Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 8:34 am | Fair 43º

 
 
 
 
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John Daly: Who’s At Risk in Transgender Restroom Controversy?

I read with interest a recent article by NPR’s Jeff Brady on North Carolina’s bathroom bill controversy. Brady notes that the controversy centers around who is at risk. As in all controversial matters, there are a number of differences of opinion.

House Bill 2 supporters appear to be focused on males who have transitioned into women. They argue that the new law would prevent sexual predators from pretending to be a transgender person and using a women’s restroom to gain easy access to their prey.

In Brady’s article, the Rev. Ron Baity, president of Return America and pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., says predators could be in a restroom to look at the anatomy of the opposite sex or that a sexual pervert could bring damage to a young girl.

Baity also organized a rally at the North Carolina capitol to thank legislators for making HB2 the law, which limits civil rights protection for the LGBT community and prevents local governments from extending rights beyond what the state offers.

The biggest hot button in the law requires public organizations, such as schools and government offices, to designate public restrooms “male” and “female” and be used by people based on their biological sex. Those supporting this back up their claims with crime reports.

However, the crime reports offered as support involve sexual predators who wear women’s clothing and violate previously existing laws. Supporting that “transgender” and “predator” are synonymous is offensive to many.

In Brady’s article, Alison Gill, vice chair of the Trans United Fund, says that “it’s hard not to take it personally when people are comparing trans people to child predators or saying that we’re somehow dangerous.”

Gill also pointed out that a transgender person would rather use a restroom privately and with as little attention paid to them as possible.

Currently, 17 states and even more communities in the United States include transgender people as a protected class for public accommodations.

A research group at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute is currently studying if extending public accommodations rights to trans people leads to more crimes by predators.

“Early indications,” said Jody Herman, a public policy scholar with the group, “are that it does not.”

Based on Herman’s survey of 93 transgender and gender nonconforming people in Washington, D.C., in 2008 and 2009, they themselves are at risk in restrooms.

According to Herman in Brady’s article, approximately 70 percent of those surveyed experienced being denied access to restrooms or were harassed while using restrooms and even experienced some type of physical assault. Eight of the 93 respondents to her survey reported they had been physically attacked in a restroom.

So, where do you stand on this issue? Do you choose to be tolerant? Or, do you feel that the risk to children and young women is too great?

Is this merely a political issue or does it extend to human rights? If this touched you personally in some way, how would you respond?

Let me know your thoughts.

John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the keys to life skills success. Click to learn more about The Key Class. John’s new book, 74 Key Life Skills for a Happy, Successful Life, is available on Amazon. Click here to receive a FREE eBook copy of The Key Class. Do you have a question about business or social etiquette? Ask John at [email protected]. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook and follow John on Twitter @johnjdalyjr. The opinions expressed are his own.

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