Over history, the ACLU has been a fantastic organization for preserving the civil liberties of everyone, particularly those who are oppressed.Update: Coyne writes today, in defense of human sex being binary:
But now they’re going woke, and thereby going downhill. Like the Southern Poverty Law Center, they have decided to get into the social-justice arena—which would be okay except that they are taking positions that are neither reasonable nor supportable. In this case, they’re trying to argue that it’s discriminatory to prohibit biological men who claim that they’re women—”transgender” athletes who have undergone neither surgical nor hormone therapy—from competing in women’s sports. The ACLU has been arguing this for some time (see here), and the motivation behind this are recent instances when men who identify as women, but haven’t undergone hormone treatment or surgery, are beating the pants off women in track events. See this description of a Connecticut race in which two transgender women took first and second place, at least one of which—and probably both—hadn’t begun physical or hormonal transition (see also here).
The shameful part of all this is that the scientific journal Nature, as well as three evolutionary biology/ecology societies, who should know better, made statements or editorials that neither sex nor gender are binary. That’s a flat-out abnegation of both their responsibility and of science itself. Evolution itself produces a binary of sex! To be anthropomorphic, evolution wants a binary of sex.It is amazing that mainstream scientific organization have bought into completely false statements in order to appease a tiny minority of kooks.
A while back, biologists like me were voices crying in the wilderness, for if you say that sex is a binary, you’re liable to be labeled a transphobe. (That’s a foolish slur, for the facts about nature are independent of how we should treat transsexual or other “nonconforming” individuals.)
But now other biologists are speaking up. Two of them, Colin Wright and Emma Hilton, have a sensible column about the sex binary in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (a conservative organ, of course: you’ll never see a claim for a sex binary in Salon or HuffPost, much less the New York Times, which ran an op-ed by Anne Fausto-Sterling denying that sex was binary).