Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Liberty Counsel celebrates a temporary victory in Florida

Mat Staver
Mat Staver, head of the hate group Liberty Counsel is celebrating anti-LGBT discrimination in Marion County, Florida. Marion County (population 331 thousand) is in the center of the state and includes the metropolitan area of Ocala. The schools superintendent had the policy right and that upset a Christian. The politicians on the school board overrode the professional educator.
Effective this morning, the Marion County School Board affirmed the constitutional expectation of its student's privacy by requiring students to use the bathrooms and other facilities based on biological sex, as requested by Liberty Counsel. This 4-1 vote happened late last night. It will allow students of only one gender, that of their birth, into a bathroom or locker room. The vote overturned a previous interpretation, unilaterally imposed by the district's superintendent, which allowed students to choose what bathroom they wanted based on subjective "gender identity." Under today's policy, any student who identifies as "transgender" may request an appropriate alternate facility if uncomfortable using the facility corresponding to the student's biological sex.
Staver has had some success in Florida school districts by scaring them with the potential financial liability of allowing transgender students to use the facility consistent with their gender identity. Staver has three or four non-applicable horror stories to make his case. This time he claims to be acting on behalf of a devout Christian and his parents:
Liberty Counsel represented Harrell "Hal" Phillips before the Marion County School Board in support of this commonsense bathroom policy. Phillips and his son are devout Christians who believe strongly in both biblical modesty and constitutional privacy.
This is a temporary victory for Staver. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit based in Richmond got this right. On April 19, the Court held that Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use facilities consistent with their gender identity. Florida is in the Eleventh Circuit. The court of appeals is stacked with Obama and Clinton appointees.

Ultimately this restriction is probably going to be overturned by the courts. It is just unfortunate that the board caved to Christian zealots in defiance of the Establishment Clause.

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