My work has been slow lately, in part because of personal health issues and also in part because of a general sense that the strains we’ve seen in the country’s fight for LGBT rights would only grow and expand. I wasn’t wrong in this sense.
That feeling of impending bigotry has died down. Whether this is a signal that no other states will follow this path or wishful thinking that Maine (yes, Maine) will be the last to put rights up for debate, I don’t know yet. We’ll see, and if I have to I can update this list.
Georgia’s General Assembly approved a proposal to allow for discrimination against LGBT people, allowing for a refusal to provide services to anyone who is gay or trans. The proposal was struck down by the Republican Governor, Nathan Deal.
I’m beyond happy to say this, so good on you Georgia.
On the other hand, fuck Georgia, because you put my home state to shame. In spite of my hometown passing a non discrimination ordinance, on the other side of the state, our elected officials were busy spending tax dollars on a special session to force big government into our lives and not only stopping trans people from using the bathroom but also preventing cities from governing themselves in any way on any issue.
The backlash has been immediate and strong, with some of the most prominent companies in the state cancelling events or planning to move jobs away. I guess that’s what you get when you value “fiscal responsibility” over civil rights; neither.
The state is now being sued and this will be resolved at some level in the judicial system.
Like in virtually every state right now, the fight for equality isn’t being won or lost. It’s both. Liberals in the state managed to end a ban on same sex couples adopting in the state via the judicial system (Making the entire US open to adoptions to varying degrees) on the very same day that their conservative friends were busy making it legal for everyone else to discriminate against them, including the people who would be in charge of the adoption process, with their power in the legislature.
This is interesting, because by the Mississippi standard, gay couples in Mississippi can now adopt a child that they’ll have trouble buying a birthday cake for.
Tennessee is debating a bill that would allow psychological professionals to refuse to treat clients based on their personal beliefs, which makes sense until you think about the fact that it is literally a counselor’s job to push away their personal beliefs when they treat their clients. They can refer someone if they think that they’re unqualified to treat them, but if you’re going to turn away someone for being LGBT you shouldn’t qualify to treat anyone.
*UPDATE 4/28: The bill was passed and signed by the governor. If you live in TN and there isn’t a real counselor in your area, there’s help online.
I’m including Maine, not because the state has done anything particularly concerning yet, but because they’ve approved a petition to force the rights of the people to a vote. This is concerning, despite the fact that this is Maine and the idea of the referendum turning out against the LGBT community is far-fetched.
Human rights should not be put to a vote.
I’ll update this as needed, although I hope for the best in every case.