How do states protect transgender rights
Legal banishment of trans people from soup kitchens and hospitals?
Two recent cases of transgender people being turned away from church institutions show not only the current tensions between some religious groups and the civil rights of tansgenders in the US, but above all the need for action across America.
That weekend, Isabella Red Cloud, 26, who identifies herself as Two Spirit, was turned away from the Union Gospel Mission soup kitchen in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on the grounds that she was "inappropriately dressed" and could return if she resolved dress like a man.
The head of the soup kitchen claims that her clothing was "disturbing". A "trans woman also creates an animosity and a potentially unsafe place" for other visitors.
This incident occurred just days before the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced that it would file a complaint against the Catholic Dignity Health’s Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, California. The medical center has reportedly canceled a hysterectomy procedure for 35-year-old Michael Minton, a transgender who is undergoing sex reassignment surgery.
Although hospital management claims they have not yet received the ACLU's complaint, they further state that they "understand the importance of this operation for transgender people" and that "Mr Minton and his surgeon have the use of another Dignity Health hospital recommended for this procedure within a few days. Mr. Minton had already had the operation performed in another clinic. "
At the moment there is no US-wide anti-discrimination law that protects transgender people, so it is largely up to individual states to enact laws.
A 2016 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute showed that 72 percent of Americans support anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBTIQ * people. Even so, a 2015 study by the Transgender Law Center found that 32 states had inadequate legal safeguards.
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