Friday, March 23, 2018

Brian S. Brown warns of transgender dangers

Brian S. Brown
Is Brian Brown a moral man?
Brian S. Brown of National Organization for Marriage has sent out an email titled: “Help Overturn Anchorage's Dangerous Transgender Bathroom Law.” It follows the usual script in support of an anti-trans ballot measure.

Brown is a zealous, and fundamentalist, Catholic convert. You would think that his deep faith would require Brown to be honest in all of his dealings. That is simply not the case. Conservative Christians, including Brown, seem wed to the proposition that lying in defense of the faith is not only acceptable but required behavior.

The first consideration — and it should be the last consideration — is that transgender people do not pose a threat to anyone. Allow me to repeat that. Transgender people do not pose a threat to anyone. They just need a place to pee. Since the emphasis is on trans women, the process is simple:
  1. Enter bathroom.
  2. Enter stall.
  3. Close door.
  4. Lock door.
  5. Pee.
  6. Unlock door.
  7. Leave stall.
  8. Wash hands.
  9. Dry hands.
  10. Exit bathroom.
It seems to me that the procedure is probably the same for transgender and cisgender women. Right? So what the hell is all of this fuss about?

Mine is a rhetorical question. In point of fact I know what all the fuss is about. The existence of transgender people is a biblical contradiction. The fundamentalists write hyperbolic books, hold seminars, blog at Christian outlets and, in this case, send out emails. They have created a panicky self-reinforcing subset of their belief system that is not supported by any facts or, for that matter, logic. They are also manufacturing exponentially more widgets than there are widget receptacles.  In other words, based on the amount of activism you would think that transgender people make up a huge swath of the population.

According to the New York Times, about 0.6% or 1.4 million people in the United States are transgender. I would argue that these “Christians” should devote this time and energy to help feed the poor and educate the illiterate. However, those worthwhile endeavors do not have the same ability to scare people and then to piss them off in order to make the cash registers ring.

In order to circumvent the fact that trans people are harmless and there aren't that many of them, they have created a mythology. Brown being Brown, he has to first blow … NOM's horn:
All across America, communities are pushing back against LGBT extremists and their political allies who insist on imposing a dangerous gender ideology of allowing biological men into the most intimate, private areas reserved for females – including showers, bathrooms, locker rooms and changing areas. NOM has helped champion this push back at the federal level, successfully urging President Trump to repeal Obama's transgender directive to the public schools and in our military, and in communities like Houston where we successfully urged voters to overturn the transgender bathroom law imposed on their community.
Where is the danger Mr. Brown? And what, exactly, is gender ideology. Gender, Mr. Brown, is supported by science. Science is not an ideology which is a belief system. Science is evidentiary. What is an ideology is all of this nonsense over trans people.

The Myth:
Just like the Houston City Council did, local politicians in Anchorage, Alaska ignored the wishes of citizens and enacted an ordinance that allows men to force their way into intimate areas reserved for women and girls simply by claiming a female "gender identity." And just like in Houston, citizens have risen up to say "enough" and put the issue on the ballot. It will be decided at the April 3rd municipal election.
What Brian Brown is claiming is simply preposterous. He is saying that men will pretend to be transgender women in order to access public facilities as predators. Where is the evidence of that ever occurring? If, on the other hand, Mr. Brown has evidence that real trans women pose a danger to other women then where is the evidence to support that claim?

More Myth:
It's also about common sense and respecting the wishes of women, including victims of sexual assault and abuse. Many women simply are uncomfortable being in a vulnerable situation, including being in a state of undress, in the presence of a biological male. Forcing them to do so disrespects their rights, violates their privacy and risks their safety.
I don't frequent women's bathrooms. Is it common for women to be naked in a public bathroom? Men come close at our urinals but women? I have read of one woman making this claim. It is irrational. I have severe PTSD (I was ambushed and shot). In public spaces I am hyper-vigilant, extremely anxious and sometimes incapable of rational thought. I do not ask society to conform to my craziness. I find ways to deal with my irrational fears. Fearing transgender people is irrational. It is not supported by evidence.

Moreover, there might be less fear if people like Brown were not so intent on telling people that they should be afraid. There is nothing to be afraid of.

Brown tries — and fails — to offer some evidence:
Just a few weeks ago a man claiming to be a woman demanded access to an Anchorage women's shelter that serves homeless women and female victims of sexual assault and is run by local Christian churches. According to media reports, the man has a criminal record and had been kicked out of another shelter for fighting. After the Christian-run shelter refused him access, the man filed a complaint with the local Equal Rights Commission and is trying to get them to order the shelter to give him access to the women because of Anchorage's transgender bathroom law. The Commission is actively considering doing just that.
Brown doesn't provide a link to those “media reports” and he does not provide sufficient information to learn more. There is a reason for that. A report in the Anchorage Daily News makes no mention of the individual's criminal record (which, unless it involves violence, is irrelevant). The trans woman was denied entry because she is transgender. That is the bottom line.
Clarkson [the manager of the discriminatory shelter] said allowing a "biological man" into the shelter would traumatize and create safety risks for the women who stay there.

Leaders of Anchorage's other two emergency women's shelters say transgender people have used the facilities for years without problems.
The profound irony:
Catholic Social Services runs the Brother Francis Shelter as well as the Clare House, a shelter for women and children. Lisa Aquino, the executive director of Catholic Social Services, said the shelters don't ask people for gender identities.

"There's so much trauma for everyone who comes in that is experiencing homelessness," Aquino said. "The fact that someone is transgender is pretty far down on the list."
I cannot imagine why Brown did not provide a media link. It amounts to more dishonesty in a dishonest campaign to punish people with a medical condition that they do not approve of. Their desire is to treat trans people like modern day lepers is based on superstition.

These are folks who pretend to have moral values that are superior to most other people. Moral people do not lie to accomplish their goals. Moral people do not try to marginalize a minority group. Brian S. Brown, for all his sanctimony and self-righteousness, is not a moral man.

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