For nearly two months, North Carolina has been the target of withering attacks from politicians, activists, major CEOs and business owners, and now even the federal government over its bathroom law. According to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a speech accompanying a lawsuit against her home state, separating bathrooms by sex is akin to racist Jim Crow laws of the American past.
But as the Obama administration issued new documents last week pressuring schools to allow people who identify as the opposite sex into the restroom, locker room, and other facilities of their choice, it has become clear that it is the left that is anti-choice -- and the right that is respectful and tolerant of different beliefs.
According to The Associated Press, the new regulations do not require medical proof of a gender disorder, and if the 99.7 percent of students who are not gender-confused are uncomfortable with having a student of the opposite sex in their facility, they must simply deal with it.
This approach is similar to the heavy-handed Charlotte ordinance that North Carolina officials overturned earlier this year. That ordinance demanded that all businesses open to the public acquiesce to the government’s gender ideology, regardless of belief and those who would abuse the measure.
Compare this to the North Carolina law. Unlike the Obama administration, the law took a balanced approach in its guidance to schools state officials, giving them flexibility in dealing with students who identify as the opposite sex by allowing the use of "single occupancy bathroom or changing facilities or controlled use of faculty facilities upon a request..."
And unlike the Charlotte ordinance, the North Carolina measure left the bathroom policies of businesses up to each owner, including the policies of state contractors. Charlotte and other localities were likewise permitted to make their own internal policies, as the law did not interfere with “a local government regulating, compensating or controlling its own employees,"
But North Carolina's attempt to balance the right to privacy with the politics of the gender identity battle is perhaps no better outlined than the fact that the bathroom law explicitly states that anyone who has so-called "gender reassignment" surgery and changes their gender on their birth certificate can use the restroom of their choice.
Indeed, the law's separation of restrooms and other facilities by "biological sex" is partially undermined by its definition of "biological sex" as "the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person's birth certificate."
Again, compare this to the Obama administration's demand that all schools acquiesce to the ideology of the LGBT movement, and the Charlotte ordinance's one-size-fits-all mandate.
Except in extremely rare circumstances, biological sex cannot change -- men are men and women are women. It is clear that LGBT activists and their allies disagree with this reality, hence their ferocious attacks on North Carolina officials. But any objective observer should recognize that it is proponents of the North Carolina law that are merely separating government preferences from the decisions and beliefs of private individuals and companies...and leftists are using the power of government to enforce their ideology.
Dustin Siggins is an Associate Editor for The Stream.