Fear Of Whales

Tales of a reluctant minister


with 8 comments

There is an ordinance which passed in the city I live in, which gives equal rights to sinners.
Specifically speaking it adds Sexual Preference and Gender Identity to a list of protected statuses according to the American Civil Rights act.
The bill is HERE if you’d like to read it. But I’ve read it. And I can tell you, It is a good bill

  • It’s reasonable and realistic
  • It protects Churches and religious speech
  • It does not favor any particular group
  • It will some make peoples lives better

But the Christians have flipped their lids. Their version of the story says

  • It requires all bathrooms in the city to be unisex
  • They will make us hire a Gay pastor
  • I could be fined if I say homosexuality is a sin
  • It will ruin everything

Even before reading the bill it should be obvious those sorts of concerns are ridiculous. Even if the bill didn’t protect religious organizations specifically (and it does) the constitution would. Women have been protected from discrimination for decades and nobody has forced the Baptists to hire female pastors yet. and Gay people use the same bathrooms as the rest of us.
Come on now people. Let’s think about this for a minute.

Today I spoke with a young lady, and a much younger adorable little daughter. She was telling me all about how the bill got passed but there is a movement to repeal it because there’s a part in "the bathroom law where a guy can just follow you in and say ‘oh i felt like a woman at the time’ and that’s fine, so you could get sued for discriminating him." and her daughter, who must be about 6, piped up and said "But Mommy wat if yuwr a gay woman " to which mom responded "Yup! same thing"

I replied to the young girl (but really to her mother) "You’d have to be a transgendered woman" hoping to communicate some of the complexity of this question…rather than actually expecting to be understood. But I was cut off "NOOOO! even if they’re dressed as guys they can just pop in"
…I walked away… I would have liked to beat my head against a wall trying to make a difference but I knew better

-I would have liked to explain that there is a difference between transsexuals and transvestites
-I would have liked to point out that neither switch between genders based upon their mood
-I would have liked to hear how she would have transsexuals treated. (Do we just not let them pee?)
-I would really loved for the most important and obvious fact to sneak in, that none of this bathroom stuff was actually in the ordinance but rather, that Mommy had just made it up in her ignorant and fearful brain.

But it wasn’t going to happen. so I walked away.

And thank goodness I did because the further I got the angrier I became. That poor little girl is being filled with hate, and she has no way to know any better.

And it is "hate" this isn’t just political disagreement anymore. At the point where we are making up and perpetuating lies about a people group in order to justify being against giving them rights I’m no longer comfortable calling it anything but "hate"

And there’s nothing I can do about it… So I’m telling you guys.

The next time your pastor tells you to be against something: Read the dang ordinance! Read it through all the way. Look up the words you don’t understand, and come to a conclusion. And if that conclusion goes against what the Christian sub culture tells you to believe… Well then we have a problem don’t we?


Written by RyanGaffney

July 17, 2013 at 3:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

8 Responses

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  1. You’re right – (but she’s right too).

    You are factually right. She is right in practice. In practice, everything the lady said has the potential to be correct, because once this law is passed, what is to stop a man from going into a ladies restroom and claiming “transgender”? Now I know the law doesn’t say that, but these laws are written so broadly that someone could take that interpretation.

    It’s why the Equal Rights Amendment of the 1970’s didn’t pass. There is nothing inherently wrong with women having equal rights as men, but when a statute is written so broadly that “equal rights” could mean whatever an individual would want it to mean, then it becomes problematic. Likewise, the definition of “transgender” is problematic here. How does one determine which sex a person wants to identify with? If you are saying that it is up to each person to choose the sex with which he or she identifies with, then the lady’s statement is not hateful and bigoted, it is accurate within the broad parameters of the way in which the law is written.

    Denny Fusek

    July 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    • This is why i saved the full text of the bill and posted in on my private website for posterity. Did you read it?

      No Denny it doesn’t mean that in practice, because the law is not “written broadly” it is quite specific. The belief that laws “like this” are written so broadly as to be problematic comes from where exactly? Who told you that?

      For what it’s worth there is not, and never has been any law that applies to Manhattan Kansas on a City, State or Federal level that prevents a man from entering a woman’s restroom for any reason (whether or not he things he is a woman)

      That sort of thing is prevented by social taboo. Not congressmen.

      Ryan Gaffney

      July 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      • I did read it. 10.17b seems to be broad enough that it can be interpreted in a way as to make the woman you argued with correct.

        10.17b says: (“It is unlawful …) “To refuse, deny, make a distinction, directly or indirectly, or discriminate in any way, against any person in the full and equal use and enjoyment of the services, facilities,
        privileges, or advantages of any institution, department or agency of the City or any
        political subdivision thereof, or any other governmental entity within the City limits
        because of race, sex, military status, disability, religion, color, sexual orientation, gender
        identity, national origin or ancestry, except where a distinction because of sex is necessary
        because of the intrinsic nature of such accommodation.”

        If a restaurant, for example, were to say that a man (who identifies as a woman) has to use the men’s room, then a case can be made that the restaurant is violating 10.17b. They have denied the person the full and equal use of the women’s restroom based on gender identity – at least that is what the person denied use of the restroom of their choice would say.

        You are mistaken when you say Kansas has no laws regarding which sex uses which bathroom -at least according to my quick Google search. Kansas has adopted UPC – which deals with this issue.



        Denny Fusek

        July 17, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      • Ahhh! Fantastic!

        Allow me to celebrate with you here for a moment for having raised the level of discourse for this discussion substantially. I only wish we could have had this level of discussion when the bill was alive (We Christians successfully repealed it)

        UPC is interesting, particularly in it’s use of the term “each sex” which would create problems if the US began to recognize more than 2 sexes. But it is still an industrial code for businesses and doesn’t pertain to the use of those facilities (only that they must exist) it actually answers a long standing question I’ve kept int he back of my mind about why there were 2 restrooms in places that were obviously patronized by persons of a single gender. Now I know.

        My google search was on the individual’s side. Is there a law against using the wrong restroom. There is not and there never has been. If i choose to take my toilet training daughter into the mens room with me, or go into the ladies room with her. People may gawk and stare and start rumors about me, but unless i proceed to sexually harass someone there will be lo legal ramifications

        As to 10.17 it’s worth noting that that wording is already present in the American Civil Rights Act. The difference being that there is applies only to “gender” rather than to gender identity. So while you are right that the bill does not specifically preclude someone from complaining in this situation, it also does not uniquely invent their opportunity to complain, as they can complain just as much now without the bill that they are being refused access to the womens room because they are a man.

        In both cases this person’s case would be thrown out of court

        I also suspect that some confusion is increased by the use of the word “facilities” which is a euphemism for bathroom in some circles “use the facilities” but here means “institution” (bureau, agency, etc) http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/public-facility/ so it would apply less to bathrooms in restaurants, and more to restaurants themselves. Business have been permitted for a long time to have employees only restrooms, nobody is threatening us with the idea that access to a facility means access to all of it.

        I feel like I should ask you what I wanted to ask this woman so long ago. Independent of this bill (which does nothing to restrooms) what do you think should happen when a transsexual needs to use the bathroom?


        July 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm

  2. First off, let me congratulate you for catching a weakness in my argument that I already knew existed when I posted it. UPC says that businesses (over a certain size) must have a restroom for both sexes, and you are right that UPC is not a law in and of itself for the patron – it is for the business.

    I would like to point out two things. First off, I think you are incorrect in saying that there is no law regarding this (although you rightfully point out that UPC is not it). The second thing is that I am at a severe disadvantage in this argument due to the fact that I don’t live in Kansas and therefore can’t just stroll down to the public library and look up Kansas law. I did google Kansas laws and looked through what I believe to be an incomplete listing of them but it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Bottom line – what you are saying seems to be wildly incorrect, but I don’t have the resources to prove you wrong (and unfortunately for me, the burden of proof is on me when you say the law does not exist).

    I think you are naive in your statement “In both cases they would be thrown out of court.” I think a parallel can be made with the same sex marriage issue. Those homosexuals who are for same-sex marriage stated, “Prop 8 (California) is discriminatory because I want to get married too.” One of the arguments of the opponents was “You can get married, you just have to marry someone of the opposite sex.” The retort was, “Well of course I don’t want to marry the opposite sex!” The courts sided with those in favor of same sex marriage.

    Now whether someone thinks the courts were right or wrong, that is what the courts did. The same argument can be made by someone who goes into the opposite restroom – and I believe they can use this statute as a defense (if I were a lawyer for a transgendered person, I would use it). From the standpoint of the one perceived to be aggrieved in these cases, (I am arguing their argument, not necessarily my own) the whole point of marriage is to marry someone you love, not necessarily to marry someone of the opposite sex, and the whole point of being transgendered is to identify as the gender of which you were not born into. Why would someone who wants to identify as a man (for real) want to use the woman’s bathroom? All of this to say, I think you are wrong in saying that this would be thrown out of court. It more than likely will probably see a courtroom somewhere in the near future.

    What do I think should happen when a trans – anything wants to use the bathroom? It should be based on the junk. Those with penises use the men’s room, those with vaginas use the ladies’ room. If someone has had the sex change, then their restroom should change along with it.

    I don’t understand why this thread is called “Hate”. It should rather be called, “My encountering of a woman who had an opinion that differed from my own.”

    Denny Fusek

    July 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    • It’s called hate because I am drawing a line here between conservationism and discrimination. It’s one thing to disagree with something, think it’s a sin, be disgusted with it. It’s quite another to generate lies and create movements in an attempt to institutionalize persecution. The details inherent in your testimony “If you are dressed like a man but say you feel like a woman you can follow someone right into the bathroom” coming from a bill that says only one word about bathrooms (that you cannot remove wheelchair access from them) is not just ignorant, it’s hateful.

      There are bathrooms at some of the dorms in UC Berkley with no gender specifications. They argue the stall provides enough privacy for those that need it. There may come a day within out lifetimes when this becomes the new normal. When a decisive battle is won in the supreme court by the Free Bathroomers and it is considered inherent within the 14th amendment that nobody can be denied access to any bathroom for reasons of sex or gender.

      That’s not remotely what this bill does, but it’s possible on some brave new shore of time that that day will come. But even on that day, business owners who today choose to refuse access to the womens bathroom for men will not be considered guilty of discrimination. Only after that historic case will we get to worry about that.

      As to your solution. I actually rather like ti. the UPC says “sex”, and why shouldn’t plumbing be based on plumbing. One issue: Who’s responsibility is it to determine who has which parts?

      Ryan Gaffney

      July 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      • You were there. I wasn’t, so I have to defer to you, but I would chalk it up to her ignorance and not hatred. What do you get out of it by saying she was hateful and purposely lying? Just say she was wrong and didn’t know what she was talking about and move on.

        I think you are most definitely wrong on the eventual gender-free bathroom day in our society. You are basing it on the happenings of “some dorms” at the most liberal college in the most liberal metropolis in the country. You should know from your time in Kansas that UC Berkeley is a far outlier of the sentiments of the rest of the nation.

        Nobody has to determine who has what parts. It shouldn’t be an issue until someone complains. When a woman complains that a man went into the restroom, then the person can simply show their driver’s license and say, “Ha! You’re wrong, I’m a woman who looks like a man.”

        Denny Fusek

        July 17, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      • I don’t think free bathroom day is likely either but it is possible. I bring it up to characterize how different that scenario is from the one we are faced with.

        I had numerous conversations along these lines wherein individuals “educated” one another about malicious affects of the bill which were very often the opposite of the case. This one just bothered me especially because of the child in the picture who was learning about a imaginary agenda before learning arithmetic.

        Regarding nobody needs to determine which parts: That’s pretty much the system we have now then. Each person chooses the bathroom they feel they belong in. A person with ambiguous genitalia, or who is androgynous in some other way will simply choose on or the other.

        There is an interesting case of a man who underwent surgery and hormone supplements to appear female being denied the opportunity to renew their drivers license as a female. In protest to the government insisting he was absolutely a man “he” went outside and removed his shirt. Getting arrested as a women for public exposure, (s)he is now trying the case arguing that the government cannot have it both ways. We’ll see how it turns out

        Apart from that though your drivers licence says whatever box you check. so that seems to work.


        July 17, 2013 at 10:13 pm

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