After years of attempts by groups such as the Montana High School Association, the Montana School Boards Association and President Obama’s Federal Department of Education trying to force schools to allow boys who believe they’re girls to use girls’ locker rooms and shower rooms, Montana parents will finally have a chance to voice THEIR opinion, and according to our polling, their opinion is “No, no how, no way, not on OUR watch!”
The vehicle is LC2373, a legislative ballot referendum that would restrict the use of locker rooms, shower rooms and other protected facilities, to people’s biological sex. No more free passes into the girls’ shower room for boys just for saying they’re a girl. To its credit, the bill does allow schools to offer creative solutions, such as single-stall facilities, to students with special circumstances. At the same time, it protects the privacy, safety and dignity of all students, and that’s how it should be.
The bill became necessary after several recent events. Last year lawsuits were filed after the now infamous Obama mandate letter. One of those, G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board had worked its way all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. When President Trump was elected, one of his first actions was to rescind the Obama decree, which rendered the court case moot. The Supreme Court then remanded the case back to the Fourth Circuit, and President Trump said these policies should be handled at the state level.
This ballot referendum is a direct result of Trump’s directive and it basically does three things: It furthers the states’ interest in protecting all people in public schools, colleges, universities and government buildings; it specifically focuses on the privacy and safety of those persons; and it seeks to maintain order and dignity in those facilities. It does that by requiring a person using a locker room, shower room or other protected facility to use the facility designated for that person’s biological sex. It also requires public entities, such as schools and colleges, to maintain separate facilities for men and women and allows for civil penalties if they fail to do so. In working with the bill’s sponsor, Representative Carl Glimm, the Montana Family Foundation also placed reasonable accommodations into the bill for people with special circumstances.
As we said, the purpose of the bill was to deal with the fallout from the Obama mandate in a way that provided for the privacy, safety and dignity of all people. The bill could be heard in the House as early as next week. If it passes both the House and Senate, it will be placed on the 2018 ballot for a vote of the people. And that seems only appropriate. These are important issues, and ballot referendums give the courts a clear impression of where the people stand.
Our ballot referendum in 2012 that required abortion providers to notify parents before performing an abortion on a minor passed by 71%. We predict this one will pass by a large percentage, as well, and when it does, it will protect the privacy, dignity and safety of all people, while at the same time, making reasonable accommodations for those with special needs. And isn’t that how it should be?