Since the Supreme Court unilaterally legalized same-sex marriage in its 2015 Obergefell decision, transgender ideology has swept through America’s institutions with bewildering rapidity, toppling nearly all opposition through sheer brazenness. But the pseudo-religion’s weakness has always been biological reality — basic facts of human sexuality which have been understood for all of human history. Is reality finally catching up with the confidence game?
The question is worth asking because pro-science forces — that is, those who say there are only two immutable sexes — have notched a string of new policy victories. Just recently, a transgender center notorious for pressuring youth and their parents into irreversible procedures shut down in response to a state law making them legally liable for the damages. The far-left, pro-trans governor of California vetoed a bill to strip away the custody rights of parents who didn’t “affirm” their child into a misguided gender “transition.” And the same DOD which still insists on illegally funding abortion travel reversed a gender-neutral rewrite of its award citations manual after less than six weeks.
These recent wins are sprinkles atop a sundae of pro-reality momentum in the 2023 state legislative session. Although the controversy of sex and gender only became mainstream over the past few years, there are now 24 states with laws protecting women’s sports and 22 states with laws protecting minors from gender transition procedures. Despite the trans movement’s invalid co-opting of civil rights language and legislation, these laws protecting minors are currently batting .500 in federal courts, with four state laws losing and four state laws winning their ongoing legal disputes.
Reality has even seeped into the highly politicized world of medical professional associations. Last month, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) bowed to pressure and announced a “systematic review of the evidence” regarding gender reassignment procedures on children. The Indiana State Medical Association became the first mainstream body to “oppose medical and surgical gender transition treatment for minors” at its September convention. Earlier this year, Norway and Denmark both joined Finland, France, Sweden, and the U.K. in walking back the uncritical “gender-affirming care” model for treating youth with gender dysphoria.
These are highlights of the good news, not a comprehensive picture. With all the reasons to celebrate, it’s tempting to announce that the darkness is beginning to dissipate as people wake up to the horrific abuses and lies of transgender ideology.
Yet that requires us to also acknowledge that America is in a dark place, that not all the momentum or victories are on the side of truth. All the major American medical associations still affirm the whole slate of gender transition procedures — without reason and without remorse. Cultural powerhouses from Disney to book publishers to the corporation rainbows — now with extra stripes — that appear every June still throw the false claims of trans ideology in our faces like they’re proud of it.
Additionally, the Biden administration has systematically implemented trans ideology throughout the executive branch. Whereas the Obama administration only pursued this radical agenda during his second term’s lame-duck phase, the Biden administration has embraced it from Day One, immediately re-implementing all the old policies and adding plenty of new aberrations. With more than a dozen departments and thousands of personnel, a presidential administration has an expansive, permeating influence on American public life.
Still, there must be an explanation for the increasing frequency of pro-biology (and pro-grammar) victories, even from pro-trans California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) and the pro-trans administration of U.S. President Joe Biden. Has the tide really turned?
Yet perhaps these victories are a jump on a ski slope, which merely delays the inevitable descent until it comes more rapidly than before. Many politicians, from across the political spectrum, are known to moderate their positions as election season approaches, but then pursue their full agenda as soon as they pass their voter accountability exam.
Indeed, according to a poll from this summer, 62% of Americans believe transgender activists have “gone too far” in pushing their agenda. Strong majorities rejected policies such as allowing men in women’s sports (71%), punishing students and teachers for using “inappropriate” — that is, accurate — pronouns (75%), and assigning co-ed sleeping arrangements on school trips (63%).
A Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation conducted in late 2022 (after the midterm elections) found similar results on the women’s sports issue. It also found that 68% of U.S. adults oppose puberty blockers for 10- to 14-year-olds, while 77% said teachers should not “discuss trans identity” with third graders.
Americans are making their disillusionment with the trans agenda known. The U.S. Department of Education received “a historic number of comments” (more than 240,000) on a June 2022 proposed rule that would essentially rewrite Title IX to permit men in women’s sports, gut due process in campus sexual harassment cases, and grant “LGBTQI+ students” special benefits. The final rule was scheduled to be released in May 2023, then October, and now it’s unclear when it will be released if at all. “Although the administration claims the delays are procedural, it’s obvious they are stuck between a rock and a hard place,” said Paul Dupont, a spokesman for the American Principles Project.
“I’m sure some lawyer at the Department of Education is advising the secretary, ‘Sit on it. Sit on it as long as you can,’” said Jennifer Braceras, director of the Independent Women’s Law Center. “Heck, I’m quite certain the department would delay until after the 2024 election if they could.”
We doubtless haven’t seen the end of proponents of transgender ideology pushing newer, even crazier ideas, nor of politicians wholeheartedly embracing this agenda. Nor have we seen the end of influential people and institutions — who should know better — rolling over and allowing themselves to be used for these nefarious purposes. Instead, we are beginning to see ordinary Americans become fed up enough that they are willing to inconvenience themselves to speak up and push back. We see it in school boards, state legislatures, corporate boycotts, and even comments submitted to the Department of Education.
And, whether the elites catch on quickly or not, a formidable majority of Americans still believes in “normal.”
Originally published at The Washington Stand.
Joshua Arnold is Media Coordinator for Family Research Council.