Gary Hubbell: The Redneck Tree-hugger | AspenTimes.com
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Gary Hubbell: The Redneck Tree-hugger

About a year ago, I gave up my self-imposed vow of poverty as a wilderness guide and got my real estate license. There are those who think I “went over to the dark side,” but I’ve made an ethical promise to myself not to participate in any development or subdivision schemes. I broker ranches to people who want to keep land green and unspoiled.

So the other day, when I got a call from a fellow in Texas, I got a little excited. I was out cutting hay, but the message went like this: “Gary, I was on your website and really liked what I saw. I’m bringing my company public, and I’d like to buy a corporate retreat in Colorado, something between 1,000 and 2,000 acres. Please get back to me.”

Any real estate agent can tell you that’s the kind of phone call we all are waiting for. We’re talking a $10 million property here, and I know plenty of them that would be a great fit.

However, when I called the man back, I got disturbing news. “Do you know what Senate Bill 200 is?” he said. I read the newspaper and I keep track of what’s going on, but I was unfamiliar with the official nomenclature for a something that didn’t sound good. “Enlighten me,” I said.

“SB 200 is a bill that your Governor Ritter just signed into law that bans gender-specific restrooms and locker rooms in any public place all across the state. I can’t bring my daughters and my employees to Colorado. What if my daughters are using the restroom in DIA and some pervert walks in there, wagging his weenie? No way, buddy. No way.”

He went on to explain his feelings about Colorado. “I’ve been skiing in Aspen. I’ve been archery hunting for elk on the Grand Mesa. I’ve seen Mesa Verde and the Great Sand Dunes. I love Colorado. It’s a wonderful state. But until there’s some common sense with your legislators, I’m not coming back.”

It’s hard to argue with the man’s logic, as remote as the chances might be of his daughters encountering a pervert in a restroom. If you listen to the Democrats who passed this bill, their stories conflict. On one side, it’s a common-sense cost-saving measure that eliminates the state requirement that there be two gender-specific restrooms for every out-of-the-way public accommodation, such as a church basement meeting room, a small town hall or a campground.

Plumbing and restrooms are expensive, and there’s no reason we can’t all share a restroom, is there?

But that’s not how the law reads. The bill was sponsored by the only openly gay member of the Colorado legislature, and its language bars discrimination against transgender people. It doesn’t include language that says “in little towns where we want to save money, one person at a time of either gender can go into a small restroom.” The politics of this measure stink to high heaven. A Democratic legislature passed this bill to appease a vocal minority of gay activists ” and wealthy and generous gay donors ” immediately prior to the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

SB 200 makes every restroom and locker room all across the state gender-neutral, particularly to accommodate transgender people. So what does that mean?

If Jimmy really feels like Jeannie, then he/she shouldn’t be forced to endure the embarrassment of hiking up his/her dress to stand up to piss with all the other guys? Jimmy should be able to dress like Jeannie and be allowed to squat with all the other girls, and no one should comment or scream and point fingers and demand an arrest when they notice the 5 o’clock shadow emerging under the pancake make-up. We should be enlightened enough to accommodate that poor confused person, because we’re politically correct in the great state of Colorado.

Well, there’s a problem with this. Nobody’s handing out certificates saying “This person is transgender.” People can’t even agree on a definition of the word. Let me help. My dictionary defines the word perversion as “deviating from what is considered right or good; wrong, improper, corrupt, wicked.”

In our ongoing freak show where there are no rules or borders anymore, this law would allow any man (parent, coach, teenage boy or random dude off the street) to sashay into a girls’ locker room and claim a little bit of gender confusion instead of architectural confusion. SB 200 doesn’t require a pervert to be dressed like a woman, discovering his inner female self, to walk into a women’s restroom.

And before anyone starts attacking me and calling me “anti-gay,” let me be clear: This has nothing to do with gay people. Personally, I’ve watched a close friend of mine struggle with “coming out of the closet” and I know how difficult that process was for him. I’ve been one of a half-dozen or so straight people at the base of Aspen Mountain, photographing the drag contest for Gay Ski Week, surrounded by more than 4,000 gay people having a great time. I had a good time, too, and a lot of laughs.

Even in that environment, I didn’t notice anyone having trouble finding an appropriate restroom. Is it too much to ask that someone who is really struggling with their sexual identity to keep a lid on it long enough to find a restroom that matches their physical equipment?

Meanwhile, Focus on the Family is gearing up a radio campaign and other advertising efforts against Colorado and SB 200, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a national movement to boycott Colorado ski vacations, summer trips, autumn hunting trips, and other visits to Colorado. The problem is that it won’t cost gay activists and Democratic legislators anything. It will cost lodge owners, hunting outfitters, rafting guides, ski instructors, and other people who know how to find the correct restroom for their gender.


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