Yesterday voters in Texarkana, Arkansas, overwhelmingly voted to repeal a so-called “nondiscrimination” ordinance.
As we have written before, local ordinances like this one carry a number of unintended consequences. Among other things, they threaten to infringe religious liberty, and some of them even inadvertently let men use women’s restrooms, locker rooms, showers, and so on.
In Texarkana, roughly 79.5% of voters voted to repeal the ordinance last night. That’s a huge victory.
The local city Board of Directors approved the ordinance in January, but voters took it upon themselves to repeal the ordinance–and they succeeded.
This vote in Texarkana may partly be backlash against the Obama Administration, which has insisted on rolling out radical, new policies aimed at forcing public schools, colleges, universities, and national parks to let biological males who claim to be female use the women’s restrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities.
Commonsense may be in short supply in the Obama Administration, but, thankfully, in Texarkana, voters understand radical ordinances like this one simply are bad policy.
On Monday we told you about the U.S. Supreme Court’s bad ruling in the Whole Woman’s Health case. The ruling undermines states’ ability to pass legitimate regulations concerning abortion.
John Stonestreet at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview released an excellent commentary on the ruling yesterday, saying,
“First, let’s remember this is only one front in a continuing struggle that is making progress. The current abortion rate is lower than it’s been since before Roe was decided in 1973. And even without laws like the Texas one in place, pregnancy care centers outnumber abortion clinics by as much as three-to-one.
“So while the decision is indeed a setback, it does not change the brilliant day-out-and-day-in work of so much of the pro-life movement. Limits of what can be done legislatively will continue to be decided on a case-by-case basis, and we’ll continue to pray them on. But remember: the goal is not merely to make abortion illegal. We want abortion to be unthinkable.
“Which leaves us with the hard work of continuing to create a culture of life. For those of you hard at work, I can’t thank you enough for your faithfulness.”
You can read Stronestreet’s entire commentary here, or listen to it below.
According to The Daily Signal, the Obama Administration’s National Park Service has announced visitors may use the restroom facility of their gender-identity rather than their biological sex.
On the surface, this seems like a fairly insignificant move. As some note, many of the “restrooms” at national parks are more or less out-houses. What’s the big deal?
Well, for starters, larger parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon offer shower facilities at their campgrounds.
Under this policy, biological males can enter the women’s shower facilities at these campgrounds. These are places where families with children travel and vacation. This policy arguably puts women and children at risk by giving biological males a legitimate excuse to be present in the women’s shower facilities at these parks.
This decision raises questions about facilities at the Buffalo River in Arkansas, which is managed by the National Park Service. However, an even bigger question is this: If the federal government is going to adopt policies like this one for federal parks, what does that mean for facilities at lakes, parks, and campgrounds operated by the Army Corps of Engineers and by the National Forest Service?
For instance, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates campgrounds at DeGray Lake between Arkadelphia and Hot Springs. Some of those camping facilities include shower houses. Is the Obama Administration going to force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to adopt a similar policy for restrooms and shower facilities at DeGray Lake and other popular camping locations in Arkansas?
This latest move by the Obama Administration once more puts women and children at risk. It is inexplicable and simply defies logic.
Photo Credit: Armyman from Malvern, USA (Lake DeGray) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons