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Trump Right to Fix Obama’s Unlawful Transgender School Policy

The Trump administration acted Wednesday night to fix the Obama administration’s unlawful “gender identity” school policy and return authority to parents and teachers in the states.

Civil rights officers in the Department of Justice and the Department of Education issued a joint letter saying the administration was rescinding the policy, which had required schools to allow transgender students to use the restrooms, locker rooms and similar facilities of their choice—or face loss of federal funds.

In the letter, they said the Obama mandate did not show “due regard for the primary role of the states and local school districts” in making education policy.

The Trump administration is doing the right thing in correcting Obama’s unlawful overreach, which imposed a one-sided solution on all 50 states. Parents and teachers in local schools now can work to find win-win solutions that protect the dignity, privacy, and safety of all students.

For years, the Obama administration unilaterally had redefined bans on “sex” discrimination to include “gender identity.”

The problem came to a head May 13, when Obama’s Justice and Education departments sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to our nation’s schools, informing them that “both federal agencies treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX,” a 1972 law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded schools.

With this decree, the Obama administration directed all schools to allow “students to participate in sex-segregated activities and access sex-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity.”

Schools were told they had to allow students access to bathrooms, locker rooms, dorm rooms, and hotel rooms for overnight field trips based entirely on the self-declared gender identities of their students.

On Aug. 21, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled the Obama administration’s attempt to redefine sex was unlawful, and blocked the decree from going into effect.

O’Connor held that it “cannot be disputed that the plain meaning of the term sex as used … following passage of Title IX meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female,” and he placed a nationwide injunction on the administration’s guidance to schools.

The Justice Department, under Attorney General Loretta Lynch, appealed this ruling Oct. 20.

But on Feb. 10, with Jeff Sessions as the nation’s new attorney general, the Justice Department withdrew that motion for a stay and cancelled the scheduled oral arguments.

The Trump administration rescinded the Obama guidance saying officials would interpret the word “sex” in Title IX to mean “gender identity.” Instead, the administration will allow parents and teachers to work together in local schools to find nuanced solutions that address the needs of everyone.

Wednesday night’s moves signaled a change in position that could have a significant impact on the Justice Department’s controversial Title IX lawsuit against North Carolina’s Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act (known as HB2), which the Trump administration inherited.

The actions also could affect a Title IX gender identity case, currently set for oral argument at the Supreme Court next month, that depends in large part on the Department of Education’s position.

Dignity, Privacy, and Safety Concerns

Last week at The Heritage Foundation, a panel of women explained the many policy problems with “gender identity” laws.

As one of them said, “when gender identity wins, women always lose.”

The panelists—a rape survivor, a lesbian, a feminist activist, a stay-at-home mom, and a conservative—explained how people who identify as transgender should be free to live as they want, but that the law shouldn’t therefore eliminate women-only spaces or redefine what it is to be a woman.

While we must be sensitive to the dignity, privacy, and safety concerns of people who identify as transgender, that is not a reason to ignore the dignity, privacy, and safety concerns of everyone else.

Unfortunately, the Obama-era policies were entirely one-sided. They favored the concerns of people who identify as transgender while entirely discounting the concerns of others.

Safe Spaces for Women, a group that “provides survivors of sexual assault with care, support, understanding, and advice,” recently submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court explaining how gender identity policies can negatively impact sexual assault survivors:

Safe Spaces for Women has a strong interest in ensuring that the voices of women who have suffered sexual abuse are heeded when policies are made that may directly affect their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. This includes policies that require educational institutions covered by Title IX to admit to female showers, locker rooms, and restrooms biological males who identify as female. While Safe Spaces for Women bears no animus toward the transgendered community, it is deeply concerned that … survivors of sexual assault are likely to suffer psychological trauma as a result of encountering biological males—even those with entirely innocent intentions—in the traditional safe spaces of women’s showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms.

The brief goes on to note that the guidance from the Obama administration was issued “without giving those affected a voice in the process. … improperly circumvent[ing] the notice and comment process when that process was needed most.”

Likewise, Kenneth V. Lanning, a 40-year veteran law enforcement officer who specialized in sex crimes for the FBI at Quantico for 20 years, explains the problem with “gender identity-based access policies” for sex-specific intimate facilities.

Lanning says “the problem with potential sex offenses is not crimes by transgendered persons,” but rather “offenses by males who are not really transgendered but who would exploit the entirely subjective provisions” of such policies “to facilitate their sexual behavior or offenses.” Lanning explains that:

Allowing a man, based only on his claim to be [a] transgendered woman, to have unlimited access to women’s rest rooms, locker rooms, changing rooms, showers, etc. will make it easier for the type of sex offense behavior previously described to happen to more women and children. Such access would create an additional risk for potential victims in a previously protected setting and a new defense for a wide variety of sexual victimization.

Indeed, as The Daily Signal previously noted, such sexual victimization already is occurring by men who have disguised themselves as women.

What to Do Now

Wednesday night’s actions by the Justice and Education departments will lead to good policy outcomes, which is why it should not be limited to Title IX.

The Trump administration should extend this decision to every area where federal agencies have imposed new “gender identity” rules on the American people without basis in law, without congressional authorization, without considering legitimate countervailing concerns, and without the support of the American people.

Congress should make such administrative actions permanent by reintroducing and passing H.R. 5812, the Civil Rights Uniformity Act, which clarifies that the term “sex” does not mean “gender identity” for the purpose of interpreting civil rights statutes. This would have the benefit of undoing the past and current abuses of Title IX, as well as preventing future abuses of other civil rights law.

Passing the Civil Rights Uniformity Act would ensure that unelected bureaucrats and judges would not get to unilaterally reshape policy affecting women and girls. It would allow schools to continue providing separate bathroom and locker room facilities and sports teams based on biological sex, not gender identity.

It also would address other unilateral Obama-era “gender identity” reinterpretations in health care, emergency shelters, housing, and employment. At the same time, such legislation would properly leave states and private entities entirely free to provide nuanced, sensitive, and reasonable accommodations of people who identify as transgender.

Up until last year’s prime-time interview of the celebrity then known as Bruce Jenner, few Americans ever had had a conversation about transgender issues. It’s a conversation we need to have.

But the Obama administration tried to shut down these discussions before they’ve even begun. The Obama administration attempted to force a one-size-fits-all policy on the entire nation rather than allow parents and teachers and local schools the time, space, and flexibility to find solutions that work best for everyone.

The Trump administration has taken the first steps to correct this.

While the Obama administration attempted to rewrite law to impose a federal “gender identity” policy on the entire nation, the Trump administration is respecting federalism, local decision-making, and parental authority in education.

For most Americans, concerns related to transgender students are a new reality. Rather than follow the Obama administration’s rush to impose a top-down solution on the entire country, the Trump administration is allowing the American people to have these conversations, consider all the relevant concerns, and make policies that will best serve all Americans.

Good for them. (For more from the author of “Trump Right to Fix Obama’s Unlawful Transgender School Policy” please click HERE)

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When It Comes to the School Bathroom Debate, Trump Is Delivering on His Promises

At the Grammy Awards Sunday night transgender actor and activist Laverne Cox took the opportunity while introducing Lady Gaga to tell America “Google Gavin Grimm” and “Hashtag I Stand With Gavin.”

Who is Gavin Grimm? That would be the Grimm of Grimm v. Gloucester, a case headed to the Supreme Court in March involving one southern Virginia school district’s refusal to accept Obama’s broad new transgender directives to public schools.

Obama’s administration claimed Title IX’s ban on sex discrimination means Gavin (a girl who identifies as a boy) gets to use the boys’ bathroom. This is the case I flagged in a previous Stream column as an important early marker of the new Trump administration’s willingness to roll back Obama’s lawless legacy that threatens not only the privacy of girls, but the rights of traditional religious schools and charities to refuse to hire gay married teachers or workers.

Trump Leaves Bathroom Debates to the Schools, as Promised

Trump’s acceptance of Obama’s executive order banning discrimination based on gender identity raised real concerns, especially as Trump never promised to push substantive religious liberty protections that conflict with LGBT protections.

Well, Jeff Sessions wasn’t installed as attorney general for more than 24 hours before taking steps to deliver on a key promise Trump did make: to leave the transgender bathroom issue to local schools to handle.

The case is Texas (et al) v. the United States. A federal judge had granted a nationwide injunction preventing the federal government from reinterpreting Title IX’s sex discrimination ban to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The Obama administration then asked the judge to narrow his injunction to only the dozen or so states who were parties to the suit. Oral arguments were scheduled for Valentine’s Day. But the Justice department just withdrew that request to narrow the injunction, mooting that part of the case; the oral arguments are cancelled.

The federal judge’s nationwide injunction stands for now as the Justice Department considers next steps. (Complicating the decision: The defendants in this case are not only the Justice Department, and the Education Department, both of which are under the direct control of the Trump administration, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which is now dominated by Obama appointees. The Trump administration could withdraw, leaving the EEOC as the lone defendant.)

Will Trump Withdraw Obama’s Absurd Guidance?

Both this case and Grimm v. Gloucester rest in part on the legality of the May 13, 2016 guidance letter the Obama administration sent to every public school in America warning them they may risk losing federal funds if they do not permit students who identify as transgender to use the bathroom and shower of their choice.

The Justice Department is not a direct party to this case, but the Obama administration did file an amicus brief supporting Grimm’s argument that a transgender person has a right to use the showers and bathrooms of his or her choice. Among the most absurd of many absurd arguments? The Obama administration claimed including gender “converts” under sex discrimination is like protecting religious converts against religious discrimination.

Look for the Trump administration to withdraw that brief, and write a new one defending the actual meaning of the law as passed in 1972, which clearly did not include broad new LGBT protections.

The next step is for the new Education secretary Betsy Devos to withdraw Obama’s guidelines on Title IX pronto.

Meanwhile on Day 2 of Jeff Session’s tenure as attorney general the verdict has to be: Trump delivered. (For more from the author of “When It Comes to the School Bathroom Debate, Trump Is Delivering on His Promises” please click HERE)

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Here’s a Preview of Where Transanity Is Leading Us

You had to know this was going to happen, and it did, in Scotland. An imprisoned man who identifies as a woman got transferred to a women’s prison, only to be transferred to a men’s prison because he was having sex with the female inmates. Welcome to the world of transanity.

The man in question, referred to in an article on the UK’s Metro only as Paris Green, was found guilty (along with two of his friends) of torturing and murdering another man, for which he was sentenced to at least 18 years in prison. A story on Breitbart gives his original name as Peter Laing, noting that this is not the first time he was accused of inappropriate conduct with female inmates.

Remarkably, in keeping with today’s ridiculous PC journalistic standards, the Metro article refers to Laing/Green in female terms only, with lines like this: “A transgender murderer has been moved from a women’s prison following claims she had sex with female inmates”; and, “She was jailed for 18 years” (my emphasis).

And then, the most telling line of all, from an anonymous source: “The women want sex and Paris is the only person who can give it to them.”

But of course, because Paris is Peter, a biological male, with male private parts and a male sex drive and a male attraction to women. In other words, as the only male inmate in a women’s prison, he’s the obvious (and only) choice for male-female inmate sex. Identifying as a female certainly has its perks.

Truly Transgender — Or Manipulator?

Not surprisingly, the sister of the man killed by Laing/Green questions the sincerity of his female identity, noting, “It’s costing the Prison Service a fortune moving him from jail to jail.” (She’s referring to the fact that this is the second time he’s been moved from a female prison for allegedly having sex with the female inmates. And remember: He has not yet had sex change surgery, so he remains a functionally biological male.)

The bereaved sister added, “The whole thing is a joke. We don’t believe he really wants a sex change. He’s just trying to manipulate the system and the tax payer is footing the bill.”

Of course, only God and Laing/Green know the truth about this. Is he genuinely confused about his gender identity, or is he cynically exploiting the system? In any case, let’s remember that it is transgender activists who constantly remind us that gender identity is different than sexual orientation.

In other words, while a gay man is attracted to other men, a man who identifies as a woman (referred to today as a transgender woman) need not be attracted to men. This means that while identifying as a woman, he is still attracted to women, hence Peter/Paris’s sexual activity with other women.

Naturally, transgender activists have an answer for this as well, telling us that a man who identifies as a woman but is attracted to women is actually a lesbian in a man’s body, in which case his true identity is as a lesbian. Is your head spinning yet?

Back to Reality

Coming back to reality, this unfortunate lesson from the Scottish prison system reminds us of an inconvenient truth that is often ignored in the debate about transgender access to bathrooms and locker rooms.

Let’s say that 16-year-old John identifies as a girl but is heterosexual, and he wants to play on the girls’ sports team and share their bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower stalls (a “right” for which the Obama administration fought vigorously). That means that John, who perhaps wants to be called Jane, will still be attracted to girls — the very ones he’ll be playing with and undressing with and showering with.

This doesn’t mean he’s a sexual predator. It just means that he’s a male teenager, naturally attracted to females, which is one reason why he’s supposed to use the boys’ bathroom, locker room, and shower stalls.

Yet to say this is to be transphobic and insensitive.

Similarly, let’s say that 30-year-old Charlie, who identifies as Charlene but remains a biological, heterosexual male, wants to change in the ladies’ locker room at the YMCA. This means that Charlie will be checking out the ladies there, since he’s heterosexual, and if the women complain to management that they feel uncomfortable, they will be branded troublemakers.

I’m aware, of course, that there are people who struggle deeply with gender identity issues, people who find themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes to which bathroom or locker room to use, people who are doing their best to fit in and ignore the people looking at them as if they were some kind of freak.

As I’ve said many times before, I do not minimize their struggles and I long to see them find true and lasting wholeness. This recent report from Scotland, however, reminds us of the upside-down world in which we live, one where a biological, heterosexual male who identifies as a woman gets kicked out of a women’s prison for having sex with the female inmates and is still referred to as “she” throughout.

This societal madness must stop. There must surely be a better way. (For more from the author of “Here’s a Preview of Where Transanity Is Leading Us” please click HERE)

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Boy Scouts Open Membership to Transgender ‘Boys’

The Boy Scouts of America says it will begin accepting members based on their gender identity, opening the door for transgender boys to join.

Under the new policy, which takes effect immediately, membership in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will be based on the gender indicated on an application.

Previously, the organization relied on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for its single-gender programs.

“However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state,” BSA spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said in a statement Monday.

The change brings the Boy Scouts in line with other youth organizations, including the Girl Scouts, that have created transgender-friendly membership policies in recent years. (Read more from “Boy Scouts Open Membership to Transgender Boys” HERE)

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Terrifying Moment Blonde Tranny Attacks Customers With Axe at 7-Eleven

It could be any night in a suburban 7-Eleven store – as CCTV shows customers queuing for milk and wandering though the aisles.

But this is Enmore, in Sydney’s inner west, on Saturday night – and two customers are about to be hacked in the head in a brutal and seemingly random attack . . .

And police allege that the attacker is Evie Amati, 24, a union organiser who is now in custody charged with two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent . . .

[He] asked the court to supply [him] with Progynova and Spiractin, which boost oestrogen production and reduce testosterone, respectively, and Zoloft – an antidepressant, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Officers say they arrested Amati on a nearby street with the axe in [his] possession, and later recovered a kitchen knife from the scene. (Read more from “Terrifying Moment Blonde Tranny Attacks Customers With Axe at 7-Eleven” HERE)

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State of Alaska Uses Radical LGBTQ Group to Train Teachers to Encourage Kids to Choose Different Sex, Hide Information From Parents

The State of Alaska sponsored a workshop, open to all state educators, instructing them how to assist students — elementary age and older — who wish to transition away from their biological sex and identify otherwise.

In an address to nearly 40 teachers, school nurses and other educators, a representative from Identity Inc., a gay, lesbian and transgender activist group, called on educators to alter the culture, language and policies of Alaska’s schools, while keeping sensitive information about children away from parents who may take issue with the school enabling their child’s gender experimentation.

“Are male and female the only option at birth?” asked Identity Inc. spokesman Billy Farrell. “We want to break out of the mindset of thinking of biological sex as two rigid boxes that you have to fit in, but more along a spectrum.”

Farrell was one of several presenters at the three-day Alaska School Health & Wellness Institute, sponsored by the state’s Department of Education and Early Development and Department of Health and Social Services. The Oct. 24-26 institute, which took place at the BP Energy Center in Anchorage, dealt with other issues such as sex education, nutrition, health, substance abuse and internet crimes.

SEPARATING GENDER FROM BIOLOGICAL SEX

Farrell’s talk was titled, “LGBTQ Cultural Competency Training.” The presentation encouraged Alaska’s educators to abandon the idea that people are made male and female and to embrace the deeply controversial notion that students as young as kindergarten can choose their own gender, and should be encouraged to do so.

Ferrell began by claiming that gender and sex “are not the same thing.”

“Gender is how we understand our own experience,” he said. “And again we want to break out of our rigid boxes and look at this on a spectrum.”

In some cases, that might mean a student doesn’t identify with being either male or female, a situation Farrell called “gender queer.” Gender, he added, should be understood as fluid and changeable even from day to day.

In some cases, he explained a person born male may wish to live their life as a female, changing their name, legal identification and even undergoing hormonal and surgical procedures. Others, he said, never make a full transition to either male or female.

Educators may find this challenging, but Farrell encouraged them to avoid automatically identifying students as either fully male or female.

“Just try to drop assumptions,” he said.

‘PREFERRED PRONOUNS’ & PARENTAL OPPOSITION

Gender expression, Farrell explained, refers to the way a person “expresses” their identity to society, and this can be “incredibly fluid” depending on the person. As an example, Farrell highlighted a “young man” he works with who attends Bartlett High School in Anchorage.

“He strongly identifies as a man but how he expresses his gender differs, day to day, week to week, experience to experience,” Farrell said, noting that sometimes the student wears makeup and jewelry to school, other times he appears more masculine.

In cases where educators are unsure about whether a person identifies as male, female or otherwise, they should ask students what their “preferred pronoun” is, Farrell said. “Options are he, him, his — she, her, hers — or something that is gender neutral: They, them, theirs.”

One educator attending the presentation from an alternative school in Juneau said teachers there already receive “a lot of training” on using pronouns when addressing kids.

Farrell praised this, but warned educators to make sure they ask students where they can use their “preferred pronouns,” so as not to inform parents or legal guardians of the child’s situation.

“We just want to make sure that we are not, um, potentially outing someone unintentionally,” he said.

Likewise, Farrell, advised educators to be careful about what they include in the students official records.

“If you are working with a young person who is not out to their family or legal guardians, you don’t necessarily want to include something in their legal file that a parent could access,” he said.

PUBERTY BLOCKERS FOR TRANSGENDER KIDS

Regarding transgender students, those who wish to be seen and treated as members of the opposite sex, Farrell claimed this happens at a very young age.

One teacher present said she works in a K-2nd grade school and deals with kindergarteners who wish to use bathrooms that do not conform to their biological sex.

“Some kids who are trans from a very early age will assert the fact that they are trans,” Farrell said. Examples of this are seen when children claim to be the opposite sex or wearing certain clothes and prefer colors which are not associated with their sex, he said.

Farrell admitted that it is best to wait on assisting very young children in transitioning, but said it is sometimes the correct course of action.

However, as children approach ages 11 or 12, “puberty blockers” are a “really good option for a young trans person” to delay the onset of puberty and give them time to talk about what they want to do, Farrell said.

HORMONE THERAPY ON 15-YEAR-OLDS

Puberty, Farrell said, is often a crisis moment for kids who wish to be identified as the opposite sex but then experience hormonal and physical changes that naturally come with puberty.

Farrell called on teachers to connect students with health professionals who will support them in their sexual identity experimentation. He also referred educators to his group, Identity, which encourages trans youth to explore their sexual identity.

“Support groups are often a really good place for people to try on the gender for the first time,” Farrell claimed. They can experiment with pronouns, names, how they dress, act and talk, he said.

For youth who wish to go all the way with hormonal and surgical procedures, Farrell walked educators through that process as well.

He noted that these steps can be challenging, especially in terms of cost since most insurance companies don’t cover sex change operations. For others, the medical technology does not exist for them to “get to where they want to be,” he said.

Nevertheless, Farrell said some young people desire to take these steps.

Farrell recommended that serious talk about hormone therapy begin around age 15. He lamented that he doesn’t know of any doctors who will do hormone therapy on children younger than that, which creates a “barrier” as Farrell sees it. Another potential problem is Alaskan parents.

“All of this care, under 18 in the state of Alaska, you need parental consent for, which is also a huge barrier for a lot of our young trans teens,” he said.

RE-WORKING SCHOOLS’ APPROACH TO GENDER

Farrell appealed to educators to change Alaska’s public schools regarding how they approach sexual identity and expression.

He praised the Anchorage School District, which already has policies catering to students who identify as gay, lesbian or transsexual. Across most of Alaska, however, such policies don’t exist, a situation Farrell called on his audience to change.

A good place to start, he said, is with bathroom policies that allow students to use whichever restrooms they identify with.

One participant asked Farrell about a girl who attends Dimond High School in Anchorage and wants to use the male locker rooms.

Based on Anchorage law and the Anchorage School District Policy Farrell said the student is already “legally entitled to go use that men’s locker room and be on any sports team. If they are actually being denied from that, Dimond High School is breaking the law,” he said.

He further urged educators to push for policies that will allow students to participate in team sports based on the gender they identify with. In terms of housing on overnight sports trips or other school functions, Farrell said districts should create policies that allow students to board and sleep with whichever gender they identify.

CATHOLIC RESPONSE TO GENDER THEORIES

The push for gender ideology is not unique to Alaska. Last summer the Obama administration issued a letter to all public schools saying they should allow members of one biological sex to use the showers, locker rooms and restrooms – and stay in the same hotel rooms during field trips – as members of the opposite sex or risk losing federal funding.

As these policies infiltrate schools, advocates of the long held understanding of human sexuality are speaking up.

The Cardinal Newman Society, for example, is a leading nonprofit group that promotes and defends faithful Catholic education. With schools around the country facing political pressure to embrace gender ideology, the Newman Society released a resource this past spring to help schools maintain their core identity and mission.

The Newman Society notes that the American College of Pediatricians recently warned against encouraging students to embrace a gender identity that contradicts their biological sex.

“Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to ‘gender clinics’ where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs,” the Newman Society stated. “This, in turn, virtually ensures that they will ‘choose’ a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults.”

Pope Francis has warned against gender ideology and the separation of sex from gender as harmful to individuals and society.

In his exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia,” he said youth “need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created.” He explained that young people should be helped to “accept their own bodies and to avoid the pretension ‘to cancel out sexual difference because one no longer knows how to deal with it.’” (For more from the author of “State of Alaska Uses Radical LGBTQ Group to Train Teachers to Encourage Kids to Choose Different Sex, Hide Information From Parents” please click HERE)

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Why a Little Girl Should Not Be Allowed to Join the Cub Scouts

The Cub Scouts are now under increasing pressure for refusing to allow an 8-year-old girl, who identifies as a boy, to join their ranks. As reported on a New Jersey website (the child is from Secaucus, NJ), “From the moment he joined, 8-year-old Joe Maldonado eagerly looked forward to camping trips and science projects as a member of the Cub Scouts. But his expectations were dashed after his mother said she received a phone call from a Scouting official who told her that Joe would no longer be allowed to participate because he was born a girl” (my emphasis).

To be more accurate, Jodi (the child’s original name) is no longer allowed to participate because she was not just born a girl. She is a girl, and Cub Scouts are for boys. That’s why CBS News reported that, “Joe’s family says parents of other children had complained.”

Surprise, surprise. They had ample reason to complain, since Cub Scouts are for boys — little boys — and Jodi is a girl — a little girl.

But for Jodi’s mom, this came as a total shock, since, she says, the Cub Scouts were aware of Jodi’s biology and had no problem with initially accepting him. Plus, her mom reports, Jodi was now accepted at school as a boy.

CBS News reporter Errol Barnettasked Jodi’s mother, “As a parent, how do you know that you don’t just have a girl who is a tomboy, and that it’s a transgender issue?”

She replied, “I took a couple years; I didn’t realize it.”

With all respect to Jodi’s mom, there are experts who say that the worst thing a parent can do is accommodate a younger child’s gender confusion, while others would remind us that most kids experiencing gender confusion no longer do so after puberty.

But no, Jodi is Joe, and she/he is sure of it, even at 8. Not only so, but the rest of the world must accept it.When Barnett asked Jodi, “Why did you want to join the Boy Scouts?”, she replied, “Because all of my favorite friends were there.”

And that’s why the Cub Scouts should change their policy and allow girls to join their groups: because a little girl has more boy-friends than girl-friends and because she identifies as a boy.

According to CBS News, “The [Boy Scouts of America] told CBS News it offered the family alternative, co-ed programs for Joe, but Maldonado told us she’s not interested and instead wants an apology for her son.”

No surprise here either. It’s not a matter of working out a practical solution. It’s about the rest of the world changing its policies to accommodate a confused little child.

Of course, the Boy Scouts of America have only themselves to blame, since their accommodation to gay activism has made them as an easy target for trans activism, making their official statement sound quite lame and short-sighted: “No youth may be removed from any of our programs on the basis of his or her sexual orientation. Gender identity isn’t related to sexual orientation.”

Do the Boy Scouts of America really think that they will be able to say yes to gay activism but no to trans activism, that they will be able to dodge the accusation of being homophobes without being nailed with the accusation of being transphobes? Have they not noticed that the acronym LGBT — notice that T at the end! — has been around since the early 1990’s? If you say yes to the LG part, the B part is automatically included and the T part is right behind.

Let’s see how long the Boy Scouts hold out on this one. After all, if the Obama administration was pushing for this kind of acceptance in the schools — with penalties for non-compliance — and if Bruce Jenner being named woman of the year is old hat, why should the Scouts resist? Plus, the already-more-liberal Girl Scouts of America announced a few years back that a boy who identifies as a girl would be welcome in their midst. Social madness indeed.

But the worst thing about this whole story with 8-year-old Jodi is that the media is talking to her as if she was an expert, asking her how she felt about why she was excluded, to which this precious little child can only say, “I don’t know,” sounding sadly baffled. (To watch the actual video clip, along with my commentary, go here.)

To quote little Jodi, “It made me mad. I had a sad face, but I wasn’t crying. I’m way more angry than sad. My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It’s right to do.”

It’s a great sentiment, but it’s also the lens of an impressionable, still-developing, 8-year-old. When else do we go to little kids for life counsel and direction? And don’t the parents have a responsibility to shield their kids from this kind of attention? Don’t they actually set their children up for further pain and rejection by presenting them to the world as the opposite of who their biology and chromosomes say they are?

Interestingly, when National Geographic recently featured a 9-year-old boy who identifies as a girl on the cover of its “Gender Revolution” issue, I wrote that the magazine was complicit in a form of child abuse. Unknown to me, the American Family Network was sending out the message that, “National Geographic exploits children to further an agenda.”

Also unknown to me, in 2015, Camille Paglia, the controversial academic and social critic, and herself a lesbian, told a Brazilian TV station that, “Nothing … better defines the decadence of the West to the jihadists than our toleration of open homosexuality and this transgender mania now.”

She also said this, “Parents are now encouraged to subject the child to procedures that I think are a form of child abuse. The hormones to slow puberty, actual surgical manipulations, etcetera. I think that this is wrong, that people should wait until they are of an informed age of consent.

She added, “Parents should not be doing this to their children and I think that even in the teenage years is too soon to be making this leap. People change, people grow, and people adapt.”

Further confirmation for this position comes from Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, who also feels that medical facilities that support a child’s transgenderism are engaging in child abuse.

She said that National Geographic is “promoting a political agenda over science and the wellbeing of innocent children” by displaying the young child as the face for their first ever transgender cover.

“Affirming so called transgender children means sterilizing them as young as 11-years-old,” Dr. Cretella told Lifesite News. “Puberty blockers plus cross-sex hormones causes permanent sterility. And biological girls who ‘transition’ to male by taking testosterone may have a double mastectomy at age 16. The life time use of cross-sex hormones also puts these children at risk for stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancers and more.”

Is this what lies ahead for little Jodi?

I seriously doubt that the Boy Scouts of America will be able to hold their ground against trans activism, but I have no doubt about this: They will one day regret the decisions they made, first caving in to gay activism and then to trans activism.

As for Jodi’s parents, I imagine that they deeply love their child and would do anything to make her happy. Sometimes, though, it’s the job of the parents to do things that make a child unhappy for the moment, knowing that, in the end, it will be for that child’s lifelong happiness.

I look forward to the day when the very real confusion of a little child, which I do not minimize, is not the measure of reality or the arbiter of societal norms. In fact, that day cannot come too soon. (For more from the author of “Why a Little Girl Should Not Be Allowed to Join the Cub Scouts” please click HERE)

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Court Strikes Down Transgender Mandate, Protecting Doctors, Children, and Hospitals

While family and friends were counting down to the new year, I was watching a different kind of countdown—whether doctors and health care providers would be forced to violate their medical judgment and provide procedures, including gender transition services and abortions, under a new government mandate.

The mandate is a 362-page regulation that claims to interpret part of the Affordable Care Act. It was issued in May 2016, and major portions of this mandate would have kicked in on Jan. 1.

Becket Law had asked a Texas court for an order protecting health care providers. It was less than nine hours to midnight when we heard the good news: A Texas court issued an injunction protecting doctors and the families they serve from the mandate.

The court ruling came after eight states, an association of almost 18,000 doctors, and a Catholic hospital system challenged a new federal regulation that requires doctors to perform gender transition procedures on children, even if the doctor believes the treatment could harm the child.

Doctors who followed the Hippocratic oath—the historic medical vow that doctors take to act in the best interest of their patients—would have faced severe consequences, including losing their jobs.

This is a commonsense ruling. The government has no business forcing private doctors to perform procedures on children that the government itself recognizes can be harmful and exempts its own doctors from performing. The ruling ensures that doctors’ best medical judgment will not be replaced with political agendas and bureaucratic interference.

The federal regulation applied to over 900,000 doctors—nearly every doctor in the U.S.—and would have cost health care providers and taxpayers nearly $1 billion.

The government itself does not require its own military doctors to perform these procedures. It also does not require coverage of gender transition procedures in Medicare or Medicaid—even for adults—because the government medical experts that oversee those programs did not believe medical research demonstrates that gender reassignment surgery improves health outcomes, with some studies demonstrating that these procedures were in fact harmful.

But under the Department of Health and Human Services rule developed by political appointees, doctors citing the same evidence and using their best medical judgment in an individual case would have faced potential lawsuits or job loss.

A website about this court case provides leading research on the issue, including guidance the government itself relies on. This research shows that up to 94 percent of children with gender dysphoria will grow out of their dysphoria naturally and live healthy lives without the need for surgery or lifelong hormone regimens.

The government desperately wanted to avoid a court ruling on these facts, telling the Texas court that no injunction was needed. Instead, doctors should wait around to see if they got sued and then see whether the government would agree, based on the circumstances, that they were entitled to protection.

That argument was pretty rich coming from the Department of Health and Human Services, which has spent the last five years fighting lawsuits to limit conscience protections for groups like the Green family, who own Hobby Lobby, and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

In those cases and others, the government has been quick to argue for strict limits on protections like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Church Amendment, which protects providers from having to perform abortions.

Never did the government claim that rulings on the contraceptive mandate should wait until someone brought a lawsuit and the government had time to weigh the issues and pick a side. The court didn’t buy that excuse, instead recognizing that the mandate would create immediate and irreparable harm to doctors nationwide.

This ruling is an across-the-board victory that will ensure that the deeply personal medical decision of a gender transition procedure remains between families and their doctors.

This case was brought jointly by Becket Law—which defended Franciscan Alliance, a religious hospital network sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations—and by the Texas attorney general and the states of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Arizona, and Mississippi. (For more from the author of “Court Strikes Down Transgender Mandate, Protecting Doctors, Children, and Hospitals” please click HERE)

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Cub Scouts Facing Transgender Crisis

The Cub Scouts are facing a transgender controversy after an eight-year-old born a girl but who identifies as a boy was asked to leave a New Jersey pack.

Several readers alerted me to this story from Secaucus, New Jersey. Before I get into the heart of the issue, I want to explain why I have chosen not to identify the parent or the child.

I find it reprehensible a grown woman would parade her child in front of the national media to advance some sort of cultural agenda. This parent is sacrificing her child’s privacy and innocence for 15 minutes of fame. And I refuse to give the woman the satisfaction of reading her name in print.

The eight-year-old, who had been a member of the scouting group for about a month, was kicked out of Cub Scout Pack 87 because she is transgender. Local news accounts indicate an unknown number of parents were upset their sons were in a scouting group with a girl who identifies as a boy . . .

But the Boy Scouts of America defended the child’s ouster, pointing out to the newspaper the “child does not meet the requirements to participate in this program.” “Gender identity isn’t related to sexual orientation,” BSA spokesperson Effie Delimarkos told the New York Daily News. (Read more from “Cub Scouts Facing Transgender Crisis” HERE)

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Catholic Groups Sue Obama Administration Over ‘Transgender Mandate’

Two Catholic groups have sued the Obama administration to halt a mandate requiring them to perform abortions and gender identity surgeries or provide insurance that will pay for them.

In a lawsuit filed on December 28, the Catholic Benefits Association (CBA) and the Catholic Diocese of Fargo say Obama administration’s regulations violate their groups’ religious beliefs. They also say the rules express a political agenda, not sound science.

“For decades, Congress and the courts have understood the term ‘sex’ in federal law to mean biological sex – male and female,” Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the Catholic Benefits Association, said in a press statement. “By redefining ‘sex’ to mean both ‘gender identity’ and ‘termination of pregnancy,’ the Obama administration is not only trying to sidestep Congress and impose radical new healthcare mandates on hospitals and employers, it is creating a moral problem for Catholic employers that must be addressed.”

The “Transgender Mandate”

The CBA and the diocese are not the first organizations to file a lawsuit against the mandate. Earlier this year, five states (Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Texas and Wisconsin) and multiple Christian-based groups sued the federal government over the “transgender mandate.”

The mandate is based upon the same section of the Affordable Care Act that the administration insists requires even religious institutions to provide insurance covering contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacients. That mandate has twice gone to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it lost once and was sent back to lower courts.

According to the lawsuit, provided to The Stream, the Department of Health & Human Services’s regulation is an “expansive interpretation” of one section of the Affordable Care Act. The HHS used “a little-remarked-upon section of the ACA that prohibits discrimination ‘on the basis of sex’” to create “a mandate that coerces” Catholic institutions to perform or pay for sex-change surgery and abortions.

The regulation says (see page 31387 in the Federal Register) that “the term ‘on the basis of sex’ includes, but is not limited to, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom, childbirth or related medical conditions, sex stereotyping, and gender identity.”

HHS justified its interpretation by appeal to Title IX regulations, rulings by the Supreme Court and other courts, and previous decisions by federal agencies. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, which praised the regulations, this wording “make illegal the practice of categorically excluding all gender transition-related health care from coverage.” It will apply to companies that have a federal contract or receive federal funds, including Catholic hospitals and ministries.

What CBA Wants

In a press call, CBA’s general counsel Martin Nussbaum told The Stream and other outlets that CBA objects to the mandate for many legal and constitutional reasons. In its press release, the CBA claimed the government was violating the Administrative Procedure Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other federal laws, as well as the First Amendment.

In a follow-up email, Nussbaum told The Stream that the CBA has asked for “injunctive relief,” asking to court to tell the HHS to stop trying to force groups to accept the mandate. The CBA has also asked for “declaratory relief,” a judgment that the agency has no legal basis to enforce the mandate. The goal is making sure its members can “conduct their ministries and work consistent with their religious beliefs.”

Legal Complexities

CBA CEO Douglas Wilson accused the regulations of harming patients instead of helping them. The mandate is “shoddy science,” he said. “HHS’s own experts agree that these procedures can harm patients with gender dysphoria in ways that are often irreversible.”

Nussbaum told The Stream that the mandate is in effect even after President Barack Obama leaves office on January 20. “The orders, regulations and opinions issued by DOE, HHS and EEOC under this administration continue in force when a new president takes office.

Unfortunately, “Some of these have now morphed into judicial and quasi-judicial decisions that are either binding or persuasive precedents.” The new administration cannot undo those decisions by itself. Such actions from a Trump administration “would be a help,” Nussbaum admitted.

“For many CBA members, [judicial] relief would protect them from potentially fatal enforcement actions,” concluded Nussbaum, who in a press statement also accused the Obama administration of engaging in a “continued assault on religious freedom.” (For more from the author of “Catholic Groups Sue Obama Administration Over ‘Transgender Mandate'” please click HERE)

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