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Archive for Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bill would outlaw anti-gender identification bias

February 12, 2011

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— Stephanie Mott, a transsexual woman, tried for nearly 50 years to be a man.

It was a journey that she said took her through alcoholism and homelessness.

Now that she has started her transition, backed by her faith in God, she talks about the “life-draining discrimination that is prevalent throughout Kansas against transgender people.”

Last week, Mott asked the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee to approve Senate Bill 53 that would protect Kansans from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

State law now protects Kansans from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on race, religion, color, sex, disability, familial status, national origin and ancestry.

Mott said that discrimination against transgender people sometimes leads to alcoholism, drug abuse, poverty and suicide.

Advocates for gays and lesbians also are pushing for the bill.

Several groups are lobbying against it.

“The bill places sexual orientation and self-perceived gender identity not as a protected class, but as a privileged group,” said Judy Smith, state director of Concerned Women for America of Kansas.

The Kansas Catholic Conference is opposed, too.

And Donna Lippoldt, director of the Kansas Family Policy Council, said the group “cannot approve that which we believe to be morally wrong.”

For Mott, the acceptance of herself came in a church that other transgender people attended.

“The attendance book came around and I signed my name, Stephanie Mott, for the first time. I took communion as Stephanie. My communion prayer started out as ‘God, bless your daughter for the faith she has shown you.’”

Comments

VTHawk 3 years, 10 months ago

While I sympathize with the Ms. Mott, I do not think that creating another "protected" class is a good thing overall. I live overseas and have been denied housing for my 1) race and 2) nationality before, but I quickly found other housing. My opinion is that the owners of apartments/houses (if they are individuals) should be able to decide who lives there. If my landlord isn't ok with having me in her apartment, I would rather look elsewhere rather than have a miserable ongoing relationship with her.

As for discrimination in non-housing areas, I also disagree with the whole notion of "protected" classes. Whenever a dispute comes up involving a member of a protected class, the burden is on the other party to disprove discrimination (difficult/impossible to do).

VTHawk 3 years, 10 months ago

I should qualify the first paragraph a little bit. Banning discrimination based on race was absolutely needed at the time since blacks did not have the same access to housing and did not generally have the same means as whites. The same can not be said about "gender identification", which (I suppose) affects individuals of all economic backgrounds equally.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 10 months ago

All you really demonstrate here is a refined bigotry.

VTHawk 3 years, 10 months ago

Of whom? I am not advocating discrimination, merely disagreeing with a piece of legislation. The burden for enacting a law should be higher than "a problem exists". The solution shouldn't be worse than the status-quo (and not just for the obviously affected persons).

If the bar is further moved to "gender identity", what about political beliefs? What about other non-chosen attributes (i.e. height, weight)? I believe that good policy involves restraint, not the rapid expansion of anti-discrimination laws.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 10 months ago

"If the bar is further moved to "gender identity", what about political beliefs? What about other non-chosen attributes (i.e. height, weight)?"

No landlord should be able to inquire about any of that stuff. Some characteristics are obvious, so no questions need to be asked, so it's often difficult to prove discrimination even it did happen.

Many transgendered people will remain easily identified as such, and therefore easily discriminated against, whether the addition to this law is passed or not.

So to a large extent passage of this clause will be symbolic. But symbols are important.

Terry Jacobsen 3 years, 10 months ago

Its kind of sad that we need a bill like this. If only we could love others as fellow travelers on this earth like we would like to be loved, such a bill would be unnecessary

coderob 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't think this is about creating separate classes. Even if the law has that effect, it's just a drop in the bucket for the adversities trans people face. It is much more about allowing transgender people recourse if they have to sue for discrimination. In any lawsuit, the judge is just going to go off of the checklist of already established groups. As it is now, an employer could not ask a woman if she were pregnant or what her marital plans are. But because gender and sex are different, the employer could write off the person's identity as a personality defect, which in my opinion is the same as requiring a pregnancy test as a condition of employment.

coderob 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't think this is about creating separate classes. Even if the law has that effect, it's just a drop in the bucket for the adversities trans people face. It is much more about allowing transgender people recourse if they have to sue for discrimination. In any lawsuit, the judge is just going to go off of the checklist of already established groups. As it is now, an employer could not ask a woman if she were pregnant or what her marital plans are. But because gender and sex are different, the employer could write off the person's identity as a personality defect, which in my opinion is the same as requiring a pregnancy test as a condition of employment.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

You just don't love anybody but yourself and your little yappy dogs do you Tom? (Well maybe your wife. She puts up with you.)

NikkiH 3 years, 10 months ago

This is a link to a survey that gives statistical credence to discrimination Trans people face. It was done at Penn State University and meets academic standards of research studies. This documents the need for Gender Identity/Expression protection in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Anti-discrimination laws are not about protecting a "privileged class". It is a necessity to combat pervasive discrimination against a marginalized segment of the community. Also, we have a separation of church and state in our country. One's religious views of morality do not trump basic civil rights.

http://endtransdiscrimination.org/PDFs/NTDS_Report.pdf

verity 3 years, 10 months ago

"Anti-discrimination laws are not about protecting a "privileged class". It is a necessity to combat pervasive discrimination against a marginalized segment of the community. Also, we have a separation of church and state in our country. One's religious views of morality do not trump basic civil rights."

Worth repeating and this especially: "One's religious views of morality do not trump basic civil rights."

tomatogrower 3 years, 10 months ago

I've been pretty tired of landlord discrimination for a long time. It's stupid. If they pass a credit check, are employed, and have good references, what does it matter what religion, race, sexual orientation they are. Years ago soon after my divorce, in the 70's, I was trying to rent a house with my sister. The landlord turned us down, because I was divorced, and we were 2 young women who would have wild parties and bring strange men home to have sex. This was a small town and everyone knew my sister and I didn't do those kinds of things, but no matter. I was a divorced hussy. Instead she rented to some fine, upstanding young men who attended the local Baptist college. Well, you can guess what happened to that house. It was hilarious.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

Just to let you know, as recently as 1997 when I broke up with my second husband, I went to Arkansas ( who had NO landlord/lease law at the time) to be with my sister. I was having a pretty rough time of it emotionally over the break up and didn't want to be alone. I was an RN and had no problem getting a job in the hospital at Fort Smith. I had two small children ages six and four with me. I rented an apartment and imagine my complete shock that in the rental agreement was a clause that, as a single woman, I was not permitted to have overnight visitors of the opposite sex. There was no similar clause for men. Also, I found out later that I was illegally run through NCIC prior to having the apartment rented to me. (Criminal background checks are ok but by law, only law enforcement can run someone through the FBIs databank and there has to be probable cause.) A sherriff's deputy lived in the complex and did it as a routine thing for the manager for a break on his rent. Eventually, he was caught and lost his job over it. (He had actually attempted blackmail.) But interestingly, nothing was done to the landlord.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 10 months ago

I do not understand this notion that we need the government to legislate morality and that is indeed what this bill is about. The bill imposes someone elses morality upon others. As individuals and as propery and business owners not receiving federal or state dollars, we should be able to discriminate as we choose. No one on this thread can tell me that they do not discriminate - we all do to certain degrees.

If you are transgendered landlord can you honestly tell me that you would welcome a person who openly voices their disgust with transgendered people? Would we condemn the Jewish landlord that doesn't select the president of the local skinhead group? Most likely not, but isn't that discrimination?

The difference is that some see it as justified - but that is their moral standard and that is what we are asking the government to do - impose one group's moral standards.

Rand Paul got in trouble for this view point, but I share it and that is that the government should not stop people from discriminating. Now the person that fails to hire a qualified black person because of their skin color is a fool but it is their business and therefor their choice.

The landlord that passes on an excellent transgendered person because of unfounded bias is a fool, but it is their business and their choice.

Bottom line is if you don't want me to legislate my morals on you then don't legislate yours on me. Gay marriage is blocked because people legislate their morality on others. Gays were prevented from serving in the military because of the same thing. People try to ban abortions based on their morals. Is this what we want - to legislate morality?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 10 months ago

" As individuals and as propery and business owners not receiving federal or state dollars, we should be able to discriminate as we choose."

"Rand Paul got in trouble for this view point,"

Most people don't look at Jim Crow as the good ole days.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 10 months ago

"The landlord that passes on an excellent transgendered person because of unfounded bias is a fool, but it is their business and their choice."

Then they should find a business better suited for bigots.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 10 months ago

So you support the government deciding how we live our lives based on legislated morals which may or may not be in sync with your own?

So you believe that it is a good thing that the government won't allow gays to marry or that one day soon they will impose new restrictions on abortions? This is the government legislating right and wrong.

And, if you were a landlord would you want to be forced to rent your property to a hate group? Can you honestly say that you would rent a vacant building you owned to a neo-nazi group for the purpose of advancing their anti-semtic, anti-black and anti-gay agenda?

I would not do it based on my sense of right and wrong, but isn't that discriminatory?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 10 months ago

"So you support the government deciding how we live our lives based on legislated morals which may or may not be in sync with your own?"

No, I support the exact opposite. And I also don't think that businesses should meddle in the lives of those who they do business with, either.

"So you believe that it is a good thing that the government won't allow gays to marry or that one day soon they will impose new restrictions on abortions?"

No, as I've already said.

"And, if you were a landlord would you want to be forced to rent your property to a hate group?"

I wouldn't be renting to a "hate group." I'd be renting to the individuals who signed the lease agreement. That lease agreement, especially on a commercial property, can require that they only engage in lawful activities. If any of their activities violated the law and in any way involved the use of the property, they could be evicted.

Likewise, they can also be required to live peacefully with their neighbors. Failure to do so can also get their lease terminated. A landlord can also ask for references, and if they have a history of engaging in unlawful activities, or unreasonably disturbing their neighbors, that's grounds not to rent to them.

MarleneB 3 years, 10 months ago

So Fred... if my morality says I need to discriminate against all Christians, you don't have a problem with that?

"Legislating morality" is a code word self-appointed moralists use when whining about the courts when they correctly rule that the Constitution protects everyone.

These bigots would love to return to the days where only while, male, property owners could vote, and only members of certain religions could hold office.

Fred, you have to realize that once you put up a property you own up for rent, you have to follow the laws against discrimination; otherwise, you set yourself up for a nasty lawsuit.

Now regarding hate groups... you would theoretically be able to deny a group like the Klan or neo-Nazis from renting a place, mainly due to the fact their presence would drive down your property's value, not to mention the fact it would be the target of vandals, thus driving up your insurance. you'd still have to prove it in court though.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 10 months ago

And those that discriminate against transgender persons feel exactly the same way.

I do understand what the law requires but that doesn't make the law right.

You proved my point when you said certain discrimination is okay. Either it is okay to discriminate based on your own moral standards or it is not.

Or you can abdicate that responsibility to the government and let them decide what is moral and what isn't.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 10 months ago

If their business is involved in interstate commerce, then they must abide by federal law. Housing discrimination is against the law if it involves discrimination against certain people. Extending that protection to transgendered persons is the right thing to do. If you are involved in renting property for the purposes of housing and you wish to discriminate against protected classes of people, go into another line of work.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 10 months ago

Just because something is against the law doesn't mean it is right. The government is not infaliable.

It is against the law to smoke pot and many people who committed no other crime have criminal records that adversely affect their lives.

It against the law for gays to marry.

Yeah, the government is wise and we should bow to the government.

We all discriminate, but we believe that our discrimination is noble and right. It is ok to hate and shun "evil" but the problem is the definition of "evil" varies from person to person.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 10 months ago

Apparently you feel unreasonably restrained in your ability to discriminate. Who is it, besides neo-nazis, that you feel you need to discriminate against?

Fred Mertz 3 years, 10 months ago

If I were a property owner and had a building to lease I would not want to lease it to neo-nazis because I abhor their message, their actions and their hate.

I should not be compelled to rent to a group with whose message and actions I vehemently disagree.

So, while I have no bias toward or against gays, people of color, transgender individuals, I cannot say that my moral standards are superior to someone who does find these people offensive.

Unless I am willing to accept everyone and I am not, then I cannot impose those same standards upon others.

Unless I am willing to abdicate my reason and morals and let the government dictate them for me I must oppose government legislated morality even when I agree with it.

Thus, even though I find discrimation against a person simply because of their sexual orientation I cannot condone the government legislating morality.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 10 months ago

There certainly are "slippery slope" considerations involved in this, but neo-nazis who are actively attempting to inflict themselves on others in a very negative way, and someone who is gay or transgendered and are merely looking to quietly live their lives, can't really be equated.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 10 months ago

I certainly do not believe someone who is transgendered is anything at all like a neo-nazi. One may be good and the other is evil. My point is that we all have our biases, we all discriminate and we all feel that we are morally superior to those that do not share our beliefs.

Those that take up the cause of the transgender feel morally superior to those that would discriminate against them. And, those that believe the transgendered person is an abomination of God's creation feel justified in their discrimination.

The government should stay out of it unless one group infringes upon another's Constitutional rights.

You can hate, but you cannot inflict harm upon another. I know you're getting ready to say, ah ha, got you...if you allow housing discrimination then you're infringing upon someone's rights.

First, I don't believe we have a right to live where we want. I want to live in Beverly Hills (not really) but it ain't happening.

Second, it is a Mexican standoff because if you force someone to rent to someone they find offensive then you infringe upon their rights.

I support living and let living, but most of all, I support small and limited government.

And, for the record, i am done. Got to get away from the computer and enjoy the nice day.

You have a nice one!

jhawkinsf 3 years, 10 months ago

No, No, No. Forcing a landlord to comply with the law is not discriminatory. When the landlord decides to get into the rental business, they agree to comply with the law. If complying with the law is so onerous, simply find another line of work. And have a nice day out there, it's beautiful.

SinoHawk 3 years, 10 months ago

Remember that thought if you are ever looking for a roommate--because you "decided to get into the rental business", you no longer have the right to decide whom to rent to.

equalaccessprivacy 3 years, 10 months ago

The first step is to get laws on paper. That doesn't mean equal rights and non-discrimination laws will be honored and respected though. KS, for instance, is still ruled by hateful cowboy concepts of justice. Ignorant jurisdictions like Douglas County can easily subvert the law, if they even know what is with their conflict-of-interest politics and biased policing. Do your best to blame the victim, southern-justice-minded hypocrites ! Kiss to kill with your charming stalker-like lack of boundaries that encourages strangers to get up in business of people they don't know right off the street for discriminatory reasons!The joy of democracy is you get to put up with majority expressions of prejudice and in ignorant backwoods places this can totally repressive and offensive!

Maxwell Butterfield 3 years, 10 months ago

I hate, hate, HATE when people trash on Kansas for being "hateful" or "ignorant". I've lived in Kansas for almost all my life and have yet to find one truly hateful community of people, especially in the backwater places you speak of. Tolerance is not learned overnight, and it is very ignorant to judge an entire state based on very little knowledge of its people.

BigPrune 3 years, 10 months ago

Walking on eggshells and why is that?

gbulldog 3 years, 10 months ago

This person made a PERSONAL DECISION to change from a woman to a mant. A persons makes a PERSONAL DECISION to drop out of school, has a family and expects the State to support the person and their family. A person makes a PERSONAL DECISION to comitts a crime, and expects the State to support their familiy. The Legislators needs to work on legislation encouraging citizens to take personal responsibility for their actions. Instead they introduce legislation to make a person who make a PERSONAL DECISION "politically correct".

ivalueamerica 3 years, 10 months ago

gbulldog,

Wow, if you really are in such a state that you do not understand the difference between a crime against someone and the only accepted medical treatment for a condition...you have so many more problems than understanding how to react to gender identity disorder..

I suggest serious therapy and return to school as soon as possible.

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