In Billings, Montana, “Brokeback Mountain” isn’t a Hollywood fantasy anymore. It’s real-life drama now with legal consequences, as a wave of deceptively labeled “non-discrimination ordinances” begins to whistle across the valleys in this rural state.
It’s not just Montana. These ordinances are beginning to embed themselves in cities nationwide. The culture wars are back, with families clutching crucifixes on one side, and lawyer-backed tolerance enforcers on the other.
Clergy, mothers, fathers, and citizens have packed the Billings town council meetings for several weeks now, pleaded for it to reject an ordinance that, in its current incarnation, would forbid employers from refusing to hire someone based on “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, Veteran’s status, political beliefs or obesity.” Neither may employers give a negative report about an employee or businesses refuse services based on these characteristics.
Similar ordinances have passed in Bozeman, Butte, Helena, and Missoula—essentially all the population centers in a state with just 1 million residents. The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and activist groups are going local after failing to secure a statewide law conferring special rights on privileged sexual practices. They expect passing city ordinances will reduce opposition to a statewide law in the future.
Unlike President Obama, who is preparing to issue an executive order imposing a directive similar to these ordinances on federal contractors, the Billings city council isn’t a bunch of hardened liberal activists. At a population of 100,000, Billings is Montana’s largest town. Why are small-town people so eager to pass an elitist, special-interest law more appropriate for big-city folks?
Their likely motivation is to be nice. Discrimination sounds so terrible. Shouldn’t people with power stop it in every form? That sounds plausible, but like the other arguments offered by LGBTQ activists (when they offer arguments instead of appeals to emotion), it’s wrong and hurtful.
Here’s why “non-discrimination” ordinances and their ilk are anti-science, anti-reason, and anti-humanity.
The LGBTQ View Is Anti-Science
Except for a tiny number of people with gene disabilities, every human being has either XX or XY chromosomes embedded in every cell of his or her body. That makes each of us biologically male or female, no matter how we feel about that fact. To believe otherwise is essentially a psychiatric disorder. Dr. Paul McHugh, retired from psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital, recently likened transsexuality to anorexia and bulimia, since all are disorders in which the individual substitutes his preference for reality. He writes, “These disorders occur in subjects who have come to believe that some of their psycho-social conflicts or problems will be resolved if they can change the way that they appear to others. Such ideas work like ruling passions in their subjects’ minds and tend to be accompanied by a solipsistic argument. For the transgendered, this argument holds that one’s feeling of ‘gender’ is a conscious, subjective sense that, being in one’s mind, cannot be questioned by others. The individual often seeks not just society’s tolerance of this ‘personal truth’ but affirmation of it.”
This is not just a transsexual thing. The separation of person from body was pioneered by homosexual activists and feminists, who repeatedly chant “biology is not destiny.” Here’s a prime example, from Monday’s town council meeting in Billings. The Billings Gazette quotes Marian Bradley, founder of NOW Montana: “Our genitals do not define who we are. Who we are is defined by how we live as women.” No matter how one frames it, however, reality is still reality, and sexuality is not just mental. No matter how many body parts we cut from and paste onto ourselves, or how many different objects we can stick our sex organs into or vice versa, male and female chromosomes and body parts are a biological fact that only science deniers ignore.
Stop Contradicting Yourself
Billings’ draft LGBTQ ordinance participates in this anti-science view of the human person. For one, it extends its protections to people who fantasize they are neither male nor female, but “non-binary,” or “other.” I’m sorry, but there is no other out here in the real world, unless one intends to mean people who have genetic defects such as XXY chromosomes (and they are protected by disability laws). The ordinance defines “gender identity or expression” as “a gender-related identity, expression, or behavior, regardless of the individual’s sex at birth.” On the one hand, it acknowledges people have a certain biology—at least, at birth. But apparently it also says biological reality ends at birth, which is not just anti-science but utterly illogical. Do people’s X chromosomes disappear, or Y chromosomes suddenly replace them? For that matter, do women typically start sprouting facial hair or men grow wombs? Not without heavy, unnatural intervention, and no intervention can convert every single gene in someone’s body into its opposite.
The council attempted to relieve some obvious harm their ordinance would inflict upon residents by including this provision in the ordinance: “In places of public accommodation where users normally appear in the nude, users may be required to use the facilities designated for their anatomical sex, regardless of their gender identity.” Women have been voicing fears about finding men in their bathrooms and locker rooms. This sop to another vulnerable group, however, itself demonstrates the illogic of the ordinance itself. Either we should treat people as they think they are, or we should treat them as biology reveals them to be. It makes no sense to do one sometimes and the other at other times. This reveals the council members, at some basic level, realize biology is important. They just want to imagine it’s not in some cases so they can feel good about having pretended to help people.
Emotion Is Not An Argument
Further, accommodating people’s delusions does not help them. In sane areas of human relationships, we call doing so “enabling.” We even call it enabling when the troubled person we love has a genetic excuse for bad behavior, as do alcoholics and gambling addicts.
People enable because either they feel bad for a troubled friend, or because they do not have the moral strength to provide the tough love and truth-telling he needs. In other words, misplaced emotions and cowardice may be the biggest enemies of true love, which gives a person what he needs, rather than merely what he wants. It’s bad enough in personal relationships when people are not honest with each other or strong enough to help each other through dark days, but it’s absolutely intolerable for public officials to act on such base motivations. For them to pretend their cowardice is actually an act of assistance reveals their willingness to become petty tyrants by inflicting their own personal fantasies upon the populace at large.
Enabling harmful behavior both hurts the people engaging in it and society at large. McHugh explains the results of doing so for sex-confused patients: “We at Johns Hopkins University…launched a study in the 1970s comparing the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes of those who did not. Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as ‘satisfied’ by the results, but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery. And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a ‘satisfied’ but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.” He goes on to note that a 30-year 2011 study of 324 people who had sex-change surgery found their likelihood of dying by suicide was almost 20 times that of comparable, non-transgender people. More successful therapies have counseled similarly confused people into accepting biological reality.
It’s now completely taboo to suggest such a thing for other sex-confused people, but given the extraordinarily high amount of self-harming behaviors they exhibit, the compassionate thing to do would pursue any and every therapy that could give troubled people peace. The cruel thing to do is to participate in and perpetuate their fantasy world.
Being Judgmental Is Necessary To Live
One last thing. Proponents of creating special classes of citizens who can scrounge up the political power to get their group legal recognition wish us all to believe another lie: That agreeing with them is necessary if we want to be “non-judgmental” or “anti-discrimination.”
The problem with this is that discrimination is not just good, it is necessary for life.
Everyone judges, and everyone has to. If you are a business owner, you must judge whether a certain applicant for a job will do it well. That means different things for different businesses, but if an employer does not discriminate between hard workers and lazy workers, or qualified workers and unqualified workers, or employees with good interpersonal skills and those who can’t convey basic information, the business will fail. It will provide no one with jobs and no one with services if it doesn’t exist.
We all judge, all the time. I discriminate against people who kiss me, and even free-love people probably do the same. A random person cannot walk up to me at Wal-Mart and smooch. Normal people call that sexual harassment. We all also discriminate against the people who can use our things. It’s not okay for the petty thieves who rifle through my street to find my car keys and take a joy ride. And nobody (except college students) thinks it’s okay to walk into anyone’s house and open the fridge for a snack. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume almost everyone in the world feels similarly. We’re all food discriminators, car judgers, kiss gatekeepers, and more. And we should be.
There is no way to live without discriminating, except in utter chaos. Even a “non-discrimination” ordinance discriminates, by conveying what city council members consider acceptable behavior and what they do not. All such ordinances do is substitute one judgment about what is appropriate sexual behavior for another, far older, judgment. The LGBTQ lobby sneaks their new judgment past everyone by labeling their discrimination “non-discrimination.” That’s an old trick, called “lying.”
Let’s talk about discrimination honestly. A good way to test a standard is to see if it is fair to both sides. Right now, leftists demand that churches, business owners, schools, and everyone who holds to certain disadvantaged religions be required to implicitly condone behavior their creeds condemn—in many ways, but prominently by being forced to hire folks whose behavior disgraces their employers’ beliefs. Do such mandates, such “non-discrimination” laws, treat both sides equally? When leftists force homosexual business owners to hire people who attend Westboro Baptist Church, we’ll know they’re following the rules they want to force onto everyone else.
Until then, the only logical thing to acknowledge is that the sex-confusion lobby is a bunch of reality-denying hypocrites, and they want to make us all hypocrites whose actions contradict our beliefs rather than fessing up to the truth that theirs don’t fit reality.