Back on November 22, I noted how the anti-trans coalition that's working to repeal student protections in California plans to spin the outcome, should the ongoing count of their petition signatures prove insufficient. Basically the campaign, working under the completely dubious name "Privacy For All Students," is putting out the idea that the "LGBT agenda" is leading officials handling the count to unfairly skew the results. The claim, which this determined coalition is floating via email and social media, is that the government workers handling the count will simply throw out valid signatures without cause. It goes like this:
In the week and a half since PFAS submitted 620,000 signatures to the various counties, a number of curious events have been reported. And these could jeopardize the count.
Signatures collected in the 90 day qualifying period needed to be submitted to counties based on the residency of the signer. With 58 counties, some of the petitions were delivered in person while others were sent by overnight delivery. Multiple counties have reported that they did not receive any petitions at all. Only when confronted with the receipts of delivery did the petitions appear. In one county, delivery was initially refused.
It is possible that these incidents and others are merely the consequence of bureaucracy, and that there is no reason to assume that the petitions were unprotected or vulnerable. But it is also possible that PFAS will have to fight to assure that each signature is protected, respected and counted. With a 115,000 signature margin, it is hard to imagine that enough signatures could be lost, invalidated or otherwise uncounted as to make the referendum fail to qualify. But PFAS is prepared to fight to assure that every signature is counted, and that the rights of those who signed the petitions are protected. [SOURCE]
The anti-trans coalition is doing this, obviously, because they fear they might lose (and we all know that losses can never be the anti-LGBT movement's own fault). They have stuck their necks out on this effort, and they know that if they lose, they are going to have a lot of face in need of saving. Their answer is to shape a narrative now rather than later.
They also are doing it to raise money:
In the days since PFAS submitted the petitions, PFAS has transitioned from an effort to collect thousands of signatures to an effort to assure that every signature is counted. And once again we need your help.
PFAS will monitor the counting process as much as we are allowed and we are preparing for legal challenges if necessary. And we are coming back to those of you that were generous during the initial qualifying period and asking you to donate once again to guarantee that we will be able to fund the battle to assure that each signature is counted. [SOURCE]
"Victimhood" is the anti-LGBT movement's cash cow, and this is just more of the same. If they can convince supporters that their government is undermining their rights, in will come the cash. Or so the thinking goes.
None of this is is even kind of surprising to me, someone who has watched this movement for quite some time. However, in the days since I started looking at this, something else has shaped up—something that is exceedingly low and disturbing, even for the anti-LGBT movement.
Over on TransAdvocate, Autumn Sandeen reports on a very disturbing call that the reliably incendiary Brad Dacus of the reliably anti-LGBT Pacific Justice Institute put out to his supporters. To wit:
DACUS: If we for some strange reason they declare we did not have enough valid signatures, then we at Pacific Justice Institute are preparing to challenge this in federal court.
We don’t want to wait till after — to January first when we have the victims. And, the only way we can preemptively do this is if there’s parents out there — perhaps you’re listening to us — and your son or daughter knows that there’s at least one child in their school that claims to be a transgender. They claim that inside they have these feelings that they are the opposite sex. If that child can validate that this transgender has expressed their intention to use the opposite sex’s bathroom or locker room or showers, and they’re willing to come along side to be a plaintiff at our action, and if their child — and we’ll give anonymity, we’ll protect their identity — if they can do that, then they should contact us because that gives us standing to be able to have a preemptive action and to get this matter…um…uh…to get injunction against this enforcement as a violation of the U.S. constitution’s right to privacy that it guarantees to all of us, including to young adolescents and other children. So, contact us at Pacific Justice Institute if you know anything about this, if you have any information like that.
~Brad Dacus, in the November 16, 2013 broadcast of The Dacus Report
**Autumn's full report: PJI Has Plan Bs [Trans Advocate]
This is a really sick call. This is not just an example of a movement trying to raise funds, save face, and self protect. In this case, we are talking about the Pacific Justice Institute trying to turn actual young people against each other. These grown adults with a political agenda are actively seeking out minors who are willing fabricate stories out of their discomfort with transgender students. It's not just about donor rolls or policy shaping—this is about pushing divisive untruths into the very spaces where we know they pose the greatest danger. It's like the crap-stirring kid who whispers "fight, fight, fight," in hopes that a hallway brawl might make the school day more interesting.
Given the fabricated stories that PJI has already promoted, one also wonders how (or if) PJI will vet these stories. Kids say things, in general. When it comes to opposing trans safety, stereotype is the order of the day. So when these stories come in, spurred on by parents who already support the PJI and its anti-trans efforts on behalf of the Privacy For All Students coalition, what is the standard for determining their validity? Does Brad Dacus really think he's going to build a credible case off of these solicited stories? It's almost as ridiculous as it is dangerous (almost).
To me, the whole thing speaks to the biggest problem of this whole debate over protections for transgender students: the fact that folks like Dacus and organizations like the Pacfic Justice Institute refuse to see transgender minors are human beings worthy of protection. I already got the coalition to admit that it has no plan to protect the trans students that will still exist independent of whether the anti-trans coalition can successfully take away protections, and to admit that they see these students as having "damaging lifestyles." This is just more of that same mentality. They have no problem asking parents to make their children to tell (make up?) stories about their transgender classmates because, to them, this whole thing is just some sort of a game against some sort of incendiary force. And don't be fooled: that is the dehumanized (and dehumanizing) way in which these groups want supporters to see this debate. It's much easier to strip protections from a thing than it is a person; it's much easier to rat out an "agenda" than it is to sell out a classmate.
The anti-transgender activists need to position themselves as the victims, no matter the truth. Or the cost. Even if the attempts to place the School Success and Opportunity Act on the ballot for repeal fail (which, at the moment, looks like it will be the case), we will need to keep a close eye on the Pacific Justice Institute and the Privacy for All Students Campaign. They intend to continue fighting, not caring how many students are harmed in the process.