Several Problems Weekly #4: 18–24 February 2024

Correction, 27 February 2024: This article has been updated to reflect information from Yurcaba (2024) about Nex Benedict’s pronouns.

For this week we are trying a new index format:

  1. Ruuska et al.: Trans kids probably lying
  2. CPAC 2024: Same as CPAC 2023, but 2024
  3. Asseler et al.: T is not birth control
  4. Warner Bros. Discovery: Potter grinding inexorably forward
  5. Australia: Sky News: Transgenderism is forcefemming the ADF
  6. Australia, NSW: Orange Christians take on Rainbow Festival
  7. Australia, WA: Government buys our loyalty; Quigley calls it quits
  8. Canada: Poilievre stages least surprising coming out in history
  9. India, Tamil Nadu: Thennarasu announces free money, less-free money
  10. UK, England: Pool-itical correctness gone mad
  11. UK, England: Resolution pondered as TERF war escalates
  12. US: Labrador v. Poe: Emergency motion pending
  13. US: B.E. v. Vigo C’y School Corp.: Our long nationalist nightmare is over?
  14. US, California: M. v. Komrosky: Preliminary injunction denied
  15. US, Colorado: HB 24-1039, -1071, -1170: Small wins for Big Trans
  16. US, Florida: HB 1639: Florida GOP determined to make us pay
  17. US, Mississippi: HB 585: Prisoner transvestigation bill advances
  18. US, Montana: Montana HHS: All this has happened before …
  19. US, New Hampshire: HB 1664: Lying in wait
  20. US, New Jersey: Old Bridge school board revokes trans protections
  21. US, New York: Cecilia Gentili’s funeral and its consequences
  22. US, Iowa: Linn-Mar decides it easier just to pay PDE to go away
  23. US, Oklahoma: 16-year-old murdered, everyone pretending otherwise
  24. US, Tennessee: HB 878: Because one Kim Davis wasn’t enough
  25. US, Texas: Fox v. Austin: Try posting through it
  26. US, Texas: Lakewood Church shooting: Fascist bullshit intensifies
  27. US, Texas: San Antonio college transphobe reinstated
  28. US, Utah: Natalie Cline incapable of taking a break
  29. US, West Virginia: HB 5297: Suicidal trans kids? Let them die
  30. US, Wyoming: SF 98 and 99: There is no kill like overkill
  31. SP Press: Change of hosting
  32. SP Press: Feedback: Where are the pictures?

Footnotes; references. A glossary is also available.


Ruuska et al.: Trans kids probably lying

On 17 February, BMJ Mental Health published a paper by a Finnish research group, “All-cause and suicide mortalities among adolescents and young adults who contacted specialised gender identity services in Finland in 1996–2019: a register study,” by Sami-Matti Ruuska et al. (2024). Right-wing media (Arain, 2024; Harrington, 2024; Lane, 2024; Smith, 2024) have published a flood of laudatory coverage about the study, claiming that it shows that trans kids aren’t actually at a higher risk of suicide if they’re denied gender-affirming medical care and that psychotherapy is enough. Under the circumstances it seems material that the fourth-credited author (who I suspect is probably the lead author in all but name) is Riittakerttu Kaltiala-Heino, a well-established anti-trans disinformation operator linked to the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM) (Jones, 2022; James, 2023; Reed, 2023).

I’m hoping for someone less sleep-deprived than me to publish an actual critique of the methodology; at a quick skim, it looks like it might literally boil down to “the trannies are less suicidal if you control for suicidality”.

Some right-wing media reporting the story are also using it to attempt to resurrect the zombie claim that Dhejne et al. (2011) shows that medical transition is ineffective in relieving suicidality in adults, or that it actively increases it. This claim has been exhaustively debunked, including directly by that study’s PI, Cecilia Dhejne (Williams, n.d.).

CPAC 2024: Same as CPAC 2023, but 2024

From 21 through 24 February, in National Harbor, Maryland, United States, the 2024 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 2024) took place. While this is a US-based event focused primarily on US politics, attendance was international and CPAC US has affiliates abroad, such as CPAC Australia, for which it is essentially the ideological lodestar, hence its inclusion in this section. Notable speakers at CPAC 2024 from the point of view of this publication include:

  • Kari Lake, currently a candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination for United States senator from Arizona and a transphobic opportunist (Kaczynski & Steck, 2022);
  • Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas, in the news recently for pursuing Texan trans kids across state lines (Rubin, 2024);
  • Donald Trump, former President of the United States and current frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, who has vowed to stamp out “transgender insanity,” among other things, if reelected (Pollard, 2024);
  • Liz Truss, British MP (CUP—South West Norfolk, England), former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and outspoken transphobe (Factora, 2021);
  • Tommy Tuberville, Republican Senator from Alabama and advocate of banning trans women from women’s sports (Kane, 2024).

Asseler et al. (2024): T is not birth control

On 22 February, Cell Reports Medicine published a report, “One-third of amenorrhoeic transmasculine people on testosterone ovulate,” by Joyce D. Asseler et al. (2024). If someone is ovulating that means they can theoretically get pregnant. Testosterone causes amenorrhoea (lack of periods), and it’s often assumed that amenorrhoea means anovulation (lack of ovulation). However, Asseler et al. found that of a sample of 52 people who’d undergone gender-affirming oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries), in 17 participants the ovarian tissue “show[ed] signs of recent ovulation”. In the study’s press release (Amsterdam University Medical Center, 2024), Asseler said “we cannot explain this difference by the type of testosterone, or how long someone has been taking testosterone”.

Warner Bros. Discovery: Potter grinding inexorably forward

On 23 February, during that day’s Warner Bros. Discovery earnings call, chief executive officer David Zaslav confirmed the target air date for HBO Max’s planned Harry Potter TV series1 and reaffirmed previous remarks indicating creator Joanne Rowling is playing an active role in the production (Spangler, 2024). After the Hogwarts Legacy debacle I feel compelled to note that Rowling’s involvement has nothing to do with whether she’s getting paid; she was getting paid either way.



Sky News Australia: Transgenderism is forcefemming the ADF

On 18 February, in an appearance on Sky News Australia’s The Jury (De Giorgio, 2024), Lincoln Parker, the Liberal Party of Australia’s chair for defence and national security policy, suggested the Australian Defence Force (ADF) should stop paying for trans personnel’s healthcare, saying, “I don’t think that China is paying for gender reassignment surgery … I’m just not really quite sure that fits into the overarching objective of what the military should be”. He also suggested the ADF should pull out of LGBTQ+ health promotion charity ACON’s Workplace Equality Index (De Giorgio, op. cit.; Watson, 2024).

New South Wales

Orange Christians take on Rainbow Festival (bit unfair; 7 vs. 1?)

The Orange Christian Alliance (“OCA”), a small Christian dominionist group based in Orange, is lobbying the City of Orange to withdraw its support for the Orange Rainbow Festival.

In an interview with The Orange News Examiner (Holmes, 2024), OCA spokesperson Kris Dhillon — herself a long-time activist with the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) — said the group opposes “transgender ideology” because it is “an affront to the Creator God” and “an extremely harmful ideology for those who are enticed into its tentacles”.

While Dhillon says adults transitioning is “not an issue for” OCA, she alleges an “ideological move that accelerated about a decade ago … that when a child or a young teen presents with mental health issues and social issues they are diagnosed … with gender dysphoria”. The News Examiner also provides some examples of correspondence between OCA and local politicians, which I would characterise as standard conspiracy fare leaning heavily on the “irreversible damage” and “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” stock tropes, and which apparently quote LGB Alliance favourably. I would recommend reading the whole interview; for me, it was a spiritual experience.

The Orange Rainbow Festival will run from 22 through 24 March 2024.

Western Australia

Government buys our loyalty; Quigley calls it quits

On 23 February, the Government of Western Australia (2024) issued a press release indicating it was allocating $900,000 to develop and implement an LGBTQIA+ inclusion strategy. It announced that funding “to support the development and implementation of the strategy” would be provided to Living Proud, TransFolk of WA, and GLBTI Rights in Ageing, Inc. While this is, I assume, welcome news, my impression is that, due to a broader sense of betrayal by and disappointment with the Government, it is not being received with the unqualified joy it might otherwise have been.

The legal treatment of trans people in Western Australia is extraordinarily conservative even by Australian standards. The core of the state’s legal gender recognition regime is the Gender Reassignment Act 2000 (“GRA“). The GRA provides for the Gender Reassignment Board of Western Australia, which issues Gender Recognition Certificates (GRCs). A GRC is a prerequisite for recognition as trans for purposes of Western Australian state law, including for the purposes of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984, the state’s primary body of protections against anti-trans discrimination. Since GRCs require medical transition and recognise transition to “the opposite sex” (GRA s 3) nonbinary people and people not seeking medical transition cannot receive GRCs under the GRA as written and therefore are not protected from discrimination by the Equal Opportunity Act.

Western Australia also does not have a law banning conversion practices (Equality Australia, 2024; Fiore, 2024), and it is understood that if the present Government were to introduce a bill for such a law, it would not provide for civil prosecutions of conversion practitioners, rendering it effectively useless (“Attorney-General John Quigley calls time,” 2024). Additionally, Western Australia does not have laws against anti-trans vilification (Kelly, 2023; Equality Australia, op. cit.).

The state attorney-general, John Quigley MLA (ALP–Butler), this week announced he would retire from politics at the election of 8 March 2025. Since his appointment as Attorney-General in 2017, and especially since the Final Report of the Review of the Equal Opportunity Act (Law Reform Commission of Western Australia, 2022), Quigley had undertaken to remedy some of the above problems (WA Equal Opportunity Commission, 2022). He has so far done somewhere between “very little” and “nothing at all”. On the news of Quigley’s retirement, Just.Equal Australia spokesperson Brian Greig OAM urged him to either begin to act decisively, or step aside so someone else could actually do the job (“Attorney-General John Quigley calls time,” op. cit.).



Poilievre stages least surprising coming out in history

Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre MP (CPC—Carleton, ON) has now officially come out in support for the sweeping anti-trans provincial policy package introduced by Alberta Premier Danielle Smith MLA (UCP—Brooks–Medicine Hat), and for broader sanctions on trans people, particularly trans women, in general (Poilievre, 2024; The Canadian Press, 2024).


Tamil Nadu

Thennarasu announces free money, less-free money

On 18 February, Thangam Thennarasu MLA (DMK—Tiruchuli), Tamil Nadu state Minister for Finance and Human Resources Management, announced in his 2024–2025 Budget speech that the Tamil Nadu Transgender Welfare Board would receive an additional allocation of ₹20 million which would be used to fully cover higher education expenses for trans students.

Thennarasu also announced that the Government of Tamil Nadu will introduce a scheme to incentivise businesses to hire workers who are disabled, trans, and/or women by providing any industrial unit employing over 500 Tamil Nadu residents who fall into those categories with a subsidy of 10% of each worker’s salary for a period of 2 years (Sivapriyan, 2024).

United Kingdom


Pool-itical correctness gone mad

On 16 February this year, the English Blackball Pool Federation (EBPF) announced it was being sued by Harriet Haynes, a pool player who is a trans woman. On 3 December last year, new EBPF policies took effect which replace its Ladies’ and Men’s Tours with a Female Tour (for people assigned female at birth) and an Open Tour (for people assigned male at birth). EBPF asserts that they “believe that people who have gone through [testosterone] puberty have a competitive advantage over [cis women]”.

Haynes alleges the new eligibility rules constitute unlawful discrimination on the ground of gender reassignment under the Equality Act 2010 s 19. EBPF, relying on s 19(2)(d) of the Act, asserts that the rules are “necessary to secure fair competition and a justified means of promoting female participation in the game,” and that Haynes was “in any event” “ineligible for the Female Tour … as a result of having turned professional” (Pinches, 2024).

Resolution pond-ered as TERF war escalates

On 3 March, at its Annual General Meeting (AGM), the Kenwood Ladies Pond Association (KLPA), which represents users of Kenwood Ladies’ Pond on Hampstead Heath, may consider a resolution to amend its constitution to “ban” trans women from using the pond. The quotation marks are because, although right-wing media — for instance Corless (2024), the main source for this story — have striven to imply otherwise, the KLPA does not actually have the authority to ban trans women from using the pond; instead, the constitutional amendment, if adopted, will bind the KLPA to “seek to influence” the facility’s manager, the City of London Corporation, to impose such a ban.

The reason the AGM “may” consider the resolution is because the KLPA’s Management Committee has advised that “the amendment may be removed from consideration at the AGM,” as it has said that it “is in receipt of legal opinion that the proposal is likely to be unlawful” (Corless, op. cit.).

United States


Labrador v. Poe: Emergency motion pending

On 16 February, in the Supreme Court of the United States, Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador (R), with the assistance of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a fascist legal advocacy group, filed an emergency motion asking the Court to lift the injunction blocking Idaho’s Vulnerable Child Protection Act, HB 71 of 2023, from going into effect. The injunction on HB 71, which bans gender-affirming care for under-18s in Idaho, was issued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho in December 2023 (Guido, 2024a). Labrador’s motion follows a previous unsuccessful request to the District Court and an appeal to the Ninth Circuit (Guido, 2024b).

B.E. v. Vigo County School Corporation: Our long nationalist nightmare is over?

On 22 February, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, plaintiffs’ and respondents’ attorneys in B.E. v. Vigo County School Corporation filed a request for a settlement conference. The plaintiffs are two transmasc students at Terre Haute North Vigo High School who allege they were illegally denied the use of correctly gendered school bathrooms and locker rooms, in violation of Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution of the United States (“VCSC transgender lawsuit,” 2024).


M. v. Komrosky: Preliminary injunction denied

On 23 February, in the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside, in the case of M. v. Komrosky, Judge Eric Keen denied a motion for a preliminary injunction blocking several policies adopted by Temecula Valley Unified School District, including one requiring district officials to notify parents if their child comes out as trans (Horseman, 2024).


HB 24-1039, -1071, -1170: Small victories for Big Trans

On 23 February 2024, in the Colorado House of Representatives, 3 bills passed second reading, meaning they have been agreed to in principle (Richard, 2024):

  • HB 24-1039, which, if adopted, will require schools to use a student’s preferred name if the student requests it, even if they haven’t legally changed their name;
  • HB 24-1071, which, if adopted, will make it easier for convicted felons who are trans to change their names to suit their gender identity.
  • HB 24–1170, which, if adopted, will establish certain rights for trans youth in juvenile detention, for instance the right to use their preferred name and gender and to have access to showers and bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.


HB 1639: Florida GOP determined to make us pay

On 22 February, the Infrastructure Strategies Committee of the Florida House of Representatives referred HB 1639 back to the House with a favourable recommendation. If passed, HB 1639 will require, with effect 1 July this year, that (Walker, 2024):

  • a person’s driving license must list their assigned sex at birth;
  • insurance companies must cover conversion therapy.


All this has happened before …

On 20 February, the Montana Department of Health and Human Services announced it would reinstate an administrative rule preventing trans Montanans from changing the gender on their birth certificates. The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana has already indicated it will sue (Silver, 2024).


HB 585: Prisoner transvestigation bill advances

On 24 February, the Corrections Committee of the Mississippi House of Representatives referred HB 585, the Dignity and Safety for Incarcerated Women Act, back to the full House. HB 585 — drafted at least in part by Alliance Defending Freedom, according to its sponsor Rep. Gene Newman (R—HD61) — would require inmate restrooms, changing rooms, and sleeping quarters in correction facilities to be designated for use only by members of a specific sex assigned at birth, and establishes a civil cause of action for inmates who encounter someone of a different assigned sex in any of those areas. How this will be determined is unclear (Goldberg, 2024).

New Hampshire

HB 1664: Lying in (20 years of) wait

On 21 February, the Judiciary Committee of the New Hampshire House of Representatives heard HB 1664, which would amend New Hampshire medical malpractice law to allow people who underwent “gender transition surgery, administration of puberty blocking drugs, and/or the administration of cross-sex hormones” while under the age of 21 to sue for “injury” resulting therefrom for up to 20 years after the fact (Freedman, 2024).

New Jersey

Old Bridge school board revokes trans protections

On 20 February, the Old Bridge Board of Education, in Middlesex County, voted 5–4 to rescind Policy 5756 (Flanagan, 2024), a policy adopted by the previous Board which protected trans students by establishing that staff members were not required to notify parents or guardians of changes in their children’s gender identity or expression, and by allowing trans students to participate in gendered activities with their correct gender and to use correctly gendered school facilities (Gross, 2023). The Board rescinded the policy despite one board member noting that of public comments received by the Board, comments favouring retention of Policy 5756 outnumbered comments favouring rescission by a margin of 2.7:1 (Flanagan, 2024).

New York

Cecilia Gentili’s funeral and its consequences

On 6 February, Cecilia Gentili, 52, trans liberationist and sex workers’ rights activist died of causes that have not as yet been publicly released (Asher, 2024). On 8 February, memorial services were held for Gentili at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan. When cathedral staff realised who she was, they cut the service short by an hour, claiming “irreveren[t] … disrespect[ful]” behaviour by mourners (Hannon & Millman, 2024).

On 17 February, Rev. Enrique Salvo (2024), the cathedral’s pastor, issued a statement claiming the Archdiocese of New York had been deceived, and announcing that the clergy had offered a Mass of Reparation. On 20 February, on a podcast distributed by the Archdiocese’s digital platform The Good Newsroom, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, said he supported the cathedral’s response (Dwyer, 2024).

On the same date, CatholicVote, a Catholic political NGO, sent a letter to Letitia James, New York State Attorney General, demanding she investigate the funeral as a hate crime (Burch, 2024). His legal argument is that the fact that the organisers weren’t fully upfront qualifies the funeral as criminal trespass per People v. Segal, which means it can be prosecuted as a hate crime under the New York Hate Crimes Act. This legal argument seems novel but I am not a lawyer, much less licensed to practice in the State of New York, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society, the organisation which arranged the funeral service, assert they “advised cathedral staff to look up Cecilia Gentili, her work, and the community she served”. They also assert St Patrick’s Cathedral violated the 1983 Code of Canon Law — I am guessing can 1181 — by forcing the service to be conducted without a Mass (Hathaway, 2024). Again, this seems like bullshit — Gentili lived a full, decent, worthwhile life so would probably be disqualified under cann 1184(1)(1) and 1184(1)(3) — but IANACL,2 and anyway I like Gentili’s people more so they get a pass.

Bruce Blakeman saves women’s sports (eye roll, wanking motion)

On 22 February, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman (R) issued an order banning women’s sports teams and leagues from using any of Nassau County’s ballfields and athletic facilities, numbering 100 or so, unless they affirm in writing that trans athletes are not competing. The order also bans trans women from women’s locker rooms (Ingle, 2024). From context, the effect of the order appears to be specific to trans women athletes; trans men are not similarly constrained from competing on men’s teams, and the order establishes a process by which they may be permitted to do so (Fahy, 2024).

In a press release, Letitia James, New York State Attorney General, said the order was “transphobic and deeply dangerous” and that “we are reviewing our legal options” (Office of the New York State Attorney General, 2024). The Gender Equality Law Center (Williams & Anderson, 2024), LGBT Network (Ingram, 2024), and the New York Civil Liberties Union3 (Campanile & Sheehan, 2024), have all gone further by explicitly describing the order as illegal. Bobby Hodgson, Director of LGBTQ+ rights litigation at the NYCLU, specifically asserted the executive order contravenes the New York Civil Rights Law and the New York Human Rights Law (Barmash, 2024), and said the NYCLU was reviewing its legal options (Ingram, 2024; New York Civil Liberties Union, 2024).

Caveat: At date, 26 February 00:19 AEST (25 February 14:19 UTC), I still haven’t been able to read the order itself because the Nassau County Executive website is unresponsive. Judging by the way all of my sources are hedging about specifics I have a feeling I’m not the only one with this issue.


Linn-Mar decides it easier to just pay PDE to go away

On 20 February, Linn-Mar Community School District announced it would pay $20,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Parents Defending Education (PDE), a fascist legal advocacy group, over a district policy supporting trans kids. Policy 504.13-R, Administrative regulations regarding transgender students nonconforming to gender role stereotypes, adopted 25 April 2022 and rescinded in March 2023, allowed trans kids to start socially transitioning at school whether or not their parents approved (King, 2024).


16-year-old child murdered, everyone pretending otherwise

On 7 February, Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old student at Owasso High School, Tulsa County, was physically assaulted by three cis girls in a bathroom, sustaining head injuries (Ayer et al., 2024), bruises and scratches (Algar, 2024). The attack came amidst an ongoing campaign of bullying targeting Benedict over his gender (Talt, 2024).

Owasso HS staff did not call police or an ambulance, claiming Benedict had been medically cleared by a registered nurse (Owasso Public Schools, 2024), even though since-released surveillance footage (Drennen, 2024) makes it extremely obvious that he was displaying cardinal signs of a concussion. Benedict ultimately only received treatment at Bailey Medical Center when his grandmother Sue took him there there. The next day, 8 February, Benedict abruptly stopped breathing and lost consciousness; he was pronounced dead that evening.

The specific pretext for the attack is unclear; it may have been sparked by Oklahoma’s anti-trans bathroom law (Hurley, 2024a), 70 Okla Stat § 1-125, with which Benedict was complying at the time of the attack (Rajkumar, 2024). The attack took place in a broader context of anti-trans forces being allowed to act with increasing impunity in Oklahoma; a teacher to whom Benedict looked up, Tyler Wrynn, was forced to resign after being targeted by fascist influencer Chaya Raichik (a/k/a Libs of TikTok) over a video in which he told students, “If your parents don’t accept you for who you are, fuck ’em.” In January this year, Oklahoma Public Schools Superintendent Ryan Walters (R) appointed Raichik to the Oklahoma Library Media Advisory Committee (Carless, 2024; Hurley, 2024a).

The Tulsa County District Attorney’s office has not filed charges at date, pending the results of an investigation by Owasso Police Department (“Owasso PD”). Owasso PD, for their part, are claiming the autopsy results indicated that Benedict “did not die as a result of trauma” (Owasso Police Department, 2024). They also say they have not yet received toxicology and “other ancillary testing” results; they also say that the official autopsy report will be released “at a later date” (Alfonseca, 2024). Benedict’s family have announced they will conduct their own independent investigation (Hurley, 2024b). The New York Times reports that Owasso HS students have said that — aside from informing students that counselling is available (Owasso Public Schools, op. cit.) — staff have taken no meaningful action to address the issue (Goodman & Sandoval, 2024).

On 21 February, Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a liberal LGBTQ+ advocacy group, requested in a letter to Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General, that the Department of Justice initiated a federal investigation into Benedict’s death (Robinson, 2024). That request has since been echoed by U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres (D–NY-15) (Torres, 2024).


HB 878: Because one Kim Davis wasn’t enough

On 21 February, Governor Bill Lee (R) signed HB 878 into law. HB 878 provides that “A person shall not be required to solemnize a marriage if the person has an objection to solemnizing the marriage based on the person’s conscience or religious beliefs”. HB 878 does not permit officials to deny marriage licenses (Sforza, 2024); however, a marriage license only allows the recipient to marry. Solemnisation is the process by which the marriage becomes legally official and binding.

There are, to my knowledge, no restrictions on which reasons of conscience constitute sufficient grounds to refuse to solemnise a marriage. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Monty Fritts (R–HD32), has claimed that the bill is intended to combat “young folks … trying to marry older folks to get to their financial accounts” (Migdon, 2024). Notwithstanding the impressive chutzpah required to try that one on, LGBTQ+ advocacy groups including Lambda Legal and the Tennessee Equality Project have identified the bill as primarily targeting queer couples; however, I am inclined to agree with commentators who say that interracial and interfaith couples are likely to be primary targets as well (Faqiri, 2024; Salerno, 2024).

The fact that refusing to solemnise an interracial or queer marriage would — as I understand it — immediately provoke an as-applied challenge to the constitutionality of the statute based on Loving v. Virginia or Obergefell v. Hodges respectively may or may not matter; Obergefell depends heavily on Loving, and both are in the category of substantive due process precedents which at least one justice overtly, and probably more covertly, has had their eye on since Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case which overturned Roe v. Wade.


Fox v. City of Austin: Try posting through it

On 20 February, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, in the case of Fox v. City of Austin, Alliance Defending Freedom filed a motion for summary judgement on behalf of plaintiff Dr Andrew Fox. On 9 December 2023, Fox was dismissed in his role as Austin Fire Department chaplain after a series of blog posts which his colleagues characterised as “male chauvinis[t], racis[t], and transphobi[c]” (Abrams, 2024).

Lakewood Church shooting: Right-wing bullshit intensifies

SP Weekly #3 covered an extensive operation aimed at pretending the Lakewood Church shooter was trans. The case is now being used by a number of fascist activists to pretend there is a growing trend of violence by trans and nonbinary people (Mahlburg, 2024; Trump, 2024). As USA Today notes, this is unequivocally not the case (Settles, 2024).

San Antonio college transphobe reinstated

On 20 February, First Liberty Institute (2024), a fascist legal advocacy group, announced that a plaintiff they represented, Johnson Varkey, had been reinstated as an adjunct professor at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio. Varkey had been dismissed from the College in January 2023 (“Biology professor fired,” 2023) for “religious preaching, discriminatory comments about homosexuals and transgender individuals, anti-abortion rhetoric, and misogynistic banter” (Dawson, 2023). In July of that year he had filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging unlawful discrimination under Title VII and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act. His reinstatement appears to be part of the Alamo College District’s settlement of that complaint.


Natalie Cline incapable of taking a break

On 19 February, Utah State Board of Education Member Natalie Cline (R–District 11) — who, as reported in SP Weekly #2 and #3, was censured by her colleagues and the State of Utah was censured for transvestigating a teenage cis girl — announced she would stand for re-election. The announcement also functioned as a response to the Board’s demand that she resign by that date; the Board currently does not have the power to expel her (Schoenbaum, 2024).

West Virginia

HB 5297: Suicidal trans kids? Let ’em die

On 23 February, the Health and Human Resources Committee of the West Virginia House of Delegates took up HB 5297. West Virginia imposed a ban on gender-affirming care for people under 18 last year, with an exemption for those at risk of harming or killing themselves. HB 5297 removes that exemption. Del. Amy Summers (R–HD49), the Committee chair, scheduled deliberation on the bill specifically so as to prevent a public hearing (Culvyhouse, 2023).


SF 98 and 99: There is no kill like overkill

On 21 February, the Labor, Health and Social Services Committee of the Wyoming Senate held hearings on:

  • Senate File (SF) 98, which would extend the statute of limitations for causes of action relating to youth gender-affirming care, allowing recipients of such care to sue their practitioners until their 21st birthday — in contrast to Wyoming malpractice law in general, which requires a malpractice lawsuit to be filed within 2 years of the injury (Beaudet, 2024);
  • SF 99, Chloe’s Law, named for Chloe Cole, an ideologically motivated detransitioned activist, which would ban gender-affirming care in Wyoming for people under 18 (Wolfson, 2024).

Several Problems Press

Change of hosting

On 24 February, I migrated Several Problems Press to a new hosting provider. Previously SP Press was on a paid plan, meaning my hosting provider was Automattic, Inc., which operates and tumblr. Anecdotally, over the years, tumblr moderation has displayed an intensifying pattern of transmisogyny, overpolicing and wrongly penalising transmisogyny-affected (TMA) people, such as trans women and other transfeminine people, for content which is objectively compliant with tumblr’s terms of service (TOS), while refusing to action complaints from TMA people even when doing so is clearly warranted.

In the past week or so, in reaction to someone sending him a Tumblr ask about this (Mullenweg, 2024a), Matt Mullenweg, Automattic’s chief executive officer (CEO), has engaged in what I can only describe as a spree of transmisogynistic stalking and harassment, including grossly violating data protection law by posting the usernames of all the alts of the trans woman whose suspension he was being asked about (Mullenweg, 2024b), and by pretending to believe that the following post by her was a legitimate threat to his life which justified reporting her to the FBI (Mullenweg, 2024a):

Unlike, for example, Twitter, where the reactionary failson CEO who runs the platform as a dictator is also the sole owner, Automattic is a public company, so it is in theory possible that Matt could be forced to pull his head in. However, the subsequent statement released by tumblr staff (2024) has not filled me with confidence; it reads like pushing out Automattic’s queer and trans staff in front of the enraged crowd as meatshields and forcing them to release a statement which makes a big show of performatively disowning Matt while committing to fixing precisely none of the systematic issues which have been highlighted by his conduct.

Under the circumstances, I feel that remaining a paying customer of Automattic is being a turkey paying for Christmas. Because SP Press also has a policy of allowing pseudonymous contributions, the fact that Matt’s malicious disregard for data protection law did not get him immediately extremely fired does not fill me with confidence that I can protect the privacy of my so far majority transfem contributors.

Accordingly, I have moved to a new hosting provider. Since the WordPress CMS is open-source, Automattic is not getting one red cent from me. That said, I get sweaty and nauseous when I see words like “cPanel,” so I don’t know how well the migration worked. Please let me know if you find any issues.

Feedback: Where are the pictures?

I have received feedback suggesting SP Press needs more pictures. I agree. Unfortunately I don’t know how to make that happen without violating copyright: I am a single person who is financially underwater so my image licensing budget is $0. I could use royalty-free stock images but they wouldn’t be relevant to the stories and it would quickly become obvious that I just had pictures to have pictures, which I feel is sort of missing the point of having pictures. Please contact me if you have any ideas.

If you found this article at all useful, please consider supporting me via Patreon, Ko-fi, or PayPal.


1 — It’s in the sources but I’m not providing it on SP Press. If Joanne wants advertising she can pay me.

2 — I am not a canon lawyer.

3 — For the avoidance of doubt, the NYCLU is the affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union in the State of New York.


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