By Ben Edwards and Suzanne Snyder
Many arguments have been presented as to why Prop 1 should be rejected, but there is one important argument missing: government would have no right to do this. If we truly consider individual liberty to be the reigning virtue of this country, then we need to understand that government does not have a right to penalize an individual’s decision, so long as that decision does not infringe on another’s life, liberty, or property. In other words, you are free to be who you want, love who you want, and do what you want; just don’t hurt anyone else. A transgender individual’s decision to use a public facility consistent with their identity is not a threat to anyone else’s life, liberty, or property. Therefore, government would be unjust to penalize their decision to do so.
We do not penalize innocent people because we can imagine them committing a crime. Only when they do commit a crime, or overwhelming evidence suggests that they intend to commit a crime, is government justified to intervene. Americans made this mistake prior to the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, when southern governments segregated bathrooms because they could imagine the horror of black men assaulting white women. Today, we can see parallels with how some people disparage the transgender community as mere criminals in disguise.
Real conservatism, as we understand it, is founded on the beautiful philosophy of mind-your-own-damn-business. Anchorage should not err when it comes to individual liberty. Anchorage should vote “no” on Prop 1.