A Texas-Sized Dilemma for Conservatives

How can you befuddle Texas conservatives? Make them choose between banning transgender bathrooms and the NFL. That’s the strategy taken recently by the Texas Association of Business.

Here’s what we know: Texas is mulling over its own version of a transgender bathroom bill. The bill would require students in public schools to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender they were assigned at birth. So, in other words, if I were identified as a male when I was born, but when I was fifteen I identified as female, I would legally be compelled to use the boys’ bathroom at my public high school.

According to the Dallas Morning News, business groups in Texas are alarmed. They look at the fallout in states such as North Carolina, where a similar bathroom bill led to billions of dollars in lost business. The Texas Association of Business ran an ad in the Dallas area, warning that the National Football League would pull its draft ceremony out of Texas if the bill passes.

It’s not an idle threat. The NFL has officially opposed “discriminatory” legislation. As an NFL spokesman put it,

If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events.

For conservative Texans, the choice might be a tough one. They might want to affirm their devotion to traditional notions about gender. But they also want to host the NFL draft.

Now, as SAGLRROILYBYGTH know, I’m firmly in favor of transgender rights. But if I weren’t—if I were a conservative type wondering if the Benedict Option was right for me—I would take this sort of announcement from the NFL as stark evidence that I had lost the fight over the meaning of gender.

If the NFL, home to scantily clad cheerleaders, ass-kickin’ macho men, Blue-Angels flyovers, and Hank Williams Jr….if the NFL considers gender traditionalism to be “discriminatory,” then it does indeed seem that conservatives have lost the fight on this one.

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