April 9, 2015—The number of bathrooms in the White House is a piece of trivia. But its newest lavatory is anything but trivial to President Obama or his opponents. That’s because the restroom is gender neutral or “all-gender,” as the White House describes it.
For Obama, it’s a symbolic gesture to promote equal treatment for the LGBT community. For detractors, it’s just another occasion to leave mean comments on conservative news sites reporting the story. Overreaction and frenzied opposition to transgender inclusion could serve Obama and Democratic Party goals as well.
Here’s a sampling of confused and vicious reactions from right-wing commenters:
Commenters on Breitbart
Commenters on Daily Caller
Commenters on Washington Times
The LGBT community is not homogenous, perhaps not even fairly characterized as a community. But certain individuals have led and been swept up in political campaigns that make more conservative Americans feel like there’s a war on their values. That has prompted a reaction from conservative activists.
Several states have legislation proposed to ban gender neutral restrooms for children in public schools. The old “think of the children” strategy along with “religious freedom” arguments are coming as a response to changes in societal norms. Although seeking to change the culture through legislation isn’t a winning long-term strategy, it’s an understandable reaction to the militant wing of the gay rights movement. From the ACLU suing bakeries over gay wedding cakes to politicians demanding transcripts of sermons from pastors who view homosexuality as a sin, it’s no wonder there’s a backlash to the growing prevalence of LGBT issues in the mainstream.
Will the rest of the country follow the White House’s lead in accommodating transgender people? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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