By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist-
The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and other great groups are, as I write this column, lobbying for Transgender rights in Massachusetts for housing, public accommodations and the workplace.
These are for basic rights that everyone should unquestionably have, yet transgenders in Massachusetts do not. Time after time there has been bills brought before the Mass lawmakers but the bill has always gotten denied for one reason or another. It seems fairly straightforward that we should all have the same rights but there is always opposition to this bill and other similar bills all around the country.
The opposition is usually a religious based group who because of their personal beliefs do not support the rights of transgenders because they feel that it is against their religion and, more to the point, against the teachings of God. These people are usually “Christians” and they usually say that they are acting in accordance with God’s word. Many of them claim that the Bible is the word of God, but I could never be convinced that this is so. I have perused the Bible and I have seen entries written by the Romans, the Corinthians and Leviticus etc. but I have never seen an entry written by God. This leads me to believe that God did not write any part of the Bible. All of the entries in the Bible are written by men, not women, but men, thousands of years ago. The Bible is really the word of man. How can they say that the Bible is the word of God? They usually counter with the notion that these words are inspired by God, yet they can’t really offer me any proof of these inspirations.
To me, these people are trying to push their religious beliefs on the rest of us; especially the already marginalized groups such as transgenders. To me this seems rather arrogant and selfish of them or at the very least, ignorant of them. How can you justify refusing to give others rights and you yourself already enjoy these same rights? I believe that people can have all of these denials of rights of others in their own little organization but they cannot demand that their rules should be followed outside of their organization and especially not in the laws of Massachusetts or in any state of America. This is America, land of the free with liberty, justice, freedom and the pursuit of happiness for all, not just for some. We are all Americans and we should have all of these rights. To deny the rights of any Americans, even transgender Americans is downright un-American. These people who are fighting against the rights of American transgenders are really acting very unpatriotic and very un-American. Rights for everyone is the law of the land, it’s in the United States Constitution.
Now I believe that everyone has the right to their own opinion and that they even have the right to be prejudiced. No one can tell anyone what to think as everyone has the right to make up their own mind. What we also cannot do is to impose the demands of some on others which trample the rights of these others. This is not what America is about. This is not American thought. This is un-American thought, very un-American thought.
Throughout the history of the United States religious groups have always been fighting against the rights of marginalized groups of Americans. This is a very sad fact but it is a very real fact. These religious groups need to put aside their personal agendas and stop acting un-American. They can have any internal laws and rules within their own organization (I can respect that), but they cannot impose their beliefs on the rest of us Americans. They need to step back when it comes to American law.
I have many friends and family members who are religious and I respect their beliefs. I hope that they understand what I have written and I hope that they do not take offence, for I mean no offence. My whole point is that all Americans, especially transgender Americans, should have the same rights as everyone else. It’s in the U.S. Constitution. It’s the American thing to do. It’s the right thing to do.
*Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a local transwoman who has 3 grown children and works at a local Fortune 500 company. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.