A conservative defense of transgender rights

Furthermore, it is a fundamental position of American conservatism that you don’t penalize innocent people in anticipation of criminal activity. It’s not my fault, as someone who wants a gun for self-defense, that someone else may want a gun to shoot his neighbor. Crime prevention does not preempt my right to self-defense. It’s not my fault, as someone who wants to contribute to a candidate he supports, that someone else might contribute to a candidate in order to buy political influence. Crime prevention does not preempt my right to political speech.

It’s not a transgendered person’s fault that some other, theoretical transgender person might theoretically commit a sex crime. The position of American conservatives is that, as Benjamin Franklin said, it’s “better 100 guilty persons should escape than that one innocent person should suffer.” This would be true even if there had been a spate of transgender attacks on children (no one wants to ban Catholic clergy from bathrooms, for instance) but of course there hasn’t. Transgender people make up a tiny percentage of the population — something like a third of one percent — and don’t appear to have a higher propensity to crime than anyone else. The potential predator argument holds no water.

As for being uncomfortable in a public bathroom — should we ban guns because they make liberals uncomfortable? (And it’s not as if public bathrooms were comfortable to begin with.)

Then there’s the practical argument: Thanks to hormones and surgery, many transgender men and women are visually indistinguishable from the usual kind. Won’t the people made uncomfortable by wondering if they’re sharing the bathroom with transgender people be made uncomfortable by sharing it with someone who, to all outward appearances, belongs to the opposite sex? And couldn’t hypothetical predators walk into the wrong bathroom, claim to be transgendered, and say the law requires they be there? None of this has been thought out. Conservatives shouldn’t be passing laws so they can find out what’s in them.