Monday, May 9, 2016

The North Carolina Bathroom Issue

Today, North Carolina has announced that it is suing the US Dept. of Justice for attempting to interfere in their legislative process- specifically House Bill 2, which requires that people use the restroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate. In response, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced today at a press conference that DOJ is launching a discriminatory lawsuit against North Carolina on behalf of LGBT citizens in the state who wish to use the rest room that corresponds to the gender they identify themselves as being. This promises to be an interesting lawsuit that is sure to wind up in the Supreme Court.

I am somewhat torn on this issue as I understand it. On the one hand, I have always felt that one should use the bathroom that corresponds to their genitalia. On the other hand, North Carolina may have a problem by insisting on the gender on the birth certificate. That means that persons who have had the surgical procedure to change their gender must still use the bathroom for their original gender. On that basis, I would support the DOJ's position. I think the NC law is too restrictive.

However, had HB 2 stated that people must use the restroom that corresponds to their actual present gender, in other words, allowing people who have had the procedure to change sexes to use that which matches their new gender, then I would support North Carolina. In other words, it depends what's between your legs presently that should dictate.

For example, if I as a heterosexual male, decided I want to start using women's public restrooms, how far do you think I would get with that? Should it be any different for someone with the same genitalia as I just because they claim to identify as a woman? Maybe I could start using that defense. Just because I put on a dress does not make me a woman.

It seems to me that a compromise can be made here as I outlined above.


Anonymous said...

Something that gets lost in all of this is that there are people who are biologically female but look like men. In other words, you'd need X-ray vision to tell that they don't have a penis, as many of them even have thick beards. (In that case, they have not undergone surgery yet.) It strikes me as a mistake to have these people use the women's room. (The opposite scenario is true as well.)

I'm not worried about people who just need to go to the bathroom. If somebody behaves inappropriately and/or assaults somebody, it doesn't matter which bathroom they do it in. Let's just enforce existing laws involving assault and indecent exposure.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

If you are experiencing a mind-body split over your sexuality, you do not belong in either the male or female restrooms or locker rooms, period.

Thus, it is a reasonable accommodation to make sure there are single-use rooms available.

If you are not anatomically female, you don't belong in the ladies room. If you are not mentally female, you probably don't want to be. Vice versa for the males.

Gary Fouse said...

How much is it going to cost us to build a third bathroom everywhere? In fact, wouldn't we have to build four? It never ends as we continue to invent new gender identities.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Oh, it will cost some money, but there is a medical diagnosis, and I would treat it as a disability, which means a "reasonable accommodation." To open up the women's dorm showers to individuals with male organs who "identify as female" is an UNreasonable accommodation.