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Government Shouldn’t Decide Who Uses Which Bathroom by Doug Bandow

There’s Simply No Single Right Answer.

The North Carolina legislature voted in March to require that people use the bathroom designated for their biological sex. The state was criticized for violating gay and transgender rights. The Obama administration may cut federal education, housing, and transportation aid to North Carolina in response.

Bathroom use has been an issue in other states, including Illinois, Texas, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Dakota. Legislation proposed and passed differs by state on how to define gender — ranging from chromosomes to birth certificate to anatomical sex. Obviously, people can’t change their chromosomes. They can, however, change their gender identity and its associated physical traits, which is where the controversy begins.

The president’s position appears to be that people have a legal right to use the bathroom of their choice, regardless of their gender, however defined. With the club of federal funding, he is attempting to socially engineer America.

This is central planning run riot.

Good people should approach anyone in the midst of gender change with humility and compassion. For most of us, it is unimaginable what would cause someone to desire to shift genders. It is a personal issue of the most profound nature. It shouldn’t be debated and decided in the public square.

And politicians aren’t doing a good job addressing the question. It may not make sense to most people for someone who looks like a guy to use the ladies room, however he sees himself, but neither does it seem right to force someone who looks like a guy to use the ladies room because he was born female. And it certainly makes no sense to let one person or group of people force everyone else to comply with their preference, even when that group is a majority of voters.

Bathroom use shouldn’t be a question for bureaucrats, politicians, lawyers, or judges to answer.

Who should use which bathroom? If it’s in your home, you decide. Likewise, a private company or other private organization should set the rules for its building. What does the owner want? What do customers or members prefer? What is the best way to balance competing interests given the community’s dominant moral sense?

Most people in most places probably believe that people should use the bathroom that matches their physical characteristics, whether changed or not. And we know from the current debate that many (if not most) people prefer not to share a bathroom with someone who appears to be of the other sex, irrespective of the gender with which he or she identifies.

However, one can imagine a “progressive” individual, business owner, or group deciding otherwise. And whether that decision reflected special solicitude for vulnerable individuals or a desire to shape public attitudes, it would be no cause for complaint.

There’s simply no single right answer — and no justification for government to intervene in such intimate, private decisions.

What about bathrooms in public facilities, such as a government office, school, airport, or military base? These are all theoretically “owned” by everyone. Everyone has a stake in the issue — and thus a “right” of some sort — but there’s no accepted, overarching principle that determines with whom you must share a bathroom. A local majority may need to rule in such cases, but someone will always be unhappy with the result, especially if the relevant decision-makers are far away, protected from the consequences.

For Washington pols to insist that, say, teenage girls in a small town in downstate Illinois accept as a bathroom mate a child who appears to be a boy is an act of extraordinary chutzpah. The girls’ refusal to do so does not necessarily reflect malevolent discrimination; it may simply be an understandable reaction to basic biology. Politicians have no right to impose their particular agenda.

Of course, differing opinions don’t justify ignoring the interests of those in the midst of gender change, whether it involves surgery or not. Access to a bathroom is critical for almost everything people do — going to school, working outside your home, going shopping, and traveling. Some kind of accommodation should be made. But what kind?

Again, there’s no single solution that fits every public establishment, let alone private entity, across the country. Larger buildings could offer more options, such as separate bathrooms, like family-friendly single facilities. Communities and student bodies differ in attitudes and openness. Even those who are transgender may desire different outcomes in different circumstances.

Most important, all participants need to demonstrate understanding and sensitivity. No one of goodwill wants to add to the distress of someone changing gender. At the same time, those going through the process should not try to use government to impose their preference on schoolmates, neighbors, coworkers, and others. People should look for alternatives and compromises to work it out. Compromise, compassion, private property rights, and decentralized decision-making are enough to resolve this issue.

Politicians already control education, manage health care, provide social services, and underwrite businesses — and now they even decide who should use which bathroom. It’s time to return life’s most important decisions to the people. A good place to start would be keeping government out of our bathrooms.

Doug BandowDoug Bandow

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of a number of books on economics and politics. He writes regularly on military non-interventionism.

RELATED ARTICLES:

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What will happen when a Muslim girl showers with a male who thinks he’s a girl?

Three reasons why Trump’s support of transgender bathrooms is wrong

EDITORS NOTE: Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL-District 16) did an email survey of constituents on the issue of transgender bathrooms. Here is the question and responses as of May 16th, 2016:

Do you support the new Obama administration directive requiring all public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice?
  • Strongly support
 23.16%
  • Somewhat support
  8.39%
  • Somewhat oppose
  5.59%
  • Strongly oppose
 62.84%

Homosexuality Is the New Black

In order to have a fully functioning society, we must have some common baseline of beliefs that join us together, whether it’s a fraternity, a church, or a political party. Without this commonality, belonging to a group or a society is impossible.

We hold these trues to be self-evident: the Earth is round, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Barack Obama is the president of the United States, and if you are born with a penis you are a male. If you are born with a vagina you are a female.

Oh-oh! These last two are going to get me in trouble. Now I will be called homophobic, hateful, un-Christian, a divider, not fit for public service, unfit for management in corporate America, etc., but the question is, “Why?”

In God’s senility, he has become so old and feeble that he is making a lot of mistakes. He is mistakenly putting penises on girls and vaginas on boys. As the philosopher Protagoras argued, “Man has become the measure of all things.” This was the essence of the philosophy called relativism.

Many Christians and conservatives have willingly bowed at the altar of political correctness for political gain. Why do we feel the need to apologize for not wanting a man going to same bathroom as our 14 year-old daughter? Why do we feel the need to apologize for not wanting a woman going to the same bathroom as our 16 year-old son?

Spineless corporate America has never shown in any principles when it has come to issues of right and wrong. They respond only to profit and liberal orthodoxy. Why would a business oppose legislation describing those born with a penis as male and those born with a vagina as female?

These orbiters of “moral hypocrisy” have come out of the closet, literally, against the state of North Carolina because their governor, Pat McCrory, recently signed legislation codifying the biological principle of male and female.

How this bill, HB2, is being described as hateful and discriminatory is baffling to me. Singer Bruce Springsteen has made this his cause célèbre by cancelling his upcoming concert in Greensboro, North Carolina. Bruce seemed to have gotten laryngitis when it came to the lack of any Black actor nominees for the past two years for the Academy Awards, but I digress.

If the corporate community showed the same amount of outrage over the “real” discrimination towards the Black community, we would have more Blacks in the executive suites and on their corporate boards.

According to 2013 research by Richard L. Zweigenhaft of Guilford College, the board of directors of Fortune 500 companies are 87.2 percent White (about 75 percent male), 6.8 percent Black (5.3 percent male), 3.1 percent Latino (2.4 percent male), and 2.4 percent Asian (2 percent male).

Now let’s look at sports.

Based on 2013 research from Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, 19 percent of NBA players are White, but 98 percent of majority owners and 64 percent of the league office staff is White. In comparison, Blacks account for 76 percent of NBA players, and roughly 2 percent of majority owners and 18 percent of league office staff. In the NFL, Whites account for 30 percent of the players and 97 percent of majority owners. Even though 66 percent of NFL players are Black, not a single majority owner in the NFL is African American. When it comes to diversity in ownership, coaching positions and league office staff in the NBA and the NFL, Hispanics and Asians often fare worse.

Blacks account for 13.2 percent of the U.S. population, Hispanics make up 17.4 percent of the population and Asians account for 5.4 percent of the population. Homosexuals are estimated to be 3 percent of the U.S. population, but corporations are more aggressively seeking diversity based on sexual preferences than other measures of diversity.

Based on the above numbers, corporations, the NBA and the NFL should focus more on the lack of diversity among Blacks and Latinos on their corporate boards and the ownership and management of professional sporting teams;, not on this radical leftist agenda to allow confused people to go into bathrooms with people of the opposite sex.

The homosexual community has done a masterful job at the old art of bait and switch. They have portrayed their issue as one of equality, but their real goal is to obtain “legal status” as a protected class in order to get their radical agenda codified into law. All this other stuff is simply background noise.

Isn’t it amazing that former homosexual football player, Michael Sam, recently told Attitude Magazine, “It’s terrible. You want to be accepted by other people, but you don’t even accept someone just because of the color of their skin? I just don’t understand that at all. How are you saying that, “oh, I want people to accept me because I’m gay, but I don’t accept you because you’re Black or because you’re White or because you’re Asian.”

But yet, the corporate community throws millions of dollars at the white homosexual community despite their well-known discrimination of Black homosexuals. Can someone please reconcile this fact for me?

These same corporations that are criticizing HB2 in North Carolina are actively doing and pursuing business in countries that are the most repressive in the world in their treatment of homosexuals.

The NBA plays several exhibition games in China and spends millions of dollars advertising in this country. Google, PayPal, Facebook, Delta Airlines, Hilton Hotels, and Coca-Cola do millions of dollars of business in Saudi Arabia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.

So, if they are so concerned about the treatment of homosexuals, why do they do business in these repressive countries?

This has nothing to do with equality and everything to do with the politics. Homosexuals don’t deserve special treatment based on their sexual preferences, but they do deserve equal treatment based on their humanity.

RELATED VIDEO: Homosexuality – Persons with same sex attractions deserve our respect and compassion. But the militant gay movement’s message that ‘gay’ is good is completely false. This lie is confusing society and hurting the individuals themselves.

RELATED ARTICLE: What goes on at a school “gay straight alliance” club event? Here’s the horrific truth.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Black Press USA.