The anti-gay right’s new target: Transgender kids

Most of us who’ve been involved in the fight for gay marriage equality are familiar with the National Organization for Marriage (sic).

Founded in 2007 by Maggie Gallagher and Brian S. Brown, their first attempt to deny civil rights to LGBT Americans was for a Massachusetts constitutional amendment to stop and ban gay marriage in that state. Same sex marriage in Massachusetts had been legal for several years by then. The attempt failed, thankfully.

But that didn’t stop them. In state after state, they’ve fought either to pass gay marriage bans or to rescind marriage rights already granted. In fact, in California in 2008, they spent $1.8m to help pass Prop 8, and lobbied intensively ever since then to keep it from being overturned by the courts.

Maggie Gallagher of NOM, speaking at the Cato Institute

Maggie Gallagher of NOM, speaking at the Cato Institute

Time after time, NOM’s leaders and spokes-haters claim all they care about is marriage, and keeping marriage limited to heterosexuals. However, they’ve been accused on numerous occasions of simply being an anti-gay hate group, pure and simple, and even were identified as such by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2010.

This past summer, California passed an education bill, the School Success and Opportunity Act (SSOA)

(M)aking it clear that California public schools have a responsibility to ensure that all of their students—regardless of their gender identity—can access school-based resources. While several of California’s largest school districts had already adopted gender-inclusive policies prior to the bill’s passage, many of the state’s nearly 1,000 school districts unfairly separated transgender students from their peers or required them to enroll in and attend classes that conflicted with their gender identity. The SSOA clarifies the state’s existing nondiscrimination law and protects some of the most vulnerable members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, community.

Guess who has decided this must not be allowed to stand? Why, the National Organization for Marriage, of course!

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An effort to overturn a new law allowing transgender students to choose which school restrooms they use and whether to play boys or girls sports got a boost Friday when a major player in the passage of California’s now-defunct same-sex marriage ban threw its support behind the campaign.

The National Organization for Marriage announced it was working with another conservative group, the Capitol Resource Institute, to repeal the law at the ballot box. The marriage group provided early fundraising and organizing for the 2008 ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriages, known as Proposition 8.

Last I checked, you could not possibly get further away from the idea of “marriage” — nor offer more proof of being nothing more or less than an anti-LGBT hate group. I mean, really — what’s the harm in letting a kid use a restroom appropriate to his or her presented gender? Or, for example, ensuring that a transgender boy or girl has a chance to compete on sports teams with the rest of the boys or girls?

I mean, really, the one thing opposition to gay marriage equality rights and seeking to overturn a transgender rights law have in common is obvious: Animus for LGBT folks, period.


Published professional writer and poet, Becca had a three decade career in technical writing and consulting before selling off most of her possessions in 2006 to go live at an ashram in India for 3 years. She loves literature (especially science fiction), technology and science, progressive politics, cool electronic gadgets, and perfecting Hatch green chile recipes. Fortunately for this last, Becca and her wife currently live in New Mexico. @BeccaMorn

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