It’s no surprise in an election year that the “anti” behavior grows stronger.
On May 13, 2016, the Pink News headlines: “Pastor Anne Graham: God let 9/11 happen because of transgender people in bathrooms.” She further says (in part) during a phone interview “…if we would repent of our sins and stop pointing our finger at everybody else…” Really, Pastor Anne? What happened to practicing what you preach?
Sadly, Pastor Anne is not alone.
On May 9, 2016, North Carolina’s Governor Pat McRory tweets “We’re taking the Obama admin to court. They’re bypassing Congress, attempting to rewrite law & policies for the whole country, not just NC.”
This came not too long after it was reported (This by CBS.com / in part) “Officials in North Carolina filed a lawsuit Monday against the Department of Justice over the feds’ demand that the state not implement its controversial LGBT law or risk losing federal funds.” This due to HB2 (House Bill 2). The bill can be found on http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015E2/Bills/House/PDF/H2v4.pdf
But wait! There’s yet another.
On April 20, 2016, The American Family Association (www.afa.net) called for a boycott against Target. Why? From the AFA website (in part): “On its web site, Target announced, “[W]e welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity. …Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.”
“This means a man can simply say he “feels like a woman today” and enter the women’s restroom…even if young girls or women are already in there. Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims. And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?
Clearly, Target’s dangerous new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters. Over 1 million people agree with us and pledged to boycott Target stores until protecting women and children is a priority.”
Fortunately, those I call “the powers that be” are there to fight for the transgendered and others discriminated:
On May 10, 2016, CNN.com reports (in part) “Attorney General Loretta Lynch, announcing the U.S. legal action to reporters on Monday, cast the bathroom bill issue as the latest civil rights struggle of the era.
“It was not so very long ago that states, including North Carolina, had other signs above restrooms, water fountains, and on public accommodations, keeping people out based on a distinction without a difference. We’ve moved beyond those dark days,” Lynch said.”
It’s great that we (currently) have such people to stand strong against discrimination. We also have to ensure that doesn’t change – or at least do what we can to make sure the right persons are representing us.
But it is and always will be a never ending battle. WE have to assist in this battle, and it has to begin with each of us. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve said it.
We will forever be different within our own. Short, tall. Thin, heavy. Brown, black or blonde hair. Even no hair at all! Different religions. Different styles. Different financial means. Different everything. We have different communities within “our” community: bears, leather, runners, walkers, singers, dancers, fem, butch, those who live at the gym, those who don’t. Bar people and those who stay at home. Those who are older and those younger. Those who like to go out with people nowhere near their own age. The list could go on and on.
Yes, we’re a melting pot of diversity. With that also comes a responsibility of educating the uneducated and standing up when the names and hatred start slinging back and forth, especially from us. Belittling someone because they’re not your type or someone who whom you have no interest in being friends doesn’t help the matter. We ALL have to be conscious how we treat one another, no matter who they are. We don’t have a choice.
At the end of the day, there is one commonality among each of us: We all bleed red.
I leave you with the words of Barbara Deming: “The longer we listen to one another – with real attention – the more commonality we will find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and not simply opinions.”
Rev. Joel S. Slotnick is an ordained Interfaith minister and full time digital court reporter. He can be found on Facebook and followed on Twitter.