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LGBTQ+

“It isn’t about women’s sports”

Slate explains the role of the Alliance Defending Freedom in US (and UK) anti-trans bills and legal cases.

Over the last 28 years, the ADF has defended laws prohibiting same-sex intimacy; opposed marriage, adoption, and surrogacy for same-sex couples; attacked LGBTQ non-discrimination laws, as well as bans on conversion therapy for minors; argued in favor of laws that require transgender people to undergo sterilization before legally changing their gender; challenged access to contraception; and supported the criminalization of abortion at any stage of pregnancy. Its work stretches beyond the United States; ADF has, for instance, championed Belize’s archaic anti-sodomy law, which allows for the persecution and imprisonment of gay people. The ADF’s overarching position on gay people is that they should either be converted to heterosexuality or fired from their jobs and imprisoned because of their sexual orientation.

The ADF’s first strategy was the “bathroom bill”, legislation designed to prevent trans people from using the correct toilets.

They were rooted in fear of the “bathroom predator,” a mythical figure who pretends to be female so he can gain access to women’s bathrooms and rape them.

But the bathroom predator does not exist. So ADF developed a second generation of anti-transgender legislation, this time identifying an ostensible problem and a victim. The problem: transgender girls and women participating in sports, particularly school athletics. The victim: every cisgender girl and woman forced to compete against trans athletes. The solution: new model legislation drafted and pushed by ADF banning transgender students from participating in women’s sports, from elementary school through college.

In reality, this putative problem does not exist.

The endgame has been obvious for several years now.

these anti-LGBTQ bills build on each other. Soon, another state will consider outlawing gender-affirming care not just for youth or young adults, but for everyone. Schools will introduce harsher and harsher policies designed to identify and discriminate against students who do not perfectly match a cramped conception of gender roles. The government will insinuate itself into parents’ relationship with their children, children’s relationships with their bodies, and LGBTQ adults’ attempts to live authentic and fulfilling lives. ADF’s ascendant ideology demands nothing less. Did anyone really think this was going to stop with bathrooms?