The social-cultural divide in America has widened considerably since conservatives were voted from power after the 2008 election. Nowhere is this emotionally charged environment more evident than when an LGBT American makes national news.
Take the Obama administration's appointment of Amanda Simpson to the Commerce Department. Never mind her impressive educational and professional qualifications. Simpson, a 48-year-old transgender woman, came under attack late last week from Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association:
"Amanda" is a biological male in every cell of his body, and no amount of surgical mutilation is ever going to change that. It's a mistake for our president to appoint such a sexually confused individual to a position of public responsibility.
This isn't about sex--and Ms. Simpson certainly isn't confused about her gender identity. So where does AFA get off?
According to its website...
the American Family Association represents and stands for traditional family values and exists to motivate and equip citizens to reform our culture to reflect Biblical truth on which it was founded. We believe that God has communicated absolute truth to man through nature and the Bible, and that all men everywhere and at all times are subject to His authority.
Amen. That's a fundamental mouth-full. Wildmon continued his assault:
Gender is assigned by the Creator at the moment of conception, and no healthy society should ever regard sexual mutilation, even if it's self inflicted, as something that's normal and merits approval. But that's exactly the kind of signal the president has sent here. This appointment should be rescinded immediately.
Not so fast Mr. Wildmon.
This is America, the land of the free where the right to free speech doesn't equate to the enforcement of religious beliefs. The 1st Amendment of the U. S. Constitution says so. "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
We Americans call this principle separation of church and state. The freedoms of every American citizen were founded on it.
And while you're proffering discourse on "surgical mutilation" consider this, Mr. Wildmon. What about body piercings, tattoos and circumcisions? These, too, must certainly be job disqualifiers in your good book on employment discrimination.
Thankfully, rational thought prevails in the majority of corporate America.
Common sense says human dignity and equality should extend to the LGBT community. Fair is fair. Equality is a two way street, not a "special privilege" exclusive to faithful of the religious far-right.
Wildmon disciple Bryan Fischer, AFA's "director of issues analysis" further ministered the propaganda of hate with more malicious distortions of the truth:
According to the American Psychiatric Association, transgenderism is a mental health disorder. This means bluntly that Simpson is suffering from mental illness. Simpson needs therapeutic help, not a position where he's shaping public policy.
Truth be told, the "cure" for gender identity disorder is transition according to the standards of care set for by WPATH. Amanda Simpson appears to have healed herself.
There's a lesson here for the American Family Association--before attempting to heal America, please, heal thyself.