Monday, August 1, 2016

Heritage polemicist misses even the backboard

Melody Wood
Melody Wood makes some preposterous claims at Heritage Foundation's blog including: “The NBA’s Transgender Bathroom Advocacy Could Point to End of Women’s Sports.” No. It is probably not the end of Women's sports. As you might guess, this is a fantasy about transgender women (whom she insists on identifying as “biological males”) playing and even monopolizing women's sports. How many transgender people does she think exist?

What has become a source of considerable annoyance is the fact that she (like others) refuses to mention that HB2 affects the entire LGBT community. What Wood describes as the “NBA’s Transgender Bathroom Advocacy” is, in reality, LGBT advocacy or at least concern for LGBT players, staff, coaches and fans. Wood correctly quotes the NBA but doesn't seem to grasp the totality:

Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community—current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans. While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.
HB2's biggest impact, the part that affects the most people, is preemption—nullifying municipal nondiscrimination ordinances. Prior to the enactment of HB2, the counties of Buncombe, Mecklenburg, and Orange as well as the cities of Asheville and Charlotte, Boone, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, and Raleigh prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The counties of Durham and Guilford along with the cities of Bessemer, Durham, High Point and Winston-Salem prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Those protections were in place in the large urban areas that constitute a huge swath of North Carolina's population. It is now legal, throughout North Carolina, for a public accommodation to refuse service to a gay or transgender person because of their sexuality. It is now legal, throughout North Carolina, to discriminate in housing and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or sexual identity. I call a law that removed those nondiscrimination protections discriminatory per se. This is the climate that the NBA statement refers to.

Just to give you a sense of Ms. Wood's crackpottery:
Of course, allowing biological men into the WNBA could be unfair to current WNBA players and the many women and girls who aspire to a career in basketball. After all, the average male in his 20s outjumps 95 percent of all women of the same age, and only a handful of WNBA players can dunk. But if the NBA believes preferred gender identity, not biological sex, is what matters, it naturally follows that men who now identify as women, perhaps without even having any medical treatment, should play in the WNBA, not NBA.
Again, how many transgender people does she think exist? Perhaps she actually believes that people wake up in the morning and decide whether they feel like they are male or female. She does manage to quote that great source of LGBT wisdom, Heritage staffer Ryan T. Anderson. We haven't heard much from him lately. Perhaps he is at a monastery.

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