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Transgender Laws Raise Many Issues

May 20, 2016
Plain English Version
A gender-neutral bathroom/\.

A gender-neutral bathroom.

A law on transgender people passed in North Carolina. It said such people must use the bathroom of the sex shown on their birth certificate. The passage of the bill caused an outcry.

Big business says such laws are bad for their workers and customers. Some companies threaten to reduce their business activities in the state. Many liberal groups say they will not hold conventions in the state.

Why do states pass such laws? Some states, most are in the South, are conservative. They hold to tradition. Laws about gender are new to them. Same-sex marriage is one of those changes. The coming out of transgender people is another one.

For many, the new ways conflict with religious beliefs. Some people oppose Same-sex relations. American courts tend to give “space” to such beliefs.

A florist or baker may decide not do business with a wedding of same-sex couples. No federal law compels them to do so. But same-sex marriages are now legal by a ruling of the Supreme Court.

The courts look for ways to follow the law. Politicians tend to look for ways to follow the votes.

Some people say that tradition governs their lives. They are far more comfortable with old ways. Their communities endorse past practices. Transgender people raise alarms.

Who is a man and who is a woman? Many think it is a matter of self-identity. If a person wants to be one gender or another, it is their business. Others think a physical change in sex organs must occur.

President Obama says self-identity is the rule. The matter divides the country.

It is not easy to be transgender. The bathroom issue brings it all together. Some people say that transgender people face abuse. That is the most important issue. Other people believe there is danger in letting people who appear to be men into the ladies’ room. There are few actual cases to support those fears.

Whose interests are paramount? The country is moving toward inclusion. It will not happen without a struggle.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor April 7, 2016

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