AU Supports Transgender Rights As Religious Right-Sponsored, Anti-Trans Bus Tours East Coast

Today a bright orange bus that has been touring the East Coast might be arriving in Washington, D.C., to deliver its anti-transgender message to our nation’s capital.

This bus has been endorsed by socially conservative groups the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and CitizenGo. NOM, a prominent opponent of LGBTQ rights, notes that they “work to defend marriage and the faith communities that sustain it at the local, state, and national levels.”

After working for years to prevent marriage equality, NOM is now using the bus tour to fight “against gender indoctrination.” In other words, NOM wants to continue using their religious beliefs to define gender and restrict the rights of others. 

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The group has repeatedly stated their intent to pressure the Trump administration to work toward winning a court reversal of the 2015 landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Obergefell v. Hodges, which granted same-sex couples the constitutional right to get married in all 50 states. NOM also wants to help the Trump administration pass the First Amendment Defense Act, which would use “religious freedom” as a guise to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Recently, NOM lobbied the administration to revoke an Obama administration federal guidance that protects transgender public school students from discrimination, which the Trump administration did. “Respect all” is a tagline on NOM’s bus, but encouraging discrimination on the grounds of religious beliefs is not respecting all. Rather, it’s favoring the beliefs of a few over the civil rights of everyone.

Religious freedom means everyone should be free to believe or not believe, but people’s religious beliefs should not be used to harm others. While NOM’s bus is not a legislative proposal, their history of lobbying the government to restrict the rights of others in the name of religion is dangerous.

At AU, we have been tracking and fighting dangerous “religious freedom” bills that could or would restrict transgender rights in the name of religion. AU will continue the fight against those who would use religion as an excuse to discriminate against the LGBTQ community and others. You can learn more about how we’re doing this through our Protect Thy Neighbor project.