Opinion: Legislature Disregards Logic

by LonSeidman

While the state grappled with a multibillion dollar budget crisis, some state legislators, including Sen. Beth Bye of West Harford, Reps. Holder-Winfield of New Haven and Geoff Luxenberg of Manchester worked on a bill to extend the current protections for housing, workplace, and other facets of life to people who are confused on whether they are male or female. Perhaps, well meaning, but legislators are not considering the confusion this legislation will cause to the public.

Trans-gendered people suffer from Sexual Identity Disorder, a problem recognized by the American Psychological Association and listed in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th Edition. The DSM-IV is the medical authority on brain and behavior disorders ranging from sleep walking, ADD, and bulimia to Alzheimer’s, PTSD, and schizophrenia. Twenty two sexual disorders alone are listed, however only sexual identity disorder is targeted for special treatment by Connecticut legislators. Having some of these sexual disorders would disqualify one from obtaining a job involving children or in public safety, and rightfully so. But why prohibit ‘discrimination’ against only sufferers of Sexual Identity Disorder and people with other mental health problems?

Sufferers of Sexual Identity Disorder are described as ‘having discontent with the biological sex they were born with.’ A person who is trans-gendered actively wishes to be accepted as and live as a member of the opposite sex. It should be made clear that the diagnosis is not given to someone with questionable or mixed biological anatomy. Hence, it is strictly a disorder of the mental state of the brain.

The General Assembly shouldn’t be considering this bill because it is a medical condition. Trans gendered people go through great lengths to ‘correct’ the biology they were born with so it conforms to their mental state. Treatment includes hormonal therapy, years of psychological counseling and often surgery. Passing the bill will equate their condition – dissonance between mind and body – as normal. Yet, when one of us suffer a broken bone or malady, we don’t declare it normal health. We also don’t seek surgery for a normally functioning part of our body either. So then why do elected leaders like Mrs. Luxenberg, Holder-Winfield and Ms. Bye want to pass this bill to normalize these abnormal behaviors?

In a compassionate way, the General Assembly should reject this proposal. If we normalized the abnormal psychology of trans gendered people, there is no incentive for them to get help. Advocates for the law who spoke at a March public hearing say that sexual identity disorder begins around age 10 or 12. If the law were passed, we would need to accommodate them from high school onward. Let’s say you are the parent of a female field hockey player. Would you accept the fact that a sixteen year old adolescent boy wants to join the team, AND insist on changing and showering with your daughter because he believes he is a girl?

Or if you are in a public place and see a man from walking into a female restroom at a mall. Today, a security officer would be expected to stop and investigate the man’s motivation for walking into the restroom. If passed, however, that man would feel in his rightful place and security may fear being sued for discrimination. There are other practical questions. Would a trans- gendered person go to a male or female prison?

Schizophrenics often feel most ‘normal’ when they don’t take their medications. Yet, they realize they should when their behavior becomes anti-social. People with other disorders are provided with help when necessary. Yet, if this bill is passed – essentially normalizing sexual disorders as race or religion – there would be no incentive for them to get help. This puts society at risk, and diminishes the need for sufferers to seek treatment, ultimately harming the sufferers themselves.

Sometimes the best way to love someone is to say no. Wolcott State Representative attempted to amend the proposal by applying the American Psychological Association’s definition to the law. Democrats rejected his idea on party lines, though. They also rejected another proposal which would allow sleeping, bathroom, bathing and locker facilities to keep separate gender facilities by five votes. The State Senate is expected to vote on the matter this week.

Christopher O’Brien

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