Courting Bathroom Insanity

Earlier this week, in an unprecedented opinion, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond decided to throw the safety and privacy of every public school child in Virginia into grave danger each and every time they use their school bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers.

That’s right – the Court, in its wisdom, decided that a child’s sex means whatever the child wants it to mean on any given day, apparently since that’s the way the Obama Department of Education thinks it should be. The Department’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently issued a “guidance letter” to schools stating that from now on, “sex” for purposes of nondiscrimination laws includes a student’s “gender identity.” The Gloucester County school board, however, decided to keep the long-standing policy of boy/girl bathroom rules, while at the same time going out of its way to provide a separate private bathroom (three actually) to accommodate any student who did not feel comfortable with the bathroom associated with his or her biological sex, including a “transgender” student.

But the ACLU declared in suing the school board that its reasonable policy is discriminatory and stigmatizing.  And remarkably, despite the district court rightly throwing out the case, the 4th Circuit somehow cast both science and reason to the wind.   

The Court decided that the term “sex” as used under federal law is “ambiguous” and that science and biology can no longer inform us as to who’s a boy and who’s a girl. Yes – you read that right.

The lone judge on the three-judge panel to dissent, Judge Paul Niemeyer, perhaps said it best:

“This unprecedented holding overrules custom, culture, and the very demands inherent in human nature for privacy and safety, which the separation of such facilities is designed to protect. More particularly, it also misconstrues the clear language of Title IX and its regulations. And finally, it reaches an unworkable and illogical result.

“Across societies and throughout history, it has been commonplace and universally accepted to separate public restrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities on the basis of biological sex in order to address privacy and safety concerns arising from the biological differences between males and females. An individual has a legitimate and important interest in bodily privacy such that his or her nude or partially nude body, genitalia, and other private parts are not exposed to persons of the opposite biological sex. Indeed, courts have consistently recognized that the need for such privacy is inherent in the nature and dignity of humankind.” 

Judge Niemeyer simply recognizes what the vast majority of people already know – the self-evident basics of life that we all become aware of at a very young age. Namely, that boys and girls are different, and that they’re born that way!

Of course you and I know that biological realities and objective truth do matter. It matters in marriage. It matters for unborn children. It matters with our kids when they go to school and have to share a locker room, bathroom or communal shower with other kids. It matters all the time and in every place.

It is unacceptable that a couple of judges would make our children little more than pawns in their social engineering chess game. Kids these days have it hard enough in having to navigate the great confusion and instability they’re being fed constantly from culture. The last thing they need is to be forced to share a bathroom, changing area or shower with a person of the opposite sex. It seems that the much better solution would be to do what the Gloucester County School Board did and provide a reasonable accommodation for the one confused student instead of denying the dignity, privacy, and safety owed to all students.    

Despite inaccurate media reports, the Court did not mandate that schools immediately require students to access restrooms of the opposite sex, which is what the plaintiff and ACLU asked the court to grant.  Instead, the court sent it back to the lower court for further proceedings.  Consequently, this case is far from over, but these two judges have opined in a way no other federal court has – that biological reality doesn’t matter when it comes to the safety of our children.  The opinion is chilling, but hopefully, it’ll wake parents up to the reality that our government no longer sees the safety of children as important.