Mother Of Transphobic Smear Campaign Target Defends Daughter

Several conservative media outlets, including Fox News and the Christian Broadcasting Network, have reported that a transgender student in a Colorado high school has been harassing other girls in the locker room and restrooms, citing claims made by the anti-LGBT Pacific Justice Institute (PJI).

However, the school never found any verified cases of harassment.

As it turns out, the PJI never found any cases of harassment either, but simply considers the use of a women’s restroom by a transgender girl to be “inherently intimidating and harassing.”

The Transadvocate reports that the mother of the transgender student, who for privacy reasons is referred to as “Jane Doe,” is now speaking out about how the PJI is trying use the bogus story to paint her daughter as a sexual predator in order to boost its campaign to repeal a California law protecting transgender students:

When she went to her old school as herself, Jane flourished. When asked if she had experienced any bullying at the time she said, “Just some name calling.” Jane’s mother elaborated, “Before she transitioned, we would go to shopping and when she would try to use the male restroom, they would make rude comments.” I asked her if she meant that men in the restrooms would verbally abuse her daughter before she ever transitioned because she was perceived to be female even when trying to present as male. “She was scared to use the restroom. They made rude comments, language that she didn’t need to hear just because she was trying to go to the bathroom that she thought she had to be in.”

“Since she changed, she’s comfortable with life. She’s really feminine, but doesn’t do tons of makeup each day. She’s just a normal girl. If people see her on the streets, people don’t… didn’t know, you know? Before all of this stuff happened, none of this bothered anyone.”

When Jane’s mother refers to the “stuff that happened,” what she means is that one of the nation’s most influential ex-gay organizations suggested to the international press that her daughter was predator. The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), an ex-gay organization, needed someone to be their cautionary tale if they hoped to fight an effective battle to end protections for trans children in California and apparently decided that Jane fit the bill.



A media ambush is how the school, Jane and Jane’s family learned about the “harassment” charges. Let’s be clear about what this was: it’s a classic media gotcha moment. Prior to this hostile media encounter, apparently no allegations had been made about Jane.



“Jane is private about everything. She’s timid and shy and tends to be afraid to talk to people. That they’re saying that she’s going around harassing people… it’s just not true. The people who are doing these stories need to realize that the kid behind these stories has feelings and gets hurt.”

When the story about Jane broke, I couldn’t help but notice that conspicuously absent from the reports were any quotes by the school district, the high school, Jane or Jane’s parents. The reports only repeated PJI’s assertions. It seemed that no news outlet had bothered to fact check the claims made against this trans kid. So, I called the school’s Superintendent Rhonda Vendetti. I learned that the school did conduct an investigation and they discovered that the claims of harassment were false.



The law protecting transgender children, which California Gov. Jerry Brown signed in August, says schools must treat transgender students as equal to cisgender students. A 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.

The old Prop 8 cast of characters has organized as the coalition for the “Privacy for All Students.” Care to take a guess who’s one of the largest supporters of the coalition? Yup, you guessed it! It’s the Pacific Justice Institute.

The obdurate behavior displayed by PJI and media outlets like Fox News who continue to report false information about Jane should remind us all that there’s a reason California-Style trans protections for school children have existed – throughout the nation – for around a decade. Even in America’s most conservative areas, these California-style protections are viewed as reasonable. For example, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Dallas and Ft. Worth Texas public school districts all have California-style policies protecting trans kids. Moreover, these policies have been in effect for years without incident.

However, organizations like PJI won’t talk about that. What PJI will do is claim that if trans-equality policies for children go into effect, they will lead to government-sponsored X-rated scenes in all the public schools

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/18/13

  • Michael Keegan @ The Huffington Post: California, Here We Come: A Republican Nightmare Offers Our Country a Path Forward.
  • Andrew Kirell @ Mediaite: Roland Martin Confronts Ben Carson Over Obamacare ‘Worst Thing Since Slavery’ Comments.
  • Camille Beredjick @ Friendly Atheist: Dr. Ben Carson: The Secular Movement’s Promotion of LGBT Rights Endangers ‘Everything Else in the Bible.’
  • Scott Kaufman @ Raw Story: Kansas Supreme Court indefinitely suspends license of former Attorney General who speciously prosecuted Planned Parenthood and George Tiller.
  • Equality Matters: AFA's Tim Wildmon Wonders Whether Military "Tanks Are Gonna Start Rolling Down The Street ... In Front Of Our Office."
  • Eric Stern @ Salon: Inside the Fox News lie machine: I fact-checked Sean Hannity on Obamacare.

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/18/13

  • Jim Bob Duggar thinks there is "a sleeping giant which is the Christian Conservative" that will propel Ken Cuccinelli to victory in Virginia.
  • Questions are being raised about the veracity of E.W. Jackson's claims of deprivation as a child.
  • "Ex-gay" activist Christopher Doyle says he will file a lawsuit if universities in Virginia do not start offering "ex-gay" therapy on campus.
  • FRC prays against supposed anti-Christian bigotry in the military: "May God intervene to stop this trend which began in earnest with the overturn of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and has accelerated rapidly since. May He help AFA, FRC and all who are working to stop this trend!"
  • Bryan Fischer finds a silver lining in the GOP's disastrous attempt to shutdown the government: "The conservative army now has a general [Ted Cruz], 160 lieutenants in Congress, and an infantry of millions of patriotic citizens all across the fruited plain."
  • Finally, Gary Cass analyzes the GOP's failed shutdown: "Progressives have won the day because of their unrelenting 100-year campaign to turn America into a socialist slave state. They have accomplished this by taking over the media, education and even parts of the church. The good news is because socialism is built on lies it never works. The rollout of Obama-care is a chilling example of gross, governmental incompetence. But, people will suffer and even die because of Obama-care and we are all compelled to subsidize it."

Guess Who's Back In Moscow?

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown hasn’t been doing a very good job boasting about his involvement in promoting anti-gay laws in Russia. First, in June, he went to Moscow at the invitation of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families to testify before Russia’s parliament in favor of a ban on adoptions to gay people, but didn’t think to tell anyone about it until we reported his involvement this month.

Now, we find out that he was back in Russia this week, likely helping the World Congress to organize their annual world conference that will be in Moscow next year. Once again, Brown didn’t think to announce this publicly, but on a webcast with Jim Garlow yesterday afternoon mentioned that he “just got back from Russia last night” after Garlow thanked him for changing his flight schedule to be on the program. (The exchange is about 15:45 into this video.)

Brown didn’t say what he was in Russia for, but we can guess that he was at the World Congress of Families’ planning meeting along with anti-gay activist Scott Lively. Brown is an enthusiastic supporter of the group, which pushes anti-gay and anti-choice measures abroad and has been a strong cheerleader for Russia’s recent anti-gay crackdown.

The World Congress’ “hosting committee” includes the group’s “representative in Russia” Alexey Komov and philanthropist Konstantin Malofeev, who hosted a meeting that Brown attended with members of the Duma in June.

Now, Brown has no obligation to announce to the world every time he takes a trip overseas, but we find it curious that he’s been so quiet about his work in Russia. After all, NOM tries to portray itself as a kinder, gentler anti-gay group that’s just about preserving “traditional marriage” in the United States. Hanging out with people like Scott Lively and egging on the Russian parliament as they pass a spate of vicious anti-gay bills doesn’t exactly bolster that image.

UPDATE: Brown confirmed to Rachel Maddow that he was indeed in Russia for the World Congress of Families meeting.

Fischer: If America Doesn't Repent For Abortion, There Will Be A Second Civil War

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer responded to a caller who sobbed over the issue of legal abortion by warning that if the United States does not collectively repent for the sin of abortion and beg God's forgiveness, it will result in a second civil war.

"What I'm saying," Fischer explained, "is that if we do not, as a nation, come to the place of national repentance over the sin of abortion, there's going to be civil war again in this country; there is going to be anarchy, there is going to be unrest, there will be growing violence":

Paulk: Have A 'Healthy Detachment' From Your Gay Son

After hosting ex-gay activist Trace McNutt, Janet Parshall invited Anne Paulk to her show to discuss “healing and hope for those longing to leave the gay lifestyle behind.” Paulk is an ex-gay activist who was married to John Paulk, the poster boy of the ex-gay movement, until his recent announcement that he is in fact still gay and apology for his role pushing ex-gay therapy.

Neither Parshall nor Paulk mentioned her husband’s renunciation of the ex-gay movement during the program, but Paulk was more than happy to field questions from listeners about their gay family members.

One caller said that her 27-year-old son “has chosen to be in the homosexual lifestyle” and wanted to know what to do about it.

Paulk responded that the caller’s son is “rebelling against God” and that she should have a “healthy detachment” from him due to his “choices.”

“You can then love them like you would a friend who is going astray in different areas that are damaging to friend.”

“I think the key part is being winsome” when you tell your son you are going to have a “healthy detachment” from him, she continued. “Son, I love you and I disagree with where you’re going in your life and this is why.”

Hibbs: CA's Transgender Rights Bill Is 'The Most Dangerous Bit Of Legislation' In American History

Jim Garlow has begun hosting regular webcasts seeking to mobilize pastors in California on behalf of a petition drive that is seeking to repeal a California law that will allow students in the state to use whatever bathroom and participate on whichever sports team they believe matches their gender identity.

He hosted another one this week that featured Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage and Pastor Jack Hibbs in which Hibbs warned that God would judge the Body of Christ if it fails to rise up and repeal this legislation.

"This [bill] is an affront to God," Hibbs declared. "It's an affront to California's kids and those of you who are listening from across the nation, keep this in mind: what happens in California doesn't stay in California.  If this is allowed to become implemented on January first, it will eventually get to your state.  But, again, this is the most aggressive, the most dangerous bit of legislation against the child and against family than any other in the history of the United States. We've never seen a government pass such an insane bill as this":

Religious Right Activists Attack Jon Stewart For (Hypothetically) Discriminating Against Christians

Wendy Wright and Chelsen Vicari co-hosted Sandy Rios In The Morning this week, and used the opportunity to attack The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart for discriminating against Christians… in a hypothetical scenario that the two Religious Right activists invented.

Wright, the former head of Concerned Women for America who is now vice president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), was upset about a Daily Show segment from 2005 that poked fun of the “Christian persecution complex,” noting Christianity’s ascendency in the West following the conversion of Constantine I. Wright said she couldn’t understand why Stewart thinks “we are in charge and we are the oppressors,” referring to the Crusades as an instance in which Christians faced persecution. “I guess he never heard of the Crusades; the Crusades were actually defensive against the Muslim hordes,” she said.

Yes, that’s right, she cited the Crusades as an example of anti-Christian persecution.

She also spoke to Vicari, who like Wright used to work for CWA but now is with the Institute on Religion and Democracy, about Stewart’s recent interview with Malala Yousafzai.

Vicari was upset because she imagined that while Stewart and President Obama lauded Yousafzai, they wouldn’t have done so if she was shot while defending the rights of Christians.

I couldn’t, I just couldn’t see why there was such a disconnect between the way Jon Stewart was treating Malala for something very admirable, a girl’s right to an education, but he couldn’t stand up for the right to believe in Jesus Christ,” she said. I had this thought, Wendy, I thought, you know if Malala Yousafzai was a Christian standing up for girls’ rights to believe in Jesus Christ, would we still know her name? Would she receive all this praise that she’s getting from the international community? From our national leaders? The president just invited her to the White House on Friday. Would Jon Stewart have had her on his show? The answer is probably not and I have to ask the question, why that is?

Of course, Vicari has no idea if Stewart would have interviewed a girl who survived a shooting over her defense of Christians’ freedom of religion, but nevertheless she maintained that Stewart hypothetically discriminated against Christians.

'Satanic Drag Queen' Turned Ex-Gay Hero Not Exactly Ex-Gay

Last month, the “ex-gay” organization Voice of the Voiceless awarded its “Courage Award” to Trace McNutt, a “satanic drag queen” turned ex-gay activist.

But during an interview with conservative radio host Janet Parshall, McNutt admitted he was not “healed” of his homosexuality (for example, he says he fell in love with the male bassist in his Christian rock band).

“We know God heals some and others he doesn’t,” he told Parshall. “For me, the thorn remains…. Not all homosexuals get delivered of the same-sex attraction.”

Like other ex-gay activists, McNutt shared a harrowing life story of drug abuse and family problems, which are depicted as typical the life of the average gay man. McNutt said he became a sex addict and slept with “up to thirty people a day” in order to “get that masculine bond that I never got.”

“Not only was I a sex addict, but I was a homosexual on top of it, almost felt like a double whammy, you know?”

See his award video here:

Gallagher Urges GOP To Follow Lonegan's 'Winning Strategy' And Talk More About Abortion

National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher has a curious op-ed in the Washington Post today in which she insists that Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is behind in the polls because he isn’t talking enough about his opposition to reproductive rights.

Cuccinelli sure has what Gallagher calls “conservative credentials” on the issue of choice. For instance, when he was in the state legislature, he sponsored a “personhood” bill that would have banned abortions in all circumstances and even criminalized some common forms of birth control. Cuccinelli has, understandably, been trying to run from this record in his effort to win over more moderate voters. But this, Gallagher argues, is what’s hurting him:

There is still time for Cuccinelli to turn things around, but the fact that someone with his conservative credentials speaks this way underscores that there is a conventional wisdom about how candidates ought to address, or avoid, social issues during campaigns. And Cuccinelli’s standing in the race underscores that this approach is dangerous for the GOP.

The truce strategy demoralizes the GOP base and makes it hard for the grass roots to care about Republican candidates. Conservative candidates are advised to deflect or retreat when social issues are raised, and their refusal to speak clearly and hold the line allows Democratic candidates to adopt more extreme positions, energizing their own base and unleashing a flood of money at no political cost. Democrats are confident that their opponents will not make an issue of their positions. Republican candidates’ apparent discomfort discussing such issues makes it look like they have something to hide, confirming to many voters Democratic suggestions that GOP candidates’ positions are extreme.

On an issue such as abortion, about which Americans are fundamentally ambivalent, victory depends on how “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are defined. Republicans’ self-imposed silence allows Democrats to define pro-life in ways that help them politically. Thus, Democrats do not have to justify their positions on infanticide, late-term abortions or permitting unborn baby girls to be killed just because of their gender.

Gallagher suggests that Cuccinelli instead follow the “winning strategy” of New Jersey Senate candidate Steve Lonegan, who enthusiastically attacked Democrat Cory Booker for his pro-choice record…before Booker beat him handily in the general election.

Democrats campaigned on the truce strategy in 2012 and will continue to use it until GOP candidates come up with a more effective political response. The winning strategy would be to aggressively define social issues on Democrats’ weakest grounds, to make them pay for their unqualified support of abortion on any grounds.

Steve Lonegan, the New Jersey Republican whose long-shot Senate campaign stalled when he supported the government shutdown in a blue state, nonetheless had the right idea on this issue. “What abortion would you make illegal?” he asked Cory Booker in a recent debate.

Memo to GOP candidates: The best defense is a good offense. When you are being relentlessly attacked as an abortion extremist by people who support late-term and/or taxpayer-funded abortions, self-imposed silence about your beliefs and values is not an effective political response. Calling Democrats on their own extremism is the pathway to victory.

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