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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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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