October 23, 2018 - Tuesday
LGBT Plays the Erase Card
The media has an interesting way of interpreting things. When Barack Obama ignored the law, he was a hero. When Donald Trump enforces it, he's cruel. That same pattern of reporting continued yesterday when pockets of LGBT activists gathered outside the White House to protest a return to the Title IX statute that the last administration unilaterally rewrote.
"We will not be erased!" was the chant from the small crowd outside the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Like a lot of people, they'd read the shoddy piece of journalism in Sunday's New York Times claiming that President Trump was trying to define transgenders out of existence. And unfortunately, they believed it or acted like they did. The real story goes something like this: As president, Barack Obama was desperate to give special treatment to men and women who want to identify as something other than their biological gender. But, like the rest of his radical agenda, he knew it was too unpopular for Congress to play along. So, he took it upon himself to change the rules for them.
He decided, back in 2014, that he would single-handedly rewrite the 50-year-old policy on "sex" discrimination. It was one in a long line of lawless acts that made a mess of school, bathroom, housing, prison, and sports policies. What Obama did was basically decree that the 1964 Civil Rights Act now applied to anyone who identified as gay or transgender.
Now, four years later and one president later, Donald Trump's administration wants to get back to the rule of law -- in this and every other area. Like other agencies, HHS wanted to correct Obama's overreach by returning its policies back to the traditional understanding of "sex," biologically determined at birth. Not sexual orientation. Not gender identity. Nothing HHS or the president is considering is extreme – unless you think everything before Obama was trying to "define transgenders out of existence" too.
As National Review's David French points out, the Left's rhetoric is completely out of control. "Transgender people did not flash into existence on April 29, 2014, when the Obama administration altered its interpretation of Title IX. They will not flash out of existence if the Trump administration returns to traditional and intended statutory definitions." He's absolutely right. All of the hysterical language about "erasing transgender people" is misguided. Nothing in HHS's proposed policy prevents anyone from identifying as transgender. Nor is the administration taking away any rights that have been granted by Congress! It would simply be rolling back the illegitimate rewriting of the laws by Obama. As French points out:
"Every single American is still protected by every single provision of the Bill of Rights (and every other constitutional right). Every single American still enjoys the benefit of every other generally applicable statute. No one is being written out of the human race. Instead each and every objecting person possesses the unalienable right to raise his or her voice, and -- if they persuade a sufficient number of legislators -- to change the law."
"But even if the law changes, the truth does not. The Trump administration's proposed regulatory change conforms the law to the truth. Defending that truth isn't dehumanizing. It's not denying anyone's existence. It's standing athwart a lawless redefinition of biological reality and quite appropriately yelling stop."
We don't believe that "gender identity" should be a protected category comparable to race, because it isn't inborn, immutable, or in the Constitution. We also think that transgender rights should not be promoted at the expense of the rights of others -- like school children or battered women in homeless shelters. All you have to do is read the stories of little girls being attacked in restrooms to understand the legitimate harm Obama's abuse of the law has done.
Earlier this year, Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, explained that his agency's return to the law's definition of "sex" has nothing to do with respecting persons or treating them equally. "[We] obviously believe in equal rights for everybody, including the LGBT community. But we also believe in equal rights for the women in the shelters... [W]e want to look at things that really provide for everybody and [don't] impede the rights of one for the sake of the other... There were some women who said they were not comfortable with the idea of being in a shelter, being in a shower, and somebody who had a very different anatomy," he explained.
Of course, the Left will complain that without giving them a privileged status, people who identify as transgender will be fired or otherwise discriminated against. But let's remember that with such laws, other people will be punished simply for disagreeing with the radical gender ideology. When liberals argue that America should not be taking away rights from people, they need to remember that the Left wants to eliminate longstanding (and explicitly constitutional) rights to religious liberty too.
If extremists want to change the law, then they need to persuade Congress. Until then, President Trump has it right. Lawlessness -- whether on our southern border or the bathrooms of our children's schools -- threatens our safety and wellbeing. When he was asked about it yesterday, Trump said, "I'm protecting everybody." That's what our goal should be, and it's what a return to the law ensures.
For more on this story, don't miss my debate on Monday's Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream.