Transgender Civil Rights Come to Massachusetts

Transgender groups in Massachusetts have been lobbying for Transgender Equal Rights "designed to help gender-confused individuals," in particular those who are faced with restrictive male/female categories on public restroom doors. The State Legislature declined to vote on the so-called Bathroom Bill, but a more broadly worded "civil rights" bill passed this week.

The Boston Globe reports:

After six years of lobbying on Beacon Hill, the state's transgender community yesterday won civil rights protections that have long been extended to other minority groups.

The bill, now on its way to the governor's desk, will forbid discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment, and credit. It will also add gender identification to the state's hate crimes law.

State Representative Mark Lombardo (R-Billerica), an opponent of the bill, pointed out on the Howie Carr radio show that "transgender" does not include transsexuals who have gone through surgery; these people are legally considered to be their new sex. Rather, transgendered individuals "identify" with a gender other than the sex that was "assigned...usually at birth and based on their genitals" (Wikipedia). Transgender activists have created numerous categories to describe the various stages along the gender continuum: "other," "agender," "genderqueer," "third gender," "transvestite," drag king or queen," "androgyne" and "bigender."

What it comes down to therefore is how you feel on any particular day about your sex.  If you feel like a boy on Monday, you ought to have the right, according to activists, to use the boys' bathroom at school.

I don't pretend to understand or judge a person experiencing gender confusion.  At the extreme end, those who go through with surgery, I would hope, experience more than momentary confusion.  For the most part, it doesn't affect my life; the parade of transvestite and transgender  exhibitionists in Provincetown seems harmless enough -- don't go to P-town if you object, or don't bring the kids.  It's even understandable that transgender advocates would attempt to mainstream what has traditionally been seen as abnormal behavior. It's a free country, so long as I don't have to agree with them.

It changes the game, however, when these efforts result in laws that legislate tolerance. It puts the power of the state on the side of those advancing an agenda that the majority distrusts. It is now a crime in Massachusetts to laugh at a boy who wears a dress to school.  It is now a crime to question a bearded kindergarten teacher who decides to wear a wig and high heels to class.  And imagine the opportunities for abusing this law -- anyone in danger of being fired can instantly "identify" with another sex and become part of a protected minority group.

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