SPLC Response to Petition

Secular Woman recently presented a petition asking the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to list Gender Identity Watch as a hate group.  

“I think that what the petition does is show that several thousand people regard the behavior of Brennan’s groups to be consistent with the behavior of a ‘hate group.’ Also, I think that the petition offered a safe space – perhaps for the first time - for Brennan’s victims to publicly share their many stories,” said Cristan Williams, editor of Transadvocate.

Despite the evidence presented to them by trans activists and the outpouring of support for the petition (over 7,000 signers), it is unlikely that the SPLC will officially list Gender Identity Watch as a hate group.

Given the criteria that the organization uses to define a “group,” the SPLC communicated that they were unable to justify that Gender Identity Watch constitutes a “group.”  Although Gender Identity Watch refers to themselves as a “team” and various individuals are reported to be involved in their actions, the bulk of the activities appear to be performed by one person and the connections between various involved individuals are not formalized as a demonstrable membership.

The SPLC gave the following statement to Secular Woman:

Thanks for talking with me today. Let me reiterate that the SPLC is committed to working against discrimination and violence against the transgender community. We have in the past written about this issue several times. Here are some recent examples of our work:
http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/news/splc-demands-texas-school-board-allow-transgender-teen-to-appear-in-yearbook
http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2003/winter/disposable-people
http://www.splcenter.org/what-we-do/lgbt-rights/students-know-your-rights

Obviously, this is disappointing.  However, we are hopeful that the petition and the ongoing communications that the transgender community and allies have made with the SPLC may further impress upon them the depth of the need for support against anti-trans hate. We are confident that they will honor their commitment and play an important role in delegitimizing the dehumanizing rhetoric, fear-mongering and hurtful actions, advanced by Gender Identity Watch and other anti-trans hate groups.

They have asked for our help:

We'd very much appreciate any information you or your allies could provide of the major players, websites, etc., in the anti-trans world. We would like to take a look at this for a possible investigative story for our magazine, Intelligence Report. I'm especially interested in links between the groups. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Information can be provided to the SPLC through their website:

http://www.splcenter.org/contact-us

Secular Woman, as a feminist organization, will continue to stand against transmisogyny.  As intersectionalists, will be continue to stand against cissexism.  We will continue to seek various avenues to advance the goal of gender equality and attempt to minimize the toxic impact of trans exclusionary radical feminism.

Secular Woman, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) public charity. All donations and gifts made are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

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