Thursday, March 28, 2019

Q Toon: Misguidance Counselor

I usually try to avoid addressing the same topic in two syndicated cartoons in a row; but keeping Transgender Awareness Day this coming Sunday in mind, I figured it was worthwhile to point out Senator Joe Manchin's (D-WV) reasoning for coming out as the lone Democrat in the Senate against the Equality Act.

Besides, he's got one of those faces (and haircuts) that just begs for caricature.

As far as Manchin is concerned, it's another case where we're not allowed to have nice things because, you know, public school bathrooms.
I strongly support equality for all people and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. No one should be afraid of losing their job or losing their housing because of their sexual orientation. After speaking with local education officials in West Virginia, I am not convinced that the Equality Act as written provides sufficient guidance to the local officials who will be responsible for implementing it, particularly with respect to students transitioning between genders in public schools.
Call me a skeptic, but I sincerely doubt that any "guidance to the local officials" that could be amended to the bill wouldn't provide Senator Manchin further reason to withhold his support.

As last week's cartoon illustrated, the Equality Act has virtually no chance of making it through the McConnell-controlled Senate anyway. Still, it does shine a light on who supports LGBTQ rights and who doesn't. Republicans across the nation have instead been pushing "religious liberty" laws to promote discrimination against LGBTQ people.
This is especially important as some states consider laws that would deliberately create a license for businesses, adoption and foster care agencies, health care providers and others to discriminate against LGBT people. Human Rights Watch has documented how these so-called “religious liberty” laws deny LGBT people goods and services, deter them from the marketplace for fear of facing discrimination, and send a signal that they are unwelcome in their state. By clarifying that religious protections cannot be used to discriminate, the Equality Act would better ensure that both religious believers and LGBT people are protected under federal law.
It would also make anti-discrimination laws clear and uniform, which is necessary if these laws are to be effective. LGBT people should not need a law degree to determine whether they are protected from discrimination when they apply for a job, rent an apartment, or eat at a restaurant in the places they happen to live, visit or travel through.
If, as I suspect, the only way to get Senator Manchin on board is to carve out a broad exception for public schools, that would inevitably be followed by a demand that private schools also be exempted. And if private schools, then also landlords, businesses, adoption and foster care agencies, health care providers and — perhaps you see where this is going.

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