Raise your hand if you are thinking, “UGH I’m totally gonna stop reading this blog if this girl doesn’t stop talking about pee and poop.”
Different kind of potty talk, guys.
So I live in Montana. Open skies, long winters, cowboys. Its everything you’ve imagined. And this week, the hot topic to grace the headlines in this fair state is not wolf hunting or bear attacks, but human rights.
You see, about a year ago, my town passed an anti-discrimination ordinance. This ordinance added protections against discrimination based on gender-identity and sexual orientation.
So where do the bathrooms come in?
Part of this ordinance allowed people who identified as gender to use the bathroom of that gender.
Not my bathroom, they hollered. People became CONVINCED that this meant that men, women, whomever could use any bathroom they wanted to rape children. Nevermind that no one was checking IDs at public bathrooms in the first place. Nevermind that no sexual predator has ever thought, “well I would go into the little girl’s bathroom and molest a child, but the sign on the door says women and well, I’m a guy. Guess I won’t.” Never mind that people of non-majority sexual orientations and genders aren’t necessarily pedophiles or rapists. Nevermind that maybe we shouldn’t be letting our children into public bathrooms alone in the first place.
Those who cried “bathroom!” were drowned out by those who cried out for equality. The ordinance passed. In this town, people were protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We had a civil rights victory. It was historic. I was proud of my town.
Fast forward to this year.
There are two bill making their way through the Montana State Legislature, HB 514 and HB 516. HB 514 would extend these protections to the entire state. HB 516 would prohibit cities from creating their own protected classes.
Now, I realize sexual identity is a hot topic. Its highly debated and personal. I personally do not believe that homosexuality is a sin, but I accept it is a highly complex theological issue. So I don’t want to talk about that.
I want to talk about whether you are gay or straight, you have the right to rent an apartment and find a job in this town. In any town. You have the right to not be fired because your boss finds out who you love. You have the right to sit down in a restaurant and hold your partner’s hand without fear of being kicked out.
We learned this lesson once, 40 years ago. That this is not a country that stands for discrimination. That we believe those, even those we disagree with, have rights. So why would we try to limit rights of groups of people? Why would we vote against protecting the least among us? Why would we limit our own rights? Is that a precedence we want to set?
I pray that we vote to extend human rights and not to limit them. And I believe that justice will prevail. It sounds cheesy, but I really truly believe that we will stand up for our brothers and sisters. But I fear that instead of realizing this now, we will instead choose to weigh ourselves down in years of legal battles before this hope is realized.
I’m tired of people fearing the other. I’m tired of homophobia. I’m tired of all of this potty talk. Because
Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create us? Malachi 2:10
Contact your legislators, whether you live in Montana (highly unlikely, I mean there are about 10 people who live this state) or anywhere. Let them know that you won’t stand for legalized discrimination.
Agree? Disagree? Let’s hear the opinions! But please, let this conversation stay gracious and kind. Any comments that are clashing cymbals and are without charity will be deleted.