Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Why Bathrooms Matter

From The Weekly Standard:
There is a lesson in this, especially for Republicans. The left is in the process of overreaching on an issue that the average voter cares about, deeply. People might be able to rationalize supporting same-sex marriage by telling themselves that, even if it’s not their thing, it makes no difference to them what gay couples do. But if you’re a woman using the locker room at the gym, it might matter quite a lot if a man who says he’s a woman on the inside is using the shower next to you.

And no matter how progressive and fair-minded you are, if you’re a parent, you probably don’t want boys who say they’re girls competing against girls in field hockey or basketball or some contact sport where weight and muscle-mass exist independent of deep, personal feelings about identity. Come to think of it, you probably don’t want your daughter being forced to share a shower or a locker room with a boy, either.

The day before the election last week, the New York Times ran a front-page story about a school district in Palatine, Illinois, that has tried valiantly to accommodate the transgender agenda. Township High School District 211 has agreed to refer to a male student as a female at all times. It allowed the student to join girls’ sports teams. It allowed the student to use the girls’ locker room. The only concession the school requested was that the student shower and change behind a curtain.

The student filed a complaint under Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex-discrimination in schools. And the Obama Department of Education took the student’s side, stating, “All students deserve the opportunity to participate equally in school programs and activities—this is a basic civil right. Unfortunately, Township High School District 211 is not following the law because the district continues to deny a female student the right to use the girls’ locker room.” The school has been given 30 days to comply.

So it is now a “basic civil right” for any boy to be granted equal access to girls’ locker rooms. And if any of the girls, or their parents, are made uncomfortable by this new right? Tough, says the Department of Education.

We have reached a bizarre moment in our politics, where the “progressive” left resists having conservative speakers on a college campus because they make students feel “unsafe,” but insists that boys who identify as girls be allowed to shower with girls in the public schools, and misgivings must be educated away, or litigated into submission.

We have also reached a moment where, whatever the majority of its voters may think, the Democratic party may be unable, as a practical political matter, to do anything but trumpet “transgender rights.” Have you seen Hillary Clinton’s denunciation of overreach by the Obama Education Department? We didn’t think so. (Read more.)

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