Transphobia, or True Discussion?

Marriage-Alliance-Australia-Transphobia-True-Discussion.jpgIt starts out as changing a “simple” definition; but once marriage is redefined as a genderless institution, sex and gender issues do not dissipate – they become far more prevalent.  

Among the many consequences accompanying redefining marriage, transgenderism and its “inclusive” ideology is a major threat to privacy rights of all its citizens. 

Marriage Alliance has recently been criticised by some commentators for highlighting issues dealing with gender ideology, as if they are somehow unrelated to the redefinition of marriage. Marriage Alliance was accused of “attacking LGBT people, their families and transgender people” and it was suggested that we “especially don’t like transgender people.”

This accusation is not even close to accurate, but even so, this attack seemed to be a useful prompt for a reminder on the link between the redefinition of marriage and the imposition of gender ideology.

The Marriage Act is the only piece of legislation left in Australia that makes any distinction between men and women. Legislation that removes this difference has consequences for other aspects of life.

Some of these consequences were outlined by a contributor to The Federalist last week. While many social justice warriors will be up in arms about this article, there are some good lessons to be learned about making quick value judgments about someone expressing a reasonable opinion.

Paul Dirks, a contributor to The Federalist, wrote about legitimate privacy and consent concerns which are progressively jeopardised by the ever-expanding transgender agenda:

Gender-inclusion legislation removes from persons, particularly females, the right of consent concerning their bodily privacy in spaces like change rooms and showers. 

In one of the only polls to ask about locker rooms, a Crux-Marist poll found only 27 percent in favor of opening bathroom use. While there is significant variability in poll results, support for transgender facility use is almost always significantly lower than goodwill towards transgender people generally. What accounts for this disparity? 

There is good reason to believe the public concern has to do with the right of consent in the matter of bodily privacy, especially for females. This is not a minor consideration.

In response to Dirks’ article, the LGBTI lobby would undoubtedly cry something along the lines of “What a transphobe!” However, pointing out the complexities of gender-inclusion in multiple contexts, (not least of which is allowing bathroom access based on subjective preference) does NOT make Dirks a “transphobe”.

With today’s trends of “trigger warning” and political correctness, many people often forget that reporting on a phenomenon is not the same as attacking an entire group of people. In relation to the accusations against Marriage Alliance of “attacking LGBT people, their families and transgender people”, pointing out the unintended consequences of the legal enforcement of a particular ideology for those supposedly “unaffected” by the change is not the same as attacking the person. And it is reckless for same-sex marriage activists to suggest as much. 

The traditional definition of marriage, between one man and one woman, is the fundamental building block for society’s most basic unit: the family. It is NOT any type of phobic to alert people to the consequences of redefining this institution.

An article by polling agency Gallup highlighted the distinction between goodwill toward a group of people and assent to a legal change based on gender.

More recently, a May 13-17 New York Times/CBS News poll asked about the issue in a format that was generally the same as that of Gallup:

"Do you think people who are transgender -- that is, someone who identifies themselves as the sex or gender different from the one they were born as -- [ROTATED] should be allowed to use the public bathrooms of the gender they identify with or should they have to use the public bathrooms of the gender they were born as?

The results were similar to the Gallup results, with 46% choosing the "born as" option and 41% choosing the "identify as" option.

In summary, the measures giving respondents a choice between two options found opposition to the idea of allowing transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their gender identity, while the one question asking about favoring/opposing a postulated law requiring facility use corresponding to birth gender found support.

Sitting behind these results are legitimate concerns about what these changes mean for individuals. Instead of acknowledging these concerns and addressing them, supporters of same-sex marriage consistently resort to name-calling and putting their opponents in an ideological box. This does the same-sex marriage debate no favours. As Dirks wrote:  

Vox-Morning Consult poll of 2,000 U.S. voters similarly found that “although a plurality said they support laws that prohibit discrimination against trans people, they were divided on whether trans people should be able to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.”

This is not an indication that people in the US are transphobic – it simply shows a clear difference between debating an issue and attacking a group of people. When emotional arguments are removed from the discussion, facts can be debated clearly and honestly.

Transgender people make up a small percentage of the total population, but as noted by Dirks, they are regularly co-opted by same-sex marriage supporters and used as ammunition for the cause:

But as rights do not occur in a vacuum, they must be weighed against other concerns–usually other’s rights. Transwomen represent 0.3 percent or perhaps 0.4 percent of the population. Even if we imagine that only one-third of females would feel significant discomfort with biological males in their segregated spaces, that is still 17 percent of the population, some 42 times larger than the transwoman population. If we agree that consent in bodily privacy is important, it stands to reason we should be against policies that remove the right of consent from a much larger group in order to grant consent to a much smaller group.

Fortunately, there is a solution that upholds the consent of both groups. Policies dealing with privacy-related segregation should work towards ensuring that facilities have third spaces that are fully enclosed, lockable, and unisex. In many cases these are already present in the form of disabled or family spaces. Governments may need to pressure facilities to provide more if transgender individuals who have not yet had full sex-reassignment surgery should require them. If consent-privacy is truly a concern for gender policy advocates, they should embrace this solution. Anything else spells the death of consent, and with it, the death of privacy.

Instead of condemning discussions about same-sex marriage, transgenderism or any other heated topic with labels of transphobia and bigotry, it is best to take a moment to consider whether the writer is simply discussing a topic rather than writing an attack piece. Only through reasoned debate can both sides truly discuss the matter and understand all the accompanying gravity of the issue and, as is evident in the Dirks article, come to a solution which works for all parties involved. Unfortunately, many same-sex marriage activists are more concerned about gaining “rights” by trampling over the “rights” of others, rather than finding an acceptable middle-ground.

The only law left in Australia that has sex distinction in it is marriage. Once you remove gender from marriage, there are many consequences. This is not a “phobic” statement – it is simply a fact.

Read next: Parents: don’t jump to “gender” conclusions for your children

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