One of the things I noticed about the An Examination of Discrimination Against Transgender Americans in the Workplace hearing is that minus the Alliance Defense Fund, there weren’t any conservative Christian organizations speaking at the hearing, or it seems even attending the hearing (minus the Traditional Values Coalition, which left press materials at the hearing’s press table); and there weren’t many Republicans there {with the exceptions of the ranking minority member of the subcommittee (Rep. John Kline, R-MN) and one other Rebublican who didn’t speak} — the only Republican there who asked any questions of any of the witnesses at the hearing was Rep. Kline.

So what’s happening now there’s a conservative Christian community characterization of the hearing as if there was serious wave of opposition speaking to trans employment issues — but they didn’t actually have much presense there opposing any future gender idenity and expression inclusive legislation in person.

Some examples of online, conservative Christian commentary:

– PFOX: Congressional Hearing To Push Gender Confusion Upon All Americans

Democrat leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have scheduled a hearing this Thursday on discrimination against “transgendered” individuals in the workplace.

“Homosexuals and their transgender activist allies hope to use this hearing as a way of forcing the imposition of gender confusion upon all Americans,” said Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) Executive Director Regina Griggs today. “Instead of treating transsexualism and cross-dressing behaviors as Gender Identity Disorders (GID) as defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Democrats seem determined to make these behaviors into federally-protected minorities.”

“Why should Congress force Americans to provide workplace accommodations for people who are confused about whether they’re male or female? How can Congress force us to make believe that a man is really a woman or a woman is really a man?”

“If Democrats were truly concerned about these gender confused individuals, they’d push for expanded mental health services for GID. A person can’t change his or her sex – and many of these individuals think they’re a woman one day and a man the next day. Why is Congress catering to such insanity?”

[OneNewsNow/American Family Association, Peter LaBarbera, Focus On The Family/CitizenLink, Concerned Women For America, and Traditional Values Coalition commentaries below the fold.]– OneNewsNow (American Family Association): Gender confusion goes to the Hill (quoting Peter LaBarbara):

Peter LaBarbera is president of the conservative group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. “This appears to me as if the homosexual lobby is throwing a bone to the transgender activists,” he argues. “They dropped the transgender movement as part of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and yet they still have to show their support for this radical movement, which we believe is all about mainstreaming gender confusion,” LaBarbera contends.

…”What Americans have to realize is that, if you get the federal government behind this perversion of civil rights, it will have a cascading effect throughout the whole American society,” LaBarbera explains. “Small businesses could be forced to hire people embracing gender confusion. You have people in jobs that face the public such as a maitre d’ in a restaurant – a man decides that he is really a woman and he is going to start dressing as a woman.” Essential, says the family advocate, it could “circumscribe the ability of an employer to not have a gender-confused person in the face of the public.”

Sexual deviancy advocacy groups such as the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force — as well as the American Civil Liberties Union — have reportedly been meeting regularly to coordinate a strategy for today’s hearing.

– Focus On The Family/CitizenLink: House Subcommittee Considers Protections for ‘Transgendered’ Individuals:

Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said: “This hearing on alleged discrimination against people who self-identify as ‘transgender’ is simply a ruse to get ‘gender identity’ included the next time Congress tries to pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act.”

– Concerned Women For America: He Said, She Said; “Transgender” Individuals Demand Recognition by Congress:

Yesterday, the House Committee on Education and Labor held the first-ever hearing on “transgender discrimination”. Last November, the House passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would prohibit discrimination of employees based on “sexual orientation”, but removed language from the bill that included “gender identity” protections.

“This hearing appears to be a step toward passing legal restrictions against identifying men as men, and women as women,” said Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA). “‘Gender identity’ is a fluid term that is difficult to nail down. On top of that, advocates want to restrict the ‘perception’ of gender identity.

“This would be a prescription for crazy lawsuits to make easy money or to excuse possibly criminal behavior by claiming discrimination. Businesses, government entities, non-profits and religious organizations would be caught between protecting their employees and customers and appeasing complainants who are confused – or confuse others – about their sex. Men who get caught in women’s locker rooms with little girls present could claim that they ‘perceive’ themselves to be women.”

– Traditional Values Coalition: Americans Face Energy Crisis While House Of Representatives Holds A She-Male Hearing! (this was on a press release left at the hearing’s press table as well):

“Americans face rising gasoline prices; and brave American soldiers are being killed on the battlefield to fight Islamic terrorism – while U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) holds a hearing today on “discrimination” against drag queens and she-males in the workplace. What’s wrong with this picture?” asks TVC Executive Director Andrea Lafferty.

“Why is the House of Representatives wasting taxpayer dollars to discuss whether or not drag queens or she-males are offended because of their cross-dressing or sexual behaviors in a business environment? I already know the answer: Because liberals like Robert Andrews are aggressively promoting the normalization of cross-dressing and transsexualism in our culture,” said Lafferty.

She continued: “This freak show must come to an end – and the House of Representatives should get back to important issues such as passing legislation to permit drilling for oil on our own sovereign territory and securing our borders from illegal immigration. The House should be passing legislation to protect the parental rights of girls who are driven across state lines for abortions; the House should pass the Broadcaster Freedom Act to protect conservative and religious broadcasters from efforts by liberals to reinstitute the so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine’ – which will censor the airwaves.

“Let’s stop this nonsense of pretending that men who dress like women are normal and should be considered protected minorities under federal law. These are deeply disturbed individuals who need therapy not coddling and affirmation by a liberal majority in the House of Representatives. Rep. Andrews should be embarrassed and ashamed for holding such a useless hearing.”

Ms. Lafferty’s comments are particularly offensive to me, as I’m a transgender veteran, and as is one of the hearing’s key witnesses — Col. Diane Schroer (Ret.). I believe the Library Of Congress (as well as our  country) lost the incredibly valuable service of an incredibly well qualified applicant who could have significantly helped America combat terrorism.

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Further reading: Donna Rose (in her own blog), The Bilerico Project, and especially my blogmate Stephanie at The View From (Ab)Normal Heights are providing some interesting insights into the hearings. I’m sure there are other insightful commentators and commentaries out there, but I haven’t looked online as much as I would have liked to have looked as yet (due to travel) to find differing trans and LGBT viewpoints.

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Related:

* The House subcommittee hearing on “Discrimination Against Transgender Americans in the workplace”

* From DC: First Impressions From The Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee Hearing

* Landmark hearings on transgender discrimination begin

* Okay, We’ll Call Today A Sucktastic Dry Run

* Permanent Guest Barista Autumn On The Road This Week

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Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen

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