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Wash Your Hands

June 9, 2016
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

For what seems like an eternity, one of the big topics on the national news scene has been the issue of transgender bathrooms. This issue has become more and more pressing with more members of our society struggling with their individual gender identity.

This issue has grown exponentially in the past few months, with more and more people making gender identity decisions, and being faced with the moral question of what restroom they should use in public places. These questions have created virtual firestorms of controversy, as some people have adopted the philosophy that people should use the restroom "that matches the plumbing they were born with."

While some might find that line of thought crass, it does seem to be the norm in society. However, there are those in society who feel that an individual needs to make that determination on their own, and the rest of society needs to respect those people's decisions by supporting them, rather than chastising them.

In my personal experience, I haven't run into such a situation of someone of the opposite gender (in appearances) using a men's room while I was in the facility, at least not yet. If it were to happen, how would I react? A good question.

Not too long ago, our federal government started issuing "suggestions" that public schools allow trans-gender students to use whichever bathrooms they felt like using. I haven't heard of any reaction locally, but there were several colleges and public schools around the country, as well as various state education officials, who politely told the folks in Washington DC to keep their noses out of the bathroom - it wasn't any of their business to order bathroom usage.

But as they say in the movies, it gets even better.

Since the issue began coming to light, the American Civil Liberties Union has championed the issue, stating that people have the right to use whatever restroom they like, pure and simple.

But in Georgia last week, a similar situation resulted in quite a response, according to national news stories.

It seems that the director of the Georgia chapter of the AC?LU was in a women's restroom with her two elementary school-age daughters when three young gentlemen, dressed in womens' clothing, entered the restroom and partook of the facilities. The fact that these three trans-gender individuals (or drag queens, according to published reports) all spoke with deep, manly voices in the womens' restroom, scared the two young daughters of the ACLU?director.

The story went on to quote the director, Maya Dillard Smith, as saying, "My children were visibly frightened, concerned for their safety and left asking lots of questions for which I, like many parents, was ill-prepared to answer."

Smith went on to say that after the experience, she "could no longer work for the organization (ACLU) which had been a staunch advocate of allowing men who self-identify as women to use whichever bathroom they please."

With that, Smith resigned as the director of the Georgia ACLU. In effect, she washed her hands of the gender-neutral bathroom issue after facing it head-on.

That's just one isolated incident, but to me, it seems to be the tip of the iceberg that may just open the can of worms for once and for all.

Our federal government has continually tried to legislate more and more individual rights in recent years - such as the Waters of the United States legislation that gave the Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency the right, by law, to legislate that little low spot in your back yard that collects water after a hard rain.

A recent opinion by the Supreme Court has termed the WOTUS as an overreach by the government into the rights of land ownership by individuals, and suggested (strongly) that the Congress re-evaluate the legislation.

While our Constitution affords the government the power to make laws and enforce laws, it also provides that the government shall be of the people, for the people and by the people - not just the special interests, as it appears to be today. With the attention of the nation being bounced back and forth between the Presidential candidates just like a ping-pong match, the focus on other issues gets blurred.

We can't lose sight of the fact that promises are easily broken when it comes to politics, and the best way to tell a politician is by a big smile and the movement of their lips.

Maybe they all need to be in a bathroom when a trans-gender person comes in - then we'll see if they wash their hands of the whole issue.



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