Before reluctantly tackling this issue, let me stipulate three things.
- As a follower of Christ, I try to love and understand everyone, while also upholding the Truth. I believe that homosexual activity is wrong—for those who engage in it, I believe that it is a form of bondage, like having an affair or being addicted to drugs, and is much less than God intended for us. We should therefore not encourage it and should protect our children from it. And, let me be clear that I am a sinner saved by grace alone–no better than anyone else.
- As an American and a conservative libertarian (and as a Christian), I also understand that adults are free to choose their actions, for good or for ill, and that it is not the place of the State to tell us how to behave, unless our behavior harms others or society in general.
- As someone who has lived sixty-eight years, I know that I have former classmates, colleagues and current family members and friends who are gay, and who strongly disagree with #1 above. To them I offer that the Truth is not based on the most recent vote, and that we ignore the Truth at great peril, but also that my intention is to remain civil, and friends, while disagreeing on this issue.
With those three points as background, let me weigh in on what began as the “North Carolina Bathroom Law”, but now threatens to engulf every state and every business with more than fifteen employees.
I imagine that when those in this debate see a visual image, there are two very different versions.
Liberal Progressives imagine a man who has chosen to live as a woman. He dresses as a woman, wears make-up, and has implants. They imagine this person slipping into a Women’s Room, probably unnoticed, and using a stall.
Alternately, they imagine this person being forced to enter a Men’s Room, where he/she could well be derided or belittled by those not as enlightened as they are, and in some cases they are probably right.
Common Sense Family Members, on the other hand, imagine a girl or woman in the Women’s Room suddenly confronted by a man, dressed as a man, who tells her that he identifies as a woman, but nevertheless molests her. Or, and this is probably more realistic, embarasses and belittles her by showing his/her genitals, which could be particularly upsetting in a locker room. Not exactly the example of what most families support as decency and modesty for their daughters.
So long as each side only recognizes its own visual image, we will talk past each other and never find a solution.
Speaking of solutions, I believe that we have had one that has worked for decades, and could work again, if we will give a rest to the rhetoric and the coercion.
Stepping back for a moment, our nation has proven time and again that in the area where personal behavior intersects a perceived moral Truth, some sort of compromise is almost always needed in order for society to function. We can pass local laws banning or restricting alcohol, drugs and prostitution, but then there is that “part of town” where one or more of these behaviors goes on, despite being illegal. The unspoken compromise is that this behavior can go on in that area, so long as it stays there. When we tried to enforce a total national ban on alcohol with Prohibition, the resulting ascendance of organized crime, the murders and corruption, were far worse than the original perceived issue with beer and liquor.
While the analogy is not perfect, my point is that where individual behavior is concerned, it is often impossible to fashion a law that works for all of us at all times, and some common sense compromises are simply required.
For example, I imagine that cross-dressing men have been using Women’s Rooms for a very long time, resulting in virtually no cases of visible genitals or molestation. I cannot prove it, but it seems logical to me, since I have never seen such a person in a Men’s Room.
Speaking of Men’s Rooms, please notice that nowhere in this current discussion is the subject of men accosting younger men in Men’s Rooms ever mentioned. I imagine, since I experienced it myself decades ago in college and as a young person, that despite our new openness to gay behavior in society, this issue may remain far more prevalent than either of the visual images we are now discussing. As Carmen LaBerge points out about the Target boycott, when we enter any public restroom we should all expect to be protected from sexual predators in every situation, whether men, women, gays, lesbians or transgenders, and in every restroom.
And, by the way, in those ancient days it was the probability that one could not possibly always be protected that led to the Common Sense Family instruction from father to son about minding one’s own business in the restroom and departing quickly if anyone suggested any other activity. I hope that instruction is still being given (by and for both genders).
So if the risk of a girl being accosted for sex by a man dressed as a woman in a Women’s Room is probably very low, and transgender anatomical men have probably been using Women’s Rooms for a long time, how did we suddenly get embroiled in this crazy debate, with the coming exercise of the police state to go beyond restrooms and mandate young males to be on display in our daughters’ locker rooms?
For that we have the Progressives in Houston and now on the Charlotte City Council to thank. Were transgenders being prosecuted for using Women’s Rooms in either city? I can find no record of it. Or is this another case of the most intolerant members of the LGBT Community requiring total conformity and submission to their beliefs, even if no one was being harmed by the status quo, and the change defies common sense, custom, and almost universal behavior?
And let me add that the reaction to the Progressives’ unfortunate demand for submission was equally unfortunate, with a snap special session of the North Carolina legislature called, and a bill pushed through in hours with little discussion or debate.
But as unfortunate as the reaction was, I have to give credit to the LGBT extremists who, like all fascists who allow no dissent, first called out the opposition with outlandish acts, then blamed the opposition for making them “victims”.
Back in August of 2015 after the Supreme Court handed the bludgeon to LGBT advocates on Gay Marriage, I wrote: My specific request is to the many gay people of good will who are not the strident militants and who recognize that there is a huge gray area at the intersection of gay marriage and religious exercise. Please recognize that silencing and threatening those with a different view is not only un-American, but it will lead to unintended consequences that will eventually harm all of us, gay and straight.
Hopefully people of good will on both sides will continue the war of ideas, while turning away from all types of intimidation and coercion. But if they come, we must not be silent, and we must not be intimidated by bullies who want to take away our freedom and undermine our families in their ongoing attempt to prove to everyone that they are completely and totally equal.
My call now is to both sides in this debate to return to the way we were before the extremists kicked over the cans. We don’t need a law protecting transgender people in restrooms—just let them be themselves, and prosecute in the very rare case in which anyone is harmed or threatened, as we would prosecute anyone who threatened another person or caused violence in any situation. On the other hand, let’s not force people who are presumably already dealing with a lot of issues to subject themselves to embarassment and derision in the restroom, if they are basically minding their own business.
But most importantly, we don’t need a local law or a federal regulation allowing/requiring/encouraging anatomical men to have free access to women’s and girls’ locker rooms and showers. A physical male typically cannot compete on a girls’ team, whatever he believes about his gender identity, and he should not be showering with them, either.
Some LGBT people have sons and daughters. Where are their voices?
Is it really not possible for common sense to prevail here?