Zero Discrimination

By Eleanor Moriearty

March 1, 2019

THE IMPACT OF ADDING LGBT TO NONDISCRIMINATION LAWS

Freedoms Threatened and Innocence Lost:

The Impact of Adding Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression to Statutes and Policies

Hundreds of states, municipalities and schools have added “sexual orientation,” “gender identity” and “gender expression” to non-discrimination and public accommodations laws, ordinances and policies. Sexual orientation is a broad term that includes sexual and romantic attractions and behavior. And while our language used to refer to a person’s sex—male or female, “gender identity and/or expression” are terms created to refer to how people feel, identify and express themselves. In this “transgender” ideology and language, gender is fluid and changeable and there is a legion of “genders” for people to identify as and express.

When these newly created rights come into conflict with religious liberties, religious freedom often loses. In addition, such non-discrimination laws also threaten the privacy and safety of individuals. Listed here are just some examples of this loss of freedom, privacy and safety across our country.

Kentucky T-Shirt And Promotional Goods Company Accused Of Violating Local “Fairness Ordinance”

Lexington-Fayette KY

The owner of a Kentucky T-shirt printing company was found guilty of discriminating against the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization after he declined to print apparel for a gay pride event. Although the Christian owner disagreed with the group’s message, he found another company to print the shirts at same price. A complaint against him was filed anyway, and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission has sided with the homosexual group and ordered the employees to attend diversity training. The company will likely appeal.

High School Girls’ Swim Team Exposed To Naked Man In Women’s Sauna

Olympia, WA

The girls’ swim team from Olympia High School was using the pool and other facilities at nearby Evergreen State College. The mother of one girl complained after her daughter walked into a naked man in a sauna. Girls as young as six-years old, from a local swim club, also share the facilities. The female swim coach asked the man to leave, but later apologized after discovering he was “transgendered.” The college says their non-discrimination policy* prevents them from stopping the “transgender” man from using the women’s facilities. “Colleen Francis” is 45 years old, married three times, and the father of five children. According to one report, he is retired from the US Army, wears a low-dose estrogen patch, takes a mixture of psychiatric medicine, and has no intention of having so-called “sexual reassignment surgery.”

Teacher Announces “Sex Change” To 8-Year Old Students—Without Parents’ Knowledge

Vacaville, CA

A female music teacher at Foxboro Elementary School, Abbey Clark, came to school and announced to her students that she was no longer Abbey Clark, but was “James Clark” and instructed the students that they must refer to her as “Mr. Clark.” The parents of the school children were not informed or consulted about the situation in advance—they learned about it when their children came home from school. About two-dozen children were removed from “Mr.” Clark’s classes by concerned parents.

New Mexico Civil Rights Commission Fines Christian Photographer

Albuquerque, NM

Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, Christian owners of Elane Photography, were fined almost $7,000 for refusing to photograph the same-sex commitment ceremony of two lesbian-identified women. Celebrating the event would have violated their religious beliefs and freedom of expression. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Employee Fired For Telling Cross-Dressing Male Not To Use Women’s Dressing Room

San Antonio, TX

Natalie Johnson was a store clerk at a Macy’s department store in San Antonio. She noticed a young man wearing make-up and women’s clothing emerging from the women’s dressing room. Ms. Johnson talked to the man, telling him he was not allowed to use the women’s dressing room. The cross-dressing man complained to the store’s management. The management’s response? They fired Ms. Johnson for violating Macy’s anti-discrimination policy, which allows self-described “transgender” people to use whichever changing room they want.

Washington State Attorney General Sues Florist For Holding To Her Faith

Richland, WA

Baronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, said she could not provide flowers for a same-sex wedding, due to her Christian faith. As a result, she was sued by both the state of Washington and the same-sex couple; she has counter-sued the state for violating her freedom.

Catholic Hospital Sued After Refusing Breast Augmentation Surgery To Man

Daly City, CA

A man who claimed to be a woman, “Charlene” Hastings, filed a lawsuit against Seton Medical Center after the hospital refused Hastings’ request for “breast augmentation surgery.” The hospital explained that, as a Catholic institution, it does not allow transgender surgery as it conflicts with church teaching. The lawsuit claimed that the hospital’s denial of breast enlargement for Hastings caused “shock, embarrassment, intimidation, physical distress and injury, humiliation, fear, stress, and other damages.” Seton Medical Center eventually settled the lawsuit, paying Hastings $200,000. Discrimination against anyone who claims to be “transgendered” is illegal under California law.

Gay couple denied surrogacy challenges Utah law

A married gay male couple in Utah is challenging the state’s law that says couples need to prove that a woman is unable to have children before turning to surrogacy (see BioNews 297).

The couple, known only as Noel and Jon, were denied the chance to have a biological child via surrogacy in 2016, when a District Judge ruled in line with the law in Utah that indicates one of the prospective parents must be female.

The case is now being heard in the Utah Supreme Court where the couple’s attorney, Edwin Wall, is arguing the law violates the US constitution on the grounds that it unfairly discriminates against gay male couples. In 2015 the US Supreme Court legalised gay unions nationally, granting same-sex couples all of the same rights as heterosexual couples. Learn more detailed information about Gay Surrogacy.

‘As written, [the state’s law] creates two classes of intended parents; one class for married same-sex male couples and another class for married couples where at least one of the intended parents is female,’ said Wall.

Specifically, the law says that before surrogacy is agreed, the prospective parents must prove there are serious health risks to a woman if she were to have children. Wall told the court there were two routes to a decision: Find the statute discriminatory, and so unconstitutional, or direct the courts to read the law as gender neutral, despite its references to a ‘mother’.

State attorneys have elected not to appear before the Supreme Court, instead submitting a brief that states the law should be read as gender neutral. Although judges in Utah have made past rulings to allow male married couples to pursue surrogacy on this basis, Justice Thomas Lee queried whether this would be enough to settle the case, and Justice John Pearce questioned whether a law written well before the legalisation of same-sex unions could be read retroactively as neutral.

‘It’s a big thing to strike down a statute on constitutional grounds,’ said Justice Lee.

The case is the first of its kind to come before the Utah court, and Yale law professor Douglas NeJaime told the Salt Lake Tribune it may also be the first time any US court has considered a challenge to state surrogacy laws on grounds of sexual orientation or gender.

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