Susan Collins has withdrawn her support for the Equality Act. She wants exceptions for discrimination. None of us is equal until we are all equal. Historically people tried to say we were “separate but equal.” That was a lie, verified by the Supreme Court. There is no equality “with exceptions.”

Collins wants “exceptions” to equality in three areas. She wants to allow exceptions for shelters: meaning the most marginalized group, that of transgender women, would be the least protected. Collins is saying that transgender women are not women and can be excluded from women’s shelters. She is propagating the lie that transgender women are dangerous, thereby placing them in further danger of hate crimes.

She wants to allow federally funded religious groups to discriminate. For example, she wants to use our tax dollars to prevent LGBTQ+ people from adopting and providing loving homes for children. Again, perpetuating the myth that LGBTQ+ people are dangerous.

She thinks the issue of transgender girls in sports needs further study. For over 80 years, rules have been in place for elite athletes who are intersex (an umbrella term for conditions in which an infant’s reproductive anatomy doesn’t conform to standard definitions of male or female). Those rules already apply to transgender girls. The reality is that sports are not fair. There are greater inequalities than transgender girls, such as socioeconomics. Collins ignores these inequalities and further marginalizes transgender athletes.

I surmise that Susan Collins has no further interest in maintaining the illusion that she supports LGBTQ+ people in their fight for equality.

Susan Casavant

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