Hello BLASTers! We welcome you back to Episode 21 where we discuss the raging issue of the hour - Transgender bathroom rights! What do we do? How do we respond?
But first, we want to give a big THANK YOU to Pastor Brian Lowery for donating the professional-grade radio microphone to TheBLAST! It has greatly improved our sound quality.
You may have heard a great deal about the issue of trans-gender persons having "equal restroom rights" in the news or on social media lately, and you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. So we wanted to offer a brief history (which turns out to not be so brief) not so much in regards to trans-genderism, but the bathroom issue specifically. We will discuss trans-genderism a little later in the episode.
It started when California Governor Jerry Brown signed the "School Bathroom Bill" into law back in August of 2013. Yes, this issue is that old. The bill allows students to compete on sports teams and use facilities like showers and bathrooms based on their gender identity, regardless of what is listed on the student's records. This is essentially where the issue started. Since that time other states have taken up similar measures.
More recently Andraya Williams, a transgender student at Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina, was detained by security officers and escorted off campus after she used the women's bathroom. The LGBTQ Law Center is demanding that the college apologize and affirm her right to use the women's bathroom, which would be consistent with her gender identity. This event spurred the Charlotte City Council to approve a "non-discrimination ordinance" (NDO) which included a provision allowing transgender residents to use either a men’s or women’s bathroom, depending on the gender with which they identify.
For most people the issue came to the forefront of the news when the State of North Carolina rejected and overturned Charlotte's ordinance. As a result the state and Governor Pat McRory has come under tremendous pressure from over 90 big-name businesses including Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter as well as mayors and governors in other states, the media at large and of course LGBTQ activists. Yet, he has not wavered as of this writing.
If you hadn't heard about that, you have probably heard about this. In April international retailer Target came out with an article on their website which says,
“In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”
Yes, you read that correctly. Restrooms AND fitting rooms