California’s new law protecting transgender students is an important milestone for creating inclusive schools, but media reports unfortunately included the reactions of many anti-LGBT groups. Here’s a look at what they had to say:
- California Catholic Conference: “Inevitably, some mischievous or malicious individuals will use this sweeping policy change as an opportunity to disrupt school settings for the purpose of intimidating others, exactly the behavior we wish to address.”
- Traditional Values Coalition: The law will “encourage youth as young as 5 years old to question their sex and gender.”
- Capitol Resource Institute: “The answer is not to force something this radical on every single grade in California… What about the right to privacy of a junior high school girl wanting to go to the bathroom and having some privacy, or after PE showering and having to worry about being in the locker room with a boy?”
- Pacific Justice Institute: “We at Pacific Justice Institute stand ready and willing to defend anyone who will be victimized as a result of this new law. That includes someone whose privacy rights are violated in the bathroom, in the locker room, in the showers, or someone who is prevented from playing on a sports team because someone from the opposite gender took their place.”
- Save California: “Gov. Jerry Brown has again attacked the sensibilities of parents and the innocence of children by signing AB1266 into law to erase natural gender distinctions in government schools.”
- Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R): “I am very disappointed in Governor Brown’s decision. Not only did his choice to sign this bill ignore the voices of many California citizens, it also greatly compromised the privacy and rights of students throughout California.”
The Pacific Justice Institute, in particular, is already fishing for litigants to challenge the law, though it’s unclear whose rights could actually be violated under the law, or what those rights would be.
What many of these groups and individuals refuse to accept is that transgender youth are the same gender as their counterparts; they just happen to be trans. Thus, a trans boy on a boys’ sports team is still a boy on a boys’ team. There is rarely any confusion involved at all despite what these groups imply; young trans people have proven to be quite sure of their gender — it just doesn’t match their sex. The confusion belongs only to adults who do not understand or respect the phenomenon of such identities.
Finally, trans students will be guaranteed that they can use the same facilities and participate in the same activities as everybody else. Anyone who objects to that full inclusion will have to demonstrate that they are not simply transphobic.
The National Organization for Marriage’s Frank Schubert offered his own screed condemning the California law. Drawing a false comparison between gender identity and ethnicity, he concludes, “The truth, however, is that there is no such thing as ‘gender identity’ any more than there is ‘ethnic identity.’ There is only gender.”