If you've been watching the news recently, you'll know that many Southern states are passing bills that discriminate against LGBTQ people. Now most of you probably aren't surprised, because the South is known for being super conservative, but still. It's absolutely crazy that these types of laws are being passed in 2016, of all years.
This country does have a history of discriminating against minorities, but who would've thought that the United States' next group to target would be LGBTQ people?
Now here's the thing -- the first Southern state that started this mess is Mississippi. Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill stating that business within the state could refuse serving gay couples. Some examples of this are denying gay people from using the bathroom, locker room, and dressing room. He claims that business owners should have the right to exercise their "religious freedom". Hmm, sure sounds like discrimination to me! It's almost as if we're living in the 1950s and businesses are banning African American people from attending school, drinking water from the fountain, using the bathroom, etc. with white people. Whether these actions are because of "religious freedom" or a person's skin color, they are both still discriminatory and an absolute shame to America.
Moving forward, what about the HB2 bill that North Carolina just passed? It requires transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate, instead of the gender they identify as present day. The reasoning behind this bill is apparently the fear of women and younger girls seeing male perverts or pedophiles pretending to be transgender females. Now this is a reasonable fear to have, but what is not reasonable is discriminating against an entire group of individuals because of it.
First of all, transgender people don't even make up 1% of the entire US population, so what are the chances of you actually being in the bathroom with someone who is? Also, there's a chance of you being assaulted while walking down the street or running around the park, where you'll be completely out in the open. At least in bathrooms, all stalls have locks that can protect you.
What is also ridiculous about this bathroom law is that there literally is no way to check if the law is being followed, unless North Carolina hires thousands of people to stand outside every public bathroom in the state. The bill is a fail altogether, which is why having gender neutral bathrooms in public spaces is a better option. Obviously not every establishment has the finances to build a new gender neutral bathroom, but at least transgender people would have some places to go to, instead of being forced to follow North Carolina's stupid discriminatory law.
Finally, the latest in the news is Tennessee's bill regarding therapy and counseling. Governor Bill Haslam signed it just this past Wednesday (May 27th), and it basically states that therapists and counselors have the right to deny patients who are LGBTQ if they do not agree with the patient's personal beliefs. Here we go again with the discrimination!
The problem that many people see with this bill is that it has the potential to hurt patients who are especially vulnerable. The governor says that therapists and counselors won't be allowed to turn away those who are in danger of hurting themselves and/or others, but my question is -- how do you know? How is a therapist or counselor going to catch every LGBTQ person considering suicide or harming someone else, before they actually do? As far as I know, people are still capable of hiding the truth, and an LGBTQ person might do exactly that if they realize that they're going to be turned away from a professional. The fact of the matter is that this bill just has too many "what if" scenarios that could really damage the lives of LGBTQ patients.
With all of that being said, I hope you're just as dumbfounded about what's happening in this "united" nation as I am. It seems like we're going back in time to the 1950s, and that the Southern states haven't learned any lessons from history. But hey, maybe with these new laws and the current presidential candidates, the world really is doomed for all of eternity.