As a fundamentally good and decent person, I do everything I can to protect children. For example, last weekend I went to a party and ate a whole bag of Cheetos before any other guests arrived, for the children. All that monosodium or whatever is bad for them. Who knows how many kids would have developed type 2 diabetes had I not valiantly eaten those snacks, plus about two-thirds of a cake that said "Happy Retirement Barb." My actions may not have been "politically correct," but I don't care. I just love children so much.
As any parent will tell you, love for children most commonly manifests as hatred for adults. In this area, the Montana Family Foundation leads the way. The conservative advocacy group announced last week that it would pursue a ballot initiative called the Locker Room Privacy Act. If voters approve it, the act would require that Montanans use only those restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their genders at birth.
I admit that's an unusual use of the word "privacy." The act would make schools and private businesses vulnerable to lawsuits if they don't do enough to ensure that no one uses the wrong bathroom. It seems like it could usher in a new era of privacy in which I have to bring my birth certificate to the gym. But I decided that it would all be worthwhile, once I heard that it would protect the children. Here's Montana Family Foundation president and CEO Jeff Laszloffy in an emailed statement:
"The people of Montana want to see privacy, safety and dignity protected in our locker rooms and showers. Girls shouldn't have to shower in front of boys. It's just common sense. We will take the Locker Room Privacy Act to the people and let them have their say."
Just think of all the girls and boys whose dignity this act will protect as they are forced to shower together en masse. Without the Locker Room Privacy Act, any boy could invade the girls' locker room simply by claiming to be female. We all tried it in middle school. But once schools begin carefully inspecting birth certificates—or, when such documentation is unavailable, anatomies—and assigning each student an official gender, their rights will be restored.
This plan to protect the children actually works out well for me, since I happen to be a hardcore bigot. Although only 0.6 percent of American adults identify as transgender, the possibility that a person with a Y chromosome would put on a dress and then use the women's bathroom at the movie theater without someone saying "Hey, you're a man!" enrages me. But I assure you, this deeply ingrained prejudice has nothing to do with my support for the Locker Room Privacy Act. I'm doing it for the children.
I just love kids, which is more than I can say for the Montana House. When Rep. Carl Glimm, R-Kila, carried the Locker Room Privacy Act as a bill this spring, his opponents pointed out that the backlash against a similar measure cost North Carolina $3.76 billion in lost revenue. But is that such a high price to pay for the dignity of our children? The only other way to protect them would be to make schools install some individual showers, which I estimate would cost $196 billion. For cost-saving purposes, we'll have to go with state-sponsored harassment of a vulnerable minority—which, again, just happens to coincide with my interests as a maniacal hatemonger.
But I'm doing this for the children. I don't mean the comparatively small number of transgender children who will be formally declared deviants before they are made to shower in front of their peers, of course. Those children are evil. I'm doing it for the good-hearted children who need protection from that powerful bully we all remember from our own school days: the boy who wears a dress and wants to be treated as a girl. Such people have menaced the 99.4-percent majority for too long.
Fortunately, we have the Montana Family Foundation. From opposing gay marriage to defunding Planned Parenthood to introducing the Locker Room Privacy Act, the organization has consistently found ways to protect children that coincide with longstanding prejudices. Without them, decent bigots like myself would have only the church, popular entertainment, social convention, various institutional and cultural assumptions and the 348 million Americans who identify with the gender on their birth certificates to speak out for us.
I don't know about you, but I feel like that's not enough. I also feel like God specifically wants me to seek out kids who are not comfortable with their assigned genders and force them to disrobe in front of kids who are, but that's just a coincidence. Mainly I want to protect the children, and I don't care how many of my worst impulses I have to indulge to do it. That's just the kind of caring guy I am.
Dan Brooks writes about politics, culture and the ongoing employment of the Laszloffy family at combatblog.net.