American Christians have grown used to intense and crucial battles for religious liberty, which seem likely to continue for some time. But what looms on the horizon, and what seems to be a virtual certainty should there be another Democratic administration paired with a Democratic Congress, is a national sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) law. This would sweepingly deny religious liberty in most areas of public life, and constrict the private sphere in which religious freedom can be found. The current instrument to do this is called the Equality Act, and its consequences are so sweeping that it will negatively impact many Americans who are completely unconcerned with religious liberty. It was this more widespread impact which was the topic of a panel discussion at the Heritage Foundation on Jan. 28, assembled by traditional marriage and religious liberty advocate Ryan Anderson.
The general problem with making inclination and behavior the basis for anti-discrimination law, rather than some physical characteristic, is that physical characteristics can be practically treated as equal, whatever one thinks of their true equality. But to make inclinations and behaviors equal is impossible, they are clearly not equal. “Equality” here must mean making some personal inclinations and behaviors immune from adverse judgment (discrimination). And this can only be done by making the sensibility of people writing and influencing the law supreme over all society, overriding other personal and common sense judgments.
Certainly the most radical aspect in LGBT liberation is transgenderism, or self-defined sexuality. If one can claim to be a man or a woman regardless of one’s anatomy, then these terms are obviously meaningless. If one can demand complicity in this delusion, as LGBT liberation in fact does, it is a gross violation of conscience and personal freedoms. It is transgenderism which will most noticeably affect the American public at large, going significantly beyond the threat to religious liberty.
The general negative impact on society at large was well illustrated in the panel Anderson assembled, consisting of feminists from the Left, whose objective of sexual equality has now been superseded by the new moral imperative of transgender liberation. Despite deep convictional differences between social conservatives and leftist feminists, Anderson said that “where we do agree, we can and should work together.” Indeed, the freedom and safety of citizens in the future demand it. Anderson noted that currently two percent of high school students nationally “identify as transgender,” so that any complicity the state will require in transgenderism is a very serious problem.
Jennifer Chavez, a “feminist, secularist lawyer and mother,” affiliated with the Women’s Liberation Front, focused on plight of parents when a child declares himself or herself to be “transgender.” Such children may want and be encouraged to pursue destructive changes to their young and developing bodies, and seek accommodations for the opposite sex. The parents may often receive no support from school authorities and can expect none from the news media, which present self-defined sexuality as the next wave of liberation.
In a typical case she cited, a thirteen year old girl “who didn’t fit in” with other girls decided she was a boy after a school presentation, an understandable decision in a world in which “hormones and surgeries” are common responses to sex confused children. Professional help the mother sought simply supported the daughter’s transgender claims, and “falsely assured” the mother that puberty blocking drugs recommended “were well studied and a perfectly safe way for her to explore gender … therapists are actively trained and socially pressured not to question these increasingly common identities” the mother was quoted as saying. Where there are “conversion therapy bans,” it is illegal to “question a child’s belief that she is of the opposite sex,” (a legal requirement that would seem to violate free speech in a basic, content-oriented way). “Parents who do not support their child’s ‘gender identity’ risk being reported to child protection services, and possibly losing custody of their children” the mother added. “The media glamorizes and celebrates trans-identified children while ignoring stories like mine,” she said. “Why are physicians medicalizing children in the name of an unproven malleable gender identity, and why are law makers enshrining gender identity into state and federal laws.” the mother asked. Similar stories from parents showed both health professionals and mass media supporting young people against their parents in destructive paths that could severely impact adult life.
Another parent’s story showed that Planned Parenthood, in particular, has taken transgender liberation as a key objective. “In only one visit, and with just a little bit of blood work, Planned Parenthood will cheerfully enable young women and men to pursue their ‘authentic selves’ through cross-sex hormones,” the parent concerned was quoted as reporting.
That the entire American establishment, including professional organizations and news sources (other than committed conservative ones) could be promoting such irrationality seems incredible, but it is the hard reality that anyone concerned with the well-being of young people and the future of the country must face. Indeed, one does not know what hard decisions one may have to face in any walk of life, because the nation’s leadership classes no longer recognize the difference between men and women. How the country reached this point and its consequences for groups promoting sexual liberation were briefly reviewed in the remainder of the panel. That and further discussion of the Equality Act’s provisions and its consequences for religious and personal freedom will be addressed in subsequent articles.