Frenier: Tolerance and the transgender debate

By Carol Frenier

On Tuesday the Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a Pennsylvania school district’s bathroom policy for transgender students. This debate presents us with a very difficult problem: how do we respect the self-identity of a biologically male person who believes himself to be female while at the same time acknowledging that biologically female persons are not comfortable undressing in the presence of biologically male persons?

The court has chosen to let this debate unfold in the political arena for a while longer, which is wise. Many people think the Roe v. Wade decision was premature and simply put off the inevitable public debate we are still embroiled in 45 years later. Perhaps we can do better on the transgender controversy if we allow the full scope of considerations and arguments to come forward among the citizenry before racing to the courts.

Public domain

Frenier: “The bathroom and locker room problems are only the most visible of transgender issues.”

The bathroom and locker room problems are only the most visible of transgender issues. We are also seeing more and more cases in which biological females are losing their ability to compete in sports because biological males who identify as female are allowed to compete in women’s events. Will this trend negate the whole intent of Title IX?

While complex, both the bathroom and sports issues are pretty concrete and understandable. A third issue is more subtle: the increasing establishment of public school programs that advocate for the normalization of transgender identity in our society, sometimes teaching this to grades as early as kindergarten and without parental consent. Transgender advocates insist that anything short of viewing gender identity as fact is not only wrong but bigoted. The same is true for presenting positive views of gay marriage. Disagreement is assumed to be intolerance. LGBTQ advocates do not believe that you can be respectful and accepting of gay marriage or transgenderism if you disagree with the basic premises.

Yet the First Amendment tells us exactly how we can accomplish this (how wise they were!) The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

If we think of religion more broadly than just a specific religious sect, we can see that this really refers to our worldview or belief system. Atheists have a worldview just as surely as Catholics do, but there are no atheist churches. The “establishment clause” means that the government cannot make anyone attend, participate in, or financially support a church or religious/philosophical organization of any sort: Catholic, Baptist, Jewish, Muslim, etc. The “free exercise clause” means you can’t be prevented from attending the church or organization of your choice and building your life around that group’s core beliefs.

The “establishment clause” specifically restricts governments, but the idea applies to individuals and informal groups in a general sense as well. As Americans we have long believed that we have the right to be respected by our peers, but not the right to require them to agree with our beliefs or participate in our religion or lifestyles. For a lot of parents today, the LGBTQ curriculum advocacy in public schools is a kind of establishment that discriminates against their beliefs and labels them as bigots if they object.

The capacity to refrain from “establishing” our own ideas and beliefs as the “truth” that everyone else must conform to, while simultaneously “freely exercising” our religion or the behavior consistent with our worldview, is harder than it looks. But it is the bedrock of America and our success. It is the necessary competence required in a free society to work though hard issues such as abortion and transgenderism. And it is a capacity that I fear we are losing, because we are teaching our children entitlement, victimhood, and righteous judgment, not the true tolerance that comes with mutual respect and restraint. Both LGBTQ advocates and those who believe that sex is binary need to be heard without prejudice.

Carol Frenier is a business owner living in Chelsea, Vermont. She is the chair of the Orange County Republican Committee.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Michael F. Mehnert (cropped) and Public domain

10 thoughts on “Frenier: Tolerance and the transgender debate

  1. If the bullies of the “Alter Genders” are going to keep denying the science of Biology then they should be
    be shamed like the climatetards (Liars) try to do with Thinking Persons (calling us science deniers) on the Warming hoax issue.
    This low percent of the population gets undue attention from leftist, political hacks, media and the screaming gender confused themselves.

  2. Is this about sex or about many lonely people looking to connect to something.
    We are living in a godless social media world and many are lost. This upcoming generation is perhaps the most lonely and isolated generation known due to lack of god, broken families, economics and an overload of social media creating a huge void of human interaction. People are filling voids with drugs and social media and trying to belong. Our challenges are many but with caring and understanding people we can help people find their way home.

    • I was at my chiropractor today in the fine red state that I live in and have bevome very fond of. In the waiting room the corner book table clearly has a copy of the Bible on it, the kids play corner had at least two books that I glanced over and saw two books with the words “Jesus Christ “ on the front covers . Mind you this is a private practice ,

      If that were done in VT there would be a line of folks from the Left protesting outside the doors.

  3. Interesting topic…so interesting. Science, religion, biology, anthropology, nature pretty well cover this and are in agreement. We as a species are set up to love each other, to work together. We are also different from most in that sex is EXTREMEMLY pleasurable, regardless of where you choose to get your pleasure, for those in science they postulate this was advantageous to keep a couple together for the long period of birth to adults, from a religious standpoint it’s the glue for a good marriage. We are using the glue and sticking us to all sorts of combinations.

    Marketing people know free and sex are very powerful tools. Historically and biblically there is nothing new under the sun, all the young people who think they are on the cutting edge of sexuality are at least 3500 years behind the times, probably more.

    Why would anyone want to sexualize kids early? It goes against nature, science and the consequences for young woman (prior to 100 years ago) was and very well could be life threatening.

    Who would want to do this and why? Surprising to me it’s written out in some organizations play book. There are groups whose intent is to stir up this “debate”, so bring about confusion, which when I first heard this, why and how could anybody be confused about their sexuality?

    Are we confusing different types of love? Are we even discussing different types of love and intimacy? Teachings of our ancients were more sophisticated than we’ve given them credit for.

    Interesting times, that is for sure.

  4. Let’s see, more and more kids can’t decide what their gender is, we only have two genders
    Male or Female everything else is just delusional.

    So suicide rates are up and more and more kids thinking or not, that they are Transgender
    so what do they have in common ??………………….Education in Liberal Public Schools.

    It’s not Education its Indoctrination, all Federal & State funding should be pulled from these
    schools all their indoctrination is nothing more than ” Child Abuse ” by tainting there young
    fragile minds.

    It’s sad and we let it happen !!

  5. All public schools ‘dilute’ parental control. So do private schools. The only way parents can control the education of their children is via home schooling, and even then there are required subjects that may force the ‘home educator’ to teach a double standard – both the required-by-the-state material and the required-by-the-parents version of the perceived truth.

    • I agree the public schools are trans-opting control of the kids’ minds. We never had kids so I can’t speak to what its like to fight back against that process. Whatever your political affiliation is though, if you don’t get in the school administration’s face over this then you belong in the coward’s regret party. You will regret your child’s exposure to that Progressive’s Concoction of Societal Transformation and not turning the screws back on them. They’re Bullies! Shaming is their weapon! Their job is to provide Objective education and skills so the students learn to understand how society works, both commercially and socially. It is not within their charge to proselytize! They are failing the students, the parents, and the tax paying community. You must understand your rights as biological parents of a child attending a publicly funded institution are hold sway over the Progressive Party’s indoctrination attempts. Go get them!!

  6. Bravo! An incisive consideration of a vitriolic issue. If we only had more of such open conversations.

  7. I can tell u how to fix the bathrm locker room issue, build multiple single users accessed from a public hallway. $$$ but its where we are now. would benefit both parties- gender confused kids who want to fly under the radar AND those who are uncomfortable mixing genders in such private and intimate settings.

    As far as the underlying issue – take your kids out of the govt schools. They are quickly changing from “organized chaos” classrooms to straight up chaotic k-12 daycares.

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