America’s culture wars have a new battlefield: the bathroom.
North Carolina’s House Bill 2 was passed in March. It requires people to use public bathrooms corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificate.
That means, if someone was born a boy, they can only enter men’s restrooms, even if they have fully transitioned to the opposite gender. The same goes for women now living as men.
Transgender people say this discriminates against them and puts them in physical danger.
The U.S. Justice Department evidently agrees and has notified North Carolina’s governor that House Bill 2 violates the Civil Rights Act and other federal anti-discrimination laws.
Supporters of the law say it is simply designed to protect women and children from sexual predators. They say child predators might simply act transgender in order to get access to children in public restrooms.
So far, there have been no documented incidents of this happening in the 12 states that already have non-discrimination laws on the books.
North Carolina officials have been given a deadline of Monday to decide whether they will enforce House Bill 2, or risk forfeiting billions of dollars in federal aid.
10 months after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage throughout the United States, transgender rights may be on a trajectory that could land it on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Everyone Poops. No One Should Be Stigmatized or Criminalized when they Answer Natures Call
Susan Stryker – Los Angeles Times
Since the Supreme Count ruled in favor of same-sex marriage last year, we have seen a significant backlash against LGBT rights. The recent passage of discriminatory legislation in North Carolina has received the bulk of media attention, but in the first few months of 2016, legislatures in 22 states introduced bills that seek to roll back equal rights, with transgender people often singled out for especially harsh treatment. Prurient fantasies of men masquerading in dresses to stalk sexual prey in the ladies’ room are trotted out in support of laws preventing transgender people from using restrooms that match their appearance and identity.
In 19th- and early 20th-century cities, the proliferation of gender-segregated public toilets depended not just on the development of modern sanitation infrastructure, but on the movement of women into the public realm as wage-earners, consumers and voters. Jim Crow laws segregated public toilets by race until the civil rights movements of the 1960s abolished that practice.
The Department of Justice Just Declared War on North Carolina
David French – National Review
[T]he EEOC last year unilaterally declared that “Equal access to restrooms is a significant, basic condition of employment, and that denying transgender individuals access to a restroom consistent with gender identity discriminates on the basis of sex in violation of Title VII.”
Is there a single person who believes that the Congress that passed Title VII believed that it was doing away with the distinction between male and female — making it completely dependent on individual preference — and thus granting men access to women and girls in bathrooms, lockers, and showers?
Caitlyn Jenner Goes to School
Nicholas Kristof – The New York Times
The meeting was a collision of sorts: a wealthy transgender celebrity encountering a group of low-income L.G.B.T. teenagers of color, coming from different worlds but sharing anxieties and pain.
The students challenged Jenner, and some had earlier pulled down a photo of Jenner from a wall because they felt she wasn’t doing enough for L.G.B.T. people. Jenner spoke with the students for hours, winning them over by airing differences (and taking selfies with them) while also bonding over common concerns — like the North Carolina bathroom law.
“There are three Republicans who have been arrested in men’s bathrooms for lewd behavior,” Jenner noted. “So, you know, maybe we should kind of ban the Republicans from going in there!”
Weighing in on ‘Restroom Wars’
Florian Deltgen, PhD. – Outer Banks Sentinel
Although I tend to come down on the side of individual and minority rights, in this case I believe that it is neither just nor fair to trample on the rights of a large majority of normal women to accommodate the demands of a miniscule minority of men with biological or socio-psychological identity problems. It opens the door to abuse, discomfort, insecurity, sexual harassment and predatorship, because of the completely subjective criterion. I think the use of public-hygiene facilities should be based on phenotype, on anatomy, not genotype or subjective idiosyncrasies.
Why is it that progressives refuse to accept practical solutions that do the least harm to the largest number of people? It is because they see problems like this one as just another opportunity in the war on traditional (Judeo-Christian) culture, its values and behavioral patterns.
A Community in Danger: Why Bathrooms Aren’t the Issue in HB2
Ivy Hill – Mountain Express (Asheville, NC)
House Bill 2 is about so much more than restrooms….
Gender is not only a deep piece of our personal identities; it’s also deeply ingrained in nearly everything we do both consciously and subconsciously. Think about what happens when someone says she’s pregnant — invariably, one of the first questions is, “Is it a boy or a girl?”…
It’s exhausting (think about having to explain the most basic parts of who you are many times a day), and it’s often scary (the real issue with bathrooms is the high rate at which trans folks are harassed and attacked in them). This is part of why transgender folks disproportionately experience disparity in so many areas from housing to employment to suicide rates to violence, to name a few.