Transgender issues at State and Local levels
The transgender issue is a touchy subject just like homosexuality was when it was popularized. The way the states handle the transgender people has changed over time. More people are aware of the presence of transgender people. The local policy makers have expressed mixed reactions towards open acceptance of transgender people in their localities. In most cases the local policy makers influence how the states’ policy makers will take the issue. There are the localities that are overly conservative and do not readily acknowledge that people can be transgender and talk about it in public. They are majorly of the opinion that being transgender is shameful and immoral. The shaming has led to children born transgender in these areas commit suicide for being taunted regularly. The risk statistics as per the year 2015, recorded that people who identify as transgender are at a 41% risk of committing suicide. This is in contrast to 1.6% risk observed generally according to Danielle Paquette (Paquette, 2015). It has been a problem for both the children and their parents living in neighborhoods with overly conservative people. The psychological problems have not been fully addressed and it may turn out a sore spot just like racism and homosexuality still remains in the American society.
Lobbyists have been trying to highlight the issues of the transgender community for a long time but President Obama gave them their first break into the limelight by mentioning them during his speech in a State of the Union Address. Public interest groups have also been taking part in the debate on transgender people. These two groups of people are split into two; there are those who support the recognition of transgender people in the community and those who are against the transgender community. The conservative lobbyist and interest groups include churches and conservatives in government. These are the people whose voice can be heard from a wider perspective. They are the people who find it easy to say that being transgender is immoral and goes against their acceptance of what is right and what is wrong.
The supporters of the transgender community on the other hand argue that all human life is important. They are the people who advocate for equality. When it comes to transgender people, however, the issue of equality is complicated. Taking into account an issue like washroom provisions, the transgender community is a bit difficult to handle. For instance; it is not very easy to let a man wearing feminine attire use the ladies’ washrooms. For security purposes, the individual may have to be turned way. The transgender people can be confused for sexual predators and at the same time, can easily be taken advantage of. For instance; a transgender lady identifying as male will use men’s washrooms. While there, they may encounter sexual predators and be sexually abused. This makes it very difficult for both local and state policy makers to put in place policies to guide the treatment of the transgender community.
How different states address transgender issues
There are states that have accepted the transgender community while other have not. For instance, North Carolina has laws which make the transgender people use washrooms aligned to their birth gender. This means that these people account use the washroom that matches what they identify with in public. It is important that people living in states such as North Carolina be extra cautious on their own. It is a state where the laws cannot protect them against injustices.
Texas is mainly a conservative state, while California is mostly considered not. However, when it comes to marriages, Texas has a loophole that allows for same sex marriages while California swings the opposite way. This comes about because, in Texas, the law does not recognize gender reconstruction as a change of sex. Therefore, a man to woman transgender can marry another woman because the law still recognizes them as being male. In California, however, when people transition, the law recognizes it. This makes it difficult for spouses to use the transition against their partners when divorcing. For instance, a man t woman transgender person cannot be denied custody of a young child on the basis of being born male. Therefore, this makes California laws more complicated but accepting to the transgender community. Florida has also recently joined the Californian way of handling the transgender subject. The laws in Florida and California bar same sex marriages because they readily accept gender reconstruction (Koerner, 2004). This means that gender reconstruction is a way for the state to prevent same sex marriages. A situation of same sex marriages may occur in these states where after marriage an individual decided to get gender reconstruction. This makes it difficult for the states to dissolve the marriage because it is not in the provisions of the states to dissolve marriages on these grounds.
Transgender laws in many states will keep changing until a universal stand is found. The conservatives may turn out more accepting and this will encourage people to stop discriminating the transgender people in the community.
The moral arguments for conservatives are simple. They are of the opinion that the transgender people should not be protected by extra laws. According to them, being transgender requires no special recognition. The conservatives are of the opinion that transgender people should use the restrooms that are aligned to their birth gender. Overall, the conservatives think that being transgender is a choice which has consequences. They do not find it necessary to alter any part of the laws to protect the community. This has led to discrimination on many fronts, it has not been easy turning the conservatives around to make them accept that transgender people are present in the society. Simple acknowledgment by the conservatives is likely to make it better for transgender people to survive in the United States.
Ethically, both conservatives and other groups are against discrimination of innocent people. This makes the two groups of people differ when it comes to transgender people. The conservatives do not acknowledge the transgender people while the other group of people recognize their presence, in this situation, the conservative treat the transgender people according to their birth sex while the others treat them as they identify (Chapman, 2017). For instance, in a workplace, a transgender woman will be treated as a man by conservatives and as a woman by liberal minded people.
The moral argument of the liberal minded citizens is that the transgender community should be protected by extra laws. They are of the opinion that the government needs to enact laws that will protect the transgender community from harm, discrimination and being generally disadvantaged. The transgender community has a high number of homeless people who have need denied tenancy due to their sexual orientation. There are also high poverty levels due to discrimination during hiring of workers. Being transgender in the United States has continuously been s struggle for the community. Liberal minded groups are of the opinion that government intervention will help change the situation for the transgender community in the United States.
As a policy maker, I can help this community fit into the general population in two ways collaboratively. I would have to sensitize the transgender community on the importance of knowing that not everybody accepts them. I would train them on how to handle rejection so as to reduce the suicide levels. Empowering the transgender community is one sure way of helping them fit in to the general population. After having as many transgender people as possible accepting themselves and caring less about whether other people accept them or not, I would them move to public sensitization, which includes the sensitization of the government on the subject. Systematically, it will get easier to preach to the general population about transgender people with the backing of the government. It is important that the government invests in protecting this group of people because they deserve equal rights and chances in life. The government can the put in place laws that require the washroom have an extra room with partitions for both transgender men and women just like there are for heterosexual men and women. This will ensure the security of all four divisions of gender. Such a law will reduce the discrimination by the conservatives because they will have nothing to complain about the transgender community’s use of washrooms.
Chapman, M. W. (2017, May 26). Poll: Conservatives, Weekly Chuirch Goers say no new LGBT Laws Needed. Retrieved from CNS NEWS: www.cnsnews.com/news.article/michael-w-chapman/poll-conservatives-weekly-chruch-goers-say-no-new-lgbt-laws-needed
Koerner, B. (2004, March 2). Smae-Sex Marriage for Transexuals? Retrieved from Slate: www.slate.com/news_and_politics/explainer/2004/03/samesex_marriage_for_transexuals.htmlA
Paquette, D. (2015, January 2015). 8 Critical Facts about the state of Transgender America. Retrieved from The Washington Post: www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/01/22/the-state-of-tansgender-america-massive-discrimination-little-data/?utm_term=.03763eb0a8f0
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