In a win for families and small businesses, the Parkersburg, West Virginia, City Council rejected an ordinance that would have violated the privacy rights of moms and daughters. The ordinance would have created special rights to four new classes, including “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
If passed, the privacy and safety of Parkersburg’s women and girls would no longer have been protected, as any male willing to assert that he “identifies as female” would have had free access to girls’ restrooms, locker rooms and showers. In addition, Christian employers would have been open to lawsuits over hiring practices.
But families and business owners arrived four hours early and filled the chamber. Then they boldly shared their concerns with the council. Allen Whitt with our ally Family Policy Council of West Virginia was actively engaged in helping city leaders understand the issue.
“The message: Our third biggest city is on to you,” he explained. “We know the truth about SOGIs, and we courageously move to protect privacy, and defend businesses against the intentionally vague ordinance.”
After the vote, he heard an activist yell “I hope you die early!” at a Democrat council member who voted for women’s safety.
While the defeat of the ordinance is good news for the people of Parkersburg, the vote reminds us that people in cities large and small are wrestling with such laws and ordinances. State battles have garnered much attention, like in South Carolina and Texas, making it easy to forget city-councils are often at the front-lines of promoting a nation where God is honored.
Scottsdale, Arizona, is another city where a stand for truth is taking place at city hall. A small group of activists are trying to stop the city from partnering with a charter school to build a park and athletic facilities that would be open to the public. The reason: The school maintains that boys are boys and girls are girls.
The local level is where we can be most effective in protecting our families, schools, and small businesses. Let’s continue to stand together for liberty and truth both in the state house and city hall.
Ask Me First is a place to hear the stories of women and girls who have been affected by these misguided ordinances. And we invite you to share your own story.
Our allies at Alaska Family Action celebrated a huge success recently by gathering enough signatures to put a “bathroom-privacy” initiative on the 2018 ballot. The measure—originally named the Protecting Our Privacy Initiative—would protect the dignity, safety and privacy of women and girls in showers, restrooms and locker rooms by requiring intimate spaces to be segregated by biological sex as determined at birth rather than how individuals “identify.”
Supporters of the Protect Our Privacy initiative gathered close to 8,500 signatures — thousands more than the number required to certify a place on the 2018 ballot.
The ballot measure aims to blunt one of the many dangerous effects of a so-called nondiscrimination ordinance passed by the city of Anchorage almost two years ago that included “gender identity” as a protected class. The ordinance allows boys and men who identify as transgender to use women’s restrooms and other facilities designated only for females.
“That’s obviously a huge privacy and safety issue for women and girls,” said Jim Minnery, executive director of Alaska Family Action, one of Family Policy Alliance’s state-based allies. “Everyone is made in the image of God and should be respected and loved but not everyone should have access to any intimate space they want because of how they feel. It’s common sense.”
The Human Rights Campaign says there are more than 100 cities in the U.S. that have similar “public accommodation” ordinances that allow men who identify as transgender to use women’s bathrooms. That means privacy measures to protect women and girls—like the one championed by Alaska Family Action—are needed now more than ever.
Minnery said despite facing marked opposition from transgender-activists who threatened and harassed their signature gatherers, the effort enjoyed a large and ethnically-diverse coalition of support from people and churches across Anchorage.
If passed, the privacy initiative would protect against, for example, a boy using the girls’ locker room at a sporting event. Don’t think that could happen? Check out this Ask Me First video about how Alaska girls already were forced to compete against a young man who says he identifies as female in the 2016 girls state track competition.
Voters will have a chance to approve the privacy measure in April 2018. Congratulations to Jim and the entire Alaska Family Action team!
How wrong does something have to be in order to be opposed by a Christian conservative group and a self-described radical feminist organization? President Obama’s misguided push to open girls’ locker rooms and showers to boys is just that ridiculous.
Kara Dansky, is Board Chair of Women’s Liberation Front, known as WoLF. Even though we disagree on many other issues, we found common ground on this one. The attorney sat down with us to explain why Obama’s “bathroom mandate” is dangerous from her point of view. We think you’ll find her comments insightful.
You can learn more about our project and share your story at AskMeFirstPlease.com.
Most moms and daughters would agree that boys in public schools do not belong in girls’ restrooms and locker rooms – and vice versa. And now the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether common sense will prevail over President Obama’s misguided activism.
A school district in Gloucester County, Virginia, turned down a female student’s request to use the boys’ restrooms. The student says she identifies as a boy, and, under controversial new guidelines from the Department of Education, being willing to say so is all it takes.
The state chapter of the ACLU sued on behalf of the girl. A federal appeals court ruled against the school district. Recently, the nation’s highest court added the case to its list.
“Schools have a duty to protect the privacy and safety of all students,” according to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Gary McCaleb. “In light of the right to bodily privacy, federal law should not be twisted to require that a male be given access to the girls’ facilities, or a female to the boys’ facilities.”
ADF filed a brief supporting the school district on behalf of nearly 9,000 parents, students, grandparents and members of the community, as well as more than 40 state family policy councils.
We know it’s possible to stop the so-called bathroom mandate. A similar effort in Pennsylvania successfully was pushed back, thanks in part to the efforts of Pennsylvania Family Council. The group collected petitions, coordinated phone calls and held a public rally.
“I’m a mom of three young girls,” said Carla D’Addesi, a spokeswoman for the Defend My Privacy Coalition. “I want to make sure that my children’s expectation of privacy and their safety is not being infringed upon.”
Family Policy Alliance launched the “Ask Me First” project to equip families across America with resources to help them stand up for their moms and daughters. We encourage you to view the real-life stories, and even share your own at AskMeFirstPlease.com
More than 8,900 students, parents and community members have signed on to a friend-of-the-court brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold student privacy and safety.
The document concerns the Gloucester County School Board in Virginia. A female student there is asking to use the boys restrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities.
“Schools have a duty to protect the privacy and safety of all students,” said Gary McCaleb, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed the brief. “Decades of court decisions have established that, in light of the right of bodily privacy, no law grants opposite-sex persons access to single-sex facilities, where the interest in privacy is obviously strongest and bodily exposure is so common.”
President Obama decreed that school districts across the nation must open the most private of facilities to anyone of either sex, by redefining the terms of Title IX in federal law. The Supreme Court has put a hold on that edict pending outcome of this case.
“Title IX’s regulations specifically authorize schools to have separate restrooms and locker rooms for boys and girls,” said Matt Sharp with ADF. “The policy accommodates students who aren’t comfortable using facilities designated for their biological sex without neglecting the established right of children to bodily privacy and safety.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn how you can speak up on the bathroom issue. Check out “Ask Me First!”
A federal district court judge says the Obama Administration does not have the authority to interpret Title IX law and that the push to include biological males in girl’s restrooms, locker rooms and even sports teams must cease while a lawsuit moves forward.
Autumn Leva, director of policy for Family Policy Alliance, tells us why it’s an encouraging ruling and what you can do to stand for the privacy and safety of women and children.
You can learn more about our Ask Me First project here.
The push to allow men access to women’s showers, locker rooms and restrooms has provoked an outcry from those most affected – women and children using those facilities.
Family Policy Alliance is answering those concerns by launching the Ask Me First campaign. The goal is to allow a forum for women and children to tell their stories and to encourage lawmakers and elected officials to ask first before they infringe on basic rights.
You can learn more by going to askmefirstplease.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read more at The Daily Signal.