President Joe Biden promised to be a president “for all Americans,” even for those who did not vote for him. Yet in his first few days in office, Biden signed divisive executive orders championing the nebulous concept of gender identity over biological sex. Biden’s new orders threaten to upend science and fairness in many segments of American society, including women’s sports, women’s private spaces, the military, and medicine. Republicans in at least 13 states are fighting back.
Biden issued an executive order banning “discrimination” on the basis of gender identity. The order requires schools to open girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, and sports leagues to biological boys. It requires health care plans to pay for experimental transgender “treatments” and requires doctors and hospitals to perform them.
This order enforced the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County (2020), which redefined “discrimination on the basis of sex” in federal law to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity. As Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito warned in his dissent, this move threatens “freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and personal privacy and safety.”
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Specifically, Alito warned that allowing biological males to enter women’s bathrooms and changing rooms may invite assault or abuse. He warned that opening women’s sports to biological males would “force young women to compete against students who have a very significant biological advantage.” He warned that the Court’s ruling would force rape crisis centers to admit biological males if they claim to identify as women.
Alito also warned that the Court’s ruling — and, by extension, Biden’s order — would prevent religious organizations from only hiring people who “actually live the faith.” He warned the ruling would force employers and health care providers to endorse transgender surgeries. He warned that this broad interpretation of discrimination would suppress free speech, forcing people to kowtow to transgender pronouns.
States are considering laws that address these concerns.
1. Women’s sports.
“The science is settled: boys have an unfair competitive advantage over girls in athletics,” Aaron Baer, president of the Center for Christian Virtue in Ohio, said in a statement after Republicans filed the Save Women’s Sports Act in the Ohio House of Representatives. “As the father of two girls, [I think] it’s unbelievable that the Biden administration would put our daughters at risk, and deny them a level playing field by forcing them to compete against boys.”
Baer and his Christian organization are far from alone in raising concerns about the destruction of women’s sports. Feminists and scientific journals have warned that males have biological advantages over females that cannot be erased by simply identifying as female. Women’s sports exist to enable fair competition, and transgender activism destroys that possibility.
Duke Law School professor Doriane Lambelet Coleman warned that if women’s sports must admit biological men, “the very best women in the world would lose to literally thousands of boys and men, including thousands who would be considered second-tier.”
Republicans have spearheaded legislation to protect women’s sports in Georgia (H.B. 276), Missouri (H.B. 1077), Ohio (H.B. 61), Tennessee (H.B. 3), Texas (H.B. 1458), and Utah (H.B. 302). The Montana House passed the “Save Women’s Sports Act” (H.B. 112) last month and the Mississippi Senate passed the “Mississippi Fairness Act” (S.B. 2536) last week.
2. Protecting children’s health
While Biden has not explicitly supported experimental transgender “treatments” for minors such as so-called “puberty-blocking” drugs and cross-sex hormones, he has endorsed transgender identity and activism for kids under age 10 and he has nominated an openly transgender official to serve as assistant secretary of health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Transgenderism has already caused medical mixups, to deadly effect. In one case, a pregnant woman who identified as a man went to the hospital with abdominal pains. Because the woman’s records identified her as a man, the hospital ruled out labor and did not give her the treatment she needed. Her baby died.
There is no evidence that transgender surgery improves the mental health outcomes of gender dysphoric people. Men and women who formerly identified as transgender and underwent surgery have grown to reject transgender identity and lament the damage they did to their own bodies.
Last year, Britain’s High Court ruled that children under age 16 lack the ability to consent to “puberty-blocking” drugs and cross-sex hormones that have irreversible life-long effects. Children who undergo such “treatments” often persist in transgender identity and lose their ability to have children later in life.
In this context, the Alabama House and Senate are considering the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act (H.B. 1 and S.B. 10), which would prohibit experimental transgender “treatments” on children who cannot give informed consent to permanent life-altering procedures. The bill would make it a felony for a doctor to subject a child to “puberty blockers” or cross-sex hormones. Republicans in Tennessee introduced a similar bill (S.B. 657), as did legislators in Georgia (H.B. 401). Republicans in Kentucky filed a bill to prevent transgender “treatments” without written consent from a parent or guardian (H.B. 477).
3. Bathroom bills
While North Carolina repealed its H.B. 2 legislation, which defended women’s privacy in multiple-stall bathrooms, other states have considered such legislation. Republicans in Iowa filed a bill to prohibit “persons from entering single and multiple occupancy toilet facilities in elementary and secondary schools that do not correspond with the person’s biological sex” (S.F. 224).
Transgender activists claim such bills are unnecessary because people who genuinely suffer from gender dysphoria (the persistent and painful condition of identifying with the gender opposite one’s biological sex) do not represent a threat in private spaces. Unfortunately, opening sex-segregated spaces like bathrooms and changing rooms would not just open the doors to individuals with gender dysphoria — it would also allow provocateurs like Jessica Yaniv and perverts to access private women’s spaces.
4. Religious freedom and medical ethics.
Many Americans — including employers, doctors, and various other health care providers — have moral and religious objections to transgender “treatments,” especially to surgeries that permanently sterilize patients. Biden has expressed hostility to religious freedom protections in the health care industry and his transgender executive order may force some health care providers to carry out these procedures in violation of their consciences.
The day before Biden became president, a federal court in North Dakota defended Roman Catholic health care providers from an Obamacare mandate forcing doctors and nurses to perform transgender surgeries. Catholic hospitals refuse to carry out elective surgeries that result in sterilization because they interpret such surgeries as perpetuating harm and therefore violating the Hippocratic Oath. Some doctors have warned that even the hormones — the less invasive “treatment” — give healthy people a disease.
Physicians, health care providers, and employers should enjoy the religious freedom to refrain from carrying out or funding such surgeries — and this conscience protection should extend to everyone who considers transgender surgery to be physically harmful, regardless of their faith.
Many of these bills have a good chance of becoming law, and these efforts represent a long-overdue backlash to the radical activism of transgender identity in various aspects of American society. Unfortunately, most of the legacy media has bought into the worldview of transgenderism. Outlets like CNN have reported these legislative efforts as “anti-LGBTQ bills.” In reporting on the bills, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) repeated the far-left smear factory the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) false accusation that Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — a mainstream conservative Christian law firm supporting many of these bills — is a “hate group” that belongs on a list with the Ku Klux Klan. HRC blasted ADF and the Heritage Foundation as “hateful anti-LGBTQ organizations.”
Conservatives must continue to fight the noxious ideology of transgender activism and the cancel culture that seeks to silence all opposition to this transgender groupthink. You can help with this important effort by subscribing to PJ Media VIP.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.