Discrimination Takes all Shapes

One thing to many TS/TG people too often forget is that the religious right doesn’t just target LGBT/TQ folks with their bigotry.

I subscribe to Daily Kos and got the following in my e-mail:


A story of discrimination

by Kaili Joy Gray aka Angry Mouse

Sun Jul 25, 2010 at 10:00:03 AM PDT

This will be short. It will not be sweet.

Edwin A. Graning worked as a bus driver for the Capital Area Rural Transportation System in Texas. On January 29, 2010, he was assigned to give a woman a ride to a location in Austin. He refused. He was fired.

And now he’s suing. You see, Mr. Graning believes he was fired because of his religious beliefs. He believes he is the victim of discrimination. He wants his job back. He wants back pay. And he wants money for his “pain, suffering, and emotional distress.”

Why did he refuse to do his job?

Because the woman he was supposed to drive wanted to go to Planned Parenthood. And Mr. Graning believed that she was going to get an abortion. It didn’t matter to Mr. Graning that she might have been going for a pap test or breast exam, that it was, in fact, unlikely that she was seeking an abortion because despite the constant smears from the forced birth movement, abortion is only 3 percent of the services Planned Parenthood provides.

It didn’t matter to Mr. Graning that abortion is a legal medical procedure, and that the woman whom he refused to drive, even had she been going for an abortion, was merely exercising her legal rights.

It didn’t matter to Mr. Graning because despite his lawsuit, he doesn’t give a damn about legal rights.

Mr. Graning believes it is perfectly acceptable to discriminate against women, to deprive them of their rights, to deny them access to legal medical procedures to which they are entitled — all under the guise of “religious beliefs.”

We have seen this before. Pharmacists around the country refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control because of their “religious beliefs.” And five states actually protect their “right” to deprive women of their rights.

We have seen this with the homophobic bigots who complain about violations of their free speech rights to spew hatred and pass homophobic legislation.

It’s absurd. And the idea that Mr. Graning should have the right to discriminate against a woman who is exercising her legal rights is absurd. And the idea that he is entitled to his job, as well as money for “emotional distress,” is absurd. Mr. Graning doesn’t care about the emotional distress he inflicted on the woman to whom he denied a ride. He doesn’t care about the woman whose rights he violated.

This is really quite simple. Women have a right in this country. Anyone who stands in the way of women exercising that right doesn’t give a damn about rights and doesn’t give a damn about the law and certainly shouldn’t be complaining about their rights. Mr. Graning had a job to do: drive the damn bus.

Mr. Graning doesn’t deserve to have his job back. He doesn’t deserve back pay. He certainly doesn’t deserve money for his “pain and suffering.” One person in this short-and-not-sweet story is owed something: the woman who actually suffered discrimination. She deserves an apology from Mr. Graning.