Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My view: Gender identity may change how marriage works

By Gayle Ruzicka, For the Deseret News

Published: Wed, Nov. 6 12:00 a.m. MST

 Sexual orientation — defined as an individual’s actual or perceived orientation as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. Gender identity — defined as an individual’s internal sense of gender, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth. That means you are the gender that you think you are.

Sexual orientation — defined as an individual’s actual or perceived orientation as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. Gender identity — defined as an individual’s internal sense of gender, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth. That means you are the gender that you think you are.

(Shutterstock)

For the last several years, Democratic legislators in Utah have filed an anti-discrimination bill that has always been “dead-on-arrival."

In 2013, for the first time ever, the anti-discrimination bill, SB 262, was sponsored by a Republican, Utah state Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-Washington. Also, two Republican senators, both in leadership positions, voted for the bill, thus allowing the bill to pass out of committee.

SB 262 adds to the existing list of classifications that are protected against discrimination in housing and employment:

Sexual orientation — defined as an individual’s actual or perceived orientation as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.

Gender identity — defined as an individual’s internal sense of gender, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth. That means you are the gender that you think you are.

The bill says it is discriminatory and prohibited employment practice to deny an employee access to restrooms, shower facilities or dressing facilities that are consistent with the employee’s gender identity.

What does this mean? Employers under this anti-discrimination law will have to allow men or women to shower, etc., with people of the opposite sex who self-identify as that sex. That means a man who thinks he is really a woman can now use the women’s restrooms, dressing rooms or take showers with the women with all of his man body parts showing. If he seems to be confused, I’m sure the women in the shower will not have any trouble identifying his gender.

I thought when the senators saw the bathroom/shower language they would never vote for this law. I was told they just wanted to show compassion for the LGBT community. How about compassion for the employees who don’t want to shower or use bathrooms with someone of the opposite sex? Are their fundamental rights subservient to the special rights being demanded by the LGBT community? Where do we draw the line?

It gets even worse. In states that have passed anti-discrimination laws, the gender identity rules have now spread to the schools. Are the parents in Utah going to tolerate boys and girls showering together after PE classes or using the same bathrooms?

In Colorado, a 6-year-old boy self-identifies as a girl and after a lawsuit, the school has to allow him to use the girls’ bathroom.

In Maine, a 15-year-old boy who decided he’s a girl has sued to be allowed to use the girls’ facilities. He was using the teachers’ lounge but argues that it discriminates against him not to be able to use the girls’ bathrooms. What about girls who do not want to use the bathroom with boys?

Massachusetts allows students to choose their bathroom. The Department of Education said, “the discomfort other students could feel about sharing traditionally sex-segregated bathrooms or locker rooms with a transgender student is not a reason to deny access to the transgender student.” Their reason: transgender students are more likely to be bullied.

California actually passed a law, signed by the governor, allowing students in all grades to choose which bathrooms, dressing rooms or showers they will use, as well as on which sports teams they will play.

In Utah, American Fork High School included anti-discrimination language in its Gay-Straight Alliance club policy.

If Utah should ever recognize “gender identity” in the code as an acceptable definition of gender — “you are who you say you are” — then what will stop two same-sex people from marrying? Two women apply for a marriage license, one says, “I am a woman” the other woman says, “I self-identify as a man.” Under this law, is this a marriage between a man and a woman?

Gayle Ruzicka is a conservative political activist, talk radio host and leader in the Utah Eagle Forum.

Recommended
1. Ranch
Here, UT,
Nov. 6, 2013

"If Utah should ever recognize “gender identity” in the code as an acceptable definition of gender — “you are who you say you are” — then what will stop two same-sex people from marrying?"

Same sex marriages are coming to Utah, Gayle. You'd better get used to the idea, and no, your head won't explode when it does.

2. cjb
Bountiful, UT,
Nov. 6, 2013

"California actually passed a law, signed by the governor, allowing students in all grades to choose which bathrooms, dressing rooms or showers they will use, as well as on which sports teams they will play".

I can't imagine most guys would complain about this.

3. Contrarius
mid-state, TN,
Nov. 6, 2013

"...what will stop two same-sex people from marrying? "

Same-sex marriages will soon be recognized nationwide anyway, so this is a very weak argument against anti-discrimination legislation.

The issue of GID (Gender Identity Disorder) is complex and confusing, no doubt. However, more people need to understand that people don't just "decide" that they belong to the opposite gender. GID is a very real phenomenon with real biological roots.

1. GID has been connected to multiple biological factors such as genetics, changes in brains structure, and prenatal exposure to hormones.

2. GID may occur as frequently as 1 in 500 people.

3. Most people diagnosed with GID identify experience gender dysphoria before puberty.

4. Twin studies indicate that GID is 62% heritable, and therefore has a strong genetic influence.

5. In male-to-female transsexuals, GID is often associated with genetically-induced androgen insensitivity.

6. Male-to-female transsexuals have been found to have a typically female stria terminalis (part of the brain), while female-to-male transsexuals have a typically male stria terminalis.

7. In addition, the hypothalamus in male-to-female transsexuals appears to function as a typical woman's does.

4. Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah,
Nov. 6, 2013

Be afraid - be very afraid!

Here's a novel idea: why not show respect for everyone's dignity, and instead of having communal locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms have areas that are more private? Same sex or different sex, why should anyone be put in a position of being forced to undress, shower, and dress in front of other people? Why are men forced to urinate in front of other men?

Instead of whining about one or two people who may make us uncomfortable, let's offer everyone dignity and privacy.

(Oh, and by the way - chances are you would be hard pressed to tell the birth gender of a pre-transition transgender individual at anything short of a shower together. Post-transition, you wouldn't even know then. And opposite sex marriages have been turned into same sex marriages when one spouse comes out and transitions. Those marriages frequently end in divorce since the individuals involved are usually not homosexual.)

5. Zac
Ogden, UT,
Nov. 6, 2013

I don not really care about the marriage part. The part that is disgusting is the bathroom and locker room uses. Regardless of what you feel you are, if you have boy parts, use the boys restroom. If you have girl parts, use the girls restroom.