I had a very interesting exchange with someone in the comment thread to my Federalist piece on Ronald Reagan. It seems to perfectly illustrate the chasm between a progressive and a conservative on the transgender issue.
My answers appear in color.
So here’s the thing from where I sit. It’s not so much the difference of opinion, it’s what that difference is. I can’t understand, and never will, why anyone would support any kind of speech when there is speech that has harmful consequences.
But that’s the whole point of the 1st Amendment. We aren’t allowed to harm each other physically, but our country is predicated on the right to speak freely. I may hate what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it. What if the alt-right somehow got control and banned words like “gay” as hate speech?
And in the area of LGBTs, the speech that is constantly thrown at them, from sources like the Federalist, has harmful consequences. LGBTs have been and are being beaten and killed all over the world and are being discriminated against in employment, housing, etc. Even right here in Utah. Allowing any kind of anti-LGBT speech just plays into that and fuels it.
Again, to change the 1st Amendment to protect one group puts that same group at risk if someone else later is able to change it against them.
Also from where I sit, it seems that the ones that are most vocal about freedom of speech and complaining about being politically correct are the same ones that are also anti-LGBT, which is the majority of the right-wing.
You seem to be conflating opposition to gay marriage with being anti-LGBT. I do not support gay marriage and yet I’ve been to three gay weddings. I have my views, but if someone I care about asks me to be part of something important to them, I’m there.
I know that this may sound intolerant but, all speech should not be tolerated and just because someone has the right does not make it right. I can’t imagine that you condone all the anti-Mormon hate speech being allowed and the consequences the church and it’s members have dealt with for 180 years. You of all people, being a Mormon, should understand that.
I don’t condone anything odious, but I will fight to the death anyone’s right to make anti-Mormon remarks. If we change the 1st Amendment to protect one group, that group is vulnerable when someone else comes to power who thinks saying good things about it is hate speech (because it’s promoting white, male religion or something).
As far as the “trans lobby”, I just can’t get my head around why conservatives are so obsessed with it. I think part of it is that they lost the whole marriage equality nonsense and had to go after the next in line. This world is full of all kinds of people from one extreme to another and everything in-between. That will never change. And the right’s obsession surely isn’t going to change it. What difference does it make how someone lives their life? Jaeden Smith wearing a skirt to school isn’t hurting anyone. Caitlyn Jenner transitioning isn’t physically harming anyone. Laverne Cox isn’t doing a thing to anyone but, those that pointlessly taking issue with all of that are. People like Walt Heyer are. People like Mike Pence are. People like Kim Davis are. Sources like the Federalist are. Every organized anti-LGBT hate group, all christians btw, and their are dozens of them, are. I’m not aware that there are any organized hate groups by LGBTs fueling hate towards christians.
Again, I think you conflate a sincere desire to understand with hate. It does matter because either it is a mental disturbance and the consequences are too great not to realize it, or it isn’t a mental illness and the consequences are too great not to realize it. If I become convinced that it is not a mental illness, I will take on the entire right wing. I don’t care what anyone says. I care about the fact that real people are undergoing real suffering and we have an obligation to mitigate that as much as possible. The only way to do that is to identify the problem correctly, which we can’t do without understanding what’s really going on.
I’m not interested in conflicting science and medical opinions because in the end, it doesn’t really matter.
Why aren’t you interested in conflicting science and medical opinions? Isn’t that the whole point? My over-arching concern is giving puberty-blocking hormones to kids or intervening in their physical development in some other way before they are old enough to make the decision for themselves. In the meantime, anyone who wants to wear a dress can wear a dress.
You say you’re not interested so you probably won’t look at this, but it’s the best, most even-handed piece I’ve ever read about transgender issues. The reporter respects Brynn Tannehill, as do I, he is non-judgmental about transgender adults, as am I, and he focuses on the research regarding kids. He must be doing something right because Brynn Tannehill communicated with him and revised information she had published after doing so.
What’s Missing From the Conversation About Transgender Kids – New York Magazine
If you’ll forgive me, I think the truly callous position is not to care.
This is the end of the exchange (at least for now). If you’d like to read the rest of it, you can find it in the comment thread here.