New transgender requirements of police a P.C. nightmare (Opinion)
Have you heard the one about the attorney general giving new rules on how cops must deal with members of the LGBTQ community? I wish this were a joke but it’s not.
There are a lot of moving parts to this, but just some of the new policy is that officers must refer to people by their preferred pronouns and preferred names. They must undergo mandatory training to learn the difference between transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary. See the full rundown here.
It’s called the LGBTQ Equality Directive and it’s meant to address police interaction with the state’s more than 34,000 transgender residents. “No one should be afraid about interacting with police because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Wednesday. “That is why our law enforcement community, which proudly includes LGBTQ officers among our ranks, is committed to building trust with our LGBTQ residents.”
One thing of many the directive disallows police from doing is asking about a person’s anatomy unless it necessary for an investigation. Doesn’t the soundness of this rule completely depend on how they will define ‘investigation?’ Will the routine questioning involved in a typical traffic stop be considered not an investigation? If so, what happens when a driver’s license is presented featuring a male driver yet the driver of the car clearly appears female? Is the officer not allowed to inquire why the driver doesn’t appear to be the person in the photo? Will that question alone run afoul of this new politically correct directive?
Cops also will be handcuffed from revealing the person’s gender identity unless there is a “proper law enforcement purpose” in doing so. Is determining which jail to lock up a suspect something that could risk revealing their gender identity? Take a person who is anatomically female but dresses, lives, and identifies as a man. Is housing them in the female facility revealing their gender identity? Should they risk the suspect being raped by housing the female in the men’s facility to prevent revealing their gender identity? Or will making that determination be covered under proper law enforcement purpose?
Once at a police station officers won’t be able to deny a transgender person access to items like prosthetics and wigs. So belts can be taken to prevent hanging attempts but a long wig must be allowed even if it could be fashioned into a similar deadly device?
LGBTQ people absolutely deserve respect. But this directive may have put political correctness above common sense. The devil will be in the details.
More from New Jersey 101.5