Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Accommodating Bigots


Marriage equality is the law of the land.  The federal government and U.S. military's nondiscrimination policies cover sexual orientation.  Adoption by same-sex couples is legal in every state.

Our country is moving forward, and transgender people are living with greater openness.  Sadly, we’re seeing efforts to reverse the gains that have been made in statehouses and courthouses across America. 

There's an election coming up and it would be easy for our next president to roll back the progress that has been made.

Donald Trump has claimed, that he considers himself a "traditional guy," when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.  He’d appoint Supreme Court justices who favor rolling back LGBT rights and allow individual states to discriminate against the LGBT community.  A Trump court would overturn Obergefell v. Hodges and bring marriage equality to an end.

Trump has promised that he’d sign the First Amendment Defense Act, which would permit taxpayer-funded discrimination by those who cite religion as a reason to deny services to LGBT people nationwide.  He’ll accommodate bigots by repeal many of President Obama's executive orders immediately, which could include an order protecting LGBT employees in the federal government from discrimination.

Recently, Trump released a list of 11 judges that he’d consider nominating to the Supreme Court.  He made sure the list included a judge who equated same-sex relations to bestiality, pedophilia, and necrophilia. 

There's a great deal of work left to do, because we still see small businesses, like pizzerias, bakeries, and florists, who have  discriminated against LGBT customers.  There are still county clerks who refuse to do their jobs and issue marriage licenses to LGBT couples.  And, in some places in our country, it remains legal for people to be fired solely on the basis of who they are or whom they love.

These inequities require legislative action at the federal level, but congressional Republicans, that control both the House and Senate will not do the right thing.  The House of Representatives recently tried to undermine President Obama’s executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton fought to make it possible for transgender Americans to have their true identities reflected on their passports.  As president, she will fight for the rights of transgender people, because no one should be harmed or mistreated for being who they are.

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