Monday, December 24, 2007

What is it about the right and bathrooms?

The former child actor who played Zelda on the Dobie Gillis Show, now all grown up and a state senator in California, got a 1999 California nondiscrimination law amended last year (and signed by Governor "I'll Be Back") to include gender as well as sex. The purpose was to afford legal protection against discrimination to gay, lesbian and transgender students.

Now, according to USA Today, so-called "social conservatives" and various religious groups are trying to stop the implementation of the amended law claiming "that the law will permit 'homosexual indoctrination' of schoolchildren as young as 5 and that 'gender-specific bathrooms would also be discriminatory.'" One group is suing to set the law aside as unconstitutionally vague and another is seeking to put a referendum on the ballot in 2008 to repeal it.

The general counsel of the group that is suing says: "This law will allow kids, boys and girls in public schools, to decide their own gender," .... As a result, they have the right to go into any restroom they choose and any locker room they choose."

Sen. Sheila Kuehl, the bill's author, calls these claims "stupid." She says that the bill says nothing about bathrooms and won't make locker rooms co-ed.

What is it about conservative politicians and groups and bathrooms, anyway?

And, another thing ....

When I was in law school working to get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified in Virginia, the two principle arguments made against the amendment by Phyllis Schlafly and her supporters were that the Amendment would make women and men have to go to the bathroom together and it would force women into combat.

As one of my friends pointed out the other day,there are more and more unisex bathrooms around these days, and women are dying in combat.

So, she asked, "where's my Equal Rights Amendment?"

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