South’s Transgender Icon, Rothblatt, Blazes LBGT Rights & Broke World Record Tech Trails

The Resistance Reports

March 19, 2017

On February 16, 2017, Dr. Rothblatt’s electric helicopter established new world records of a 30 minute duration flight and a 800 foot altitude at Los Alamitos Army Airfield.[27] At the end of the flight, the 2500 pound helicopter still had 8% state of charge remaining in its Brammo batteries. n 1994, at age 40, she came out as transgender[33] and changed her name to Martine Aliana Rothblatt. She has since become a vocal advocate for transgender rights. Rothblatt is  also an advocate for LGBTQ rights and an outspoken opponent of North Carolina’s controversial HB-2 law.[35]

Rothblatt contributed $258,000 to SpacePAC, a super PAC that supported her son, Gabriel, who was running as a Democrat in Florida’s 8th congressional district[36] but lost.[37] Gabriel is a pastor for the Terasem Movement.[38][39][40][41]

Wikipedia:

Martine Aliana Rothblatt (born 1954) is an American lawyer, author, and entrepreneur. In 1982, Rothblatt married Bina Aspen, a realtor from Compton, California.[2][3][4][29][30] They have four children together. Rothblatt and Aspen legally adopted one another’s children.[31][32] In 1994, at age 40, she came out as transgender[33] and changed her name to Martine Aliana Rothblatt. She has since become a vocal advocate for transgender rights.

Rothblatt graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a combined law and MBA degree in 1981, then began work in Washington, D.C., first in the field of communications satellite law, and eventually in life sciences projects like the Human Genome Project.[5] She is the founder and Chairman of the Board of United Therapeutics. She was also the CEO of GeoStar and the creator of SiriusXM Satellite Radio

In 2004, Rothblatt launched the Terasem Movement, a transhumanist school of thought focused on promoting joydiversity, and the prospect of technological immortality via mind uploading and geoethical nanotechnology. Through a charitable foundation, leaders of this school convene publicly accessible symposia, publish explanatory analyses, conduct demonstration projects, issue grants, and encourage public awareness and adherence to Terasem values and goals. The movement maintains a “Terasem Island” on the Internet-based virtual world Second Life, which is currently composed of two sims,[34] which was constructed by the E-Spaces company.

Rothblatt is an advocate for LGBTQ rights and an outspoken opponent of North Carolina’s controversial HB-2 law.[35]

Through her blog Mindfiles, Mindware and Mindclones, she writes about “the coming age of our own cyberconsciousness and techno-immortality“ and started a vlog together with Ulrike Reinhard on the same topic. She also created Lifenaut.com as a place where thousands of people could go to backup their minds.

Rothblatt contributed $258,000 to SpacePAC, a super PAC that supported her son, Gabriel, who was running as a Democrat in Florida’s 8th congressional district[36] but lost.[37] Gabriel is a pastor for the Terasem Movement.[38][39][40][41]

The Business Backlash to North Carolina’s LGBT Law

A bill passed this week pits the state Republican Party’s desire to be friendly to business friendliness against its social conservatism, the Atlantic reports (source).

When Republicans in North Carolina’s General Assembly decided to pass a law preventing cities from barring LGBT discrimination, creating transgender bathroom accommodation, or enacting minimum wages, they moved quickly. On Monday, they announced a special session. They convened two days later, releasing the legislative language just minutes beforehand. By Wednesday evening, Governor Pat McCrory had signed the bill into law.

The fast pace prevented opponents from rallying against the bill, but it didn’t quell their concerns. The last two days have seen a growing chorus of disapprobation within and outside the state.

The noisier protests come from activists. Hundreds of people rallied outside the legislature on Thursday, and at least five were arrested. Activists planned another demonstration on Friday, using a naughty play on “sit-ins.” “Seeing as our Governor seems so concerned with our bathroom habits we’ve decided to bring him a little gift,” the organizer wrote. “I’ve secured a Port O John to be delivered tomorrow to Raleigh and would love have as many people join us as possible as we attempt to give Governor Pat McCrory this important symbol of the work he’s done for NC.” A man named J.P. Sheffield, who lives in Georgia, mocked McCrory in a tweet:

Less noisy but perhaps more consequential in political terms are the objections being raised by businesses. Liberal protests against Republican initiatives in Raleigh have been par for the course for four years, with little effect. But the business backlash could sting.

On Wednesday, as the bill was being considered, Dow Chemical, Biogen, and Raleigh-based software company Red Hat all opposed it. Others have since added their voices, including IBM, American Airlines, PayPal, and Apple. (Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, is openly gay and graduated from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.) As my colleague Gillian White reported this week, North Carolina has sought to make itself a hub for tech companies and startups. Democrats in the state say the law could endanger federal Title IX funding for schools.

The NBA, in a statement, suggested it might reconsider plans to host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte. The NCAA also suggested the law might cause it to change plans to hold elements of its annual college-basketball tournament and other events in the Old North State—a move that could resonate in this hoops-crazed state.

These business statements do carry sway in the state—the question is how much. As I’ve written elsewhere, the GOP ended a long period of divided government or Democratic control by marrying the heft of pro-business conservatives who wanted lower taxes and less regulation to social conservatives who oppose things like abortion, LGBT rights, and gun control. Thus far, that coalition has been very successful—the state has passed a remarkable slate of conservative changes. But there are cracks showing in places. Republican legislators have on occasion run roughshod over McCrory, a governor from their own party, overriding his vetoes on things like a previous religious-freedom law. To the horror of pro-business conservatives in the state, North Carolina Republicans voted resoundingly for Donald Trump in the March 15 GOP primary.

Then came the LBGT and transgender bill, which creates a direct collision between pro-business conservatives and social conservatives—and, opponents hope, represents an overreach by the legislature. McCrory, who’s in the pro-business camp, opposed Charlotte’s ordinance but also opposed the special section to override it and wanted a narrower bill. Yet when the bill reached his desk, the governor quickly signed it.

The philosophical problem for McCrory is that it’s hard to paint the state as business-friendly when it’s taking steps that major businesses criticize. But it’s hard to win elections with only the support of pro-business conservatives. This isn’t just a theoretical challenge: McCrory is up for reelection in November, running against Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, who opposed the law. In Georgia, business backlash against a religious-freedom bill has threatened to derail it. In North Carolina, the type and scale of backlash could determine whether the law remains or whether legislators revisit it—and it could also determine the future course of the state’s conservative movement.

 

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