Earlier this year, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice sent a joint letter to schools regarding the treatment of transgender students. The letter provided guidance to schools on how to create a "supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment" for transgender students. The notion that students should be free from discrimination seems to be a controversial one for many. A number of states have filed suit to stop the government from even recommending ways to provide a non-discriminatory environment for students. Texas, Georgia, Maine and 10 other states are asking a Federal Judge in Fort Worth to put a stop to the recommendations, despite the fact that the letter has no legal weight and contains no penalty for states choosing to ignore it.
The New Transgendered Battleground: Bathrooms?
New York City is releasing new guidelines to help combat discrimination against people based on gender or gender identity. The New York City Human Rights Commission has put forth specific rules explaining just what amounts to discrimination. The rules cover discriminatory practices that often target gay and transgender people. The guidelines will apply to a large percentage of businesses, as well as to landlords and other employers.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination is a civil rights statute that prohibits a wide range of discrimination, including employment discrimination based on gender identity or expression, gender role and transgender status. The law is an attempt to protect some of the most disadvantaged communities in the nation. Transgender people, despite recent progress, still face an uphill battle in securing their rights in employment and other areas of life.
"Or . . . I don't get it. I just don't get it. Why is this even an issue?"