Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Sexual Orientation" and "Gender Identity" Not Defined

Where are standard, accepted, codified and clear definitions of the following terms, which are now or may soon be included in the General Laws of Massachusetts:

Sexual orientation
Gender Identity
Gender Expression

We've pointed out that the term "sexual orientation", which pops up all over in Massachusetts law as protected against "discrimination", is not defined in Massachusetts law, with just one exception -- where the "sexual orientation is toward minor children as the sex object" (which we are allowed to discriminate against! -- at least for now, until the age of consent is lowered). But clearly that single example of a definition implies that any of these could also be "sexual orientations":

Sex with blood relatives; sex in public; sex with people of the same sex; sex with animals; sex with corpses; sex including sadomasochism, "bondage & discipline," and torture; sex with another person accepting "slave/master" roles; sex with prostitutes; group sex; polyamorous relationships (multiple partners known to each other, whether or not in group households); or any other kind of "alternative sexual expression" to be defined by the practitioner. This opens up the door to unimaginable nightmares. If we can't discriminate against people who want polyamorous relationships, how can we deny them the opportunity for polygamous marriages, for instance?

MassResistance has filed a bill to redress this legal absurdity. See Docket #S2095: AN ACT REMOVING UNDEFINED SEXUAL TERMINOLOGY FROM THE GENERAL LAWS. How strange that no legislator has had the courage to sponsor our bill.

Compounding this craziness, a new "transgender rights" and "hate crimes" bill has been filed by Rep. Carl Sciortino, which seeks to add the terms "gender identity or expression" to protected behaviors in Massachusetts law. Wherever "sexual orientation" now appears, "gender identity or expression" would be added.

Again, no real definition is given for this new, revolutionary concept. There is this vague attempt: "The term 'gender identity or expression' shall mean a gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth." "Appearance" we get; but what do "identity" and "expression" mean in this context? Who or what "assigned" one's sex at birth? This vagueness will leave it wide open for our runaway courts to play with the concept.

Another vague "definition" is on the Mass. Transgender Political Coalition web site. Note that it basically repeats the word needing definition ("gender" -- as distinct from "sex") over and over. Yet this sort of absurd "thinking" is behind a bill which has a real chance of passing!

This ordinance would prohibit discrimination in employment, lending, housing, education, and public accommodations on the basis of a person's gender identity or expression. The term "gender identity or expression" includes a person's actual or perceived gender, as well as a person's gender identity, gender-related self image, gender-related appearance, or gender-related expression whether or not that gender identity, gender-related self-image, gender-related appearance, or gender-related expression is different from that traditionally associated with one's sex at birth.... this ordinance would make it impermissible to discriminate against an individual simply because that person does not fit a narrow stereotype of what it means to be a "real man" or a "real woman."

That means the very idea of a "real man" or a "real woman" is discriminatory. To even think in these terms, and somehow apply it in your relationships with others, will open you up to the charge of a "hate crime." Get ready. Governor Patrick said he'd give this group anything they wanted.