The Darkest Hour Is Just Before the Dawn

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“What if it was your daughter who was the target of this bill?”

For a moment a few weeks ago, it seemed like lawmakers in Tennessee had really heard the brave testimony of a transgender young person and her parents.

A mother’s simple ask to legislators about what they would do if it was their child who was transgender hit a nerve, and the anti-transgender bill was sent to a summer study session, seemingly killing it for this year. But that was two weeks ago — a lifetime ago, it seems, in light of all that has happened since — and that bill is back.

But that’s nowhere near the worst of it. Apparently in a bid to outdo each other, lawmakers in North Carolina and Mississippi have passed and signed sweeping anti-LGBT legislation into law over the last two weeks.

North Carolina’s HB 2 was rushed through a special legislative session on March 23 and signed the same day by Gov. Pat McCrory. The bill, which we have since challenged in court, not only repeals local ordinances extending protections to LGBT individuals and prohibits the passage of any such ordinances in the future. It does something far worse: It mandates discrimination against transgender people by government agencies and schools.

Not to be outdone, yesterday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law HB 1523, another sweeping piece of legislation, which authorizes discrimination based on sincerely held religious beliefs that:

HB 1523 excerpt

The bill will further entrench discrimination against LGBT people, unmarried people who have sex, and anyone else who doesn’t conform to expectations about gender and gender roles. It will (or aims to), among other things:

  • prevent the government from taking any action if LGBT kids are forced into conversion therapy by foster parents
  • allow counselors practicing conversion therapy, including school counselors, to keep their licenses
  • allow single mothers to be turned away by a government-funded homeless shelter, food pantry, or day-care program
  • permit government employees to refuse to issue marriage licenses or solemnize marriages for same- sex couples
  • allow medical providers to turn away transgender patients or restrict access to health care related to gender transition

In both Mississippi and North Carolina, the most vulnerable in the community will be targeted — homeless people, foster youth, kids. Lawmakers claim the laws are necessary to respect people’s religious beliefs or privacy, yet so many will suffer as a result of these unprecedented new measures.

In fact, so many are already suffering.

As Mississippi lawmakers sent HB1523 to the governor on Monday, James Dixon plead guilty to manslaughter in the death of Black trans woman Islan Nettles in New York City. He killed her in August of 2013 on the street in Harlem after he realized that she was transgender. When police questioned him about Islan’s death, he explained that he had recently been “fooled by a transgender” and was “blinded” with rage at the idea that he could be fooled again. So he killed her because he didn’t believe in her humanity or womanhood.

Like the more than 22 transgender women — almost all of them women of color — who were murdered last year, Islan died in a world that treated her in life as less than human.

The same beliefs that motivated James Dixon to kill Islan on that street in Harlem — the belief that transgender women are not women and that transgender people are less than human — animate the anti-trans legislation that is now codified into law in Mississippi and North Carolina, and which is at risk of becoming law in Tennessee and elsewhere.  

We must sit with that harsh and disturbing reality and react with urgency as these bills continue to make their way through state legislatures.

Today lawmakers in Tennessee will again consider HB 2414/SB 2387, a measure targeting transgender students. Proponents of the bill are claiming this bill marks a critical fight in the “New Civil War” over “the truth about human sexuality, or perhaps more fundamentally, what it means to be human.” Meanwhile, brave, young transgender people and their families will again stand up to lawmakers and ask that the bullying, harassment, and fixation on bathrooms stop.

Enough is enough.

In states across the country, transgender young people have had to listen to their government speak about them as “twisted” and try to cast them out of public space. Despite all the vitriol, the trans community continues to show up and lead the fight to stop these bills. But we’re not alone in this fight. Powerful businesses and religious leaders are speaking up, telling lawmakers that discrimination is unacceptable. Some have even halted investments, in addition to condemning these inhumane laws.

We may not yet stop them all, but we are telling our stories. And in the end, we will win this fight. Join us.

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the boss

good job

Cesar Andres Ortiz

I love what you are doing miley cyrus

Anonymous

This is great! Let's move this forward! We'll win this fight, for sure!

Anonymous

I don’t know why people defend a useless dangerous conduct such as homosexual/lesbian conduct & I don’t know the apologism for transexuality which is surgically mutilating people with dangerous hormones to make them fake opposite sex members & they should make that illegal.

Main ideas of science and math are always the same (such as freezing temperature is 32 Degrees Fahrenheit & lower, 2+2=4) and with main ideas of science, unless new information is found which changes prior conclusion (such as in 1950s when they found a whale is a mammal not a fish as scientists first thought), the main ideas of science stay the same. I do not believe mainstream science/psychology in the 1960s to early 70s discovered anything new to change long held conclusions on homosexuality when they removed homosexuality from DSM in 1973. They have as said since 1973 become ideological on gay/lesbian topic. I don’t deny possibility homosexuality could be genetic or inborn for some but that is unproven. Even if it’s true that homosexuality is inborn for some people, homosexual/lesbian conduct would still be bad for health.

Homofobia is telling truths, theories and speculations which offend homosexual groups. While they have not conclusively proven homosexuality/lesbianism is inborn genes, homosexual groups often use this theory as definite by saying how they are born this way-which possibly can be the case for some but more studies are needed. But when facts are raised about the link between childhood sex abuse and a kid doing homosexual and lesbian activities in adutlhood, homosexual groups often get offended, condemn it as homofobia.

With homosexuality being found among animals, cannibalism, stealing, etc. are also found among them, so it’s a bad idea to say that because animals do something people do. It’s best for gays/lesbians to be celibate until cure is found for this. No gays, don’t choose orientation, but they choose their sexual behavior.

Any facts which show homosexuality/lesbianism to be bad and put negative views on this is condemned. Homosexual/lesbian conduct is bad for health as smoking is and needs to be marginalized like smoking is. People who engage in homosexual/lesbian conduct have more medical problems caused by homosexual/lesbian conduct. I believe the negative views of homosexual/lesbian conduct is the right view because there is something wrong with homosexual/lesbian conduct and they must make it a crime to do sex changes. I know my view offends homosexuals, but most smokers do not get offended by negative views of tobacco use. So homosexuals/lesbians have to hear others give negative views of their sex lives, because there is something wrong with this just as there’s something wrong with smoking.

Yes, it’s a proven fact that childhood sex abuse is a major cause of homosexual/lesbian conduct in adulthood. Anybody who denies the link is dishonest, delusional or both. Never have I heard straights blame childhood sex abuse for reasons a man has sex with a woman and fathers children with her. Yet sometimes have heard gays and lesbians say childhood sex abuse is reason they do same sex behaviors.Any conduct can be learned and this includes sexual conduct. There are homosexuals and lesbians who say that childhood sex abuse (especially those who are victims of a gay priest) are reasons why they think they do same sex behaviors in adulthood. Had they not been repeatedly molested, would they have turned out straight instead of gay or lesbian? It doesn’t take an expert to know that sex abuse in youth can mess up the mind and cause people to behave in ways they normally wouldn’t. Of course, not all who are sexually abused in youth become gay in adulthood-but the risk is higher.

A kid can become a mugger by living in high crime neighborhood, seeing muggings in childhood and learning this conduct. Yes, there are muggers who were not raised in high crime neighborhoods but still became muggers, but that does not rule out other causes. Many emphysema victims did not smoke and were not exposed to 2nd hand smoke and got emphysema due to bad genes but it would be dishonest to deny truth that if a person smokes, he or she is more likely to get emphysema. Since homosexuals and lesbians (transexuals) often suffered childhood sex abuse, it’s no surprise that homosexuals and lesbians think childhood sexual abuse is OK when it’s homosexual activities.

Zoe Brain

That's one view.

Here's another.

Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

While everyone's entitled to their own opinion, no-one is entitled to their own facts.

Kay

The cure we need to find is one for the wilful blockheadedness of posts like these. Bigots claim that bigotry is natural and probably inborn, but it is more likely that it results from childhood abuse by older bigots. BTW, Aristotle established that cetaceans were actually not fish. Unless you're using some kind of crazily-compressed young-earth calendar where the civilization of ancient Greece happened in the 20th century, he was not writing during the 1950s.

Anonymous

Your anecdotal evidence (because you provided no links to your "conclusions") is not worthy of debate. I'll just say this. This subject has been decided over and over again in the courts, including the Supreme Court and not one organization or one lawyer could prove any of the drivel you just spout out on this forum. Are you saying you are smarter than all of the anti-gay organizations and anti-gay lawyers? I seriously doubt it.

It was proven that any "legal" action against the LGBTQ community was purely out of animus.

The only thing that your comment scientifically proves is that you are a moron by the legal definition of the word.

To quote Billy Madison: Mr. Madison, what you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Anonymous

You have said a lot of nothing, you have revealed how little you know. You also have revealed how convoluted your thinking is. Being a transsexual is a form of intersex.....normal looking genitalia ....but brain wired for opposite gender than birth gender. There are individuals who are born with both sets of genitalia....male and female ....this is just a variant. Read More......educate your self stop showing the world how little you know.

Sms1108

What a load of illiterate, ignorant, world salad crap.

Wimpy

And I don't know why vicious homophobic bigots bother to look at the ACLU site. Wasn't the Nazi site open?

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