America’s “firsts” aren’t what they used to be. Where they once included putting a man on the moon and heavier-than-air flight, now they’re trillion-dollar deficits, a trillion pieces of metadata NSA-processed, and six-trillion-dollar foreign military adventures. And coming to you straight from Maine is another fantastic first. Writes Yahoo News:
School officials violated state anti-discrimination law when they would not allow a transgender fifth-grader to use the girls' bathroom, according to a ruling by the highest court in Maine that's believed to be the first of its kind.
The family of student Nicole Maines and the Maine Human Rights Commission sued in 2009 after school officials required her [him] to use a staff, not student, restroom....
The court concluded that the Orono school district's actions violated the Maine Human Rights Act, which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Nicole” Maines, now 14 and taking hormones to prevent male puberty, is a boy originally named “Wyatt,” who changed his name in the fourth grade and has been trying to live as a girl. And what of the idea that he was subject to discrimination?
First realize that government anti-discrimination law doesn’t actually ban discrimination, which is the process of choosing one or some from among many, and is something we all practice. After all, schools won’t allow boys (at least, those who still claim to be boys) to use girls’ facilities or play on girls’ teams, and employers discriminate on various bases when they hire new staff. What the state is doing is outlawing certain kinds of discrimination, declaring specific groups “protected,” implicit in which is that other groups are unprotected.
Now, it’s bad enough that we’ve gone beyond the proposition that everyone should be treated equally under the law. It is worse still that this selective non-discrimination law is applied to the private sector and thus trumps freedom of association. But now this special status isn’t applied just to group designations that have a basis in objective reality — such as race or sex — but is being afforded to something completely subjective: “gender identity.”
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Photo of Jonas and Nicole Maines from June 2013: AP Images