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The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

Should Transgender Americans Be Afforded Rights Equal to Those Seen by Other Americans

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/26/2016 Category: People
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 270 times Debate No: 85441
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it oftentimes appalls me that certain groups, both in and out of the LGBTQ+ community, have fewer rights and protections afforded to them than the rest of society.
One group that is, in the current societal and legislative climate, particularly vulnerable to discrimination and crime is the transgender community. With trans* Americans comprising approximately (based on current estimates of 0.5%[1] of any given population being transgender or gender nonconforming) 1,614,300 people[2], and "binary transgender" Americans comprising approximately (based on current estimates of 0.3%[1] of any given population being transgender but identifying with a binary gender) 968,600[2] people, it is a substantial number of people who are affected by the current social and political climate towards transgender and gender nonconforming persons.
There are a few states that offer equal or nearly equal rights to trans* Americans. These states include California, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Accounting for these states as having equal or near equal rights and protections afforded to trans* Americans, this leaves approximately 1,358,100[2][3] transgender and gender nonconforming Americans with unequal rights and protections, approximately 814,900[2][3] of which are "binary transgender".
To define "equal rights", I am using a general rule of thumb based on current anti-discrimination legislation. This includes, but is not limited to, employment protections, anti-discrimination policies in public accommodation, housing, lending, education, medical insurance, medical practice, definition and prosecution of hate crime and so on.
Considering that over 1.3 million trans* Americans live in states with incomplete protections in these regards, it is quite clear that discrimination may not only be experienced, but the victims of said discrimination have no legal means of defending their rights as Americans.
A few examples of this are as follows:
In Maine, the rights and protections lacking include: no bans on insurance exclusions, no trans inclusive insurance benefits for state employees, no (feasible) means of changing the gender marker on birth certificates, no law that addresses hate crime or bias on the basis of gender identity.
In New Jersey, the only difference from Maine is that the state does have a law that addresses hate crime or bias on the basis of gender identity.
In Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the rights and protections lacking include: no bans on insurance exclusions, no trans inclusive insurance benefits for state employees, no (feasible) means of changing the gender marker on birth certificates, no anti-discrimination labor laws in private employment, no law that addresses hate crime or bias on the basis of gender identity, no law that addresses student discrimination on the basis of gender identity, no prohibition of discrimination in housing or public accommodation on the basis of gender identity.
In Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming, no anti-discrimination protections are afforded to transgender or gender nonconforming Americans whatsoever[4].
Also, in both Texas and Kentucky, there are laws that criminalize the use of a bathroom that does not align with sex. Sex is defined in the Kentucky Senate Bill 76 as "biological sex", which can be interpreted to mean either genitals or chromosomes. In Texas, the definition in House Bill 2801 is similar, but in House Bill 1748 it is based on chromosomes. One alarming thing to note about House Bill 1748 is that in the case of women who were born with XY chromosomes but developed no male reproductive system and developed female secondary sex characteristics, they would be forced to use the men's restroom despite having been socialized as a woman their entire lives[5].
There are multiple reasons why this discriminatory application of anti-discrimination laws is unjust and should be stopped. The first is that transgender Americans are citizens of the United States, with some very rare exceptions. The rights of American citizens are as follows: the right to freedom of expression, the right to freedom of religion, the right to a prompt, fair trial by jury, the right to vote in elections for public officials, the right to apply for federal employment requiring U.S. citizenship, the right to run for elected office, and the right of the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness[6]. The states who do not address hate crime based on gender identity, for example, are potentially reducing the protection of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There are many cases of hate crimes such as rape and murder due to an individual being transgender. There are also cases in which an attempted rape turned into a murder because the victim was found to be a transgender woman. There are few states with employment protections, and in many states, even public or federal employment does not have employment protections based on gender identity, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does not address gender identity[7]. This potentially infringes upon the right to apply for federal employment that requires U.S. citizenship. Also, the states Texas and Kentucky, with their statutes against the use of bathrooms matching gender identity by transgender persons are limiting specifically the right to liberty and the right to freedom of expression.
The next steps at this point are simply to extend current anti-discrimination laws to include gender identity. This is something that should be carried out by each state, as it is the state's right to determine said anti-discrimination laws. However, there should be a national push to bridge the gap of the rights and protections between the transgender community and the rest of American society.

[1]Estimates based on multiple sources, found here: (Note: this figure of 12% is based on a small survey of the entire LGBT community, which is estimated to make up about 4-5% of the population, thus resulting in an estimate of .48-.6% of the population)
[2]All numbers are according to the Population Clock ( estimates of the U.S. population at 12:48AM EST, January 23, 2016.
[3]Subsequent estimates of population not covered by the legislation in California, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia are based on a table containing the percentage of the U.S. population contained within each state as of 2014, found here:
[4]Based on the infographic by the Huffington Post here:
[5]The laws are listed here: (Note: The Florida bill never made it out of committee)
[6]The rights are listed here:
[7]A list of laws enforced by the EEOC:


Sorry for the late response, I"ve been a bit busy and had trouble coming up with any arguments. I pre-emptively apologise for any bad grammar or random weird words; I wrote this on my phone that has autocorrect. Also I have an obsession with sticking commas everywhere so don"t mind them"

Since I"m relatively new to this website and don"t yet know how things work here, I feel like a short disclaimer is in order due to possible sensitivity of the subject matter. First of all I"m here for the sake of debate and discussion (arguments present are for the sake of con, I can personally swing both ways), if any offense is given it is not intended. Secondly I"m not from the United States (I"m assuming based on the context of the arguments that"s what the debate focuses on), hence my arguments will evolve more around ideas and the data brought up by pro.

The idea that all people in a single country have the same rights as their peers should be self-evident. If that is indeed the motion of this debate then I concede. Debate over. You won. However as some of the commenters have implied, what pro is advocating for is not equality but special treatment. Hence I"ll be debating against the standards that pro has defined as equal.

The problem that this motion seeks to eliminate is the very real problem of discrimination that some transgender people face solely on the basis of what they are. However implementing this motion would be likely to do more long term harm to the LGBTGQ community as have possible other negative outcomes. The fact of the matter is that change comes slowly and though it saddens me, the LGBTGQ movement needs to be more patient. Imposing special privileges on to transgender individuals is the wrong thing to do. Force should not be the way to change. It will only strengthen those who discriminate towards them, which is the core problem that needs to be fixed. Thus it is the attitudes of the populous at large which needs to change, not legislation. Luckily this is what is currently happening, people are slowly becoming more accepting, hence it is important not to take too drastic moves that could have negative effects on the community at large, not just trans people.

I can guess at the frustration of LGBTQ people, it is not fair that they need to wait for their rights. Maybe people in the future will be better off, but some might not live to see this day. However creating legislation based on gender politics is not the way forwards as Pro would be suggesting.

The problem with gender identity is that it is unmeasurable; all you can go by is the word of the individual, which of course isn"t a reliable method of determining it. Right now the people who would lie about their gender identity are low, due to there being no real reason to lie about the topic. However by giving special rights to transgender people, it is likely that more people will start doing so. This does two things. First it undermines the hardships that transgender people face and the label as a whole; it will just become a means of getting extra benefits with no drawback. More importantly it opens up numerous variabilities in society. While it is true that there are numerous transgender people in the States, there are also a large number of sex-offenders.

It is not just paedophiles that can abuse the system, and gain access to areas they previously couldn"t get to their targets at, it is all the perverts, stalkers, peepers, rapists, ect. who now have a whole range of new opportunities to act. Toilets are the least of your problems. Just think of all the places where the States have gender segregation, such as changing rooms, showers at swimming pools and saunas. The list is endless and all these areas become "hunting grounds" for all the perverts out there.

What it comes down to with this argument is that: by giving these special privileges to trans people, such being allowed to enter any area meant for the opposite biological sex, it takes away the freedom to feel comfortable or safe from the people who right now use these services. Sometimes you must go with what causes the least pain to the majority even if it harms minority groups in the process. In an ideal system this wouldn"t be necessary, but as the statuesque stands we do not live in an ideal system. You wouldn"t want to cause needles harm to your fellow peers just because you feel pain yourself?

So what pro needs to prove is that there is a reliable way of proving ones gender identity. If not then the burden becomes that these special rights for trans people are more important than the rights of the rest of the populous. (Also even though it is self-evident why Pro thinks this motion should be acted upon, it would still be nice to have it in writing).
Another problem that lies within gender identity is that, the very concept is one of the contributors to the attitudes, that causes discrimination against trans people. By supporting the motion you are supporting harmful gender stereotypes that the identities are based on. An ideal society that we should strive for is one where an individual can have any traits and not be ladled as something. There would be no artificial restrictions on what one can wear or do based on their biological gender. As I have already stated to get to this world we need to change the opinion of the population as a whole. Break down the stereotypes, not create more in-out group dynamics. We are all human. Can"t we just treat each other equally based on that?
Debate Round No. 1


KittyCatalina forfeited this round.


Since Pro forfeit the last round I see no further point in presenting new arguments or continuing with the debate.
Pity :(
Debate Round No. 2


KittyCatalina forfeited this round.


Yeah.. looks like Pro left this one....
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by KittyCatalina 9 months ago
Insurance does not cover surgeries to overcome gender dysphoria, even though it is a serious disorder. Many employers can actually refuse to provide insurance benefits of any sort to transgender persons. This means that the insurance most people have to cover things such as routine physicals, necessary medications (including those for diabetes and such) can be refused because the person is transgender. I'm not asking for someone to pay for my surgeries, which I do not medically need but will greatly reduce my likelihood of suicide and other mental and emotional issues. Yeah it's a huge financial burden but it is one I am forced to bear myself.
Also, hate crime covers race, sex, religion, national origin, and so on, but not gender identity. Hate crime is any crime with a motivation based on something about the person themself, such as a group they are in.
Also, transgender is not the same thing as transvestite. Transvestites usually do not have a different gender identity.
I believe that the rights and protections many people are afforded should be extended to cover gender identity as well, not that we should have special rights.
Also, the t-slur is generally considered offensive.
Posted by Phenenas 9 months ago
I believe that transvestites should receive equal rights. But what you're asking for is clearly special treatment and not equality. You think employers should have to pay insurance out of their own pocket to pay for whatever surgery their tranny employee wants ("wants", I emphasize, not "needs")? You think murdering a transgender person should be elevated to a more serious level of murder because it's a "hate crime"? Is that REALLY discriminating against trannies? No, it's treating them like everyone else. It's you who should be taking the Con side, since you believe that transgender people should receive special treatment and rights that nobody else has.
Posted by Peepette 9 months ago
Good debate topic.
Posted by KittyCatalina 9 months ago
I feel like I should note that the line is hard to define. There will always be bad people that use protections and rights to slip past the system, and there will always be innocent people caught in the crossfire.
Also, the t-slur is generally frowned upon.
Posted by AngryBlogger 9 months ago
Sorry, but transgendered people should not have equal rights when it comes to a few things.

Take sports for example, a biological male should not be competing against or fighting a female.

That's just one example.

Yeah, there is some things they should be near equal to like lets say using the girls restroom. This a hard one to debate over. I say yes and no both. I think i'd lean more towards it being ok for trannies to go into the opposite sex's restrooms but again you have to draw the line somewhere.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 8 months ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff many times, so conduct to Con.