Ben Carson’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency is taking journalists back to school after the establishment media described his May 22 plan to restore women’s privacy rights as a crude threat to “segregate” and “roll back” protections for people who want to live as members of the opposite sex.
“We are offering you some background,” said a May 23 reply by the agency to journalists. “It is HUD’s belief that shelters should be able to decide for themselves how to define sex consistent with state and local law. At the same time, equal treatment of all persons — regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity — is a clear requirement.”
“It really just flies against the great common understanding that exists everywhere outside some ivory towers [for the government] to say that Americans really don’t know how to decide if someone is a man or a woman,” a senior HUD official told Breitbart News. The official continued:
The Hollywood version of people having an inspiration and determining their inner self is something other than their chromosomes are, is –at best — a very rare and infrequent event, and that is not something that should be forced onto the American public and particularly in a way that is broadly viewed as potentially harmful to some of the most victimized people in our society, who are abused women …
All we intend to do is to say [to shelter operators] is that you need to have a policy about this and be consistent about it … but we are not going to force [the transgender] social ideology on you …
The agency announced the policy on May 22, and reporters at establishment media sites immediately went negative, by portraying Carson’s restoration of women’s rights as a threat to transgender people who want to live as members of the opposite sex.
Tracy Jan at the Washington Post claimed the rule “would weaken Obama-era protections for homeless transgender people, allowing federally funded shelters to deny people admission on religious grounds or force transgender women to share bathrooms and sleeping quarters with men.”
Katy O’Donnell at Politico said the agency “is moving to roll back protections for homeless transgender people by enabling HUD-funded providers of shelters to consider a person’s sex or gender identification in determining whether they can be admitted.”
Trump & HUD chief Ben Carson restore women’s privacy rights in gov’t shelters. Obama’s transgender ideology ended women’s rights by req’ing officials to put men ‘with a female gender identity’ in women’s bed/bathrooms. So now Carson OK’s single-sex rooms. https://t.co/TvCuTUlLXe
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) May 23, 2019
But this gender vs. biology problem was created by officials working for former President Barack Obama.
In several steps, Obama’s deputies gradually ordered managers at taxpayer-funded shelters to gag their own judgment about the sex of any person seeking to stay at their shelters. Obama’s deputies directed the managers to comply with the “Gender Ideology” and treat a male as a woman if the male claims to have the “gender identity” of a woman. If made law, this ideology would effectively outlaw the public’s recognition that the two sexes are different and complementary.
Obama’s declaration that “gender identity” has legal supremacy over obvious biology means managers now cannot exclude a man who says he is a woman from sleeping in the women’s quarters or from using showers reserved for women — even if the man is dressed as a man, and shows no evidence of sex-related surgery. If the managers refuse to agree the man is a woman, Obama’s “Equal Access Rule” says they will lose their funding, and likely their jobs.
Democrats have become so ‘progressive’ they’re ditching women in favor of transgender voters, who comprise maybe 0.3 percent of voters. So now GOP leaders get an opportunity to show they are defending rights & status for actual women. Will they use it? https://t.co/EeRq3hsFlt
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) May 18, 2019
Under the Obama rule, the winners are the men whose claims to be female are validated by the shelter managers complying with government pressure.
The losers from Obama’s rule are the gagged managers who cannot use their judgment — and also the homeless women who lose their privacy rights when they are forced into intimate spaces with men. The discrimination is especially harsh against homeless women who have had been injured by spouses or other men.
The May 23 “What You Need To Know” press statement from the agency highlighted two cases:
… in Fresno, California nine women filed a lawsuit against Naomi’s House, a homeless shelter that receives HUD funding. These women alleged that the shelter enabled sexual harassment against them by allowing a biological male who identified as a female to enter the homeless shelter. The biological male showered with the females, where the individual would “repeatedly make lewd and sexually inappropriate comments to some of the Plaintiffs,” and “stare and leer at the Plaintiffs while naked and make sexually harassing comments about their bodies.” In its defense, the shelter alleged that it was required to admit the biological male because a person self- identified as a female, and HUD’s 2016 rule did not give the shelter flexibility to allow for different treatment.
… the Hope Center in Anchorage, Alaska, a faith-based women’s shelter, filed a federal lawsuit challenging a local law that would require them to serve biological males who identify as females. The Hope Center argues that the local law violates their religious beliefs, including their mission. While this case does not involve HUD directly, it is raises important religious liberty concerns that HUD’s 2016 rule raises. If HUD’s 2016 is not changed to allow for greater local flexibility, HUD-funded faith-based shelters like the Hope Center will be at risk of losing their federal funding.
So Carson’s promised regulation make a few small but critical changes.
His rule will continue to bar any discrimination against sexual minorities, but it will allow shelter managers — many of whom are women — to use their own judgment when deciding who can be allowed to use a single-sex shelter, a shared bedroom or a communal shower room.
But this decent delegation of routine judgment turns about to be a huge political thing.
It is huge because it means that the government is formally rejecting the central demand of the transgender ideology — the principle that “gender identity” trumps two-sex biology at all times, in all places, for all people.
“The current … equal access rule would say that [identity trumps biology], and we believe that position is wholly unsupported by anything in law and was made as part of the world view of the prior administration,” the HUD official said.
That huge political conflict was ignored by establishment reporters as they spotlighted complaints by transgender advocates.
Rachel Frazin at the Hill said, “Advocates say that a Trump administration proposal unveiled Wednesday would gut protections for homeless transgender people.”
Brian Pascus at CBS News reported, “The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a new rule proposal on Wednesday that would roll back Obama-era protections for transgender people living in homeless shelters.”
Tim Fitzsimons at NBC News reported, “The department published a proposed rule change that would allow men’s and women’s shelters to segregate transgender people ‘consistent with state and local law.’”
The ideological claim that gender trumps biology is too important for regulators to decide, the official said.
“We believe that is not the view that the vast majority of Americans would have … if transgender advocates believe that their [gender beats sex] position is correct, that is a matter to be determined through the democratic process. Congress could decide [at the federal level, and] what New York City decides its rule should be may be very different from what Texas decides its rule should be,” the official said.
The transgender principle of flexible identity is also a threat to the idea of civil rights, the official said:
If you take [self-decided ‘gender identity’] as being something that can be accepted, why can’t we say “I’m an English-German American — what prevents me from saying ‘I’m identifying as Asian?’ Or, “Even though I have never been in Buddhist temple, I identify as a Buddhist.” The world falls apart if we have to accept unsubstantiated assertions.
Civil rights laws protect immutable characteristics, the official said. But the transgender ideology “turns that on its head – “I’m female today and two days from now I may decide I’m male… or I am neither male nor female.” If you accept the premise that you can be whatever you say you are, all of these [civil rights] rules fall apart,” the official said.
Moreover, any flexible identity law can be exploited by bad actors, the official said:
At its core, [gender identity] is a hugely anti-feminist ideology. If we are to deny the physiological differences between men and women, men will strategically position themselves in places with women where their strength, mass, and other characteristics create a danger to others.
The official described the draft regulation:
What we really are is saying you can have anti-discrimination protections but that does not require you to say that sex is the [legal] equivalent to self-identification of gender. Because unless we in a land populated by unicorns, there will be people who — if given the ability to simply choose, from time to time, and at any time, what gender they will choose to be — will use that [option] for nefarious purposes …
It really just flies against the great common understanding that exists everywhere outside some ivory towers [for the government] to say that Americans really don’t know how to decide if someone is a man or a woman. And for government to say under penalty that ‘We’re going to take away millions of dollars that we provide you for housing some of the neediest people in our society’ if you have a desk clerk, who when someone walks in obviously inebriated, with three days growth of beard, to a women’s shelter, and says ‘I want a place to sleep’ … and the [clerk] says ‘We’re for women,’ and the person responds, ‘Well, I am a woman.’ Under the current rule, literally, that [clerk] provider couldn’t say ‘Will you show me your drivers’ license, your birth certificate?’ [and] couldn’t say ‘I don’t believe you,’ couldn’t say ‘We’ll have to get back with you later about this.’ And if they did say any of those things, under [Obama] HUD’s rule we would be obligated to start the process of saying you cannot have [taxpayer] money. That does not seem to be the way that things should work …
Shelter officials may also need to confirm a person’s sex when allocating a group of people to single-sex rooms, the official said. So the new rule protects shelter operators:
If their policy is ‘We check everyone’s drivers’ license because we want to know who is staying here … [in case] someone is a fleeing felon or is on a sexual offender’s list, and if you say you’re a man, [then] you’re a man, and if you say you’re a woman, [then] you’re a woman,’ … [and] ‘We’re not going to discriminate against you because we accept women even if you by all evidence appear to be a man, we won’t discriminate against you … but we do decide what your sex is for purpose of admitting you to our sex specific facility’ … [because] sex and gender are different things.
The new rule allows shelters to accept claims made by people who say they are transgender, the official said:
If that same person represents themselves and says ‘I’m a woman,’ and the local organization — either because of state law or their policy — wants to say ”Our policy is to accept you,’ they can do that if they want to.
But the official warned:
The Hollywood version of people having an inspiration and determining their inner self is something other than their chromosomes are, is at best a very rare and infrequent event, and that is not something that should be forced onto the American public and particularly in a way that is broadly viewed as potentially harmful to some of the most victimized people in our society, who are abused women.
Pro-transgender activists in Twitter censored a scientist for the supposed ‘hateful conduct’ of describing transsexualism as a “type of mental disorder.” IOW, more evidence Twitter’s policy is to let staff help progressives by distorting debates & speech. https://t.co/CBYiTX39Or
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) May 13, 2019
Background Facts and Figures on Transgender Ideology:
In general, the transgender ideology says a person’s sex is determined by their “gender identity,” not by their biology.
The ideology insists that men and women’s bodies are more or less identical, and it objects to the public’s view of the two sexes as simultaneously different, complementary, and equal. The transgender advocates want to impose their ideology on Americans by establishing “transgender rights” laws, which would require the Department of Justice to penalize individuals and groups that insist that women and girls are biologically different — and have different priorities — than men and boys.
Transgender advocates claim that two million Americans say they are transgender to a greater or lesser extent.
But very few people who describe themselves as transgender undergo transition surgery of the genitals. Only about 4,118 Americans surgically altered their bodies in hospitals from 2000 to 2014 to appear like members of the opposite sex, according to a pro-transgender medical study. A 2018 Pentagon report commissioned by former Defense Secretary James Mattis said that “rates for genital surgery are exceedingly low- 2% of transgender men and 10% of transgender women.”
The transgender movement is diverse, so the different factions have competing goals and priorities.
It includes feminists who wish to blur distinctions between the two sexes, people who glamorize the distinctions between the two sexes, masculine autogynephile men who demand sex from lesbians, as well as revenue-seeking drug companies and medical service providers. It includes wealthy donors, ambitious politicians, and professional advocates. The movement also includes sexual liberationists and many progressives who are eager to liberate people from their bodies, non-political people who are trying to live as members of the opposite sex, high-profile children, troubled teenage girls trying to flee teenage turmoil, and people trying to “de-transition” back to their sex, plus some parents who are eager or willing to endorse transgender claims.
Polls show the transgender ideology is deeply unpopular, especially among women and parents. In 2017, former President Barack Obama told NPR that his promotion of the transgender ideology made it easier for Donald Trump to win the presidency.
Multiple polls show that most Americans wish to help and comfort people who think they are a member of the opposite sex, even as they also reject the transgender ideology’s claim that people’s legal sex is determined by their feeling of “gender identity,” not by biology. A U.K. survey shows a similar mix of sympathy for people who say they are transgender alongside lopsided opposition to the ideology.
Yet the gender ideology is rapidly gaining power, aided by huge donations from wealthy individuals and medical companies. In Ohio, for example, in February 2018, a judge forced parents of a teenage girl to give up custody so she can begin a lifetime of drug treatments and surgery that will allow her to appear as a male.
The progressive push to bend Americans’ attitudes and their male-and-female civic society around the idea of “gender identity” has already attacked and cracked many of the popular social rules that help Americans manage the cooperation and competition among and between complementary, different, and equal men and women.
These pro-gender claims have an impact on different-sex bathrooms, shelters for battered women, sports leagues for girls, hiking groups for boys, K-12 curricula, university speech codes, religious freedoms, free speech, the social status of women, parents’ rights in childrearing, children’s safety, practices to help teenagers, health outcomes, women’s ideals of beauty, culture and civil society, scientific research, prison safety, civic ceremonies, school rules, men’s sense of masculinity, law enforcement, military culture, and children’s sexual privacy.
Another weightlifting association preserves distinct female and male competitions, so rejecting transgender demands. A useful win against the progressives’ campaign to deny women the right to their own civic groups. https://t.co/CqbixWIjXb
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) May 10, 2019