Conservatives have been rightly criticized over the years for opposing government interference in our lives, except when it comes to who we can marry, how we conduct our lives, and even how we die. That sounds like hypocrisy to a lot of people.
But the conservatives have it right with their latest cause, repeal of a new California law that lets transgender students choose which bathrooms and locker rooms to use, and which sports teams to join based on their gender identify.
The law, for grades K through 12, takes effect Jan. 1 unless the group set-up to repeal it, Privacy for All Students, can obtain 505,000 valid signatures by Nov. 12. Opponents say that will block implementation of the new law and get a repeal measure on the November 2014 ballot.
Privacy for All Students is backed by the usual laundry list of conservative social groups, and has hired veteran GOP strategist Frank Schubert–the man behind Proposition 8–to overturn the law.
The bill, a first in the nation (who else would think up this stuff?), was written by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D, S.F.) without consulting any conservative groups, and passed both houses of the state Legislature with only Democrats voting for the measure.
Schubert said conservatives and evangelicals have reacted to the law with “tremendous discomfort” because it opens up “the most sensitive areas of public schools” and threatens parental rights.
People circulating the repeal petition refer to it as the “transgender bathroom law” or the “forced coed locker room law.” One of Nevada County’s two state senators, Jim Nielsen, put it this way: “These are youthful sex offenders. I guarantee there will be those who would use this opportunity.”
Nielsen’s just throwing gasoline on the fire, but you don’t need an active imagination to envision the mischief this law will create. The teenage years are stressful enough without introducing the uncertainty of who you’ll encounter in the bathroom or face on the other side of the court.
As one women told CNN: “Just because they’re confused doesn’t mean they have to confuse everybody else.”
NEW TOOL? The California Interscholastic Federation, which governs high school sports in the state, amended its bylaws in February to allow athletes to participate according to their gender identity. This could create new recruiting opportunities for coaches of girls teams that are short on talent.