The dreaded "bathroom issue" has reared its ugly head again, this time in Gainsville, Florida. About a year ago, the city council there passed an ordinance that, among other things, granted "transgender people" the right to use whatever bathroom they choose. Now, a conservative group has started an effort to repeal the law. As part of this effort, they have put out a very controversial commercial. The thing is, the conservative group raises a vaild point.
Now, I know that is remark is going to be taken as heresy by the transgender crowd, but that is just another example of how short sighted they can be. This ad exposes a very real problem with this law, but it is one that the transgender activists want to ignore, or perhaps pretend is not really there, but it is there, and it needs to be addressed.
The law simply states that access to facilities cannot be prohibited on the basis of, among other things, gender identity. It does include an exception where nudity is unavoidable, such as dressing rooms and showers.
The problem is, the conservative groups have targeted the very obvious flaw in this law. It is simply too vague. Now, it is very possible, even probable, that this is not their actual purpose, but it is still true. The transgender activists have, of course, been raising a howl. They are complaining that they are being portrayed as "sexual predators." But the strange thing is, that is not what is happening at all. I really don't see where they are remotely suggesting that "transgender people" are going to be doing something wrong. What they are pointing out, and quite rightly so, is that as the law is written, it allows anyone to enter any bathroom, and simply claim that at the moment they did so, they have a certain gender identity. And that is obviously a problem.
The commercial that has everyone up in arms does not even remotely portray a transgender person, at least not obviously. It shows a man, clearly presenting as a man, entering a women's room. I certainly don't think that is what the law was intended to protect. But, it is exactly what this poorly written law would allow.
So, what is the answer to this sort of problem? Some would simply say that anyone born male should be forced to use the men's room. That would do serious, and grevious harm to those born with HBS. So, as is often the case, we are caught between two extremes. Obviously a compromise is needed.
The proper answer is quite simple. The law should simply put reasonable restrictions on who is, and is not, allowed to use a bathroom that does not match their anatomic sex. It should be restricted to those who are undergoing treatment for HBS or transsexualism, who have started the real life test and are thus living full time as a female. Tranvestites, so-called non-ops, and those who identify as gender queer would either use the restroom appropriate to their birth sex, or else need to find a unisex restroom (which are increasingly provided in public places for situations where assistance is needed, and the care provider my not be the same sex).
This would solve the problem for everyone. The religious right would have less to complain about, those who really need to have this right would receive it, and it should reallty do no harm to those who wish to identify as women while retaining their penises. In fact, it would give those who are gender rebels a chance to be very "out, loud, and proud." And most importantly, it would remove a defense that could be used by those who might abuse it.
Would this make everyone happy? No, of course not. But it would do what is right, and accomplish what was probably originally intended,