by Pamela Romney Openshaw, Get It Right, Weekly Tuesday Column, Daily Herald
Anti-discrimination legislation is knocking at Utah’s doors. This legislation would allow members of the opposite sex into public facilities where privacy matters—boys in girls’ bathrooms, girls in boys’ locker room showers and vs. versa. You won’t like that..
Though they are not new, transgender issues are increasing. Individuals with Gender Identity Disorder wrestle with their biology in a culture that is rooted in biological reality. They deserve compassion and efforts to meet their necessities in public facilities. Our society cannot, however, jettison the needs of the rest in doing so. Utah’s considered anti-discrimination legislation will do just that—strip the privacy rights of the majority in favor of a very small minority, estimated at one-half of one percent of American youth.
Many issues surround anti-discrimination legislation, including the so-called bathroom problem—the privacy issue in public facilities. Utah’s proposed legislation would give full access of bathrooms and locker rooms to individuals according to the gender they feel they are rather than the gender they were born to be. This puts biological males and females in the same bathrooms, locker rooms and showers. That doesn’t work. Parents want their kids shielded from an inappropriate gender mix in private situations and we have separate facilities because privacy matters. Modesty is a characteristic of advanced, civilized societies and this violates modesty.
A real-life example illustrates the problem with anti-discrimination legislation. A complaint has been lodged against the activities of “Colleen Francis”, a 45 year old biological male at Evergreen State College in Washington State. The complaint alleges that Francis lounges nude with legs apart in the women’s locker room at the college in full view of coeds and girls as young as six. College authorities refuse to take action because Francis says he feels he is a woman. They ignore those who protest because Washington law protects his behavior. They say “the transgendered individual has the right to use our facilities, including the locker rooms.”
Thus the Pandora’s Box of anti-discrimination: it cajoles the few and violates the many. This is a direct breach of our Constitution and any freedom-based government—they are always majority-based. A minority-based government is called tyranny; it automatically discriminates against the many to favor the few. Wise law never creates the very thing it proposes to solve, yet in this case the law, itself, would discriminate against those who are not transgenders.
Anti-discrimination legislation is on the menu for Utah in 2015 and the Senate Rules Committee is currently assigning a bill on this topic to a sub-committee that will trek it through the state’s legislative process. The legislation hinges on one criteria: the conflicted individual “feels” he or she is the opposite gender. The proposed legislation, then, says the feelings of those individuals matter more than the feelings of the rest of us. In effect, we do not all qualify for the same rights.
The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community, which is strongly pushing anti-discrimination legislation, claims discrimination of its members but, in fact, they discriminate. They boycotted Utah author Orson Scott Card’s work when he joined the Board of Directors for the pro-traditional family National Organization for Marriage. The LGBT community engineered a public firestorm that drove Brendan Eich from Mozilla, the company he cofounded, over his personal contribution to California’s Proposition 8 several years earlier. This attack was personal, as Mozilla does not discriminate against LGBT employees.
Utah Senator Steve Urquhart (29th Senate District, Washington County), in speaking to Utah’s LGBT organization, Equality Utah, in 2013, used scripture to applaud the State’s anti-discrimination legislation he is spearheading. He quoted 2 Kings 6. Elisha’s servant decried a massed army poised against them and Elisha replied, “Fear not: for those that be with us be more than they that be with them.” Utah’s Eagle Forum says the senator compared today’s LGBT agenda with “Elisha restoring the sight, and turning the hearts of his enemies.” Senator Erquhart sympathetically declared, “Just as you gave me vision and turned my heart, we must open more eyes and turn more hearts.”
Legal experts say the statutes and policies of local communities on this matter could crumble if any Utah legislation is passed containing the phrases “sexual orientation”, “anti-discrimination” or “gender identity”. This would destroy one of the hallmarks of our federal and state Constitutions: the right of communities to set their own standards, some of which will not favor the LGBT agenda. This is not an issue of whether LGBTs can live and behave as they choose. They have that right. At issue is whether their demands will remove the rights of the rest, including the right to privacy in private places for private bodily functions.
If our legislature acts wisely, they will enact laws that give transgenders access to the physical facilities they need while not sacrificing the privacy and security of others. Logical, creative alternatives can be found, such as one designated bathroom in the school and separate times or areas in locker rooms. If LGBTs have any sense of fair play, they will join in a compromise effort. In rare circumstances where no alternative can be found and one group must yield, logic says biological reality should prevail.
There is nothing about gender disorientation that qualifies it to take away the rights of the majority. The lobby backing transgenders demands that all differences between those who live their biology and those who want to change it be removed. Society can sympathize and help, but reality is what it is. Sometimes biology can’t be undone. After all, you can’t fool Mother Nature.