Title IX Proposed Rule to Include “Gender Identity” as a Protected Class

Feminists in Struggle opposes the Department of Education’s proposed regulations to include “gender identity” as a protected class.  Here is our comment that we posted on the DOE site:

Agency: DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (ED)
Document Type: Proposed Rule
Title: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance
Document ID: ED-2021-OCR-0166-0001

Comment:
We concur with the points made by the Green Alliance for Sex-Based Rights, comment tracking #l7q-x20e-f2rc. “Gender identity” is an entirely subjective experience that has no objective reality, is based on the mistaken notion that one can change one’s sex, and militates against the rights of women and girls to define themselves as a class based on sex. Recognizing “gender identity” undermines the entire purpose of Title IX, to ensure parity and fairness in academics and sports for females. Allowing “gender identity” to be a protected category essentially allows males to “identify” their way into women’s and girls’ spaces and programs, defeating the purpose of addressing disparity between males and females, making females, the underclass, bow to the demands of the privileged class (males), and disregards females’ particular needs for safety, privacy, and dignity by allowing males to invade locker rooms, bathrooms, and other spaces women and girls need in order to be safe from the male gaze and from harassment and assault. It is unconscionable to put females in this position in order to appease the demands of a vocal minority.

For more information, see:  Senator Condemns Biden’s Proposed Title IX Rule and AG O’Connor opposes U.S. Dept. of Education’s proposed regulations redefining “sex”

FIST FORUM: SAVING THE TOMBOYS FROM THE MEDICAL ATROCITIES OF CHILD “TRANSITION”

The medical “transition” of gender non-conforming, mostly lesbian, girls has increased exponentially.  How do we fight it?

JOIN US on AUGUST 13TH at 11:00 a.m.Pacific time, 1:00 p.m. Central, and 2:00 p.m. Eastern for this timely discussion of the harmful practice of medicalization of a growing number of gender non-conforming girls, a majority of whom are lesbian, through use of puberty blockers, wrong sex hormones, double mastectomies, and genital mutilating surgeries. Reserve your tickets now.

Girls are being taught that their non-conformity and same sex attraction mean they have been born in the “wrong” body, with the result that they pursue dangerous treatments before they even reach adulthood, causing permanent harm to their healthy developing bodies and turning them into life-long medical patients. Many of these girls will in a few years join the growing ranks of detransitioners and regretters. Is this the face of the new homophobia? How can we fight back and save new generations of tomboys, lesbians, and future feminists?

TICKETS ONLY $5 – SAVING THE TOMBOYS FROM THE MEDICAL ATROCITIES OF CHILD “TRANSITION” Tickets, Sat, Aug 13, 2022 at 11:00 AM | Eventbrite

SPEAKERS:

CAROL is an advisor for de-transitioned people, having gone through transition and de-transition herself. She is a co-founder of Detrans Voices: Detransition Stories, Resources, and Community and a member of LGB Alliance USA | Leading the Fight for Same-Sex Rights She currently co-facilitates a gender dysphoria support group for lesbian and bisexual women through LGB Alliance USA and continues to work on outreach and awareness around de-transition.

ERIN FRIDAY is a licensed attorney in California and the mom of a desister. She is co-leader of Our Duty, U.S. branch, a parent support group for parents of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoric kids.

T is the founder and national organizer of Lesbians United, a grassroots lesbian-only organization in the U.S. Lesbians United is creating public information campaigns both online and on the street to fight back against the anti-lesbian transgenderist movement.

ANN MENASCHE is a radical feminist, lesbian, socialist, political activist, and co-founder of Feminists in Struggle and Green Alliance for Sex-Based Rights. Growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s, she seriously thought about “transitioning” when she read about Christine Jorgensen, because she yearned for the career opportunities and authority only available to men. The advent of feminism helped her to accept herself for the first time as she dedicated herself to women’s liberation and radical social change.

FIST’s Feminist Forums series are interactive and organizing events. At our forums, women have an opportunity not only to hear interesting speakers on a variety of feminist topics but to meet each other, make comments, ask questions of the presenters and discuss feminist politics together. We also usually tape the events so they may be viewed later. Women in attendance are free to shut off their cameras and mute themselves, should they prefer to do so. If you prefer to remain anonymous within the group, or plan to sign in under a different name from the name you have used for registration and purchase of your ticket, please contact the organizer prior to the event. Thanks.

While some of our events are open to both men and women, THIS IS A FEMALE ONLY EVENT. We ask that our male allies respect our right to meet together as women.

DEFEND ABORTION RIGHTS – MARCH ON MAY 14th!!!

In the wake of the horrifying Politico leaked draft Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs vs. Jackson case, placing Roe vs. Wade in immediate jeopardy, FIST urges all women and their male allies to join the beginning fight back in peaceful protests to defend the right of women to control our own reproductive capacity and our own lives.

The 1973 Roe decision was not a gift from on high by powerful males in the Supreme Court, but the result of the organizing and mass struggle of a powerful independent movement for women’s liberation that emerged in the late 1960’s. We can secure our rights in the same way we won them, by relying on ourselves, not the politicians, and by pouring into the streets and building our independent movement.

We should demand that the Supreme Court uphold Roe, that Congress immediately pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, that President Biden register the Equal Rights Amendment that will put sex-based protection in the U.S. Constitution, and that all anti-abortion laws in every state be repealed. We join with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights in demanding ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY!

Please join the national protests called by Rise Up culminating in united actions on May 14th! Checked the Rise Up website for more details. Take a FIST Abortion Flyer with you!

In the words of Christabel Pankhurst: “Remember the dignity of your womanhood, Do not appeal, do not beg, do not grovel. Take courage, join hands, stand beside us, fight with us.”

Feminist Education Series: Our Radical Feminist Roots

Feminists in Struggle (FIST) presents our women-only Feminist Education Series (part one): OUR RADICAL FEMINIST ROOTS from January through August of 2022.

We will be reading and discussing articles and books and viewing movies from our feminist herstory covering both the First and Second Waves of Feminism. There will be brief presentations and small group discussions at each session to raise consciousness and build sisterhood. We are also presenting two panels of “veterans” from the Feminist Movement sharing their experiences and where we should go from here. See this flyer or the Eventbrite page for more details!

The sessions will occur on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of every month on Zoom: 5:30 to 7:30 Pacific, 7:30 to 9:30 Central, and 8:30 to 10:30 Eastern. Copies of many of the written materials will be provided. We will also make suggestions about where other books and materials may be obtained free or at a reasonable price.

The series is free for dues-paying FIST members // $25 for non-members // $15 for low-income non-members – PRICES ARE FOR THE WHOLE SERIES.

Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite here.

Knowledge is power! Please join us!

In solidarity,
Feminists in Struggle

After Georgia: Charting a Feminist Path Forward for the Left

For those feminists and allies involved in the year-long defense of the Georgia Green Party for its gender critical feminist positions (endorsement of the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights and FIST’s Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act), the overwhelming vote by the National Committee of the Green Party to revoke the accreditation of Georgia (119 yes, 17 no and 6 abstentions) was extremely disheartening.

So were the undemocratic, even Orwellian, tactics used against Georgia and its supporters: guilt by association and constant smears and name-calling (“Bigots”, “fascists”, “transphobes”, “transmisic”, “supporters of the Proud Boys, etc.) directed at life-long socialists, peace activists, union leaders, and Greens who raised even the slightest questions or mild disagreement with gender identity ideology. This created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, making others afraid to speak out. There was also a complete refusal to follow democratic process:  the Georgia Party was deprived of the ability to properly defend itself, cross-examine witnesses, or present evidence to the Accreditations Committee, which was stacked with members and supporters of the Lavender Caucus, the complainant in the case. The Secretary of the Georgia Party was even excluded from the Zoom hearing room when the LC provided testimony against Georgia. Members of the National Committee that took Georgia’s side were silenced by biased moderators or removed from the NC before the vote.

But there was also great courage and fortitude shown by defenders of Georgia, who met weekly on Zoom in what we called our “war room” to collectively plan strategy. These include dozens of women and men who came out of the woodwork to contact us from all over the country. One example of such courage was the sole dissenter on the Accreditations Committee, won over during the course of the struggle. He wrote a scathing minority report which the AC attempted to suppress, though we were nonetheless able to get into NC hands. This brave individual was one of the people removed from his NC position, even though he had months left to serve out his term.

Georgia and its allies produced a voluminous amount of evidence and arguments in defense of gender critical feminist politics, including video-taped testimony from Hilla Kerner of Vancouver Rape Relief, Amparo Domingo from Women’s Human Rights Campaign, and by two trans-identified females who have been outspoken in opposition to child “transition.” This evidence was mostly ignored with the TRAs proclaiming “there is no debate.” The evidence can be found on the Dialogue Not Expulsion website. https://www.dialoguenotexpulsion.org/nlc-vs-ggp/pleadings.

How could this happen in a Party that claims support for grassroots democracy and feminism and seeks to create a just society? What does this mean for the future of “the Left”? And where do we go from here?

First, it should be recognized that gender identity ideology and the “cancel culture” that is imposing these misogynistic and individualistic ideas through authoritarian means, is not the product of a genuine independent radical or socialist left. Rather, it is thoroughly “establishment,” arising from a patriarchal neo-liberal capitalist order, into which the tiny weak Left has been unfortunately fully assimilated. This ideology has been promoted by the corporate-run Democratic Party, including by the Biden Administration (who is fine with killing the ERA while instituting gender identity nationally through his executive orders), and by private corporations, state legislatures, the courts, and even the Pentagon.

This form of “identity politics” on steroids, branded by corporate trainers as “diversity, equity and inclusion,” keeps people divided and focused on etiquette, language, tokenism, and on constructing individual and small group identities at no cost to the system. Not only does it ignore sex-based oppression now overridden by “gender identity,” it does virtually nothing for Black people, people with disabilities, immigrants, lesbians, or gay men (also defined out of existence) or other truly disadvantaged and oppressed groups nor for working people as a whole, facing increasing levels of impoverishment and homelessness. It is both a highly profitable endeavor (keeping women down and making profits for Big Pharma) and a fraudulent substitute for grassroots organizing and mass struggle like the ones that won women the vote, dismantled Jim Crow, and legalized abortion, movements capable of presenting real challenges to political structures of oppression and creating genuine systemic change.

Second, we are living through a period of deep backlash against the gains of Second and even First Wave Feminism. The existence of a Third or Fourth Wave is a myth. Instead, what has been called feminist waves is mostly backlash, and at best, no more than a small ripple. That backlash in the U.S. has two faces – that of the female and lesbian and gay erasure of the transgender “movement;” and the attacks on abortion rights and lesbian and gay rights coming from the Christian Right. Both faces pose extreme dangers to our sex. In the late 1960’s, Robin Morgan wrote an essay, “Goodbye to all that” about the sexism of the Left of that time. But the rise of the Second Wave changed that dynamic, made the Left, though imperfectly, a far friendlier place for feminism. Sadly, that has changed once again as a result of this backlash as can be seen in the U.S. Green Party.

Third, we need to create a gender critical pro-feminist Left, that can become a political home for those betrayed by the two corporate parties and now the leadership of the Green Party. Veterans of the Georgia Green Party struggle are already moving in that direction with the formation of the Green Alliance for Sex-Based Rights (GASBR), under a majority female/feminist leadership. There can be no Left worthy of the name, one that can effectively fight against war, for housing and healthcare, to end poverty, or to save the environment from the unfolding disaster of global warming, except under the leadership of conscious feminist women.

Finally, and most importantly, we must build our independent women’s liberation movement. Feminists in Struggle is part of that effort as are other groups such as the Women’s Human Rights Campaign. Our job, in a nutshell, is to turn this feminist ripple into a real wave for our sex.

Spinning & Weaving: Radical Feminism for the 21st Century

Feminists in Struggle (FIST) is hosting a book launch event on April 24th for Elizabeth Miller’s forthcoming radical feminist anthology, Spinning & Weaving: Radical Feminism for the 21st Century. The event will feature presentations by several of the book’s amazing radical feminist authors in this groundbreaking anthology.

Spinning & Weaving , Radical Feminism for the 21st Century features 45 chapters of radical feminist analysis and fiction on topics like sisterhood, intersectionality, lesbian feminism, ecofeminism, sexual exploitation, gender ideology, and technology. The book features over 35 radical feminist authors from across the globe. The book is published by Ruth Barrett at Tidal Time Publishing and edited by Elizabeth Miller.

Listen to a few of these authors discuss their ideas expressed in the book and join the discussion as we build our international radical feminist movement.

Cherry Smiley – feminist from Nlaka’pamux & Dine Nations , author of “Women Aren’t Men: A Radical Feminist Analysis of Indigenous Gender Politics”.

Yagmur Uygarkizi – 24 year old feminist born in Turkey, author of “Feminism Allowed You to Speak: Reinforcing Intergenerational Feminist Solidarity Against Sophisticated Attacks”.

Angela C Wild – Lesbian Feminist activist and founder of “Get the L Out UK”, author of “Understanding Heterosexuality: Eroticizing Subordination and Colonization, A Lesbian Feminist Prospective”.

Melissa Farley & Inge Kleine , co-authors “Harm and its Denial: Sex Buyers, Pimps and the Politics of Prostitution”.

Gail Dines – founding president and CEO of the non-profit, Culture Reframed and author of “Racy Sex, Sexy Racism: Porn from the Dark Side”.

Special performance by singer song-writer Thistle Pettersen, who has written a song celebrating the book and our feminist work together!

Get your  TICKET today!

Order the book

Coalition for the Feminist Amendments submits written comments to the Judiciary Committee

Our Coalition made a concerted effort to contact the Senators on the Judiciary Committee to press for an opportunity to testify at the Judiciary Committee hearing in order to present a feminist and LGB perspective on the Equality Act and the need to amend the bill. However, feminist voices critical of female erasure were not to be found. Abigail Shrier was the only witness that exposed the bill’s threat to women and girls, without throwing in right-wing talking points like “religious freedom” or opposition to abortion. However, two of our Coalition members, Callie Burt, and Lynette Hartsell, were able to submit written testimony.
Below is testimony from Lynette Hartsell of LGB Alliance USA. The testimony of Callie Burt can be found here.

Re: Testimony of M. Lynette Hartsell, LGB Alliance USA and the Coalition for Feminists Amendments– Equality Act: AMEND AND PASS

March 17, 2021

The Honorable Richard Durbin
Chair, Senate Committee on the Judiciary

The Honorable Charles Grassley
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Dear Senators Durbin and Grassley,
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to present this written testimony regarding the Equality Act.


LGB Alliance USA is part of an international group of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals living in the United States. We define ourselves in terms of same-sex sexual orientation. Sex, not “gender.”
The Coalition for Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act (CoFA) is a national alliance of individuals and organizations representing feminists as well as lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.
We support many of the positive provisions put forth by the Equality Act. Federal statutory protections for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals based on sexual orientation are long overdue.

However, the Equality Act’s attempt to protect transgender-identified individuals from discrimination—by redefining sex to ”include sexual orientation and gender identity,” and by replacing “sex” in civil rights laws with “sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity),” creates ambiguity, confusion, and introduces a conflict between the sex-based rights of women, long acknowledged in the law, and claims recently being raised based on gender identity as a rationale for overriding separate provisions. The Equality Act as written then enshrines as law this premise that self-declaration of one’s gender identity takes primacy over biological sex.


Clearly, sex is not “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.”
Merging two distinct groups—who possess different sets of experiences and needs, as well as unique histories of discrimination and marginalization—is detrimental to preserving human rights protections currently afforded to females as a uniquely subjugated class.

More importantly, “gender” or “gender identity” is conflated with “sex” throughout the bill without clearly defining either term. The term “gender identity” is subjective in that it describes a state of mind that may or may not be manifested in dress, grooming, or behavior, and is generally based upon discriminatory sex stereotypes that feminists have been working to abolish for decades. This subjectivity opens a loophole ripe for abuse and provides no objective test useful to a court, which will ultimately litigate the conflicts sure to arise from this legislation.


As written, the Equality Act erases sex as a protected class in law, weakening protections as well as undermining the existing rights of females as a unique class and will erase the progress women have made toward achieving equality with men.


By eliminating sex as a protected class, the bill as currently written would:
• Undermine targeted remedies for the exclusion or under-representation of women and girls in education as well as in jobs and professions traditionally held by men
• Eradicate competitive women’s sports by undermining Title IX protections
• Make it impossible to track (and remedy) disparity between the sexes, such as the pay gap and domestic violence, which is overwhelmingly male violence against women
• Prevent the gathering of accurate crime, health, and medical research statistics


It is not necessary to erase or redact sex in the law in order to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and gender non-conforming people, whether trans-identified or not; in fact, to erase or obfuscate the definition of sex renders it impossible to address sex discrimination or to protect sexual orientation.


These conflicts must be addressed. Failure to do so will threaten long-settled statutory and case law developed to protect the rights of females as a distinctive class. Our amendments provide a solution.


Like the Equality Act, the Feminist Amendments expand civil rights laws to cover lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender-identified people, and other individuals who don’t conform to gender stereotypes (social roles traditionally imposed based on one’s sex), while continuing to uphold sex-based protections. In doing so, everyone’s concerns and rights to privacy are protected.


The Feminist Amendments eliminate “gender identity” and instead establish two new categories in civil rights law: “sexual orientation” and “sex-stereotyping.” Doing so more effectively protects all classes, including transgender-identified people, without negating sex-based protections.  These amendments contain clear definitions of “sex” and “sex-stereotyping” that will preserve female facilities and programs, allowing women and girls to participate fully in public life.


At the same time, the Feminist Amendments protect lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and all people who don’t conform to imposed gender roles and stereotypes—including transgender-identified people—from discrimination in employment, education, housing, credit, jury service and in places of public accommodation.
These amendments also allow for the establishment of “gender-neutral” (mixed-sex) facilities for individuals who may feel safer or more comfortable in such spaces, so long as the availability and access to female-only facilities is not diminished. Thus, these amendments allow each protected class to continue to make progress toward achieving true equality.

Female-only facilities, groups, and spaces are an important legacy of women’s organizing, key to the protection of the female sex against male-pattern violence and to the broader participation of women in public life. It is vital that these basic human rights provisions remain in place.


Male-pattern violence against females is so well-documented that Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act in an attempt to protect women and girls from sexual and physical assault. However, such predatory violence remains pervasive as demonstrated by the “Me Too” movement and numerous well-documented instances of such violations by males in the entertainment business, the military, and even Congress. A Swedish study showed that this pattern of behavior is not mitigated by male-to-female sex reassignment surgery.


Moreover, the current bill’s “gender identity” provisions require that males who identify as women, including those with intact male genitalia (85-90% of males who identify as women retain male genitalia), must be admitted, solely on the basis of “self-identification,” into female facilities such as rape crisis centers, battered women’s shelters, homeless shelters, prisons, hospital rooms, communal showers, changing rooms, restrooms, and nursing homes.


Social scientists and international policy bodies have underscored the importance of maintaining separate statistics based on sex as a key means of tracking disparities between the sexes, recording accurate data, and measuring our progress on addressing sex-based discrimination. In addition, there are multiple instances, such as within the context of healthcare and medical research, where maintaining accurate information about a person’s sex is vital, even life-saving.


One hundred years after women’s suffrage, women are still paid less, are denied equal opportunities in the workplace, and continue to be underrepresented in many fields and positions of economic and political leadership in our society because of their sex. Females still suffer disproportionately from domestic violence and rape because of their sex.


The world is watching. Will the United States remain a leader for women’s rights and the rights of the LGB community, or will Congress replace biology and science by redefining sex to include fictions created on the fly by anyone, at any time, for any reason?
I respectfully submit the above to the Judiciary Committee and request that this document and the Feminists Amendments  be included in the record for consideration by the Committee.

M. Lynette Hartsell, LGB Alliance USA
Co-Chair of Coalition for Feminist Amendments
Cedar Grove, North Carolina
US-lgb-alliance@protonmail.com
@LGBAlliance_USA

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY March 8, 2021

International Women’s Day marks the second anniversary of the founding of Feminists in Struggle.  We have accomplished a lot in two short years, despite living through a pandemic this past year.  We have connected with other radical feminists, grown our organization and our network, and raised awareness and educated women with our Feminist Forums on topics such as defending women’s spaces from male violence, the ERA, the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act, reproductive rights, and women’s sports.

We face more challenges ahead, fighting to preserve female-only spaces and programs that are our lifeline, demanding that the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act be adopted; working to get the ERA finally enshrined into the Constitution; defending abortion rights against the forces of the Religious Right and a conservative Supreme Court which is on the precipice of reversing Roe vs. Wade; fighting against pervasive male violence and the exploitation of our bodies and the glorification of prostitution and commercial surrogacy; dealing with the desperate poverty and greater burdens imposed on more and more women; and defending our right to think, speak, and organize as a sex without being threatened with violence or being fired from our jobs.

The good news is that we women, half the human race, the mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters of all of humanity, subordinated by males through many millennia, are beginning once again to awake from slumber.  And once we open our eyes and find our voices, no one can shut our eyes or silence us.

The radical feminist movement that FIST is building along with many others is still small but we are now everywhere, in every corner of the globe. We are growing, and compared to a few years ago, more and more of us, despite the threats against us, are speaking out. Today there was a protest in Washington DC against Biden’s female-erasing Executive Order and to demand our sex-based rights. FIST was there, carrying our banner.  There are weekly international seminars by the Women’s Human Rights Campaign (of which FIST is a proud member) every single week, drawing 400 women from many countries; the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights now has over 15.600 individual signatories, from 129 countries, in collaboration with 314 organizations; the ERA was ratified; the LGB Alliance was launched; Argentina legalized abortion; legislation protecting women’s sports is being introduced in legislatures; and lawsuits are beginning to be filed by de-transitioners like Keira Bell.  The tide is beginning to turn.

And while it is not surprising that many of us are feeling battle weary, overwhelmed by the seemingly endless reach of our two enemies–those who would erase us and those who would enslave us, or feeling deeply saddened and demoralized by the sight of so many young girls mutilating their bodies and denying their sex, we need only remember that we stand on the shoulders of giants, suffragists like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Christabel Pankhurst, and Alice Paul; and our sisters of the Second Wave, some we have lost like Mary Daly, Andrea Dworkin, Shulamith Firestone, and the many others still marching shoulder-to-shoulder with us.  They never gave up. Neither should we!

FIST reaches our hands across generations and in solidarity with all women fighting for our liberation, so we no longer feel so alone.

Please join us! We can do this, sisters!

We Urge the U.S. Senate to Amend the Equality Act

We urge the U. S. Senate to amend the Equality Act by adopting the provisions in the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act.  We fully support the Equality Act’s goals of ensuring that LGBT people are protected from discrimination, harassment, and violence. These protections are long overdue. However, the bill as currently written would eliminate sex as a protected category under federal law — a move that would have dire consequences for the sex-based rights of women and girls. This redefinition would also erase the basis for same-sex attraction, undermining the very protections for sexual orientation that the Equality Act claims to enshrine.

Eliminating sex as a protected class, as the Equality Act currently proposes, would mean removing the ability of the law to ‘see’ sex — including sexual orientation — and thus remove the ability of the law to address injustice, discrimination, and inequality rooted in sex and sexual orientation. By making self-declaration what determines whether someone is considered male or female, the Equality Act would radically remake US law, making gender self-identity the criteria for accessing all female facilities, being housed in female domestic violence shelters and prisons, competing in female sports, representing female people, and defining ‘same-sex’ orientation.

Sex, gender, and sexual orientation refer to different characteristics, different experiences, and refer to distinct groups with different needs. These differences matter. And the law—and our lawmakers—should not pretend otherwise. In settings where sex matters, the law needs to make it clear that how a person identifies is not conflated with nor should it override biological sex. In settings where sexual orientation matters, sex must be the basis on which same-sex attraction is defined. That’s why the language has to be clear.

For these reasons, we urge the Senate to take a closer look at the Equality Act, hold hearings and support sensible amendments to the Equality Act so sex remains a recognized and protected class under law. We support amendments that would protect sex (biological sex), sexual orientation, and sex-role nonconformity separately, as put forward in the Feminist Amendments . It is simply not necessary to redefine sex in the law in order to protect transgender and other gender non-conforming people from discrimination and harassment, as the Equality Act seeks to do. The Feminist Amendments provide a more equitable way forward that protects everyone’s rights.

We also urge you to call for an open dialogue as we navigate these complicated issues and seek to develop protections that will work for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, as well as women and girls. Unfortunately, the process so far — including previous iterations of the Equality Act introduced and passed in the House of Representatives, and the House moving directly to a floor vote without further inquiry — have not met this standard, failing to consider potential unintended consequences of erasing sex in the law and shutting out the perspectives of lesbian, gay, and bisexual advocates. The current Equality Act is not the product of democratic debate and public inquiry but of policy capture, written by lobbyists working out of the public view. This is part of a worldwide lobbying effort that tethers radical changes — the erasure of sex in the law — to popular and necessary reforms like extending protections for LGBT people. Equality for LGBT people doesn’t look like this.

We believe that we can and must amend the Equality Act to protect the human and civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to safety, dignity, and freedom from discrimination while preserving the sex-based rights of women and girls and the ability of the law to ‘see’ sex. Please help facilitate an open dialogue about how the Equality Act can best advance the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, with a full airing of how the rights of other protected classes, especially women and girls, will be affected.

For more information, see the video: Preserving Sex-Based Rights

Feminists in Struggle Launches YouTube Channel

Feminists in Struggle has launched its YouTube Channel with the video of our Preserving Sex-Based Rights event.