In the United States in 2017 people are free to choose who, and what they want to be. As a citizen you are allowed to make decision’s everyday about the way you want to live your life, except now some of these decisions are being taken away from the rights of citizens. When I say this I am referring to relatively new controversy around transgender bathrooms in the United States. This controversy has been sparked in the recent years due to the issue that some people have of transgender individuals using the bathrooms that correspond with the gender they have choose.
Some citizens believe that you should use the bathroom that matches the sex that is on your birth certificate, while others think that you should be able to choose the bathroom that corresponds with the sex you represent. While transgender individuals make up less than 1% of the population, they have power. This topic has more than just two sides of yes and no to transgender bathrooms, there are many more voices to be heard. To begin to examine the many voices of this controversial topic, its important to sift through the legal and political aspects of the conversation.
In May of 2016 the “Obama administration publicized in May 2016, which said a federal law known as Title IX protects the right of transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities. ” The Obama administration took a great leap by taking this out of the state’s hands and bringing it up to the federal level. Although just recently the Trump administration rescinded protections for transgender students in public schools.
The two federal departments said the Obama documents do not “contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process. This interpretation has given rise to significant litigation regarding school restrooms and locker rooms. ” “The president has made it clear throughout the campaign that he’s a firm believer in states’ rights and that certain issues like this are not best dealt with at the federal level,” said White House spokesman Sean Spicer.
These actions were put in place to protect people who identify as transgender, taking power away from the states. Additionally, President Trump took away these actions in order to give states these rights to choose. The controversy was enhanced after this story about a Virginia high school student went viral. “Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old senior in Gloucester County Virginia came out as transgender when he was a freshman in high school.
The school principal allowed him to use the boys’ bathroom, until some parents complained, and the school board adopted a policy that required students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their biological sex, or a separate single-stall restroom office. ” Grimm’s voice is an incredibly important one in this conversation because he is able to represent the other side. Grimm’s national conversation continued into the courtroom as he was willing to do anything for his freedom. “Grimm sued the school board. His lawsuit argues the bathroom policy is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment and violates Title IX of the U. S. Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination by schools. ”
The case had made it’s way all the way up to the supreme court, until being finally rejected. The Trump administration had changed the policy before Grimm could be heard in the Supreme Court. Grimm replied saying “This is a detour, not the end of the road”. Grimm later said in an interview “I’ve had so many people come up to me and say that I’ve changed their minds, I’ve helped them come to terms with either their own transition or the transition of a loved one,” Grimm said.
I definitely think I’ve been seeing a real-world, very positive impact with what I’m doing and with just the conversation in general, and I can’t be more overjoyed to hear that. I think just one changed heart is totally worth it. ” This stories national publicity made it possible for other’s to come out about their story. “It’s not a loss. It’s really just a temporary setback,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of National Center for Transgender Equality. “She noted that a handful of cases involving a similar issue are now working their way through the federal courts.
And here is where it starts to heat up, where the conversation becomes louder and the voices more intense. “Briefs flooded the Supreme Court on Thursday in support of Gavin Grimm, the transgender teenager fighting for the right to use boys-only facilities at school. Support for Grimm came from a stunning arrangement of powerful leaders in politics, education and industry.
Among the briefs submitted to court for Grimm were arguments from nearly 200 members of Congress, more than 60 current and former police chiefs and sheriffs, over 30 U. S. cities, the National Education Association, the National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), the American School Counselor Association, National Association of School Psychologists, the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, leading LGBTQ nonprofits, dozens of major corporations and over 100 transgender adults from various professions. ” The last voice in this conversation is the one that strikes the most controversy on the topic. While Grimm and many others just want to be understood, there are many who cannot wrap their head around this.
Additionally, there are many people who have safety fears and concerns about people going into bathrooms that don’t match the sex on their birth certificate. Brandon Adams a 15 year old from Massachusetts who is speaking out just like Grimm made a key point to the conversation. In an interview he said ” I don’t think anyone would want to see a boy my age going into a ladies room.
I would be forced to use a ladies room because of my sex at birth, but I’m on testosterone and have had surgery to go forward with my transition. Grimm has also pointed out that he would be out of place in a girls bathroom at school. “The anxiety isn’t men in women’s bathrooms, it’s about masculinity in the wrong place,” said Katherine Franke, director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.
“It’s portrayed as a threat to women, but on a much deeper level, it’s about what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman. ” To put these voices more into perspective, its important to know the numbers behind them after a recent survey of Americans. The majority of respondents to a new U. S. oll opposed laws barring transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identities and indicated growing acceptance for gay rights, a nonpartisan research group said on Friday.
Fifty-three percent of the Americans surveyed oppose laws requiring transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth, according to the national poll by the Public Religion Research Institute. The survey showed that 39 percent of respondents favored such laws, and almost one in 10 of the 2,031 adults surveyed in February by telephone had no opinion.