Monday, May 23, 2016
The restroom debate continues, most recently with the response to the Departments of Justice and Education releasing guidelines instructing schools to treat transgender students according to their gender identity. The battlefield is not so much a warzone as it is wells of ignorance residing in the comments sections of conservative copypasta sites, a circle-jerk of OMGz.
Since some of the newer talking points erupting from conservative megaphones is "Libs are creating this as a smokescreen" and "Why can't we just let people decide this city by city?" [Hannity for the latter], I thought it might be instructive to take a step back and see how this actually went down.
On February 22nd, 2016, Charlotte's city council passed an ordinance (7-4) which expanded protections to the LGBT community, effectively treating sexual orientation and identity as a protected class within Charlotte. Yes, the transgender bathroom accommodation was a part of that, but only a small part. Much of the ordinance dealt with business practices and not being able to discriminate based on sexual orientation when it came to serving customers and in hiring practices.
There was some news coverage of the ordinance, but it was generally quiet and passed under the radar. It was Charlotte's business.
NC State Legislature
On March 23rd, 2016, just days before Charlotte's ordinance went into effect, the North Carolina General Assembly called both houses back in for an emergency session. They opened the circus tents, piled in front of cameras, and explained why this needed to be done. It's for the children!
NC conservatives took one piece of the Charlotte ordinance - allowing trans people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify - and confounded it with perversion, pedophilia, and molestation to proudly build their straw man. They said and repeated something to the effect of: "This will allow any man to 'identify' as a woman and walk into a women's restroom for a peepshow whenever they like - and think of the children!"
Of course, that's not anywhere near reality, either of what the Charlotte ordinance would have done or why the state had to stop it.
They passed a law shutting down Charlotte's non-discrimination policies and forbidding any other municipalities from attempting to do so in the future, claiming it was a state issue.
Deptartment of Education
On May 13th, 2016, The Departments of Justice and Education released guidelines stating transgender students could not be discriminated against, as it violates Title IX's provision prohibiting discrimination based on sex.
This is still in it's beginning stages, but the Administration has said that schools blatantly violating the guidelines could see their federal funding dollars disappear.
Pervs are going to perv. Period. They'll get caught sneaking a peak or hiding a camera, and the law will deal with them. Anyone thinking treating the trans community equally is going to suddenly make perverts realize this one new trick is naive and foolish - they're already dressing like women and getting caught in the act.
Realistically, dozens of schools and municipalities have been doing this for years. Increase in perversions or problems? None. Actually, since Target's policy on restrooms emerged and DoE came out with their guidelines, there has been one large increase in behavior: creepy conservative men, sometimes in wigs, have loudly protested and wildly barged into women's restrooms to prove it could be done. As if there was previously a police officer or gender force field keeping them from being an asshole for their YouTube Channel.
This issue, for me, has really shown a blatant hypocrisy in yet another facet of the conservative facade. They're presenting a completely unrelated story - say, girl gets choked by pedo dude in bathroom - and then uses that as a reason for more laws and more restrictions. It's kind of like what conservatives say liberals do when it comes to gun control. In this case, zero legislation would have stopped this predator from following a little girl into a restroom to choke her. That's already illegal. Making up new laws that will harm the rights of others in order to make a show for morality and old-timey values doesn't help anyone.
But the final reality of this issue and how it's playing out takes us back to where we started: Charlotte. Charlotte's ordinance was NOT just about bathrooms. Conservatives seized upon that because it could be exploited and blown large with misinformation and fear. The bigger picture is that conservatives are afraid of actual LGBT equality. Marriage was a big hurdle, and they see the avalanche. A federally-protected class is on its way, and when that happens, they will no longer be able to use the go-to excuse of religion to trump the rights of the LGBT community and justify discrimination.
And when that day comes, it will be a good one indeed.