Saturday, May 21, 2016

How Gender Dysphoric Bathroom Access Became the Next Frontier in America's Culture Wars


This issue shouldn't even be a thing. But leave it to leftists. For them, it's permanent revolution. There's never enough "progress."

At NYT, "Transgender Americans See Their Personal Battle Become a National Showdown":

How a clash over bathrooms, an issue that appeared atop no national polls, became the next frontier in America’s fast-moving culture wars — and ultimately landed on the desk of the president — involves an array of players, some with law degrees, others still in high school.

The sweeping directive to public schools seemed to come out of nowhere. In fact, it was the product of years of study inside the government and a highly orchestrated campaign by advocates for gay and transgender people. Mindful of the role “Whites Only’’ bathrooms played in the civil rights battles of more than half a century ago, they have been maneuvering behind the scenes to press federal agencies, and ultimately Mr. Obama, to address a question that has roiled many school districts: Should those with differing anatomies share the same bathrooms?

The lobbying came to a head, according to people who were involved, in a hastily called April 1 meeting between top White House officials — led by Valerie Jarrett, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser and one of his closest confidantes — and national leaders of the gay and transgender rights movement. North Carolina had just become the first state to explicitly bar transgender people from using the bathrooms of their choice.

“Transgender students are under attack in this country,” said Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based advocacy group that is active on the issue, summing up the message he sought to convey to Ms. Jarrett that day. “They need their federal government to stand up for them.”

Ms. Jarrett and her team, he said, listened politely, but “did not reveal much,” including the fact that a legal directive on transgender rights that had been in the works for months was about to be released.

When — or precisely how — Mr. Obama personally weighed in is not clear; the White House would not provide specifics. But two days before that meeting, scores of advocacy groups sent Mr. Obama a private letter, appealing to his sense of history as he nears the end of his presidency, in which he has already advanced gay and transgender rights on multiple fronts.

“Too many students — including every single transgender, intersex, and gender-nonconforming student in North Carolina — will go to sleep tonight dreading the next school day,” the groups wrote, telling him that “your legacy will be defined by the tone you have set and the personal leadership you have shown on these issues.”

The dispute in Palatine came amid increasing confusion for school districts over how to handle questions about bathroom access for transgender students. Officials at the Department of Education said it had received hundreds of requests for guidance — so many that advocates for gay and transgender rights, frustrated by the Obama administration’s failure to issue specific policy guidelines, decided to act on their own.

In August, several groups seeking protection for transgender people — including the Human Rights Campaign, the National Education Association and the National Center for Lesbian Rights — issued a 68-page guide for schools, hoping to provide a blueprint for the White House.

At the Department of Education, Catherine E. Lhamon, 44, a former civil rights litigator who runs the agency’s Office of Civil Rights — and has made aggressive use of a federal nondiscrimination law known as Title IX — was taking the lead. The department’s ruling in favor of Student A in November was the first time it had found any school district in violation of civil rights over transgender issues.

For Student A, the federal intervention has been life changing. Her mother, who requested anonymity to protect the privacy of her daughter, said she was close to finishing her junior year and had just gone to the prom with a group of friends. (She wore a “nice, expensive dress” with a lot of sparkles, her mother said.) Student A is starting to think about which college she might attend.

“She’s in her own teenaged world right now,” her mother said.

The ruling in Palatine reverberated across the Midwest. In the South Dakota Legislature, Republicans were so alarmed by the situation in Palatine that, in February, they passed a measure restricting bathroom access for transgender students — similar to the one that later became law in North Carolina. Opponents sent transgender South Dakotans to meet with Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, and they believe that influenced his veto of the bill.

Among the visitors was Kendra Heathscott, who was 10 when she first met Mr. Daugaard, then the executive director of a social services organization that treats children with behavioral problems. In his office to lobby against the bathroom measure, she reintroduced herself. “He remembered me as a little boy,” she said.

In Wisconsin last year, another Republican-sponsored bathroom bill began to work its way through the Legislature, but was beaten back by transgender rights activists, many of them teenagers.

In rural north-central Florida, a retired veterinarian and cattle rancher named Harrell Phillips was alarmed one evening in March, when his 17-year-old son reported over dinner that he had encountered a transgender boy in the high school bathroom.

“I marched myself down to the principal,” said Dr. Phillips, who believes that “you are born into a sex that God chose you to be.”

The principal, and later the school superintendent, citing advice from lawyers, said there was nothing they could do. So Dr. Phillips turned to his best friend, a lawyer in Jacksonville, who introduced him to Roger Gannam of Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based Christian organization. Mr. Gannam represented Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses last year.

Mr. Gannam had just helped block a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance in Jacksonville, with an argument religious conservatives have been lately using to powerful effect: It would endanger women and young girls by allowing men — and even sexual predators — to pose as transgender and enter women’s bathrooms.

Ocala, where Dr. Phillips’s son attends school, is now embroiled in a fight much like the one that engulfed Palatine. The school board, at Mr. Gannam’s prodding, voted in April to require transgender students to use bathrooms that correspond with their biological sex.

One transgender young man there has been suspended for using the boys’ bathroom. The A.C.L.U. of Florida sued the day before the White House issued its directive, and last Sunday night, transgender activists and their allies held a strategy session in a church — with a sheriff’s deputy standing guard outside because attendees feared for their safety.

“It’s separate but equal, so they might as well put black and white up on the bathrooms, too,” said Beth Miller, the mother of 17-year-old Mathew Myers, formerly Madison, an R.O.T.C. student in Ocala who came out as transgender this fall by asking his sergeant to permit him to switch from a women’s uniform to one for men. The sergeant accommodated Mathew on the uniform, but the school required him to use the gender-neutral bathroom in the nurse’s office.

“I go to the guy’s bathroom all the time out in public, and no one cares,” Mathew said.
It's not "separate but equal," and it's a national disgrace, and rape of history, for leftists to appropriate the legacy of Jim Crow and slavery to push the homosexual and gender dysphoric licentiousness.

Still more.