Some people never learn. Many of those people get elected.
George Bernard Shaw once said, “Success doesn’t consist in never making mistakes, but in never making the same one a second time.”
Someone should mention that to Republican representative from Bixby Chuck Strohm. After watching several states – including his own – struggle with the ethics and effects of a “bathroom bill,” he still hasn’t learned what a bad idea it is.
Rep. Strohm, the 2016 Conservative Legislator of the Year, filed HB 2680 with only a title and brief description. His bill is called the “Bathroom Guidelines Act.”
That sounds more like a poster on the wall of a daycare than a bill in a state legislature that still hasn’t figure out how to fill it’s revenue hole for next year.
In 2016, Oklahoma’s lawmakers left a bill intended to regulate how transgender people use public restrooms in committee. Texas got a version of the bill through one house of their legislature but it failed in the other and died before their Governor could gleefully sign another bill to discriminate against powerless people.
It’s hard to believe, but this is one bill where conservative legislators will ignore big money donors. In Texas, Halliburton, Exxon, Southwest and American Airlines, IBM and AT&T all opposed the bill.
Apparently, businesses don’t like bills that lead to boycotts.
Of course, the best example of what would happen if a bill like this passes came from North Carolina. A Governor lost his seat. Major companies abandoned the state. The NCAA and other major sports organizations pulled events from the state.
But despite the abject failure and rapid repeal of the one bathroom bill that passed, Rep. Strohm still wants to give it a spin in Oklahoma. That’s what the state really needs, another reason for companies not to locate or expand here.
I am almost certain that this bill will end up at the bottom of the trash heap with the vast majority of the other bills that were submitted but don’t cut the mustard.
These bills are based on anecdotes instead of evidence, fear instead of logic, and emotion instead of reality.
The thoughts behind these bills are disturbing. I think it is pretty obvious that the sex lives of gay people are different than those of more traditional, heterosexual couples. That difference is scary to a lot of people. A person who identifies with a gender other than the one they were born with really mystifies people.
A transgendered man is told he is really a woman. “Check your biology,” he is told.
I get that black and white solutions are easier to understand and much more comfortable to deal with.
Because gay people or transgendered people are different than people who live in traditional relationships, somehow the people who live traditional lifestyles assume that they are more likely to be sexually deviant. A man who is attracted to men is no more likely to abuse boys than and man who is attracted to women is to abuse little girls.
A person whose gender identity isn’t aligned with their biology isn’t more likely to be a sex predator. I know there is an example or two of a man dressing like a woman and attacking women in a restroom. There is an anecdote for almost everything.
But let’s be honest, I bet there is a higher percentage of state legislators who claim to be members of the religious right committing sex crimes than there is of gay or transgendered people doing the same things.
Just because a person’s sex life or the way they dress or see themselves makes you uncomfortable doesn’t mean you have to be scared of them.
The vast majority of people in those situations are just like straight people. They don’t really want to go to the bathroom with anyone else – ever.
We don’t need this bill. There is no reason to discriminate against people due to sexual preference or gender identity.
Let’s just leave everyone alone and try to use the restroom without an audience as often as possible.