Bathroom Privacy and Safety for Everyone
The United We Stand… for safety, security, and privacy campaign was created by one mom as a way to rally the many voices opposed to the Obama administration’s bathroom policy, which creates a new “right” for a select group of people to choose which bathroom to use based on a personal, self-constructed gender identity. People who do not agree with President Obama’s bathroom policy were asked to call the White House Comment line and respectfully disagree.
The campaign was held July 12, but it’s not too late to participate.
I disagree with Obama’s bathroom policy, which is driven not by justice but rather by gender-identity ideology/theory. The Obama administration has created confusion around an issue that has always been clear: biological males use the men’s room, and biological females use the women’s room. Sexual orientation is irrelevant. The clothes you choose to wear and how you want to externally present yourself are irrelevant. The result of this confusion is decreased safety for women and children and a lot of (expensive and unnecessary) litigation.
Title IX’s implementing regulations permit a school to provide sex-segregated restrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, housing, and athletic teams, as well as single-sex classes under certain circumstances. When a school provides sex-segregated activities and facilities, transgender students must be allowed to participate in such activities and access such facilities consistent with their gender identity. — DOJ/DOE Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students
Following the lead of the Obama administration, local governments have started to change laws around the use of public restrooms and locker rooms. If the Charlotte City Council had not passed an ordinance to eliminate separate bathrooms for men and women in public spaces, the state of North Carolina would not have needed to pass House Bill 2, which simply put in writing what we have taken for granted and understood all these years (biological males use the men’s room and biological females use the women’s room). And now nearly half of the United States are suing the Obama administration over the bathroom free-for-all, which is what happens when we abandon common sense and reality.
That someone’s self-perception or conscious identity is at odds with their biological reality does not give them the right to choose which bathroom to use. Yes, we all need to be sensitive to the difficulties and challenges that transgender people face. Allowing people to choose whichever bathroom they want based on “gender identity” or “gender expression,” however, will not make using the bathroom safer for anyone. It will make using restrooms and locker rooms less safe for women and girls. Not because transgendered people are perverts or to be feared, but rather, through ambiguity around who may use which restroom or locker room — ambiguity that predators will exploit.
Our culture has this notion that all discrimination is inherently unjust, which is not true. Discrimination can be just or unjust. To discriminate is a function of our intelligence, and we do it all day long. We have to differentiate between what is good and bad for us. (Do you have a vegan in your family who loves to meat-shame you? Have we banned smokers from restaurants and offices? These are behaviors, and we have to determine, which behavior promotes my health and well-being and the common good of my family, community, and society.)
Question of the Day: When is discrimination just? When is discrimination unjust?
Men and women are fundamentally different (by design and on purpose). Bathrooms and locker rooms are and have always been segregated by gender precisely because of our differences in biology (not the clothes we choose to wear or our self-perceptions and expressions of masculinity and femininity). To designate separate bathrooms for men and women is just discrimination; it promotes the common good, as well as privacy and safety of individuals. This type of sex segregation has been protected by law, which is why the Charlotte City Council had to rewrite its city code.
What is unjust is to interfere with and risk the privacy of persons of the opposite sex who deserve a safe space to take care of bodily needs, such as going to the bathroom, taking a shower, or changing clothes. While efforts need to be made to create a safe place for transgender people, we must be mindful of unintended consequences that result in making all women and children less safe.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center says that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime (compared to 1 in 71 men) and that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old. We also know that rape and sexual assault are underreported crimes. The last thing women and girls need are vague, broad, and ambiguous policies and laws that allow biological men to use their restrooms and locker rooms.
There was already too much of this:
- Read Idaho transgender woman accused of recording woman in Target dressing room (Bonneville County, Idaho, July 2016)
- Read / watch Seattle man in women’s locker room cites gender rule (King County, Washington, February 2016)
- Read Man dressed as woman, arrested for spying into mall bathroom stall (Prince William County, Virginia, November 2015)
- Read University closes transgender bathrooms after peeping incidents (Toronto, Canada, October 2015)
- Read Palmdale man arrested for videotaping in women’s bathroom (Los Angeles County, California, May 2013)
All citizens should oppose unjust discrimination, but sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) laws are not the way to achieve that goal. SOGI laws are neither necessary nor cost-free. They threaten fundamental First Amendment rights. They create new, subjective protected classes that will expose citizens to unwarranted liability. Furthermore, SOGI laws would increase government interference in labor, housing, and commercial markets in ways that could harm the economy. Yet SOGI’s damage is not only economic: It would further weaken the marriage culture and the freedom of citizens and their associations to affirm their religious or moral convictions, such as that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and that maleness and femaleness are not arbitrary constructs but objective ways of being human. SOGI laws would treat expressing these widely held beliefs in certain contexts as unlawful discrimination.
— Ryan Anderson, SOGI Laws Threaten Freedom
Consider/Discuss the Issue (skip the ad hominem attack)
- Read Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Laws Threaten Freedom by Ryan Anderson (Heritage Foundation)
- Read Dept. of Justice and Dept. of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter that expands the concept of sex discrimination to include “gender identity”
- Read Safe bathrooms (Alliance Defending Freedom)
- Read Title IX (Education Amendments of 1972)
- Watch public comment at Feb. 22, 2016, Charlotte City Council meeting on its non-discrimination ordinance (item 12)
- Read Charlotte City Council Nondiscrimination Ordinance, which led the state of North Carolina to pass House Bill 2.
From Policy to Real Life
- Read Casa Ruby Employees say they were misgendered, harassed by staffers at public pool (DCist, July 2013)
- Read In Virginia, trans lobby shuts down parents over de-sexed bathrooms (The Federalist, July 2016)
- Watch College Kids Say the Darndest Things: On Identity; On Gender