In response to an editorial and letter published in The Lima News on the proposed federal “Equality Act,” I submit my perspective as a transgender woman in Lima.
First, the soul God gave me is female. I am not a “man who identifies as transgender” – but a woman who has worked hard to listen to her heart and be honest with others.
Title IX allows women to be confident and powerful in their own gender – scrunchies and sweat. Including trans-athletes extends Title IX so they too grow self-esteem and learn teamwork. Wrestling classes, golf handicaps, and school divisions in team sports all provide solutions to allowing athletes to compete fairly and authentically.
Beyond sports, the Equality Act extends the spirit of the Civil Rights Act to LGBTQ persons. Most Americans can be legally denied access to housing, restaurants and stores for being LGBTQ. We can be fired, as I was in 2015. The federal Equality Act would prohibit these wrongs.
Religious freedom is critical and protected by existing laws. My religious freedom is loving God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might – as my true self. People are free to judge, but they should not be allowed to stone us by denying us work, food, housing, or critical health care. That is not the mercy of Moses nor Jesus.
Like any law, the federal Equality Act will need interpretation, for which we have an amazing justice system. But it is a critical step towards fairness I hope everyone will support.
Dr. Marin Luria Harbur, Lima