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Author Topic: SENATE BILL: Equal Rights Amendment (Sent to the Regions)  (Read 2584 times)
Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« on: August 21, 2012, 08:27:14 pm »
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AN AMENDMENT

To ensure the equal protection of all genders n the Republic of Atlasia.

Be it enacted by 2/3 of the Senate of the Republic of Atlasia.

SECTION ONE. TITLE

This amendment may be cited as the 'Equal Rights Amendment.'

SECTION TWO. AMENDMENT

1.) Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by Atlasia or by any Region on account of sex or sexual orientation towards adults.

2.) The Senate shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Sponsor: Scott
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 01:13:02 am by Senator North Carolina Yankee »Logged

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Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2012, 08:29:50 pm »
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Scott, you of course have 24 hours to advocate for this. I trust that won't be a problem, unlike a certain other Senator whose display name begins with the same letter. Tongue
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Napoleon
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2012, 08:30:40 pm »
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Some information from my administration...

If I may adress the Senate on this issue, particularly Senator Clarence's points.

The ERA would simply guarantee that the rights affirmed by our constitution are held equally without regard to sex or sexual orienation. Sex and sexual orientation through this amendment would be considered a 'suspect classification'; similar to how race is treated. Therefore actions taken by this government that treat males, females or peopleacross the spectrum of sexuality differently as a class, would be subject to judicial scrutiny and would have to meet the highest level of justification ('a necessary relation to a compelling state interest') in order to be upheld as constitutional. Senator Clarence suggests that the ERA places a 'blanket ban' on an organisation that discriminates membership based on sex. He should be aware that even without an ERA, Supreme Court decisions undertaken by our predecessor nation has limited the consitutionality of public single-sex unions (Mississippi University for Woman v Hogan, U.S v Commonwealth of Virginia (1996) ) However the constitution already provides for freedom of assembly. The ERA does not contravene that right specifically when applied to exclusively private members organisations. It is important to read this amendment as part of our constitution, not set apart from it.

Senator Clarence also raises his concern over the draft. Amendment VIII of the Third Constitution reads; "Neither shall the Republic of Atlasia nor any of its constituent regions enforce compulsory conscription upon any citizen, without the consent of four-fifths of the Senate." Naturally the draft has not been enforced since 1973 and this amendment strengthens this position. In the event that four-fifths of the Senate vote to enact compulsory conscription there is nothing currently in the constitution that protects women against involuntary military service. It just so happens that the Senate has not required them to participate or register with the Selective Service System but it still holds the power to do so (confined by Amendment VIII.) Should the ERA be passed then there would still be nothing in the Constitution that protects women against involuntary military service. However it would make exluding them from consideration solely on account of their sex unconstitutional for the first time. There is no legitimate reason in my opinion to exclude women from combat or front-line roles should they be mentally and physically qualified to do so. At the moment, except for a few select positions, women are excluded firstly (and exclusively) on account of their gender, not their combat readiness or any other attribute. If a women is fit to serve a selected role she should serve. If she is unfit she shouldn't serve. This works well for men.

On the matter of transgenderism being a 'choice' I have to stridently disagree with the Senator. Having a gender identity different to one's physical sex is not a choice. His restroom analogy is slightly off. Firstly there would still be seperate restrooms should an establishment wish (or unisex restrooms should they wish) as long as both sexes can do what they need to do. That is common practice anyway. All the ERA would outlaw, if it even still happens, is only having toilets exclusively for one sex. However I digress. A post op transgender, having had their physical sex re-aligned with their gender identity should not be barred from using the restrooms allocated to their physical sex. If anything, Atlasia needs thorough and comprehensive legislation on transgender issues but this is something I would put to the Senate to consider.
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 10:08:45 pm »
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I've had a dialogue with Afleitch and others also have in the Judiciary Committee... I don't want to clog this post by copying it all but I urge Senators to take a look

My concerns about this amendment remain and the question I pose to the sponsors is this...
What specific rights (minus gay marriage) are withheld from women and gays right now that lead you to sponsor this legislation? In other words, what problem are we trying to solve here...
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2012, 10:31:52 pm »
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In other words, what problem are we trying to solve here...

We are trying to guarantee equal rights for all Atlasians regardless of sexual orientation or identity by incorporating it in to the supreme law of the land, our Constitution.
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He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 11:02:33 pm »
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In other words, what problem are we trying to solve here...

We are trying to guarantee equal rights for all Atlasians regardless of sexual orientation or identity by incorporating it in to the supreme law of the land, our Constitution.
I understand that, but what rights are denied them now? I agree that marriage should be granted and have stood for this... but this law is broad and has many consequences which go far beyond righting obvious wrongs
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 11:12:26 pm »
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Scott, you of course have 24 hours to advocate for this. I trust that won't be a problem, unlike a certain other Senator whose display name begins with the same letter. Tongue

Screw you, Yankee. Tongue

Unless you were talking about Seatown....in which case I say screw you for insulting a constituent of mine. Tongue
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 11:14:23 pm by Senator Sbane »Logged
Napoleon
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2012, 11:21:33 pm »
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In other words, what problem are we trying to solve here...

We are trying to guarantee equal rights for all Atlasians regardless of sexual orientation or identity by incorporating it in to the supreme law of the land, our Constitution.
I understand that, but what rights are denied them now? I agree that marriage should be granted and have stood for this... but this law is broad and has many consequences which go far beyond righting obvious wrongs

I'm a forward-thinking progressive. There doesn't need to be rights currently denied if there could be rights denied in the future. I don't expect you'd be the founder questioning why we need a right to bear arms asking "How is it denied now?". For me, it is about guaranteeing freedom to our citizenry. Your examples of consequences have been addressed many times so I have nothing to add there...the amendment is entirely sound. There are minor text changes that may be appropriate so long as the brevity and purpose of the current text remains intact.
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When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was Jewish
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I told my mom, tears blurring my vision
He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2012, 11:27:50 pm »
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In other words, what problem are we trying to solve here...

We are trying to guarantee equal rights for all Atlasians regardless of sexual orientation or identity by incorporating it in to the supreme law of the land, our Constitution.
I understand that, but what rights are denied them now? I agree that marriage should be granted and have stood for this... but this law is broad and has many consequences which go far beyond righting obvious wrongs

I'm a forward-thinking progressive. There doesn't need to be rights currently denied if there could be rights denied in the future. I don't expect you'd be the founder questioning why we need a right to bear arms asking "How is it denied now?". For me, it is about guaranteeing freedom to our citizenry. Your examples of consequences have been addressed many times so I have nothing to add there...the amendment is entirely sound. There are minor text changes that may be appropriate so long as the brevity and purpose of the current text remains intact.
I agree with your intention but my concerns have not been addressed... I believe the bill currently is too broad and would like to see an amendment specifically excluding single-sex organizations. If I want to start a Newberry Men's Club, I ought to be able to... same for the Women's Club which exists now. I should not be able to join the Women's Club if they don't want men as members
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Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2012, 11:29:51 pm »
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Scott, you of course have 24 hours to advocate for this. I trust that won't be a problem, unlike a certain other Senator whose display name begins with the same letter. Tongue

Screw you, Yankee. Tongue

Unless you were talking about Seatown....in which case I say screw you for insulting a constituent of mine. Tongue

The fact that you don't know its not you, suggest that it might as well have been based on your attentiveness. Tongue
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Napoleon
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2012, 11:31:57 pm »
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In other words, what problem are we trying to solve here...

We are trying to guarantee equal rights for all Atlasians regardless of sexual orientation or identity by incorporating it in to the supreme law of the land, our Constitution.
I understand that, but what rights are denied them now? I agree that marriage should be granted and have stood for this... but this law is broad and has many consequences which go far beyond righting obvious wrongs

I'm a forward-thinking progressive. There doesn't need to be rights currently denied if there could be rights denied in the future. I don't expect you'd be the founder questioning why we need a right to bear arms asking "How is it denied now?". For me, it is about guaranteeing freedom to our citizenry. Your examples of consequences have been addressed many times so I have nothing to add there...the amendment is entirely sound. There are minor text changes that may be appropriate so long as the brevity and purpose of the current text remains intact.
I agree with your intention but my concerns have not been addressed... I believe the bill currently is too broad and would like to see an amendment specifically excluding single-sex organizations. If I want to start a Newberry Men's Club, I ought to be able to... same for the Women's Club which exists now. I should not be able to join the Women's Club if they don't want men as members

I'm sorry that you feel that way, but to reiterate what AG Afleitch ahs already had to..
I do not know where you think this law will cause men and women to 'use the same restroom'; I explained succinctly why that was and is a ludicrous position.

We understand that it might be difficult for some of our more conservative Senators to vote in favor of protecting gay rights and gender equality. We have put this amendment forth because it represents our values and have explained how it would work with clarity.
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When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was Jewish
Because I could count, my nose was big, and I kept my bank account fullish
I told my mom, tears blurring my vision
He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
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« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2012, 11:34:43 pm »
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1- my last comment did not involve restrooms, but in the Judiciary Committee I quoted Afleitch in which he appeared to contradict the statement you quoted

2- I would put my views on protecting gay rights up alongside any liberals, including you. This is not about gay rights- we are in agreement on specific rights gays do not have that they ought to have. This is about executing Ted Bundy with an ICBM...
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« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2012, 11:44:19 pm »
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Respectfully, I think you are confused about what this amendment will actually do. I'm happy to answer questions but I don't want to sound like I'm repeating myself over and over as I think the other Senators will find that unproductive. Wink

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When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was Jewish
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I told my mom, tears blurring my vision
He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 11:45:24 pm »
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Respectfully, I think you are confused about what this amendment will actually do. I'm happy to answer questions but I don't want to sound like I'm repeating myself over and over as I think the other Senators will find that unproductive. Wink


Right...I appreciate your position and believe we are united in intent, but not the method of how to get there. I look forward to a respectful discussion Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2012, 11:47:45 pm »
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How does this not require the abolishment of separate bathrooms for men and women in public buildings? It makes gender essentially the same as race and separate bathrooms for whites and blacks would not be legal.
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« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2012, 11:48:13 pm »
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Respectfully, I think you are confused about what this amendment will actually do. I'm happy to answer questions but I don't want to sound like I'm repeating myself over and over as I think the other Senators will find that unproductive. Wink


Right...I appreciate your position and believe we are united in intent, but not the method of how to get there. I look forward to a respectful discussion Smiley

Thank you Senator. Let me know if you have further questions.

How does this not require the abolishment of separate bathrooms for men and women in public buildings? It makes gender essentially the same as race and separate bathrooms for whites and blacks would not be legal.

AG Afleitch has already answered this.
His restroom analogy is slightly off. Firstly there would still be seperate restrooms should an establishment wish (or unisex restrooms should they wish) as long as both sexes can do what they need to do. That is common practice anyway. All the ERA would outlaw, if it even still happens, is only having toilets exclusively for one sex.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 11:49:55 pm by President Napoleon »Logged

When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was Jewish
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I told my mom, tears blurring my vision
He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
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« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2012, 11:57:33 pm »
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This last sentence...
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All the ERA would outlaw, if it even still happens, is only having toilets exclusively for one sex.

Is what concerns me greatly... could the President or AG elaborate? Does this simply mean that a building could not have a men's restroom without having a women's? Or does it mean restrooms must be unisex?
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« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 11:58:37 pm »
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How does this not require the abolishment of separate bathrooms for men and women in public buildings? It makes gender essentially the same as race and separate bathrooms for whites and blacks would not be legal.

AG Afleitch has already answered this.
His restroom analogy is slightly off. Firstly there would still be seperate restrooms should an establishment wish (or unisex restrooms should they wish) as long as both sexes can do what they need to do. That is common practice anyway. All the ERA would outlaw, if it even still happens, is only having toilets exclusively for one sex.

That doesn't really answer the question though. He just says that they will be able to and that transgendered individuals would be allowed to use the restroom of their post operation gender if they are post operation. But why would the establishments be permitted to maintain single-sex restrooms? That's a Separate-But-Equal reading. What is there actually in the constitution after this amendment to allow that type of discrimination other than just that we want to allow it?
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2012, 12:12:36 am »
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What the amendment seeks to accomplish is very simple; it enshrines the idea that people of all genders and sexual orientations are seen equally under the law.  It doesn't necessarily provide women and members of the LGBT community with rights they don't already have, but it establishes a Constitutional safeguard for the rights that they do have.  But this is, of course, not the underlying issue with the amendment that divides this Senate.

Afleitch provided an excellent defense of the amendment and addressed why the law would simply not be in conflict with single-sex clubs and bathrooms.  Single-sex clubs and bathrooms are not established for discriminatory purposes, and because the right to assembly has already been established by the Constitution, this amendment will not come to odds with those institutions.  We must also remember that even without an ERA, separate bathrooms are protected under the law and this would not change if gender/sexual orientation equality is protected by the Constitution.

If some are still unconvinced by the arguments put forth by Afleitch, Napoleon and myself, I'd be willing to find common ground and modify the language so that it specifically includes exemptions for single-sex clubs and separate bathrooms; I would much rather to do so in order to pass the amendment with bipartisan support.  However, it is essential that modifications to the text do not refute the amendment's central purpose.
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2012, 12:18:09 am »
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If some are still unconvinced by the arguments put forth by Afleitch, Napoleon and myself, I'd be willing to find common ground and modify the language so that it specifically includes exemptions for single-sex clubs and separate bathrooms; I would much rather to do so in order to pass the amendment with bipartisan support.  That said, I urge my colleagues that modifications to the text do not refute the amendment's central purpose.
Unfortunately, Senator, that would remove the 'teeth" from the amendment.

It's quite obvious that things like restrooms , school locker rooms, sports organizations and such would not be affected by this amendment. Why weaken the amendment to pacify concerns that are not relevant to the amendment?

The only change that I think should be considered is what Mr. Moderate suggested- changing "sex" to "gender identity".
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When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was Jewish
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I told my mom, tears blurring my vision
He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
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« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2012, 12:29:15 am »
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I would oppose changing sex to gender identity.... if some one has had an operation and has certain parts, that is his or her sex. If some one is biologically a male, that person claiming to identify as a female does not give him entry into a women's bathroom. You are opening the door to sexual predators who would exploit our tolerance for their sick gain...
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« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2012, 12:32:26 am »
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I would oppose changing sex to gender identity.... if some one has had an operation and has certain parts, that is his or her sex. If some one is biologically a male, that person claiming to identify as a female does not give him entry into a women's bathroom. You are opening the door to sexual predators who would exploit our tolerance for their sick gain...

First of all, it's offensive that you think transgender Atlasians are comparable to sexual predators.
Secondly, you are quite mistaken if you think that these people aren't already using the restrooms.
My last point is that it is rather stupid for us, as a government, to deny rights to our people out of a paranoid fear that some creep might try to abuse a restroom and make an illegitimate claim of defense, and further, that our good courts would rule in favor of said creep were there an issue.

This restroom scare is all smoke and mirrors.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 12:34:56 am by President Napoleon »Logged

When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was Jewish
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I told my mom, tears blurring my vision
He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
Scott
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« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2012, 12:36:30 am »
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If some are still unconvinced by the arguments put forth by Afleitch, Napoleon and myself, I'd be willing to find common ground and modify the language so that it specifically includes exemptions for single-sex clubs and separate bathrooms; I would much rather to do so in order to pass the amendment with bipartisan support.  That said, I urge my colleagues that modifications to the text do not refute the amendment's central purpose.
Unfortunately, Senator, that would remove the 'teeth" from the amendment.

It's quite obvious that things like restrooms , school locker rooms, sports organizations and such would not be affected by this amendment. Why weaken the amendment to pacify concerns that are not relevant to the amendment?

The only change that I think should be considered is what Mr. Moderate suggested- changing "sex" to "gender identity".

How would that type of modification undermine the bill's intentions?  Either way, I don't think there would be any negative changes made to current law.

I would oppose changing sex to gender identity.... if some one has had an operation and has certain parts, that is his or her sex. If some one is biologically a male, that person claiming to identify as a female does not give him entry into a women's bathroom. You are opening the door to sexual predators who would exploit our tolerance for their sick gain...

How so?  If a man is psychologically a female, shouldn't she be allowed to enter the bathroom facility that most suits her?
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President John Hay
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« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2012, 12:37:19 am »
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I would oppose changing sex to gender identity.... if some one has had an operation and has certain parts, that is his or her sex. If some one is biologically a male, that person claiming to identify as a female does not give him entry into a women's bathroom. You are opening the door to sexual predators who would exploit our tolerance for their sick gain...

First of all, it's offensive that you think transgender Atlasians are comparable to sexual predators.
Secondly, you are quite mistaken if you think that these people aren't already using the restrooms.
My last point is that it is rather stupid for us, as a government, to deny rights to our people out of a paranoid fear that some creep might try to abuse a restroom and make an illegitimate claim of defense, and further, that our good courts would rule in favor of said creep were there an issue.

This restroom scare is all smoke and mirrors.
I believe my remarks make it quite clear that I am not equating transgenders with sexual predators... I am making a distinction between them and arguing that the latter can exploit laws meant to protect the former

I do not believe a transgender (assuming that means some one who has had a sex change operation) is the same as some one who claims to be another gender which doesn't match his or her biology....which to me seems rather silly. Can my granddaughters check the African-American box when they apply to colleges if they claim to identify as such?
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« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2012, 12:48:17 am »
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I believe my remarks make it quite clear that I am not equating transgenders with sexual predators... I am making a distinction between them and arguing that the latter can exploit laws meant to protect the former

I already pointed out how that is ridiculous in my last post.

"My last point is that it is rather stupid for us, as a government, to deny rights to our people out of a paranoid fear that some creep might try to abuse a restroom and make an illegitimate claim of defense, and further, that our good courts would rule in favor of said creep were there an issue."

Quote
I do not believe a transgender (assuming that means some one who has had a sex change operation) is the same as some one who claims to be another gender which doesn't match his or her biology....which to me seems rather silly.

You're confusing transgender and transsexual.

Quote
Can my granddaughters check the African-American box when they apply to colleges if they claim to identify as such?

Strawman.
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When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was Jewish
Because I could count, my nose was big, and I kept my bank account fullish
I told my mom, tears blurring my vision
He said, "Mort, you've loved God since before circumcision"
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