The National Organization for Marriage announced today that it is a full-fledged supporter of the effort to repeal a new law in California that protects transgender students. The law assures that they can fully participate in school activities and use school facilities in accordance with their gender identity.
The “Privacy For All Students” Claim
The repeal effort’s very name is a lie, because the law is meant to protect the privacy of transgender students. Rather than forcing them to use special accommodations or “prove” their gender, AB 1266 ensures that trans students can fully integrate by respecting the gender with which they identify.
The “No Evidence” For Gender Identity Claim
NOM claims the law is dangerous because students will have to provide “no evidence” of their gender identity:
The new law is so poorly drafted that the student claiming a gender identity opposite his or her actual gender needs no evidence that he or she actually identifies with the opposite gender. There is no requirement that the person have ever presented himself or herself at school or home as the opposite gender. There’s no requirement for a medical or professional evaluation. And there is no requirement that the student’s parents be involved in the decision. The law is wide open for abuse.
This claim ignores the very definition of gender identity and rejects the lived experience of transgender people. Gender identity is not a switch that individuals flip, it is an enduring aspect of who a person is every day of their lives. Any individual who claims a false gender identity just to infiltrate a facility isn’t really claiming a gender identity, so abuse is just as easy to control as it was before this guarantee of inclusion for transgender students.
The False Claim Of Protecting Transgender Students
Despite calling the law “madness” and “outrageous,” NOM claims that it’s hoping to protect transgender students:
The bill is so badly written it may actually deprive transgender students of access to targeted strategies to help them, including offering access to gender-neutral single-stall restrooms, access to faculty facilities and other strategies tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual student. Instead, the transgender student is forced into a one-size-fits all process pushed by agenda political activists.
This is a patently untrue. Every student’s transition will be different and may have different needs for the safety and privacy of that student. There is nothing “depriving” schools of using gender-neutral restrooms or other solutions to ensure that transgender students have access to appropriate facilities. The purpose of the law is to guarantee that trans students aren’t ostracized by being forced to use such alternatives instead of being allowed to use the restroom of the gender with which they identify. Given that opponents of these protections assert that only biological sex matters, it’s clear who is really trying to force these students into a “one-size-fits-all process.”
The “We Are All Children Of God” Claim
NOM doesn’t try to hide the fact that religious beliefs are somehow influencing their opposition to inclusive policies for transgender students:
God made society to be male and female because men and women are complementary, and the union of men and women is the only union that can create new life. There’s no question that children thrive when they receive the love of both genders, beginning with a mother and a father. Yet some children suffer from gender confusion and deal with powerful emotions that draw them to identify with the opposite gender. Those kids deserve our support and love — we are all children of God — and certainly no child should be subjected to discrimination or bullying. But California already protects children from bullying based on gender identification. This new co-ed shower and bathroom law is about agenda politics, not helping kids.
Have a trans gender identity is not “confusion”; it’s diversity. Discriminating against what facilities and resources trans students can access is a form of institutional bullying. Rejecting a student’s identity is not “support and love.”
A Betrayal Of NOM’s Donors
NOM’s mission statement explains that it “aims to defend marriage as the union of one man & one woman, and protect the faith communities that sustain it.” Nothing about discriminating against transgender students has anything to do with marriage nor faith communities. Thus, NOM is now bearing false witness when it tells potential donors that their gifts will be used to “support efforts to protect marriage across the country.”
After a pretty significant losing streak on marriage, NOM is now jumping ship on its mission, proving that it’s just another anti-LGBT organization that will sink to any low.