It’s a tried and true tactic in successful negotiations: Always start out by asking for more than you actually want to get out of a deal in order to get what you need. That way, you have room to give up some things to the other side to make them feel like you are reaching a compromise while still getting everything you originally wanted. It’s a technique used by everyone from a 3-year-old who asks to eat every cookie in the jar and settles for four to celebrity divorce proceedings where someone gives up the Aspen house and the Miami condo to keep the primary residence in Hollywood. The tactic is most successful when what you are giving up is something you truly do not care about, or do not care about enough to really fight for it.
We have a long-running problem in the march toward LGBT equality. Often in the course of our work to enshrine equality in legislation from the municipal to the federal level, the first thing offered up a compromise at the negotiating table is equal protection for the transgender community.
We absolutely have to stop doing that.
Annise Parker, only the second woman and the first lesbian to be mayor of Houston, pushed an expansive non-discrimination ordinance in her city. Expectedly, it has received significant pushback. One major point of contention for Republicans and church leaders was a paragraph explicitly protecting the right of transgender individuals to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity.