The Not-So-Secret War
Contributor Paige Schult writing for The Hill this week commented on proposed policy changes at the Department of Health and Human Services ostensibly designed to “protect rights of conscious” (another of those newspeak terms favored by the crowd who brought you the revival of the term “Religious Liberty” when referring to liberty for their own particular religious doctrines). The headline for the article was “Trump’s Administration has a Secret War on Transgender Health Care” but I have to object – it’s anything but secret.
The prime mover behind the particular bullshit Schult s describing is Roger Severino late of The Heritage Foundation and The Beckett Fund (e.g. blatantly anti LGB/T Pharisee culture warrior outfits more interested in Dominionist goals than civil rights). And while Severino, who’s the son of Columbian immigrants and protests that he’s a committed Civil Rights crusader his previously stated positions reveal the flaw in his claim: he doesn’t believe sexual orientation and gender identity ARE categories entitled to civil rights protections. In other words, he’s committed to defending the civil rights of all those whom he feels are entitled to them. And that ain’t you.
Severino’s hobby horse is the notion that some poor picked on White Evangelical might, in the course of doing their job, be “forced” to participate in something they find morally objectionable (like abortions, birth control or *shudder* gender reassignment). The real objective, of course, is perpetrating the political narrative that the folks with most of the political power in this country, white Evangelicals (despite being only about 1/4 of the population, they dominate the agenda of the GOP) is somehow, at the same time, being gravely oppressed by the folks who lack any such power. Moreover in practical application, there’s no way that LGB and particularly T patients can possibly expect HHS to take any claim of discrimination they might file seriously, or defend their rights, given Severino’s positions and priorities. Put simply, the message is clear that it’s “civil rights for me but not for thee” while Trump is in office.
And it’s not just health care either. Well known Pharisee surgeon Ben Carson, inexplicably running an agency he knows nothing about (HUD) knows what he can do about anti-LGB/T discrimination – nothing. Or rather, he can do something but he intends not to. Why? Because trans people make people feel “uncomfortable” (implied: be afraid of them). Well, I’m uncomfortable – on a number of levels – with both Carson and his boss holding governmental power but here we are. If you rely on any service overseen by HUD and you’re trans, how much priority do you think your complaint will find if you are discriminated against? Indeed, Carson doesn’t even make Severino’s pretense at being interested in civil rights and equality. This month they changed language in the HUD mission statement to remove reference to “inclusive communities … free from discrimination.”
But wait! There’s more! Betsy DeVos won’t miss a chance to ride on the hate train. Despite multiple court rulings supporting the position that both Title VII (dealing with employment) and Title IX (Education) protect trans people from discrimination, Miss Betsy said that unless SCOTUS or Congress makes her do so, she’s not gonna. More blatantly, she claims they will indeed consider discrimination claims raised by trans students (and staff?) so long as such claims do not arise from restroom/locker room access or sports participation. So, Betsy – are trans people a protected class or are they not? You don’t know? Kinda? Sometimes? Like the cases above, this policy is a clear and blatant act of pandering to the Dominionists who got Trump elected and now are receiving their political payoff using government political power to make people subject to the application of selected religious doctrines against their will and infringing upon their civil equality.
Secret war? It’s not only not secret but it is paraded up and down the street with marching bands and dancing clowns in a full effort to draw attention to itself so that the Tony Perkins Army will take notice that their bigotry is being legislated no matter what else the current administration may be screwing up across the street. And I haven’t even mentioned (tonight) previous well-known attacks such as the military ban. or the fact that ring up vile and hateful anti-LGBT activists for lifetime appointments to the Federal Bench.
So I say again, as I’ve said before: Where y’all at, you right wing transwomen who voted for Trump while promising us he was not our enemy? Comes at me b****es. How many of us have to suffer and die before you admit you were wrong?
Photo by: IoSonoUna