…bathroom”, but didn’t wanna relegate this civil rights issue to a bigots favorite haunt.
April 20, 2016
Crystal Bassard- Sociology, at some school in a wasteland
NPR Papers- Transgender Rights, Public Facilities
I am writing this in complementary parts to cover my required NPR papers under the concept of time I don’t have due to the effects of discrimination here at this school and in this town upon my personal health. I use many sources in this paper but what is required is from NPR, so first we use “New York City Enacts Gender Identity Rules for Restrooms, Locker Rooms”.
Mayor of NY Bill DeBlasio signed an executive order affirming transgender identities making it law to allow us to use the bathroom that corresponds with our gender identity while also making it illegal for any business or government facility to require proof of sex or gender in the form of documentation. Blasio is quoted as saying “Let’s face it. For too long, too many transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers have been harassed.”
Which is completely true even in so-called progressive areas bigotry runs rampant, only now being put into check. A trans woman who was pushed from the subway platform last yr was again assaulted this year along with her friend at a convenience store. A trans woman was beaten into seizures for using the bathroom at a mcdonalds last yr. One might try to argue that there is no correlation between violence and transgender people’s recognition as human beings under law, they would be mistaken. Hate crime protections will eventually curb assault through deterrents like longer prison and jail sentences for acting out of bias and prejudice towards vulnerable minorities; it has yet to be implemented fully in regards to which America one lives in. While this civil rights movement is steadily advancing and acquiring a place within the mind’s eye of the World’s populace such newfound judicial and media attention has also spiked instances of such assault, perhaps the only difference is that it is just now starting to be reported. 2016 is so far the deadliest year since we began tracking the murders of trans people with the international Transgender Day of Remembrance. The news reports and police depts. have started begrudgingly recognizing our identity while reporting of our deaths, yet this is still an ongoing battle; names and faces coming out from the closet of erasure from having been misgendered by “family” and police reports long after their bodies have grown cold.
Regardless it is a step forward to be known, to be recognized as human beings even if that might currently only be in the form of policy or law not yet fully acknowledged in all areas, a federal lawsuit brought against the state of NC by the ACLU will test and clarify once and for all the Department of Education’s understanding of ‘Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and or expression’s protections under its own interpretation of title IX sex discrimination. They have already issued guidance for grades K-12 and sent a memoriam to all institutes of higher learning having been successful in all instances but one of finding the school to be in contradiction of the law, the one is currently in mediation where the district is learning that if it “provides a curtain” to one student It must do the same for all students and really if you think about there is a whole lot of students uncomfortable with disrobing in front of anyone and shower curtains for all would actually be a good idea. These legal steps are needed to change social consensus and bring about eventual equality.
Such forward thinking is in direct contrast to the wave of anti trans sentiment in the form of “bathroom bills” sweeping across the south from hatefull minds playing on the mouths of evangelical “Christians”. Which brings us to NC and the second piece I will use,“ACLU Challenges Controversial North Carolina Transgender Law”.
On the other side of the coin we have Gov Pat McGregory who signed an LGBT bill pushed through a republican senate and into law in only 12 hrs (which dehumanizes and segregates transgender people based on an assignment at birth while stripping all local jurisdictions in the state from implementing their own non discrimination ordinances in protection of LGBTQIA people) which wasn’t even made public until debate began on the bill giving the general assembly a mere 5 minutes to read, the democratic representatives then took a stand and walked out in protest.
Since this hate has been enshrined into law through this extension of a Religious freedom Referendum Act (RFRA) the state has faced a massive, potentially crippling, backlash from over one hundred and thirty fortune 500 company CEOs who have written in demanding the immediate removal of HB2, notable tech giants among those signatures were CEOs at Apple, Facebook, and Google, PayPal has removed its offices. Artists and Musicians from all genres have taken to shows of protest donating the profit from their events to the states Human Rights advocacy groups or refusing to play boycotting the state altogether. Students protest at universities across the state, Appalachian State students held a powerful sit-in in the chancellor’s office, while UNC Wilmington and NC State students held sit-ins in front of bathrooms; the President of Duke University has also called for a full repeal of HB2. A continuous protest in front of Gov. Pats estate has been ongoing since the bill’s passage by individuals within the communities harmed.
The statements made in the NPR piece were from the states Attorney General Roy Cooper who said that he will not defend the state in a federal lawsuit brought against it by the ACLU calling the legislation “unconstitutional and an embarrassment to the nation”. In April of 2014, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidelines which quote, “…makes clear that transgender students are protected from discrimination under Title IX.” This lawsuit on behalf of several transgender students and a lesbian Deen may end up costing the state 4.5billion in projected federal aid if the state does not undo on its own what it has done.
This all provides hope that discrimination against LGBTQIA citizens is not an American value but a finale gasp from aging prejudices that have ideology not shared by the youth who are coming full force into our future.
It seems the proponents of this hatefull rhetoric are all “family values” republicans , the Republican National Convention released a resolution in favor of such bathroom bills worded as “student protections”, asks the OCR and DoE to rescind its findings that titleIX covers transgender people, is in favor of any bill that defines sex and gender as based on birth assignment, it also calls to never include the term gender identity in any legal documents (mayhaps’ why Cincinnati State community college is so damned adamant about refusing to include us by uttering the phrase concerning employment as faculty in its own non discrimination policy).
As It turns out lawyers from the Liberty Council and Family Research Council (who are the reason you cannot search the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, or transgender in a public library), also defended the infamous Kim Davis in court, and are behind this and 49 other similar anti LGBT proposals this year alone, 32 of which deal with bathroom proposals, 12 are currently actively being “considered”, the rest having died in committee or otherwise put on hold (NCTE). Recently at this time similar legislation was withdrawn in Tennessee after its Governor promised to veto, a bill in Indiana failed which would have placed a 2,500 dollar bounty on the heads of transgender students who would then face 5000 in fines and up to a year incarcerated.
As I write these bills are being pushed in Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Mississippi passed a broad and harmful bill that rivals if not puts NC’s to shame in the race to deny LGBT Americans their rights which allows psychological and medical practitioners to deny gender and sexual minorities care even those that receive government funding in areas of counseling, adoptive services or poverty aid, abetting discriminatory individuals and businesses under guise of religious exemption; who to no surprise are now experiencing the same backlash from community members, businesses and social justice organizations. Even Ohio is not immune to these types of RFRA attempts, we have our own bogus “Pastor Protection Act” which re-states rights that are already allotted religious institutions and clergy members, while adding the term “religious societys” which remains undefined in the legislation and could be interpreted as a right to discriminate very broadly- this after they failed to pass a supposed LGBT non discrimination ordinance which contained the same RFRA legislation at its core in 2015.
In a recent interview EEOC Comissioner Chai Feldblum was quoted as saying…
” It has been the position of EEOC, since April 2012, that gender identity discrimination is prohibited by Title VII, as explained in our decision in Mia Macy decisionv. DOJ. Since the issuance of the Macy decision, the Commission has published decisions holding that an employer’s restrictions on a transgender woman’s ability to use a common female restroom facility violates the prohibition against sex discrimination, Lusardi v. Dep’t of the Army>, EEOC Appeal No. 0120133395, 2015 WL 1607756 (Mar. 27, 2015), that the intentional misuse of a transgender employee’s new name and pronoun to embarrass or humiliate the employee may constitute sex-based discrimination and/or harassment, Jameson v. U.S. Postal Service, EEOC Appeal No. 0120130992, 2013 WL 2368729 (May 21, 2013), and that an employer’s failure to revise its records pursuant to changes in gender identity stated a valid Title VII sex discrimination claim, Complainant v. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs, EEOC Appeal No. 0120133123, 2014 WL 1653484 (Apr. 16, 2014).
The difference between titleIX and titleVII is that in instances of discrimination concerning employment at schools titleIX procedures take precedence though they are equal in all regards.
In these trying times we should all be reminded that we are in the midst of the process by which civil rights are fought for and eventually won. The American LGBT 2014 buying power was estimated at 884 billion dollars. Nearly 70 percent of Americans favor laws that protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in workplaces, housing and public accommodations. Most importantly that anything fought in the spirit of equality will eventually overcome any oppression. Stay alive, fix society.