I told a friend this morning that I’m not really shocked by much of what I hear or read anymore. I wish I had a dollar for every time some said, “You’ll never believe… (fill in the blank)”. In my job, I think I really have heard just about everything!
But this story did make me shrink back… I do have to start by saying that I love so much that my state (California) has to offer and I think it fair to say that it has been, historically speaking, on the cutting edge of some great trends.
Many recent articles have made the case that California has been driving toward a cliff (particularly in regards to economic legislation but some have are making the case about social issues as well), that may lead to a very long and destructive fall (maybe California’s already over the cliff?). It would be one thing if California were just a laughing stock for this kind of legislation, but in truth I think its no laughing matter to promote what is not only nonsense, but a distortion of what is true and obvious to most everyone and creates confusion about what really should be celebrated as true diversity.
This a quote from a new bill being proposed in the California State Assembly – Bill AB 266: “Pupil rights: sex-segregated school programs: gender identity. Existing law prohibits public schools from discriminating on the basis of specified characteristics, including gender, gender identity, and gender expression, and specifies various statements of legislative intent and the policies of the state in that regard. Existing law requires that participation in a particular physical education activity or sport, if required of pupils of one sex, be available to pupils of each sex. This bill would require that a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs, activities, and facilities, including athletic teams and competitions, consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”
Taken at face value this means that a boy (genetically and physically speaking) could say he wants to play on the girls lacrosse team. Or feeling like his is true “gender identity” is female, therefore he can use the girls bathroom, locker-room or shower and for the school to say “NO” to any of these scenarios would be “discrimination”. I’m not making this up.
Let me just tackle one of the sad ideas put forth in the proposed law. California has long championed the idea of diversity. That mentality that every individual has their own set of values and that we should celebrate each everyone’s, not preferring one set of values over or in favor of another. To set any one set of personal values above others would be to “discriminate” against not just a set of values but the very person holding those values. For example Judge Vaughn Walkers ruling in August 2010 against Proposition 8 defining marriage as being a union between a man and women, based in large part by what he deemed to be a practice of discrimination, setting one set of personal or religious values above and against another set. But in our States quest to level the playing field for everyone – they trample one of the most obvious places that diversity ought to be celebrated! Men and Women are different, and that is not at bad thing! One is not better than another. There are very obvious differences (when those differences are valued) can create some of civilizations most complementary partnerships.
True diversity (differences) between the sexes ought to be seen as blessing and should be celebrated. History shows that we haven’t always (in fact rarely) gets this right and it has led to some really abuses of physical and social power. But the answer is NOT to pretend that these differences are real! To do what our State is attempting to do, by creating false social constructs that pretend there are no differences is immoral. It’s not only dishonest but does nothing to helping build relationships based on genuine, mutual respect and on REAL DIVERSITY!
What do you think?
1. Think it is a good idea to encourage gender neutrality that says “hey, you pick what your gender ought to be, regardless of your biology and physical make up”?
2. Can you see any way teens in particual might take advantage of this new proposed law?
3. Looking at this proposed law, in what ways to do see it being out of step with a Biblical world view?