A federal board ruled that Medicare must cover gender reassignment surgery for Denee Mallon, a 74-year-old New Mexico veteran.
Despite their often being seen as joint causes, the arguments for transgender acceptance undermines what has been the strongest rationale for gay marriage.
Western culture’s current embrace of homosexuality as a normative lifestyle resulted a great deal from the acceptance of same-sex orientation being a biological fact.
Even though, as I have argued before, being born with a predisposition to a behavior says nothing to the morality of the behavior, that line of reasoning appeals to most of society who does not want to force an individual to behave in contradiction to an inborn trait.
But then we have the case of gender preferences. We are being asked to accept the notion of transgendered individuals who were born biological one sex, but claim to be the other gender.
This raises the curious question: exactly how can sexual orientation be an unchangeable fact, but gender be entirely negotiable?
As the argument goes, homosexuality should be considered equal to heterosexuality because the two are genetic predispositions that cannot be changed (ignoring those who have changed and those who seem to go back and forth).
Because same-sex attraction is part of the biological reality of the individual, it would be discrimination to maintain the traditional definition of marriage.
Numerous polls demonstrate that more and more individuals accept that reasoning, particularly in younger generations. They do not want to be remembered like those who opposed the Civil Rights movement.
The argument that opposition to gay rights is the same as racism carries significant weight. That does not mesh with the idea held by many of the same individuals and groups, however, that gender is somehow fluid.
On one hand, a sexual preference that cannot be proven should be acceptance as immoveable. While on the other hand, a gender that is biologically certain should be considered flexible.
Think about that for a moment. Sexual orientation, without any scientific proof, must be accepted as unchangeable fact. Gender, with obvious scientific proof, must be seen as mere opinion.
Virtually the entire movement in support of gay marriage and the extension of gay rights is based on a foundation that the notion of gender preference contradicts. “You cannot change how you were born … except when you can.”
If you accept the premise that a person can choose to alter a biological fact of their existence (their gender), then what case can you make that they cannot then alter their sexual orientation?
Unseen, unverifiable orientation is more concrete than the observable reality of gender?
More than a feeling?
There is only one logical move that can be made by the supporter of firm orientation, but weak gender – feelings conquers all. But as I have argued before, an appeal to feelings is the death knell for a movement.
That is all that unites gay rights and gender choice, however—the personal desires of the individual. Someone feels sexual attraction to the same gender, therefore they are gay. Someone else feels as if they are a woman trapped in a man’s body, therefore they are a woman.
But the progress made in the gay rights movement has resulted from arguing that sexual orientation is the equivalent of ethnicity. It is something you are born with and have no choice in the matter.
If sexual orientation is back to being something that can be chosen, then the legal argument surrounding gay rights is undercut.
Currently, both California and New Jersey ban types of conversion therapy that seek to help individuals who are trying to limit or reverse their same-sex attraction.
Much of the rationale in favor of the ban is that such treatments are damaging to these individuals who cannot change. But if biological gender is subject to the feelings of the person, why should sexual orientation not be the same?
To use the absurd to make the point ever further, why is everything not then at the whim of our personal feelings? If we can decide that confused feelings should outweigh the obvious, biological fact of our gender, what should our feelings not overrule?
Even more to the point, feelings can change—drastically, even over the course of a day. If orientation and gender are based on merely the personal preferences of the individual, you might as well say they have no basis.
This is why logically the gay rights movement is in trouble if it embraces the transgender arguments. People may start to think through the issues instead of accept the emotionally-charged, but contradictory reasoning given.
Feelings are anything but a sure foundation, but it is all that supporters of gay rights and gender neutrality can fall back on. That in and of itself should tell you something.