The Fallacy of Gay Rights
A civil war has broken out in the gay community. And already this war has claimed its first casualty — gay identity itself. The precipitating event of this rainbow schism was the 2022 celebration of “Pride Month.” That would be the month of June, which the LGBT community has claimed as the month to celebrate their identity with public parades and other shows of pride and solidarity. But Pride Month 2022 was decidedly more prideful than most. The parades, which have a reputation for pushing the envelope of decency, were egregiously more self-indulgent and debauched than normal.
Social media was saturated with Pride Month spectacles around the world that featured truly strange and outlandish live-performance erotica. And at more than just a couple of these events, full public nudity was on display for everyone to behold. And that audience included children. The kids and all the other innocent bystanders were subjected to uninvited, up-close-and-personal twerking gyrations of some of the nakedest, ugliest butts imaginable.
‘LGB Without the T’
The spectacle was so morally repugnant that it sundered the LGBT community. And Gays Against Groomers was born. The slogan that served as the banner for this new movement to clean up the LGBT community was “LGB Without the T.” (The “T” stands for “transgender” for the uninitiated.) Much of the public nudity and twerking described above was perpetrated by the so-called “non-binary” “trans” types. On the Gays Against Groomers homepage, you can find their platform. They oppose the following:
- “The mutilation and sterilization of minors.”
- “Drag and pride events involving children.”
- “Queer and Gender Theory being taught in the classroom.”
- “Propagandizing youth with LGBTQ+ media.”
That’s pretty good for starters. Most of us would add that trans women (biological males) are not allowed in female restrooms and are not allowed to participate in women’s sports.
The response from LGBT advocates to these reasonable complaints has been uniformly predictable. They claim that all complaints against the trans community are rooted in transphobia and bigotry. This is “hateful” behavior that marginalizes the trans community. “Excluding a biological male from a women’s sports team is just as discriminatory as excluding Blacks from restaurants and other public spaces.” And that’s official Democrat policy on the subject.
Active Choice is an Important Distinction
My apologies if the foregoing comparison gave you brain cramps. That’s due to the cognitive dissonance that pro-trans arguments induce in normal people. While in our gut we know that the trans phenomenon is crazy, the sophistries of leftist radicals can make us question ourselves. So permit me to spend the next few paragraphs clearing things up. The truth is to be found in an important and ancient distinction that is being blurred by the LGBT community and their supporters on the radical Left.
Hate the sin. Love the sinner.
To unpack this, let’s begin with the real thing — race-based discrimination. Race-based discrimination focuses on the immutable characteristics of persons like race, or national origin. As such it really constitutes an attack on the person. Alternatively we might call it an attack on the very identity of persons. And that is what identity politics is ostensibly fighting against. When employers would hang signs reading “Irish need not apply,” they were engaging in identity-based discrimination, which violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.
But so called “LGBT identity” is a different animal altogether. Unlike race-based identity and other traditional markers of identity like national origin or gender, the LGBT variety does not focus on immutable traits of persons. People choose to identify as gay or trans, and often, those voluntary identifications change over time. People leave the gay lifestyle and never go back. There are not any “formerly Black” people, on the other hand.
People choose to identify as LGBT; they don’t choose to be Black or White or male or female, etc. And this act of choosing is an important difference. Choosing is an act of the will and a behavior. It has consequences. Some of our choices and actions are good, and some are not. When we do prohibit certain actions, we do so for various reasons. We condemn behavior that is harmful, dangerous, life-threatening, unjust, unintelligent, unwise, imprudent, impolite, vulgar, obscene, unhealthy, etc. Our choices and our decisions and our behaviors have a moral dimension to them which makes it necessary for us to judge them. Thus, it should come as no surprise that all people do in fact judge behavior.
A Judgment Not of Persons, But of Moral Evil
So a question naturally arises. Why wouldn’t we judge LGBT behavior? We judge every other kind of behavior. And very few decisions we make in life come with such dramatic, life-altering consequences as those associated with the choice to identify as LGBT. People who think they are “trans” undergo dangerous surgeries that leave them permanently disfigured and infertile. And research shows that those who undergo these surgeries are 20 times more likely to commit suicide. But Democrats want to tell us that we don’t have the right to judge and condemn such utterly destructive behavior. Nor may we pass laws to prohibit these surgical abominations because that would be discriminatory.
We need to examine this claim of LGBT discrimination. Is it really true that “excluding a biological male from a women’s sports team or restroom is just as discriminatory as excluding Blacks from restaurants and restrooms and other public spaces,” as Democrats argue?
It is time for our judges and our lawmakers to put an end to the trampling of America’s moral conscience.
Not at all. In Jim Crow America, Blacks were excluded from public spaces for the sole reason that they were black. They were “judged by the color of their skin.” And a cruel and evil judgment of bigotry it was indeed.
But now consider the exclusion of trans persons in today’s bathroom wars. Trans people are demanding access to gender-restricted restrooms and locker rooms that do not match their biological sex. Does anyone else enjoy this freedom? The answer is a resounding “No!” No one is granted permission to enter a bathroom that does not match one’s biological sex. And that is because it is thought to be unsafe for females.
In the matter of the trans wars over sports and bathrooms, we are dealing with a categorical moral condemnation of certain behaviors which applies equally to all people. No one is denying to trans people some freedom that is granted to others. And where there is no unequal treatment, there is no discrimination. Whereas, in the case of Jim Crow America, the operative sentiment was a racist hatred of Black people, in the present trans wars, it is a hatred — not of persons — but of moral evil.
Lady Justice Wears a Blindfold
The radicals who falsely equate the condemnation of LGBT behavior with racism and discrimination are guilty of blurring a traditional Christian distinction: “Hate the sin; love the sinner.” The distinction goes all the way back to St. Augustine, as I pointed out in my first book. (p. 113) But the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King affirmed this distinction when he dreamed that one day all people would be judged by the “content of their character” rather than the “color of their skin.” Certainly one of the greatest champions of civil rights of our era would not countenance discrimination in any form. And King’s own words prove that he would reject the radical Left’s attempt to equate moral condemnation of LGBT behavior with racism and discrimination.
Indeed the condemnation of LGBT behavior is not at all similar to racial or ethnic discrimination. This is because it is possible to make moral judgments of behaviors in an impartial way — in a way that protects human equality and safeguards equal protection under the law. And that is how our laws work. They regulate behavior. “No smoking on airplanes” applies to everyone. All people must wear seat belts and stop at red lights. And men don’t belong in the ladies’ room. Full stop. We judge behavior and we regulate it with laws. When such laws are applied impartially to all, then people are respected as equals under the law. Hate the sin; love the sinner. The stark distinction we make between persons and their behavior is at the very heart of a well-ordered society. And it is at the very heart of our legal system too. That blindfold on Lady Justice is an important symbol to remind us that the regulation of our behavior through a lawful and moral order is not discrimination at all. It is justice.
Not Equal Rights — Special Rights
If all this Leftist energy is not really about fighting discrimination, what, then, is it really about? Consider that in denying their excessive claims, trans people are simply being treated like everyone else. They are most certainly not being treated like second-class citizens, as Blacks were treated in Jim Crow America.
Whereas Black people fought for equal rights in the ’60s, today, LGBT persons are fighting, not for equal rights, but for special rights. And this can be clearly seen in Pride 2022.
Remember the public nudity at Pride marches last year? Why was no one arrested? Somehow, it is believed that public nudity is expressive of LGBT identity, and so to enforce the law would be considered discriminatory. But can it really be discriminatory to expect people to obey the law and to uphold basic standards of decency? Of course not. It should go without saying that it is not included in anyone’s identity that they are above the law. Nor is it a violation of anyone’s rights to expect them to conform to society’s standards of decency.
Here we come face to face with the real intent of identity politics. The radical Left is not pursuing equality and justice for all. They are instead creating a double standard where the rules do not apply to them and their supporters. Madeleine Kearns recalls a funny scene from an episode of “Family Guy” that captures the spirit of this madness.
I am reminded, here, of a “Family Guy” scene that never gets old: A man in a dress sits at a bar and watches porn on his phone. ‘Excuse me, ma’am, no porn at the bar,’ the bartender says. ‘It’s okay, I’m transgender,’ he replies. ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I had no idea. Do whatever you want all the time.’
The Summary of the LGBT Agenda
Do whatever you want all the time. The perfect summary of the LGBT agenda as it played out in Pride marches all around the world last year. The radical Left’s message is that they are above the law. That’s why Democrats made sure that violent Antifa rioters did not go to jail, but peaceful pro-life activists got arrested at gunpoint.
According to authors James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose in their seminal book, Cynical Theories (pp. 14–15), this is a deliberate attempt to enact authoritarian, one-party rule in America. And it’s being played out, not only in the LGBT community, but with any constituency that the radical Left claims to own.
Right now, for instance, a Democrat has introduced a bill to make it a federal crime for a white person to criticize a non-white person — but not vice versa! This is not about equal rights or equal protection. This is about creating a two-tier society with a ruling class of Democrats who may not be questioned about anything.
History teaches that the indefinite expansion of rights in one direction leads inevitably to a contraction of rights in the other. Thus, if the property rights of some group include the right to own slaves, as the notorious Dred Scott case concluded, that can only mean that some other group will be reduced to slavery. So we can see that not every fight for rights is a just fight because not every fight for rights is for equal rights. Some people seek more than equality.
Trampling America’s Moral Conscience
Today, history is repeating itself. Radical leftists are expanding “rights” for themselves and their constituents and reducing the rest of us to slavery. They are achieving this by erasing the distinction between persons and behavior. No one may question the Left’s behavior. No one may question their decisions. No one may question their policies. So the radical Left would have us believe.
It is time for our judges and our lawmakers to put an end to the trampling of America’s moral conscience. They can accomplish this easily by recognizing the error of including voluntary identities in the class of protected persons. Voluntary identity, which includes such gems as “drug lord” and “mafia hit man,” possesses an inherent moral dimension, making it fundamentally incommensurate with immutable identity. We don’t have the right to disapprove of Blacks or Jews or Italians. But we do have the right to disapprove of men who want to dress up as women and hurl fastballs at our daughters. Leaders who are blind to the obvious are not fit to lead. Vote accordingly.
John Gravino is the author of The Immoral Landscape of the New Atheism, which was the topic of a health and spirituality seminar at Duke Medical School. His new book, Confronting the Pope of Suspicion, is available on Amazon. He continues to explore the intersection of health and religion and the other big questions of life at his website, NewWalden.org.