Will Civil Rights Become Only A Piece Of History?

Civil Rights:  the rights that every person should have regardless of his or her sex, race, or religion

Civil Rights:  the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.

Civil Rights:  rights to personal liberty established by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and certain Congressional acts, especially as applied to an individual or a minority group.

Civil Rights:  Personal rights acquired by an individual by being a citizen or resident, or automatic entitlements to certain freedoms conferred by law or custom. Certain civil rights (such as the right to equality, freedom, good governance, justice, and due process of law) are inalienable like human rights and natural rights, whereas others (such as the right to hold a public office) depend on one’s conduct and can be lost. Also called civil liberties.

By any definition, the civil rights of the LGBT community were trampled today.  Last May, the Departments of Justice and Education issued a Joint Guidance to Help Schools Ensure the Civil Rights of Transgender Students that was sent to schools across the country, advising universities and K-12 institutions to allow trans students to use the bathroom, changing room, and locker room that most closely corresponds with their gender identity, rather than the sex they were assigned at birth.  For some reason that is well beyond my comprehension, this has been the most controversial issue in the U.S. for the last 50 years, at least. Yesterday, Trump rescinded protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity.

Admittedly, this is new territory for some, and there has been much confusion over how to protect the rights of all.  But … would somebody please tell me why people have a problem with this?  Let the kids, let adults, for that matter, go into whichever bathroom they feel most comfortable with!  Why not make all public restrooms “unisex”? This, folks, is not rocket science!  But it would seem that most states, particularly those south of the Mason-Dixon line, are appalled by the idea of equality for the LGBT community.  Their excuse is that they fear males, posing as transgender women, would invade women’s restrooms for the sole purpose of assaulting women.  Come on … seriously???  Assaults in public restrooms have been few and far between … you are much more likely to be assaulted in the mall parking lot than the restroom.  Can we use a bit of common sense here?

What does this mean, and what is likely next? In the most general sense, what it means is the Trump regime does not believe that civil rights protections should include transgender people.  According to Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “These young people already face incredible hurdles in their pursuit of education and acceptance. With a pen stroke, the Trump Administration effectively sanctions the bullying, ostracizing, and isolation of these children, putting their very lives in danger.”

But on the other hand, Chase Strangio, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), wrote on Tuesday:

“Rescinding the guidance does not change the rights of students under Title IX [the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education and activities]. Trans students are protected from discrimination by federal law and the administration can’t change that.”

So what did Trump hope to gain, and what has the LGBT community lost?  Apparently the decision to rescind the guidance was the brainstorm of newly-minted, racist Attorney General Jeff Sessions, long-time foe of the LGBT community. Sessions was in a hurry to roll back the guidance because of two pending court cases that could have upheld the protections and pushed the government into further litigation. Interestingly, newly-minted Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, opposed the idea, but was told basically that she could either get on board, or resign.  She chose the former and agreed to go along, although she remained uncomfortable with it.

8-ballWhat does this mean for the LGBT community as a whole, going forward?  I have no magic eight-ball, but if I had to guess, I would say that states will have a somewhat easier time passing laws that enable discriminatory practices.  Those laws can still be challenged in the courts, but with Mr. Sessions at the helm in the AG’s office, and with Trump able to fill between 1-3 Supreme Court positions in the next year or two, the outcome for civil rights justice remains uncertain. The one thing that is clear, however, is that we are unlikely to see the same push for equal rights for the LGBT community that we have seen for the past several years, and that may well lead to setbacks in civil rights as a whole.


16 thoughts on “Will Civil Rights Become Only A Piece Of History?

  1. Pingback: Jeff Sessions – The First Fateful Three Weeks – Part II | Filosofa's Word

    • Yes … ugly, ugly colours! Funny … I used to really like orange … but the other day, I was getting clean kitchen towels out of the cabinet, and the first ones I grabbed were orange … I put them back and got out a set with strawberries instead. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, living in NC where we are still reeling from the fallout of the transgender bathroom bill, it was sold on fear. And, when leaders scare people, it is hard to back away. The country is moving forward on LGBTQ issues led by companies and younger people who are more accepting. The HB2 law in NC has a part that takes away rights of LGBTQ people, which is the predominant reason business are perturbed with us.

    Transgender rights will continue to be on a slower train for now, but momentum for the LGBTQ can only be slowed, not stopped. I don’t think most Americans want to deny rights. The greater fight will be on religious freedom to not serve people. Pence got in trouble in Indiana when he tried this, but with Sessions and Trump, this may have more steam. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I thought of NC as I wrote this post. I think you are correct, that progress will slow but not halt, as there are many of us who do not fall prey to Trump and his rhetoric. But lately, it seems as if the majority are in the minority, if that makes sense. I suppose it is because the minority, those who do buy into the fear factor, are so loud and obnoxious, and get the most attention. The squaky wheel syndrome.


      • Jill, it is interesting to read the HR McMaster broke from the DT camp already by saying we should not use the term radical Islamists, as these extremists have bastardized that religion. In so doing, he is aligning himself with the posture of Obama and Bush on this. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

          • Jill, in McMaster, Kelly and Mattis, he has three more rational leaders. They may be the very ones that have to tell him to go sit in the corner. All three have publicly disagreed with the man, some more than once.Kelly even tried to forewarn the inner circle that the travel ban was not properly vetted and the green card holders should not be included. This was before it hit the fan. He may want to listen to people who have actually run things, since management has not been his forte. Keith

            Liked by 1 person

            • I agree that McMaster, Kelly and Mattis seem to be quite more level-headed than I expected, and they seem willing to say what they think, rather than what Trump/Bannon want them to think. However, my fear is that Trump may well remove them rather than listen to them if they do not agree with him. I hope I am wrong … but we both know that Trump is not likely to listen to the voice of reason.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. As a rule I don’t swear but the temptation is so near the surface these days. I’m not going to comment on the wrong I think has been done here as you’ve said it all very eloquently. What I am going to say is that Trump must be dealt with ( and Pence somehow) before they have the opportunity to load the bases with the Supreme Court Justices. I’m aware of the age of two of them and that they are appointed for life. A majority of Republicans would not be good even if they were to lose their hold on the Senate next year.
    After reading about the DeVoss woman today I think my fingers are likely to be permanently crossed for you.
    xxx Gigantiic Hugs xxx

    Liked by 2 people

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