Last week California Governor Jerry Brown signed bill AB1266 into law and by doing so, became the first state to enact a transgender rights law for public schools. Under the new law, K-12 transgender students may participate in either boy or girl sports and use whichever bathroom or locker room they choose according to their gender identity. Supporters of the law are thrilled and believe that it will help reduce bullying and discrimination against the vulnerable transgender students. Conservative groups, however, believe that it violates the rights and privacy of all the other students in California. In fact, one Republican lawmaker went to extreme lengths to ‘protect’ his kids from the evil transgender students:
In an opinion piece called “Transgender Restroom Law Humiliates The 98%,” written for the far-right website WND, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly expressed his disdain for the law.
“Allowing teenage boys and girls in the same locker room, showering side by side, is a bad idea. In fact, AB 1266 is a recipe for disaster.
“This will take the normal hormonal battles raging inside every teenager and pour gasoline onto those simmering coals. The right to privacy enjoyed by every student will be replaced by the right to be ogled.”
The very idea that transgender students plan on going into the restroom or locker room of the sex they identify with to ‘ogle’ them is asinine and ignorant. That is a variation of the homophobic “oh no, the gay guy is going to feel me up” line of thinking. It is stupid! These kids want to blend in not stand out. The very last thing they are going to do is go into the restroom and harass the gender they identify with. Do girls go into the girls restroom just to ‘ogle’ the other girls? Absolutely not, and it is the exact same thing. The only person ‘pouring gasoline onto simmering coals’ is Donnelly; he is fueling the flames of ignorance and he doesn’t stop with that statement.
“No one seems to be able to explain how this new law helps anyone, and opposition is hitting its pinnacle as many parents are just finding out about it. My 13- and 16-year-old boys were horrified at the idea of sharing a bathroom and locker room with a member of the opposite sex, after having discussed AB 1266 with them.
“While trying to address a concern of less than 2 percent of the population, California is now forcibly violating the rights of the other 98 percent. Many of the parents I have heard from within the last few days have literally pulled their kids out of public schools and have enrolled them in homeschool and private school programs. My boys, who went back to the public school after many years away, will not be returning.”
Well, actually, Mr. Donnelly, plenty of people have explained how this law helps. Stonewall Alliance Center Program Coordinator, Aydin Kennedy, explained exactly who the new law helps:
“The most vulnerable people in the community are the youth and trans youth, 50% of them will commit suicide, that’s terrifying,” said Kennedy,”Kids are not graduating because they don’t get their P.E. credits, because they can’t safely go into the locker room. They get beat up and we don’t think about what the bigger picture is.” [Source]
So it helps the most vulnerable of all the students? Kids with an enormously high rate of suicide? Kids who just want to fit in and be accepted and loved? That’s good enough to my way of thinking.
Donnelly also says that he and other parents are going to be pulling their kids out of school because of this law. Well, that’s their prerogative. If they would like to teach their kids to be hateful, ignorant, intolerant assholes it is their right as parents, but they probably aren’t going to get very far in life. We are becoming a much more tolerant society and there is no place for bigots in it.
Donnelly goes on to make one more idiotic statement and then asks a bunch of questions that have actually already been answered if he took even a second to research before spouting off nonsense. Of course, expecting a Republican to actually educate themselves on a matter and not just make up stuff is like expecting a unicorn to make you coffee in the morning.
“Ironically, the same politicians who want to end discrimination have actually discriminated against the majority of people who are uncomfortable with the provisions of AB 1266.
“Some of my most pressing questions are: What are the long-term repercussions of this measure? Will some kids be too embarrassed to use the bathroom or locker rooms, knowing that a member of the opposite sex could enter any time? Could this create unneeded anxiety with students, creating a massive learning distraction? Will creating gender neutral facilities increase the likelihood of a sexual assault on campus?”
Ahhhhh… the typical right-wing nonsense that the people fighting against discrimination are actually the discriminators. “You yelled at me for saying spic? Well, you’re the racist for yelling at me for being racist!” Da’fuq?! I’ve actually heard that line so many times I just chuckle, roll my eyes and move on.
As for the rest of his rambling questions, all he has to do is take a look at the state’s largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, for answers. That district has had the same laws for more than a decade and so far, so good. There have not been any complaints. San Francisco also has a similar law and no complaints there either.
So, the only thing Mr. Donnelly has done is show that he is an ignorant idiot who is teaching his kids to also be ignorant idiots. He is ranting and raving about a law that has proven successful in other parts of the state. His opinion piece only further proves that bigotry and intolerance are so ingrained in the Republican ideology that they will ignore all facts to keep it alive. That is exactly why their party is dying a slow and gratifying death.