Tag Archives: LGBTQ rights

Transgender athletes? Pass the Pepto …

Some issues give me serious heartburn, in that any resolution to their complexities is likely to upset my gut … seriously.

The issue of transgender females competing against fellow females is one of those issues. Oh, my. Hear me out on this one.

I oppose legislation that requires transgender individuals to use public restrooms in accordance with the gender to which they were born. That is discriminatory on its face. It’s also unenforceable, unless states and local communities are going to assign bathroom monitors to look for transgender individuals … and then shoo them out! Ridiculous, yes?

Now comes this issue of athletic competition.

I must stipulate that it is a demonstrable fact that males run faster and possess more physical strength than females. What, then, happens to a young man who decides to change to a woman? This person receives hormone injections to assist in the transition. Does someone who is injected with, say, estrogen lose the inherent advantage with which he was born? Do the hormones level the proverbial playing field, removing the advantages that men have over women when competing against them directly? Does a transgender individual no longer run as fast or throw an object as far?

This is what complicates the issue for me.

I don’t like acknowledging this difficulty. It’s just that as I hear experts talking about whether transgendered women should be allowed to compete in women’s sports, I am not hearing anyone tell me whether it’s fair to all concerned.


SCOTUS ruling on gay rights may reverberate … forever

It is hard to measure the long-term impact of today’s Supreme Court decision on gay rights so soon after the fact; these decisions need time to slow-cook.

However, it’s a major ruling that carries many implications … which are for the betterment of the nation.

The court ruled 6-3 today that the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits people from being fired from their jobs over their sexual orientation. It strikes a blow for LGBTQ rights and sticks it in the ear of those who continue to harp on the notion that gay Americans do not deserve the same constitutional protections under the law as every American.

What’s more, the decision was authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Donald Trump appointee. Three justices dissented: Clarence Thomas (appointed by President Bush 41), Samuel Alito (President Bush 43) and Brett Kavanaugh (Donald Trump). Joining Gorsuch, along with the four progressive justices was none other than Chief Justice John Roberts, another Bush 43 appointee.

The notion that Justice Gorsuch would side with the liberal wing of the court — plus the chief justice — suggests a potentially new and unseen direction for the court. Trump’s two picks, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, were seen as taking the court more sharply to the right. Today’s ruling suggests something else might be occurring.

It is that justices given lifetime appointments to the nation’s highest court are relatively free of political pressure, that they are able to view the Constitution through more a dispassionate lens.

Gorsuch’s decision reminds me of the kind of veering from predicted paths that other justices have demonstrated. I think of Chief Justice Earl Warren (appointed by Dwight Eisenhower), Justice Harry Blackmun (selected by Richard Nixon), justice John Paul Stevens (nominated by Gerald Ford) and Justice Byron White (picked by John F. Kennedy). Those presidents thought they were getting justices who would adhere more to their political leaning, only to get surprised … bigly!

As we digest the meaning of today’s decision, though, I am grateful that Justice Gorsuch — at least on this ruling — has become something other than the judicial bogeyman many of us had feared.