You may be wondering what on earth is going on in America’s bathrooms. This week ten states joined together to sue the White House over a non-binding guidance (the federal equivalent of a sticky note) that it sent out to schools which said transgender students should be allowed to use whichever bathroom they identify with. FYI schools which are engaging in discrimination may lose their federal funding. Transgender rights groups say this sticky note validates their fight for recognition, opponents say it’s blackmail and yet another example of President Obama overstepping his authority.
Recap: North Carolina is facing backlash over its controversial “bathroom bill” which legislates among other things that people have to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender on their birth certificate. Critics say the law violates the rights of transgender individuals, and legalizes fear of and discrimination around a minority group just like segregation laws did with African Americans. Supporters say the law protects the privacy of citizens who only want to share public bathrooms with those of the same gender, and that it protects women and children from being molested by transgender adults. A defensive North Carolina and an offensive Department of Justice are currently counter-suing each other over the bill, but NC is not the only state considering or passing these types of laws.
Many questions have been raised about how these laws would be enforced and by whom but the sad truth is, if adults want to go into bathrooms to molest children, a sign on the door or a federal law isn’t going to stop them, and discriminating against a minority group won’t change that. Legislating bathroom use doesn’t seem far removed from legislating oh, say what clothing women can wear or which religions people can practice. The more invasive a government becomes, the more freedoms its citizens stand to lose. In a country where the idea of liberty and justice for all is enshrined in the Pledge of Allegiance, it seems that 2016 is the year where those ideals are swiftly being flushed down the toilet.
Feel like bathrooms are a bad place to be right now? It could be worse. Movie for your mood: Psycho