4.2.19 Austin American-Statesman: Protect LGBT Rights

Austin American-Statesman: Protect LGBT Rights

A recent editorial from the Austin American-Statesman urges Texas lawmakers to block newly proposed legislation that would make discrimination against LGBT individuals in Texas easier. “The ability to worship as we choose is one of America’s most cherished rights,” writes the editorial board.” So is the ability to love who we choose and express ourselves as we choose. We see no reason to put these values on a collision course.” An editorial from the Waco Tribune-Herald agrees. “Polls consistently indicate that not only do most Americans frown on the discrimination clearly reflected in these bills but so do most Texans,” the Tribune-Herald writes. “This month the Public Religion Research Institute released polling for its American Values Atlas suggesting that 66 percent of Texans support laws that prohibit businesses from discriminating against LGBT folks.”

Anti-Abortion Film Surprises at Box Office

“Unplanned,” a new film that tells the story of a former Planned Parenthood employee turned anti-abortion advocate, surpassed box office expectations during its first week on the market. The film was released in over 1,000 cinemas and grossed more than $6 million. Despite its success, many critics have labeled it a propaganda film. “It’s a leaden, self-righteous and wholly rancid affair, designed only to preach to its choir by maligning the non-profit organization,” Nick Schager writes in The Daily Beast. PRRI’s 2018 American Values Survey found that only 4% of the country listed abortion as the most important issue to their vote in the 2018 midterm elections.

Transgender Day of Visibility Celebrates Trans-Rights

Ten years after it was founded, The Transgender Day of Visibility was celebrated on March 31. The day is meant to celebrate the achievements and the lives of transgender individuals, as well as raise awareness to transgender causes and struggles around the globe. “Members of marginalized groups often have limited exposure to successful people that look like them, be it real-world examples or visibility in the media,” Ashley Fowlkes writes in Forbes. “The transgender community is no exception to that rule. Their visibility in the media is minimal.” According to PRRI data, 61 percent of people age 15-24 agreed that transgender people were depicted negatively in the media. More recent data shows that nearly seven in 10 (69%) Americans favor laws that would protect LGBT people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing. 

Measles Outbreak Splits New York Suburb

Tensions between Orthodox Jews and secular New Yorkers have resurged thanks to a recent outbreak of measles. Officials in Rockland County, New York have implemented a state of emergency following the measles outbreak. Unvaccinated children, many of whom are Orthodox Jews, are prohibited from being out in public. According to some, the problem may go deeper. “The conception that is out there is completely distorted, and that is, that the Orthodox community, for the most part, don’t vaccinate their children, and that is not true,” Rockland county lawmaker Aaron B. Wieder tells The New York Times. The article continues to take a more in-depth look at the struggle between understanding other religions.