You might look at my Caucasian features and wonder why I am claiming to be an African American. I may not be a natural descendent of African American lineage, but I feel black and have thus decided to identify as African American. Since I identify as African American, I am African American, and you must accept me as such. Because I claim my identity as an African American, I demand that the law recognize me as such and afford me all the rights and obligations of that ethnicity.
You may think that my decision to claim an African American identity is ridiculous. You would be right. Ethnicity is determined by ancestry and genetic lineage, not by someone’s identified perceptions and “feelings.” But it’s no more ridiculous than the latest craze from the left concerning something they call “gender identity.”
Under this theory, a person’s “gender identity” can be different than his or her gender at birth and identity can change depending on the circumstances. A child could identify as a boy at home, the gender he was born with, and a girl at school. It may be, the argument goes, that he’s not comfortable enough at home with his identity as a girl, but is comfortable enough at school to identify as a girl. So society must treat him as a girl at school even if he’s a boy at home.
You might consider this is all to be meaningless politically-correct gibberish, but you’re wrong. The misguided concept of “gender identity” has the force of law behind it, and that force is getting stronger every day. In Massachusetts, state school officials have issued regulations enforcing the state’s law on “gender identity.” They have decreed that a student may be a boy at home, but a girl at school, and vice versa.
He may use the girl’s restroom, and dress as a girl. He is entitled to change in the girls’ locker room, and play on girls’ sports teams. Any student who undermines him or refuses to affirm his chosen “gender identity” is subject to potential disciplinary action. If your daughter complains about sharing the bathroom or locker room with a boy wearing girls’ clothing, she’s guilty of discrimination and could face punishment. If she loses her spot on the girls’ basketball team to a player with a beard, well so be it. The state of California has moved forward with legislation to mimic the Massachusetts rules. And there are countless proposals in Congress and state legislatures to prohibit discrimination based on so-called “gender identity.”
The truth, however, is that there is no such thing as “gender identity” any more than there is “ethnic identity.” There is only gender.
This is an example of what happens when politicians and activists push agenda politics, and where political correctness trumps objective reality. No matter what any politician or activist says, there are only two genders: male and female. Nature and chromosomes determine gender, not education bureaucrats, activists or politicians.
One of the biggest problems I have with the movement to redefine marriage is the series of falsehoods we’re required to accept that fly in the face of the established natural order. Consider the contention that men and women are identical - not just equal but actually the same. If this is accepted as true, then having a gender basis for marriage no longer makes sense. But it’s not true; a man is not a woman, and a woman is not a man.
Similarly, we’re expected to accept the lie that children don’t deserve both a mother and a father -- any two (or more) adults will do. The trouble is two men might love a child, but neither of them can be the child’s mother. Similarly, two women can love a child, but neither of them can be his father. Children benefit when they have the love of both a mom and a dad, yet some people are rushing headlong to support a marriage policy that intentionally deprives children of either a mother or a father.
Marriage is, by definition, the union of a man and a woman. Certainly same-sex couples love each other, but their relationships can’t be a marriage without also demanding that people ignore what they know marriage to be. It doesn’t mean couples aren’t entitled to live as they choose. It means that we accept the truth of reality in the natural order. We accept the natural meanings of gender and gender differences, and reject attempts to redefine them with amorphous perceptions and feelings about “identity.”
Frank Schubert is national political director for the National Organization for Marriage