Who Cares What Bathroom You Use?

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There is not a single, reasonable assertion that should stop individuals who are transgender from using the bathroom of their choice. To do so, is discriminatory and wrongful as a human being. Every single person in the U.S. (unless they have portable restroom that only they use everywhere they go) has at one point used a bathroom that a person of a different gender identity has also used. The bathrooms in our homes are gender neutral, single person restrooms at rest areas, businesses and schools are also gender neutral; just because we don’t label them as such, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. There are co-ed bathrooms in colleges across the nation, and I have used the opposite gender’s bathroom when the one that corresponds with my identity is too busy. The assumption of violence and threat from such people is a harmful stereotype asserted by fear, and it makes the Trump administration’s ruling a severe miscarriage of justice.
On Feb 22, 2017, the Trump administration decided to rescind the Obama administration’s memos regarding transgender student rights.

The Obama era memos said that restricting a transgender student from using facilities that align with their gender identity violates federal anti-discrimination laws. The U.S. Department of Education notes that under Title 9, schools who receive federal funds may not discriminate based on a student’s sex, including a student’s transgender status.

The decision to revoke these justified distinctions was made due to apparent “legal confusion”. There are a variety of arguments for and against the decision by the Trump administration. In some states, the revoked measure wont do anything. In Colorado, state lawmakers passed legislation in 2008 that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

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For some the ruling is more personal. Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old boy in Virginia, sued his school board for the right to use the male restroom, after a policy was passed requiring students to use facilities that corresponded with their “biological sex”. Up to that point, he had been using the male restroom without notable incidents.
Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming all introduced Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bills in the 2017 legislative session.

There has been some backlash to these measures. When North Carolina passed similar legislation in 2016, companies like PayPal refused to build and artists Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas pulled concerts out of the state. When we refuse to contribute economically to discriminatory measures, then we send a message that these decisions are not justified.

Visit The National Center for Transgender Equality
to help fight against such legislation both locally and nationally.

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It’s a Bird? No, it’s a Plane? It’s a new Healthcare Plan?!

On March 24, 2017 Paul Ryan decided to pull the repeal Obamacare vote from the floor that afternoon. The repeal bill was combined with the AHCA, or the republican’s version of healthcare reform. Ryan told reporters “We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

While Democrats rejoiced and made back handed comments about Trump’s so called failure at the art of the deal. Conservatives on the hill aren’t done yet. Only a few days later, after pressure form conservative activists, House Republican Leaders and the White House said they would begin negotiations about repealing ACA again.

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Last week Stephen Bannon with far right groups the Freedom Caucus and Tuesday Group have started meetings about repealing ACA. The problem is that they aren’t just talking about repealing the current healthcare system we have, they want to replace in the same bill. Which means these far right groups who found the AHCA to be just shy of the ACA, means the healthcare reform likely to come from these meeting will make Americans worse off than they are now.

Yet, there isn’t much time to offer a replacement as April 7th begins another two week recess for congressional legislators. Also a budget proposal must be passed by April 28th in order for the government to stay funded.

Here is what we know of the bill so far with updates coming in the next 24 hours

  • States would be allowed to charge higher rates to sick people.
  • A waiver system that would allow States to opt-out of some of ACA’s requirements. There would be non-negotiable requirements such as the ban on excluding coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
    • These waivers would make states prove that they could provide equal or more coverage with less costs.

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There isn’t much known about the current Plan B for healthcare reform from the GOP candidates, but the White House has been reported saying that the bill needs to be in this week. We shall see what will happen in the meantime with our taxes.

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