School district waits on Supreme Court after Walmart attorney pushes transgender rights

by Joni B. Hannigan, Editorial Staff |
(FILE) REUTERS/Joshua Lott

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (Christian Examiner) – In the Northwest Arkansas seat of Walmart's home office, a company lawyer has engaged the local school board in the gender identity/sexual orientation debate in a way that Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver said in a letter could mean more that what appears on the surface.

The school board is considering adding clauses to its nondiscrimination policy – but according to a local news report will await the Supreme Court's announcement on same sex marriage next month.

So, when the Supreme Court announces it decision on marriage next month, not only will it define marriage, "it will affect how children as young as kindergartners are taught, how Christian businesses are run, and even whom churches and Christian schools can hire," Liberty Counsel said in a news release.

Bentonville Public School District board member Grant Lightle -- who also is an attorney for Walmart -- proposed adding "sexual orientation," along with "gender identity" and "its expression" to the school's nondiscrimination policy.

"The Walmart attorney needs to learn that discriminating between good and bad is what consumers do every day, and most agree that allowing boys to share a shower with their daughters is not good," Staver said.

In a 3-page letter sent to the district's school board, Liberty Counsel gave several examples about how various "gender identity" policies have created controversy for Walmart, and, in some school districts paved the way for changes in curriculum.

"The push for transgender rights is all a part of the homosexual agenda to create sexual anarchy in order to destroy marriage, morality, and objective truth," said Mat Staver. "This is not civil rights; this is the abolition of civil rights. It is the deconstruction of objective reality and natural law."

The letter describes and shows photos of Walmart employee Martin "Marty" Ortiz in Billings, Montana, who "insisted on using the women's restroom over the objections of nearly 40 female employees.

"The offensive behavior of Mr. Ortiz included urinating in the women's restroom while standing up, with the stall door open," the Liberty Counsel letter said.

In Fairfax County, Virginia, in early May, two days after cross dressing and homosexuality was added to its protected classes -- and two days later proposed adding those to the curriculum of two pubic school districts, Liberty Counsel said.

In the Virginia case, the proposal stated parents "do not have an opt-out option."

The Liberty Counsel letter cites other examples, including that of Andrew M. Peterson, a kindergarten teacher in the Clark County, Nevada school district. Peterson taught "while engaging in distracting 'gender identity or expression' by cross-dressing in class," Liberty Counsel said, was at the beginning of his "transition."

With a contrived falsetto voice, makeup, a woman's haircut, women's clothes, and plucked eyebrows – the man presented a confusing figure to young children. This frustrated some parents who felt pressured speaking with 5-year-olds about cross dressing and sexual issues that went against their "religious, ethical and moral beliefs."

The former chief psychiatrist for John Hopkins Hospital, Paul McHugh, wrote in a June 12, 2014 Wall Street Journal opinion piece that "policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered" by not treating transgender "confusions ... as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention.

The best way to help children who are struggling with their gender, McHugh says, is not surgery, but "devoted parenting."