Any absolute stance on transgender bathroom rights is pointless

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

“This action is about a great deal more than just bathrooms.  This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens, and the laws that we, as a people and as a country, have enacted to protect them – indeed, to protect all of us.”  — Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.

With all due respect, Ms. Lynch — you just don’t get it. Oh, I’m sure you mean well. But you’re deeply misguided at best. At worst, you’re an absolute idiot.

Having said that, you are right about one thing. The current transgender bathroom law debate is about much more than bathrooms.

But that’s it. You’re completely wrong about everything else.

You see the question isn’t whether transgender people should be treated fairly. Of course they should. That goes without saying. The question isn’t whether transgender people should be allowed to have access to public restrooms  matching the gender with which they self-identify. Of course they should. That goes without saying, too.

The question is how to accommodate the transgender population’s needs without infringing on the rights afforded to the rest of us. The question is how to educate and inform the general public about the transgender population’s needs without lecturing or bullying them. The question is how to let people who disagree with transgender bathroom laws express their opinions without disparaging them and calling them names.

Here’s a hint. Swapping lawsuits with North Carolina is not the answer. After all, litigation is an adversarial process.

Don’t Get Me Wrong…

Clearly there’s no place for hatred in a civilized society. Clearly we need laws to discourage people from acting on hatred and punishing them when they do. Clearly we need to enforce them. Clearly we also need laws in place to protect and ensure the fair treatment of minorities.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

But as I have said before, lawmakers and politicians can’t force anyone to understand something they have difficulty grasping. You can’t force anyone to change their beliefs. You can’t force anyone to have an open mind if they’re not so inclined. And you can’t make anyone stop being afraid of something they truly fear.

The more you try, the more the person or people you are trying to influence will cling to their beliefs. The more you try, the more the person or person are trying to influence will resent it. The more you judge and resort to self-righteousness, the more they will resort to anger and hate.

If you don’t believe me, just take a good, hard look at the people who support the so-called bathroom laws.

There’s Got To Be A Better Way

As far as I am concerned, there’s got to be a better way. It would be fantastic if we could all sit down and have a calm, rational, adult conversation. It would be awesome if we could all express our views in a healthy manner — without resorting to name-calling and vitriol. It would be wonderful if we could all learn to respect each other’s differences, even if we don’t understand them.

But judging by what’s going on in America today, I guess that’s just wishful thinking…


No, you can’t say anything you want

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Apparently Curt Schilling isn’t alone. A lot of people seem to agree with him. Or at the very least, they don’t believe the ex-pro baseball player and TV analyst should have been fired for what he did.

In case you don’t know what that was, he shared a post mocking the transgender community on Facebook and added some disparaging comments of his own.

So now some people say Schilling is the victim. They say he was fired because he wasn’t being politically correct. They claim the First Amendment gives him the right to have his say.

I concur — but only to a point. He may have been well within his rights to do what he did, but that doesn’t make it OK. Not by a long shot.

For The Record

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

As I indicated in my last post — I firmly believe that in a free society, everyone has or should have a right to express their opinion. I also think that the politically correct crowd — also known as the “thought police” or “polite police” — is running amok in the United States.

But the bottom line is, the First Amendment may bar the government from making rules that curtail freedom of speech — but it doesn’t mean that you can or should say whatever you want. For example, as we all learned in elementary school, “you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater.”

In some cases, the government can also restrict activity classified as:

  • speech that incites illegal activity and subversive speech
  • fighting words
  • obscenity and pornography
  • commercial speech
  • symbolic expression

On the other hand, “the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that speech that merely offends, or hurts the feelings of, another person—without eliciting a more dramatic response—is protected by the First Amendment. The Court has also underscored the responsibility of receivers to ignore offensive speech.”

So it seems America’s highest court believes in that old saying about “sticks and stones.” But that’s where the politically correct crowd comes in. If you say or do something upsetting, you won’t be punished in a court of law, but you will definitely be censured in the court of public opinion.

And as we’ve seen that can have devastating consequences.

Back To The Matter At Hand

As for Schilling, he says he doesn’t hate transgender people or homosexuals. He’s says he’s not scared of them, either. He says he was merely making a legitimate point about the design and use of public restrooms.

At the end of the day, only he knows what his true intentions were. But as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t really matter.

It’s not a question of being politically correct.  It’s simply a question of being a decent human being.

Apparently common decency is something Curt Schilling is sorely lacking.