Op-ed by Michael Vaughn –
Some of you may or may not be familiar with an incident that has played out in Albany concerning a travel ban that Governor Cuomo issued concerning the state of North Carolina. In 2016, North Carolina was at the center of a debate over whether to allow people to use the public bathrooms of the gender they identify with. In other words, if someone is a woman and identifies as a man should she be able to use the men’s bathroom? If a man identifies as a woman, should he be able to use the women’s bathroom?
North Carolina stated that an individual needed to use the bathroom of the sex they were assigned at birth; seems reasonable. However, if someone had undergone “sex reassignment surgery” (in quotes because you can change the outside, but your DNA and who God made you will not change!), they could get their birth certificate altered and they could use the bathroom of their “new” gender. Our governor decided that he did not like the stance that North Carolina had taken and decided that he did not want to do business with the state of North Carolina and issued a travel ban for state related business and state employees to North Carolina.
Here in 2019, members of the swim team from SUNY colleges qualified to compete for a national title and the meet was being held in North Carolina. However, the governor has decided that because of the travel ban, the state will not pay for travel to North Carolina for these athletes who have worked hard to get where they are and just want to compete in the national meet,.
This is unfortunate and shows how our governor has gotten out of his lane and is causing tremendous grief for a group of athletes that just want to compete!
Some would say that grief is caused by people who identify as a different sex from what is on their birth certificate because of the North Carolina law; I’d say that the analogy is not the same. There are bathrooms that are single occupancy and open to male and female. Someone that identifies as a gender other than what is on their birth certificate can use that bathroom. If there are none of these restrooms available, they can go ahead and use the bathroom of their God-given gender.
For many of these students this is the one shot they have to participate at this level. It should not be taken away from them because out governor is power hungry and catering to a base that is completely being unreasonable regarding this issue.
Some also would say that this issue is analogous to how African-Americans were not able to use public restrooms in our history. Again, I say this is not the same. One doesn’t “identify” as an African-American, we are born African-American. Because God doesn’t make mistakes, I do not believe that someone born a male is supposed to be a female or vice versa. So, if you are born a female, you are meant to be a female. If you are born a male, you are meant to be a male. If you are born African-American, you are meant to be African-American.
One consistent thing about Governor Cuomo is that he is a horrible leader! He has a mentality that it is his way or the highway. He doesn’t realize that he is an elected leader of the Empire State. Not the Emperor of the State!
What he has done in his edict based on a bathroom discussion to these athletes just shows arrogance and a disregard for what these young folks have worked so hard to obtain. Long after this meet is over, these young people will have a memory of how they were treated by their governor because of an issue that he strayed out of his lane to become involved in. However, when you think you are invincible, it is hard for you to realize what lane you are supposed to run in!
Rev. Michael Vaughn currently serves as senior pastor at New Wineskin Church in Rochester. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)