The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is expanding its mission “to defend marriage as the union of one man & one woman, and protect the faith communities that sustain it” by going after transgender students in California.
NOM announced on Friday that it would join a campaign to repeal a law, passed by the Legislature in August and signed by Governor Jerry Brown, that guarantees transgender students equal access to school facilities and activities. The law is the first of its kind in the nation.
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen gave the go-ahead to conservative groups on August 26 to begin collecting the 504,760 signatures needed to put the initiative on the November 2014 ballot. NOM joins Pacific Justice Institute, Capitol Resource Institute and Watchmen Ministry, which are already on board.
NOM was a prime mover behind passage of Proposition 8 in 2008, which temporarily banned gay marriage in California until it was overturned in the courts.
In announcing their intention, NOM President Brian Brown turned arguments used in support of the law and transgender rights, in general—privacy and protection in a hostile environment—on their head.
“They are forcing our school children to be exposed in showers and bathrooms to members of the opposite sex who claim a ‘gender identity’ with that sex,” Brown argued in a NOM press release. “This new law doesn't prevent bullying—it is bullying. It is not about protecting kids; it damages kids.”
He claimed Assembly Bill 1266 uses children as weapons in a culture war in an attempt to “strip society of all gender roles.”
Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who is considering a run for governor, said he was going to remove at least one of his children from public school because of the law. He called it a “recipe for disaster” in an article for the ultra-conservative online publication World Net Daily. “The right to privacy enjoyed by every student will be replaced by the right to be ogled,” he wrote.