from Gender Identity Disorders
Failure to grant them special legal recognition, activists say, would send "a clear message to Congress that we don't matter and that our lives mean nothing"
August 9, 2004 - Transgender activist organizations, including Parents, Friends & Families of Lesbians & Gays, participated in a unity rally outside the offices of the Human Rights Campaign on August 7.
The unity rally was to demand that HRC, the largest gay lobbying group in the U.S., include protection for cross-dressers, transvestites, and transsexuals in legislation HRC is seeking to have passed by Congress.
According to Ethan St. Pierre, a member of Transgender Menace: "HRC is the largest GLBT national organization, and when they support non-inclusive language in what should be trans-inclusive legislation, it sends a clear message to Congress that we [transgenders] don't matter and that our lives mean nothing."
Matt Foreman, head of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force says it's time to include transgenders in gay legislation, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). "ENDA must be amended to protect transgender people. If it is not, we all must walk away from it."
GenderPac, one of the largest transgender lobbying groups in Washington, DC, has also been lobbying for "gender variant" individuals to be protected under federal laws dealing with employment, housing, etc.
In 1995, a convention of transgendered individuals passed the International Bill of Gender Rights, which demands that each person be free to define himself or herself as any gender regardless of "chromosomal sex," "assigned birth sex," "genitalia," or "initial gender role." According to this statement, it is a person's right to individual liberty and freedom to define his or own gender without restriction. This includes the right to dress in opposite-sex clothing and to adopt children.
On the issue of legal protection for transgenderism, NARTH President Joseph Nicolosi has observed: "This is another instance of activists confounding the condition with the person. Society wouldn't protect a 'right to alcoholism' because some alcoholics claimed their alcoholism was 'who they are.'
"By the same token, we must recognize that men who think they are women have a psychological problem and deserve compassion, not normalization of their distortion of biological reality."