The Transgender Lobby’s Demands Are Not Civil Rights

The Transgender Lobby’s Demands Are Not Civil Rights

Arguing that the transgender lobby’s policy preferences are today’s civil rights movement minimizes the difficulties African-American people experienced and misrepresents the issue at large.
Nicole Russell
By

Transgender issues are barreling forward with determined ferocity on several fronts, particularly medical, legislative, and educational. It’s a deadly but suffocating trifecta of influence should the transgender lobby succeed in their policy goals.

Together, these not only conduct a full-frontal assault on family values, but demonstrate a burgeoning government agenda to mandate a movement, rather than protect everyone’s individual rights. It aims to cater to the cause of a select minority, rather than abide by the parameters of the First Amendment with equal rights for all.

The movement is small but mighty. Often mandates, court cases, articles, and lawsuits are presented with the mindset that the transgender issue is the civil rights issue of our day. It is not. Arguing as such not only minimizes the difficulties African-American people experienced, but misrepresents the transgender issue at large.

Change People’s Inborn Characteristics, Or Else

For example, in May, while most people were beckoning the end of another school year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implemented a dangerous and unprecedented mandate for health professionals, insurance companies, and anyone who cares about freedom of expression. HHS passed the mandate in May and it goes into effect on a rolling basis, so some parts are already in effect.

It requires 1) “that doctors must perform gender transition procedures on children even when those procedures may be physically and emotionally harmful to the child” 2) affects “nearly all doctors in the U.S.” and “some portions of the rule will force qualified medical professionals to perform gender transition procedures such as puberty suppression, cross-hormone therapy, and plastic surgery on children,” and 3) “will force virtually all private insurance companies and many employers to cover gender transition procedures or face severe penalties and legal action.”

Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you? In fact, bet most people don’t even know it exists. But indeed it does, and HHS created it from the basis of a tiny section–1557–of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), “which prohibits discrimination ‘on the ground prohibited under . . . title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972’”

HHS created a regulation that doesn’t just interpret the law Congress passed, which is what regulation is supposed to do, but added to the current statute and defined sex to include, not just sex, but “gender identity,” which the statute does not mention. So in the name of preventing sexual discrimination, the federal government will require doctors to surgically alter children’s body parts to approximate those of the opposite sex.

This was done under the pretense that one’s “gender identity” is a lot like “sex,” or even “race.” Yet it directly contradicts the premise of the original civil rights movement. Imagine if we had the federal government forcing doctors to bleach kids’ skin or surgically alter their eyes or noses to look more Caucasian. In part that is so obviously preposterous and outrageous because of how demeaning it is to people’s innate genetics that alone decides physical characteristics such as skin color and sex.

“HHS has the ability to create regulations under a statute. They don’t have the ability to change the meaning of the statute,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents several clients who have filed suits defending themselves against the mandate. Even Congress treats “sex” and “gender identity” as two separate things, as does the LGBTQ movement in general.

It’s worth noting HHS repeatedly contradicts itself and findings of its own staff to justify adding language to a statute to support their regulation. Up to 94 percent of children with gender dysphoria grow out of it naturally—something HHS has acknowledged. According to standards of care from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, which HHS relied upon: “Gender dysphoria during childhood does not inevitably continue into adulthood. Rather, in follow-up studies of prepubertal children (mainly boys) who were referred to clinics for assessment of gender dysphoria, the dysphoria persisted into adulthood for only 6– 23% of children.”

Neither Medicare, Medicaid, nor the military have to pay for these cross-sex alterations, but private physicians do. It will also automatically penalize insurance companies that exclude coverage for gender transition procedures. The most devastating effect is on the physicians, who must follow this mandate even if it’s against their moral beliefs and medical training or risk losing their job.

“This is unprecedented. HHS estimated this is going to impact every doctor in the United States. It’s stunning that it’s such a sweeping regulation,” Windham said. Currently, the Becket Fund awaits a ruling on a motion that to release a court order protecting doctors from doing things that are contrary to their medical judgement.

The fact that now doctors and insurance companies must now treat transgender issues as equal to sex or race bears resemblance to civil rights issues of the 1960s, yet it lacks scientific standing, legal grounds, and a persuasive moral case. Unlike the aftermath of the civil rights movement, which threw out Brown v. Board of Education’s “separate but equal” and desegregated schools, bathrooms and the like, the HHS mandate seeks to force doctors and insurance companies to recognize “gender identity” as separate but equal to sex and race.

SCOTUS to Hear Transgender Bathroom Case

Another transgender case is also sweeping the country and depending on what the Supreme Court decides. It will have as much effect on the country as the HHS mandate on gender identity. Gavin Grimm made waves last year when she sued her school board in Gloucester County, Virginia because, as NPR reported, “they adopted a policy that required students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their biological sex, or a separate single-stall restroom office.”

Grimm transitioned from female to male as a freshman in high school. For awhile she used the boys’ bathroom until parents complained. Thus followed the board’s ruling and Grimm’s lawsuit.

The rest will be Supreme Court history. They will hear the case, which has bounced inevitably up the legal food chain, next year. Imagine: One person’s decision to transition from female to male before she could even drive a car may require schools to allow anyone who claims to be the opposite gender to use the facility of the sex with which they currently identify.

Grimm told NPR’s All Things Considered, “The alternative facility was a unisex bathroom. I’m not unisex. I’m a boy. And there’s no need for that kind of ostracization.” Indeed, Grimm’s school has been accommodating. They’ve allowed her to use a single-stall restroom in the nurse’s office since she was too uncomfortable to use the girl’s restroom despite having a vagina. (As a woman, I’d like to observe: Demanding to use a gross men’s restroom when you’ve been given free access to a private one-seater might be the definition of absurd.)

Transgender people make up 0.3 percent of the population. Neither Grimm nor her determined accomplices in a lawsuit that may affect every single public school in the country evidence concern for the 50.4 million non-transgender elementary and high school students who attended public school this last year. How ironic the civil rights movement produced desegregation, but transgenders demand segregation from their sex into different bathrooms and other private facilities.

The biggest differences between Grimm’s case and the civil rights movement are biology and intention. Black people are born black, and their civil rights struggle was to have equality before the law, not special protections and arrangements. Transgender people are born one way, long to live another, and long for exclusion when it’s comfortable (bathrooms) and inclusion when it’s convenient (medical insurance). Grimm has lived as a girl for 15 years, while African-Americans live with black skin their whole lives.

If Grimm lived in Delaware and wanted her birth certificate changed to “male,” she’d have to follow new proposed regulations, which, if passed, “require an affidavit from a person, or the parent or guardian of a minor, requesting a new birth certificate with a sex different from that on the original birth certificate [and] “an affidavit from a medical or mental health professional stating that the person has undergone surgical, hormonal, psychological or other treatment for gender transition, or that the person has an ‘intersex condition,’ and that the provider believes the sex on the original birth certificate should be changed.”

Does this still seem to match the civil rights movement? I haven’t even mentioned the contrasting treatment African-Americans received in their quest. States and federal governments quickly accommodate transgender demands. Nobody has enslaved transgender Americans; nobody has lynched them or created hate groups to systematically terrorize them.

Transgender Issues Are Not Civil Rights Issues

The National LGBTQ Task Force has a “Transgender Civil Rights Project,” complete with an African-American senior policy counsel. Race, sex, and gender are inherently biological and physiological occurrences, which is why transgender people, while they should be treated with love and respect, cannot argue legally, morally, or biologically that their existence and history compares to that of their African-American brothers and sisters. Nobody needs surgery to become black.

As unpopular as this view may be, it’s worth stating unequivocally in a genuine attempt at reality-based truth: Gender dysphoria is not the same as sex; transgender is not the same as race. One is biological, the other is somewhere between construct and reality, depending on age, childhood, mental development, and other factors. While “An August 2016 review of the scientific literature finds no definitive evidence in research to suggest that transgender people are born that way,” we all know that people of all races are, indeed, born that way.

While we bang our heads against the wall attempting to reason and persuade through science or rhetoric, they’re slapping lawsuits on school boards or regulating doctors to validate dysphoria, even against doctors’ will and medical judgment. Yet the effort to proclaim transgender issues the civil rights crusade of the day is monumentally misguided. The transgender movement is a two-edged sword: one blade for them to pursue their own reality; another to suppress the freedoms and comfort of others. That’s not a civil rights movement that rests on fundamental equality before the law based on common humanity.

Nicole Russell is a senior contributor to The Federalist. She lives in northern Virginia with her four kids. Follow her on Twitter @russell_nm.

Copyright © 2017 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.

comments powered by Disqus