Archive for the ‘Human Rights Campaign’ category

Bathrooms Please !

May 22, 2016

The recent North Carolina controversy about who can use which gender designated bathroom reminds me of children’s arguments about which toy they can play with next. It totally baffles me why a modern State like North Carolina would rush HB-2 through and even more baffling why a former mayor of the vibrant commercial city of Charlotte would sign the bill into law.

Politics, in the sense of there is no place too low to go if one wants to win, is the most likely explanation. But why show everyone how pedestrian State politicians might be?

The advocacy groups who support transgender people being able to use which ever bathroom the individual feels most comfortable with has been somewhat as inane as the politicians supporting HB 2. Imagine (this may be an extreme) someone with facial hair (mustache, beard) who truly feels they are on the journey to identifying as a woman walking into a ladies room. Most anyone would react with surprise followed by some degree of uneasiness.

HB-2 also gratuitously opens the door for discrimination against gays by negating any local ordinances which specifically include sexual orientation as a basis for discrimination.

So, why was this necessary?

HB-2 was code named the “bathroom” law. Supporters cited the risk of allowing trans persons from using a bathroom of their choice that sexual predators would use this as cover and also enter women’s bathrooms and molest young children. Hmmm.

First, there is nothing in the law that prevents this from happening and most tellingly, there is no epidemic of predators invading women’s bathrooms now.

Through the fog of nonsense, however, HB-2 answers the concerns and hurt feelings of religious groups who still claim the Bible tells them being gay (and OMG, same sex marriage) is flat out wrong. Politicians who generally wear religion on their sleeve more vividly than in their heart have seen HB-2 as a sure fire vote getter.

The bill doesn’t outrightly call out gays, lesbians, and bi-sexuals for new “anti” measures. HB-2 is much more sophisticated. Since current North Carolina State law provides no specific protections around sexual orientation, HB-2 cleverly says no North Carolina city could enacts its own sexual discrimination laws.

Transgenders are the least understood LGBT group but the idea that a male born, female oriented person could use a lady’s bathroom just could not be imagined by many North Carolinians.

Not so long ago, when the gays rights movement was springing to life, a majority of Americans considered being gay a learned or nurtured condition.  “Love thy neighbor as thy self” didn’t cut it among many religious groups nationally. Being gay was an undesirable condition.

But then something began to happen across American. Americans began to get to know someone who was gay and the condition became real. Suddenly, being gay was viewed as a result of nature, or in other words, being gay was a form of being normal.

While there are still religious groups which denounce homosexuality, most now make fools of themselves by claiming they respect a homosexual as a person but not the life style practices of homosexuals. Hmmm. Never the less,today, more than 50% of Americans support gay rights including same sex marriage.

North Carolina is not going to get this genie back in the bottle. Supreme Court rulings clearly prohibit sexual orientation as a valid basis for discrimination and have also approved same sex marriage as a right of gay couples. So there.

But what about these sexual predators?

Most people do not carry around their birth certificate so it is unreasonable to expect anyone to be able to prove what their sex at birth might have been. Male to female trans persons (assuming no beards) will use a stall in a lady’s room and no one will be the wiser anyways. Female to male trans would be expected to also select a stall when using a men’s room. So where will the provocation be?

Several times in my life time I have been in a restroom and someone from the opposite sex has come in. Usually it is with a young boy who doesn’t know (or want) to enter the room by himself. Other times it is a personal emergency such as a super long line to get in a lady’s room or some mechanical problem making the room unavailable. When nature calls, laws do not mean much.

The LGBT community is arguing HB-2 is about denying respect for transgender people. Maybe, but HB-2 more clearly reflects ignorance and foolishness on the part of State law makers. Transgender use of public bathrooms will in 99.9% of the cases not be recognized by anyone else (person with beard using a lady’s room excepted).

So why is this big deal?

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The Morning After

June 28, 2015

There has been a lot of celebrating these past couple of days. Everywhere one looks there are rainbow color decorations. The White House, so many celebrities FB pictures, and large groups of LBGT members all celebrating the Supreme Court 5-4 decision. While the hooting and hollering might go on for a few more days, what’s next is a fair question.

Marriage Equality has been a brilliant campaign waged by the “Human Rights Campaign” and now that the Supreme Court decision has opened up marriage and the accompanying rights and benefits to the gay community, the questions is where will HRC turn its attention?

Will they seek to advance immigration reform? Or, will they turn their attention to the many aspects of racial division? Or, would it be the general disgrace of poverty and how to end it?  The basic question is will HRC reach out to help those who have helped HRC?  Who knows?

Of course, HRC may announce that there still remains discrimination against the LBGT community and so there is still much work to be done. Hmmm. Does this sound like charities you have heard about which keep raising money long after their goals have been met? Hmmm.

It is too soon to expect an answer from HRC. For sure there will be challenges to the Supreme Court decision against which HRC is well positioned to mount a response. But looking down the road, does HRC see itself as a permanent entity perpetually guarding (or advancing) the rights of LGBT members?

I would hope the HRC top leadership possesses a vision where LGBT members think of themselves first as Americans and treat their sexual orientation as a natural gift (like being left handed). The vision would foresee no need to flaunt sexuality and no LGBT member would need to be defensive about it either.

Certainly one challenging goal the HRC might think about is to promote LGBT marriages which build better families and last as long or longer than heterosexual marriages. While it might be argued that multiple marriages, if consensual, makes no real difference, never the less “traditional marriage” is generally thought of as a long term, if not life time, arrangement.  Strong family units require more than just longevity.  Longevity and strength ought to be the goal.

What a better way to respond to Bible Thumpers who praised “traditional” marriage (they meant one man, one woman)?  LGBT marriages which lasts longer on average than heterosexual ones?  Hmmm, that seems like a peaceful “gotcha”.