HOW ABOUT LGBT activists’ attempts to frame Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a “denial of service” bill that singled out gays and lesbians–even though similar bills in other states have never been used for that purpose?
As for the argument that the bill “says nothing specifically about whether men can use women’s restrooms,” opponents of the measure have surely taken note of the White House’s recent effort to force an Illinois high school to allow a transgender student–who is taking hormones, but has not yet received gender reassignment surgery–to use the girls’ locker room. If teenage girls must adapt to the new regime, why not adult women?
“The Education Department and the Justice Department both have issued decisions arguing that transgender students must be given full access to bathrooms and locker rooms,” the Washington Post confirmed yesterday.
“The rulings are in line with the administration’s broader backing of transgender rights, including its recent decision to allow transgender members to serve openly in the military.”
Dr. Daniel Cates, the superintendent of Township High School District 211 in Illinois, has opposed the administration’s efforts to force a high school in his district to give a transgender student full access to the girls’ locker room. But during an interview on Fox news last night, Cates had trouble explaining why he took the position that has drawn broad support in his district.
When Megyn Kelly, the show’s anchor, asked him to state his concerns, Cates said he “wanted to protect the privacy and rights of all students, not just one.”
Kelly pressed him further: “What are you worried will happen?”
Cates wouldn’t spell out his objections, rightly concluding that he was entering a minefield with no clear exit. With no common values or language, school leaders like Cates can easily make a wrong move. Ditto political leaders who oppose such policies–though on NRO’s Bench Memos, Ed Whelan suggests that yesterday’s victory can also provide lessons for the 2016 election year.
Now, school superintendents with a commonsense approach might look to Texas for further inspiration on messaging.
“Houston... had a problem...” But yesterday’s political victory offers valuable lessons. Keep it simple. Cut to the heart of the problem. Then, hopefully, find a way to begin a deeper conversation about human dignity and the natural law.