Today, Obama sent out rules dictating who can use which bathrooms and why, and what can or cannot be done to prohibit somebody from using a bathroom — all the way down to our public school elementary bathrooms. And evidently he doesn’t care about anybody’s discomfort or the law. But not so fast.
Identification vs. Biology
“Gender identity” is the gender you identify most with. If you are born with male parts (biology) but “feel” like a female, your gender identity is a female. Likewise, if you are born with female parts but feel more male, your gender identity is male. How you were born is what is stated on your birth certificate (this will come into play later). Although this can be changed, this is one issue of contention.
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) May 13, 2016
HB2 – North Carolina’s “Bathroom Bill”
Passed in March of this year, this bill effectively states that it is illegal to expand upon the laws already in place in this state that regulate “workplace discrimination, use of public accommodations, minimum wage standards and other business issues.” The Charlotte Observer reports that this new law sets a statewide definition of classes of people who are protected against discrimination, including race, religion, color, national origin, age, handicap, or biological sex as designated on a person’s birth certificate, but not sexual orientation.
Those who have not taken steps to change both surgically and legally (birth certificate) “have no legal right under state law to use public restrooms of the gender with which they identify.” So, for example, a man who identifies with being a woman and dresses like one but has not had surgery to change the biological parts he was born with cannot, under this law, legally use a woman’s bathroom.
Private businesses and universities, however, are allowed to create new or keep existing nondiscrimination policies in place.
On the heels of the Justice Department and North Carolina filing suit against each other, President Obama has supported a declaration signed by Justice and Education department officials, New York Times reports, and issued a mandate today that directs “every public school district in the country to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity,” i.e. not their biological status, but their chosen identity status.
— Peter Feaman (@PeterFeaman) May 13, 2016
Obama, and every public school district in our country, is well aware this edict is not legally binding. However, the threat contained therein is: schools that do not follow this mandate, which comes from the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law, could face civil rights lawsuits and a loss of federal aid for education. This is despite the fact that “the question of whether federal civil rights law protects transgender people has not been definitively answered by the courts” yet, and that issue might have to travel up the justice ladder for a decision to be made by the Supreme Court — but the fact is, that is not where we are today.
This demand reaches way past boys and girls using the same bathrooms to wash their hands or even tinkle; this includes locker room facilities as well. So, since schools are not allowed to discriminate against transgender kids by making them use a different facility, boys and girls could end up showering, dressing, and undressing together.
“King” Obama and Quick Responses
Authorities in Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, and other states have already said “no thanks” to Obama’s directive, vowing instead to forego billions of dollars of federal education funding, if it comes down to that.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott stated earlier that he is working with North Carolina and is opposed to this mandate. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick stated unequivocally, “Well, in Texas he can keep his 30 pieces of silver. We will not be blackmailed by the President of the United States.”
North Carolina’s Republican Senate leader Phil Berger said, “The last time I checked, the United States is not ruled by a king who can bypass Congress and the courts and force school-age boys and girls to share the same bathrooms and locker rooms.”
Texas to Instruct Schools Not to Obey Obama's Transgender Bathroom Decree https://t.co/jkNZaI6xR6
— Fred Berry (@apostolofred) May 13, 2016
“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated, and CNN reported. As true as this is, and as challenging as the junior high and high school years are for any teenager, is there room for any reverse type of discrimination against all of those who are not transgender?
Yes, something should be done to afford respectful and equal facilities for kids and adults who declare themselves as transgender, but with only an estimated three-10 people per 100,000 individuals across the country possibly being transgender according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, is a directive to every single American by the United States government forcing them to follow orders that go against what some are claiming as family values, or else be penalized, really the way to go?
[Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images]