On May 13 the Obama administration sent this “Dear Colleague” letter
to public school districts and colleges across the nation, outlining a creative new interpretation of federal law as it applies to the “transgender community.”
The letter has been called bad law, junk science and a classic case of administrative overreach, and it certainly is all of those things. But because
it is all of those things, there may be an opportunity for values voters to counter it in a way that shows respect for those who believe they are of a different gender than they were born, while addressing the parts of the ruling that make it dangerous for women and girls.
Click here to send an email to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Acting Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.
, responding to the new regulations.
The problems with this bizarre “guidance,” as President Obama called the letter this week, begin with the administration’s, let’s say, creative
use of fundamental legal terms.
In an April federal court case
from Virginia, the court’s majority sided with the administration’s contention that Title IX, a 1972 law that requires equal facilities and opportunities on the basis of sex, also extends to “gender identity.” In this case a “transgender boy,” that is, a biological female who believes he is a girl, won the right to use boys’ bathroom and locker room facilities.
The court explicitly held that the concept of sex being defined by biology, as understood in 1972, is no longer universally binding. So the administration’s view, now backed by federal case law, is that sex is not necessarily something assigned at birth, but can be something an individual decides for himself or herself. It’s in this context that the Justice and Education departments on May 13 provided “guidance” to public schools and colleges about how to proceed in accommodating the transgender population, which this 2011 study
concluded comprises roughly 0.3 percent of adults in the United States.
Dictating a major change in policy without debate for the benefit of a tiny minority of the population is just the beginning of the problem here, in our view. But even if you believe, as we do, in an infallible God who has fearfully and wonderfully made us in His image without error, you can acknowledge that the unintended consequences of this directive are potentially more dangerous than the instances when the directive works as intended. Forward-thinking leaders like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have rightly protested this law for that reason, among others.
The most serious foreseeable consequence of this directive is that a boy or man, under the guise of a female gender identity, would use an opportunity given by this directive to commit crimes against women or girls. It’s not a consequence we would expect to attribute to biological males or females who sincerely identify with the opposite sex. But the directive, with the aim of protecting those sincerely believing they are transgender, has clearly creates an opportunity for horrific crimes.
We believe our best opportunity to make the best of this unfortunate legal situation is to focus on how best to protect girls and women from sexual predators, rather than ignore case law that requires respect to men, women, boys and girls who believe their true gender is not the one assigned to them at birth. To say, in effect, “So what? Those deluded people don’t deserve special rights,” is a losing proposition, in our view, and ignores our biblical responsibility to treat all of His creation with respect and dignity.
We don’t have a one-size-fits-all solution in mind, except to postulate that bathrooms and locker rooms may need to be retrofitted to accommodate boys/men, girls/women and other. Three options – and that already exists in many public places. We realize the “transgender community” will protest under the guise of being “othered,” but it’s reasonable to respond that being “othered” will always be a condition of living with that identity.
Our conviction is that a thoughtful approach on this issue could help correct what is clearly an example of government overreach, protect some of our most vulnerable citizens and position values voters as a group committed to the respect and dignity of all our friends and neighbors, even those with whom we disagree.
Click here to send an email to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Acting Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., responding to the new regulations.