Several weeks ago the Obama administration issued a directive to all educational institutions requiring them to comply with federal rules regarding facilities for trans-gender individuals. Failure to comply will result in loss of critical federal funding. Federal and state courts, as well as various government agencies, have made decisions and issued rules recognizing the rights of those claiming to be trans-gender. Until quite recently such decisions and claims would have been unimaginable. Now they are recognized and sanctioned. However, that is not what I want to focus on.
The most troubling aspect of this situation is the extreme position taken by our federal and state governments. Most of the government and media discussion has focused on the right of trans-gender individuals to have their sexual identity recognized. Trans-gender males who identify themselves as females must be recognized by employers, co-workers and government agencies as females. Trans-gender females who identify as males must be recognized by employers, co-workers and government agencies as males. Biology is overruled by the individual’s perception of himself/herself. The federal standards go far beyond simply sanctioning the rights of trans-gender individuals to choose or express their gender identity. These rules effectively force the rest of society to recognize and adopt the same viewpoints, even if we disagree with them.
Much of the media attention has focused on fears about men using women’s restrooms, and women using men’s restrooms. The federal government is taking the position that it is impermissible to distinguish between those who are biologically male or female, and those who subjectively perceive themselves to be male or female. By taking this position the government is rejecting centuries of accepted social practice. It is ignoring social and cultural values that have guided society for countless generations. It also ignores the indisputable biological and physical reality that almost all individuals are born as females or males.
I wouldn’t have any problem with the government requiring schools and government facilities to provide appropriate restroom facilities for use by individuals identifying themselves as trans-gender. I believe that most citizens would see and accept the reasonableness of such a standard. The problem is that the government has gone far beyond that. It is declaring that the views of trans-genders is the correct one, and the views of the 99.7% of society who are not trans-genders is wrong. The rest of us must change our beliefs and views. Why should those persons holding traditional gender identity values be compelled to accept the very different identity and values of trans-gender persons? The bottom line is that the government is now “picking winners” on many social issues. By doing so, it is attacking and undermining traditional values and standards.
Not surprisingly, the federal government hasn’t thought its way through this issue. This latest Executive Order is going to create a host of problems. The “Affirmative Action” programs are designed to give preferences to minorities, including women. Now a biological male can instantly become a female simply by declaring himself to be one. That will entitle him to the benefits and protections intended for women. Title IX was enacted to require schools to provide equal athletic programs for females. How will that work now that each individual can unilaterally decide whether he or she is male or female? In addition, most athletic sanctioning bodies require hormone testing to verify the gender of each competitor. How will that work when the federal government says that biological gender doesn’t matter? Can the US field teams for the Olympics or other international competitions? How is the NCAA supposed to deal with this?
Let’s push this policy to its extreme conclusion. Can a biological male identify himself as a female to obtain an Affirmative Action preference? Can he(she) then claim that he(she) is also a transvestite, who dresses as a male? Can he(she) then marry a biological female and claim that it is a same-sex marriage? Where is all of this going to end? Given the federal government’s position, I don’t see how it could reject those claims. What do you think?