The James Wilson Foundation on Natural Rights and the American Founding

The Inequality of the Equality Act: Concerns from the Left – A Panel Discussion Presented by the Heritage Foundation

JWI Founder and Director Hadley Arkes provides some background for our sharing of a video of a panel at the Heritage Foundation in January 2019 on the proposed Equality Act:

Our dear friend Ryan Anderson put on at the Heritage Foundation one of the most powerful and moving presentations we have ever seen.  Four people of the Left came together to make the most heartfelt case on the casualties, the wreckage, caused by the rising liberal passion to promote “transgenderism.”  Three of the panelists were women so clearly of the Left: Jennifer Chavez and Kara Dansky, two lawyers who are Members of the Board of the Women’s Liberation Front.  Julia Beck is a writer and producer at Women’s Liberation Radio News.  She was also a member of the Law and Policy Committee of the LGBTQ Commission in Baltimore–until she was expelled.  And what was her offense?:  She refused to use a female pronoun in discussing a male affecting to be a woman, a man who had been jailed for rape and committed two more rapes when he was sent, as a “transgendered” to a women’s prison.        

Jennifer Chavez read accounts written by anguished young liberal mothers, who had seen their daughters virtually taken away from them:  As one mother said, her daughter, at 18, could not buy alcohol or cigarettes, but she could give her consent at Planned Parenthood for the injection of hormones; and later the so-called professionals were free to order up a regime of puberty blockers but then also mastectomies on 13- and 16-year olds.   If the parents protested, they could  be cited for preserving an unsupportive, “toxic” home, and their children could be removed from their custody. And even more:  they could be prosecuted and fined for offering resistance to their children or seeking counsel for them.  

We have a record of young people, quite deluded, inflicting lasting damage on themselves–and all this quite detached from any plausible findings pretending to be scientific standing, or any argument that can evade incoherence.   Ms. Beck raised the challenge in Baltimore:  Lesbianism presupposes the existence of “women.”  But now we are told that are no such objective categories of male and female, that it is all a matter of “feelings” and one’s sense of oneself.  Ryan Anderson raised the point going to the root: What can it really mean to “feel like a woman”?  And how would know without any preceding sense of what a “woman” is?         

What we have is a story of massive amounts of money, put in by white millionaires and billionaires, funding new offices and institutes in the academy, corrupting now the academy and the media–and, most unaccountable of all, the mainline medical associations.  One of the gravest reckonings here will be the disgraceful performance of the medical profession, of the doctors who surely know better and who have been content to glide with the currents of the most “advanced liberal opinion”–the sentiments they hear sounded in the media, and all about them, as the sentiments that truly mark the sensitive and high minded. 

One of the most striking things to come out of the meeting  was the recognition, expressed by Julia Beck, that the T in LGBT is now devouring everything else in the ensemble.  A new Equality Act, to bar discrimination against the “transgendered” threatens to remove the gains in the law made distinctly for “women.”  As one of the participants remarked, the Act might as well be called “The Female Erasure Act.” 

 We are posting the link for this meeting now on our website because we would like to alert as many of our friends as possible to this powerful  recording–and indeed we would encourage our friends to convey it and spread it to others in the country, as widely as we can reach.

 Below is a video of the event, courtesy of the Heritage Foundation.

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Law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love, unless they first become the objects of our knowledge.
— James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1790