Thursday, April 21, 2016

Trump and Bathroom Politics

The Donald has weighed in, quite sensibly, on the North Carolina bathroom law. He said, in essence, this is a solution looking for a problem. There hasn't been a problem with sexual predators masquerading as trans sexuals so why have a law?

Mad Dog has exasperated his twenty five readers by bringing up this issue repeatedly, but it has legs in Mad Dog's eyes for several reasons:

1/ It is a prime example of reflexive response on the part of well meaning people of the liberal persuasion and it does demonstrate that some of what the Right says about "political correctness" on the part of "knee jerk liberals" has some basis in fact. The problem being that those who expostulate against this law have:

A/ Never actually read the law, but are fulminating against what they think or have been told is in the law without actually examining the facts and they have flown off the handle without actually taking the time to examine the details.

B/ Conflated the real harm done to homosexuals by intolerant individuals  with the actual effects of this law.  
Some of this confusion can be forgiven and attributed to the bone headed comments by some of its supporters who were Republican state legislators who claimed they were voting for it to protect children in bathrooms against those vile, transgender predators who would surely be skulking about just hoping to get their hands on children. 

C/ Never actually met or have had any experience with a trans sexual or a transgender (not exactly the same thing) individual and believe any attempts to treat this class of person differently is of the same cloth as prejudice against homosexuals.

As Mad Dog has labored to point out:  Gay men and lesbian women are not transgenders or trans sexuals and transgenders are not typically gay.  Listening to reporters and lawyers from the ACLU talking about this on TV has frustrated Mad Dog because you have "experts" who clearly have no idea what they are talking about.  The confusion is compounded by the alliance under the LGBT banner: We have very different types of people coalescing under a single banner because they all feel threatened, demeaned and harmed by intolerance aimed at  their own sexual choices and preferences, but in this case in trying to offer comfort to trans sexuals some gays have ceased to be able to listen to the other side, which is not entirely composed of homophobic haters and intolerant right wingers. 

Here's what the law actually says:

1. Does the new bill limit or prohibit private sector companies from adopting their own nondiscrimination policies or practices?
  • Answer: No. Businesses are not limited by this bill. Private individuals, companies and universities can adopt new or keep existing nondiscrimination policies.
2. Does this bill take away existing protections for individuals in North Carolina?
  • Answer: No. In fact, for the first time in state history, this law establishes a statewide anti-discrimination policy in North Carolina which is tougher than the federal government’s. This also means that the law in North Carolina is not different when you go city to city.
3. Can businesses and private facilities still offer reasonable accommodations for transgender people, like single occupancy bathrooms for instance?
  • Answer: Yes. This bill allows and does nothing to prevent businesses, and public or private facilities from providing single use bathrooms.
4. Can private businesses, if they choose, continue to allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom, locker room or other facilities of the gender they identify with, or provide other accommodations? 
  • Answer: Yes. That is the prerogative of private businesses under this new law. For instance, if a privately-owned sporting facility wants allow attendees of sporting events to use the restroom of their choice, or install unisex bathrooms, they can. The law neither requires nor prohibits them from doing so.
5. Does this law prohibit towns, cities or counties in North Carolina from setting their own nondiscrimination policies in employment that go beyond state law?
  • Answer: No. Town, cities and counties in North Carolina are still allowed to set stricter non-discrimination policies for their own employees if they choose.
6. Does this bill mean transgender people will always have to use the restroom of the sex of their birth, even if they have undergone a sex change? 
  • Answer: No. This law simply says people must use the bathroom of the sex listed on their birth certificate. Anyone who has undergone a sex change can change their sex on their birth certificate.
7. I’m worried about how this new law affects transgender children or students in North Carolina. Does this bill allow bullying against transgender children in schools?
  • Answer: Absolutely not. North Carolina law specifically prohibits bullying and harassing behavior against children on the basis of sexual identity.


  1. Mad Dog,
    With all due respect, the above points seem to speak more to what the point of the NC law is not. What I am confused about is what the point of the law is. I seem to find myself in agreement with Candidate Trump-gulp-it does indeed seem to be a solution in search of a problem. The difference between gays and transgender and transsexual individuals is a separate issue from which restroom they can use. If there isn't a problem-why do we need a law? The Donald and I are on the same page on this one-terrifying but true...
    PS-cute otters...

  2. Ms. Maud,

    Ah, never can put anything by you. It has been difficult getting the actual law to read. There is reportedly language in there saying something about using the bathroom of your birth gender, which could be problematic for those whose external genitalia actually change at puberty.
    As you have pointed out in the past, from comments made by state legislators and recognizing the absence of actual incidents, this sounds like an effort to marginalize trans sexuals and/or transgenders.
    Most of the comments on TV suggest the whole thing has not gathered much force and nobody will lose the election based on his or her position on this one.
    I know, I know: finding yourself in agreement with The Donald is a deeply discomforting position.
    I wonder what people in Europe think of Trump and of a country which votes for him?

    Mad Dog