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Friday, June 15, 2012

Shooting Stupid Fish in a Dumb Barrel: Let's Look at the TVC's Attack on Trans People

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM

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Normally, I don't pay the Traditional Values Coalition any mind. I regard them as just another conservative Christian rabble-rousing group, seeing queers and Muslims under every bed, forever quaking in very noisy fear of America making any progress toward becoming a just and equal nation -- and always crying that their "religious freedom" is being attacked whenever they don't like something.

And, whatevs. Free country and all. Heck, I don't even take it personally that they've launched a virulently transphobic campaign against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), because I expect little other from a pig than a grunt. Besides, these kinds of people -- oh yeah, I'm callin' the Traditional Values Coalition "these people" -- have always, always, always been on the wrong side of history. Mind you, I'm not saying Christians are on the wrong side of history. I'm saying the Traditional Values Coalition is.

Anyway, as an atheistic trans person, the only thing I love more than assaulting religious freedom -- which I do just by existing, conveniently enough! -- is assaulting bad writing and stupid ideas. And their ENDA attack is a doozy of dumbness.

Let's start with their White Paper. (Boy, is it ever! Zing!)

The title:

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Nope! It doesn't. The worst that might happen is some children might re-examine their prejudices toward trans people, and positive role models will be provided for young, closeted trans kids. The proper word is "helps."

Also -- and I'm no biblical scholar, though I'm pretty sure George Carlin mentioned it -- I think these guys are doing what's known as "bearing false witness."

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Do what now? If ENDA really did force transgender teachers on every school district in America, then heck, I'd be against it too. There just aren't enough trans people who want to be teachers out there to fill every classroom in America, which means I'd get drafted into service. No thank you! Fortunately, it doesn't do that at all.

Oh, and it doesn't violate anyone's religious liberties either, nor is a hypothetical Christian business owner's "right of conscience" something that should determine public policy. Nice try, though!

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These are not "facts." These are "fears" and "bigotries." Slight difference there.

Also, as mentioned before, ain't nothin' in ENDA is gonna keep anyone from being Christian or any other religion. Certain individuals who practice particular faiths might interpret ENDA to be against whatever their chosen Sky Cake provider wants them to do, but that's their problem, and we can only bend over so far backward to soothe their prejudices.

Personally, I have reservations about the presence of the G-word on my currency, and I feel it violates my liberty to be constantly reminded of someone else's religion. But, again, that's my problem, and I deal with it, because it's called "living in a society with other people who are different from me" and "not getting to have everything be the way I want it."

Also, there's no such thing as a single "sex change operation," and many trans people have not had any kind of invasive surgery at all. Take it from me: You cannot determine surgical status and/or birth gender just by looking.

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Good gravy, they're obsessed with stigmatization, aren't they? Basically, the right to stigmatize is more important than the right to not be stigmatized -- which means stigmatization is ... good, right? They're defending the right to stigmatize? Well, yes, unless you're stigmatizing their right to stigmatize, in which case you're assaulting their religious liberty.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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