". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


HRC Cries Wolf with LGBT Emergency Declaration

June 8, 2023

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) just shed their last shred of credibility, exposing themselves as the nakedly partisan outfit they have been for years. “For the first time in its more than 40-year history,” the far-left nonprofit on Monday “officially declared a state of emergency.” Yet the momentous, self-important prognostication is nothing more than a joke.

HRC’s extraordinary step of declaring its first-ever state of emergency should indicate human rights violations (ostensibly its bread and butter) of unprecedented severity. Yet the declaration was not for the benefit of Uyghurs in China, Christians and Muslims in Burma, or the hapless subjects of North Korea’s police state. No, the most persecuted minority group in the world, according to the HRC, is “LGBTQ+ people in the United States,” a group which is celebrated and affirmed for the entire month of June — not to mention the rest of the year.

The reason they give for unserious selection is (checks notes): “an unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping state houses.” That’s right, the most dangerous and devastating human rights situation that HRC has ever encountered is We, the People, legislating through our duly elected representatives.

In a press release, HRC president Kelley Robinson made the connection to violence explicit. “There is an imminent threat to the health and safety of millions of LGBTQ+ people and families, who are living every day in uncertainty and fear.” She added, “legislative assaults and political extremism are continuing to put a target on our backs,” and “extremists attack and malign LGBTQ+ people and our families.” Her rhetorical embellishments even likened the U.S. to a warzone where civilians had to flee for their lives.

“The multiplying threats … are not just perceived — they are real, tangible and dangerous. In many cases they are resulting in violence against LGBTQ+ people, forcing families to uproot their lives and flee their homes in search of safer states, and triggering a tidal wave of increased homophobia and transphobia that puts the safety of each and every one of us at risk.”

Robinson also enlisted wartime language to describe her organization’s response. HRC would “arm the LGBTQ+ community with information and resources to ensure their safety,” she promised. They would ensure people who identify as LGBT had “the tools they need to defend and protect themselves against acts of hostility, discrimination and — in the most extreme cases — violence.” They would “fight tooth and nail to ensure the safety and dignity of every LGBTQ+ person is respected and protected — without exception.”

Such language has incited trans-identifying individuals to take up arms and kill fellow citizens before now. While Robinson, if pressed, would likely disavow the proactive use of violent weapons, that’s a reasonable interpretation for a reader of average intelligence to draw from such language as “defend and protect themselves from acts of … violence.” If a person who identifies as transgender reads this alarming announcement, believes its claims — that state legislatures are out to get people who identify as LGBT, and that basic survival requires acting in self-defense — and decides to shoot up his or her state legislature as a result, then Robinson should bear the blame. This announcement is highly irresponsible incitement.

Of course, HRC would claim that their hyperbole is justified, given the gravity of the threat facing people who identify as LGBT. “The 2023 state legislative session was the worst year on record for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation,” they claim, featuring 525 bills (220 that “explicitly targeted transgender people”) introduced in 41 states, and “over 76 bills … signed into law as of June 5.”

So, what are these no good, very bad laws? HRC provides a helpful chart listing, by state, where laws are enacted in seven negative categories: “gender-affirming care ban,” “bathroom ban,” “LGBTQ+ erasure law,” “‘don’t say LGBTQ+’ law,” “pronoun refusal law,” “forced student outing law,” and “anti-drag ban.” (It’s worth looking up your own state on HRC’s chart from Opposite World to see where its laws stand and contacting your legislators accordingly. Just remember to mentally reverse the positions of “bad” and “good.”)

This brief list out-spins a ceiling fan. TWS readers will recognize “gender-affirming care” as the Left’s preferred euphemism for a range of procedures designed to entrap young people into lifelong medication and ultimately mutilation and sterilization. A “bathroom ban” doesn’t ban a person from using the bathroom but rather clarifies the line between who can use men’s and women’s restrooms based on biology, not fantasy. An “LGBTQ+ erasure law” (so undescriptive I had to dig for its meaning) refers to laws defining “sex” in biological terms. “‘Don’t say LGBTQ+ [or gay]’” is the Left’s slanderous description of laws prohibiting age-inappropriate discussions of sexual topics in the classroom. A “pronoun refusal law” protects the free speech rights of a student or educator, so that they cannot be punished for refusing to call a person by non-biological pronouns. “Forced student outing” means keeping parents in the loop on how their child behaves at school. An “anti-drag ban” doesn’t ban adult performances but merely prevents children from attending.

The details of the list underline the absurdity of HRC’s emergency declaration. HRC pretends to “educate and arm the LGBTQ+ community” in case, for example, they’re “planning summer travel through” states with laws on their naughty list. But three of the seven categories apply only to schools, two more apply specifically to minors, and one applies to official records. The only category out of seven that might influence summer travel is the one regarding bathroom laws. And if the HRC were intellectually honest, they would recognize that these laws are designed to protect women from predatory males taking advantage of bathroom confusion to assault them — a very real problem — instead of somehow perpetuate violence against people who identify as transgender.

Of course, HRC’s ideologues are smart enough to know that none of the prudent and moral laws they disparage actually do violence to the persons or property of people who identify as LGBT. But they pretend that these laws incite other acts of violence, specifically, that they are “triggering a tidal wave of increased homophobia and transphobia that puts the safety of each and every one of us at risk,” in Robinson’s words. This is a handy, rhetorical bait-and-switch to misapply a number of laws protecting children to prove an unrelated and unprovable conclusion. How, exactly, does one measure the increase of homophobia and transphobia? It can’t be done using the Left’s malleable interpretation that runs the gamut from the phrase “ladies and gentlemen” to violent assault. But a number of bills introduced can be measured and therefore provides a convenient if inappropriate proxy.

HRC’s state-law straw man appears even more ridiculous when compared to a list of actual rights. In all the states HRC attacks, people who identify as LGBT retain the right to freely exercise their religion, exercise free speech within clearly understood limits, print their opinions in the press, peaceably assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances. They retain the right to keep and bear arms. They have the right not to have soldiers quartered in their homes. They are secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. They have rights against standing trial without a grand jury indictment, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, the denial of due process, and the taking of their property without just compensation. They have rights to a speedy and public trial by jury, to know the crimes with which they are charged, to confront the witnesses against them, and the assistance of counsel. They have rights against excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments. They can work, vote, drive, marry, and every other right enjoyed by every other American citizen.

HRC’s problem is that the trans movement’s political aims require them to advance a narrative of violent, sympathy-inspiring victimhood that is simply not supported by the facts. (This is only a problem because HRC is less committed to human rights than it is to advancing a left-wing political agenda, which just happens to align with transgender ideology at present.) There just aren’t a bunch of bigoted vigilantes lurking in the shadows to knock off drag queens, so the HRC has to invent the threat.

The sad part is, there are plenty of urgent and severe human rights violations occurring worldwide as you read this. If HRC wanted, it could do substantially more good by declaring a state of emergency in any of the places that constitute real emergencies. North Korea’s regime continues to brutally oppress its population. China has incarcerated millions of Uyghur Muslims in massive concentration camps as part of a systematic campaign to erase their culture, which even the U.S. State Department has labelled as genocide. Russia has forcibly deported hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians from occupied territory and is likely resettling them in some undesirable new home. The Burmese military is evicting hundreds of thousands of Muslim and Christian minorities from their homes resulting in one refugee camp in neighboring Bangladesh where 700,000 people languish in limbo. Mexican cartels are abusing the human rights of millions of refugees as it traffics them across the southwestern U.S. border. Muslim terrorists kill dozens of Christians every month in Nigeria. Civilians are caught in the crossfire as Ethiopia, Yemen, and Sudan descend into civil war. Not one of these situations has earned a state of emergency declaration from HRC.

Nor has HRC ever issued an emergency declaration for some of the worst human rights atrocities of their more-than-40-year history. Through South African apartheid, the Rwandan genocide, ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia, the atrocities of Saddam Hussein, and the forced marriages, conversions, and other assorted terrors of ISIS, HRC never once declared a state of emergency. But when U.S. state legislatures passed some laws restricting a very aggressive transgender movement’s increasing targeting of women and children, then HRC decided it was time to speak out. Now their true priorities are clear.

Ironically, if not for the American bias of HRC’s perspective, they might recognize that people who identify as LGBT actually have it pretty good in the United States. In some parts of the world (Afghanistan comes to mind), people who openly identify as gay or transgender could face violence — without or possibly with government sanction. That isn’t the case anywhere in America — even in Florida, which the HRC press release cited as being on “the forefront of the fight.” In Uganda, homosexual behavior is a criminal offense, while not even progressive Europe permits gender transition procedures on minors to the extent allowed in the United States. So, why is there only an emergency declaration for the U.S., and not for the entire world?

HRC is crying wolf. By declaring an emergency for LGBT Americans, they not only push aside many real human rights emergencies around the world, but they also invent one that doesn’t exist. Like North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D), who declared a state of emergency two weeks ago because the legislature might pass a school choice bill, HRC has pressed the phrase “state of emergency” into service to their partisan political agenda. The only effect of their foolish decision is in cheapening the serious word “emergency” with this trivial application and undermining their own credibility if ever, at a future date, they quit playing politics and dedicate themselves to advancing human rights in earnest.

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.