After a major campaign to impose controversial LGBTQ policies on the state’s 4-H youth program – including the admission of biological males into female restrooms, locker rooms, showers and overnight accommodations, as well as mandatory use of exotic transgender pronouns – those in charge of Iowa’s 4-H program now say they will not be adopting the transgender guidelines after all.
The dramatic turnaround comes after Christian public-interest law firm Liberty Counsel challenged the proposed policy guidelines on multiple legal grounds and demanded that Iowa State University, which administers 4-H in the state, reverse course or face litigation. Liberty Counsel, in turn, become involved as a result of WND’s investigative efforts, having published a series of exclusive reports on this below-the-radar movement – first in Idaho, and later in Iowa. The WND reports reveal a largely unpublicized, multi-pronged, state-by-state movement to impose highly contentious transgender policies on the nation’s 4-H rural youth organizations – policies similar to those that have caused major battles over their implementation in the U.S. military and which directly led to a national boycott of Target Corp.
In a strongly worded 2,600-word letter dated April 20, Liberty Counsel demanded that Iowa State University respond by May 21 and affirm its agreement to end its planned LGBT coup in the state’s 4-H program, or the law firm would “take additional action to prevent irreparable harm to the rights of our clients.”
Just prior to the May 21 deadline, WND reached out to the letter’s main recipient, John-Paul Chaisson-Cárdenas, Iowa 4-H youth development program leader at Iowa State University, but received no response. However, on Tuesday, May 22, Liberty Counsel’s senior litigation counsel Mary E. McAlister confirmed to WND that she had “received a telephone call from the general counsel for Iowa State University who said that the USDA guidance had been posted for comments, the university received comments and did not adopt the guidance. He said he did not anticipate that they would adopt it.”
Attempting to obtain written confirmation of that conversation, McAlister emailed ISU’s general counsel, Michael Norton, restating in writing the substance their phone call (“You indicated that the guidance has not been adopted by the university and you he do not anticipate that it will be. Please let me know if this recollection of our call does not comport with your understanding”), and received no response, which McAlister is taking as de facto written confirmation that the campaign to adopt the LGBT “guidance” is dead.
‘A radical political position on human sexuality’
The original document laying out the controversial LGBTQ “guidance” intending to transform 4-H has largely disappeared from the Internet. It was posted on the official website of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which sponsors 4-H, as well as various state university extension and other websites, until the first publicity occurred, when the document virtually vanished from public view. However, WND captured the original source document before then and has preserved it here.
The document, after starting off by defining terms such as “polysexual” and “intersex,” goes on to mandate that “4-H, including all paid and volunteer personnel, as well as youth members, will use pronouns and names consistent with a transgender or intersex individual’s gender identity.”
It further stipulates that, at any time during participation in 4-H, both youth members and adult leaders may “assert a gender identity that differs from previous representation.” In other words, a biological male may claim he’s female and vice versa. Such assertion needn’t be supported by “medical diagnosis” or legal “identification documents.” Nevertheless, once the assertion is made, accommodation – from overnight housing to pronoun usage – must be met.
Accommodation requirements apply to restrooms, locker rooms, overnight lodging and athletic teams, in all of which individuals must be allowed access based on their chosen gender identity. These accommodations must be met even if others experience “discomfort” as a result. Perhaps most controversially, “4-H shall ensure nondiscrimination to provide transgender and intersex individuals equal access to programs and activities,” even in circumstances when the youth member’s family or guardian “raise objections or concerns” over their child’s decision to request such transgender accommodations.
In Liberty Counsel’s letter demanding the Iowa State University Extension Service immediately cease its planned imminent adoption of the radical LGBTQ agenda, McAlister wrote: “The [LGBTQ] Guidance is discriminatory, unconstitutional, and without legal authority. It makes a number of unscientific and false claims regarding issues of sexuality, and takes a radical political position on human sexuality. It misstates the law regarding protected classes, and falsely adds ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity or expression’ or ‘transgender’ status to those classes affirmatively recognized by federal and state law, and by fiat, elevates them above statutorily protected classes of biological ‘sex’ and ‘religion.'”
Other key points from the letter:
It is not “discrimination” for 4-H program participants to continue using correct (as opposed to false) gender pronouns. Government may not force others to call a person something he or she is not, nor to force others to assent to a lie, in matters of conscience, religious belief, and biology. …
It is not “discrimination” to maintain longstanding sex-appropriate accommodations for males and females, based on legitimate, unchangeable biological differences between the two sexes. It is not “discrimination” to respect safety and privacy rights based on biological sex; nor is it “discrimination” to respect parental rights to control the associations of their minor children; and maintain safeguards against child sexual abuse or voyeurism, whether by adults or other youth. …
Because sex-based accommodations are based on legitimate biological differences between males and females, it follows that a person’s physical biology must dictate which accommodations are appropriate in the 4-H program. Accommodations for biological females logically should be reserved for biological females, not biological males, and vice versa. 4-H has long adhered to this straightforward and logical demarcation.
Regarding one of the most controversial aspects of the 4-H transgender accommodation policies, Liberty Counsel noted that no “transition,” no “sex reassignment surgery,” no hormones – nothing except an individual’s subjective statement that he or she feels like the opposite gender – is required to allow that person to share bathrooms, showers and overnight accommodations with children of the opposite sex.
Although the battle against the “trans-formation” of 4-H appears won in Iowa for the time being, the radical LGBTQ campaign continues in other states.
McAlister, comparing the imposition of the radical LGBTQ agenda on 4-H to what has become of the Boy Scouts, told WND: “The Mormon Church has pulled out of the Boy Scouts because of their departure from their original mission, and 4-H’s core constituency could do likewise if 4-H insists on social activism that puts children at risk.”