Jeff Dahlquist/Staff Writer/@jdahlasign
Post was updated April 25 to fix an editor mistake and a clarification of language.
A controversy is growing over the many states that have attempted to pass anti-LGBT legislation.
Over 100 active bills are pending across 22 states that in some form or another allow people, businesses and mental-health professionals to cite religious freedom to discriminate against same-sex or transgender people.
The supporters of bills similar the “bathroom bill” seem, in my opinion, to be drafting the LGBT-specific bills to fight against the legal rights of same-sex couples and LGB or T people.
However, at such a liberal college like LBCC and in a progressive city like Long Beach, the sentiment is that a majority of the bills are discriminatory and do not promote equality.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” bans transgender people from using restrooms that match their gender identity.
One of the more shocking aspects of the bill is that it negates all previous non-discriminatory protections enacted before the 32-0 vote.
The unanimous decision passed without opposition after Democrats walked out of the chamber in protest and according to the Human Rights Campaign website, N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory called a 1-day special session with the sole purpose of pushing the bill through.
Bills like the one in North Carolina could be considered backlash from the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage in 2015. I compare the bills to that of the Jim Crow laws that the Southern half of the U.S. passed after the Civil War, during the Reconstruction period, which kept the rights of African-Americans in a state of inequality.
Like the Jim Crow of early Reconstruction, the laws do not protect civil liberties, rather the laws preserve discrimination.
Other bills are in the works under the guise of the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that would allow church and clergy members to deny performance of marriage ceremonies that go against the tenets of their religion.
I believe that churches or other house of worship do have the right to oppose performing same-sex marriage ceremonies if it goes against the beliefs of their church, since it would be counterproductive to force religious establishments to perform a ceremony that is opposite their beliefs.
The couples refused by one church still had an option to be married at a local courthouse, county office or another house of worship.
With the overturning of Proposition 8 in 2013 in California as well as the Supreme Court’s decision that permitted same-sex marriage nationwide in June 2015, which promotes a wider sense of equality for people of other sexual orientations.