Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Politics & Policy

Second conservative Christian group in California pushing fabricated Trans harassment story
By Brody Levesque | TEMECULA -- As the battle over California's recently enacted law to protect the state's Trans students gets uglier, a Trans blogger has announced Tuesday that she has caught another conservative Christian group spreading a second "fabricated" story about restroom harassment on school grounds. Cristan Williams investigated a claim by Salt and Light Ministry- a division of Calvary Chapel Bible Fellowship in Temecula, CA- that a trans female student harassed other female students in a Los Angeles area public school bathroom.
Williams contacted the Los Angeles Unified School District offices to fact check and verify the complaint and was told by a spokesperson that that no such incident had occurred.
"They did get the complaint" reported a spokesperson for the school district said, “and it turned out that it was fabricated by one of the parents who opposes transgender students in schools. So it was an unfortunate situation, to have to put the students through, but it was fabricated.”
The Houston, Texas based Williams had decided to verify the story after a report last week appeared on San Diego television station channel 10's website in which Dran Reese, Founder and President of SLC, relayed the allegations.
The Salt and Light Council group had joined with Liberty Counsel in September as part of Liberty Counsel's Pastors and Patriots initiative and is also a part of the coalition including Pacific Justice Institute of Sacramento, which is opposed to the state’s equal access laws for transgender students. Assembly Bill 1266 was signed into law in August by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown and stipulates that transgender students cannot be forced by school or other officials to use sex segregated facilities — like bathrooms or locker rooms — that do not correspond to their expressed gender.
The Pacific Justice Institute, an anti-LGBT group that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a hate group, had spread an earlier story about a transgender girl harassing students in a girls’ bathroom in a high school near Florence, Colorado, which was similarly disproved after officials in that school pointed out that they had received no complaints from students and only a couple of parents had complained.
Williams — who is transgender herself — pointed out that the coalition is employing tactics of false, transphobic smears in an attempt to repeal the anti-discrimination law.
The coalition of anti-LGBT groups calling itself “Privacy for All Students” has circulated 200,000 anti-trans petitions throughout California. Their goal is to collect 505,000 valid signatures by November 12, 2013. If they collect those signatures, it will stop the trans equality law from taking effect in January and put the civil rights of trans kids up for popular vote in November 2014.