April 2, 2016

Right wing bathroom fetishists hard at work

Truth Dig - The innocuously named Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act blatantly overrides protections against transgender discrimination (and other forms) in cities and municipalities in North Carolina—specifically, the protections offered by a newly passed ordinance in the city of Charlotte. The state bill is primarily designed to force transgender people to use public restrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates rather than their gender identity.

So far more than 20 states are considering variations of such bills. Among them is Michigan, which, one might imagine, has more urgent things to worry about (such as Flint’s poisoned water), and Kansas, which has gone further than others by adding a clause that would offer a $2,500 bounty to those who catch transgender people in prohibited restrooms. Mississippi even includes a section allowing homophobes to dictate how people can dress.

In an interview on “Rising Up With Sonali,” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, explained to me that this wave of “bathroom bills” can be traced to the fact that “a lot of the right-wing extremist groups that were fighting marriage equality lost. And they have to continue to prove their relevance.” She added, “I think they thought transgender people were an easy target who nobody would stand up for.”

....Already, transgender people are among the most marginalized in our society. It is estimated that one-third of 1 percent of Americans identify as transgender. A whopping 41 percent of them has attempted suicide. Also, transgender Americans are often the victims of violence. The year 2015 saw a sharp increase in the number of transgender homicides, leading some members of Congress to declare that there is an “epidemic of violence” against the community.

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