Bathroom Wars: Newest Front in an Old Conflict

The war for “LGBT rights” has been a long one. There have been many battles over the years.

When I was in college in the 90s I wrote a weekly opinion column for the university newspaper. I was the lone conservative, Christian voice in the editorial pages. The reoccurring moral/political topic of the day was the university’s non discrimination clause. Specifically, should it be amended to say no discrimination based on “sexual orientation” or not. Those in favor argued that recent criminal acts against homosexual students required the change. I argued that the university itself did not discriminate, that the crimes committed by individuals were already illegal, and that adding the words would only serve as a comment on the moral equivalence of all sexual orientations- a statement that was not the university’s place to make. In the end, the statement was not amended.

During that time it became increasingly clear to me that the desired outcome was not less discrimination on campus. The proponents of the change instead wanted to see their sexual orientation legitimized. In this particular case some idiots had made calls from their personal phones and left voicemails on the LGBT Student Organization phone, threatening violence with specific weapons; a Class A Misdemeanor. The organization touted this as proof of discrimination on campus, but refused to actually press charges. Punishing the crime might actually deter future criminals, or at least show that society was serious about protecting people of every sexual orientation. No, they wanted the political capital of anonymous bad guys threatening the LGBT community. (Even though the police knew exactly who had done it, and if charges had been pressed, that information would have become public.) This crime was used to further their agenda.

Around the same time there were rumblings about marriage equality. Back then, a few gay rights activists were pushing civil unions as a way to get the rights denied to same sex couples. I agreed that the government could, and even should, recognize civil unions between same sex couples. I was actually naive enough to think the fight for same sex rights was about the actual rights, not moral equivalence. Today, we know that a civil union wasn’t the goal of the LGBT lobby. They wanted to expand the definition of the word marriage. A civil union which would give the members the same rights as traditionally married couples did not accomplish their goal: they wanted homosexual couples to be seen as morally equivalent to heterosexual couples. They didn’t simply want the right to visit a sick loved one in the hospital, or access to a partner’s health insurance, or clear lines of inheritance and familial custody of children. They wanted their unions to be called marriages, just like heterosexual marriages.

Why? Because in their mind there’s no difference between a gay couple and a heterosexual couple. That’s what the LGBT activists have fought for. It was never about rights, it was about recognition.

Today, you can’t get away from the latest front on the LGBT battle for moral equivalence, the bathroom wars. With news story after news story about transgendered people being forced to use bathrooms that match their physical gender, instead of their gender identity. Stories about the president vastly over reaching his office and threatening schools with loss of federal money if they don’t adopt his administrations rules for bathroom/locker rooms. And Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, poster “boy” for transgendered individuals, visiting a public restroom owned by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

If I didn’t know better, I would think there were millions of transgendered people being forcibly turned away from bathrooms across the nation. It makes you wonder how anyone was able to go to the bathroom in peace. I can count on one hand, with fingers left over, the number of men dressed as women I’ve ever actually seen in person. I’ve never seen one in the bathroom. I’ve never been made to feel uncomfortable in a restroom. How have I lived such a reclusive life, if this is such a big problem that the United States President must weigh in?

Here’s a secret about the men’s room you ladies may not know: we don’t chat up strangers, especially if they’re in a stall. For all I know I’ve encountered hundreds of transgendered people in the bathroom. But because they looked and acted like men, I didn’t know. I don’t know how transgendered people relieved themselves before 2016, but if it was not as easy as it might be, that’s going to be a direct consequence of your gender identity being different than your actual gender. That’s not society’s fault. Blame that on nature.

Pre-2016-society said people with lady parts go to the women’s room, people with gentlemen parts go to the men’s room. Back in the 90s the gay rights movement wanted homosexuality to be seen as natural. But transgendered people can’t say it’s natural, because God, or nature if you don’t believe in God, gave them different body parts than their identity. But in 2016 we aren’t restricted by our natural body, we can identify as another gender. And now we have the Bathroom Wars.

If a person is living as a gender, and can actually pass as that gender, why do I need to know where they potty? If you look like a guy, go to the men’s room. If like a girl, the ladies. What about men with breast implants, or the like? If you look like something in between, that’s on you. Find a “family bathroom” (like the ones a lot of Targets have…) or hold it. Actions have consequences. If you’ve made alterations to your body that make it hard to know which gender you are, then you have to live with those consequences. People will continue to find a way to use the bathroom without government help, and without businesses signaling what’s OK.

But that’s not really the goal of the bathroom wars. Proponents of LGBT rights won’t be satisfied if every public bathroom is unisex. Just like the gay rights battles from decades before, the ultimate goal is to have a civilization that views every aspect of sex- behavior, identity, desire, etc…- as morally equal. Anyone who doesn’t think that way should be shut down, sidelined, called a bigot. People who are transgendered are to be considered normal. (Or at least as normal as 0.3% of the population can be.) Where they are allowed to go to the bathroom is secondary, a means to an end.

I don’t know how the bathroom wars will end, but make no mistake, this has nothing to do with who goes potty where; nothing to do with rights. It has everything to do with our culture recognizing that all gender identities are morally equivalent.


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