So…about those Bathrooms

The good ole days of public bathrooms are officially over. I hate to see them end. Because those were good times.

I think back to the days of former U.S. Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho), and his infamous toe tapping move in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport men’s room. Remember that one? In 2007, the three term senator was arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer. He pled guilty, tried to retract the plea, then served out his term and became a lobbyist. I don’t want to know for whom he lobbies, so I shut down the research there.

I wonder what North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory would have done with that one.

I am the father of two former boys, who are now young men. I think of the time I spent teaching these two the protocols, safety procedures, health standards and so on of what I consider to be the gamut of public restrooms. From five star restaurants and exclusively snobbish private clubs, all the way to the joys of urination outdoors (particularly in the snow), I covered these lessons thoroughly.

Oddly, these two young men don’t seem to be concerned one way or the other with whatever the new rules of the bathroom frontier holds. They are prepared for anything.

Come on America, settle down. Please. No one has been anxiously awaiting the current cloudy issue to seize the opportunity to finally go to the other public bathroom. No one. Why am I so certain of this? Because the criminal element that sees public restrooms as an “opportunity” is already in there.

Now we really do need to spend a moment talking about authority. I made a flow chart of how this drama unfolded. It is entertaining in and of itself. It started when the City of Charlotte passed an ordinance that provides for people to use the public restroom that aligns with a person’s gender identity. This outrageous leap of liberalism, led to an emergency-type state law being passed by the North Carolina legislature trumping local authority. The new law, HB 2, requires the sex designation on a person’s birth certificate to be the true admission slip to the only correct public bathroom.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch made a crystal clear public statement on May 9 on the matter, while announcing the Justice Department’s lawsuit against North Carolina. She said the action was “about the founding ideals that have led this country—haltingly but inexorably—in the direction of fairness, inclusion and equality for all Americans.” I agree with her. And I will add that sometimes when common sense is scarce, government needs to govern.

Sadly, now is one of those times.

On Friday, in a joint letter from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice to public school systems, the Obama administration made clear what it believes is the appropriate approach in handling all sex and gender discrimination matters. This policy guidance is rooted in its interpretation of Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In other words, this is not an executive order. It is guidance of the federal government’s interpretation of existing law.

In the “guidance” provided, the letter included guidelines to ensure that “transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment.” CNN reported that the guidance went beyond the bathroom issue, touching upon privacy rights, education records and sex-segregated athletics, all but guaranteeing transgender students the right to identify in school as they choose.

It is important to note that the letter is responsive to requests from educators for some specific guidance. With other unsettling matters like the North Carolina example occurring, the timing makes perfect sense.

Would Governor Pence chime in on this? Ok, that’s sarcastic even for me. In a statement, he said “I have long believed that education is a state and local function.” I assume he means with the exception of the $1.5 billion in federal funding for Indiana schools. He also said policies of security should be left to “Hoosier parents and local schools, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.”

And in other news, the sun rose the next day.

This is literally one of the dirtiest jobs a president’s administration has ever had. But it is the start of a great new day for public restrooms.

So to those defending the good ole days, please stop. If you want to fight for something here, fight for hot water in the sinks, working hand dryers, and for God’s sake, a regular cleaning.  We all will collectively thank you.