Charita is a victim of sexual abuse and has never been able to completely overcome her rape. Joanna is a transgendered woman who has been using gender-specific public accommodations as a woman for 15 years. Could it be that the latest partisan battle surrounding gender-specific public accommodations is making things worse for both Charita and Joanna? Should we force Charita to feel unsafe or Joanna to become a criminal? As happens far too often, one government authority passes a law prompting another authority to pass a law, and we all lose in the process.
Every individual deserves both personal dignity and an expectation of privacy when accommodations are gender-specific. Both are possible when we stop looking to government force as the answer to every problem facing society.
Charlotte, North Carolina should be able to defend the rights of every minority, but shouldn’t be so cavalier with the privacy rights of the majority. North Carolina should defend the safety and privacy of all its citizens, but shouldn’t criminalize groups of people for simply living an honest life to the best of their ability.
Some in Ohio are clamoring for laws like those in either Charlotte or North Carolina as a state. We at the Republican Liberty Caucus of Ohio (RLCOH) believe neither should be our model. If government feels compelled to act (and it isn’t clear to us that it needs to), the RLCOH would find it much more palatable to see legislation that:
-Punishes any person who impersonates the opposite sex with the intended purpose of committing a crime (No obvious males going into women’s changing rooms based on a simple transgendered assertion in order to assault, photograph, or otherwise infringe on privacy).
-Affirms the right of each individual to use the gender-specific accommodations reflecting their identity so long as a reasonable person would find it plausible the individual’s biological gender matches their chosen identity (protects the transgendered from discrimination while prohibiting exposure of opposite sex genitals in a gender-specific accommodation).
· Notice this legislation neither affirms nor prohibits the identification of LGBT as a protected class.
· Notice this legislation respects that peaceful individuals can make bathroom choices on their own and don’t need government help.
· Notice this legislation does not force businesses to do anything to accommodate new legal restrictions.
· Notice that gender-specific accommodations are not required, but that where they are employed, there is a recognition of privacy expectations and that gender norms should be respected.
We believe most of society’s problems can be solved through more freedom, not less. We also believe that protecting citizens from unwanted force is a legitimate role for government. Most importantly, just because you are a lawmaker, that doesn’t mean you should try to solve every societal problem with a law.