For my second blog post, I decided to dissect the unjustly news article: Doctor refuses treatment of same-sex couple’s baby. This article is pertaining to a married lesbian couple, Krista and Jami Contreras, who gave birth to four-month-old Bay Windsor Contreras, in October 2014, at the comfort of their own home. Their midwife recommended a pediatrician, Dr. Vesna Roi who the couple was pleasant about and who “seemed pretty straight up” with them. Only six days after giving birth to their baby, the newly parents set up an appointment with Dr. Roi, which by their surprise, refused service because she “prayed on it and she won’t be able to care for Bay” (told by the replacing pediatrician, Dr. Karam). The married couple posted on social media about the discrimination that was bestowed upon them, which resulted to others writing letters to the facility. It wasn’t until after four months did Dr. Roi sent a letter to the Contreras apologizing for refusing service by stating, “Please know that I believe that God gives us free choice and I would never judge anyone based on what they do with that free choice”. By coming across this article, without hesitation, I had to deconstruct and analyze the ways in which it demonstrates systemic and intersecting discrimination of the LGBTQ community, and how both are still prevalent in modern societies.
For starters, people a part of the LGBTQ community often experience systemic discrimination against their sexual orientation, or preference. For places such as the United States of America, where the article was taken place, there are laws against same-sex marriage in various states in the country. Most of the time, if a queer couple wanted to ‘tie the knot’, they would often travel to the very few states that have legalized same-sex marriage. This insinuates that same-sex couples are an inconvenience to the societies that are often homophobic, or hateful and/or fearful of the LGBTQ community; so they make same-sex marriage an inconvenience to them. Such a basic right that should given to everyone, regardless of sex, gender, and sexuality, is voided and unavailable to same-sex couples – that should be free to express their love and unity.
This goes into another example where the law systemically discriminates queers, which the article has touched upon, regarding physicians’ refusal of service to patients. The American Medical Association, or AMA, have laws which states that “physicians cannot refuse to care for patients based on sexual orientation, but doctors can refuse treatment if it’s incompatible with their personal, religious or moral beliefs”. Although it is great that the AMA has laws that protect the LGBTQ community against physicians and practitioners who may have homophobic beliefs, this also backfires with the latter law, stated in the article, by allowing further discrimination to occur in a discreet, “it’s your prerogative” notion. This goes to show that on the surface, the laws, and the societies themselves, appear genderless or promote equality; but in fact, with other laws protecting the dominant culture, heterosexuals, it often contradicts and reinforces the stigma and degradation of queer individuals and whomever that do not fit with societal “norms” or the majority.
This leads to the intersecting discrimination that many queers experience on a day-to-day basis. For example, many same-sex couples and members of the LGBTQ community often face difficulties with hegemonic masculinity – relating to the cultural norms of masculinity and power – and emphasized femininity – relating to womanhood that is controlled by men – when regarding the intersection of their gender and sexuality. If, for instance, a queer individual takes on an essence or a different gender opposed of their assigned sex, one will often be accused of not being masculine or feminine enough. This leads to the individual being abandoned by one’s own sex because one does not fit the societal norms of what it is to be a “man” or “woman”. Thus, some queer males may not fully display hegemonic masculinity but express emphasized femininity and sometimes vise-versa for queer females. The discrimination against the intersection of gender and sexuality within the LGTBQ community is prevalent, promotes the gender binary that is popular to many societies, and puts such individuals as “the other”.
I close by stating that queers have come a long way in terms of gaining equal rights and acceptance within many societies. From the feminist movement, to the 1980’s epidemic of HIV/AIDS, the LGBTQ community has increasingly become more integrated within hetero-dominant cultures. It alarms me that after all the fighting that queers have done to be viewed as human, an article that has been published, as recent as February 2015, takes us back into a time warp; displaying that queer discrimination is still a current and recurring issue within many societies. As a whole we all need to help and find love for one another, fully accept one for who they are, and to free degradation and marginalization from ones’ lives. Love is unique to each individual, does not conform to what the media or popular conceptions have to say, and is a universal language that is understood through many bodies – why limit it to only a few?
My Fox Detroit, Doctor refuses treatment of same-sex couple’s baby, http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/28142401/doctor-refuses-treatment-of-same-sex-couples-baby, accessed on March 9th, 2015.