Transgender issues: Wisconsin school retreats after threat from Liberty Counsel

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I Am Jazz (Penguin Books) is described as the story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings. By Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings. (Photo: Penguin Books)

Dianne Skoll
LGBT Perspectives

OTTAWA —  A very troubling story has emerged from Wisconsin.  A teacher at the
Mount Horeb Primary Center planned to read the book “I am Jazz” to the class and then discuss it with them.

A parent got wind of this and notified the right-wing Liberty Counsel, which threatened to sue the school.  The school district subsequently decided not to go through with the reading. The final paragraph of the threatening letter (which set out a whole series of lies about transgender people) read:

Liberty Counsel is deeply concerned about this impending violation of   civil rights, and if this request is ignored, will be tracking in which classes this book is read, and who reads it. If harm results to  children, including gender confusion, violations of restroom privacy  or other harms, all options will be explored, including a federal lawsuit against teachers and staff in their official and individual capacities for violation of parental rights.

The full letter is at https://lc.org/PDFs/Attachments2PRsLAs/2015/112315LettertoMHASD.pdf.

The irony of this is incredible; if it weren’t so tragic, it would be farcical. A group of lawyers is abusing the U.S. legal system to threaten a school so it does NOT expose children to knowledge.  In the name of freedom, the Liberty Counsel demands the perpetuation of bigotry and ignorance.  And to compound the hypocrisy, the Liberty Counsel’s “About” page says: “The purpose of this ministry is to preserve religious liberty and help create and maintain a society in which everyone will have the opportunity to discover the truth that will give true freedom.”

George Orwell could not have imagined a more duplicitous piece of doublespeak.  And the final disgusting piece to this tale is that Liberty Counsel is recognized as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

The IRS really needs to start investigating charities and revoking the charitable designation of those groups that aren’t actually helping disadvantaged people.  Liberty Counsel, in fact, is deliberately targeting a vulnerable segment of the population and perpetuating hateful stereotypes. This is completely shameful.

Furthermore, progressive lawyers and organizations need to support targets of this group and have them stand up against the threats of legal action.

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2 thoughts on “Transgender issues: Wisconsin school retreats after threat from Liberty Counsel”

  1. As long as these ate groups operate with tax excemptions thy will continue spreading hate an lies only in America do we give churches an other hate groups the opportunity to e tax except an then use that money to spread hate an lies time to put a stop it no tax excemptions for anyone designate a hate groupe

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  2. YES have this group effectively investigated as a Hate Group and remove it’s Tax exempt status. Bigotry should not be permitted. Sad the school would not stand up to the BIGOTS and runs in Fright away from it as they wanted because of the threat.

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