The interim director of the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has resigned over the agency's support of the federal directive allowing public-school students to use the bathroom matching their gender identity.
Maya Dillard Smith called it quits on Thursday, saying the transgender ruling comes at the expense of women's civil rights.
"If our goal is to advance the rights of equality of transgender folk, how do we do that, and advance the rights of all people?" Dillard Smith said, according to 11alive.com.
"If we have all-gender restrooms which will accommodate trans folks, what do we do about women who are the survivors of rape for whom it would be traumatic to share a public restroom where you take down your underwear, and there'd be men in the bathroom."
Dillard Smith said her daughters had experienced trauma over the issue.
"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 said in a statement reported by Atlanta Progressive News.
"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 …
"I believe there are solutions that provide 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 she believed the ACLU's goal was "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. Thus, I found myself principally and philosophically unaligned with the organization."
Dillard Smith has formed a new organization, Finding Middle Ground,
which describes itself as a "safe space to communicate about civil rights for all."
The website features a YouTube video
of a young girl by a swing set talking about the bathroom controversy.
"Boys in the girls in the bathroom? I don't know about that. There's some boys who feel like they're are girls on the inside. And there are some boys who are just perverts," the girl says.
Georgia is one of 11 states suing the Obama administration over its directive to public schools and colleges to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and showers in accordance with the sex they identify with.
Those who don't comply could suffer cuts in federal funding based on a law that which protects people from discrimination based on sex in education.
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