I am a person who truly believes that all people are created equal. No ifs, ands or buts. All people who are born have the same rights as the next person.
The United Nations seems to be in a big agreement with me, considering they have a document called The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. While this is not a full-blown treaty, it has been used in the the formation process of constitutions and laws worldwide since 1948, and the United States, being a founding member nation and de facto home of the United Nations since its creation, is supposed to be on board with the tenants set forward in the Declaration.
What bothers me so much right now, and why I start this article with that little bit of exposition, is that I am appalled by the level of hypocrisy that is rife within the United States when it comes to how we treat others.
North Carolina has recently become a battleground of so-called "bathroom laws" that are about to set back all of the progress that the LGBT community has been fighting for across the state.
See, I live in this state, which is part of that oh-so-famous "Bible Belt," and apparently there is some controversy about the belief that the LGBT community is infringing upon the religious freedom of Christians. I'm rambling, but I'll try to have it all make sense soon.
The point is it is not hard to treat people with a little bit of decency. The LGBT community has been constantly marginalized, and usually at the hands of Christians — not all Christians, but enough that laws are being passed, policies are being made and Republican candidates have advocated for the removal of Supreme Court justices because they aren't getting their ways.
It is utterly breaking my heart.
Why can't we treat each other with the same respect and decency that we demand they give us?
Mark 12:30-31 specifically says, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
Now I'm no Biblical scholar, but I'm pretty sure that those were words from Jesus, the same Jesus that Christians happen to worship as the son of God. I'm pretty sure if your religion is based off of the words of one man from 2,000 years ago, then you should be listening and acting upon what he said.
If you happen to identify as a man, and therefore would want to use the men's restroom without some government official declaring that you are not allowed to because the "state" does not recognize you as such, you would feel like a lesser person to others.
That is a pretty terrible feeling that those in power are forcing upon members of the transgender community — every. day.
I understand the argument that by allowing people to use the bathroom based upon their self-identifying gender, there is the possibility of men going into a women's restroom for illegal and nefarious purposes; but really, if a man wanted to walk into a women's bathroom for those reason, he would already do so.
People want the chance to feel comfortable in their own skin. They want the chance to be treated equally. Hell, they want the chance to pee equally, without any sort of criminal punishment for taking a shit... in a bathroom.
By allowing this discriminatory legislation to pass against the transgender community we are going against The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which in article seven states, "All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination."
So please, I don't care what religion in which you place your faith.
That is not my business.
What I'm asking is that you support your fellow person. No matter what they identify as, whom they love or what other things they do with their lives that you do not personally do.
If we all just tried to get along and support each other a little bit more, we wouldn't have candidates like Donald Trump inciting fears and xenophobia in order to win the Republican nomination — but that's an article for another day.