Attorney General Janet Lynch argued May 9 that any one person’s desire to choose a male or female “gender identity” is more important than Americans’ right to sexual privacy in shared public facilities, such as bathrooms and school locker rooms.
“This action is about a great deal more than just bathrooms,” Lynch declared Monday, as she announced a lawsuit against a compromise sexual privacy bill in North Carolina that sets a clear rule for when people can use bathrooms reserved for the other sex. Lynch did not offer any alternative rule in her speech, but instead made an open-ended claim that a person’s choice of “gender identity” overrules communities’ sexual privacy rules.
This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we, as a people and as a country, have enacted to protect them – indeed, to protect all of us. And it’s about the founding ideals that have led this country – haltingly but inexorably – in the direction of fairness, inclusion and equality for all Americans.
This unprecedented federal power-grab over the nation’s civic culture — and of the nation’s toilets and bathrooms, K-12 locker rooms and showers, and of retail stores’ changing rooms — is likely intended to boost progressive anger and political action before November 2016.
That’s partly because some progressives view the issues of “transgender rights” — more accurately, the right to choose a “gender identity” — as a matter of fundamental fairness to a tiny minority. As few as 1 in every 2,400 Americans want to live and dress like members of the opposite sex, according to a study of the 2010 census.
But Lynch is also risking a huge rebuke from the public, which is increasingly opposed to the forced removal of single-sex bathrooms and K-12 facilities and retail changing rooms.
On Monday, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory rejected Lynch’s demand that he discard the state’s sexual privacy law, and he called on business groups and the U.S. Congress to reject President Barack Obama’s campaign to create a new legal right to “gender identity” via agency policy statements, not by laws passed in Congress.
“Our nation is dealing with a very new complex and emotional issue — how to balance the expectations of privacy and equality in one of the most private areas of our lives, restrooms, locker rooms or public shower facilities,” McCrory said in a May 9 press conference.
“Right now, the Obama administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set basic restroom policies, locker room policies and even shower policies for public and private employers across the country, not just in North Carolina,” he said.
With a defensive lawsuit, “I anticipate our own legislature, other private sector entities from throughout the United States, and possibly other states, to join us in seeking that clarification,” he said.”It is time for the U.S. Congress to bring clarity to our national anti-discrimination provisions,” he added.
On Fox New’s Sunday May 8 show. McCrory described Obama’s gender policy as bullying. “There is no clear [federal] identification or definition of gender identity… It’s the federal government being a bully.”
McCrory is getting support from mainstream groups. “If the White House can dictate the bathroom policies of America, what could possibly be beyond their reach? … The governor rightly asserts that the Obama team can’t simply rewrite a 50-year-old law [against sex discrimination] to suit their agenda,” said a statement from the Family Research Council.
Obama and Lynch are pushing their claim for a “gender identity” right by targeting the compromise law in North Carolina that defines when people can use the bathroom reserved for the other sex.
That law, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, or HB2, says people can use the single-sex facilities reserved for the sex marked on their birth certificates. That law preserve sexual privacy for adults, teenagers and children in single-sex bathrooms and showers and locker rooms. But it is also a compromise because it allows people to use bathrooms designated for the opposite sex if they first change the sex on their birth certificates.
Under a 2005 state law, people can change their legal sex once they’ve undergone medical procedures.
(b) A new certificate of birth shall be made by the State Registrar when …
(4) A written request from an individual is received by the State Registrar to change the sex on that individual’s birth record because of sex reassignment surgery, if the request is accompanied by a notarized statement from the physician who performed the sex reassignment surgery or from a physician licensed to practice medicine who has examined the individual and can certify that the person has undergone sex reassignment surgery.
But Lynch and her progressive allies seems to oppose any test, rule, limits or definition on a person’s freedom to pick their “gender identity,” such as North Carolina’s compromise birth-certificate guideline. In fact, progressive education officials in Oregon have just released regulations that says teachers should comply with ‘gender identity’ choices by minors in K-12 schools, and even hide the information from the parents.
Lynch is so opposed to the birth-certificate guideline in North Carolina’s privacy and security bill that she mischaracterized the 2005 law in her Monday press conference to hide the birth certificate compromise. She said, misleadingly, that,
The North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 2 in special session on March 23 of this year. The bill sought to strike down an anti-discrimination provision in a recently-passed Charlotte, North Carolina, ordinance, as well as to require transgender people in public agencies to use the bathrooms consistent with their sex as noted at birth, rather than the bathrooms that fit their gender identity.
The phrase, “as noted,” implies that people cannot change their legal sex, and it hides the existence of the right to change the legal sex on birth certificates.
Lynch talked about the right to privacy, but only to complain that single-sex facilities can create privacy problems for people who are using facilities designated for the opposite sex.
The privacy and security bill “placed North Carolina in direct opposition to federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity. More to the point, they created state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals, who simply seek to engage in the most private of functions in a place of safety and security – a right taken for granted by most of us,” she complained.
Lynch’s uncompromising demand may be intended to maximize the emotional and political impact on progressives before the 2016 election, many of whom are backing Sen. Bernie Sanders’ demands for an economic revival after eight lackluster years of Obama’s economy.
But Obama, Lynch and many progressives, are eager to portray any effort by a majority of nation’s population of 310 million Americans to protect their sexual privacy as merely crude “discrimination” against the less-than-one-percent of Americans who want to pick their own “gender identity.”
So Lynch used her May 9 press conference to portray North Carolina as a racist swamp for passing the popular compromise law that protects people’s privacy and safety in shared single-sex facilities.
This is not the first time that we have seen discriminatory responses to historic moments of progress for our nation. We saw it in the Jim Crow laws that followed the Emancipation Proclamation … State-sanctioned discrimination never looks good in hindsight. It was not so very long ago that states, including North Carolina, had signs above restrooms, water fountains and on public accommodations keeping people out based upon a distinction without a difference. We have moved beyond those dark days, but not without pain and suffering and an ongoing fight to keep moving forward.
Left-wing sex-related advocacy groups are cheering Obama’s transgender policy. For example, the the Human Rights Campaign, a D.C.-based group that seeks to increase the status of gay and lesbians, declared “North Carolina has the unfortunate distinction of becoming the first state in the country to enact a law attacking transgender students.”
Many progressives — and corporate executives — are eager to change the subject from the economy by launching a war against Americans’ sexual-privacy.
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