Georgia ACLU Director resigns over the organization’s failure to balance transgender rights with women’s rights
May 30, 2016
Maya Dillard Smith, the head of the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has stepped down, citing the legal non-profit’s deliberate disregard for the impact on the rights of women and girls caused by the “Gender Identity” platform of the transgender rights movement.
From the Atlanta Progressive News:
“In a statement she accused the ACLU of being “a special interest organization that promotes not all, but certain progressive rights. In that way, it is a special interest organization not unlike the conservative right, which creates a hierarchy of rights based on who is funding the organization’s lobbying activities.”
Dillard Smith argues that transgender rights have “intersectionality with other competing rights, particularly the implications for women’s rights.”
“I have shared my personal experience of having taken my elementary school age daughters into a women’s restroom when shortly after three transgender young adults over six feet with deep voices entered,” she writes.
“My children were visibly frightened, concerned about their safety and left asking lots of questions for which I, like many parents, was ill-prepared to answer,” she said.
“Despite additional learning I still have to do, I believe there are solutions that can provide accommodations for transgender people and balance the need to ensure women and girls are safe from those who might have malicious intent,” she said.
“I understood it to be the ACLU’s goal to delicately balance competing rights to ensure that any infringements are narrowly tailored, that they do not create a hierarchy of rights, and that we are mindful of unintended consequences,” she said.
“Thus, I found myself principally and philosophically unaligned with the organization,” she wrote.”
Maya Dillard Smith has a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University and a Law degree from UC Hastings. She has worked for the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and also for the California Supreme Court. She served two terms as the senate-appointed head of the rules committee of the California Commission on Judicial Performance and was founding chair and elected chair of the City of Oakland’s Violence Prevention and Public Safety (Measure Y) Oversight Committee for five years.
She is now founding a new organization called ‘Finding Middle Ground’ which launched their new website ‘Finding Middle Ground: A safe space to dialogue about complex contemporary civil rights issues’ here: http://www.findingmiddleground.org/
The site launched with the above video and a contact/comment form.
Cheryl Courtney-Evans, the founder of Georgia transgender group TILTT (Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth) was quoted by the Atlanta Progressive News stating: “She did the right thing leaving the organization. If she couldn’t defend our rights any better than that, she deserves to leave – she doesn’t need to be in that position.”
He goes on to say “I never went in a men’s room since I’ve been living my truth. What am I doing in a men’s room looking as luscious as I am, putting myself in danger?” (It’s unclear if he used single-sex facilities designated for women during the period which he describes in interviews as detransitioning to attend college in ‘man mode’.)
In a reaction post on his website: [http://www.abitchforjustice.com/2016/05/and-she-stepped-down-for-what.html] he refers to the black female civil-rights attorney as “lazy”, “uneducated”, and “a bitch”. Courtney-Evans also claims that no man in history has ever harmed another human being while “dressed as women”, stating:
“Perhaps someone should hep this biotch to the fact that THERE HAVE BEEN NO DOCUMENTED INSTANCES OF TRANSGENDER MOLESTATION, ATTACK OR IMPROPER APPROACH IN ANY LADIES’ ROOM ANYWHERE (even though there have been NUMEROUS reports that have made the news regarding cis-identified men raping/attacking women/girls/boys in areas that they have been allowed in, and NONE OF THEM WERE DRESSED AS WOMEN when they did)!!!! I invite ANYONE to post a documented contradiction to this!!!”
He also states that gender neutral or family facilities that are not designated for single-sex use “mark” their users “as the Star Of David marked Jewish people in Nazi Germany”:
“And while you’re thinking you’re doing a positive thing by advocating for “alternative facilities” for trans*folks, think again…you’re creating even more numerous opportunities for trans*aggressions and bashing because you’re marking those individuals who use them every bit as effectively as the Star Of David marked Jewish people in Nazi Germany (THINK about it) when possible perpetrators see them go in.”
GenderTrender requested that Courtney-Evans clarify his statements. He did not respond in time for publication.