Thursday, August 15, 2013

Religious right exploiting fear, ignorance over law to protect transgender students

Recently,  California governor Jerry Brown signed what has been called a historic bill which guarantees transgender students equal access to facilities - including bathrooms - based upon their gender identity. The bill also allows them to compete on sports teams based upon their gender identities.

And naturally conservatives and the religious right are screaming bloody murder as well as conjuring up false images of boys invading girls' bathrooms and showers in order to rape them.

Of course none of these things has ever happened in the several other states who have protections in law for transgender students. However, we all know that people tend to forget their senses when it looks as if their children are threatened.

It's something religious right groups count on. A prime example of this hysteria comes from the following CNN debate:

CNN invited hate group leader Randy Thomasson to appear on the network to condemn a new California law ensuring the rights of transgender teens to use facilities and participate in programs corresponding to their gender identities. Thomasson appeared along with the Transgender Law Center's Masen Davis, a transgender male. At the end of the segment, Thomasson told Davis and host Brooke Baldwin, "Hey, good to talk to you ladies." Appearing on the August 13 edition of CNN Newsroom, Thomasson, president of the anti-LGBT hate group Save California, peddled standard transphobic tropes about "sexually confused" transgender individuals, before closing with his snide remark:

The truth of the matter is that there is nothing to fear with this law:

In reality, the measure would merely affirm current law which prohibits California public schools from discriminating against transgender students. Allowing access to appropriate facilities and participation on school teams is an important step to deal with the high rates of bullying and harassment faced by transgender students.  As a recent decision by the Colorado Rights Division stated, refusing this kind of access to transgender students “creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating, or offensive.”

No comments: