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Federalizing The Trans Revolution

Progressives say, 'Ladies first!' (Nan_DPhanuwatTH/Shutterstock)

According to a federal court, it’s a violation of federal law to require high school students to use the restroom that corresponds to their biological sex:

A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled on Tuesday in favor of a transgender student who was born female and wishes to use the boys’ restroom at his rural Virginia high school. It was the first time a federal appellate court has ruled that Title IX — the federal law that prohibits gender discrimination in schools — protects the rights of students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

The ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in favor of the student, Gavin Grimm, comes amid escalating fights nationwide over transgender people and the bathrooms they should be allowed to use. …

Proponents of L.G.B.T. rights said the ruling could have “major implications” for North Carolina’s law, known as House Bill 2. North Carolina is one of five states covered by the Fourth Circuit.

“Today’s ruling makes plain that North Carolina’s House Bill 2 violates Title IX by discriminating against transgender students and forcing them to use the wrong restroom at school,” the A.C.L.U. and the gay rights group Lambda Legal said in a statement. “This mean-spirited law not only encourages discrimination and endangers transgender students – it puts at risk billions of dollars in federal funds that North Carolina receives for secondary and post-secondary schools.”

Eugene Volokh adds context:

In today’s G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit held that schools must let students use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity and may not limit students to using the restroom that corresponds to their biological sex.

The court didn’t hold that this is required by the Constitution, but rather deferred to the Education Department’s interpretation of the department’s regulation on the subject. (The regulation, which interprets the federal Title IX provisions, and which generally forbids sex discrimination but allows sex-segregated restrooms, applies to any schools that get federal funds.) The court also held that the high school’s proposed accommodation of G.G., which would have allowed G.G. (as well as other students) to use three single-stall unisex restrooms that it created, was inadequate, because it still barred G.G. from using the ordinary multi-stall boys’ restrooms.

This is insane. This Gavin Grimm is biologically female, but because he/she insists that she is male, the federal government — both the Education Department and now a federal appeals court — have decided that the entire community must accept his/her view of herself, despite biology. And these are minors we’re talking about!

I suppose there might be some hope that because this wasn’t a constitutional ruling, a Republican administration could change the Title IX policy when it took office. Eventually, though, there’s going to be a constitutional challenge on this, and the federal courts are going to impose gender ideology on the rest of us. Do you doubt it?

David French points out that a new statement by the US Commission on Civil Rights represents an astonishing radicalization of civil rights laws, versus religious liberty — all over whether transgenders can use the toilet of their choice. More:

Since our nation’s founding, religious freedom has been deemed so vital to the health of our democracy that lawmakers and judges have often attempted to make sure that state actions are “narrowly tailored” when those actions conflict with religious freedom. Now the Left wants liberty to be narrowly tailored when it conflicts with the new nondiscrimination regime.

In the Commission’s eyes, there is no true accommodation of religion, because religion is merely an “excuse” for discrimination. Thus, there is no value in attempting to build a society where religious believers can live with integrity and — yes — “dignity” alongside sexual revolutionaries. But accommodation and mutual respect have never been the revolutionaries’ aim. Their goal is clear and explicit: to equate sincere religious objections to sexual immorality with the invidious discrimination of Jim Crow, and then to banish believers to the same margins of society currently occupied by white supremacists.

Indeed, Commission chairman Martin Castro says as much, comparing religious-freedom laws to efforts to “block racial integration,” which, of course, have “no place in our society.”

This is what you get if you vote Democratic for national office: the de facto criminalization of orthodox Christianity and common sense, when it interferes with LGBT ideology. Alas, one has learned not to expect much better from the GOP on this front, but at least for now, I think a Republican administration could be counted on to show at least somewhat more respect for the First Amendment, in particular its religious liberty guarantee.

This won’t hold, though. The handwriting is on the wall.

Take a look at this somewhat blasphemous clip from Saturday Night Live, making fun of Christian bakers and religious liberty claims. The reader who sent me this is a religious leader who has been involved with one of these cases. In his e-mail, he gave specific instances of the things that this parody depicts really happening in the case with which he was involved (I won’t mention any details here, because I don’t know if he would want to be identified). He adds:

This sad thing about this parody is that it insinuates that nothing so horrible is actually happening in our country, but it really is. Low-information viewers walk away from this with the smug impression that this religious liberty thing is much ado about nothing. It’s just stupid right wing Christians being stupid. That’s the effect of this kind of propaganda.

You know where this is going. What are you prepared to do about it?


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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