Transgender students in California are one step closer to playing on their school's one-sex sports team of choice or have access to a bathroom based on their chosen gender identity, not their physical sex at birth. The state Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would mandate school districts allow transgender students their choice.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) Assembly Bill 1266 is aimed at prohibiting "discrimination against transgender students" in the state's school districts, Ammiano said.
Several school districts, including in Los Angeles and San Francisco, already have policies that allow students to participate in activities and use facilities for the gender they identify with, according to local news reports. Should the bill also pass in the state's Senate and signed by the governor, it would ensure that all students have equal access, according to Ammiano. more >>
Atheist professor and author Richard Dawkins is set to moderate a panel examining what the American Humanist Association says are the harmful effects of religious fundamentalism on children at its 72nd annual conference in San Diego.
Sean Faircloth, director of Strategy & Policy at the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, said in a post announcing the news about the June 1 event that in his experience as assistant attorney general in Maine handling child protection cases, he has seen how "disheartening" it is for religion to be "used as a justification for policies that would never be acceptable – but for the imprimatur of religion."
In addition to Faircloth, some of the speakers who will be participating on the panel moderated by Dawkins include Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children, and Janet Heimlich, author of Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment. more >>
Dallas Willard, an American philosopher, professor and author specializing his studies in Christian spiritual formation, died early Wednesday morning at age 77 after enduring a battle with stage four cancer.
Willard, a philosophy professor at the University of Southern California and prolific writer, passed peacefully, uttering his last words, "thank you," from his hospital bed.
"Early on the morning of May 8, 2013, Dallas Albert Willard awakened to a full experience of the reality of the Kingdom of the Heavens he described so beautifully. Fittingly, his last two words were, 'Thank you,'" Gary Moon, executive director of the Dallas Willard Center at Westmont College, wrote on the Dallas Willard Center for Spiritual Reformation's website. more >>
Tim Lambesis, co-founder and lead singer of heavy metal band As I Lay Dying, has been arrested for allegedly trying to hire someone to kill his estranged wife.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department arrested the singer "without incident" Tuesday afternoon after he solicited an undercover detective to commit the murder, a press release from the department states. Authorities received word on May 2 that Lambesis was allegedly soliciting another person to carry out his plot against the Encinitas, Calif., woman, prompting them to immediately launch an investigation.
"The information came to us late last week. We acted quickly on it. I believe that we averted a great tragedy," Jan Caldwell, a sheriff's department spokesperson, told Reuters. Caldwell said she was unable to disclose certain details about the case, including Lambesis' potential motive, because the investigation is ongoing. more >>
While a ferocious, wind-driven wildfire grew along the California coast northwest of Los Angeles, firefighters were hopeful early Saturday that an expected weekend change in the weather will likely help them keep the inferno away from 4,000 homes and a military base.
Homes in Ventura County and Glendale were spared from the fire on Friday as firefighters fought against the flames, according to the Los Angeles Times. More firefighters were expected to arrive and it was being hoped that diminishing winds and higher humidity would help them make headway on Saturday.
Firefighters are expected to take until next Monday to fully contain the blaze, which sent a pall of thick smoke drifting over the beach community of Malibu and farther inland across Los Angeles County, according to Reuters. more >>
Outspoken San Diego Pastor Chris Clark of the East Clairemont Southern Baptist Church of San Diego, Calif., isn't shy about defending citizens' rights when it comes to government encroachment, especially when it pertains to parental rights.
Speaking out against the California Family Health Council mailing condoms to more youths, Clark told The Christian Post, "This is one more example of the government's intrusion on parental rights and responsibilities with their kids. … And it goes against what Scripture teaches."
The California Family Health Council, a statewide organization that "champions and promotes access to quality sexual and reproductive health care for all, including abortion," is expanding its free home mailer condom distribution program for teenagers, 12 to 19, to Fresno and San Diego counties, under its Condom Access Project. more >>