When an expectant mother visits her doctor for an ultrasound, the doctor invariably asks: Do you want to know the sex of your child?
The Obama administration, however, does not believe an unborn child has a sex -- even when a doctor sees indisputable physical evidence.
Obama's Office of Personnel Management has published what it calls "Guidance Regarding the Employment of Transgender Individuals in the Workplace." This document speaks of "sex" as something a person has "assigned" to them only after they make it through the birth canal.
"Transgender individuals are people with a gender identity that is different from the sex assigned to them at birth," says the guidance. "Someone who was assigned the male sex at birth but who identifies as female is a transgender woman. Likewise, a person assigned the female sex at birth but who identifies as male is a transgender man."
OPM discretely expresses its theory in the passive voice. It does not blame the mom or the dad for insensitively exclaiming, without any qualification: It's a boy!
But OPM's guidance does allow qualifications for federal workers. "Some individuals will find it necessary to transition from living and working as one gender to another," says OPM.
The guidelines say the last phase in this transition is called "real life experience." "As the name suggests, the real life experience is designed to allow the transgender individual to experience living full-time in the gender role to which he or she is transitioning," say the guidelines. "Completion of at least one year of the real life experience is required prior to an individual's being deemed eligible for gender reassignment surgery."
The guidelines call for the government to take certain steps to accommodate a federal worker going through a transition.
This can involve educating co-workers. "If it would be helpful and appropriate, employing agencies may have a trainer or presenter meet with employees to answer general questions regarding gender identity," say the guidelines.
It means allowing the person to dress differently. "Once an employee has informed management that he or she is transitioning," say the guidelines, "the employee will begin wearing the clothes associated with the gender to which the person is transitioning."
It means having co-workers use gender-correct terminology. "Managers, supervisors, and co-workers should use the name and pronouns appropriate to the employee's new gender," say the guidelines.
Then there is the point in the guidance governing restrooms and locker rooms.
"For a transitioning employee, this means that, once he or she has begun living and working full-time in the gender that reflects his or her identity, agencies should allow access to restrooms and (if provided to other employees) locker room facilities consistent with his or her gender identity," say the guidelines.
According to the guidance, access to a restroom or locker room should not be conditioned on anatomy.
"While a reasonable temporary compromise may be appropriate in some circumstances," say the guidance, "transitioning employees should not be required to have undergone or to provide proof of any particular medical procedure (including gender reassignment surgery) in order to have access to facilities designated for use by a particular gender."
On Sept. 4, OPM published a proposed regulation based on the same prefatory language as its guidance — i.e. to provide a federal workplace free from discrimination based on "sex (including gender identity and pregnancy)."
This regulation would extend federal civil rights laws, insofar as they protect federal workers, to cover discrimination based on "gender identity" and "sexual orientation."
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has submitted well-reasoned comments on the proposed rule. After noting there is no statutory basis for it, and that some politicians are trying to enact the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to create a statutory basis for it, the USCCB's comments deal with the issues of privacy and freedom of speech.
"Employees have, for example, a legitimate expectation of privacy in workplace restrooms and locker rooms," says the USCCB. "Inclusion of gender identity in the OPM regulations would violate those reasonable expectations. In addition, a government prohibition on all differential treatment based on gender identity would almost certainly be used to squelch speech in the workplace that is not morally approving of efforts to 'identify with' the opposite sex or of the purported 'change' of one's given sex."
But it is in a footnote, quoting the Catholic Catechism, that the bishops get to the heart of the matter: "'Being man' or 'being woman' is a reality which is good and willed by God."
"Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity," says the USCCB's comment, continuing to quote the Catechism. "Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out."
The people who now run our federal government not only deny the basic facts of life, they are trying to force the consequences of their denial on the world that all the innocent little boys and girls born today must inhabit tomorrow.TERENCE JEFFREY, a Washington Examiner Columnist, is nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate.