Thursday, November 12, 2015

Civil Rights for All


For John, BLUFThis may be a worthy cause, but the execution seems lacking.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



In today's edition of The [Lowell] Sun we have a State House News Service item by Reporter Matt Murphy.  It is headlined "Congressional delegation pushes transgender vote".

The lede is:

A majority of the state's Congressional delegation has written to the leaders of the Massachusetts House and Senate urging votes on legislation to extend non-discrimination protections in public places to transgender individuals before the Legislature recesses in a little over a week.
Yes, 7 out of 11, including our own Rep Niki Tsongas, and Senator Ed Markey.

But, is it their place to be bullying the members of the General Court?

Moving on, I don't wish to deprive any group of their civil rights.  Laws against discrimination with regard to public accommodation seems settled, although some, like our Attorney General, Maura Healey, feel Massachusetts laws do not apply to the transgendered and that she has no tools to deal with this.  The problem is the scope of a public accommodation law, but at its writing and as it is applied down the years by this or that prosecutor or civil trial lawyer.  I am with those who don't wish to see it creeping into bathrooms and showers.

Should cisgender people have to give way to transgendered people in terms of privacy in public accommodations?  I can see transgendered folks, who dress in their new gender, slipping into bathroom stalls and never causing a problem.  Even Caitlyn Jenner, if discrete, can slip into the Damen bathroom.  But, if they wish to make a federal case out of it there could be issues.  One would hope not.  Making such accommodation legal makes sense, but so does making it a crime to blatantly flaunt one's gender in a place of public accommodation.

What about showers in high school?  I would think that some cisgender (or their parents) might be uncomfortable having someone who looks like the opposite sex showering with them.  If transgendered are uncomfortable with the current arrangement for being in a private place with the cisgender, perhaps we need a third or fourth location for showering.

Let's not make some uncomfortable to ensure that others are not.  We can not expect all cisgender to think alike on some of these issues, to all be comfortable with the actual execution of some of the proposed changes.

Let us see some of the compromise the Democrats are always talking about.

In the mean time, in an apparent act of cowardice,

In mid-September, as supporters of the transgender bill rallied at the Statehouse, [House Speaker Robert] DeLeo said he planned to try to organize a caucus, a closed meeting of House members, so that lawmakers could discuss the issues.
What is it that can't be talked about in public?  Will there be minutes of this "executive session" that will ultimately be made public?  The rest of us have to, so why not the General Court?

Regards  —  Cliff

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