How Could Discrimination Ever be Justified? The Story of Baby Bay.

In 2014 in Vermont, a happy couple, Krista and Jami were delighted to welcome their child Bay into the world, however the joyful feelings were soon dismantled by the stark reality of the presence of homophobia within the doctor they were planning on seeing. When taking there 6 day old child, Bay in to the doctor for a check up, they were met and informed that the doctor they had planned on meeting had prayed about treating Bay and decided that she did not think she could care for Bay. The doctor did not even come into the clinic that morning to avoid seeing the mothers (myFOXDetroit.com Staff 2015). Gender binary classifies people into one category or the other (Male or Female) it fails to recognize that gender is a spectrum. Sex is something a person is born with, however gender is learned. Bay does not have a sexual identity yet, there is no reason why this doctor should be allowed to discriminate against a child who does not even have a gender yet. The doctor is discriminating against the Krista and Jamie for their sexual orientation. This doctor is homophobic and is using her fundamentalist beliefs to discriminate against people of non-heternormative identities.

People everywhere are choosing different masks to hide behind for the justification of their discrimination. In the case of Bay this doctor is hiding behind her religion, when in fact, nowhere in religion does it promote discrimination. There is a stigma around people who are religious hating people who identify as anything other than heteronormative, this may be the case in some circumstances however it shouldn’t ever be true. If this doctor were following Jesus and could understand the core message of the gospel maybe this doctor could recognize that it is a message of love and acceptance. The gospel reveals how when Jesus was on earth his friends where those who were out cast by society, those who were looked down upon and shamed, if she were truly following Jesus her life should be a reflection of that. Essentially this doctor is hiding behind religious principles and rules that do not even exist and do not hold biblical accuracy.

This story is part of the larger issues we have been discussing in Genders 125; it is one small incident that is part of a much bigger picture. This issue involving homophobia is not a rare occurrence. This is not a one-time event, but rather a small example of the state of our society as a whole. In London in 2010 a man and a women beat a man who identified as gay as a hate crime (bbc.com/news/uk 2010). He experienced severe brain trauma and died from the beating. This is another example of people who do not fit in to the category of hetronormative being hurt and taken advantage of by those with heterosexual privilege. This year in 2015 in Germany a father threatened to murder his 15-year-old son who had just come out as gay to his father (http://www.independent.co.uk. 2015). In Berlin a family tried to force their gay son to marry a women despite their son coming out as gay (thelocal.de 2015). The discrimination Jamie and Krista are facing with Bay is not an isolated incident, but rather reveals that the discrimination towards anyone who is not cis-gendered is a universal problem. Our society has a mold for the ideal man and the ideal woman that from childhood people are taught we must fit into. Anyone who does not fit into this category is shamed for it, told there is something wrong, they are broken or defective in someway, this is known queercripping, this is a mode of criticism that exposes the arbitrary separation of normal and defective (heterosexual vs. homosexual, able-bodied vs. ‘crippled’). (Tolmie, Jane. 2015). Queer crippling has become a common aspect of modern day society, it must be eliminated in order for there to be a chance at achieving a society where people are equal and do not face discrimination.

An intersectional approach to these issues would state that there are many different forms of discrimination and all must be resolved for equality to be possible. There is the issue of people who identify as gay or anything other than cis-gendered being discriminated against and also the issue of the people who discriminate hiding behind things such as religion in order to escape taking responsibility for their homophobia. In order for these issues to be resolved both sides to the issue must be resolved. People must stand up and take responsibility for their actions, also the discrimination in its self needs to be eliminated, simply removing the things that people hide behind would still leave the discrimination, removing the main issue of the treatment of people who do not fit into the typical gender binary would not hold the victimizers accountable for their actions.

Overall the story of Jamie and Krista and there child Bay provides a glimpse into how society treats those who do not fit into the stereotypical gender binary. Bay’s story reveals a much bigger picture that does not stop and end with the visit to the doctor, but rather has a serious impact on whether people who face discrimination stay quiet or stand up for their rights. I believe that there are people who are going to be rude, to be offensive, and to victimize. But I also believe there are people who will stand in solidarity with those facing victimization. I believe people must speak up about the struggles they are facing so that those people who will stand up to society, can come along side them and support them.

Works Cited

“Doctor Refuses Treatment of Same-sex Couple’s Baby.” – Fox 2 News Headlines. N.p., 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.

“Family Tried to Force Gay Son to Marry.” – The Local. N.p., 12 Mar. 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.

Jackson, Peter. “Gay Hate ‘alive And, Sometimes, Kicking'” BBC News. N.p., 15 Dec. 2010. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.

Patterson, Tony. “Father Who Threatened to ‘ram Knife into Throat’ of Teenage Son for Coming out Fined by German Court in Landmark Homophobia Ruling.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 11 Mar. 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.

TheLazyRiser

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3 comments

  1. lazybreakfast95 · March 21, 2015

    I find it rather surprising that a doctor presents herself with homophobia as you would think they know or understand that society is a place that is filled with the presence of gay and lesbian people. Especially, considering the doctor was not even working on the lesbian couple themselves, and it was only their child that needed attending too. It is also pretty crazy that the doctor decided to make a decision to not work with the child who she does not even know yet because of the parents. I can’t stress enough that it is the child that needs help and not the parents, why do the parents matter? I am going to ask you the same question i asked the other poster. As people in modern society become more aware of movements such as pride parade and the LGBTQ community, then hear a story like baby Bay’s do you believe that we are taking steps forward or back in terms of homophobia?
    – LazyBreakfast95

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  2. curlyfrypoutine · March 22, 2015

    I, too, did research on the story of Baby Bay, and was displeased to learn that there are no laws to protect gay people from discrimination on this scale. It really is a touchy subject since it is very true that everyone should have the freedom to practice their own religion. I found your discussion of the Christian gospel interesting, however, it is not stated that Dr. Roi was a Christian in the article. Furthermore, although it is a part of the Christian religion to love and accept everyone, policy makers cannot simply say to someone that they are not allowed to discriminate in the name of religion because their religion says not to. You can’t tell someone how to follow their religion. This is what complicates things, since the proposed Michigan law creates a loophole in which anyone can hide their discriminatory actions in their religion – not only is this a discriminatory issue, but it also delegitimizes anyone who is actually trying to freely practice their religion.

    In the case of Baby Bay, there is no surefire way of telling if Dr. Roi fully believed that it was against her religion to treat the baby of a same-sex couple, or if she was simply acting out of homophobia. I fully believe, as a religious person, that I can choose how to live my own life, but I should not judge others, think of them differently, or treat them any differently for choosing to live their life in a particular way. However, not all religious people share that viewpoint, and it is difficult to tell them that they are not allowed to feel the same without violating freedom of thought or freedom of religion. Either way, I am not yet sure of a solution that will maintain a balance between anti-discrimination and freedom of religion. At the very least, there should be laws that protect those in the LGBTQ community from being discriminated against in medical and other fields with similar urgency.

    – curlyfrypoutine

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  3. 4pce · March 24, 2015

    I found your perspective on the deeper meanings of Christianity, one of the religions often under scrutiny for their beliefs on same-sex relationships, and how the behavior of the doctor contradicts this. I’ve seen the same argument many times from religious individuals who feel just as you do-that the teachings of kindness and love are far more important than punishment for same-sex relationships.
    However I feel it is important to point out that nowhere in the article does it discuss the gender of the two women Krista and Jamie. They are described as a lesbian couple; which is in reference to their sexuality. The women therefor do not follow a heteronormative relationship. This does not however mean they are transgender, the opposite of cis-gender as indicated by your post, nor does it mean that the women do not ascribe to the gender binary. If Krista and Jamie were a not cis-gender then they would be MTF trans women in a lesbian relationship. Although sexuality and gender are often intersected, they are not terms that can be interchanged which I feel is important to understand so as to not label people with titles they may not be comfortable with or feel are applicable to them.

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