Cleveland’s recently proposed and reviewed “transgender-inclusion bathroom and locker room ordinance” is not the first of its kind, as Houston and numerous other cities have also visited or enforced measures that award local residents the special right to use whatever facility they choose, regardless of their natural gender.
City officials behind the new law argue that those opposed to the ordinance need to wake up and adjust to the so-called going trend of society.
As key sponsors of the “public accommodations” section of the legislation affecting private businesses, Councilmen Matt Zone and Joe Cimperman stress that the new law was created to grant transgender people the choice to visit any restroom they choose to cater to whatever whim they have — regarding their gender identity issues.
"This is common sense legislation, and it's long overdue," Zone asserted, noting that the ordinance does not mandate businesses to provide separate restroom or locker room facilities or signs warning unsuspecting visitors. "We're in the 21st century, and it would allow Clevelanders to feel comfortable in their own environment and to use facilities that they're most comfortable with."
Family Research Council (FRC), a pro-family Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization is perplexed by Zone’s blanket statement that Clevelanders in general need to feel “comfortable” by allowing them to enter any restroom they choose, pointing out that transgenders constitute a miniscule fraction of city dwellers.
“Exactly which Clevelanders is he talking about?” FRC asks. “The 99 percent of locals who would have to forfeit their personal safety and First Amendment rights to comply? Or the less than 1 percent of sexually confused people who are dictating ‘morality’ to the rest?”
Nonetheless, many city officials are on board with the councilmen’s mindset, believing dissenters to be archaic and irrational.
“We have to get out of the mindset that someone is going into the bathroom to attack,” a city leader retorted when responding to fears expressed by Clevelanders who voiced concerns about the ordinance opening the door for sexual predators of all types throughout the city.
Another argument used by city leaders advocating the new law is that dozens of other cities have enacted similar controversial ordinances, alleging that pedophiles, voyeurs and other sexual predators have rarely abused the laws.
Public outrage and concern
Under the transgender ordinance, many are shocked to learn that any person or business restricting restrooms to one gender will be issued a $1,000 criminal fine. One author put it another way:
"So if a woman is alone in a business and sees some guy follow her into the restroom — and you know this will start to happen — and she screams and makes a huge fuss to draw attention to the male invading her privacy, SHE is the one who will get slapped with a $1000 fine?" a concerned author voiced over the problematic law. "How about a privacy-respecting business owner who listens to his or her female customers? Or the grandmas who stand at the door of the public pools — with pitchforks, perhaps — to keep pedophiles out of the showers with their eight-year-old granddaughters?"
FRC emphasizes how serious the proposed ordinance is and reminds women, parents and children alike that their rights as Ohioans would be violated by the controversial law. Other conservative watchdog groups defending Judeo-Christian values agree, stressing that the main issue at hand is the well-being and protection of vulnerable citizens — particularly women and children.
“All can agree that the safety of children and women must always come first,” the Cincinnati, Ohio-based organization Citizens for Community Values said in a statement. “This proposed ordinance outrageously neglects the safety and physical and emotional health of women and children and opens up real possibilities of predators and incidents of rape, assault, public exposure and other sexual abuse.”
On the other hand, promoters of the ordinance, including Alana Jochum of the pro-LGBT group, Equality Ohio, tries to put tensions at ease by insisting that anyone entering a restroom with the malice intent to harass or harm an occupant would still be liable for obstructing the law. She insists that Cleveland’s transgender restroom law would merely give transgenders the right to pick and choose the restroom that makes them feel the safest. However, no mention was given as to what would make straight women and children feel the safest.
"A transwoman who is forced to enter a male restroom is subject to a much greater safety risk than if she uses the restroom she most identifies with," Jochum said in defense of the ordinance.
The debate goes on …
The first of a number of meetings over the issue kicked off this month. They are held by the Cleveland City Council, which continues to push the ordinance that would make every public restroom and shower — including those found in private businesses and schools — to be freely accessible by all men and women citywide.
The transgender restroom and locker room ordinance discussed at the city’s Workforce and Community Benefits Committee meeting is just one in a bundle of ordinances under review that are being proposed to “update” Cleveland’s current anti-discrimination laws, which now seek to embrace the transgender community by handing them special rights."
Some time back, Deacon Keith Fournier, in an article for Catholic Online, explained that, "The 'Gender Identity Movement' is dangerous. It is a part of a broader Cultural Revolution which substitutes an entirely different view of the dignity of the human person, human freedom, human flourishing, human sexuality, marriage and the family and the moral basis of a free society than that which formed Western Civilization."
Indeed Pope Benedict XVI, in a Christmas Address given in 2008, denounced the contemporary notion that gender is a malleable definition and said, "The Church speaks of the human being as man and woman, and asks that this order is respected."
Fr. Vincent Miceli, S.J., has noted that, "It has been a special scar on the worst pagan cultures and the worst idolatrous religions that they openly attacked the gender identities of the sexes. They celebrated sexual indulgence, sexual experimentation, sexual symbols, fertility rites, temple prostitution, seasonal sex orgies, sexual abuse and enslavement of young women, girls and boys....But sex is not an accidental characteristic of man and woman. A human person without sex is a monstrous abstraction. Sex entails the very identity of each person; sex plunges to the deepest mystery of each person. Hence the sexes and the vocations pertaining thereto are not interchangeable. Each person is called to serve God and his fellowman, accepting gladly the sex with which one is endowed and the vocation attached to that sex." (The Antichrist, P. 231).
In the comments section of one post at this Blog, Mr. Michael Cole noted how, "Homosexuals, lesbians and transsexuals are often afflicted by evil spirits. Gender confusion is often a sign of demonic possession. Fr. Malachi Martin recounts the story of a possessed transsexual in his bestselling book 'Hostage to the Devil.' In the chapter titled 'The Virgin and the Girl-Fixer,' he writes, 'At one moment, Father Gerald, the exorcist, was bending over the possessed, Richard/Rita, who had sunk his teeth into his own instep. In the next instant, the glaze in Richard/Rita's eyes broke, melting into a lurid gleam of mockery. Greenish. The teeth loosened their grip on the instep. The mouth opened, baring gums and throat, the tongue protruded, quivering on a stream of gray foam bubbles. The whole face was furrowed in irregular lines, as Richard/Rita broke into peals of laughter. Great buffeting gusts of mocking, jeering, Schadenfreude laughter. Laugter pouring from a belly of amused scorn and contemptuous hate.'"
How quickly we forget this. Gender confusion represents something more than a cultural revolution. It is often the result of demonic possession. The more a culture rejects the Living God and His Commandments, the more it sinks into an abyss of depravity.
We need Pope Francis to cry out against this encroaching evil. We do not need to hear, "Who am I to judge?" We need a Shepherd who thunders the truth that, "We should obey God rather than men."
Is that too much to ask?