More Than Just a “Bathroom Bill”
Yesterday, MDPetitions.com, led by Delegate Neil Parrott, and Delegate Kathy Szeliga announced a petition drive to put the “Fairness for All Marylanders Act” on this fall’s ballot. The legislation, commonly referred to as the “Bathroom Bill”, would radically redefine, in reality undefine, gender in Maryland.
While everyone should sign this petition, my wife and I did so before I wrote this piece, much of the rhetoric around this legislation has failed to alert the public to the enormously radical nature of this bill. While the concern that hairy men will put on dresses and walk in on our wives and daughters in public bathrooms may be justified, it diminishes the true social and cultural impact of this new law.
The “Bathroom Bill” changed Maryland law, millenia of human experience, religious tradition, and biology itself by defining gender as follows:
“GENDER IDENTITY” MEANS THE GENDER–RELATED IDENTITY, APPEARANCE, EXPRESSION, OR BEHAVIOR OF A PERSON, REGARDLESS OF THE PERSON’S ASSIGNED SEX AT BIRTH, WHICH MAY BE DEMONSTRATED BY: (1) CONSISTENT AND UNIFORM ASSERTION OF THE PERSON’S GENDER IDENTITY; OR (2) ANY OTHER EVIDENCE THAT THE GENDER IDENTITY IS SINCERELY HELD AS PART OF THE PERSON’S CORE IDENTITY.
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This act now embodies in our state law the revolutionary notion that your gender is not immutable, objective or assigned but subjective, changeable and ultimately, irrelevant. Our legislature has imprinted on the Maryland Annotated Code the radical social philosophy that no man, government, nature, nor God himself can tell you what gender you are or will be in the future.
The social ramifications of such a philosophy go far beyond which bathroom does one choose in a public place. It completely undermines traditional notions of gender roles, marriage and family that have been a foundational building block of human civilization for millenia. It goes far beyond the same-sex marriage debate, as even that issue assumed some objective, involuntary sexual orientation. This new law obliterates any notion of gender distinction itself and certainly any notion that such identification is involuntary. After all, under the definition in this statute, homosexuality and heterosexuality are simply extensions of subjective and perfectly malleable feelings which need only at the time in question be “sincerely held as part of the person’s core identity.”
Presented in this light, most Marylanders who might otherwise prefer a “live and let live” approach or who may demure from participation in the ongoing culture wars can see that this is just a bridge too far and a radical change to which they could not subscribe.
Which is why reducing the discussion to which bathroom someone might use is trivializing the momentous. The concerns are valid, as other states have had these sorts of negative experiences and the consequences are very real. But such talk is so easily parried by a left wing culture and media as fear mongering and religious based oppression. Such a line of attack was taken by Delegate Heather Mizeur during the House debate when she shed crocodile tears over her “disappointment” in the level of discourse on the measure.
Indeed, many of the LGBTA-friendly moderate Republicans and libertarians in our state will use this rhetoric to assail the effort itself and those who support it. They will raise phony concerns of electability to object to what they, no doubt, will view as another right wing social crusade destined for failure. But such a view only gives aid and comfort to the small minority of left wing radicals trying to dismantle every facet of traditional culture in our state.
Such a radical realignment of who we are as people and how we organize our society should not be left to the General Assembly, but to the voters themselves. That is why this issue must be debated fully and honestly, not in the final days of the General Assembly session by politicians, but by the public who can appreciate and fully grapple with the import of what this law will do.