COLUMBUS, Ohio (LifeSiteNews) — There is no right within Ohio or federal law for gender-confused individuals to use whatever bathroom they want, the state’s attorney general concluded recently in a legal analysis.
Attorney General Dave Yost released a 26-page legal opinion in response to a question by Greene County Prosecuting Attorney David Hayes. Legal opinions are not binding but provide interpretation for government entities.
Part of the question revolved around the interpretation of the 2020 Bostock v. Clayton County decision, authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, which read into Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protections for “gender identity” and gender-confused individuals.
Yost notes that “the Court expressly refused to consider whether policies and practices relating to bathrooms, locker rooms, or dress codes qualify as unlawful discrimination based upon sex.”
The attorney general refuted the claim by the state’s Civil Rights Commission that Bostock required the commission to issue a ruling that all bathrooms and locker rooms had to be open to gender-confused individuals on the basis of their declared sex. Yet “the Commission’s announcement contains no legal reasoning supporting its conclusion [and] that interpretation ought not be given any weight,” Yost concluded.
“Providing separate bathrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms for the separate sexes does not violate the right that [state law] confers,” Yost wrote. “To the contrary, separating the sexes in these private areas helps ensure that no one is, on the basis of sex, denied the full enjoyment of public accommodations.”
Shortly after providing relevant citations to back up his arguments, Yost noted that the law’s protections primarily benefit women. “This interest in maintaining privacy from people of the opposite sex applies without regard to their gender identities.”
“That privacy interest is, if anything, heightened in modern times, as technological advances have made it easier for voyeurs, child pornographers, and others to inconspicuously invade the privacy of others,” he wrote. “And these improper acts skew toward males.”
He continued to write that “allowing men to share bathrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms with women increases the ease with which biological males – most especially men who identify as men – can victimize women and girls. After all, if bathrooms are not separated by sex, other wise-concerned observers are less likely to think twice, or to intervene, when a man enters a women’s room.”
“Thus, entities that fail to segregate the sexes with respect to communal bathrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms potentially expose patrons to increased risk,” the attorney general wrote.
He noted the high-profile case of a cross-dressing Virginia male student who entered a women’s bathroom and sexually assaulted a female student on two separate occasions in two different schools.
The push to open female locker rooms and bathrooms comes from leftist advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The ACLU and its Ohio affiliate have filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit to force a public school district, and by extension impose a statewide requirement, to allow gender-confused men to enter women’s bathrooms in a public school district.
Legislation has also been introduced to require students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their actual, not imagined, sex.
“No school shall permit a member of the female biological sex to use a student restroom, locker room, changing room, or shower room that has been designated by the school for the exclusive use of the male biological sex,” the bill states. “No school shall permit a member of the male biological sex to use a student restroom, locker room, changing room, or shower room that has been designated by the school for the exclusive use of the female biological sex.”
“I hear from superintendents. I hear from schools,” Ohio State Rep. Adam Bird, the bill’s co-sponsor, said. “They’re truly distressed over feeling like they’re required to allow boys in the girls’ restroom and vice versa. It feels like the time is right.”