Gender Identity Terms

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CBS News recently published an article following the release of the CBSN documentary, “Gender | The Space Between.” The documentary covered the complexities of gender identity as well as a number of surrounding issues. An extremely important takeaway is that there are several pronouns and terms that are either unknown or often improperly used when describing gender identity. As a society, it is important that we become educated on the correct terminology and treat everyone with respect.

This article lists and explains all of the gender identity terms. Understanding this vocabulary is a key factor in making sure everyone feels accepted and equal.

LGBTQ Discrimination in Arkansas

Arkansas is just one of the many states that does not have any laws that protect against gender identity discrimination. In fact, the state government continues to try to pass bills that are anti-LGBTQ.

The link below contains a video clip from an interview with Arkansas state Representative Mickey Gates on March 17, 2017. On the topic of gender identity, he argues that although people can identify however they want to and nobody can stop them, the state does not need to acknowledge them or their feelings.

http://www.thv11.com/news/local/legislator-says-state-isnt-obligated-to-recognize-gender-identity-of-transgender-arkansans/423216338

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The Federal Government Should Dictate Policy: An Affirmative View

Gender identity equality is a human rights issue that should not be left up to debate by the states. In order to ensure equality for all gender identities, we believe policy surrounding this topic should be strictly controlled by the federal government. With the federal government in charge, we are confident that legislation will allow for gender identity protections in all contexts and locations across the United States.

While some states may not want to acknowledge any identity besides the one a person is born into, many states have shown their support for gender identity equality by passing their own legislation to prevent discrimination in the workplace, restrooms, and schools.

However, without consistency in our laws across the country, we believe that it will be nearly impossible to achieve total gender identity equality in the future. This inconsistency provides little incentive for those with conservative views to open their minds to ideas they are unfamiliar with.

Although our country has ways to go until equality is reached, we do feel that the federal government has made some progress over the past decade. While the federal government does not have many laws that pertain to gender identity explicitly, many federal courts have begun to look at previous sex discrimination laws in a new light that applies to discrimination based on all gender identities.

In 2014, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will consider gender discrimination based on sex and gender identity discrimination to be synonymous under federal law. This means that people facing gender identity discrimination will receive many of the same protections as those facing discrimination on a basis of their biological sex.

Under the Obama Administration, the Department of Justice’s new stance had been applied to the Title IX of the Education Amendment Acts of 1972. This act was originally created to prevent sex discrimination in all educational programs that receive federal money. However, rather than solely protecting equality of the sexes, this law was then applied to those who are transgender or nonconforming.

While the U.S. has taken many steps forward, it has also taken several steps back since the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency. Since Trump took office, he has withdrawn federal protections for transgender students that would allow them to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. We believe that this decision is extremely harmful for transgender and nonconforming students who live in states that have chosen not to comply with the guidelines put in place by the Obama Administration.

We feel it is ridiculous that a person can have full rights in one state, and then be stripped of their rights in another.294114-bcc3812e620607e5a5a7e57ddc7ce713

States that Prohibit Discrimination against Transgender People

The National Center for Lesbian Rights, recently published a report that lists all of the states that prohibit discrimination against Transgender people.

While there is still no federal law that prohibits discrimination against gender identity, 18 states currently have non-discrimination laws that protect against gender identity. This guide serves a break down of the different laws that each state offers for these people.

 

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States Laws Versus the Federal Government: A Refutation

Discrimination based on gender identity is not prohibited under federal law at this time, but passing such a law is the only way that transgender individuals can truly achieve equality. While there are legislative efforts being made to make discrimination based on gender identification illegal, as of right now protection against gender identity discrimination is up to each individual state. Some states in the United States are enraged about the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage and are continually upset about the protections being made for LGBTQ people.

According to the Civil Rights Act, the federal government has found that discriminating against transgender employees is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited. This type of discrimination has only been outlawed in one-third of the 50 states, meaning that there are laws protecting those in the LGBTQ community from receiving differential treatment.

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Many believe that the federal government should not be in control over whether or not states should have to enforce protections against the LGBTQ community. On April 11, four North Carolina House Republicans filed a bill to restore the state constitution ban on same-sex marriage. Republican lawmakers in North Carolina explained that they wanted to stop the newly approved ordinance, which would prohibit discrimination in public accommodations based on someone’s gender or sexual identity, from taking effect.

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Another bill that North Carolina passed is the House Bill 2, which required citizens to use facilities that went along with their biological sex as stated on their birth certificate. North Carolina and Texas are just two of the many states that believe that state governments should be allowed to take action against LGBTQ people and not protect them from discrimination.

Texas, being extremely conservative and having a majority Christian population, recently unveiled the Senate Bill 6. The policies set by this bill requires for people to use the room designated to the gender they were biologically given for bathrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, showers, and other public places.

I disagree that state governments should be allowed to make and pass laws that regulate gender identity and equality. Policies need to be enforced by the federal government to ensure that all people, no matter what gender they identify as, have equal rights and protections. These laws are thinly veiled attempts to allow prejudice and are created based on the false beliefs. These states say that the law will provide greater safety for non-transgender people, but the facts do not bear this out and actually indicate that these restrictions lead to greater danger to transgender individuals with no benefit to non-transgender people.  The states also seek to justify their position by claiming that they are protecting the rights of non-transgender people to privacy and to respect, but before the Civil Rights error they used similar language to promote segregation.

Racial prejudice is not right and neither is gender identity prejudice. It took federal legislation to ensure equal rights in the 1960’s and it requires federal legislation now to ensure that all Americans including those in the LGBTQ community are guaranteed their rights.

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LGBTQ Rights Based On State

This image is a state breakdown of LGBTQ rights. It covers marriage rights, hospital visits, adoption, employment, housing, hate crimes and schools.

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By looking at this image, it is clear that all states do not agree on LGBTQ rights. Some states are more accepting than others. The darker the color is in the image represents how accepting a state is on certain rights. We believe that the Federal Government should control LGBTQ rights because the states all think differently. Members of the LGBTQ community will have greater acceptance nationwide because of this control.

Discrimination around the United States

This is a map that shows which states in the United States have laws that prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.  As shown, the majority of the states have no laws to protect their workers, which has made many individuals afraid to come out as gay or transgender at work.  Those who have come out continue to fear going to work.

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