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Cleveland Cavalier about Common Decency

By Tony Perkins

Coming soon to a city near you: Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s totalitarian tactics! Pastors and churches beware: leaders in Cleveland, Ohio obviously didn’t learn anything from the controversy in Texas, or they might have reconsidered their latest “transgender-inclusion bathroom and locker room ordinance.”

Starting today, the city is kicking off a round of meetings on the special rights measure that, like Houston’s and others’, would give locals the right to use any facility they want regardless of their biological sex. “We have to get out of the mindset that someone is going into the bathroom to attack,” one city leader said in response to very real fears that the rule would be an open invitation to sexual predators.

Adding to the drama (and outrage), Cleveland has a shocking way of enforcing the policy: a $1,000 fine to any person or business who restricts restrooms to one gender. “So if a woman is alone in a business and sees some guy follow her into the restroom — and you know this will start to happen — and she screams and makes a huge fuss to draw attention to the male invading her privacy, SHE is the one who will get slapped with a $1000 fine?” wrote one author. “How about a privacy-respecting business owner who listens to his or her female customers? Or the grandmas who stand at the door of the public pools — with pitchforks, perhaps — to keep pedophiles out of the showers with their eight-year-old granddaughters?”

Still, the bill’s sponsor insisted, this is “common sense legislation.” “We’re in the 21st century, and it would allow Clevelanders to feel comfortable in their own environment and to use facilities that they’re most comfortable with.” Exactly which Clevelanders is he talking about? The 99% of locals who would have to forfeit their personal safety and First Amendment rights to comply? Or the less than 1% of sexually confused people who are dictating “morality” to the rest?

For Cleveland’s leaders to pursue this encroachment on Ohioans’ rights after the uprising in Houston is shockingly bad politics. And if the local population is as engaged as our friends at Citizens for Community Values is encouraging them to be, it will end with shockingly bad results as well.

Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.

(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)


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