One way to tell how much trans people are on the religious right’s radar is the amount and type of coverage found in religious right and social conservative press on trans people. Below are some of the articles from the past few days and weeks on transgender people and issues from the religious right and social conservative press.
From the American Family Association‘s OneNewsNow comes two articles:
• October 3, 2011: Cross-dresser at Calif. elementary school:
A Christian attorney says it’s imperative that a California law that requires positive instruction on alternate lifestyles be overturned, because a recent incident is evidence that it mandates the acceptance of lesbian, “gay,” bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) lifestyles.
Phyllis Fernandez was shocked when her two young daughters returned from school one day and asked why a man dressed like a woman was in their school cafeteria. The mother contacted the Sierra Sands Unified School District and got confirmation that what her girls told her was true. But apparently, the school district says it could do nothing about the worker’s appearance…
Kevin Snider, chief counsel for the Pacific Justice Institute was quoted in the article as stating that teachers will have to “comb through history books and try to find cross-dressers or ‘out’ people, so to speak, who may have been bisexual or homosexual or cross-dressers, and teach that to kids. This will be the new normal.”
There’s a second article, that was actually posted prior to this OneNewsNow article, a little bit down the page in this PHB compelation piece, and it’s from WorldNetDaily.
• Also from October 3, 2011: Walmart on board with transgender protections:
A spokesman for Walmart confirms reports the retailer recently added transgender provisions to its employee non-discrimination policy.
Phillip Keene tells OneNewsNow that the changes went into effect several weeks ago…
The comment thread for that article tells one a lot about what OneNewsNow readers on the religious right think about Walmart.
• October 4, 2011: Mitt Romney’s step beyond same-sex ‘marriage’; As governor, promoted issues benefitting transgenderism:
Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and current GOP presidential hopeful, helped hawk not only homosexual “marriage” in Massachusetts, but took the activism a step further while in the capital, helping push forward the transgender movement, charges a new book.
Activist, researcher and author Amy Contrada says that although the biggest part of her research for her book was documenting Romney’s support for the homosexual agenda, most voters don’t know how strongly Romney supported transgendered duos.
…[The book] documents now the Romney administration mandated a poster advocating for “Transgendered Health.”
The poster from the Romney Department of Public Health was pushed statewide – in doctors’ offices, school nurses’ offices and public transportation. The poster claimed “Transphobia in healthcare is unhealthy.’”
Amy Contrada is one of the leaders of MassResistance, and organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center identified as a hate group.
• As stated previously in this piece, WND reported first on the transgender lunch worker. Their take on the story is found in their article Crossdressing cafeteria worker turns stomachs of parents, kids, Exposed bra straps ‘would not be permissible for students’ (September 23, 2011):
[More below the fold.]
…”A parent of two young girls was caught off guard recently when her daughters came home from school with questions about a man dressed like a woman on duty in the school cafeteria. The parent was further chagrined when officials in the Sierra Sands Unified School District confirmed the story but insisted their hands were tied,” according to the Pacific Justice report.
“What continues to floor the parent, Phyllis Fernandez, whose daughters attend kindergarten and third grade at Faller Elementary School, is that the employee’s attire would not be permissible for students. The employee, a substitute lunch duty worker, was wearing makeup and a spaghetti strap shirt, with his bra straps visible to students. District dress code policies for students ban both spaghetti straps and visible undergarments,” the report said.
“I shouldn’t have to be explaining to my five and eight year old girls why a man at their school is wearing a bra,” said Fernandez. “The school believes they have to give special treatment to this individual because of his chosen gender expression, but the learning environment is suffering.”
…”Parents are fed up with schools being manipulated by politicians and special interest groups to push an extreme social agenda,” said PJI President Brad Dacus. “Behavior like cross-dressing disrupts the educational environment, and parents have a right to be concerned for their children.”
• Turning to transyouth, we have the National Organization for Marriage‘s (NOM’s) Lesbian Parents Authorize Hormone Blocking to Prevent 11-Year-Old Son’s Puberty (October 4, 2011):
The UK Daily Mail reports on a situation in California that is grabbing headlines and plenty of media attention:
The lesbian parents of an 11-year-old boy who is undergoing the process of becoming a girl last night defended the decision, claiming it was better for a child to have a sex change when young.
Thomas Lobel, who now calls himself Tammy, is undergoing controversial hormone blocking treatment in Berkeley, California to stop him going through puberty as a boy.
… At age seven, after threatening genital mutilation on himself, psychiatrists diagnosed Thomas with gender identity disorder. By the age of eight, he began transitioning.
This summer, he started taking hormone-blocking drugs, which will stop him from experiencing puberty.
• That article by NOM goes in tandem with the First Things article Human Experimentation the Real Issue in Stopping “Transsexual” Boy’s Puberty (September 30, 2011):
I have worried before that stopping the normal onset of puberty in boys who believe they are girls, is a form of human experimentation–and on children, no less. And now another case has surfaced of an 11-year-old boy who is being kept medically from entering puberty. From the story:
The lesbian parents of an 11-year-old boy who is undergoing the process of becoming a girl last night defended the decision, claiming it was better for a child to have a sex change when young. Thomas Lobel, who now calls himself Tammy, is undergoing controversial hormone blocking treatment in Berkeley, California to stop him going through puberty as a boy. But Pauline Moreno and Debra Lobel warn that children with gender identity disorder forced to postpone transitioning could face a higher risk of suicide.
I don’t think the lesbianism of the parents should be the focus of this story at all, and in fact, I think it is being used by some as a way to sensationalize the issue. So, let’s not even get into it.
What matters is whether doctors should prevent puberty when there is no physiological indication that such hormones should be given medically, e.g. such as preventing early onset puberty. Time has reported that while there doesn’t seem to be much risk with bone density, and the process is reversible, there could be an impact on fertility…
Well…a commentator for a religious right/social conservative publication is worried about trans people’s fertility, eh? Why do I get the feeling that’s an argument of convenience instead of a sincere argument.
For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.
Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say,
‘The LORD will surely separate me from His people.’ Nor let the eunuch say, ‘Behold, I am a dry tree.’ For thus says the LORD,
‘To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths,
‘And choose what pleases Me,
‘And hold fast My covenant,
‘To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial,
‘And a name better than that of sons and daughters;
‘I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.’
First Things describes itself this way:
First Things is published by The Institute on Religion and Public Life, an interreligious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society.
• CitizenLink‘s Kansas Town Passes Special Rights for ‘Gender-Identity’ (September 29, 2011):
On Tuesday, the Lawrence, Kans., City Commission voted 4-1 to add gender identity and expression to its existing Human Relations ordinance.
Though the ordinance purportedly provides “nondiscrimination protections” for transgender people in employment, housing and public accommodations, conservatives say it actually opens the door to much more than that. For instance, a man who self-identifies as a woman is now able to sue any business owner who tries to stop him from using a public restroom or locker room designated for women.
“In their demands for special rights, they’re taking away our rights,” said Judy Smith of Concerned Women for America of Kansas. “People who consider themselves transgendered already have rights. They are not discriminated against.” …
Of course trans people aren’t discriminated against. That’s why our unemployment rate is, according to the Task Force’s report Injustice At Every Turn, the unemployment rate for trans people is twice the national average — no discrimination at play shown in that survey of trans people.
• The American Spectator‘s After DADT Repeal, Cross-Dressing is Next (October 4, 2011):
Following the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, soldiers who have had sex-change operations want a repeal of a similar ban barring them from serving openly. That “transgendered” designation also encompasses cross-dressers.
Arguing for a slippery slope is a logical fallacy, but it wasn’t hard to see this development following on the heels of the DADT repeal. The rapid politicizing of the armed forces under the Obama administration is astounding.
So far, the administration is playing coy, as reported in the Washington Times…
Well, you can read the Washington Times story for yourself.
• The Christian Post picked up on that story as well in their piece Transgenders Say They Too Should Be Allowed Military Service (September 30, 2011):
The transgender community is contending that Americans who have undergone a sex change should not be excluded from serving in the armed forces, especially after last week’s repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
“Transgender people,” which not only includes transsexuals but also cross-dressers, “are denied the ability to join the armed forces as a result of various discriminatory policies,” states the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), on its website.
…The transgender community is urging President Obama to sign an executive order lifting the ban on military service not only based on sexual orientation, but also gender identity.
However, that would place the president at odds with conservative Republicans on Capitol Hill, like Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, a Marine Corp combat veteran, who said this week, ”I hope the president has enough sense to see this for the unnecessary distraction it is.”
Yup, trans people sure seem to have the attention of a lot of religious right and social conservative media these days. It seems that pushback always comes with progress on civil rights and equality issues, doesn’t it?