As mentioned in the past, conservatives really have no idea what conservatism is. They get the general idea of staying true to traditional values and resisting modernity, which is a combination of Marxist social liberalism, urbanization, and disposable culture.
Underneath this gut instinct, however, conservatives know little of conservative theory; this happens because conservatism is a folkway, or behavioral framework more like customs or lifestyle than ideology.
They understand that human wishful thinking underlies the failure of all civilizations through class warfare, and counter it with a hard realism plus a sense of needing a transcendental purpose, but as of yet only a few understand that conservatives oppose civil rights.
Civil rights, as you may recall, consist of rights implemented by government in order to make everyone equal. Managers and kindergarten teachers love equality for the same reason that a factor does: line up the parts, do the same thing to them, and churn out a product.
Conservatives on the hand embrace natural rights, or the idea that barring what you must do to maintain civilization, you retain the abilities that you had in nature, namely to stake out some land, set up a source of productivity, and make choices.
Most conservatives do not understand, however, that this means that we violate the biggest ideological shibboleth — token loyalty test — of our time: we do not believe in equality. We see it as not only unnecessary, but misleading.
Natural rights says that instead we have liberty, or that each person seeks their own level within a social order consisting of both vertical hierarchy and horizontal specializations, including niches and different geographic areas.
In the conservative world, it is not weird to say that you want to be the best Christian barber in your town. We have flexible categories, because for us categories are not ideological, or strictly wrong and right. They are descriptive and often overlap.
On the other hand, in the Leftist world, everyone is equal, and so competition for social status is fierce because equal is the new starting point at nothing. You have to work to distinguish yourself instead of being merely accepted as part of an organic community.
For this reason, categories matter because they are all stepping stones along a linear path. Much as Leftist society marches on a line from evil inequality to Utopian equality, people in Leftist societies are known by their function to the Leftist order.
Conservative liberty does not require such a path, and so we see no need to enforce equality, knowing in addition that such enforcement creates absolute powers — those unbounded by correspondence to reality — which naturally lead to tyranny.
For this reason, when we see people who should know better like the disciples of William F. Cuckley over at the National Review endorsing civil rights, we have to shake our heads at this misunderstanding of conservatism:
Conservatives have traditionally been opposed to legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. They have believed that market pressures, changing social views, and sub-federal legislation could adequately address problems of wrongful discrimination, while federal legislation would create potential harms to religious freedom.
We have no such belief. We are not concerned with discrimination at all, since discrimination is part of liberty, and throughout history groups have separated along numerous axes — religion, ethnicity, gender, culture, class, race, sexual orientation — because each group wants to keep its own standards.
We are not part of the great human ego project known as social engineering. We do not seek to change nature; we try to understand it and adapt to it, and then find the method of doing so that turns out for the best.
If conservatives find themselves having trouble unsaddling mandatory transgender acceptance laws, it is because we have not been honest with our audience and the rest of the nation about our beliefs. We do not seek to end discrimination; we seek to preserve it.