Contrast Fairfax County with the city of Houston. There, the city’s aggressively progressive mayor backed an expansive Human Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) that would have created a class of “transgender rights” (along with much else). But in Houston, conservatives were willing to oppose the HERO proposal on specific, literal grounds: “No men in women’s bathrooms.”
That was the slogan of the campaign to overturn HERO. And despite the wailing and caterwauling of social justice warriors across the country, despite claims of business leaders that Houston would suffer an economic backlash if HERO wasn’t approved, despite polling that promised the measure would survive comfortably, the transgender law was crushed, 61 percent to 39 percent.
There is a lesson in this, especially for Republicans. The left is in the process of overreaching on an issue that the average voter cares about, deeply. People might be able to rationalize supporting same-sex marriage by telling themselves that, even if it’s not their thing, it makes no difference to them what gay couples do. But if you’re a woman using the locker room at the gym, it might matter quite a lot if a man who says he’s a woman on the inside is using the shower next to you.
And no matter how progressive and fair-minded you are, if you’re a parent, you probably don’t want boys who say they’re girls competing against girls in field hockey or basketball or some contact sport where weight and muscle-mass exist independent of deep, personal feelings about identity. Come to think of it, you probably don’t want your daughter being forced to share a shower or a locker room with a boy, either.