lollipops none of the trick-or-treaters wanted to take, bargain shopping might be a decision you’ll regret.

If you want to avoid the horror that is too much leftover candy, you’ll have to fork over a a few extra bucks for the good stuff. You may stroll down the candy aisle at the supermarket amidst the plethora of different chocolates, gummies, sours, and sweets, and think to yourself, how do I know which candy to buy? Well, CandyStore.com, is here to help. Over the past 10 years, CandyStore.com has been shipping tons of bulk candy all across the United States and Canada. They compiled 10 years (2007-2016) of sales data for the months leading up to Halloween and put together an interactive map that details the top three most popular Halloween candies for each state, indicated by pounds distributed. Check out the interactive map HERE to become the go-to house for all of the witches, ghosts, and Chewbaccas in town. Or, if you’d rather not have hoards of little vampires and Pokemon running through your yard but still want to please the kiddos, CandyStore.com also has a list of the WORST candies, so you know exactly what not to buy.

CandyStore.com also offers the option of skipping the trip to supermarket all together. Order online in bulk so you can avoid facing the delicious temptation of sugary goodness in candy aisle.