Religious Right Groups Add to the Transgender Community’s Burdens
That guidance letter, however, is currently being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court. Gavin Grimm, a transgender high-school student in Virginia whose school denied him the ability to use the boy’s bathroom, sued the school for violating his rights as explained by the Obama administration’s guidance letter. Now that guidance letter will likely be rescinded by the Trump administration, and the previously expected support from the U.S. Justice Department (which would have presented to the high court the government’s opinion about the meaning of the federal legal protections against discrimination) is not likely to be forthcoming from a Justice Department under Trump’s thumb.
Earlier this year, Church & State ran a story about the growing number of attacks on the transgender community by Religious Right groups. We noted that these groups, having lost the legal battle over marriage equality, seem to be shifting their focus to the trans community. On our Protect Thy Neighbor website, we closely followed legislation and lawsuits designed to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against transgender people.
I’ve noticed it myself. There has been an uptick in Religious Right emails, blog posts and fundraising messages attacking transgender people. Much of this material focuses on bathrooms. The message sent is that you or someone you care about could be assaulted by a trans person in a bathroom. The fact that this never happens hasn’t slowed down the fear mongering.
The survey results indicate that transgender Americans face many challenges, and they carry unique burdens. I find it ironic that Religious Right groups are behind so many attacks because the biblical book of Galatians speaks to this issue. “Bear one another’s burdens,” it admonishes, “and so fulfill the law of Christ.”