In her 29 November 2017 New York Times piece, “The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Is Not About Religious Freedom,” Jennifer Boylan leads with a story about her trepidation when she first went to a pharmacy at the beginning of her transition to get her prescription for estrogen tablets filled.
That got my attention right away. My endocrinologist had told me that there were pharmacies in town that on “moral” or “religious” grounds refused to fill hormone prescriptions for transgender people. I, too, have walked up to that counter with a little anxiety.
Surveys have shown that about one-in-five transgender individuals have experienced being denied some form of medical care because a provider, usually for religious reasons, hates people like us.
It’s happened to me.
The latest tactic employed by the religious right in its ongoing campaign to make it impossible to live as a queer or trans person in America—or even live, period, as some religious right leaders have made it clear to their followers that we should be tracked down and killed–is to claim that someone offering a service or a product to the general public may refuse on First Amendment grounds, such as free speech or religious freedom, to do business with someone who is LGBTQ.
It was recently employed by a pediatrician who denied care to the child of a lesbian couple and by a funeral home in refusing to hold a dignified service for a gay man.
I hate being a news junkie. You have no idea how distasteful I find having to closely monitor politics. I wish it were safe to ignore politics as I do sports and most pop culture. I have better ways to spend my time.
But that isn’t safe. Not for any of us.