Several readers of my blog raised a complex issue in the always raging and raucous discussion following my blog pieces.(https://joebroadmeadowblog.com/2021/01/23/pascals-wager-and-the-environment/)
Many of them are still reeling from the 2020 election and having difficulty finding their way in a post-Trump-return-to-rationality-world. Still, some raise what they consider to be legitimate concerns and manage to intrigue me.
Questions about the transgender protections—and the implied “morality” of this issue— addressed in an Executive order by President Joseph R. Biden (ah, such a refreshing ‘sound’) (Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation) drew my particular interest because, frankly, it is a circumstance of the human condition I do not understand.
Fortunately, we do not predicate the validity of an issue or condition on whether I or anyone else understands it. We predicate it on the empirical evidence that it is natural (in the sense of naturally occurring which is beyond our control as opposed to natural as a matter of an accepted norm which is an element of society,) protected by the law, and thus immune from anyone’s “moral” judgment.
But I prefer to have at least a basic understanding of something before I form an opinion. Thus, I did some reading. Here’s a link to one of the articles of which there are thousands. (Transgender Article)
What I came to learn is transgender is a more colloquial term for a wide-ranging variety of conditions. One specific condition, which it would seem to me is the heart of such protective actions, and the foundation for a Supreme Court case which I will mention shortly, is Gender Dysphoria.
“Gender dysphoria is the feeling of discomfort or distress that might occur in people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth or sex-related physical characteristics.
Transgender and gender-nonconforming people might experience gender dysphoria at some point in their lives. But not everyone is affected. Some transgender and gender-nonconforming people feel at ease with their bodies, either with or without medical intervention.
Gender dysphoria is a diagnosis listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association to diagnose mental conditions. This term is intended to be more descriptive than the one that was previously used, gender identity disorder. The term gender dysphoria focuses on one’s discomfort as the problem, rather than identity. A diagnosis for gender dysphoria was created to help people get access to necessary health care and effective treatment.” (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gender-dysphoria/symptoms-causes/syc-20475255#🙂
The 2020 Supreme Court case Bostock v Clayton County employs a broad interpretation of Title VII to protect employees against discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The order also references Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” (https://www.newsweek.com/fact-check-does-bidens-executive-order-allow-transgender-athletes-compete-gender-their-1563790)
Now I have always had faith in the Supreme Court members, once they get past the politics of their confirmation hearing, to be less extreme than their opponents would claim.
In proof of such faith, Justice Neil Gorsuch, one of the three “conservative” Justices appointed by Former President Donald Trump (ah… never mind,) delivered the Court’s opinion in this case on June 15, 2020.
In a 6–3 decision, the Court held that Title VII protections under § 2000e-2(a)(1) did extend to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. The decision then involved the statutory interpretation of Title VII, not constitutional law, as in other recent landmark cases involving the rights of LGBT individuals such as Obergefell v. Hodges.
The Court further held that Title VII protections against sex discrimination in the employment context apply to discrimination against particular individuals based on sex, as opposed to discrimination against groups. Thus, Title VII provides a remedy to individuals who experience discrimination based on sex, even if an employer’s policy on the whole does not involve discrimination. Gorsuch wrote:
“An employer who fired an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision; exactly what Title VII forbids. Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result. But the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands. Only the written word is the law, and all persons are entitled to its benefit.”Bostock v Clayton County
So, for those of you who have made it this far, this is my opinion on the Executive Order signed by President Joseph R. Biden (ah…)
My opinion doesn’t matter, nor does anyone else’s. I have educated myself by reading several scholarly articles on the medical and psychological implications of gender dysphoria and accept the fact that it is a fact.
The protection does not create the condition or promulgate the spread of “immoral” behavior. The act protects human beings who, not by choice or nurture but by nature, live with these circumstances and face discrimination from those whose “morality” flies in the face of evidence to the contrary.
Opinions are meaningless when confronted with factual realities.
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