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Author Topic: (USA) - Antidiscrimination law might not include transsexuals.  (Read 3543 times)

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Offline Celestial GoblinTopic starter

Re: (USA) - Antidiscrimination law might not include transsexuals.
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2007, 03:39:45 PM »
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However simply because those of us who DO believe it is a part of nature and not a choice does not mean that there are quite a few peole out there who do not, thus they are allowed their right to religious beliefs.
"homosexualism or transgenderism are inborn traits and not a choice" is not a belief. It is an objective medical fact and people who 'believe' different are as loony as those who insist the earth is flat.
I respect their right to have those beliefs, but those beliefs should never be a basis of any law, because they are objectively wrong and there is proof for that.

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Now do I think that they are allowed to commit hate crimes? no. I am just saying Hiring practices of religious institutions are protected.
Even in the much less religious European countries, their much more robust anti-discrimination laws do not force religious institutions to hire someone that doesn't mesh with their religion.
If you show your support for this legislation, this won't affect churches and synagogoues. It will only affect normal workplaces and protect people from everyday bigotry.

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that is exactly my point. To force religious instititutins to not be able to dismiss applications due to faith based issues would mean that these places would not be allowed to hire oly people who share their faith.
There's no danger of this happening. And this legislation is *not* about faith-based discrimination. There's already law in place that prohibits from discriminating people based on their faith and it's not harming anyone.

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My point is that people should be able to hire individuals that they can work with without problems. Just like its my right to hold the hand of a nother woman in public if I would like, then its their right to be able to believe that I am sinning and to choose not to have to hire me and work wtih me.
If you're independently rich or live in a state that allows to 'sign up on the dole' if you can't find a job, maybe it's not a big deal to you.

But think for a moment. By holding hands with another woman on a street you are not harming anyone. By denying someone a job, you are harming them very much.
Would you think that firing someone based on skin colour is okay? This is the same thing.

Seriously, this is no different than you'd be asked to support a law against having a 'we don't serve blacks' sign over your bussines. I don't know if you actually care about this matter or just want to argue for the sake of arguing, but there's only one good side here.

Offline Sherona

Re: (USA) - Antidiscrimination law might not include transsexuals.
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2007, 03:51:13 PM »
Morally I agree with you Goblin. 100% and more so. And if you can show me a way to get those who believe differently to realize that such things are a part of nature, then I will bend over backward and help you prove this to them.

Unfortunatly Faith is not about science. Its abuot spiritual belief, and frankly (no offense to anyone who does follow christian faith, muslim faith or any other theistic faith) the fact that it is proven scientifically that no one simply said "Live" and planets were born..rather there is large amounts of evidence to support the creation of earth from dust and other spacial particals..the fact that another 'earth' is in the making already, (will try and find the link to that article) that in anothe rmillion years or so another planet much like ours will have formed..it does not matter how much scientific fact you throw at them they are still going to believe what their faith tells them.

all that aside

I do believe there is laws in place where you can not fire someone for such things if they are already hired..and even if there is a law that is passed forcing employers to hire x number of people of each sexual orientation, x number of people who eat ham, and x number of women who do NOT wear burquas, I do believe that employers will simply 'find' reasons not to hire them.

I just fear that with this passing, that it will just open the doors for government to say "Ok..now that we have made it discrimanatory to not hire someone who you believe is a sinner, we can now use that as precendent to say you can not preach in your churches that this is a sin."(yes extreme but an example) etc etc..its not this law that really bothers me but the rammifications that can happen.

As far as your black sign example, as far as I know there are no religions that actually stated that being black was a sin. Nor do I endorse that transgendered people should be barred from eating establishments, markets or any other public venue simply because of their preferences, no matter what religious preferences the owner has they opened a public place for what? the public.


Frankly I do believe people who discriminate due to transgenderedness, homosexuality, and any other many many other ways that one can be discriminated against is a bigot and should all just be flogged..but that again is my personal opinion and such as it is I am glad I have the right to express
 it :)


Edited to add last bit:

All that aside, I probably will stop posting as I do not feel as if I have antyhing more productive to add. And I really do not feel as if I am getting my point across effectively at all. I really am not endorsing their views, just endorsing their right to such views :D Since this stupid Privacy act that the president signed it seems more and more rights are being taken away and so I am quite sensitive to right infringement :P

Lovely posts goblin, as I said on a moral level I agree 100% with you, and in a perfect world people would take scientific evidence over faith teachings..alas we do not live in a perfect world, so I will endorse their right to tell me I am going to burn in hell because of my preferences (though really being married to a man and happily in love with one they do not say much to me) I also endorse my right to tell them that they are biggotted sons of bitches who by their own bible (do not judge lest ye be judged) will ultimately suffer the same consequences :P..its fun watching them backpedal.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2007, 04:04:34 PM by Sherona »

Offline Celestial GoblinTopic starter

Re: (USA) - Antidiscrimination law might not include transsexuals.
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2007, 04:28:49 PM »
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Morally I agree with you Goblin. 100% and more so. And if you can show me a way to get those who believe differently to realize that such things are a part of nature, then I will bend over backward and help you prove this to them.
It's happening, but it won't happen instantly.
And some people will keep on persisting, just like there are still people who for serious believe the earth is flat. (and even tie it to religious beliefs as well, if I remember correctly)

I can't offer you a way to get rid of intolerance, but I think that this law is one of the ways of minimizing the harm caused by intolerant individuals to other individuals.
It's like it's not really possible to eliminate crime once and for all, but it's possible to pass laws that protect people as well as possible.


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I do believe there is laws in place where you can not fire someone for such things if they are already hired..and even if there is a law that is passed forcing employers to hire x number of people of each sexual orientation, x number of people who eat ham, and x number of women who do NOT wear burquas, I do believe that employers will simply 'find' reasons not to hire them.
That's not the same thing. This law is *not* about forcing an employer to hire a set number of a given minority. This is not 'affirmative action' or 'paritet' or 'minority quota' type legislation.
Because employers will always find their way to fire someone if they really need to, the only thing this law will assure is that it will be harder for them to do so.
This law won't eliminate bigotry, but it will be a dis-incentive for bigots to harm minorities.

As far as your black sign example, as far as I know there are no religions that actually stated that being black was a sin. Nor do I endorse that transgendered people should be barred from eating establishments, markets or any other public venue simply because of their preferences, no matter what religious preferences the owner has they opened a public place for what? the public.

But why assume that religion-based bigotry is somehow deserving of protection while other bigotry doesn't?
I'd point out there are many Christian denominations that are a-okay with homosexuality, transgenderism and what have you. There are tolerant Jews and Muslims as well.
As for religions supporting racism, they existed in history and they still exist now, just not in USA at the moment.

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I just fear that with this passing, that it will just open the doors for government to say "Ok..now that we have made it discrimanatory to not hire someone who you believe is a sinner, we can now use that as precendent to say you can not preach in your churches that this is a sin."(yes extreme but an example) etc etc..its not this law that really bothers me but the rammifications that can happen.
This sort of fear is called 'the slippery slope fallacy'.
One could take any principle and inflate it into absurd, and from both sides.

For example, drugs.
Anti-drug person can say "If you legalize medical marihuana, next you're going to legalize selling meth to children!"
Pro-drug person can say "If you outlaw pot, why don't you outlaw alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and chocolate as well?"

Or guns.
Pro-gun person "If you won't let me have plastic explosives, next you'll be coming for my handgun and then my kitchen knife!"
Anti-gun person "If you'll let adult people own a revolver, next stage is going to be kids running around with grenades!"

The idea is to judge the law on it's own merit and remember that there's no rule saying that if you pass one law then you will have to pass another law later that will go too far.

For one, there'd be no support for a law that would censor what preachers can say in churches. Even from pro-tolerance people like me, I'm sure.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: (USA) - Antidiscrimination law might not include transsexuals.
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2007, 05:08:38 PM »
All right first off, I'd like to point out that several representatives have said that transgenderism is a 'choice' not something you are born with. Maybe they're wrong, maybe not, I'mnot a researcher on the subject, so I can't say. I'm inclined to believe it is something you are born with rather than a choice, but I do not believe that there is any 100% conclusive medical fact that proves so. Also via Wiki, because I'm too lazy to look up the codes myself "The terms "transsexualism", "dual-role transvestism", "gender identity disorder in adolescents or adults" and "gender identity disorder not otherwise specified" are listed as such in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD) or the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) under codes F64.0, F64.1, 302.85 and 302.6 respectively."

So basically, it is considered a mental disorder, and not a protected one. While this goes against WHO and UN classification, it is the American classification, and neither the UN nor WHO make US legal policy.

Now, as to would churches be required to hire transgender people? I would say no. And here's why:
As far as say a catholic church (and I don't know the church's position on this matter so I'm just guessing here), they could say that transgenderism is a rejection of their doctrine of faith. And that for certain positions, even all positions I think a church could make a legitimate legal argument that acceptance of their church doctrines is a bona fide occupational qualification.

You see that there is the key. To be able to LEGALLY discriminate against a protected class, you must prove that a class of employees would be unable to perform the job safely or adequately and that the BFOQ is reasonably necessary for the operation of the business.

I'll give a real life example: We all know (or we should) that you can not discriminate in the United States on basis of Race (ethnicity) right? So then a chinese restaurant would be forced to accept a highly qualified person of non-chinese ancestry. Well, that's just not true. In a court ruling several years ago (I believe it was in the late 70's early 80s - I'm tired and don't want to check) the courts established the Chinese Restaurant exception. Courts accepted the legal argument that it is a reasonable BFOQ for a chinese restaurant to require that ll its staff be of chinese origin. This exception applies only to that class of restaurant, cuban restaurants, japanese, etheopian, they can not discriminate based on race. Does this make any sense? Not to me, but it is an example of a legal discriminatory BFOQ.

And now, I will go nap.

Offline Celestial GoblinTopic starter

Re: (USA) - Antidiscrimination law might not include transsexuals.
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2007, 05:23:19 PM »
Eris, I fully appreciate your proffesional input on this.
The way you put it though, there's indeed no possibility that this law would negatively impact churches or similar places.

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All right first off, I'd like to point out that several representatives have said that transgenderism is a 'choice' not something you are born with. Maybe they're wrong, maybe not, I'mnot a researcher on the subject, so I can't say. I'm inclined to believe it is something you are born with rather than a choice, but I do not believe that there is any 100% conclusive medical fact that proves so.
As far as I know, the medical community has no doubts about it and the matter is studied quite troughoutly. After all there's no reason for someone to choose something as problematic and difficult.
And regardless of whether it's inborn or somehow acquired differently, it's something that should be protected from discrimination.

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So basically, it is considered a mental disorder, and not a protected one. While this goes against WHO and UN classification, it is the American classification, and neither the UN nor WHO make US legal policy.
I don't think that has anything to do with the matter. Of course it shouldn't be on a list of mental disorders, just like homosexuality (AFAIK) was already removed. But ultimately, it doesn't change the fact that it's something people are and cannot simply stop being.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: (USA) - Antidiscrimination law might not include transsexuals.
« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2007, 05:45:28 PM »
Goblin, because even though I'm tired, this topic has piqued my curiosity I started doing some digging on transgender case law. So, here goes:

Ulane v. Eastern Airlines Inc (1984) - 7th Circuit rejected a transgendered person’s Title VII claim on the grounds Congress did not intend the law to prohibit anything other than the traditional concept of sex discrimination—discrimination against women because they are women or men because they are men.

Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins (1989) - Hopkins a woman wins a case against waterhouse for refusing to make her a partner because she did not act feminine enough.

Smith v. City of Salem (2004) - The 6th cicuit applies the same reasoning in reverse:

“After Price Waterhouse, an employer who discriminates against women because, for instance, they do not wear dresses or makeup is engaging in sex discrimination,” the court wrote. “... It follows that employers who discriminate against men because they do wear dresses and makeup or otherwise act femininely are also engaging in sex discrimination.”

Schroer v. Billington (pending) - Judge James Robertson explicitly rejected the sexual stereotyping argument last year but denied the Library of Congress’ motion to dismiss anyway.

“The problem [Schroer] faces is not because she does not conform to the library’s stereotypes about how men and women should look and behave—she adopts those norms,” Robertson wrote. “Rather, her problems stem from the library’s intolerance toward a person like her, whose gender identity does not match her anatomical sex.” Rejecting the 7th Circuit’s reasoning in Ulane, Robertson said it was time to reconsider whether discrimination against transgendered individuals is indeed discrimination “because of ... sex.”

-----------

So, depending on the decision in this case and whether it gets appealed to the supreme court, you might have a legally binding ruling, basically stating that transgenderism IS protected by title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, because it falls under the auspices of discrimination based on sex. If that happens, then a congressional law becomes unnecessary, though congress could pass a law to clearly define if Title VII covers transgenderism or does not.

It seems like an interesting case, and being a corporate attorney, it is one I'll have to follow more closely.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: (USA) - Antidiscrimination law might not include transsexuals.
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2007, 05:58:39 PM »
Eris, I fully appreciate your proffesional input on this.
The way you put it though, there's indeed no possibility that this law would negatively impact churches or similar places.
As far as I know, the medical community has no doubts about it and the matter is studied quite troughoutly. After all there's no reason for someone to choose something as problematic and difficult.
And regardless of whether it's inborn or somehow acquired differently, it's something that should be protected from discrimination.
I don't think that has anything to do with the matter. Of course it shouldn't be on a list of mental disorders, just like homosexuality (AFAIK) was already removed. But ultimately, it doesn't change the fact that it's something people are and cannot simply stop being.

And I don't mean to split hairs here, because honestly, I generally agree with you on this topic, but from the legal documentation I've seen so far, while certain medical agencies do not consider it a mental disorder, the ones that have the  most influence in American policy making do.

Also keep in mind, that just because medical policy may claim that this is not a mental disorder etc, legal policy is not made by the medical establishment. Legal policy comes from three sources:
Executive Regulations (EPA regs, EEOC regs, etc) that are used to enforce congressional acts
Congressional laws (ADA, CR 1964)
and
US Court Decisions (and common law) - in many ways, case law is probably the BEST direction for trangender rights. Why? While the court DOES have conservative members, judges are NOT elected and do not answer to constituents. Therefore they are subject to less political pressure than say your average congressman who probably has a good percentage of his potential supporters indifferent to and likely opposed to transgender rights (the same way many find themselves with constituents opposed to homosexual rights). The courts are in many ways more progressive than the legislature in protecting the rights of citizens (see the court decision striking down texas sodomy laws, thereby invalidating sodomy laws in other states based simply on the citizen's right to privacy - which by the way is NOT a right explicitly granted by any amendment, but inferred from constitutional amendments and upheld by multiple court decisions).

In all honesty, I think there is a very good chance the Shroer case will be found for the plaintiff, and I think transgender protection granted by the courts is far more likely to happen than having it explicitly granted by congress.

And now, I think I've used up all my legal capacity for the day. :)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2007, 06:00:25 PM by appleoferis »

Offline Celestial GoblinTopic starter

Re: (USA) - Antidiscrimination law might not include transsexuals.
« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2007, 06:10:21 PM »
Actually, this was very enlightening. Thank you, because I couldn't find enough information on my own. Going trough law and understanding what it means in practice is difficult.

And I'd certainly hope you are right about the court case and it fixing the problem as well as a law from the goverment itself.

That said, one thing you wrote attracted my attention:

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Therefore they are subject to less political pressure than say your average congressman who probably has a good percentage of his potential supporters indifferent to and likely opposed to transgender rights (the same way many find themselves with constituents opposed to homosexual rights).

I'd say, this is exactly why the trans-gender organizations are asking for help. Outspoken homophobes are often active in their lobbying. That's why it can matter if non-homophobic people let their senators know what they think as well.
It's probably, as you explained it, not as critical as case law and court ruling. But while a single American can't affect a court ruling in anyway, they can still lend their help to this matter. That's why I bought this topic up. Not to rant but hoping as much people as possible will care to do something about it.