Trans

Will Houston's Nondiscrimination Law Be Decided by Transgender Bathroom Panic?

Today's vote a barometer on current public attitudes on LGBT issues.

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Insert the theme from "Jaws" here.
Campaign for Houston

Today Houston voters will give us all insight into the state of play on gay and lesbian legal issues following the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision mandating same-sex marriage recognition.

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) has been placed before voters as Proposition 1. The ordinance would specify non-discrimination regulations in employment, public accommodations, city contracting, and housing in a host of well-known categories, including sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, and so on. Of note, the ordinance also includes sexual orientation, genetic information, and gender identity. As is typical for these laws, religious institutions and private clubs can call on exemptions. (Read the ordinance here.)

Houston's City Council actually passed the ordinance into law in 2014. But religious conservatives have fought the law and forced it into a referendum. We took note of this fight previously, when the city, in an effort to determine whether opponents of the law had engaged in illegal behavior when getting petition signatures, attempted to subpoena the contents of pastors' sermons. The demand backfired magnificently and the city backed off. The courts subsequently required the city to put the law up to vote.

This is the first big post-Obergefell battle on LGBT issues, so there is huge amount of activist focus on Houston. The major civil rights activist groups and friendly celebrities are calling on voters to approve HERO's passage.

Their messages are typical and expected, though not without some oddness. Mayor Annise Parker is defending HERO not just because it protects gays, lesbians, and transgender people, but because it covers all the typical non-discrimination bases. According to the Washington Post, one example being used to promote HERO involves a club accused of discriminating on the basis of race, requiring black patrons to pay a cover charge but not whites. If the accusations are true, this is already a violation of federal public accommodation laws, and there's a federal lawsuit over it. So the example being promoted is one that weirdly shows that HERO is redundant in some of these cases, a way to pile on additional punitive responses. HERO actually is more broad than federal laws, which don't include sexual orientation and gender identity and have a much more restrictive view of what counts as a public accommodation. That the example of discrimination being used to champion HERO is already a violation of federal law is a little strange.

But perhaps even stranger is that the entirety of the opposition to HERO boils down to just one thing: transgender bathroom panic. Opponents of HERO warn that if the referendum passes, men will claim to be women to hide in bathrooms and assault your little girls. They even put out a commercial that says entirely that and nothing else about the law. There's no argument suggesting that individual and business freedom of association is being hampered by the law. There's no argument that we have so many more ways to culturally apply pressure to fight bigoted behavior in the private marketplace that Houston doesn't need additional laws. There are a lot of potential ways to challenge the need for HERO that make sense. Instead, they're telling voters that little girls will be raped or kidnapped or killed (or all of the above) and there will be nothing we could do about it.

That this doesn't actually happen and there's no evidence that it will is irrelevant. People fear that the most absurd argument against HERO may carry the day. From the Washington Post:

Robert M. Stein, a pollster and political science professor at Rice University, said his latest poll, which wrapped up in early October, shows the measure passing by six percentage points. But the political winds have shifted since then, Stein said, and now he is predicting defeat.

Early voting has shown a strong turnout among Republicans, as well as among African American voters, who appear less friendly to the ordinance than white Democrats, Stein said.

The anti-HERO sentiment was evident last week outside the Palm Center, an early voting location in predominantly black South Park. Many people wore "No Men in Women's Bathrooms" T-shirts and handed out literature.

"I voted no," said Brittany McFarland, 25, a state social worker. "I'm just not comfortable sharing a bathroom with a man."

Parker's (undoubtedly frustrated) response to all of this is that there are laws against harassing people in the bathroom (and, you know, rape and murder) that will continue to exist regardless of HERO's passage. Are these same people uncomfortable with being in the same bathroom as a gay person of the same sex? Well, probably, but they know full well there's going to be no way to police whether gay people use public restrooms.

In any event, it's interesting to note how the arguments have changed over time as the American people become more and more comfortable with gay and lesbian citizens. It used to be that gay people (and transgender people) were the predators. They were the ones going after your kids. Now the argument has become people are going to pretend to be transgender to get to them. (This assumes people are being honest about the reason they're voting against HERO, though, which may not necessarily be the case. It's just the reason that makes it appear like a public safety issue.)

As for HERO itself, it's a shame the ordinance lumps in both government and private behavior. Government shouldn't discriminate in employment and accommodations for any of these categories, and if that's all the law did, it would be great. But for private businesses and for private restrooms, leave it to citizens to work out the issues on their own.

Related: I discuss the landscape for the relationship between libertarians and gay activism in the November issue of Reason here

(Updated for anybody who wants to see the wretched commercial in all its glory):

NEXT: The Low-Tax Pete-Seegerism of John Fogerty

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  1. RTFA? I’ll get to it, but props on the alt test.

  2. If you have a penis,go piss in the urnial,ok

    1. That’s pretty disrespectful of the deceased.

      1. “Asses to asses, bust to bust.”

        1. I’m filming a funeral-themed porno right now, and I’m going to use that as the title.

          1. You have my attention…

            1. “That ain’t rigor mortis, baby!”

  3. they know full well there’s going to be no way to police whether gay people use public restrooms.

    Oh, ye of little faith.

  4. We can’t have true equality until we treat people differently based upon arbitrary criteria.

  5. Timely and related:

    Transgender Rights: Illinois Schools Discriminated Against Student Identifying as Female, Officials Say

    Township High School District 211 violated anti-discrimination laws by not allowing a transgender student to use the girls’ locker room without restrictions, federal education officials said Monday.

    The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has ordered a taxpayer-funded school district in the suburbs of Chicago to allow a male transgender student who dresses like a girl and otherwise identifies as female to use the girls locker room and shower on school premises.

    1. District 211 has 30 days to change the policy, or risk losing millions in federal funding.

      1. How is this transgender discrimination? He is being treated exactly the same as normal people.

    2. And I’m sure play girls sports. Restrooms,locker rooms,cake shops forced to bake cakes.Pizza shops having to cater mythical weddings.Yeah,they just want ‘equal rights”.

    3. I’m not convinced that most people care too much about where other people piss. Women’s toilets are almost all separate stalls anyway.

      The Illinois case is where it really matters: locker room (i.e. showers). What will the courts due when a female (both anatomic and identity) files a lawsuit because she had to share a locker room with a transgender female who got an erection?

      It’s not a far-fetched issue and I’m not talking about a boy “faking” transgender to get into the girls lockers. Caitlyn Jenner says that she’s attracted to females. She’s not the only trans-women to feel that way. If they’re allowed to shower with bio-women they’re going to be checking them out and those women also have legal rights. The courts have put the schools in a no-win situation.

      Two fast food places near me did major remodeling lately. They both replaced multi-user gender specific bathrooms with single user bathrooms that are locked from the inside. At this point, they’re still gender identified but I suspect they won’t stay that way. While the change makes some sense it reduced total bathroom capacity from 6 to 2.

      Will court decisions like this force schools, health clubs, etc. to build single-user showers? That’s going to b expensive and will greatly reduce shower capacity.

      And we’re doing all of this for what, something like 0.3% of society?

      1. Caitlyn Jenner says that she’s attracted to females. She’s not the only trans-women to feel that way. If they’re allowed to shower with bio-women they’re going to be checking them out and those women also have legal rights. The courts have put the schools in a no-win situation.

        So by this logic, openly lesbian women should also not be allowed to shower with other women, yes? And openly gay men should not be allowed to be in male locker rooms?

        I guess I really don’t see why trans is any different than gay in this context. A trans woman (who in your hypothetical is attracted to females) showering with other females is no different than a lesbian showering with other females — and that happens all the time without any issue.

        I don’t see a compelling argument here

        1. It’s not the same as lesbian/gay. Sure a lesbian/gay might also check out the other girls/guys but the “parts” are the same. Whether or not that matters to you or me, it makes huge difference to most of the women I know. Therefore, due to things like Title IX, it makes a significant legal difference.

          Schools who force female students to shower with trans-females are eventually going to get sued. We have created contradictory legal rights for two protected classes: women and transgender. Sooner or later the courts will figure out how to handle the contradiction, but in the meantime school administrators are screwed no matter what they do.

          1. Yeah, its actually less of an issue than lesbian/gays since the transpeople may very well be attarcted to the opposite gender and therefore not even an issue.

        2. By your reasoning, then there should not be separate locker rooms for either sex. You would then be OK with boys and girls using the same locker room and showers. Sorry, when it comes to children, I can’t get on board with that. I could car less what happens in adult locker rooms, but we need to deal with children differently.

          The stupid thing is, if the end result is that its OK for a boy to shower with girls, then why can’t the transgendered girl, shower with the boys? Why is that discrimination? Do you see the hypocrisy?

        3. Obviously separating people who want to fuck each other when they are naked seems appropriate in many situations.

          I’m sure you meant it as “Oh noes how could we deny the gays to shower with straights” but there’s really nothing wrong with that. It is after all the reason men and women are separated? Are gays incapable of being treated by that standard like straights.

          1. If you’re gay and shower with women, the straight women there might be attracted to YOU. Women do rape men sometimes.

            1. Yes, I’m sure gay men are terrified of that possibility

  6. Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods? In the unisex restroom, that’s where.

  7. People of the future will look back on our gender-segregated bathrooms with the same disdain that we look back on race-segregated bathrooms.

    1. I prefer gender-segregated bathrooms for one simple reason: women a slobs. Seriously. At least that’s my opinion as someone who used to clean them. If the men’s room is bad, the women’s room is almost always in even worse shape.

      1. Truth. Women’s restrooms resemble a level of Dante’s Hell.

      2. As someone who’s first job as a teenager was cleaning bathrooms at a Walmart, I can confirm this.

      3. Also as someone who used to clean them, I concur.

        1. This is starting to remind me of National Lampoon lampoons…

    2. Your really that stupid?

      1. It may be a bit naive, but I don’t know about stupid. What objective and rational reason is there to require sex segregated toilets?

        1. Good point on the require part. If gender-segregated toilets were not required, I bet most businesses would provide them anyway because that’s what most of their customers want.

          1. ^^ this

            Mrs. Almanian don’t wanna piss in no restroom with a trough (RIP, Tiger stadium piss trough). And Mr. Almanian don’t wanna walk past steaming piles of bloody woman things on the way to take a dump.

            No law? Fine. I’d bet most places continue the practice anyway.

            Everybody’s happy!! Well, except for the Houstonites, apparently…

            1. I deem it apropos here to point out that Austin, the Texas Capital, is 150 miles inland and 750 feet higher above sea level (and average IQ) than asset-forfeiting, redneck-dominated Houston. Never confuse the two.

    3. Oh, Hugh. It’s so cute that you believe in the idea of progress in history.

      1. Or at the very least that I believe in the persistence of presentism.

    4. Doubtful. The more liberal/nihilistic people are, the less they reproduce, and Europe is already showing us how fast they cave when faced with someone who not only doesn’t share their views, but is willing to kill to suppress them.

      The people of the future are going to be right wing as fuck.

    5. Gender segregated locker rooms, too?

  8. “If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?”

    1. Depends,does it have a penis?

        1. *thinks about all the times he said “I’m gonna get some tail”*

        2. So, what’s Latin for “penis”?

          1. Hitler.

            It was surprisingly prophetic, all things considered.

          2. I figured it was “phallus”.

    2. “Four – just because you call its tail a leg, doesn’t make it one….”

  9. “The ordinance would specify non-discrimination regulations in employment, public accommodations, city contracting, and housing in a host of well-known categories, including sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, and so on. Of note, the ordinance also includes sexual orientation, genetic information, and gender identity.”

    Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves. The right of individuals to make choices for themselves is what we’re talking about when we talk about rights.

    This appears to be an attempt by various groups to use the coercive power of government to inflict their own choices on other individuals. When one individual unduly inflicts his own choices on another, it’s called a “crime”. When the government unduly inflicts some group’s choices on an individual, it’s called an “injustice”.

    Whether any or all of us agree with the injustices the government would perpetrate on individuals here is beside the point. It’s still an injustice because the right of individuals to make choices for themselves is what we’re talking about when we talk about rights, and this ordinance would violate the right of individuals to make choices for themselves.

    1. The great thing about social justice, from the SJW point of view, is that when the government inflicts injustice in the name of social justice, the victim has no recourse. After all, who will help them? Government?

      1. Yeah, our rights are certainly not a popularity contest. and yet that’s what social justice warriors want to turn our rights into–a popularity contest.

        Thank God Jim Crow laws, segregation, internment camps, and anti-miscegenation laws aren’t popular anymore, but plenty of other injustices are and will be.

        The social justice warriors have an uncanny knack for assuming they’re more popular and representative than they really are–and seem to imagine that they always will be more popular than their enemies, too.

        1. They’re not the only ones. People from Baltimore leaders to Christian so-cons have bet everything on the idea they would always have the majority’s favor, and they are now losing that bet. There’s a lesson for looters and control freaks of all stripes.

          1. Honestly, it’s different with progressives.

            It’s like how ObamaCare was unpopular when it was passed.

            The First Rule of Progressives Club is that the people want what we want.

            The Second Rule of Progressive Club is that if the people don’t want what we want, then see The First Rule.

            The progressive explanation for why California passed Prop 8 (prohibiting gay marriage) was because of outside money from the Mormon church. No, no, no, no–the people want gay marriage! They were just confused by outside money!

            The progressive explanation for why the Tea Party took control of the House was the same thing. The people don’t want the Tea Party of the Republicans! It’s just that the Koch brothers astroturfed using their money! White poor Republicans are voting against their own interests, doncha know. They really want what progressives want–they’re just uneducated, confused, and misled by money!

            Social conservatives often imagine that things will continue as they always have been in the past.

            Progressives assume that the present is theirs (even when it isn’t) and that the future will always be theirs forever.

            1. First rule of progressive club: we have good intentions.

              Second rule of progressive club: anyone who disagrees with us has bad intentions.

              1. “Second rule of progressive club: anyone who disagrees with us IS EVIL.”

                There, ftfy.

                1. Isn’t that what I said? Bad intentions can only be explained by the opponent being evil.

        2. They are great at personally attacking anyone who oppose with them, and the result is much silence from those who disagree with them. After all, who wants to be painted out to be a horrible person? They then claim that that silence to be support.

  10. Why do the proponents of this law not simply add a provision explicitly stating that the law will not be construed as to forbid segregation of restrooms by birth sex?

    1. Because the whole point of the law is to allow transgendered people to use whatever bathroom they want. When Parker signaled that she would accept a bathroom carve out, her base nuked the deal.

      1. Really? How many trans people do you think there actually are in Houston who are currently embarrassed/inconvenienced by having to use the “wrong” (for them) bathroom? 5? 10? I doubt more than 15 or so people, total.

        Also, assuming the referendum does NOT pass, are they really going to stop using the bathroom they wish to use? Who is actually going to confront a suspected trans-woman only to be told, “No ma’am, I’m not actually a hairy man under this dress. I have polycystic ovary syndrome and that makes me hairy!” Seriously, in my experience, most people will try to avoid confrontation with strangers, especially when they know they may end up being humiliated.

        As for men hiding in women’s bathrooms to kidnap young girls, that is just STUPID and irrelevant to the issue at hand. If a would-be kidnapper actually thought that was an effective method to catch his targets, do these idiots actually think the current rules barring of trans-sexual bathroom use is what’s preventing this from happening?

        1. I estimate the number at 12.

          This is a power play. I think Parker was a well respected moderate before all this hit. Now she’s a full on transgenderwarrior.

  11. Today Houston voters will give us all insight into the state of play on gay and lesbian legal issues following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision mandating same-sex marriage recognition.

    What does gay marriage have to do with someone with a dick wanting to drain it in the women’s bathroom?

    1. Some animals are more equal than others.

    2. Punishing people who don’t like it.

      1. Winning hearts and minds isn’t just for international relations.

    3. LGBT? why did gays and lesbians align themselves with people with serious mental problems?

      1. When they became a convenient club to beat on America. Just like the rest of the totalitarian Left.

        1. ^ for the record, this refers to the leadership, not the average gay guy on the street.

  12. “(This assumes people are being honest about the reason they’re voting against HERO, though, which may not necessarily be the case. It’s just the reason that makes it appear like a public safety issue.)”

    Yep. No mention of the ‘icky things they do’, just lie about ‘public safety’.

  13. There is likewise no evidence that anyone currently gives a shit if a transgendered man uses the ladies’ room.

    I am a Houston-area resident, and the backstory is one of the lesbian mayor using this issue as a way to get her LGBTQ* rocks off. Every time they came close to a compromise that would achieve the stated goals of letting Caitlyn Jenner pee, Parker would undermine the deal at the last minute in order to appease her fringe supporters. Seriously, who the fck subpoenas pastors while pretending to seek compromise?

    Fortunately, I live across the county line and I have no dog in this fight. But it is a textbook case of the vengeful gays.

    1. There is likewise no evidence that anyone currently gives a shit if a transgendered man uses the ladies’ room.

      That’s not what this law would do. It would let transgender women use the ladies’ room.

        1. You spelled Peado funny…

      1. No. In my opinion, you aren’t a woman until you cut off the penis. Until then, Dude Looks Like a Lady but he isn’t one. They want HIM to be allowed to use the ladies’ room.

        I don’t think there is any controversy about a post-op transexual using the ladies’ loo.

        1. I don’t think there is any controversy about a post-op transexual using the ladies’ loo.

          I seriously doubt you are right about that. How would anyone even know?

        2. cutting off your penis doesn’t make you a woman. It makes you a man without a penis.

    2. There is likewise no evidence that anyone currently gives a shit if a transgendered man uses the ladies’ room.

      Putting aside whether you are getting the terminology right, this is pretty much my reaction to this. If you are dressing, identifying and living as your non-birth sex, just use the bathroom. No one is checking your junk on the way in. And people would probably react more to the person dressed as a woman going to the men’s room. Although I’ve seen women use the men’s room when there were long lines for the ladies’ room on many occasions and no one seemed to care about that either.

      Personally, I don’t give a shit who uses what toilet, but people apparently do for some reason or other.

      1. Restrooms (with enclosed toilet stalls) are one thing. Locker rooms (with communal showers, lockers and people walking around naked) are a whole ‘nother animal. The shit’s gonna hit the fan when “Melissa” starts swinging “her” dick around in the women’s locker room, and management gives the “hey, our hands are tied” explanation when other women complain.

        I’m not saying there’s gonna be a crime wave of restroom rape if transgender folks get the right to use whatever restroom they see fit… I’m just saying it’s just gonna take one high-profile incident of rape by a man supposedly identifying as a woman for the transgender movement to lose a lot of momentum.

  14. The conservatives are acting as if a law will keep criminals out of female restrooms…

    1. No, conservatives are acting as if they would like to pre-emptively remove men from the women’s restroom.

    2. a better law would keep the criminals out of elective office.

  15. Maybe I am misreading it, but the ordinance applies to “public accommodations” meaning that applies to businesses. Since when do Libertarians support public accommodation laws? And if they don’t, why would they ever support expanding them to include more protected classes of people? This is a case where there are degrees of harm resulting from these laws. The more classes of people such laws covers, the more they restrict freedom. So expanding them to cover more people in the name of “equal protection” is doing so at a greater cost to freedom. So at best it is a zero sum game.

    Libertarians have been unfairly called racists for objecting to the CRA. Indeed, Reason has been quite consistent and courageous in its stand against the CRA and defense of politicians who have had the courage to object to it. If Reason is now going to publish articles in favor of public accommodation laws because such laws are now designed to protect transvestites, then it deserves to be called racist. When public accommodation laws protected black people, they were horrible restrictions on freedom. Let them protect gays and transvestites and somehow Reason thinks such restrictions are just fine. How is that anything but a racist double standard?

    1. John, did you read the same article I did?

      Because it didn’t support the law.

      I’ll summarize.

      1) The article argues that this is a bellwether election in that it’s the first ordnance put up for vote post Oberfell.

      2) The article summarizes the unconvincing arguments promoted by the advocates for the law’s passage.

      3) The article summarizes the *single* argument that opponents are *promoting* – that of trangenders in the bathroom

      4) The article closes by decrying the lumping in of private businesses with the state. It argues that while forbidding the state to discriminate on things like gender, sexual orientation and race are wholesome, private individuals should be free to discriminate on who they associate with for whatever reason catches their fancy.

      Now, could you link to the article you had in mind that Reason published supporting the law? I’d love to read that too.

      1. Okay, so Shackelford objects to the law. Spending a quarter of the article explaining how the people trying to stop the law are wrong is an interesting way of showing that. Moreover, in supporting the law applying to the government, Shackelford is saying that objecting to a man using the women’s restroom in say a courthouse is on the same intellectual and moral level as objecting to a black person using a whites only restroom.

        Sorry but that is ridiculous and rightfully opens Shackleford to the charge that he doesn’t view racism as being a particularly bad thing.

        1. Spending a quarter of the article explaining how the people trying to stop the law are wrong is an interesting way of showing that.

          Is he supposed to support them even if they don’t actually hold a libertarian position?

        2. Seems to me that he is mostly just pointing out that the opponents seem mostly worried about transgender people using the wrong bathroom and are not making any kind of principled stand against public accommodation laws.

          1. Once again Zeb. show me where he objects to the law. I don’t see where he does. He thinks the law if flawed sure. But nowhere in the article that I can see does he say he doesn’t think it should pass.

            1. But for private businesses and for private restrooms, leave it to citizens to work out the issues on their own.

              Maybe not a full throated condemnation of the law, but why is he obliged to do that in every article? This is mostly reporting on the politics surrounding the vote on the law and the shady tricks the supporters of the law pulled in trying to stop the opposition.

              1. Zeb, that is not a condemnation of the law. That is saying it is flawed. And he owes an explicit opinion on the law because he spends so much time and effort attacking those who object to the law.

                It is a fair reading of this article to conclude that while Scott wishes it were different, he on the whole supports it. That is only a fair reading because he refuses to give his opinion about the law as a whole.

                1. “Leave it to citizens to work out differences on their own” means don’t have a law about it.

                  1. That was my interpretation.

          2. The people who support MJ legalization because they want more tax revenue, rather than because they think people should be free to consume what they want, never seem to be condemned for impure motives by Reason.

            How come the only time they demand pure motives for supporting the libertarian position is where the libertarian position is against the gay movement?

        3. It’s interesting because it’s hilarious. Seriously, no matter where you stand on the issues, the fact that this obscure detail has become the point to argue on shows that people are nuts. Or that they’re perfectly sane & go to any length to avoid displaying major points of disagreement w each other, so they’d rather posture about something this far-fetched.

      2. And read the last paragrapsh.

        As for HERO itself, it’s a shame the ordinance lumps in both government and private behavior. Government shouldn’t discriminate in employment and accommodations for any of these categories, and if that’s all the law did, it would be great. But for private businesses and for private restrooms, leave it to citizens to work out the issues on their own.

        Where in that sentence does Shackleford say he doesn’t want the ordinance to pass? I don’t see where he does. He just says it is a shame it applies to private businesses. Okay, that doesn’t preclude him from supporting the ordinance. Moreover, considering he just spent the entire article talking about how great it is and how wrong its opponents are on the merits, what causes you to conclude he doesn’t? It looks to me like Scott wishes it didn’t apply to businesses but overall thinks that is a harm worth suffering.

        1. Moreover, considering he just spent the entire article talking about how great it is

          Where did he talk about how great it is? He calls it “redundant” and says it is “a way to pile on additional punitive responses.” He also notes that opponents could be making arguments that “individual and business freedom of association is being hampered by the law” and also that “we have so many more ways to culturally apply pressure to fight bigoted behavior in the private marketplace that Houston doesn’t need additional laws. There are a lot of potential ways to challenge the need for HERO that make sense.”

          What does he say about how great it is?

          1. That is just him saying he thinks the law is flawed and wishes it didn’t apply to private business. But, in the end he says that is a “shame”. He never once says that that harm outweighs the good he thinks the law will do. Never once does he say “I don’t support this law and hope it fails”. Given that, how can you just assume he does? It looks to me like he supports the law even though he thinks it is flawed.

            1. Where does he say a single thing positive about the law?

              1. Here

                As for HERO itself, it’s a shame the ordinance lumps in both government and private behavior. Government shouldn’t discriminate in employment and accommodations for any of these categories, and if that’s all the law did, it would be great. But for private businesses and for private restrooms, leave it to citizens to work out the issues on their own.

                He clearly thinks the law is good in so far as it applies to the government. The question is is that good worth the harm of applying it to businesses. And on that question, Scott is a bit vague. The law would be “great” if it only applied to the government. It is a shame it applies to everyone. Scott never says that that shame outweighs to “great” of it applying to government.

                Given that he clearly supports ending such discrimination (otherwise why would the law be great when applied to government?) and he totally dismisses the concerns expressed by the opponents, I think it is fair to conclude Scott supports the law. If he didn’t, why doesn’t he say so? Why does he engage in the above equivocation?

                1. You keep referring to the “shame” part and somehow missing the clear imperative sentence that says “leave it to citizens.” I don’t know what could be more clear than that.

                  1. No I am not Nikki. Yes, Scott thinks that it should be left to the citizens. I get that. But he also thinks that this law applying to the government would be a great good. What is left unanswered is whether the good of applying it to the government outweighs the harm of not leaving it to the citizens. It is entirely possible to think it should be left to the citizens but also think that is a price worth paying to obtain the good of forcing accommodation in government building. Or you could think the harm of restricting freedom outweighs the “great” of ending it in government buildings. Scott doesn’t say which side of that issue he is on. Given that he completely dismisses any practical objection to the accommodation, I don’t see how you can conclude he doesn’t think it is a price worth paying. Again, if he doesn’t, why doesn’t he say as much?

        2. Where does he say that he does want it to pass? Or that we should want it to pass?

          The point of the article isn’t to advocate for or against the law. It is reporting on the politics and public attitudes about it. The fact is that most people don’t make principled objections to public accommodations laws, whether out of fear of being labeled a bigot or because they think they are good. So I don’t think it is unreasonable to report on the reasons why people who aren’t principled libertarians might support or oppose the law.

          1. He doens’t do that either Zeb. This is a smarmy article top to bottom. Considering how Scott dismisses the concerns of those objecting to the law, it is hardly unfair to conclude he does support the law.

            I don’t see how you can read the article any other way. Yeah, Scott wishes it didn’t apply to businesses. But he thinks that overall that is a price worth paying. He is totally fine with other people paying a price so he can get what he wants.

            1. Well, whatever. I think it’s fine to point out that the opponents of the law are mostly so for reasons that have nothing to do with a principled libertarian position on anti-discrimination laws. You seem to think otherwise. Call it smarmy if you want (it is a marvelous word), but I don’t see Scott supporting the law anywhere.

              1. I think Scott is dead wrong about that. Regardless, if he wants to say otherwise, good for him. If he does, however, he ought to then give a clear opinion on the law as a whole or understand he is leaving the impression that he supports it.

        3. I think you’re reading things into the article that aren’t there. This strikes me as a summation of the arguments the two sides, opponents and supporters alike, are making about the law while also pointing out that since it’s the first major LGBT related case post Obergfell, that it’s a “big fucking deal” as uncle Joe might say. I don’t see much in it that could be construed as support or opposition, really. Except at the end, which seems more like a statement of non- support for the law to me.

          It seems Scott’s intent here is more to inform readers and let them make up their minds if this is a good law or not. FWIW, this is the first story I’ve seen on this, and based on Scott’s article I’m not supportive of this law, and would vote no if I lived in Houston.

          1. Scott’s position on the ordinance as a whole is left unsaid. Maybe he does object to it. I can’t read his mind and tell you. The fact is that he spends the entire article saying that the only reasonable objection to the ordinance is out of principle. Scott sees no valid objection to the ordinance beyond “yes people should have the right to be stupid”. And he thinks applying the ordinance to the government is “great”.

            I don’t see how it is unreasonable to conclude that Scott thinks overall the ordinance is worthy of support. Again, we can’t read his mind and maybe he doesn’t. If he doesn’t, given the way he frames the debate and how he never explicitly says he objects to the ordinance, I don’t see how he can complain about people inferring his support for it.

            If nothing else, he deserves to be criticized for writing and unclear article. Should the ordinance be passed or shouldn’t it? Scott never answers that fundamental question.

    2. To Reason, gays and chromosome science deniers are obviously more equal than blacks.

      Why this is, I don’t know.

    3. Since when do Libertarians support public accommodation laws?

      Since gay marriage and sticking it to Christians.

      1. Ahh yes, the gay marriage argument that emphasizes that marriage recognition is distinct from public accommodation laws, with the latter being the source of any liberty infringements.

        It’s sad to see how silly you get when it comes to the gays.

        1. Being that public accommodation laws are here to stay, marriage recognition and public accommodation are, well, married.

    4. I would say that Shackford’s views on public accommodation have been balanced.

      And that’s kind of different compared to, say, other Reason articles about the Drug War, free speech, the NSA, gun control, etc., etc.

      Maybe a good analogy is that Shackford’s treatment of public accommodation has been fair like Ronald Bailey’s treatment of global warming has been fair. And that’s different from Bailey’s treatment of creationism.

      Maybe John thinks of public accommodation the way Bailey thinks of creationism. I tend to think of public accommodation the way I think of gun control. I’m as much against mass shootings at elementary schools as the next guy, and I think trying to stop that is a worthy goal–but there’s no equivocation, I’m against gun control. I’m against discrimination and stupidity, too–but violating an individual’s right to make choices for themselves is wrong, even if the choices they want to make are stupid. And that’s what public accommodation does–it violates an individual’s right to make choices for himself.

      1. I can’t recall a single article on the CRA that ever was balanced. Maybe there is one but I haven’t seen it. The isue is always as it should be on personal freedom.

        And yes, Scott does take a balanced view of public accommodation laws, when it applies to gays. And that of course is the point.

    5. RTFA:

      As for HERO itself, it’s a shame the ordinance lumps in both government and private behavior. Government shouldn’t discriminate in employment and accommodations for any of these categories, and if that’s all the law did, it would be great. But for private businesses and for private restrooms, leave it to citizens to work out the issues on their own.

      [Emphasis added]

      Reading comprehension: how does it fucking work?

      I know, I know, that would get in the way of screaming about reason turning into this den of COZZZZMOZZZZ!!!!!11!!!!!#111!! WHERE MY COUNTRY WEBSITE GONE?!?!

      1. Why don’t you use some of that reading comprehension to show me where in that statement Scott says he doesn’t support the ordinance? Sure, he wishes it didn’t apply to businesses. But nowhere in the article does he say that is not a price worth paying.

        All you can point to is how Scott thinks it is a shame it applies to businesses. Sorry but that doesn’t mean he is against the ordinance. It just means he wishes it were better.

        Where did the website go? It used to be filled with people who held the magazine to some intellectual standards. Now it is filled with people who are nothing but fan boys who will do anything to defend the magazine.

        1. I don’t see anywhere in the article where he says he supports the law either. You’re reading a lot into it that isn’t there. Obviously I intertreted that paragraph as implying that he was against the law, while you interpreted it as being in favor of the law. I’m not capable of following the mental gymnastics that would lead one to that conclusion.

          I guess anything short of “I think this is a bad law and it shouldn’t pass” wouldn’t be good enough for you. Even then you’d probably be on here bitching about “Shackleford” spending so much space tearing into the opponents sole argument if he thinks it’s a bad law, or something like that. Anything to keep the “den of cosmos who will all vote for Shrillary next year” theory alive.

          I really don’t get that BTW. Sure, reason writes stuff I disagree with all the time, and yes, they’ve been far too charitable in their coverage of Bernie Sanders, probably because they think he’ll legalize weed and maybe be less horrible on mass surveillance and less interventionist than most of the other candidates, but FFS, his economic views should disqualify him for any libertarian. But I’m also getting really sick of all the motherfuckers showing up on the comments everyone reason says anything negative about a republican, or fails to sufficiently call put Shrillary or Bernie screaming about COSMOZZZ!!!1!!!! I’m not a “fanboy” who will defend then at all costs by any measure, but God dammit that shit’s annoying.

          1. I guess anything short of “I think this is a bad law and it shouldn’t pass” wouldn’t be good enough for you.

            And and why is that such an unreasonable expectation? Reason has no problem explicitly objecting to other laws. Indeed, it openly advocates for the repeal of the CRA. Yet, here Scott is surprisingly vague. The contrast I think fairly opens reason to the charge of being racist.

            Public accommodation laws are probably second only to the Drug war in importance to Libertarians. And suddenly when those laws benefit gays, Reason publishes this article that gets all vague about their overall value. They deserve to be called on that.

            1. I guess my expectations are a little different. I wasn’t expecting to read a full throated endorsement or condemnation of the law either way. As for why Scott was vague here, I don’t know. I suppose it’s possible he allowed his biases and identity as a gay man get in the way of fully condemning the law in no uncertain terms. I think that’s more plausible than him being a secret racist.

              Anywho, I have to go back to work, so we’ll probably have to just agree to disagree wrt how to interpret Scott’s last paragraph. I doubt there’s much point in arguing about it.

  16. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2…..53970.html

    The concerns about voyeurism are totally made up. It could never happen.

    1. Despite the Huffington Post’s…..interesting take on it, it certainly could happen. But why do we care? It can happen right here, right now.

      Men can dress up as women (without identifying as transgender) convincingly enough to walk into a women’s restroom. How is going “I’m trans!” going to prevent the police from throwing them in the clink when they get charged with trying to peep or something worse (e.g. rape)?

      1. Re: MokFarin,

        Men can dress up as women (without identifying as transgender) convincingly enough to walk into a women’s restroom.

        The HERO ordinance would limit the business legal actions against a transgender person who attempts to use the wrong restroom. This is regardless if the business is right or not in impeding a person from using what the business says is the wrong restroom, because (God forbid!) it is the business’ restroom, not the patron’s.

        In other words, the HERO ordinance is a clear and unequivocal affront to Property Rights, whether you think the business should allow a transgender person in a woman’s restroom or not.

        1. My point was that this can already happen. There is no law on the books that punishes a woman being in the men’s bathroom or vice versa – only what happens after the person is there.

          My particular feelings on the matter, which I kept out of my argument, are that all bathrooms should be unisex or single-occupant. If you want to increase safety in them, make sure there are two or more exits. Being in the same place as the other gender(s?) doesn’t inherently decrease safety by itself. Otherwise, all other aspects of life would be slaughter fests with bathrooms being the only safe place to be.

          1. bathrooms being the only safe place to be.

            Seems like everyone wants to have their “safe space”…

            1. I have no problem with people wanting “Safe spaces.” The problem is when they want them to exist in public places.

              If you want a safe space, get good with steel and build yourself a panic room that doesn’t have internet access. See? Safe.

          2. Under current law, the business could kick the offender out, ban them from the property in the future, and sue them for civil trespass.

            If this law passes, they can’t do any of those things.

  17. Talk about burying the lede!

    Most of this article is social signalling about the vile awfulness of the ordinance’s opponents.

    There’s also a brief rebuttal of one of the supporters’ fallacious arguments, and a concluding to-be-sure paragraph about how the ordinance is an unacceptable restriction on business freedom.

    And there’s a quote from a voter who opposed the ordinance simply because she is “uncomfortable sharing a bathroom with a man.” She doesn’t talk about girls being raped, but just about her own personal comfort level. Of course, she’s probably a rabid right-winger (a right-wing social worker of all things!), but she has a point.

    Consider the rationale under which the ordinance is being pushed. The preamble is heavy on the importance of dignity. I suppose focusing on dignity is important if you don’t have a lot of evidence of pervasive discrimination. Or that helping people feel comfortable, and good about themselves, is the real impetus behind the law.

    But what about the comfort of this woman who wants her privacy respected?

    How, oh how, do we balance different people’s need for comfort?

    Maybe let private businesses figure it out themselves, and if you’re not comfortable, don’t patronize them.

    1. Looks like you read the same article as John.

      1. Yeah, I really wish someone would link to the article John was talking about. It’s really hard to participate in a critiquing discussion without access to the source material.

        1. Go back and show me one article about the CRA that is in anyway this mushy or buries the objection to the ordinance that deeply? Scott clearly thinks anyone who objects to this law is just as bad as someone who supports Jim Crow and thinks that it is a right and moral thing to be applied to the government. And he clearly thinks anyone who doesn’t buy into the “transgendered” fantasy is just a hater. The science of DNA is apparently optional. Sorry but one paragraph at the end that effectively says “oh by the way this thing applies to businesses and that is a bad thing I guess” is weak tea don’t you think?

          1. Scott clearly thinks anyone who objects to this law is just as bad as someone who supports Jim Crow

            Scott himself objects to this law.

            1. Show me where?

              Show me one line in this article where he says the law should not pass. All he says is that “it is a shame” it applies to businesses. He never says he objects to the law. He only says he wishes it didn’t apply to businesses.

              I get the impression that Scott supports the law even though he wishes it didn’t apply to businesses. Show me where in the article he says anything different.

          2. The science of DNA is apparently optional.

            Oh, for heaven’s sake. No one is saying that XX, XY doesn’t (in the vast majority of cases) determine your biological sex.

            I think there is a reasonable discussion to be had about the benefits and drawbacks of various ways of dealing with gender dysphoria. But it is just silly to think that pointing out something about genetics that everyone already knows is going to settle it.

            1. Yeah Zeb, your brain is apparently not part of your body I guess.

              No one is saying that XX, XY doesn’t (in the vast majority of cases) determine your biological sex.

              No Zeb it determines it in every case. Not the vast majority but every case. Your sex is what your chromosomes are. To say otherwise is to endorse a form of radical duelism that is nothing short of supernatural. Really, all the transgendered are saying is that their souls were put in the wrong sex body. And that of course is nonsense.

              1. There are some other sex chromosome arrangements besides XX and XY. They are very rare which is why I said “vast majority”. I wasn’t referring to transgender people there.

                Gender dysphoria is a real phenomenon. We can discuss how best to deal with it, and whether living as the other sex is really the best thing for people who are like that, but dismissing it as nonsense as if that will make it less of a real thing that people actually have to deal with doesn’t address the issue in any useful way.

                1. It is a real phenomenon. And there is not a single bit of evidence that shows indulging it does anything to help the person afflicted with it.

                  I think people should be free to think they are anything they like. My only problem is when they expect everyone else to go along with it.

                2. “Gender dysphoria is a real phenomenon..”

                  Wasn’t it a week or so ago we exchanged words on this phenomenon? I mentioned how conservatives view those who don’t fall in with the vast majority as somehow genetically, morally or culturally deficient and in need of some kind of treatment to cure them. John here is giving us a perfect example.

                  1. Mtruman,

                    You make a great point. I think the entire concept of “transgendered” is horribly dehumanizing and tells anyone who doesn’t fit some preconceived notion of a man or a woman that they are a freak in need of treatment. They are still men and still women. They are whatever their bodies and genes are. Everything else is just a preference. A preference they should of course be free to indulge in but a preference that everyone else should also be free to embrace or reject accordingly.

                    1. Is the concept of “gender” new to you? You might want to read some feminist/queer scholarship and learn something. It’s not merely dependent on one’s physical characteristics, whether they are male or female. Gender depends on other things. I remember when a certain TV evangelist found himself in jail for fraud or something. He was told that he threw a ball like a girl, and to change his ways if he wanted to serve his time unmolested. That’s gender at work. Nothing to do with his genes or the presence or absence of sexual organs. Much the same can be said of how we walk or how we dress.

                      I know that reading Judith Butler is a challenge, even for highly educated people, but at least acquaint yourself with the idea of ‘gender,’ arguably feminist theory’s core teaching. You’re at a great disadvantage discussing issues like these without the basics.

                3. Yes there are chromosomal defecta that result in extra or missing chromosomes. Which is a completely different subject than gender dysphoria.

                  1. If that’s a response to me, yes, that is what I said.

      2. Looks like he read the article where Shackford condescendingly dismissed objections as “bathroom panic”.

    2. Ah, I see John is on the case.

      I concur with John to the extent that he says the article is “mushy” and largely surrounds its criticism of the ordinance with attacks against the opponents.

      There’s certainly a real disorder of gender dysphoria, just as there are disorders where people think they’re made of glass, or what have you.

      I suppose you can argue that they’re disabled for purposes of the various “disability rights” acts.

      Or you could argue that Americans have a decent, though not uniformly decent, record of living with eccentrics, working with them, even hiring them and socially interacting with them.

      That’s because we don’t necessarily *define* a person by his eccentricities.

      And anyway, America has traditionally been a land of eccentrics, and many of these eccentrics have actually made quite remarkable achievements. Consider Howard Hughes – an eccentric if ever there was one, but and interesting and accomplished eccentric.

      And the various utopian communes, from Oneida to the surviving hippies of today.

      Or the Christian Scientists – their medical views are dangerous lunacy, but their newspaper is pretty good.

      Ed Wood like to dress as a woman, but I don’t think that affected the quality of his movies. OK, maybe a bad example.

      The problem is when interacting with eccentric people is dictated by a one-size-fits-all law. And we certainly should not pass a law requiring everyone else to accept an eccentric person’s worldview as true.

  18. Of note, the ordinance also includes sexual orientation, genetic information, and gender identity.

    There goes the genetic screening test I was going to install at the door. Damn celiacs, always wrecking my bathrooms.

  19. Are these same people uncomfortable with being in the same bathroom as a gay person of the same sex? Well, probably, but they know full well there’s going to be no way to police whether gay people use public restrooms.

    Why not, Scott? I propose a porn test: Everyone seeking to enter a public restroom must view 5 minutes of porn featuring members of the gender whose restroom it is. If you get an erection, or too moist down there, you have to use the opposite-gender bathroom.

    Of course, before you can do that you have to submit to another porn test, due to the scourge of bisexuality. And if you fail a second time, you have to pee outside and get registered as a sex offender.

    For the children.

    See? It’s simple.

    1. While I recognize that you are being ridiculous, this isn’t that poor of an idea.

      Rather than divide the restrooms up by the individual who is eliminating, divide them up by their preference. We can even keep the signs the same, just change their meanings. If you prefer sex with men, go into the MEN bathroom, if you prefer sex with women, go into the WOMEN bathroom. Those* who are into either simply have to ask themselves which sounds like more fun RIGHT NOW. And the asexual folks can do the same, “Which sounds less horrible at the moment.” See? It IS simple. Well, sort of.

      *”Scourge of bisexuatlity” is one of the best — I mean worst — phrases I have read here in a while.

      1. My plan may seem ridiculous, but I assure you it is far less ridiculous than the apparent masses of people who want to pretend that homosexuals don’t exist, or that their bathroom-gender-expectations are being upset by something defecatory as opposed to something sexual.

        1. No one is worried about peeping lesbians.

          1. Why not? They’re worried someone might look at them sexually. Do lesbians not do that?

            1. Lesbians are women and women aren’t threatening generally.

    2. I think just about every woman at a bar gets turned on by lesbian porn.

      Assuming they have had at least one drink.

      1. Great! I won’t have to wait in any lines.

  20. Will Houston’s Nondiscrimination Law Be Decided by Transgender Bathroom Panic?

    Yes, and for a good reason: because the Lesbo-Mayor and her Marxian enablers are stupid.

    The ordinance would specify non-discrimination regulations in employment [???]

    Like I told you: they’re stupid. And greedy. Stupid greedy.

    There’s no argument suggesting that individual and business freedom of association is being hampered by the law.

    Because opponents are learning from the Marxian Book Of Propaganda, which states unequivocally that you cannot present an argument to voters that is too esoteric like Freedom of Association, which the voters have proven time and time again they wipe their tails with it. Instead, feed them a sentimental story or a bogus scare because either is more effective. After all, that is EXACTLY what the Lesbo-Mayor of Houston did to sell HERO: by giving us some sob story about “discrimination” by some night club. Oh, the horror…

    1. It’s interesting to see the mayor admitting to lesbianitry while continuing to hide (at least not admit to) her Marxism. At least in Texas, Marxism has become more transgressive than sexual deviation.

      Using narrative to sell something is hardly Marxian. Advertisers do it all the time. Even pornographers include a crudely fashioned narrative (ie. girl with plumbing trouble) to make sex scenes more compelling and believable.

    2. I have a question that tickles at the back of my brain every time I read one of your comments: What’s the difference between a Marxian and a Marxist?

  21. But perhaps even stranger is that the entirety of the opposition to HERO boils down to just one thing: transgender bathroom panic

    That’s what the law is for and that’s why most voters are against it. One of the opponents sums it up:

    “Anybody with a penis, I don’t want them in the ladies’ restroom.”

  22. Parker’s (undoubtedly frustrated) response to all of this is that there are laws against harassing people in the bathroom (and, you know, rape and murder) that will continue to exist regardless of HERO’s passage.

    And since the Lesbo-Mayor has proven herself to be so deserving of trust in the past

    As for HERO itself, it’s a shame the ordinance lumps in both government and private behavior.

    You just don’t get it, do you? This has NOTHING to do with a cultural change towards more acceptance of homosexual men and women. This is 100% about CONTROL and MONEY. If HERO passes (which I believe it will not, fortunately) how many non-compliance summons do you think the cash-strapped Lesbo-Mayor of Houston and her cadre of thieves would start issuing against unsuspecting businesses? I can venture a guess and it would be: a lot.

  23. The way I see this playing out is that it will all just become another expense and lawsuit burden for the private sector.

    A business that opens up the bathrooms to everyone will face lawsuits from patrons (and based on recent studies, it’s gonna be women who are going to do the most complaining, ’cause babydoll, you wanna stand next to me at the urinal? Whatever) who don’t want to see “the wrong sex in the bathroom”. then the business will face discrimination lawsuits from businesses who block LGBTQLSMFT patrons from using whatever bathroom they want. I believe on NPR, this was called being “physically assaulted”. I presume that meant that in the hospital, Old Mrs. Kravitz complained that there was a man in the bathroom and security escorted them out.

    So what will happen, is to minimize these lawsuits that will come from both ends, all facilities will have to provide three bathrooms. Men, Women and Mx.

    Which will be interesting because if you declare yourself a woman, why will you be forced to use an MX bathroom. If you’re a woman, you get to use the women’s bathroom, right?

    1. So what will happen, is to minimize these lawsuits that will come from both ends, all facilities will have to provide three bathrooms. Men, Women and Mx.

      Which will be interesting because if you declare yourself a woman, why will you be forced to use an MX bathroom. If you’re a woman, you get to use the women’s bathroom, right?

      Yeah, that’s why the three-bathroom solution will absolutely not happen.

      We may end up with unisex restrooms only. I hope so. Gender segregation is sick and retarded.

      1. What about a health club, do we really believe that women across the land are going to be ok with men using the same showers? Will there be ‘internal privacy screens’? I honestly don’t know what the answer is. I’m perfectly find with unisex facilities. Most women I know… strongly doubt it.

        1. I don’t know what other women will be comfortable with. I clearly don’t understand their current preferences.

          1. See my post below. Some people are studying it. In Britain, 56% of women agin it, only 27% of men agin it.

      2. Re: Just say Nikki,

        We may end up with unisex restrooms only. I hope so. Gender segregation is sick and retarded.

        Not to mention more sanitary, which is what we *wink, wink!* don’t want.

        The whole idea concocted and pushed needlessly by the Lesbo-Mayor is a huge joke.

      3. Sure Nikki, lets just spend other people’s money to replace bathrooms that work fine now. Clearly, people ought to be forced to spend their money to create special bathrooms.

        How about we not do that and let people spend money on whatever they want?

        1. Whites only bathrooms worked fine too.

          My comment was a comment on the state of current law and the tendency of recent court decisions. A three-restroom solution would not be adequate.

          I don’t really see why you need to replace anything more than the signs, though.

          1. That wouldn’t be adequate. It would force people to spend money on things they don’t want to spend it on.

            And being transgnedered is not the same as being black. It is just insulting to claim otherwise.

            1. John, I’m talking about basic gender discrimination. Women vs. men. No trans people needed to make this point.

          2. Re: Just say Nikki,

            Whites only bathrooms worked fine too.

            Use your head. That ?White-only bathrooms? would require having FOUR distinct bathrooms, THREE at least, if at least you expected to have black customers. THAT’S VERY EXPENSIVE. Do the math.

            NO, THEY DIDN’T “WORK FINE”, which is why the southern States had to MANDATE THEM.

            Use. Your. Head. Next. Time.

  24. “I voted no,” said Brittany McFarland, 25, a state social worker. “I’m just not comfortable sharing a bathroom with a man.”

    Honestly, I just don’t get it. Does Houston have no unisex bathrooms? Has this woman never lived with a man or boy? Is she a retarded crackhead? So many questions.

    1. Re: Just say Nikki,

      Honestly, I just don’t get it. Does Houston have no unisex bathrooms?

      If you don’t want customers and have a personal problem with making money, then the answer is: Yes, there are unisex bathrooms.

    2. What about the guy wearing the dress, he says he is uncomfortable using the men’s room and wants to use the women’s room. Hasn’t he ever lived with a man or boy?

      1. Being in a restroom with men is not the alleged source of discomfort among transgender women.

    3. Has this woman never lived with a man or boy?

      People might be a bit less comfortable with strangers – odd, isn’t it?

      Does Houston have no unisex bathrooms?

      At the Airport? Stadiums? Stores? Courthouse or other government buildings? Office buildings?… Outside of homes, where do you get this mixing of sexes in a bathroom at the same time?

      Is she a retarded crackhead?

      Ah, so now if someone doesn’t feel comfortable with what you do, they are a retarded crackhead? Any other feelings or opinions you’d like to see crammed down by force of law, Ms. Anarchist?

      1. Can I start filling out my application for a Curves membership yet?

        1. Uh, no, patriarchal patriarchy patriarch!

        2. Only for locker room use, PVT.

      2. Any other feelings or opinions you’d like to see crammed down by force of law, Ms. Anarchist?

        Wait, now not only is Scott in favor of this law, but I’m in favor of it too? I think not.

        I’m also not in favor of being some kind of pathetic loser who is scared to be in a bathroom with a man. People need to get a grip and grow the fuck up.

      3. At the Airport? Stadiums? Stores? Courthouse or other government buildings? Office buildings?… Outside of homes, where do you get this mixing of sexes in a bathroom at the same time?

        I have worked in offices with unisex bathrooms.

        Ally McBeal was a hit show.

        1. Great. Why should everyone else be forced to adopt your preferences?

          1. They shouldn’t be forced to. They should be ridiculed for their childish views on sex and gender.

            1. Okay. And they can ridicule you for having a bizarre duelistic view of human nature. Have fun.

              1. What the fuck are you talking about? What is “duelistic” about not thinking separate restrooms for women and men are necessary for anything other than irrational prudery?

        2. Invoking Ally McBeal as some sort of proof of real world experience is…not strong.

          But I can take it that you are against this law, just want the results to be put in place by “progress”?

          Gets awfully hard to tell when it is hammer (John – “they want a Jenner in every women’s room”) and tongs (you – “people who don’t want strangers of the opposite sex in the can with them are weirdo sickos”) time in the ol’ H&R.

          I just want the coercion to stop and let the market decide – if everyone “progresses” to wanting anyone to go into any bathroom anywhere at any time, fine. If people reject that as weird and creepy, then business and taxpayers don’t get forced to pay for…whatever it is that is being pushed here.

          1. All of that and more Swiss.

    4. I am not aware of any unisex bathrooms where both men and women are in it at the same time.

      They are entirely of the “one stall” variety.

      I have seen restrooms in Arizona that have communal sinks, but I think the traffic pattern still segregates the excretion.

    5. I don’t know about Houston, but I do not recall a unisex restroom that was not single occupant. Multiple occupant restrooms I have see are segregated. There is also the fact the logic that prevents keeping an intact male to female teangendeted out of the women’s room must also apply to lockers and communal showers.

      I also find it odd that the solution to accommodate transgendereds asserting their perception of their gender is an official stance of androgyny. No one can legally acknowledge sex differences as having any meaning.

      1. I have seen a ‘family restroom’ in the local Wal Mart in Indianapolis. I didn’t go into it, but I assume it’s a single restroom that’s designed for a mother or father to have a little privacy in helping their children.

        I haven’t seen a multi-unit unisex restroom, though.

  25. , it would be great. But for private businesses and for private restrooms, leave it to citizens to work out the issues on their own.

    I agree. Something tells me this will come in the form of predatory discrimination lawsuits.

  26. Why are unisex shitters such a horror?

    1. Re: Warty,

      Why are unisex shitters such a horror?

      Try waiting in line with a bunch of women to use one…

      Do people not think through these things?

    2. Because women are disgusting slobs, that’s why. As I stated above, I can attest to this because I’ve had to clean restrooms before, and the women’s room was always worse than the men’s. Always.

      So I would much rather have gender-segregated restrooms, just so I can avoid the filth that females leave in their wake.

    3. Why are unisex shitters such a horror?

      It’s not unisex shitters that are the horror, it’s uniWarty shitters that are the horror. Warty should have his own facilities.

      1. Hey, not everyone drops a deuce that rears up on its own …appendages and chases the janitorial staff!

        1. “What crawled up my ass and died? Who said it was dead?”

    4. They are not. What is a horror is the government telling everyone they must have them. Why are same sex shitters such a horror? That is the issue. We have same sex shitters now. I don’t think they are a horror. So why are people like Scott demanding they change?

      1. Do you mean like how he didn’t demand that they change?

        1. Yes he did. He absolutely wants them to change at government buildings. Fuck him. I don’t think the taxpayers of Houston should have to change their shitters to indulge in anyone’s neurosis.

        2. Nice try, Warty. Clearly you’ve forgotten that John can peer into your soul and know what you really think.

        3. Quiet Warty. John is only a few insistences away from creating a reverse-temporal causality event and making it the case that Scott favors this law.

          1. Hugh,

            Which part of Scott supporting it in government buildings did you not understand?

            If you can’t read, there is not a lot we can do to help you. Moreover, if you could read, you would realize Scott never once says he doesn’t support the ordinance. He just thinks it is a shame that it would apply to businesses. That is nice and all but just because the ordinance is flawed in Scotts view, doesn’t mean he is against it. Scott never says he is against it.

            1. You get it now??? It doesn’t matter what you say, it’s all in what you don’t say!

              1. Sparky, show me where Scott once says he doesn’t support the ordinance. He just thinks it is flawed. Okay, but something can be flawed but still overall be worth supporting.

                So why do you think Scott supports it? Because Scott thinks its flawed? That doesn’t mean he doesn’t support it. It just means it is not perfect.

                Tell me why you think Scott is against it. He never says he is. Can you read his mind?

                1. You’re the only mind reader here. But I’m not the kind of doofus that thinks somebody is for a thing unless they explicitly state otherwise. As such, I will not attempt to explain exactly what Scott meant by anything. Because I’m not Scott.

                  You know, sometimes you are really fucking stupid.

                  1. No Sparky, you are the doofus who thinks that someone who spends an entire article explaining how all of the objections to an ordinance are spurious beyond the theoretical concern with freedom and ends the article without saying they object to the ordinance might actually support it despite their concerns.

                    You assume Scott objects to the ordinance because you like him not because he ever says he does. Yet, somehow you are convinced I am reading minds.

                    There is a doofus here Sparky and it isn’t me.

                    1. Shit, I forgot my tinfoil hat and now you’re reading my mind. GET OUTTA MY HEAD!

                    2. Again, why do you think Scott objects to the ordinance when he never says he does?

  27. Some late breaking info on the controversy:

    Even if the bathroom at home is classed as unisex, our attitudes change when it comes to using a public bathroom that is open to men and women. Both sexes from the US, UK and France have expressed their discomfort at the thought of using a unisex toilet ? with British women being most likely to find sharing unappealing.

    Men are less phased by unisex bathrooms in each of our countries ? the biggest gender gap was in Britain, where 56% of women said they are NOT comfortable with the thought of using a unisex toilet, but just 27% of men.

    French women are the females least likely to feel uncomfortable sharing with the other sex ? 40% said they are comfortable with using a unisex toilet in public, 38% of American and British women agreed.

    1. Oh shit, I found the problem… it’s poor people, as usual:

      Higher earners in America tend to be more accepting of using unisex toilets. 64% of Americans earning $80,000 or more in a year said they are comfortable with the thought of using a unisex facility, but just 43% of people earning less than $40,000 agreed.

      Lower earners are also less likely to have used a unisex toilet ? 39% earning less than $40,000 had used one, 56% of middle earners taking home between $40,000 and $80,000 and 66% of those earning $80,000 or more.

      1. Higher earners in America tend to be more accepting of using unisex toilets.

        I’m guessing they would oppose “uni-class” toilets.

    2. Men are less phased

      Just fucking kill me

      1. Love me! I’m part of the 73%!

      2. *sets fazer to “kill”*

    3. people’s attitudes change because people (well, most people) know that cutting your dick off and taking hormones doesn’t make you a woman. It makes you a fucking lunatic.

  28. The author’s against the law, the idiots worried about kidnappings are against this law, obviously for different reasons. Why is the primary focus of this piece a subset of people whp want to defeat the law rather than the law itself?

      1. heh

    1. Maybe because anti-discrimination laws that apply to private parties have been discussed quite thoroughly in many places and the libertarian position on them is clear and this article is about a current event and not a philosophical discussion of the merits of anti-discrimination laws?

  29. Speaking of unisex, why the fuck is the uni in there if the goddamn thing is for both sexes? It should be a bisex bathroom, or maybe omnisex if we’re considering the number of sexes to be greater than two.

    1. Speaking of semantics, what’s with the word “homophobe?” It breaks down into “fear of the same.” Unless the implication is that someone who is afraid of gay people must be gay themselves.

      1. Dislike is a standard sense of the suffix.

        -phobia
        noun combining form
        : an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

        Full Definition of -PHOBIA

        1
        : exaggerated fear of
        2
        : intolerance or aversion for

        phobia (n.) Look up phobia at Dictionary.com
        “irrational fear, horror, aversion,” 1786, perhaps on model of similar use in French, abstracted from compounds in -phobia, from Greek -phobia, from phobos “fear, panic fear, terror, outward show of fear; object of fear or terror,” originally “flight” (still the only sense in Homer), but it became the common word for “fear” via the notion of “panic, fright” (compare phobein “put to flight, frighten”), from PIE root *bhegw- “to run” (cognates: Lithuanian begu “to flee;” Old Church Slavonic begu “flight,” bezati “to flee, run;” Old Norse bekkr “a stream”). Psychological sense attested by 1895.

        As far as homophobia,

        The word as coined did refer to a fear, specifically a fear of being near homosexuals or being thought homosexual. The psychologist who coined it, George Weinberg, believed that hatred of homosexuals stemmed primarily from that literal fear. Thus, regardless of the accuracy of Weinberg’s thesis, homophobia became shorthand for hatred of homosexuals

        1. The prefix “homo” means “same.” So “homo + phobia” is “fear + same.”

          1. Or, “homo” is just short for “homosexual”.

            1. Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag!

            2. I didn’t think I needed to say that. I was wrong, I guess.

            3. I’ve seen it argued that people who hate fags are afraid to face up to the fact that they themselves are gay, so they take it out on gay people. In which case homophobia means they are afraid of their own homosexuality.

              Whatever. I suppose you can go both ways if you’re into that.

              1. That happens from time to time, but usually it’s just the way they were raised.

      2. It a word of Orwellian propaganda, the etymology does not have to make sense for the thought cops to use it.

    2. I like omnisex.

      1. I’ll bet you do…

        1. Just trying to be inclusive.

      2. +1 Capt. Jack Harkness

  30. I read the article title three times wondering “Who the hell is Will Huston and does the title have a typo?”

    1. Will is the owner of Houston’s largest bathroom cleaning service.

      1. LIES!

    2. Will Huston is John Huston’s brother, who did NOT make movies. He was a bathroom designer. True story.

  31. I think we could solve this issue. How about we have every person who claims to be “transgendered” register with the government and receive some kind of a placard (a pretty yellow star maybe) that identifies them as “transgendered”. Then whenever they go to the bathroom they can show their placard and everyone there will know they really are the a soul trapped in the wrong sex body and not just a voyeur.

    If the transgendered don’t like having to register with the government and carry around a special sign, well, those are the wages of using government force to solve your problems. No solution is ever perfect.

  32. Single-serving bathrooms would solve all of this.

    1. Okay. But why should the taxpayers of Houston be forced to build them? They like their bathrooms as they are and have other things they would like to spend their money on.

      There is no “solution” here because really there isn’t a problem. The only problem is people on either side bitching and moaning that other people won’t spend their money to accommodate them. If you are transgendered and don’t like it that the taxpayers won’t build you a special bathroom in public buildings tough shit. If you object to going to the bathroom with transgendered and don’t like it that a business allows such, again tough shit don’t go there.

      1. “There is no “solution” here because really there isn’t a problem. The only problem is people on either side bitching and moaning that other people won’t spend their money to accommodate them. If you are transgendered and don’t like it that the taxpayers won’t build you a special bathroom in public buildings tough shit. If you object to going to the bathroom with transgendered and don’t like it that a business allows such, again tough shit don’t go there.”

        Well put!!!!!!

      2. They like their bathrooms as they are

        Oh? I hate sharing a bathroom with anybody. There’s no reason single-serve bathrooms couldn’t develop into a cultural norm just like single-sex bathrooms did.

        why should the taxpayers of Houston be forced to build them?

        They shouldn’t.

        1. Then convince the taxpayers to build you a special one. If they won’t do that, tough shit. They don’t owe you any accommodation. They can give it to you if they want, but they don’t owe it to you.

          No one here has a problem but you. And you are not entitled to anyone else spending their money to solve it for you.

          1. WTF? I never said any of that.

            1. Germans, Pearl Harbor, roll, etc.

    2. If I may be so bold as to speak for everyone involved in building design:

      FUCK YOU!

      1. Seriously, there are rules of thumb for the number of fixtures per expected population in a building. Putting each fixture in its own separate room in large caocity buildings would be an incredible waste of space and materials.

  33. “I will select the MOST LIBERTARIAN ANSWER, which is that clearly there should be No Public Bathrooms at all. Privatize them all!”

    1. +a dime

  34. John and Zeb

    Sittin’ in a tree bathroom stall

    K-I-S-S-I-N-G….

    1. You can come watch anytime you like. Just because I support others’ rights to be a certain way doesn’t mean I am that way myself.

      1. 🙂

    2. John responds to people questioning him (which I think is an admirable characteristic). And I’m a sucker and just can’t help it sometimes. Plus, arguing about minutia is less depressing than thinking about the election or something.

      1. I am sucker too Zeb. And you are right. The big picture is often too depressing to contemplate.

  35. In over 20 yrs I’ve dealt with zero crimes/safety issues in public toilets

    Except for a few drug overdoses

    Recently my friends daughter stopped breathing due to heroin OD in a McD bathroom

    Yah!!!!! Narcan revived her (should be OTC as it is in several states and 2/3 of OD are witnessed so there is somebody there to administer it

    But apart from OD’s, no bathroom cases of any kind

    Not a safety concern methinks

    1. Maybe that has to do with the fact that they don’t let transvestites use the other bathroom right now?

      Dunphy is apparently Fox Butterfield. Who knew?

      1. Who is ‘they’?

        You do realise in many cases, ‘they’ do?

        1. It is against the law in most places for men to use the women’s restroom. That is what this entire debate is about.

          1. I think we all agree that private businesses should not be forced to provide any particular bathroom arrangement.
            So here’s a question: Should that law exist? Seems like in a private business it should be a simple matter of trespassing if the owner even cares enough to press charges.

      2. NEEDS MOAR BOOYAH HTH WE ARE WINNING

      3. There you go again conflating transvestites and transgenders. How many more times are you going to make this mistake?

        1. I’m going to put money on “all of the times”.

    2. In over 20 yrs I’ve dealt with zero crimes/safety issues in public toilets

      You must not get out often.

      Witnesses told officers the man was using the women’s restroom, and when he was confronted he pulled out a 2-foot-long machete, swung it around and threatened to kill a half dozen people.

      http://www.komonews.com/news/l…..43221.html

      1. Wonderful

        Statistical divergences happen

        I suggest if you polled cops, most would have had few to no crime/safety cases involving public toilets

        Wambaugh novels notwithstanding

        1. NEEDS MOAR BOOYAH HTH WE ARE WINNING SMOOCHES

        2. Isn’t that an argument for not changing the law?

        3. The story was double awesome because womenfolk were pissed that some dude was using the ladies’ room.

    3. I think the whole safety question is silly and irrelevant. If an man wants to go into a women’s rest room and rape someone or something, there is generally nothing to stop that now. It’s like thinking that requiring carry permits for guns is going to stop someone from murdering someone with a handgun.
      It’s all about what people are comfortable with and that’s it.

      No one should be required to provide any particular kind of bathroom and there shouldn’t be any laws at all about who can use what.

      1. I think the whole safety question is silly and irrelevant. If an man wants to go into a women’s rest room and rape someone or something, there is generally nothing to stop that now.

        Having confusing signs on the bathroom is like a green light though.

    4. Holy shit, did Dunphy just say something reasonable? Be still my beating hart.

  36. I see John is off his rocker again. As an actual resident of Harris County, this article is actually very charitable to the law’s opponents. I’ve been bombarded with tv, radio, and mail ads by the opponents and they are all appalling.

    I oppose the law for principled reasons but that doesn’t change the fact the the organized opposition are a bunch of pieces of shit.

    That said I likely won’t be voting at all as I’ve got shit to do, planned to vote this morning but had to get into the office early. Last thing I want to do after a long day of work is rush to the polling place.

    1. Isn’t it Parker’s fault that they are compelled to broadcast their odious ideas on the radio?

      1. No one is compelling them to mass mail pamphlets decrying the deviants who want to sneak into bathrooms and rape our daughters. They could make a principled objection to public accommodation laws.

        1. Of course not. And your opinion of those pamphlets in no way affects their right to print them. Again, you hate these people. Good for you. Now tell me how that has anything to do with the question of whether this ordinance should pass or fail.

          1. I have just as much a right to criticize them as they do to print their bullshit. I’m criticizing them for the own fucking words and actions.

            1. Sure you do. But the issue is the ordinance not them. No one says you have to like them to defend their rights. So I ask again, what is the point in mentioning it? The issue is the ordinance.

              1. The issue is with both, John. The ordinance and its organized opponents both suck.

                1. Thank you, now we have brief clarity – you are still the worst, but a little bit less.

                2. I don’t see how it is both Nikki. If the people objecting were wonderful, how would the issue change? The nature of the people involved has nothing to do with the existence of a right and whether this ordinance violates such right.

    2. It doesn’t change your opinion of them but it doesn’t make that opinion relevant to the issue either. Rights are rights and yours or my opinion of the people exercising them has nothing to do with it.

      This ordinance is a gross violation of people’s privacy and right of free association. That is the only relevant issue here. What is the point of going on about how you hate the people who object to it? It doesn’t affect your opinion of the ordinance, right? So why is Shackelford so concerned about it, unless he thinks the question of the ordinance involves something other than its obvious violation of people’s rights?

      1. How is it not goddamn relevant. They are fucking littering my mailbox with their bullshit. You don’t get to decide what is relevant to me. They are a bunch of assholes and they tar by association those of us who oppose public accommodation on freedom of association grounds.

        I have no doubt that they are hurting the cause and while they may win this small battle they are driving people away in the long run. I absolutely will criticize them for their odious shit.

        1. It is not relevant to me because people’s right to freedom of association in no way depends on the desirability of their views. If you judge this ordinance based on your opinion of the people who oppose it rather than on how it affects people’s rights, then you don’t believe in rights. You just believe in people you like having rights.

          No, I can’t tell you what is relevant to you. I can only judge you by the factors you think are relevant. And if you think your opinion of these people is relevant to whether the city of Houston can trample all over their right to free association and use of their property, then I have to conclude you don’t really believe in those rights.

          1. I oppose the law for principled reasons but that doesn’t change the fact the the organized opposition are a bunch of pieces of shit.

            1. Then you don’t think your opinion of them is relevant to the discussion. Good for you. You hate these people. I get that. You don’t have to tell me. We still both agree that this ordinance is wrong.

      2. You don’t get to decide what “the only relevant issue” here is, John. This post is actually about why the opponents of the measure are odious and not libertarian. Why do people only get to complain about the law, and not about their shitty neighbors? Especially in the case of Apatheist, who actually lives there.

        1. No I don’t. You can consider anything you like. And I can then form my own opinion of your based on that. And sorry but if you let your opinion of the people exercising their rights affect your view of them having those rights, then you don’t believe in freedom or rights either one. You just believe in people you like getting what they want.

          1. if you let your opinion of the people exercising their rights affect your view of them having those rights, then you don’t believe in freedom or rights either one

            And exactly no one has done that here, John.

            1. Really? Then why are you disagreeing with me when I say your or my opinion of these people is irrelevant? Why are you getting up and arms and telling me I can’t tell you what is relevant and then two minutes later admitting that yes you agree that it is not relevant?

          2. So now I not only have to defend the rights of Illinois Nazis to march and Westboro Baptists protest military funerals with God Hates Fags signs but I have to restrain from criticizing their despicable views as well or I don’t truly believe in their rights to free speech?

            Are you fucking kidding me?

            1. What are you talking about? Let me give it to you again so maybe this time you understand.

              if you let your opinion of the people exercising their rights affect your view of them having those rights, then you don’t believe in freedom or rights either one.

              There is nothing in that sentence that says your opinion must be positive or negative. You should defend the rights of everyone whether you like them or not. Your opinion good or bad has nothing to do with them having rights.

              How can you possibly read that sentence to mean you can only defend the rights of people you hate? What is it about the gay rights issues that makes so many otherwise smart people on here suddenly become so stupid? My God, you are not normally in any way this dense. What is going on?

              1. John the Mindreader with a hole in his brain for reading comprehension pops in again to blather like an idiot.

                You projecting motherfucker. I’ve routinely defended their right to be bigoted fearmongering pieces of shit I just refuse to defend their views and I refuse to restrain from criticizing their godawful rhetoric.

                1. No one says you have to refrain from saying anything. It is just that your views good or bad are irrelevant to this discussion. I don’t see why you are having such a hard time understanding that.

                  Again, this issue has a way of making otherwise smart people stupid for some reason.

                  1. Projection again!

                    1. You forgot to yell Strawman Aptheist. If you are going to just yell buzzwords and give up on thinking, go all the way.

        2. Re: Just say Nikki,

          You don’t get to decide what “the only relevant issue” here is, John. This post is actually about why the opponents of the measure are odious and not libertarian.

          WHAT? Are you serious? That’s not what Shackford is arguing! There’s nothing unlibertarian about advocacy through scaremongering! He’s criticizing the opponent’s arguments but that does not mean he is implying their tactics are unlibertarian!

          Get a grip.

    3. Re: Apatheist ojos,

      I oppose the law for principled reasons but that doesn’t change the fact the the organized opposition are a bunch of pieces of shit.

      The Lesbo-Mayor and her Marxian enablers are no angels, A. Arguably, they are even worse. At least a triumph by the the opponents even taking into account their scaremongering would mean nobody is going to be burdened with mandates and unexpected expenses. Can you say the same about a triumph by the Lesbo-Mayor and her cadre of thieves and knaves?

      1. Based on what has happened in the vast majority of places that have included non-discrimination protections for gender identity?

        If the “Lesbo-Mayor” and her “cadre of thieves and knaves” get their “triumph”, not much will happen. Transfolk will use the appropriate restroom and not much will go on.

        People are acting like Houston is the first city to do this.

  37. The solution is simple. No penises in the girls restroom, not mammaries in the boys restroom. Those that have both can use the teachers restroom.

    1. Or everyone just wears a diaper when out in public. No need for bathrooms at all.

    2. Men can lactate. All male mammals carry mammary glands. And I have known male fatties with bigger tits than many super models. So I’m not sure your solution flies.

      1. *nods sadly*

        Mine are bigger than some of my lady friends. I need to get to the gym.

  38. Why not just have two types of restrooms in government buildings urinals and toilets. Toilets already have a door, so no issue, and urinals are useless if you don’t have a penis. Seems like that fixes the problem, while maintaining fastest flow of people through the restrooms.

    1. Urinals are discriminatory because not everyone can use them, but men can and do use toilets. So you’d be providing extra resources to meet the bathroom needs of men then you do women.

      There is literally no possible way to accommodate the bathroom preferences of every single person on the planet. Why people are even humoring the demand that we try is beyond me.

  39. Sorry, but I don’t agree with the conclusion here. It’s the “government cannot discriminate” sort of thinking that let to the nonsensical ADA regs that require wheelchair ramps on anything and everything regardless of whether it makes sense. If a government building has a high volume of wheelchair traffic then they should evaluate for themselves whether a ramp is necessary. But to not have one is not “discriminatory”. The inconvenience put on the one wheelchair bound visitor in having to get assistance up stairs shouldnt dictate everyone else’s priorities. Similarly, what % do transgendered constitute? .001% or something? And the harm done is their feelings get hurt? There are far more compelling reasons to alter facilities or laws that are equally unjustifiable like … child proofing everything to prevent injury in the event someone brings a child. That would actually be to safeguard the life/health of a citizen. Why don’t we require baby-proofing of government facilities and how is not doing so not “discriminatory” towards those with children? Because we expect adults to be reasonably responsible enough to not let their child around in a public place unsupervised? Isn’t that inconvenient for them? Why is the inconvenience of using your biological sex’s bathroom an inconvenience we have to bend over backwards for but none others? It’s a dark deep rabbit hole you fall into when you start throwing around terms like “discrimination” with impunity.

    1. Matt,

      You are right, the government discriminates all of the time. If it didn’t, it couldn’t function. Good luck explaining that fact to the people on this board and getting them to understand “equal protection under the law” does not mean “the government can never discriminate”. As far as I can tell, it can’t be done. If you have the ability to get the people here to understand that distinction, your rhetorical powers are far beyond mine.

      1. I feel like Reason and their readership frequently make arguments so as to differentiate themselves from “conservatives” regardless of the merits or logical conclusion. Comes off as petulant sometimes.

        1. There is a fair amount of cultural signaling. Sometimes on gay rights issues but not always. For example, Reason rightly never supports minimum wage laws or anti trust laws unless you are talking about college sports. Then they are all about trust busting the NCAA and forcing the NCAA to pay their players a minimum wage on the theory that the players are being “exploited” because colleges have the nerve to make money off of their efforts. The idea that anyone who voluntarily agrees to a deal profits from it, otherwise they would not agree, and is therefore not exploited goes right out the window.

          1. Right? Several articles responding to the NYT “expose” on Asian nail salons and their “exploitative” nature (which I agree with) but the complete opposite tack against the NCAA despite both being non-coercive arrangements. From my perspective libertarianism is at its best when approaching issues from first principles which is a practice sorely lacking in politics nowadays. When they don’t and start appealing to emotion as they do with this and the NCAA piece with their buzz words (“exploit” and “discriminate”) they lose the thing that makes them unique

      2. Plenty of libertarian arguments against this sort of SJW type politicking it’d be nice if the counter argument was presented in those terms instead of the derisive “transgender bathroom panic” cited above.

        1. Sure there are. But those arguments have a way of goring the sacred cow of the Constitutional right to gay marriage.

    2. “Why is the inconvenience of using your biological sex’s bathroom an inconvenience we have to bend over backwards for but none others?”

      Truly a baffling mystery…. to an idiot. Ever hear the expression “the squeaky wheel gets oiled?”

    3. this law has nothing to do with discrimination. This is all about forcing people to accept lunacy as normal.

  40. Brilliant. You not only join liberals in placing the freedom of sexual perversion as a high right than freedom of religion (even though the latter is explicitly protected in the Bill of Rights and the former isn’t), but also demand that everyone else be obligated to join in the self-delusions of the transgendered. I thought libertarians claimed to be oriented toward reality.

  41. LOOK PEOPLE, IF I HAVE TO HAVE GAY MEN IN MY BATHROOM, WOMEN HAVE TO HAVE GAY MEN IN THEIRS TOO!

    1. I prefer to put it this way:

      If gay dudes can check out my dick at the urinal, why don’t I get to watch women pee? It’s just not fair.

  42. Sometimes it’s about tea, sometimes boxers, sometimes kidnapping little girls.

  43. This is either going to lead to a “post-op-transgender-only” rule (as in: no penises in women’s restrooms, regardless of gender identity) or the government-imposed reconstructing of restrooms and locker rooms to be unisex, with fully enclosed toilet stalls (a la Buc-ee’s… Google it) and showers. The plumbing and construction industries are praying for the latter, no doubt.

    1. And remember, Scott is all for such reconstruction on every government building. Yeah, that is some sound libertarian policy there.

  44. Y’know, this is the second? article I’ve read from Scott Shackford in which the underlying message seems to be that, despite disagreement on non-discrimination law, more LGBT folk should be libertarian/Libertarian.

    I get the feeling he doesn’t read the comment sections of his own articles. If he did, he might understand why there aren’t more LGBT libertarians/Libertarians.
    ____
    ?Where I was paying attention to the author anyway.

  45. It is interesting though. The obnoxious assholes are arguing FOR the more libertarian outcome–and it’s a REAL one–not the way some libertarians accept the fucked up version of gay marriage that’s been foisted on us as legit even though it leads to all kinds of government intrusion and litigation.

    Matt, here’s some numbers for you. MTF is around 1 in 20,000 and FTM is around 1 in 50,000. That puts total US trans population at around 21,000. Or 420 per state.

    1. Heck, the Salt Lake City, Ferguson, Cleveland and Seneca police departments could gun down 420 unarmed people in no time flat. Proud Officer Mark Tiller could be assigned to Houston toilet duty and shoot people as fast as the local Chrissy could stamp the deeds “JUSTIFIED.”

  46. I remember another looter commercial with a little girl… she was picking a flower, and Die Ewige Jude got elected and hydrogen bombs vaporized everything. Thank Sweet Jesus and Network Teevee that was averted and we got Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson to have American kids bomb Vietnamese kids instead. Whew!

  47. Christian baker refuses bake a cake for a gay wedding because religious belief. Baker is fined $135,000 by the government http://nypost.com/2015/04/26/c…..y-wedding/

    Mulsim truckers refuse to haul alcohol because of religious belief. Government (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) sues on their behalf and gets them $240,000 from the trucking company. http://www.overdriveonline.com…..l-alcohol/

    “Libertrarians” side with the Gaystapo and big gov.

  48. I just don’t understand what “rights” you lose by being “forced” to use bathrooms designated for your sex.

    The trans champions strain to explain the difference between sex and gender. One of them is more subjective. OK, but if you’re a straight guy who identifies as female, then you’re attracted to women. Protecting women and children is implicit in keeping segregated bathrooms. You want men out of private spaces in which women are naked or semi naked. There aren’t security guards and cameras in bathrooms.

    The left is setting themselves for a round of comedy they won’t be able to handle. What’s gonna happen if some 7 foot trans guy who couldn’t make the pros joins WNBA? I mean, money is money, right? If you average 20 rebounds and 7 blocked shots a nigh against pro women maybe the Chinese league night call you.

    If a company is accused of not hiring enough women, can they get off the hook by hiring trans woman? “Hey, but she was a man for 40 years and got the rewards for being a man” No no no, that kind of argument was made invalid when “Cait” became woman.

    I’m sure Miss American will be a huge hit if shemales appeared wearing a bikini thong.

  49. Nothing illustrates why Libertarians can’t win elections better than your apparent puzzlement as to why opponents of the ordinance focused on the fact it would have allowed grown men to enter little girls’ bathrooms rather than generic ideological arguments about freedom of association.

    1. Well, the writer is a gay man who is apparently incapable of empathizing with women who would be uncomfortable with an intact male using in their restroom or locker room.

  50. I want to thank you all for this illuminating conversation. It’s been truly inspiring to read all the comments, particularly the sheer number of arguments, complete with made up statistics, that are fact free and based entirely on opinion. What was (and always is), surprising is how quickly it devolved from a discussion of the merits of the thoughts in the article, to a “kill the freaks” kind of discussion.

    Why is it that people hold any rancid thought that bubbles up through their mind to be absolute truth and are then willing to throw out any insult or bullshit statement to support that position? It really boggles the mind that a lack of research or any attempt to understand is now the standard. In spite of the NAP, “Don’t learn, attack” seems to be the MO for many here.

    1. As far as I know, up to this point, not a single person involved on this page is trans and yet many of you seem absolutely certain of what that means and how we should be treated in the world. Unfortunately, so many of your emotion based arguments aren’t supported by facts or even the most recent research, so the fallback position seems to be, “mental health…blah, blah.. delusion..blah, blah.. not human…blah, blah…perverts…EXTERMINATE!!!”.

      Rather than perhaps discussing how the premise that because of our lived experience, LGBTQ people are perhaps good prospects for libertarian expansion, many of you choose to do your best to turn us into enemies. Why is that? Why make a declaration of cultural war on your fellow citizens, humans all? Well of course, it’s because you don’t really see us as human, or at least you try to convince yourself so you can continue to disparage

      As I’ve said before, there aren’t very many libertarians here that I can see.

  51. I haven’t read all the comments yet so this might be covered but there seems to be a disconnect. A transgender is when you ‘transition’ from man to woman or vise versa. If you still have a penis, you’re just dressed like a woman. Caitlyn Jenner still has a cock – so in what meaningful way is he not just a dude in a dress?

    I can say I identify as anything. It doesn’t make it true. Men who ‘identify’ as women are making a mockery of women. They have no idea what women feel like since he isn’t one. What he might think he’s feeling is just plain old gayness.

    In any case, I do resent the conversation once again being about men. I agree with the radfems on this issue, which is odd because I agree with them about nothing else.

  52. “Caitlyn Jenner still has a cock – so in what meaningful way is he not just a dude in a dress?”

    Shut up and drink the Gaystapo Libertarian Kool Aid until you can see the emperor’s new dress. BTW Houston law, in spite of the $3 million spent to force it down people’s throats, loses by 3-2 margin.

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