22 May 2016

Stuff I've Been Thinking About While I've Been Busy with Life

-Bathrooms. If you are concerned about this, have you actually read the letter from the Obama administration?  Nowhere in the letter does it ask public schools to allow children to arbitrarily go into any bathroom they wish.  Instead, it lays out guidelines for schools on how to accommodate children who identify themselves, either personally or through their parents, as transgender to school administrators. The letter states that girls, including transgender girls, use the girls bathroom.  Boys, including transgender boys, use the boys bathroom.  It does not allow boys to use the girls bathroom or locker room.  In addition to other guidelines, it states that harassment of transgender students cannot be tolerated.

I think the reaction to this letter has been misleading and disproportionate. It would have been a disappointing reaction if it weren't unexpected.

-The Republican Party.  I used to be a Republican but couldn't identify myself as one by the time George W. Bush's presidency was over.  And then the Tea Party happened.  And the government shutdown. And now Trump.  Even if I'd managed to hang on until now, it would be over.  I admire Republicans who will not endorse Trump or who won't commit to voting for "the party's nominee."  I get the difference.  I  also get that no nominee is perfect and every time you vote, you're voting for some positions you disagree with.  But if you vote for the Republican nominee, you are really voting for an actual human being named Trump who has, based on the day and the audience, promoted some extremely troubling policies, many of which can be implemented without oversight by executive fiat. You're also voting for someone who is running on fear, intolerance, hate, xenophobia, bigotry, greed, pride, obfuscation, and willful ignorance, none of which should define the Republican Party.

-Religious freedom.  I'm still not seeing the problem that some religious people are seeing.  I still have the right to believe what I want, to go to church where I want to, to not be religious if I don't want to be, and so much more.  Religious institutions don't have to follow discrimination laws in hiring, Churches don't have to marry anyone they don't want to.

I don't want to see religious freedom elevated above all other rights.  If a person incorporates a business, they need to follow all discrimination laws, not just the ones they agree with.  If we allowed people to opt out of discrimination laws because of strongly-held beliefs, I honestly don't think that civil rights would ever had happened in the US because there was such strong opposition, including religious opposition to it.  There still is in some circles, and we still hear people saying that it should be okay for businesses to deny service to anyone they want to (and I can't help pointing out that a lot of those same people seem to think they should be able to conceal carry wherever they want to, including private businesses).

There are a lot of different rights here to balance.  If someone loses their job because they belong to a church that doesn't support gay marriage, I have a problem with that, just like I have a problem with someone losing their job because they married their gay partner.  Discrimination laws are worth supporting because they stop both things from happening.  I'd rather see the focus on making sure everyone can live their lives without fear or discrimination rather than worrying about people disagreeing with beliefs.  Disagreement =/= discrimination or persecution.

No comments:

Post a Comment