There are 2 things I have had on my mind a lot lately, partly because of things on the news, online, Facebook, etc. One is trans* rights & the other is the issue of "religious freedom" vs marriage equality.
I am no expert on the medical issues of gender dysphoria (previously known as gender identity disorder), but I have had several friends who are trans women (MTF). Which gives me a little knowledge & insight.
I've read Janet Mock's wonderful biography "Redefining Realness", & watched many TV shows & YouTube videos of Laverne Cox & Jazz Jennings. I have watched the entire 1st season of "I am Jazz". which is brilliant, thoughtful & insightful.
The thing that I found the most disturbing & frightening is that over 40% of trans adults have attempted suicide. Studies have shown that the rate is substantially lower where the transgender person has the support of family & friends. Tragically, this often does not happen. In fact, approximately 40% of homeless youth are LGBT.
If nothing else could convince me that these kids need our help & support, the death of Leelah Alcorn certainly did.
Now, on the subject of marriage equality & religious freedom. I really am finding the viewpoint of some of these magistrates, judges & count clerks difficult to fathom. They are public servants, paid with taxpayer dollars & gay people pay taxes just like the rest of us. The US Supreme Court has decided that marriage equality is now the law of the land.
Like the US Constitution's 1st Amendment, Canada wrote specific protections for religious officials into the new marriage equality laws in 2005. As far as I know, there hasn't been any difficulties in that regard in the last 10 years. I just don't understand why people can't seem to separate their religious views from their professional responsibilities.
Other people's marriages have no effect on you, so either do your job or if you cannot in good conscience do so, quit. Retire, go to school to become a minister, or choose a job where your anti-gay bigotry will not be a hindrance to your performance of your duties.
I saw this video on YouTube & it strongly inspired me, to what the world could be like, if we ended prejudice, bigotry & hate:
To wrap up this blog post, I'll finish with this article on Huffington Post by Reverend Emily C. Heath, on religious liberty, that really speaks to the heart of this issue, in my opinion.