Florida, Kentucky, and Texas, are considering–or have passed–bills that would limit who can use sex-specific restrooms. The stated intent is to prevent men from dressing as women and entering a restroom to expose themselves, rape someone, or commit some other crime against a woman or child. The real intent appears to be to prevent transgender people from using a bathroom at all. As a perhaps unintended consequence, the bills would also affect those of us born with an intersex condition and people who aren’t quite as masculine or feminine as most everyone else.
image from wipeouttransphobia.com
One of the Texas bills specifies that sex is determined by chromosomes, thus rejecting transgender people who have changed their legal sex. Even in another state.
There are several good reasons for Christians to reject such folly.
1) A woman with the complete form of Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome is born with XY chromosomes, female-typical genitals, and testes in her abdomen rather than ovaries and uterus. If her testes are left in place, she’ll have a normal feminine puberty, yet without menstruation. She might well live her entire life without knowing she’s intersex. The Bible would consider her a barren woman. The Texas bill would consider her male. Such is an egregious persecution of an innocent person.
2) The proponents of these bills state that the intent is to protect children from predators. Yet we already have laws that would apply to a man dressing as a woman, entering a women’s restroom, and committing a crime against someone in the restroom. Exposing oneself or raping someone is already against the law.
3) The bills would force transgender people to use a bathroom that goes against their gender, thus making bathroom occupants uncomfortable and increasing the likelihood of violence against the transgender person. Below is a photo of Buck Angel, an XX female-to-male transsexual. Legally, he’d have to use the womens’ restroom.
4) People born with intersex conditions in which their chromosomal sex doesn’t agree with their genital sex would have to use a bathroom inappropriate to their gender. From the wording, it’s likely that I would be unable to legally use either a mens’ restroom or a womens’ restroom. My karyotype is 46,XY,22qs+/45,X,22qs+, which is certainly not standard male or female.
5) One of the Texas bills actually offers a bounty for anyone finding a transgender person in a bathroom different from one that would ‘match’ their biological birth sex. This would encourage people to harass anyone whose presentation doesn’t fit a binary model of sex. A teen not quite as masculine as his peers might well find a bathroom an unpleasant place to visit. As if they weren’t already bullied enough.
6) Most states have laws that allow a legal change in sex. The Texas bill would ignore the legal sex status of a person, regardless of the place of their birth. But only when they enter a restroom. So, they’d be legally one sex outside the restroom and the other when inside. Does that really make sense to anyone?
7) The law isn’t enforceable without draconian intrusions on privacy. I’m female. I look like a woman. Is someone who doesn’t know that I’m intersex going to stop me at the bathroom door and ask for a karyotype? I think not. Only those whose appearance doesn’t fit someone’s concept of masculine or feminine is going to be harassed. So, enforcement will be selective, discriminating against those whose appearance isn’t masculine or feminine enough.
8) Come on. Really. Most bathrooms have stalls. And most female-to-male trans people aren’t going to be using the urinals. Okay? You’re not gonna see their private parts.
9) Is this really the Gospel? Would the love of Christ harass people whose only goal is to pee in peace? Even if you’re positive that transgender people are breaking God’s law (which they’re not–see Matthew 19:12), the bills would discriminate against people who aren’t transgender.
It’s clear to me that this isn’t about preventing rapes. It’s about a bigoted rejection of people who are already subject to a high suicide rate, a high murder rate, and bullying. Sorry, but what happened to compassion? As Christians, we should share the Gospel and repent of our hate.
‘If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.’ 1 John 4:20 (ESV)