Transgender day of visibility highlights civil and human rights

by Chloe O'Rourke, Staff Columnist

Transgender day of visibility is not just a day to acknowledge trans individuals, but a day to come together and support a community under attack.

Over the past year trans rights have been scaled back, from being denied access to the bathroom they feel comfortable in to a record number of homicides of trans individuals, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

The Obama administration put protections in place for trans students in public schools that allowed them to enter the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, but in February those protections were rescinded.

This denial was defended as a states’ rights matter, but that is not true. This is not a states’ rights issue — it is a human rights issue. The current administration is denying its own citizens a fundamental right.

The controversy surrounding the trans bathroom issue has been going on for more than a year. On March 30, North Carolina lawmakers voted to repeal the controversial House Bill 2 that required individuals at a government-run facility to use the bathroom that aligned with the gender on their birth certificate. It also prevented local governments from implementing their own non-discrimination laws.

Another law was signed replacing HB 2, and it isn’t much better. Groups such as the ACLU and the HRC said this change was not about giving rights to the trans community, but was a ploy for basketball profits. The NCAA had moved their championship basketball events out of the state due to the stigma surrounding the original law. On April 4, after HB 2 was replaced, it said it would resume its events in the state.

Although the replacement law now allows trans people to go to the bathroom that conforms with their gender identity in government run facilities, it still does not allow local governments to enact non-discrimination laws until 2020.

This repeal is being seen as a compromise, but there should be no compromise on the rights of citizens. People should not have to give up some of their rights because politicians cannot agree that they are fully equal citizens in their state.

This modern discrimination is unacceptable and people should not allow the government to leave some citizens out. The government is supposed to be one that works for everyone, and should be in the business of protecting rights, not restricting them. They are not truly working for all if only some have a seat at the table.

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