Posted tagged ‘north carolina’

The Bathroom Law Hoot

July 30, 2017

Americasn’ social awareness has evolved and continues to evolve. Homosexuality, which in years past, was the source of whispers, rumors, and outright disparagement has come out of the closet and, in all its multicolor stripes, shines brightly before all Americans. For some Americans this change has been just too much. “My whole life has informed me that this type of life style is wrong”, some say. Others add, “why even the Bible says its wrong.” Hmmm.

The acceptance of gays and gay life styles (by some Americans but not all) stems from largely the realization that someone they know or see regularly was gay and on top of that was respected when the person was in the closet. For this group of Americans, the recognition that the “gay” person was a contributing member of society was enough reason to change their minds. Gay life style was not a learned behavior, rather it was a natural condition for that person. Being gay was nature, not nurtured.

A fundamental of political life is to separate the whole into smaller groups and find ways to lump to gather a majority from these separate groups and produce a voting majority. Since gays are a minority, separating them out and emphasizing some aspects of gay life which could, in turn, cause “non-gays” to unite has been an obvious tactic.

And what better ally than to invoke god and the bible?

Gay men and lesbians were the easiest to understand. Gays and Lesbians were born that way. Transgender people, however, represented a much more difficult group to comprehend. Members of this group was born one gender and later sought to attain the physical characteristics and to live like the other gender. How is that possible?

For bible thumpers and the political low life’s who were ready to exploit them, the trans community was red meat. Discrimination against this group must be possible because they were less known and least understood. And most of all, clever discrimination could result in political victories.

When Charlotte passed an ordinance declaring it legal for someone to use the bathroom which matched their gender identification, North Carolina’s State elected officials had seen enough. (More to the point, many of these officials saw an opportunity). North Carolina passed a law (HB-2) which mandated that individuals had to use public restroom which match their birth gender. Hmmm.

After much debate and more importantly economic backlash from organizations such as the NCAA, the North Carolina legislation cried uncle and reversed the law. Now, here comes Texas.

Gallantly, Texas lawmakers worried about protecting innocent women from a transgender female (read male at birth) from entering a “female” marked restroom and doing something other than using the facilities. Hmmm.

Texas too demanded transgender people to use the restroom of their birth sex identity.

The hoot of this controversy lies in the realization that once someone has undergone a “trans” (transition from male to female or female to male), they no longer necessarily look like their former gender. Trans males often grow beards and trans women grow breasts.

Doesn’t anyone think that would present a give away if a big breasted “male” walked into a men’s room, or bearded “lady” entered a women’s room?

Of course, the real purpose behind these bathroom bills is power and searching for logic is non-sensical. And, to tell these “god fearing” christians that almost for certain they have already been using restroom while a transgender person was using it too could be too devastating to handle. Some things are better left unsaid.

It’s A Start

May 10, 2012

“I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”

With those words, President Obama turned a page he cannot turn back.  The impact of his words remain to be seen, the import, however, is significant.

The President explained his position by saying, at first, he thought that civil unions would be sufficient but has come to see they are not.  The President was recognizing the  symbol as well as legal aspects of same sex couples.  All that has been needed has been laws that said existing statues with the word “marriage” much construe this word to be equivalent to “civil union”.  That act should have been enough but it was not.

Why?

First religious groups have mounted stiff opposition.  Claiming the bible as their justification, these groups have worked to block civil unions and where not possible to block, to water down the legislation.  These groups wished to deny others the same benefits they enjoyed even though granting these benefits would in no way hurt individuals within those religious groups.

Second, some proponents of same sex marriage rejected civil unions on the basis that their goal was “marriage” and nothing short of “marriage” would suffice.  Their theory was to act as if same sex marriage is an obvious right and the outcomes will be better than just shooting for civil unions.

Third, there has been a steady but slow evolution of American thinking.  What is emerging is the inconvenient evidence that the GBLT community is (and has been) all around us and are (and have been) productive contributing members of the community.

So why should committed couples of the same sex not be able to form a marriage agreement?

Under our Constitution, rights are rights and no religion or club has rights over that of the State or Federal Government.  Some place in our history that distinction between the legal and spiritual aspects of marriage was lost.  The opposition today stems mostly from ignorance or from organization that sense they will lose some of their significance if same sex couples can get married.

Opponents are really left with emotional arguments.  The bible says this or that.  Or the person’s belief that god has instructed him/her to oppose gay marriage.  Or, that wholesome family life is the bedrock of America and same sex families are an inappropriate example in which to raise a family.

Clever politicians see this issue as an opportunity to parlay votes.  Proponents and opponent politicians act the same.  They do the calculations and side with the pros if that will help them or the cons if that is better.  So is there a right answer?

Probably.  Marriage should be the province of churches or clubs or simply between to consenting people.  Civil unions ought be a legal agreement which pertains to the formation, operation, and dissolution of a couple’s financial, property, and legacy assets.

President Obama’s conclusion that “for me personally” is a well crafted step forward.  He has cast his vote “for” but has left the issue to continue to evolve.  Public opinion has been trending towards favoring same sex marriage and given a little more time, supporters will gain an even larger majority.  Given the nature of the opposition, it is hard to imagine any new (or better stated) opposition that would swing public opinion against same sex marriage in the future.

Feeling Comfortable

May 8, 2012

Vice President Biden said over the weekend that he was comfortable with Federal workers, be they a man-man, woman-woman, or man-woman combination, if married or in a civil union, receiving all the same benefits.  Secretary of Education Archie Duncan echoed the same thoughts.  Reporters are asking, “what is the President thinking now?”

Clearly same sex marriage (or civil unions) is a politically loaded subject.  It is ready made for all the demagoguery that the lowest of the low can throw out.  It also opens a pandora’s box of benefit justifications most married couples took for granted.  Why should property pass from one person to another tax free if they are married and not if they are single but the best of friends?

North Carolina is going to the polls for a special election which would ratify a change to their State Constitution outlawing same sex marriages and civil unions.  This is somewhat like sentencing a criminal to multiple life sentences, or life plus 50 years.  North Caroline already has a law that prohibits same sex marriage or civil unions.  Why does it need a constitutional amendment?

The question that seems like the elephant in the room is why does anyone care whether same sex couples get married, (some will) undoubtably argue, get divorced, and pay alimony?  Who is so concerned about same sex couples that they want to spare them this domestic turmoil?

I could understand a purely economic argument.  Marriage brings with it normally healthcare benefits from one of the spouses.  A boy and his girl friend (and vice versa) don’t qualify.  The boy must get married first.  So purely from a dollars and cents perspective, adding same sex couples will add cost.  

Unfortunately there is a fairness test.  If same sex couples did join together in some type of legally sanctioned union, then why should they be treated differently from heterosexual couples?

The answer flows easily from opponents to same sex marriage.  God is against it.  (As if they have some hotline or magical powers to know).  

Others will say this is simply a State’s Right issue and the Federal Government has no place in it.  If States say no same sex marriage, then that’s it.

Oh, but what about that fairness issue again?  Supreme Court coming soon?

Same sex marriage is similar to so many other religious based laws.  No one is asking any one to marry someone of the same sex.  And if two consenting adults of the same sex did get married, they are hurting no one.   So why does anyone object?

How does “control” and what flows from control (power and money) sound?  The comments by Biden and Dunham and the North Carolina vote in an election year just might have something to do with the Presidential election.

It is not clear whether President Obama will win reelection in November, but the tide of public opinion is shifting in one direction.  Full recognition of same sex couples is eventually be the law of the land.  (And no one will be forced to marry someone of the same sex unless they wish to.)