News (USA)

Christian group spreading another false transgender harassment story

TEMECULA, Calif. — As the battle intensifies over California’s recently enacted transgender student rights law, one transgender advocate said Tuesday she has caught another conservative Christian group spreading a second “fabricated” story about restroom harassment in a California school.

restroomsCristan Williams, who blogs for the website, says that a claim by Salt and Light Ministry, a division of Calvary Chapel Bible Fellowship in Temecula, Calif., that a transgender female student harassed other female students in a Los Angeles area public school bathroom is untrue.

The complaint alleged that the transgender student crawled over stalls in order to watch girls use the restroom.

Williams says she contacted the Los Angeles Unified School District to verify the complaint and was told by a spokesperson that that no such incident had occurred.

“They did get the complaint,” 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 allegation was relayed by Dran Reese, Founder and President of Salt and Light Ministry, in a report by KGTV.

The Salt and Light group 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.

The measure — known as School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266) — was signed into law in August by Gov. Jerry Brown and requires public schools to allow students to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities based on self-perception of gender instead of birth gender or transition status.

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The Pacific Justice Institute, an anti-LGBT group identified as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, spread an earlier story about a transgender girl harassing students in a girls’ restroom in a high school near Florence, Colo. That report was similarly disproved after school officials said the received no complaints from students.

Williams says 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 petitions throughout California. The group has until Nov. 12 to collect about 505,000 valid signatures to prevent the law from taking effect on Jan. 1 and force a ballot referendum in November 2014.

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