Women’s Spa Under Fire for No-Penis Rule

Proponents of genderless locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms have long used slogans like “free to pee” to minimize the issue.

“Who cares where people go to the bathroom?” No one.

“Are you going to have a genital monitor standing outside the door?”  Of course no one is interested in that.

They miss the point on purpose, most likely.

But a recent story out of Toronto highlights the real problem of creating a one-size-fits-all rule that applies to every situation regardless of how unique it is.

The Body Blitz Spa operates two facilities in Toronto.  This business is unique because it is a single-sex facility enjoyed in the nude.

A naked spa for women.

Apparently there are women who enjoy taking their clothes off with strangers and doing spa things.

To each her own, right?  No judgment here.

Even if this isn’t your particular cup of tea, it isn’t hard to imagine why someone who enjoys being naked in a spa exclusively for women might feel differently knowing that a man could waltz in at any time.

Well, this poor spa has the misfortune of being in a gender specific business in 2017.

In an attempt to acknowledge the tremendous confusion about gender while still being in business and honoring the needs of their clientele, they had adopted a no-penis rule.  Men who had undergone gender reassignment surgery would be allowed, but people with a penis (still known by virtually everyone as men) would not be allowed.

Naturally, the progressive mob was outraged.

How dare they try to reach a compromise that attempted to balance the needs of the supermajority of their clients as well as the handful of people who experience gender dysphoria.

Compromise is so kindergarten.

These snowflakes are in college now and in college we learned that some women have a penis and anyone who disagrees deserves to be burned at the stake.

So burn they will.

Metaphorically of course.

They started the obligatory boycott, which would be incomplete without its own hashtag.  #BoycottBodyBlitz

Their Facebook page is full of comments from people who have probably never been to the spa, and maybe have never been to the country, giving their two cents about how awful all the people involved are.

Standard fare.

Though this is happening in Canada, it’s instructive to those of us in Washington State.

Right now, Washington State has the same rule in place.  There are spas in Washington State that provide similar opportunities for women to enjoy spa treatments in the nude.  But presently, Washington State law makes those facilities legally liable if they attempt to stop me from walking in and taking my clothes off.

That’s unreasonable.

And only the most unreasonable among us are unable to see that.

Fortunately, there’s a solution. Initiative 1552 would eliminate the one-size-fits-all rule that currently applies to every public accommodation in the state and once again give businesses owners the freedom to create policies that consider everyone’s interests.

In addition, I-1552 would requires schools to maintain separate locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms for boys and girls.

There is only four weeks left to get the 330,000 signatures necessary to allow the voters to have a voice on this issue.

If you haven’t signed the petition,  click here to have a petition mailed to you , your friends, and family can sign the petition.  Then click here to make a contribution.

The thing is, there is middle ground in this debate.

I’m sure most of us can agree not to care where people go to the bathroom if the other side can agree to respect personal boundaries.

Sadly, that option wasn’t ever offered.

In one day we moved from, “Love can’t exist without boundaries” to “Boundaries are bigotry. Bigot.”

Which means we have to insist.  Politely but firmly.

It isn’t about someone being free to pee.

It’s about no one being free to make even simple decisions without consulting government first.

Share this with every business owner you know who doesn’t want to be sued for protecting the privacy of people in their business.

Then share it with every parent and grandparent who doesn’t want their 13-year old daughter or granddaughter forced to share a locker room with a boy who claims to be a girl.

Compassion does require you to care about other people’s kids. But it also requires you to care about your own.

I-1552 is your last chance to fix this in Washington State.  You have less than four weeks.

Or we can do nothing and watch businesses like the Body Blitz Spa shut down because people were afraid to defend sanity.

And while you’re at it, you might want to work on what you’ll say when your kindergartner comes home and tells you that some women have a penis.

 

Coach Kennedy Goes to Court

Can a school district fire a football coach for praying?

That was the question considered by the U.S. Court of Appeals Monday morning in Seattle.

More broadly, however, the court was debating what an “establishment of religion” actually is.

Joe Kennedy used to coach football at Bremerton High School.  When he first started coaching, he began a routine of taking a knee at the fifty-yard line after games to prayer.  A few players noticed and started to join him.  After eight years, the post-game gathering and prayer became part of the Bremerton football tradition that would usually include players from the opposing team as well.

In 2016, someone complained to the administration who, after an investigation, asked Coach Kennedy to stop praying with the players. He agreed.

But then the school went one step further and told Kennedy that not only was he prohibited from praying with the players, but he was not allowed to kneel on the 50 yard-line alone and say a silent prayer after a games.

Coach Kennedy asked the school district to permit him to take a knee for fifteen to thirty seconds to say a silent prayer on the fifty-yard line.  The school district denied his requested accommodation and instead offered him the opportunity to pray in the press box or other location out of view of players or spectators.

When he refused to comply, he was fired.

Coach Kennedy filed a lawsuit against the school district requesting his job back.

Through his lawyers, Coach Kennedy argued that the First Amendment protects his right to personal religious expression, even while working as a government employee.

The Bremerton School District, along with a lawyer from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, argued that the sight of a football coach, dressed in school colors, and appearing to pray constituted an unconstitutional establishment of a religion.

The First Amendment’s “establishment clause” historically meant that the government cannot have an official state religion.

Over the years, however, the phrase has been taken to mean that the state cannot prefer one religion over another.  Meaning, you can’t create opportunities for Baptists that aren’t available for Hindu’s and Seventh Day Adventists.

Others less tolerant of religious expression have argued that the “establishment clause” does not simply require the government to treat all religions equally but actually prohibit any appearance of state support of religion.

That is the position the school district appears to be taking in the case.

The school districts argued that if a coach, while acting in their capacity as a coach, were allowed to take a knee and pray, it would create the appearance that the school itself favors one particular religion.  Any kind of prayer in front of students, they argued, creates a subtle pressure for students to participate or agree.

Kennedy’s layers countered that a brief, silent prayer, even on a knee, is personal religious expression similar to wearing a cross, headscarf, or yarmulke.  Those forms of expression are indisputably protected by the First Amendment.

Kennedy’s lawyers argued that personal expressions of faith do not create pressure for observers or students because no reasonable person would see a football coach on a knee in prayer and conclude the public school for whom he worked was endorsing that coach’s religious beliefs.

The Court acknowledged that the outcome in this case would have implications for other public employees.

Throughout the arguments, the Court and lawyers wrestled with the question of whether the school district should be permitted to fire  a lunchroom monitor for bowing a head in prayer.  Presumably, students would observe that as well.

One of the justices seemed to lament the opportunity the school district lost to teach students about the need to make room for the religious beliefs of individuals without imposing those beliefs on others.

Joe Kennedy wants to coach football again.  But not at any cost.

Now, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will determine whether there is room in public schools for coaches who make public, personal expressions of faith.

Whatever decision they reach, an appeal is likely.

Stay tuned to FPIW.org for updates on this case and all the other issues affecting your religious freedom.

 

How the Easter Bunny and Gender are impacting Foster Parents

Over the weekend I wrote about  new guidelines in Illinois disqualifying those who believe anatomy determines gender from being foster parents.

Apparently that’s the modern equivalent of being a flat-earther.

Well, it turns out Illinois isn’t the only one heading this direction.

The government of Ontario Canada recently passed Bill 89 which authorizes the government to remove children from the home of a caregiver if they feel gender is fixed. 

The money quote is from Michael Coteau, the Minister of Child and Family Services, who introduced the bill. “I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying no, you need to do this differently,” Coteau explained. “If it’s abuse, and if it’s within the definition, a child can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.”

Set aside the absurd assertion that the truth about gender is abusive and consider the precedent being established and how it could affect you and your family, even if you aren’t foster parents.

The argument goes, “It is abusive to tell a child their anatomy determines their gender.  Therefore, children can be removed from the homes of caregivers who tell their children that.”

The obvious follow-up question is, “why would we tolerate abuse anywhere?”

If it is abusive, what sense does it make to allow biological parents to “abuse” their biological children?

The path from here to removing children from any home is very short.

There’s another layer to this Canada story, however, that places this in the category of “truth is stranger than fiction.”

In April of this year, foster parents in Ontario sued the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society for removing children from their home.

The parents claim the children were removed because they refused to tell the children that the Easter Bunny was real.   “We have a no-lying policy”, Derek Baars, the foster dad, told the National Post.  The Baars recounted a meeting with a social worker who told them they were required to affirm the existence of the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause to the children, 4 and 2, in their care. 

Mr. Baars said, “We said that we would neither confirm nor deny the existence of these two mythical creatures but were not prepared to lie.”

This seems too strange, even for progressives.

My suspicion is that the Baars refusal to affirm the existence of the Easter Bunny simply tipped the case worker off to the fact that this family is Christian, which is their real concern.

That being said, there is something oddly consistent about being required to deny the connection between biology while also being required to affirm the existence of the Easter Bunny.

For some, reality really is unimportant once they are convinced a fantasy will make their audience feel better.

 

Then They Came for the Foster Parents and Farmers…

You know about the photographers, florists, bakers, adoption agencies, coaches, chaplains, counselors, fire chiefs, innkeepers, and printers who have been targeted because of their beliefs about marriage, sexuality, or gender.

This week, however, two new groups are being targeted by the tolerance gestapo: foster parents and farmers.

First, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services developed new “enhanced” policies that claim to promote the “well-being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning children and youth in the Department’s care”.

How do they aim to protect these children?

By slashing the number of families who can be foster parents.

The new rules establish an ideological test to care for the most vulnerable children in our community.  According to the guidelines, all children have a “right to self-determination of gender and sexual orientation” and individual choices about “sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression” should be views as “developmental milestones, not problematic behavior.”

As a result, “staff, providers, and foster parents” must “support and respect” a children’s exploration “without any effort to direct or guide them to any specific outcomes for their exploration.”

Once upon a time, we believed it was beneficial for children to have input from adults who could provide a perspective that might not be obvious to their developing little brains.

Now, the job of foster parents in Illinois is to celebrate whatever decision the abandoned, hurt, likely traumatized child they are sacrificially caring for makes without judgment.  Food and shelter, yes.  Wisdom, life experience, and perspective? Absolutely not.

If you think anatomy is connected to gender, your help with foster kids won’t be needed.

Besides, no one who believes that has ever contributed anything meaningful to the world, have they?

Meanwhile, progressives in East Lansing, Michigan are confronting a similarly ominous threat to public health and safety: Catholic farmers who believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman.

Steve Tennes owns Country Mill Farms in Charlotte, Michigan and for the last six years, East Lansing has invited Country Mill to participate in its Farmer’s market and has described them as a “model vendor.”

But, as fate would have it, he’s conservative.  He claims he was born that way, but progressives are sure he can change if he tries hard enough.

Mr. Tennes, living as his authentic self, has stated publicly that he is not willing to host same-sex wedding at his farm.

In Michigan, that is a perfectly legal choice.

Less tolerant states like Washington force people to do things that violate their conscience.

Nevertheless, East Lansing decided that the farms unwillingness to host a same-sex “wedding” violated their city ordinance against discrimination.

There’s one glaring problem with this. Their farm isn’t in East Lansing. The Tennes’s farm can’t violate an East Lansing ordinance any more than it can violate the Code of Hammurabi .

Undeterred by the semantics of actual jurisdiction, the city created a policy that requires vendors to comply with the ordinance while at the market and “as a general business practice”.

Meaning, if you do things we don’t allow someplace where it is allowed you can’t do business here.

The bigotry is transparent.

In any other context, a proposal like this wouldn’t pass the straight face test in the city council meeting.

The City has every right to establish building codes, but can you imagine the city telling home builders that they must comply with East Lansing building codes in other jurisdictions?

It has never happened because it is obviously stupid.

The only reason it wasn’t laughed out of the room in this case is because the witch hunting impulse among many on the left is strong.

The impulse to punish is just as strong as the impulse to coerce.

“Even if you haven’t violated our arcane, illiberal rules, we have to figure out how to make an example out of you because your ideas are dangerous.”

“Because we love tolerance, of course.”

This isn’t just uncivil, in this case it’s also illegal.

The First Amendment exists to stop governments from making laws that punish people because of what they believe.

The dunkers can’t make life harder for the sprinklers if they win an election, nor can the believers make rules that target atheists for being different.

This new ordinance was written specifically to keep Country Mill Farm out of the Farmer’s Market because of what they believe despite the fact that they haven’t even been accused of violating any laws.

Thanks to the help of our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Tennes’s have filed a lawsuit asking the court to throw out East Lansing’s ordinance.

While they will fight it out in court, this case provides an important lesson for the rest of us.

Five short years ago, before marriage was redefined, the left assured us that “No one is going to lose their religious freedom.”

After marriage was redefined, they quickly they moved to, “You must abide by our laws, even if they violate your religious freedom.”

Now, at least in East Lansing, we have arrived at, “Even if you abide by our laws, we’ll look for ways to harm you just because we don’t like you.”

This is not what “live and let live” was supposed to look like.

It remains unclear whether East Lansing will require those who believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman to wear an outward symbol of their status in the community—a  yellow star perhaps.

The White Church’s Problem with “Politics”

Race matters.  Not in the sense that it makes people more or less valuable, but in the sense that income, health, marriage rates, crime, and educational achievement, and much, much more all have racial components.

However, you probably haven’t ever thought about the relationship between race and a church’s willingness to engage in “politic issues”.

I know I hadn’t.

Until very recently.

I find myself, once again, part of an effort (Initiative 1552, more information at www.JustWantPrivacy.org) to require schools to maintain separate locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms for student’s based on their sex. This is now a strangely controversial idea.

Washington State law currently says that students (and anyone else for that matter) have a legal right to access facilities based on the gender that they express or identify with.

A lot of us think this is a bad idea.

Within the church world, most people have an appreciation for the fact that God made people male and female, and while we can have compassion for the real distress people who experience gender dysphoria have, the best solution is not pretending that biology doesn’t matter.

As a result, most churches agree that your gender is something you are born with, not something you discover.

But you’d be surprised at how hard of a sell it is to ask a church to take what they know to be true and apply it in a tangible way. Particularly when it comes to “political issues”.

I put that term in quote because no issues are inherently political. All issues are ultimately about what is true or false, better or worse.  What we refer to as “politics” is simply a process for resolving those questions.  We have created a category of “political issues” that we have given ourselves permission to ignore, in some cases, as a way of avoiding the hard conversations.

“We can’t do that. We want to create a safe space for people to hear the gospel and those issues are divisive.”

“We don’t want to jeopardize our tax-exempt status.”

“That’s not our model of ministry.”

“We just preach Christ and Him crucified.  Politics is a distraction from what’s most important.”

Always followed immediately by, “But I want you to know I’m personally very supportive and so thankful you’re doing what you’re doing.”

In other words, “I hope we win, we just shouldn’t try very hard.”

There’s something unique about these arguments that didn’t dawn on me until recently.

There must be exceptions to this rule somewhere, but as far as I can tell, the only churches making these arguments are white, conservative churches.  Of course not every white, conservative church takes this position, but the ones that do have that in common.

Strange, isn’t it?

I have spent the last nine years living at the intersection of church and politics and interacted with hundreds of churches and pastors. Maybe thousands.

I have never heard an ethnic church of any kind, be it Russian, African American, Romanian, Chinese, Ukrainian, Korean, or Hispanic, make the argument that engagement on a political issue would be inappropriate in the same way I hear almost daily from white conservative churches.

Why? I can’t speak for other people, but I can speculate.

Many in Slavic and Chinese churches have personal experience with totalitarian forms of government and many saw their families punished because of their faith.

Maybe that’s why they are genuinely excited to use their influence to try to make their community a better place now that they finally have some.  I think they’d look at you funny if you said some version of, “you shouldn’t use it, you’re a church.  People might misunderstand.”

I’ve also never heard an African American church talk about the need to keep their faith-based convictions to themselves.  The heritage of so many black churches is one of fighting publicly for what is true, not despite their faith, but because of it.

I doubt the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would approve the message, “Don’t get involved.”

Hispanic churches do have hesitations with engaging in government, but not because they see it as in conflict with their primary mission.

Overtime, I had, without realizing it, developed an expectation that when I talk to an ethnic church I find support but when I talk to a white church I will find hesitation, if not opposition.

There are certainly exceptions to the latter, but none to the former.

Generally, ethnic churches are happy to help. Generally, white churches will either say no or send it to a committee.

Of course, not all white churches are opposed to political engagement.  Just conservative ones.

Progressive churches are downright enthusiastic about it.  In many cases, they advertise their political leanings and convictions about the day’s most controversial issues on signs and flag poles outside their churches in ways that would make even engaged conservative churches blush.

The next time I hear a progressive church talk about how important it is to keep their morality inside the four walls of their church will be the first.

In fact, the campaign to maintain unisex locker rooms in public schools, Washington Won’t Discriminate, was launched inside of a church with a cross as the backdrop in every picture.

Their current headline on their Facebook Page is “Washington Faith Leaders Say No On I-1552” with a picture and quote from a man in a collar headlining a public letter from a number of religious people talking about how discriminatory it is to suggest that someone with a penis not be allowed to undress in front of a 7 year-old girl.

If history is any indication, this campaign will feature far more “faith leaders” publicly opposing God’s understanding of sex and gender than supporting it.

That isn’t because faith leaders as a group have come to realize that God sometimes makes mistakes and puts people in the wrong body, but because on every issue in Washington State, progressive faith leaders are far more public about how their beliefs apply to cultural debates than those who believe the Bible.

That’s just the way it is.

And it’s not just a progressive church v. conservative church phenomenon.  Though that difference is stark. Within conservative churches, it is white churches v. everyone else.

Why?

I’m not sure I know the answer. But at this point, I’m awfully curious.


If you and your church would like to participate in Signature Sunday on June 4th to help I-1552 qualify for the ballot, you can do so by clicking here.

Judicial Magicians on the Seventh Circuit: Hively v. Ivy Tech

Failing to gain enough popular support for its radical social agenda, the progressive Left routinely attempts to skirt the legislative process and implement its policies through judicial fiat. The latest example of this strategy was on display last month in the case of Hively v. Ivy Tech.

Kimberly Hively, an open lesbian and adjunct professor at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana, repeatedly sought but was denied an opportunity to interview for full-time employment at the college. Naturally, she filed suit, claiming that Ivy Tech discriminated against her based on her sexual orientation.

Undeterred by the fact that federal law does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination, Hively sued under Title VII, the statute that forbids sex discrimination. The law states in part:

“It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer . . . to discriminate against any individual . . . because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

The phrase “sexual orientation” is conspicuously absent from this provision. Nonetheless, Hively insisted that Title VII forbids employers from making decisions based on an employee’s sexual orientation because the term “sex” covers sexual orientation. Nearly a dozen plaintiffs before Hively (and likely dozens more) have made a similar argument in courts across the country, though most judges have found it unconvincing. Hively, however, managed to find a sympathetic ear at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the highest federal court in the circuit covering Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, and a sister circuit to the much-maligned and regularly overturned Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Dismissing not only the court’s own prior rulings but the rulings of all nine federal circuit courts to consider the matter, a majority of judges on the Seventh Circuit held that Hively could sue for sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII. Like pulling rabbits out of hats, these magicians in judges’ robes conjured up a law that forbids sexual orientation discrimination where a law forbidding only sex discrimination exists. A quick examination of the majority’s argument reveals the deceitful method behind the “magic.”

The Trick

So how does the majority equate sex discrimination with sexual orientation discrimination? Writing for the majority, Chief Judge Diane Wood begins by accepting as true Hively’s allegation that Ivy Tech refused to interview her because she is a homosexual. So far, so good.[1]  Next, however, Wood claims that, had Hively been a man married to a woman rather than a woman married to a woman, Ivy Tech would not have refused to interview her for a promotion. Because Ivy Tech treated a female employee differently from the way it treats male employees, Hively’s case boils down to a classic example of sex-based discrimination. Or so it would seem.

The problem is that the language used in the law is not ambiguous. As dissenting Judge Diane Sykes observes, no reasonable, English-speaking individual could read the law and conclude that it bans discrimination because of sexual orientation. Therefore, the court should not have reached beyond the plain meaning of the language to interpret the statute.

Yet because a plain reading of the law would reach a result that she personally found objectionable, Wood went to create ambiguity where none existed. To mask her dishonest interpretive method, she surreptitiously shifts the audience’s attention from the identity trait at issue (homosexuality) to an activity (intimate association with women).

Pulling Back the Curtain

As any reasonable person in this day and age could tell you, identifying as a homosexual is not the same as intimately associating with a person of the same sex. While one may result in the other, the two are conceptually distinct; an individual may identify as a homosexual—that is, someone who is romantically and sexually attracted to members of the same sex—without being in an actual relationship with a member of the same sex. Moreover, one would imagine that if Ivy Tech did object to hiring or promoting homosexual individuals, it would not matter if that individual was married or dating a same-sex individual; the objectionable trait alone (being gay) would suffice. By shifting focus from sexual orientation to intimate association, Wood is then able to draw a comparison between Hively and a straight, male employee that would lead a less-than-attentive reader to conclude that sex discrimination has taken place.

Leftist judges habitually apply this kind of reasoning in similar cases. Take the case of Barronelle Stutzman, who was sued by a longtime customer when she declined to serve as a florist for his upcoming same-sex wedding, or Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, who incurred the wrath of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries when they declined to bake a custom cake for a gay couple’s wedding ceremony. In both suits, the small business owners did not object to their customers’ homosexuality, but to participating in a ceremony solemnizing an arrangement that offended their personal beliefs.

Yet like the Seventh Circuit in Hively, the Washington Supreme Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals deliberately ignored the difference between the trait and the activity and ruled against the small business owners. These federal judges—each of whom swore to uphold the rule of law—simply decided that their personal views take precedence over a plain reading of the statute. Thanks to their dishonest interpretive methods, small business owners across the country are now forced to choose between their conscience and their livelihood.

Unfortunately, Ivy Tech has announced that it will not appeal, meaning that the Supreme Court will not have an opportunity to correct the Seventh Circuit’s flawed logic in the near future. However, given the existing circuit split and the fact that the notoriously Left-leaning Ninth Circuit has yet to consider the matter, there is still a good chance that the Court will have that opportunity in the years to come.

 

[1] At the dismissal motion stage, the court accepts that the claims brought by the Plaintiff are true to determine whether the Plaintiff has a legitimate legal complaint.


Christina is a freelance legal blogger from the “other” Washington (Washington, D.C.). She received her law degree from American University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.

How Sport Exposes the Unworkable Logic of Transgender Policy

A story out of Cromwell High School in Connecticut is doing a good job illuminating an obvious but underrated impact of the left’s war on gender.

Sports.

The story features a high school freshman named Andraya Yearwood.  Andraya is a boy, but now identifies as a girl and recently competed in his first track meet with actual girls as a high school freshman.

Take a minute to watch the video and the challenges will become apparent. This boy is athletic (his dad was a college football player) and the slight mustache and muscle tone indicates that he’s developing more quickly than other boys his age.

Of course that wouldn’t be remarkable except for the fact that he’s now racing fifteen year-old girls.  And he’s doing really well.

According to the story, “at her first high school track meet, Andraya won the girls 100- and 200-meter dashes, and helped her 4×100-meter relay team take second place. She ran 11.99 seconds in the 100 and 26.34 in the 200.”

To provide some context, the fastest woman in college sports last year ran the 100 meter dash in 10.95 seconds.  The all-time women’s college record is 10.78 seconds.  The world record is 10.49 seconds.

In comparison, Izaiah Fields, from Curtis High School in Yakima, WA, has run the best boys high school time in the Washington State so far this year.  He ran it in 10.72.  While Izaiah is simply the fastest high schooler in Washington State this year, he is faster than any collegiate woman has ever been.

If we pretend Andraya is a girl, he is less than a second away from a collegiate national championship in his first high school track meet. You can count on him going down as the best female track athlete in Connecticut’s history, possibly by the end of his freshman year.

There’s no need to belabor the point about men generally being better athlete’s than women.

You’re alive.  You know this.

But we are now facing the prospect of a boy in Connecticut repeatedly taking the top of the podium over girls who know that second place is really first place.  Everyone will be thinking it, but the pressure not to say it will be enormous.  Most will politely applaud and some will comment about how beautiful the Emperor’s new clothes are.

This phenomenon isn’t happening just in high school sports, though.

Laurel Hubbard is excelling in women’s weightlifting in New Zealand after transition to being a woman in his thirties.  Fallon Fox, born Boyd Burton, is a man now fighting women in mixed martial arts and broke eye socket of an actual woman, Tamikka Brents, in one fight.

Defenders of the policies that allow men to compete with women attempt to mitigate the damage by establishing guidelines.

The NCAA, for example, requires men to undergo testosterone suppression treatment for one year before they are allowed to compete with women. There are no restrictions for women who wish to compete as men.

Curiously, the NCAA, which does year-round testing to ensure their athlete’s don’t take drugs, will now be testing some athletes to make sure that they do.

In theory, testosterone blockers make you more of a woman and neutralize the natural physical advantages men have.

But this begs an obvious question.

If your anatomy doesn’t make you male or female, why do hormones?

You just got done telling me that some men don’t have a penis but now you’re going to tell me all women have an estrogen level between 40-50 picograms per milliliter?

Please.

Either there’s a meaningful difference between men and women that exists independent of how someone is feeling or there isn’t.

The left’s attempt to turn a genuine psychological struggle into a civil rights movement is predicated on the belief that there is no tangible, discernible difference.

You don’t get to declare war on rules and then create a bunch of rules to deal with the mess you made by trying to get rid of all the rules.

But I understand why you want to.

On some level you understand that everything you’re saying is unworkable.

In your mind, there’s a very clear difference between a man pretending to be a woman and someone who is “authentically” transgender.  I understand what you mean and on some level I agree.

The problem, however, is that you can’t write what you mean.  In fact, you will oppose any attempt to define what it means to be “transgender” or “male” or “female”.

The nature of law and policy is to write clear standards that help people know what is and isn’t allowed.  But your entire objective is to eliminate standards and allow individuals to define reality subjectively inside their own minds and require everyone else to cooperate with their sense of reality.

If that’s the bed you want to make you’re going to have to lie in it.

The day is coming when a “trans female” (male) athlete is going to challenge the requirement that men take testosterone blockers for a year before they compete with women.  He might be sincere, or he might be punking the system.  But he will argue that in light of our new understanding of what gender is and isn’t, the idea that women have lower testosterone levels is arbitrary and misogynistic. “You’re telling me that women are inherently weaker?”

That day is coming because there is money involved.

Title IX requires an equivalent number of athletic scholarships opportunities for men and women.   If men can become women, a merely good high school boy can transform himself into an All-American female athletes with a flip of the gender switch.

And if you think there aren’t some enterprising young men out there trying to figure out how to pay for college, you haven’t tried to pay for college lately.

Go ahead, NCAA.

Make the legal argument for why you can be a man without having a penis or Y chromosome but you can’t be a woman without taking testosterone blockers.

We’re listening.

Bigots.

The University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team recently ended an historically good run of 111 consecutive wins.  But the moment East Tennessee Valley State A&M University’s women’s basketball team rolls out a starting lineup that includes three Adam’s apples who averaged 18 points per game in high school but weren’t quite good enough for men’s Division 1, it’s game on.

Don’t think the rest of the world that happens to care about medal counts in the Olympics isn’t watching either.

China could make their B level male Olympians transition to women and North Korea actually would.

Kim Jong Un will just giggle as, medal after medal,  he hoists the west on their own petard.

Athletics is not the reason the gender revolutionaries picked this fight, but it could be the arena that exposes the irrational and unworkable nature of their position most quickly.

Lord knows its not the fault of kids like Andraya Yearwood.

For most parents, if their 15 year-old came to them and asked for a permission to see an R rated movie, there’s going to be a conversation.

If their fifteen year-old asks them for a tattoo, the answer is no.  “Wait, until your eighteen and then I can’t stop you.”

But if that same 15 year-old tells their parents they want to take a bunch of synthetic hormones in preparation for the mutilation of their reproductive organs, we’re just supposed to applaud.

I have no doubt that his parents love him deeply, but our willingness to abandon every parental instinct in exchange for progressive brownie tolerance points has to stop.

If we’re going to put our kids first, that means we should be willing to take a little heat on their behalf when the culture wants to make a statement out of them.  And shame on anyone who would tell a parent their only alternative to changing their child’s gender is suicide.

A super majority of kids who ever struggle with gender dysphoria ultimately outgrow it.  Despite the best of intentions, this rush to have children switch genders is probably more about the adults than the kids.

Unless the adults get their act together, our future will be devoid of athletic opportunities for actual females and full of chemically and surgically altered kids asking us through tears, “why did you let me do that?”

Gorsuch, Religious Freedom, and Playground Rubber

Today the United States Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch as the 113th Justice of the United States Supreme Court, filling the vacancy left more than a year ago by the death of Antonin Scalia.

This confirmation is validation for those who voted for President Trump mostly or solely because of his promise that he would nominate conservative justices to the Supreme Court.

While the result is encouraging, the process exposed the troubling and disproportionate power the Supreme Court now has.

Rather than being the least powerful branch of government that merely interprets laws created by others, it has become the left’s preferred method of social engineering when those who are elected say, “No thanks” to their best new idea.

Most of the most significant assaults on life and marriage have come through the courts.  Now, the debate over religious freedom is largely being waged in the courts as well. And very soon we will see exactly what we are getting with Justice Gorsuch.

Perhaps the first case he hears as a member of the Supreme Court will be a significant religious freedom case involving, of all things, playground rubber.

The state of Missouri has a recycled program tire.  People pay a fee to the state to take their old, unwanted tires and the state uses that money to fund grant programs around the state that encourage schools and organizations to purchase playground pads composed of recycled rubber. Safer kids, smaller landfills; everyone wins

Their funds, however, are limited.

So the state created a list of criteria they use to determine which applicants will receive grant dollars.  They consider, among other things, the organization’s demonstrated commitment to the community as well as the need in the community being served.

When all the applications were evaluated initially, the application with the fifth highest score (out of forty-four) was Trinity Lutheran Church.

The top fourteen applicants received grant money.

The state, however, was uncomfortable with their status as a church and upon investigation eliminated them from consideration despite the fact that they were qualified based on the criteria initially established.

The state took the position that subsidizing the rubber padding on the playground constitutes the use of government money to promote religion.

Maybe they’re concerned a child will thank Jesus when their head doesn’t break open when they fall?

This case is troubling because Trinity Lutheran was denied an opportunity available to every other individual and organization in the State of Missouri solely because they are a church.

Of course, no one wants state funded religion.

But that does not mean that churches should be deprived of secular opportunities otherwise available to everyone else in the community.

The free exercise clause of the First Amendment was written specifically to prohibit the government from punishing people because of their religion.  One’s faith should make no difference to their legal rights, duties, or opportunities.

Many Americans who feel that way are probably a key reason Donald Trump was elected President.  And now Neil Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court.  Very soon, we’ll see if the people got what they bargained for.

Is North Carolina Going to Repeal HB2?

The North Carolina legislature is currently debating legislation that would change HB2, the privacy law that limits access to locker rooms and bathrooms based on biological sex.

This new proposal was prompted by threats from the NCAA that they will not consider North Carolina as a location for championships until 2022 unless they fix HB2.  North Carolina is home to some of the nation’s best collegiate basketball teams.

The proposal is being discussed as a “repeal” of HB2, but in reality the compromise currently being debated maintains most of the provisions of #HB2.

While the proposal would remove the prohibition on using facilities consistent with gender expression or gender identity, it would not compel public accommodations to allow access either.  In addition, the proposal would:

(1) stop local governments from passing their own access policies for multiple occupancy bathrooms; and

(2) prohibit cities and counties from creating non-discrimination policies for the next  four years.  This would prevent cities like Charlotte, who started this debate in North Carolina, from passing a rule requiring businesses to allow access based on gender expression or gender identity.

The compromise would return the law to where it was before this whole debate began. There would be no liability for accessing a facility that is consistent with one’s gender identity, but businesses would not be required to allow biological males into women’s showers.

Presumably, the NCAA has indicated that it would satisfy their demands.

This morning the North Carolina Senate voted 32-16 for the compromise legislation. Reports are that the votes are much closer in the House of Representatives and that success of the legislation is far from certain.

In the Senate, both the support and opposition were bi-partisan reflecting the controversial nature of the proposal.

Proponents of HB2 are opposing this revision on the grounds that it isn’t helpful and sacrifices privacy.  Opponents of HB2 are opposing the revision on the grounds that it is surrendering civil rights for at least four years.  From their perspective, allowing men to access women’s facilities is a matter of civil rights.

This bi-partisan opposition to the proposal also calls into question the political effectiveness of the maneuver.

Typically, when politicians try to make both sides happy, everyone ends up angry.

But North Carolina loves basketball. So maybe that’s all that matters.

It is worth noting that it is the same NCAA that maintains separate sports leagues for men and women that is pretending to be outraged that a state would maintain separate shower, locker room, and bathroom facilities for men and women.

We will provide updates from North Carolina as they become available.

To follow the live updates on social media, you can follow the hashtag #ncga

What Planned Parenthood Can Teach the Left About Conscience Rights

A debate over conscience rights and religious freedom has been raging for a while now.

But we may be on the verge of a breakthrough.

Just last week, bakers in Oregon who had been fined $135,000 for declining to decorate a cake for a same-sex wedding were in court appealing their fine.

Only a few weeks ago, the Washington State Supreme Court concluded that the state of Washington could force businesses out of the wedding industry unless they were willing to participate in same-sex weddings.

In both of these cases—and many others like them—small business owners asked, “You’re free to be you, why can’t I be free to be me?”  To which an angry mob responded, “Because you’re a bad person!”

And when the small business owner tries to explain how it’s a matter of conviction and not a desire to harm, the mob just yells louder.

Well, an unlikely mediator may have emerged in this debate.

Planned Parenthood.

Yes, that Planned Parenthood.  The nation’s largest abortion provider and progressive darling.   It turns out they’re feeling picked on.

You probably remember that funding for Planned Parenthood was a theme of the Presidential campaign and right now legislation is being debated in Washington DC that would cut off more than $500 million in federal tax funds to the abortion giant.

Earlier this week, President Trump made them a proposal: if you stop performing abortions we’ll keep sending you federal tax dollars.

They weren’t thrilled by the offer.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told the New York Times, “Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept.” [Emphasis Added]

An interesting choice of words, isn’t it?

“Offering money to abandon…our values is not a deal we will ever accept?”

It seems like a some small business owners have made similar arguments, and the left has skewered them for it.

Apparently, what’s good for the abortionist is not good for the florist.

Undoubtedly, they will defend their inconsistent reactions by pointing out that it’s legal to kill babies but it’s not legal to opt out of a same-sex wedding.

And most won’t even pause long enough to acknowledge how messed up that is.

But let’s set that aside for now.

The fact that Planned Parenthood is playing the role of the victim provides an unusual rhetorical opportunity in the debate over conscience rights.

Abortion has been identified not merely as a service, but as a value of Planned Parenthood.  And progressives respect them.

Other people have other values.  Progressives sue them.

And they feel good about it.

“Just bake the cake and it wouldn’t be an issue,” they assure us.

To which you should respond, “So Planned Parenthood should just stop killing babies to keep their federal funding, right?”

Maybe then, they’ll develop some sympathy for those who object to government using its power to force people to abandon their values.

One can hope.