Four months after WND’s exclusive reports exposing a stealth campaign to impose radical LGBTQ policies, including mandatory transgender bathrooms and pronoun usage, on the youths in rural Iowa’s 4-H program, the head of that state’s 4-H and primary advocate of the radical “inclusion” agenda has been dismissed from his position.
USA Today reported John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas, the organization’s leader of youth development, was terminated after the program was abandoned in late May under severe public and legal pressure.
The campaign had drawn rebuke from conservative groups and individuals, resulting in hundreds of comments that were submitted to Iowa 4-H, while LGBTQ activists praised the ill-fated agenda.
The Des Moines Register got a copy of a termination letter, which revealed that John Lawrence, Chaisson-Cardenas’ boss and Iowa State University’s vice president of extension and outreach, had decided to make a leadership change.
“Your letter of intent states that your position serves at the pleasure of the administration,” Lawrence wrote, according to USA Today. “At this time, I have decided to exercise that provision and terminate your employment … effective immediately.”
He appointed Andrea Nelson, director of Region 13 ISU Extension and Outreach, as an interim director while a search is conducted for a replacement.
LGBTQ advocate Nate Monson of Iowa Safe Schools said he hoped the firing was not because of Chaisson-Cardenas’ advocacy for his agenda.
“If it is, that’s very disheartening because it’s sending the message that LGBTQ kids aren’t welcome in 4-H,” he told USA Today.
The document that prompted a series of stories on the issue was called “4-H Guidance for Inclusion of Individuals of All Gender Identities, Gender Expressions, Sexual Orientations, and Sexes.” It originally was posted on the official site of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under which 4-H has existed for over a century. However, each state’s 4-H organizations are generally run by the state’s university extension services, and in Iowa that’s Iowa State.
Editor’s note: As soon as WND got involved in this story, not only did the “Inclusion” document disappear from the USDA website, but even from the web pages of local 4-H leaders pushing for implementation of the LGBTQ policy, due to public backlash once it was made public. Today, virtually the only place it is still publicly available is on WND’s servers.
The non-profit legal group Liberty Counsel heard about the Iowa “inclusion” campaign and sent a formidable demand letter to Iowa State, asking officials to abandon their plans on multiple legal grounds.
Mary McAlister, an attorney on the case, wrote: “The guidance is discriminatory, unconstitutional and without legal authority. It misstates the law regarding protected classes, and falsely adds ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity or expression’ … (elevating) them above statutorily protected classes of biological ‘sex’ and ‘religion.'”
Her letter asked the university to confirm that “all non-statutory ‘protected classes’ have been removed from Extension nondiscrimination policies to avoid confusion” and “where statutorily protected classes of ‘religion’ and ‘sex conflict with non-statutory terms like ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity or expression,’ the former will prevail over the latter.”
Further, she explained, 4-H employees, volunteers or youth members could not be required to use “false gender pronouns” and “‘transgender’ youth and adults will be accommodated with participation in all 4-H programs and accommodations consistent with their actual biological sex.”
The letter declared , “It is not ‘discrimination’ for 4-H program participants to continue using correct (as opposed to false) gender pronouns.”
Nor is it discrimination “to maintain longstanding sex-appropriate accommodations for males and females, based on legitimate, unchangeable biological differences between the two sexes.”
She said, “Anatomical differences between males and females, and the reasonable expectations of privacy that flow from those differences (not ‘discrimination’) account for laws and policies that require or permit separate housing, bathroom, and shower facilities for males and females.”
Under the Obama administration, a number of courts ruled transgenders could use rest rooms and showers according to “gender identity.” An Obama administration “guidance” to schools said essentially the same.
But when President Trump was elected, he reversed that Obama guidance, and since then a number of court rulings have affirmed what Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg previously said: “Separate places to disrobe, sleep, perform personal bodily functions are permitted, in some situations required, by regard for individual privacy.”
The WND reports revealed 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.
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,” went 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 stipulated 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 need not 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.