Steve Ralls

Religious Right Targets Transgender Community

Filed By Steve Ralls | August 05, 2008 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Equality Maryland, Focus on the Family, Maryland, PFLAG, transgender issues

This morning's Washington Examiner includes a front-page story about examiner.jpgthe effort in Montgomery County, Maryland, to roll back legal protections for the transgender community. Right-wing groups, the paper reports, are pushing a November ballot initiative to repeal a measure that prohibits discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment, public accommodations, and other services.

The effort, at least one right-wing activist organization admits, is being considered as "a template" for other similar efforts across the country. Focus on the Family, and other groups, are waging similar battles in Colorado and Florida.

"Since Minnesota outlawed discrimination against transgender people in 1993, 11 other states and the District have followed suit, as did more than 90 cities and counties," the Examiner notes.

In fact, more and more Americans support efforts to protect transgender Americans from discrimination. But, as PFLAG pointed out to the paper, some activists are no doubt hoping to use the transgender community to bolster their own get-out-the-vote efforts.

"As the public becomes far more accepting of gays and lesbians, the religious right is looking for a new way to drive out their support base at election time, and they think this is going to be it," PFLAG said.

To read the full article from this morning's Examiner, click here. And for more on how fair-minded Marylanders are fighting the November initiative, visit Equality Maryland online.

Originally posted at the PFLAG National Blog.

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n CA, the courts rule that all deserve the right to marriage. in MD, elected officials pass legislation to end discrimination. in both cases, "moral" opposition seeks to overturn and reverse progress to realize equal rights with a voter referendum. this is a no brainer, the strategy is obvious...having failed to support their position with reasoned argument, they are counting on the prejudice, ignorance, and bigotry that exists within our society to carry the day by the sheer weight of numbers. minorities are being oppressed...the "silent" majority will vote in the favor of that oppression.

the task at hand is simple but daunting - we must convince the majority to embrace basic American values. freedom and equality are meant for all Americans. discrimination against one is discrimination against all. our fathers and forefathers fought and died for these principles. will this generation of Americans finally find the courage to live by them? time will tell...

I refuse to call it "moral" opposition. The groups that oppose the Maryland and California laws have nothing moral about their efforts. To be straight up about it, I HATE THE RELIGIOUS REICH. Yes, it is hate. They blaspheme the very words of the Christ they purportedly worship, they abuse the Holy Scriptures to justify their own bigotry, and are demanding the right to openly discriminate against other human beings they perceive as being less moral than themselves.

It is time to not just fight Focus on the Family and its clones, but to expose them as the immoral blaspheming bigots that they truly are. As Hunter Thompson might say, they've cashed their check. Their so-called backward movement needs to be relegated to the dustbin of history.

Equality maryland needs the same amount of cash that's going in to the marriage fight in California. You'll get a bigger bang for the buck and get a shot at stopping the Reichers cold before they even get started.

Sophia Eudemon | August 5, 2008 5:31 PM

IMO the time has arrived for a direct assault on religious bigotry. Religion is mythology used to placate the masses into submission to authority. If people wish to be a part of this then more power to them. But, they have no right imposing their prejudices on other people.

Why does the USA support tax breaks for delusional beliefs? That is not in the US Constitution. We need to end tax breaks and stop supporting old myths.

My opinion is to fight fire with fire. Line up a dozen or so post-op FTM transgender men outside a women's room door for a photo-op. The title could read something like "These transgender men were once women. This is the real impact of reversing Transgender Rights. These men are women in the eyes of the cristian right and they want your wives and daughters to share a bathroom with them."

Sadly, the fundies are typically so ignorant, they wouldn't get it...


I've had that very same thought, and, if necessary, plan on doing it, but the problem is finding a dozen trans men willing to be out and in the news.

Dana, did you get the e-mail I sent with the proposed wording of request? I've looked in my sent box, and it's there, but I didn't get a confirmation of receipt.

The kind of thing - though possibly with different people - that we're looking at is here.

Same general idea as Audrey's

Line up a dozen or so post-op FTM transgender men outside a women's room door for a photo-op. The title could read something like "These transgender men were once women. This is the real impact of reversing Transgender Rights. These men are women in the eyes of the cristian right and they want your wives and daughters to share a bathroom with them."

Interesting aside:

The Religious Right is targeting trans folk. Why? Could it be because Congress has already proven them to be the expendable portion of the community? Scapegoating gays isn't cool anymore, but "those people," apparently they're fair game.

All around ridiculous. They're grasping at straws while trying desperately to stay relevant. They're failing.

"The Last Minority." It's a saying I coined several years ago about transgender people. It appears we're just about there.

Zoe, Great link! I'm an out, passable MTF and would be honored to have my image used to combat this nonsense.

somehow, i cannot agree with the strategy of lining up and displaying trans men as objects to be feared entering into a "women's" restroom as a real solution. that kind of fear tactic is beneath OUR dignity, if not that of our oppressors. there are NO recorded incidents of exhibitionism or overt promiscuity in bathrooms by transgender individuals....which is more than can be said for the members of congress.

back in the day, the desegregation of public facilities - especially schools - would never have withstood a voter referendum....particularly in the southern states noted for their high "moral" standards and adherence to "christian values". remember the gubernatorial candidate who proudly proclaimed during his inaugural speech "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!"? as governor, that same man blocked the doors at the university of Alabama. it was federal mandate - and enforcement - that prompted george wallace to step aside.

to eradicate individual state "strongholds" of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity it will be necessary to recognize both as protected classes under the protection of the 14th amendment and the civil rights act of 1964. court decision and legislation will be required at the highest levels of federal government. and just in case some have forgotten, that is when the real fight for equality will begin. you cannot legislate bigotry and ignorance into a void. the interpretation, enforcement, and validity of the law will be put to the test on a regular basis. there will be no clear victory. we will still have to fight day by day to be recognized as equals. maybe life will be a little easier for the next generation...

The religious right needs to be taken on and held accountable for the carnage they've created by that I mean more than a swift kick in the hind end.The Catholic church pretty much blamed the pedophile priest scandal on homosexual men by banning them from priesthood.That shouldn't be viewed as religious freedom but for what it is defamation of character and slander.Focus on the family has been on it's love one out campaign and using reparitive therapy.Reparitive therapy isn't endorsed by any mainstream psychological or psychiatric association and is believed to be damaging and a potential cause for increased suicide rates.That sounds like medical malpractice to me.Then there is the lobbying of congress and blatant disrespect for constitutional rights.Voter iniatives are a back door approach to violating our rights as congress is constitutionally forbidden from passing laws bearing respect to an organization of religion.Where is the out cry based on oath violations against senaters and congressmen and even a President for signing Doma.How come any senater or congressmen who voted in approval for the federal definition of marriage as between a man and a woman designated a faith based iniative are still in office.I'll even add those who voted against as they should have known to vote on it at all was a violation of the oath of office.Is it possible to sue a political party?if so I wouldn't think it would take a whole lot of thinking to figure out how both partys share responsibility and shouldn't they be held accountable if they're in violation of their oaths and purposes for serving the people.


Yes, I got it. It was mentioned on the Vigilance blog. The issue was getting enough photos with permission of the owners.

But I'm speaking speicifically of trans MEN, who are the missing link and would refocus the debate where it belongs and away from bathrooms. The zealots just keep ignoring their existence, which is why we need to have them out and proud.

Basic Rights Montgomery has just hired a Campaign Manager while we await the Appeals Court process, and I will bring up your idea and let you know.


Maryland is not the only place this is happening, and the success there has emboldened them.

This is thier next battleground, and they have chosen it becuase they see a chance to win, since there's no political support in their eyes for transflks.

Florida, Arizona, and three others, all within the last month.

There will be more.

Now, why do you think that they suddenly figured out they could attack us?

As for the bathroom issue, transmen are indeed the missing key.

Seems a vagina in the bathroom is less of a risk than a penis.