Obama and Gender Identity Politics
Morabito, Stella, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The
President Obamas timing may have been a tad off for the inevitable and unsurprising unveiling of his support for same-sex marriage.
But a significant irony is that Obama is nodding toward a related measure that is possibly more controversial with voters: The White House website explicitly states that Obama believes federal anti- discrimination laws should be expanded to include ...gender identity.
What would this mean? One clue comes in recent reports that the Department of Justice pressured the University of Arkansas to change its policy on restroom use for the benefit of an anatomically male transgender student there. After receiving correspondence from the Justice Department, the school announced this man, who identifies as a woman, would be permitted to use the ladies room.
Despite Obamas many under-the-radar speeches touting extended protections for transgendered individuals in employment, housing, education, use of public facilities, and so on he seems to have taken precautions in his election year timing on this issue.
For example, on April 11, Obama decided not to proceed at this time with an expected executive order that would have prohibited federal contractors from gender identity discrimination.
The question is not whether he will support such measures, but when he will bring them to the mainstream.
We might help Obama overcome his reticence by asking what he thinks about the gender identity law passed just last month in Argentina.
The new law in Argentina allows individuals to opt for the gender of their choice on official documents. One neednt have surgery or take hormones it is enough simply to claim to perceive oneself as a particular gender. The government is then obligated to protect that perception.
Most Americans havent yet grasped the fact that same-sex marriage and gender identity laws are a package deal. Both agendas have been wending their way through statehouses and hundreds of municipalities, as well as the courts.
Both agendas appeal to Americans sense of fairness, our goodwill and our respect for equal rights for minorities. But we deceive ourselves when we say such laws wont impact our personal lives.
Both ideas fundamentally transform our society, our culture and our laws. …