The so-called “Bathroom Bills” passed by a number of cities and states have been big news recently. The state of North Carolina is the latest. Each state’s approach has been different, so I’ll comment most on the North Carolina efforts. In brief, here’s the issue;
It’s helpful to remember that the North Carolina legislature did not start this fight! The city of Charlotte, NC passed an ordinance, pushed by LGBT activists permitting the use of bathroom and locker rooms based on a person’s gender choice, not on their biological gender. This law applied to public facilities, schools, corporations and non-profits. The idea was to accommodate transgender men and women who may be physically male for example, but do not think of themselves mentally or emotionally as being male, but female. (The reverse is true for women).
As Christians, we ought to have great sympathy for transgender people. I can’t imagine what it is like to be a woman mentally, living in a male body, or vise versa. This gender confusion is not a choice they consciously make. It’s just the way they are, people, like all of us who’ve been damaged by sin because of the fall. And it’s also important to understand that transgender people are not, in the strictest sense of the word, homosexuals! Does that surprise you? It’s true that transgender people are attracted to their same sex, based on their own physical characteristics, but mentally and emotionally they are attracted to their opposite sex. Yes, it’s complicated!
Transgender people got attached to the gay and lesbian movement when homosexuals saw transgender people as another minority who face sexual ridicule and discriminations, so they got added to the LGBT descriptor.
In any case, apparently transgender people feel uncomfortable using restrooms and lockers that don’t correspond with their gender identity. Let’s give transgender people the benefit of the doubt that it’s difficult for them.
HB2 So in response to Charlotte’s ordinance, the North Carolina legislation almost immediately passed “The Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act” (HB2). This is a law against “local” bathroom laws, believing Charlotte’s ordinance went too far and fearing every municipality would enact different laws and there would be chaos. Within weeks almost 160 national corporations and organizations threatened to boycott doing business in North Carolina, including Apple and Starbucks.
But here’s the crux of the issue; this “Human Rights Campaign” has the audacity to claim that transgender men, who appear physically to be men, have the human right to have access to women and girls public bathrooms and locker rooms and vice versa. Furthermore, it’s discriminatory to deny them this access.
Moderates in this campaign offered this solution; remodeling every public facility in the state to offer single use (one person at a time) bathrooms, and locker rooms with showers. And yes, that is a solution. But forcing every school and corporation to spend tens of thousands of dollars to accommodate a person who simply feels uncomfortable in a normal bathroom is outrageous. Yes, we have “handicapped bathrooms” but those are needed because some handicapped people, literally cannot go to the bathroom without them! And some public places offer, family restrooms, but those are not required by law.
If there is a bathroom law in your state, and you deny access by transgender people to locker rooms or bathrooms, you may be committing a “hate crime.” The Christian Legal Society reports lawsuits across the country, even when reasonable accommodations have been made, because transgender people want to feel normal, and using a separate bathroom facility makes them feel separate and is degrading.
This is a problem that won’t go away, so the following are four very practical talking points for you as you think about this issue. You may want to forward them to your Bible Study group or friends and then talk about this with them and your family. Talking Points
This is a privacy issue – not discrimination. Imagine giving every high school or college boy or any man for that matter, free access to girls bathrooms or locker rooms. Guys just walking in on girls in the shower, or dressing! “That won’t happen,” bathroom law advocates say because the transgender population isn’t that big. Frankly, I’m not overly concerned about abuse by transgender people. I’m far more concerned that there’s nothing to stop any person, including heterosexuals who claim, even temporarily, to identify as transgender from walking into any locker room. Who’s going to stop them if we can’t use physical appearance to sort them out? Are there going to be people at the entrances all day, every day, checking birth certificates, or making a psychological evaluation of the gender identity of each person who walks in? Seriously, no public or corporate bathroom or locker room will be safe from any “peeping Tom.”Here’s a frightening thought; in every elementary school, when an adult visits the school, which bathroom do they use? Often the same bathroom as 3rd and 4th graders, right? So what’s to keep a heterosexual man, and a predator, from entering your child’s school and using your daughter’s bathroom? Unless the school provides an adults only bathroom, the answer is almost nothing!
All good laws discriminate against behavior, not people. This is not the “new racism” as some claim. Behavior is not a race. We regulate behavior in every law in the U.S., from traffic laws to serious felonies. In these laws, we are declaring some behaviors dangerous or inconsiderate of others rights. Ironically, bathroom laws actually discriminate against women and children, making bathrooms unsafe for them. Again, while this issue has been pushed by the LGBT rights activists, our real concern should be for the dangers posed by heterosexual predators.
Separate facilities keep us from temptation. I can’t believe I even have to say this, but the reason we’ve always had separate bathrooms is due to the biological and sexual differences between men and women. Separate facilities, not only give privacy, but help keep each sex from sexual temptation.“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38 HB2 simply says, people may only use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex they physically appear to be, or is on their birth certificate. (And many states are even offering transgender people the opportunity to change their birth certificate or drivers license, if they have a sex change or medical or psychological proof of gender identity.)
Ask questions when discussing this issue with those who support equal access for all.
Are you okay with a person who appears to be a boy or man, seeing your daughter in the shower or watching her dress?
Who will be responsible for making sure every man (or woman) who claims to be transgender, actually is?
By having separate facilities for men and women, as is the case now, is there any transgender person who is denied the use of a bathroom that corresponds to their obvious physical sex?
If not, what’s the problem? Does it really make sense to rob the privacy of almost every woman or girl in a state, to accommodate the feelings of 1% of the population, at best?
Please don’t feel guilty if you believe these laws defy common sense. They do! And resist the urge to make this another “Gay problem” that makes you angry. This issue is being driven by corporations, led by political correctness gone crazy. These laws do more to violate the right to privacy and safety of every woman and child in the country, than help transgender people. In fact my concern as a follower of Jesus is that Christians will harden their hearts even more against the LGBT community, especially those who are not yet Christians.
How following Jesus works in real life.
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