Here is columnist Leonard Pitts’ advice (June 1) to a woman who encounters a transgender female, but physically intact male, in her locker room: “Relax. You have nothing to worry about.”

That’s comforting to know, but the matter isn’t as simple as Pitts makes it sound.

Pitts is right that “left to their own devices, good people usually find ways to figure this sort of stuff out … .” And they were figuring it out until the federal government big-footed its way into the debate.

Most Americans are sympathetic to the physical and psychological dilemmas that transgender individuals face. What they object to is having social and moral standards crammed down their throats by an unelected and largely unaccountable bureaucracy whose one-size-fits-all mandates make compromises and accommodations that fit individual cases and local needs irrelevant.

This is what happens when every progressive social goal is elevated to the level of a civil right that was never contemplated by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, much less the Constitution.

And it adds insult to injury for the nation’s attorney general to tell those who object to federal bathroom rules that their discomfort doesn’t matter, and to foolishly compare today’s debates about transgender accommodations to the Jim Crow era of racial inequity.

Welcome to the progressive culture and soft tyranny of the nanny state in which identity politics is the fashion, the natural evolution of social norms is never fast enough and respect for unfashionable things like privacy, modesty and traditional customs becomes bigotry and discrimination.