Wednesday, March 08, 2017

A Tale Of Two States

One red and one blue, one demonizes its citizens and one that respects all of its citizens.
Texas conservatives launch massive anti-transgender misinformation campaign
Discriminating against transgender people is now a Christian cause.
Think Progress
By Zack FordFollow
March 6,2017

Texas’s anti-transgender bill, SB6, is scheduled to have its first hearing on Tuesday, and the debate over whether to impose North Carolina-style bathroom discrimination throughout the state’s schools and public buildings is heating up. There will be a total of three different press conferences at the capitol in Austin on Monday taking different positions on the bill. At Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s (R) conference, there will be a massive new media campaign to reject transgender equality.

According to Patrick, “Operation One Million Voices” will educate pastors across the state to rally support in favor of the bill and against transgender protections.

Leading this effort will be Vision America, an organization founded by Rick Scarborough, the former Baptist preacher who once proposed a class action suit against homosexuality and who has repeatedly said that AIDS is God’s punishment for gay people. He also said he is willing to be burned to death for opposing marriage equality, but so far, that has not transpired.
[…]
In other words, the campaign is nothing short of a misinformation campaign to impose religious dogma as law. Echoing talking points Patrick and other opponents of transgender equality have used, Graves called it “an issue of privacy and of safety for the women and children in this state.” A coalition of various conservative groups are all coordinating together to spread this message that transgender people are a threat to bathroom safety.
Now compare it to here in Connecticut
OP-ED | Other States Should Follow Malloy’s Lead in Protecting Transgender Students
CT News Junkie
By Samantha Carter Kneeland
March 7, 2017

My name is Samantha Carter Kneeland and I am a transgender woman. I am 21 years old. I make music and enjoy watching horror movies. I own two dogs that I take on walks every day through my neighborhood. Usually, while I’m on my walks, people stop to say hello. A woman working at the local Panini restaurant knows my favorite order. My fashion idol is Wednesday Addams. Sometimes, I need to use the bathroom.

For a moment earlier in this month, I was terrified I may not be able to use a public bathroom ever again.

My fears, luckily, were proved ill-founded when Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed an executive order protecting transgender anti-discrimination policies in the State of Connecticut on February 23. The executive order came as a reply to the Trump administration’s repeal of federal ordinances in place protecting transgender students’ right to use the bathroom correlating to their gender identity. In the words of Press Secretary Sean Spicer, this particular civil rights legislation was best left to state governments to decide. Our state government decided, and they decided in favor of me. This is a good thing, because sometimes I have to use the bathroom.

I felt so strongly about my state government giving me permission to use the bathroom that I felt the need to say something publicly. I’m proud of my state government and yet most of my friends outside of Connecticut still feel unsafe going into public restrooms. The Trump Administration’s efforts to repeal critical legal protections for people like me are incredibly frightening because the loss of those protections can and will lead to the harassment of many of my friends, and possibly myself.
Yesterday at the hearing to ban Conversion Therapy Gov. Malloy threw his support behind the bill.

And also today GLSEN and NCTE sent this email blast
We need your governor to act. The past couple of weeks have been a flurry of both inspirational and deeply heartbreaking news as schools and districts across the country have reacted to the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind the transgender student guidance issued last year. We have heard story after story of students who were once able to live authentically, only to have their right to access restrooms that correspond with their gender identity or to be addressed by the correct pronouns trampled on.

This is unacceptable. All students deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

Trans students still have rights under federal and state laws, and we need governors to take leadership and show that they support safe and affirming learning environments for all students. Send a letter now and ask for your governor to issue a statement of support and direct the State Department of Education to issue and enforce policies that support trans students.
I am afraid I can’t send the email because he has already done it, but can ask your governor to protect trans students.

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