On June 10th, the Providence Journal posted an Op-ed by David Carlin. In it, the author makes a number of unfounded assertions about the Equality Act (which was recently passed in the United States House of Representatives). The Act would enshrine into law that LGBTQ people are entitled to equal rights with everyone else and such rights would be acknowledged and protected on the Federal level. Mr Carlin issues dire warnings about what consequences would arise if it were to become law; There would no longer be sports for women and girls, it would allow predators to sneak into women’s locker rooms and bathrooms, and adolescents will be forced to come to terms with their own sexuality and identity. He adds that this is all based on the pernicious philosophy that nothing is as it seems and all is a construct. He also predicts that this will all lead to the banning of Christianity. Finally, he suggests that transgender people are the “weirdest members of society” and are “delusional.”
I have been a minister for over thirty years, I am also a clinical social worker, and I am proud to be a trans woman. And I disagree with nearly everything Mr Carlin writes. Rather than counter his arguments point-by-point (and there are numerous studies which exist that refute all of his claims), instead, one might simply ask if there are any “real life examples” of what happens when transgender people have equal rights?
In fact, Rhode Island was among the first states to grant equal rights in the areas of employment, credit, and accommodations to people regardless of “gender identity or expression.” This was at the start of the 21st Century. And, to my knowledge, women’s and girl’s sports still exist, nor has there been a reign of female-impersonating men terrorizing bathrooms. As for worries about young people having to better understand themselves, their identity and sexuality, my training and experience tells me that this is a healthy part of adolescence.
I’m not certain why Mr Carlin believes that the Equality Act is based on a philosophy that nothing is real. I, for example, know I’m real, I know that I have always been female. I know that when I am denied my basic rights as a human being, it is real, and it is hurtful.
Mr Carlin insists that all of this will lead to the banning of Christianity. I do not believe this faith is quite so fragile.
He concludes that people like me are the “weirdest members of society” and “delusional.” I have worked in clinics with clients who really are delusional. I’m not sure he understands the meaning of the word. As for being among the weirdest members of society, it is hard for me to believe that Christianity is all about name-calling and hurtful insults. I’m also not convinced that Christianity is about denying marginalized members of society their basic rights – denying their worth and dignity as human beings. Among the things I do know about Christianity is the admonition to “pray for those who persecute you.”
My prayers tonight will have new additions.