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August 19, 2010

My Fox Houston Asks Website Users Whether Trans People Should Be Allowed To Marry

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The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival.

~The Supreme Court Of The United States‘ ruling in Loving V. Virginia

Thumbnail Link: My Fox Houston asks 'Should transgender or transsexual people be allowed to legally marry?'You would think that after Loving v. Virginia, one wouldn’t need to ask if any group should be allowed to legally marry — as in legally marry, period. But, My Fox Houston “went there,” and asked this question:

Q: Should transgender or transsexual people be allowed to legally marry?

Trans people have been freeping the poll, via twitter and FaceBook messaging with each other — among use of other social networking tools. Last night (August 18, 2010), the poll results looked like this:

Q: Should transgender or transsexual people be allowed to legally marry?

Yes – 80.4 %

No –  18.4%

Not sure – 0.8%

Thumbnail Link: My Fox Houston reader survey indicates almost one in five wouldn't allow trans people to legally marryLast I checked (August 19, 2010, approximately 11:00 AM PDT), the number of those who answered ‘No” was down to 7.5%, but the answers to the posed question isn’t solely where the problem lies — the problem also lies in forming and asking the question  in the first place. This is not the kind of question a responsible news organization would ask for a non-scientific poll.

Seriously, would My Fox Houston ask their website readers in a non-scientific poll if African-American, Hispanic, Muslim, Buddhist, disabled, or infertile people should be “allowed to legally marry?” It is an example of how in our society, it is still safe to express antitrans prejudice.

And by the way, it’s survey’s like this that remind me why this quote is a guiding principle for me:

“[T]he job of the gay community is not to deal with extremists who would castigate us or put us on an island and drop an H-bomb on us. The fact of the matter is that there is a small percentage of people in America who understand the true nature of the homosexual community. There is another small percentage who will never understand us. Our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. Nor was our aim in the civil rights movement to get prejudiced white people to love us. Our aim was to try to create the kind of America, legislatively, morally, and psychologically, such that even though some whites continued to hate us, they could not openly manifest that hate. That’s our job today: to control the extent to which people can publicly manifest antigay sentiment.”

~Bayard Rustin, From Montgomery to Stonewall (1986)

In my thought process, I add “antitransgender sentiment” to Bayard Rustin’s “antigay sentiment.”

Seriously, the privilege and implied prejudice that went into creation of the My Fox Houston non-scientific poll is just beyond the pale, and the editors and producers at My Fox Houston should be ashamed of their fostering animosity towards those whom they identify as “transgender or transsexual people.” In my mind, the framing of their non-scientific poll question is an unconscionable parsing out of known minority populations in the United States; an unconscionable action to give their website readers a anonymous means to identify certain Americans as not deserving of fundamental rights.

And too,  there is the basic othering of gender variant people that My Fox Houston is fostering as well…

So much wrong with this non-scientific poll, y’know?

~~~~~

Related:

* Drawing Small Circles Of Normal

* One’s Gender Identity Isn’t Societal Perception Of It; Marriage Equality Isn’t Just A GLB Issue

* Wednesday This & That: Open Thread

* The “Alleged” Transgender Wife Of A Texas Firefighter And Inheritance


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