This is the first installment of a biweekly update on activities and events of anti-LGBT groups. Those that are considered hate groups are indicated as such in the text.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an anti-LGBT hate group, filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania March 21 on behalf of a male student who claims his privacy was violated and he experienced sexual assault because a transgender student was in the boys’ locker room while he was, changing clothing. "Our laws and customs have long recognized that we shouldn't have to undress in front of persons of the opposite sex. But now some schools are bullying our children into giving up their rights even though, in this case, Pennsylvania law requires schools to have separate facilities on the basis of sex,” says ADF legal counsel Kelly Fiedorek.
ADF, which has been working to further marginalize trans students in schools, filed the lawsuit with the Independence Law Center, based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania which is affiliated with the right-wing Pennsylvania Family Institute.
FRC is also launching its first-ever cruise, slated for Alaska July 29 - Aug. 5 aboard Holland America’s ms Eurodam. Participants will get a “behind-the-scenes look” at what’s happening in Washington. Speakers include FRC senior domestic policy advisor Ken Blackwell (and member of the Trump transition team) and FRC executive vice-president and anti-Islam activist Lt. Gen. (ret.) Jerry Boykin while invited speakers include former congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Fox News pundit Todd Starnes.
John Stemberger, attorney and president of the anti-LGBT and anti-choice group Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) was appointed to the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) by Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran. He will serve 18 months. Florida is the only state that has this system, and the state constitution stipulates that every 20 years a CRC is convened to review the state constitution and propose changes that are then placed on the next election, which is 2018.
The FFPC is also hosting the two-day Flourish 2017 event in Ft. Lauderdale April 21 - 22.
Stemberger also serves on the board of Trail Life USA, an anti-LGBT alternative to the Boy Scouts that launched in 2014. On its original FAQs (web archive), it stated that Jewish churches and organizations are precluded from chartering Trail Life troops and Jewish adults would not be allowed to serve as leaders because they would be “unable” to sign the statement of faith (Christian), though Jewish youth are allowed to participate. Furthermore, the original site said, any boy who is “part of or advocating for the Gay Movement” was also excluded from participation, though boys “struggling” with homosexuality and who confided such to a leader could participate and Trail Life would help counsel him about same-sex attraction. The website no longer includes that language, and instead now says that Christian men and women can serve as leaders as long as they sign the statement of faith and abide by membership standards. The site no longer mentions homosexuality.
Mass Resistance, an anti-LGBT hate group, is holding a luncheon Sunday, Apr. 9 in Boxboro, Mass. It was originally scheduled as a banquet, but changed to a luncheon so that it was “more convenient to attend” and now has a lower price. The speaker is Paul Church, a medical doctor who lost his affiliation with Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Over the past decade, he had objected to Beth Israel’s LGBT Pride support; sent emails to hospital staff claiming that homosexuality is dangerous; and posted similar statements on the hospital’s internal website. Church retains his affiliation with two other hospitals and is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. He also maintains a private practice.
Brian Camenker, president of Mass Resistance, will also be speaking.
Mass Resistance Texas appears to have just launched in February, headed by strident anti-LGBT (and self-proclaimed “ex-gay”) activist Robert Oscar Lopez, who is also teaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The group held an “Action and Education” meeting on Saturday, April 1 in Austin at Oak Meadow Baptist Church.
The Minnesota Child Protection League (MNCPL), an anti-LGBT group based in Anoka, Minnesota, testified at a school board meeting March 20 against a trans-inclusive school policy in the Anoka Hennepin school district. The policy would allow students to use school facilities in accordance with their gender identities. MNCPL called the policy a “dangerous invasion of students’ personal privacy” and also claimed that the policy “requires” students “to adopt a ‘gender fluid’ interpretation of sex – to accept the idea that people actually are whatever they think themselves to be.” According to MNCPL, “forcing children to affirm what is not true is the greatest violation.”
The testimony against the policy included letters from anti-LGBT hate groups Liberty Counsel and Alliance Defending Freedom.
MNCPL formed in 2013 with veteran Minnesota Tea Party and anti-LGBT activists, including long-time anti-LGBT activist Barb Anderson (formerly of the now-defunct anti-LGBT hate group Parents [sic] Action League), to oppose the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act, which, according to Anderson, will “usher in another sexual revolution, sexual anarchy, unrestricted sexuality to love whoever you want—polyamory—and it’s going to force its acceptance on all of us.”
National Organization for Marriage (NOM) launched a U.S. version of an anti-trans bus tour (they’re calling it the Free Speech Bus) along the East Coast the week of March 20, beginning at the UN in New York City to coincide with the annual Committee on the Status of Women meetings held every March. The bus was vandalized by unknown assailants and the driver was allegedly tackled but not hurt. Brian Brown, president of NOM, launched the bus tour with CitizenGO, a right-wing anti-LGBT and anti-choice advocacy group founded in Madrid, Spain by another anti-LGBT and anti-choice group, Hazte Oír. CitizenGO works mostly through online petitions, and with anti-LGBT hate group the International Organization for the Family, of which Brown is president. He is also on the board of CitizenGO.
The bus was originally launched in Spain by Hazte Oír, but activists, trade unions and the Madrid City Council united against it, and removed it from the roads.
Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), an anti-LGBT hate group based in Sacramento, sent a letter to a legislative committee opposing a California bill that would provide for LGBT anti-discrimination measures in long-term care and nursing facilities. California’s SB-219 attempts to establish an LGBT patient’s bill of rights in long-term care facilities, which includes such things as prohibiting staff of such facilities from denying admission to someone who is LGBT, restricting use of restrooms in accordance with a resident’s gender identity, and denying appropriate medical or nonmedical care. PJI claims the bill offers no religious exemptions and took exception to the stipulation that staff be required to refer to someone by preferred pronouns and names, calling it a “crucial” part of the bill (it’s actually listed as number six in section two), and claiming that some residents may require use of names such as “Joseph Stalin.” “[I]f a poor soul suffers from delusions causing them to believe they are someone famous,” PJI argues, “as the Bill stands the staff would be required to call the individual Napoleon or whomever historical figure the resident is fixated on.”
PJI has long opposed LGBT rights, and has been battling trans rights in recent years. PJI manufactured a story in 2013 about a Colorado trans student, claiming the student was harassing other female students in a girls’ restroom. The claims of harassment were completely false, and were based on complaints from one angry parent. The trans student was placed on suicide watch because of the tremendous negative attention brought to her as a result of PJI’s claims.