Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a law allowing people with religious objections to same-sex couples to, in the most blunt of terms, discriminate against them April 4. And I thought this was 2016.
In other words, according to House Bill 1534, known as the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” if someone discriminates against the LGBT community because it is against his or her religious convictions, there can be no legal ramifications.
(Because laws like this haven’t caused any sort of violence or racial problems, right?)
To the straight male that signed this bill, that being one Governor Bryant, this decision made sense. But, Governor Bryant, you don’t have to worry about being employed, married or discriminated against in the workplace as a member of the LGBT community, now do you. (Notice how this is not a question).
In a statement, Bryant asserted that he signed this law “to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations and private associations from discriminatory action.” Governor Bryant, if you don’t mind me asking, what about the sexual feelings that gay individuals have no choice over. People can choose to believe something, but cannot choose how they are born.
It’s not like we haven’t seen bills as absurd as this recently; North Carolina’s governor signed a controversial bill March 23 entitled the House Bill 2, the “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.” This fun little bill insists upon banning transgender individuals from using public bathrooms that don’t adhere to their biological sex. That seems rational, right?
To the white, straight male that signed the bill, Pat McCrory, it surely did. Unfortunately, Governor McCrory, it seems you haven’t quite learned the definition of discrimination, seeing as this bill blocks cities from allowing transgender people to use the bathroom they sexually identify with.
Let me explain.
Mostly referred to as “transgender” but also known by the term “transsexual,” a transgender person “identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person’s sex at birth,” according to Merriam-Webster.
McCrory, imagine if you were born female but still felt like a male inside your head? Or were born biologically male and instead felt you should have been born a female? But you don’t have to worry about that when you go to the bathroom, do you. (No, that isn’t a question.)
Governor McCrory went to Twitter to defend his decisions.
Ordinance defied common sense, allowing men to use women’s bathroom/locker room for instance. That’s why I signed bipartisan bill to stop it
— Pat McCrory (@PatMcCroryNC) March 24, 2016
But wouldn’t you agree, Governor, that it makes common sense for someone who feels they are a man, has undergone surgery or taken hormones to appear as a man, and in all other ways than their biological assignment identify as a man, go to the men’s bathroom? I’m just thinking rationally here.
Now it may seem like I’m doing a lot of complaining here, and you would be right. But here is my issue; why, in 2016, is our nation continuing to discriminate against people whose shoes they will never have to fill, whose situations lawmakers will never understand? Why can’t lawmakers make decisions about religion, a concept that “can’t be seen or fully understood,” while they can decide how ones sexuality factors into society, another thing that “can’t be seen or fully understood?”
Even more, why are some states passing such bills that have been vetoed by other states? Why should a certain mile radius dictate what a person, a human being, can do or not do with their bodies?
This all seems a little warped, if you ask me.
So lawmakers, put yourself in someone else’s shoes instead of trying to tell someone else the way they are born is the wrong way to live.