A new trend in blue states seems to be the notion that gender is less a biological reality than a choice that can be made by each individual. The most recent example of this came on Tuesday when California governor Jerry Brown announced that he had signed a law which will allow transgender students to choose which bathroom and locker room to use based on their self-perception and regardless of their biological gender. According to the Casa Grande Dispatch, the new law will even give transgender students the right to participate in either boys or girls sports and other “sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities.” Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute, noted that the law does not require any proof of a gender-identity issue. Instead school administrator must rely on the student’s opinion of their gender identity.
California is only the most recent state to enact laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. Employment law firm Jackson Lewis notes that New Jersey added “gender identity and expression” as a protected category to its employment and housing discrimination law in 2006. National Law Review pointed out that Connecticut has prohibited employers of three or more people from discriminating based on “a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth” since 2011.
Georgia does not have a gender identity discrimination law, but some Georgia cities do. The GA Voice reported that a number of cities and counties in Georgia have enacted laws that prohibit discrimination against the gender confused. These include Atlanta, Athens, and Savannah.
Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued guidelines to schools after the legislature a gender identity law in 2011. According to Masslive.com, the guidelines state that transgender students can choose to use restrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities for gender that they currently identify themselves with. “While some transgender students will want that arrangement, others will not be comfortable with it,” the guidelines note and then continue, “Transgender students who are uncomfortable using a sex-segregated restroom should be provided with a safe and adequate alternative such as a single, unisex restroom or the nurse’s restroom.”
There are many potential problems with laws that seek to allow men to choose to live as women and vice versa. The privacy issue of mixing transgender boys and girls with the opposite sex in restrooms and locker rooms is only the most obvious. For example, some teenage boys might pretend to be transgendered in order to get into the girls’ locker room and watch girls change clothes. Mediocre male athletes might be tempted to identify as women to get more playing time and be stars on female teams.
Gender identity laws are already causing problems for children as young as six. In June 2013, CNN reported that a Colorado court decided that a first grade boy who identifies as a girl will be allowed to use the girl’s restroom at his school. This is in spite of the fact that the boy is still anatomically a male.
The next month, the U.S. Department of Education forced a California school district to allow a middle school girl to use the boy’s restroom. The complaint also noted that the school district refused to allow the girl to stay in a cabin with boys on an overnight trip according to the Daily Caller. The Education Department lawyers apparently had no problem with the mixed biological genders spending the night together as long as the girl considered herself a boy.
In yet another case, Olympia, Washington’s KOMO reported last year on Colleen Francis, a 45-year-old man who identifies himself as a woman. Francis is a student at Evergreen College in Washington State. Francis was accused of exposing himself in the girl’s locker room at the school’s pool and in the sauna. The locker room is shared by college students with members of a children’s swim academy and a high school swim club. Police were called when a 17-year-old girl told her mother that Francis was naked and “displaying male genitalia” in the locker room. Another report by a visiting swim coach said that Francis was seen with his legs spread and genitalia showing in the sauna with girls between the ages of six and 18 in view.
In spite of the fact that a man who did not claim to be a woman would be arrested for such behavior, Jason Wettstein, a spokesman for Evergreen, said, “The college cannot discriminate based on the basis of gender identity. Gender identity is one of the protected things in discrimination law in this state.” In 2006, Washington added gender identity to its nondiscrimination law according to the Washington State Human Rights Commission.
Gabrielle Ludwig, a 51-year-old man who identifies as a woman, decided to play basketball at California’s Mission College. The six-foot six-inch, 220 pound transsexual became the star of the Mission College girls’ basketball team according to the N.Y. Daily News. A 51-year-old playing college basketball is unusual, but a 51-year-old man playing on a girls’ basketball team is unique… at least so far.
Critics of gender identity laws point to many problems for the straight majority. Children are susceptible to possible abuse and may be exposed to the genitalia of strangers of the opposite sex. It is unreasonable to assume that sexual predators would not exploit gender identity laws. Parents have no recourse or right to complain about the violations of their children’s right to privacy. Employers may be forced to hire or be unable to fire obvious cross-dressers who hurt their business. Religious believers are forced to accept and even subsidize behavior that they find morally objectionable.
It is too early to tell whether the trend of gender identity as a protected class will continue, but, with the recent success of the same-sex marriage movement, more pushes toward normalization of sexual subcultures is likely. As with same-sex marriage, such movements are more likely to find acceptance in states that are predominantly Democratic.
Gender identity antidiscrimination laws essentially force the public to participate in a lie. As in the fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” forcing public acceptance does not alter reality. Choosing to identify as a different gender does not change the biological and anatomical facts of a person’s body. (Even sex-change recipients require continuous use of hormones to simulate the body chemistry of the opposite sex.) Forcing the public at large to humor people in their delusion can only do harm to both society and the gender confused.