Monday, February 27, 2017

The Rise And Fall Of Trans Rights

We have been on a roller coaster, we reached our peak during President Obama administration and now in the Trump administration the question is “how low will we go?”
Understanding Transgender Access Laws
By The New York Times
February 24, 2017

The highly charged debate over transgender rights has resulted in a tangle of contradictory laws governing access to public bathrooms and locker rooms across the country. Many states permit transgender people to choose bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity, considering it a civil rights issue. But in a handful of states and cities, legislators are moving in the opposite direction. Here are some milestones in the national debate.
[…]
The Justice Department revises policy
December 2014 | In a memo by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the Justice Department took the position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applied to claims of discrimination based on gender identity. The memo was one of a combination of policies, lawsuits and public statements that the Obama administration used to change the civil rights landscape for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.

May 2016 | The Justice and Education Departments issued guidance that, under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student’s transgender status — and that the departments would treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX.
[…]
Houston voters reject an anti-discrimination ordinance
Nov. 3, 2015 | After a yearlong battle, Houston voters easily repealed an anti-discrimination ordinance that banned discrimination based on several “protected characteristics,” including gender identity. Opponents said the measure would allow men claiming to be women to enter women’s bathrooms and inflict harm. The message "No Men in Women’s Bathrooms” on signs and in television and radio ads turned the debate from one about equal rights to one about protecting women and girls from sexual predators. (Houston became the largest city in the United States to elect an openly gay mayor, Annise D. Parker, in December 2009; she had pushed hard for the ordinance.)
The article goes on to write about various state battles in Texas, South Dakota, Virginia, and other states. It then discusses federal policy.
The federal government issues guidelines
May 12, 2016 | The Obama administration took up a legal fight with North Carolina over the issue, quickly issuing guidance — signed by Justice and Education Department officials — that was sent to all school districts, outlining what schools should do to ensure that no student was discriminated against. The letter did not have the force of law, but it contained an implicit threat: Schools that did not abide by the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal dollars. The measure attracted criticism and support from across the country.
It also writes about how cities in the south are in opposition to their states,
A split emerges between Southern cities and states
Cities in the Deep South were increasingly at odds with their states on gay rights and other benchmarks, moving toward common ground with big cities on the coasts. And North Carolina, the rare Southern state that is evenly split between liberals and conservatives, was considered to be up for grabs in the November presidential race. But backlash against the law roiled the governor’s race and affected other crucial contests.
We were floating on air in President Obama’s administration and without a crystal ball we do not know how deep the crash will be with the Trump administration.

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