Friday, December 14, 2007

When Tolerance Trumps Security

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

A small segment of the gay-rights movement in Indiana is claiming victory following discussions with the Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles that resulted in a change in BMV policy concerning security checks. In an apparent effort not to offend, the BMV has agreed not to "red flag" social security numbers that point to a person's gender if it doesn't match the gender on their driver's license.

According to a December 5th alert hailing this change, the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance (INTRAA) and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is praising the department for no longer invalidating driver's licenses or even sending out a computer generated letter to investigate a social security number and driver's license gender mismatch. According to these groups, "gender mismatches will be ignored by the BMV".

In other words, in a day of rampant identity theft and a war with terrorists, the Indiana BMV believes that not offending a person who is a cross-dresser or someone who has had a sex change overrides any security risk that could happen through a gender and SSI number mismatch. I am going to sound crass, but there was a time when people who wanted to cut off their sex organs were recommended for psychiatric counseling. Today, they wield enough political power to enact statewide policy changes that appear to place tolerance above basic security concerns.

I don't think it is overreacting to envision a hypothetical scenario in which "Achmed the Terrorist" comes to America after crossing our practically open borders. He probably needs an Indiana driver's license to achieve his final goal of disrupting a Colts game in the RCA Dome. He finds a criminal who sells him a stolen or made up Social Security number and Achmed goes to the BMV to get an Indiana driver's license to establish his new identity as "John the Hoosier Colts fan" who lives in Noblesville. But the SSI number says he's Jane from Evansville. No problem, he gets a license anyway, because we don't investigate such mismatches out of fear of offending the gay rights groups. After ignoring the mismatched number at the BMV, the worst happens one Sunday, and police, victims families and the media wonder how it could have happened and why he wasn't stopped somewhere along the way. Aren't these the types of things people in high office are supposed to regularly consider in a post 9/11 world?

As I recall, most if not all, of the 911 terrorists had state driver's licenses. Do we really want to remove certain "red flags" and discrepancies in background checks in an effort not to offend a handful of gay activists who have rearranged their sexual identity and are demanding their right not to encounter the inconvenience that such a drastic step might logically produce at a state agency? The societal embrace of homosexuality has already cast aside a lot of public health concerns surrounding such behaviors, should we now also begin to cast aside security concerns under the mantra of tolerance?

Micah Clark
American Family Association of Indiana

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5 Comments:

Blogger Alex said...

This is silly.

What kind of terrorist is going to get a fake ID that's a perfect match in every way except gender and then be stopped because of BMV policy?

You mention the 9/11 terrorists - did they have drivers licenses that said they were female, and catching that could have prevented their acts? Um, no, because you don't have a point.

Just admit that you straight up don't like transgender people. It'd be a lot more honest.

December 16, 2007 5:42 PM  
Blogger Just Jennifer said...

Yes, let's be honest. If the only concern were security, then a system like we have here in California would work. Simply require a doctor's signature on a form certifying that the person is undergoing medical treatment. Because that is what is involved in these cases. End of problem.

December 17, 2007 2:59 PM  
OpenID SA-ET said...

The absurdity of your argument is only surpassed by your lack of knowledge with regards to the issue.

Either by choice or ignorance you have associated the homosexual movement with the issues surrounding a transsexual who is transitioning; they are not related.

The vast majority of transsexuals, either pre or post operative want nothing whatsoever to do with the homosexual movement or the GLBT. As well, transitioning transexuals - the group the Indiana BMV is accomodating - are not crossdressers. Transsexualism is a biophysiological condition, not psychiatric.

And, yes, your piece was crass and offensive. As the Christian you set yourself up to be, you should be ashamed of yourself.

As a side note, you might want to rethink posting you astrological sign in your profile...the Lord wasn't a big fan of astrology.

December 17, 2007 10:28 PM  
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

I am going to sound crass, but there was a time when people who wanted to cut off their sex organs were recommended for psychiatric counseling.
No, you don't sound crass at all. It sounds like common sense, obviously reasonable.

So here is a primer for those who don't know too much about the issue. They see weirdos and freaks, obvious nutcases who get their bodies mutilated for some perverse reason, and think they're crazy, dangerously so. They disapprove anyway, and just based on grounds of "common sense", I can't blame them. It seems obvious that it goes against Nature, and for Believers, God.

But here's the medical facts. It explains why these people do what they do.

I have to start with Intersex conditions generally, where people have bodies neither wholly male nor wholly female. It's estimated that 1.7% of the population qualify technically, but essentially only about 1 in 1000 have problems from it. If say 1% of your cells are of the opposite sex to the majority, it probably won't affect you.

There are hundreds of different serious Intersex conditions. Some result in ambiguous genitalia or none at all, or partial ones of both kinds. People can be Chimeras (fusion of opposite-sexed twins in the womb), Mosaics, or Kleinfelters, the latter with neither 46xy (male) nor 46xx (female) but 47xxy. Most such people are just normal men with a few anomalies in their bodies (and sterility). A few are normal but infertile men, a very few are normal fertile women.

The most disconcerting ones are the serials - those born looking like one sex, then changing to look like the other from natural causes. 5ARD and 17BHD deficiency are the most common causes, though there are others.

It can be devastating for a young woman to find out that the reason she has been unable to get pregnant is because she has no ovaries or womb, just the external genitalia. Some are even chromosomally male, they have "complete androgen insensitivity syndrome", so look totally female, with female brains, minds, and genitalia. It's only on an ultrasound that the differences are apparent.

Now talking about female brains and minds, there are two papers on the subject:

Zhou J.-N, Hofman M.A, Gooren L.J, Swaab D.F (1997)
A Sex Difference in the Human Brain and its Relation to Transsexuality.

Kruijver F.P.M, Zhou J.-N, Pool C.W., Swaab D.F. (2000)
Male-to-Female Transsexuals Have Female Neuron Numbers in a Limbic Nucleus

Male and Female brains differ, both on the coarse scale (BSTc layer of the hypothalamus) and fine scale (number of neurons - brain cells - in each structure). Autopsies on transsexual women, that is, women with mostly male bodies, have shown they have female pattern brains.

Note that gay men have male pattern brains though.

From ArzteZeitung this year, detailing studies using fMRT - "brain scans" of living people:

"Radiologists can now confirm what transsexuals report - that they feel “trapped in the wrong body” - on the basis of the activation of the brain when presented with erotic stimuli. There is obviously a biological correlation with the subjective feelings."

So to say that a transsexual woman is "male" is at best a half-truth. The visible parts are. The parts that determine her personality, her gender (since we know that neither chromosomes nor external appearance is reliable), are female.

So anyone can just "say" they are Transsexual, dress up as the opposite sex, right?

Wrong.

To go through gender re-assignment - to modify the body so it fits the brain - a number of hurdles must be crossed.

The first is a full assessment over at least 3 months, sometimes years, by a qualified psych. Then and only then will a formal letter be written authorising an endocrinologist to start the process of hormonally altering the body.

After some time, usually years, enough so that the body is changed enough to look ambiguous, a period of living in the target gender is required. This is at least 1 year, often 2 or more. During this period, the patient must use the correct restroom for their target gender, and also maintain employment. If they break either condition, the period starts over again, and they may be refused treatment altogether.

That's not the end. For a second psych, who must be a post-doctoral specialist in the area, must then review the case and provide yet another letter formally authorising surgery.

This formal procedure, a "best practice" adhered to scrupulously in the USA is at http://wpath.org/Documents2/socv6.pdf.

More data on Intersex conditions is available from the Intersex Society of North America at http://www.isna.org/ , the UK Intersex Association at http://www.ukia.co.uk/ and Organisation Intersex International http://www.intersexualite.org/English_OII/English_OII_index.html

People born with any of these congenital conditions suffer terrible stigma. Most Intersex people can and do hide their condition. Those with "serial hermaphroditism", and those who are transsexual, cannot. They have to endure being confused with Gays, called "perverts", and even subject to violence or arrest. But you knew that. Now you know why though.

I've simplified some things - for example, not *all* of a TS person's brain is cross-gendered. To have the condition, it's only necessary that the bit determining whether the person is a Boy or a Girl is mismatched, and the mismatch has degrees. Usually many parts of the brain are affected, but this varies between individuals. They may also have other Intersex conditions too, not just the neurology is cross-gendered. But sometimes adding details only clouds the issue.

These are Men born with feminine bodies, or Women born with masculine ones. If you think that is perverse, un-natural and wrong, well, so do they. That's why they try to fix the situation, no matter the great cost to themselves. Though as with all Intersex conditions, it's technically not "Un-Natural". Like other congenital conditions, it happens to other species too. It's as natural as Cancer.

December 18, 2007 3:16 AM  
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

10/10 for allowing dissenting comments on the blog.

That's one sure way of determining the intellectually honest on either side of a debate.

I'd be interested in any rebuttal. I'm intersexed BTW, one of the odd serials to whom transition is something that happens, rather than something we do. But psychologically, the same as those who have a choice on the timing, the "normal" transsexual.

Unfortunately the Vatican has been very poorly advised by Dr McHugh, who has not kept up with the medical data over the last 30 years, and hasn't changed his views since 1972. Neither does he subscribe to the peer-reviewed journals on the subject.

December 19, 2007 6:23 AM  

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