From AU's Wall of Separation blog:
Today is Transgender Day of Visibility—a day dedicated to empowering and recognizing the transgender community globally. Today, and every day, Americans United stands with the transgender community against attacks and discrimination in the name of religion.
Trans Student Educational Resources, the group that promotes Transgender Day of Visibility, explains that the day “aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of transgender people around the globe while fighting cissexism and transphobia by spreading knowledge of the transgender community. Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance, this is not a day for mourning: this is a day of empowerment and getting the recognition we deserve.”
That’s why AU is proud to stand alongside Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old, transgender high-school senior fighting for the right to use the school restroom that aligns with his gender identity. AU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that religiously motivated discrimination is unconstitutional and hurts transgender students.
Grimm and other transgender students deserve recognition for their bravery to be who they are and to continue fighting for their rights. Basic civil rights such as being able to use a public restroom cannot be governed by some community members’ religious beliefs.
Although the Supreme Court decided to not hear Grimm’s case yet, his impact within the transgender movement remains immense, with nationwide rallies in support of transgender children. Despite all the discrimination the transgender community faces, they continue to inspire positive movements for change.
Learning more about the transgender community helps to further elevate the understanding and importance of transgender rights. Although there is increasing public awareness of issues relating to gender identity and expression, there are currently few legal protections for transgender people.
And we are seeing efforts to thwart progress, including invoking religion as a reason to block the passage of new non-discrimination provisions and to undermine existing legal protections. We fight for real religious freedom and ensure it does not mean the right to undermine nondiscrimination laws that protect our transgender neighbors and others. Support for equal rights does not mean opposition to any religious group or belief.
We also want transgender people to know that if a government official or business denied you service or discriminated against you because of their religious beliefs, you can ask us for legal help.
Nobody should have their rights denied because of religious objections to equality, and Americans United will continue opposing any attempts to use religion to restrict transgender rights.
Follow Rokia Hassanein online at @rokiahass