Monday, July 11, 2016

Good News ... Bad News ... Good News On Trans Rights

Last week, in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker signed new legislation that will allow anyone in the state to use bathrooms or locker rooms that match their gender identity, and empowers authorities to make sure that no one does so fraudulently.

Now, how this is going to be done is unclear; oh, not the trans person using the bathroom, that’s been going on forever. But how will authorities make sure that a non-trans person isn’t using the bathroom for their own disgusting purposes is unclear.

Opponents of the legislation say that male sexual predators might pretend to be trans women in order to enter a woman’s bathroom or locker room even though there doesn’t seem to be a single case on the books to suggest this has been an issue ever.
“This … legislation extends additional protections to the commonwealth’s transgender community, and includes language to address the public safety concerns expressed by some by requiring the attorney general to issue regulations to protect against people abusing the law.” — Governor Baker
While this is a celebratory moment for the LGBTQ community and our trans brothers and sisters, let’s not forget North Carolina and their law that — in addition to denying LGBT North Carolinians equal protection under the law — mandates people use only the restrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificates.And let us not forget that on the heels of Governor Baker signing this new law, some ten other states filed suit against the federal government over public schools allowing trans students to use restrooms conforming to their gender identity. Those backwoods states are, well, the usual suspects: Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North and South Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Wyoming.

And so now nearly half the states in this country are fighting to make sure transgender students can be discriminated against in schools. Yes, they’re fighting for the right to discriminate.

That new federal lawsuit in Nebraska challenges the federal government’s recent guidelines about the protections transgender students deserve under the law. And this new lawsuit joins a separate lawsuit that Texas — along with about a dozen states — filed in May.

The Nebraska suit argues that the Department of Justice [DOJ] and Department of Education [DOE] are overstepping their roles by “rewriting” the term “sex” to include “gender identity.” And, like the Texas suit, the Nebraska suit focuses mostly on how the new guidelines were issued; it’s semantics, y’all.

While the Administrative Procedures Act says that that when agencies like the DOF and the DOE clarify an existing rule, they can just issue new guidelines. But these Hate States say these agencies have created a new rule by now clarifying that “sex” protections should include transgender individuals, and so they want the DOJ and the DOE to go through a lengthy notice-and-comment period before the new guidelines are finalized.

You know, drag it out so the kids can’t pee. And the most disgusting part of these lawsuits is the wording in the suits seems to deny the very existence of transgender people and their identities:
“Neither the text nor the legislative history of Title IX supports an interpretation of the term “sex” as meaning anything other than one’s sex as determined by anatomy and genetics, which was the meaning assigned “sex” by the leading dictionaries at the time Congress enacted the statute.”
Basically, these Hate States think Title IX’s enforcement should be permanently attached to a 1972 understanding of the word “sex” — the term ‘transgender’ was first coined in 1965 — and the fact that trans people have failed to obtain protection under the law in the past is somehow proof that they should receive no protections now.

And while most of the research of what it means to be transgender is very recent, Nebraska and the Hate States argue that none of that new information should inform enforcement of Title IX. They want to use an understanding of transgender from back in the day when very few people knew what it meant; back when even the word itself was new. They clearly want to live in the past, with the rules and laws of the past informing the rules and laws of today, even though we have, or at least some of us have, increased knowledge and awareness of what it means to be trans.

But these Hate States aren’t concerned with how the transgender person feels, but rather how other people feel around, or about, transgendered persons. The suit maintains that individuals must use bathrooms or locker rooms based on their “biological sex” and even trots out the Hate Speech about how anyone can get access to any facility by just changing their gender identity on a whim.

You know, because that’s what it means to be trans … changing gender because of a mood or a feeling. Of course, the hate is clearly evident in the fact that, in the Nebraska suit specifically, nowhere is the word “transgender” even used unless they are quoting another document.

They’re so afraid to say the word so how can we possibly believe they’ll, ever accept the word, or the transgender person?

On the upside of the Hate … Friday was the deadline for collecting signatures for a Washington state anti-trans ballot initiative, and those anti-LGBT conservatives have fallen far short of the signatures they needed to legislate discrimination.

The Just Want Privacy campaign—an off-shoot of the Hate Group, Family Policy Institute of Washington—had proposed Initiative 1515 — very similar to North Carolina’s HB2 — to ban transgender people from restrooms that match their gender identity, but it also would have allowed students to sue schools if they saw transgender students in the “other” bathroom.

Luckily, though, Just Want Privacy cancelled their appointment to deliver their petitions to the Secretary of State because they have failed to collect even two-thirds of the 300,000 signatures they hoped to collect.

And so, last Friday, the campaign’s leaders released a statement conceding failure:
“Just Want Privacy will not give up the fight to protect the state’s girls and women and is considering all of its options for repealing the ‘Open Locker Room’ rule. The current law is grotesquely dangerous and in need of dramatic revision.”
This sign of failure is in sharp contrast to their website crowing just a week ago that they were “almost there” but, since they tried fear instead of facts, maybe the good people, of Washington saw the Hate for just that: fear and hate.

Now if only we could get those other twenty or so states to understand that ….

2 comments:

the dogs' mother said...

They only got 100,000+ signatures out of a population
of 7 million in WA AC.

Helen Lashbrook said...

Perhaps these hateful legislators are breathlessly awaiting the arrival of President Strumpet in the hopes that he will back them?

Don't people realise that becoming transgender is a very difficult and painful journey, physically and emotionally. Only the brave venture on to it; I salute their bravery.