Kirsten Andersen

Parents sue school district for not allowing 6-yr-old son to use girls restroom

Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen
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FOUNTAIN, CO, February 28, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A couple in Colorado has sued their local school district for not allowing their six-year-old boy to use the girls’ restroom at his elementary school, because he believes he is a girl.

Coy Mathis was four when his parents decided to let him “socially transition” to living as a girl. The little boy grew his hair long and began wearing girls’ clothing. His family began to refer to him using female pronouns and insisted that everyone in his life do the same.

When Coy first started at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, administrators fully accommodated the Mathises’ requests. But last December, school officials called the first grader’s parents in for a meeting and told them that after winter break, Coy would no longer be allowed to use the girls’ bathrooms. He would have the option to use the boys’, teachers’, or nurse’s facilities.

Coy’s parents, Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis, immediately pulled their children from the school and filed a lawsuit with help from a transgender activist group, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. Their complaint with the Colorado Division of Civil Rights argues that the school violated the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act.

William Kelly Dude, an attorney for the school district, wrote in a letter to the Mathis' attorney that administrators' decision to ban Coy from the girl’s bathroom was intended to address the needs of “not only Coy, but other students in the building, their parents, and the future impact a boy, with male genitals, using a girls’ bathroom would have as Coy grew older.”

Dude said that the bathroom decision does not violate the state Anti-Discrimination Act because “Coy attends class as all other students, is permitted to wear girls’ clothes, and is referred to as the parents have requested,” and was allowed access to single-user restrooms used by employees or gender-neutral restrooms in the school’s health room, rather than being forced to use the boys’ room.

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That’s not good enough for the Mathises. They worry that treating Coy differently than biological girls might lead to teasing or bullying. According to Kathryn Mathis, having Coy use a private restroom “singles [him] out and stigmatizes [him].”

“The school has a wonderful opportunity to teach students that differences are okay,” Mathis said, “and we should embrace their differences, instead of teaching them to discriminate against someone who is a little different.”

The Mathises have pulled all four of their school-aged children out of the school and have been homeschooling them while they pursue legal action and seek popular support through high-profile media appearances.

Kathryn and Jeremy recently took Coy on Katie Couric’s talk show, along with their lawyer.

Coy, wearing a bright pink floral shirt and a barrette in his fine blond hair, looked anxious and uncomfortable.

He said only that he did not like seeing himself on television.

His parents and attorney spoke for him. Their message was the same as it was at their press conference: Treat Coy just like “every other girl” – even if he’s not a girl.

“By forcing Coy to use a different bathroom than all the other girls, Coy’s school is targeting her for stigma, bullying and harassment,” said the Mathises’ attorney, Michael Silverman, who is also executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which is based in New York.

“[Coy] is already beginning to experience the kind of discrimination that we’re working to stop,” Silverman said. “We want her to be treated like every other girl at school.”

Coy Mathis’s case is the first-ever legal challenge filed under Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act concerning a so-called “transgender” person’s ability to use the restroom of the opposite sex.

Fountain-Fort Carson school district officials maintain they are doing everything they can to accommodate the Mathis family’s wishes while protecting the rights of other students. In a statement, they seemed to suggest it was the Mathises who were exposing Coy to unwanted attention by dragging the child in front of the media.

“The parents of Coy Mathis have filed a charge of discrimination with the Colorado division of Civil Rights,” the statement read. “They have chosen to publicize this matter by appearing on a nationally televised show with their child, sharing their point of view with national and local media, and holding a public press conference to announce the filing of the charge. The District firmly believes it has acted reasonably and fairly with respect to this issue.”

The case is making national news as other states wrangle with the impact of “anti-discrimination” laws that include sexual preference and transgender status.

After adding gender identity to its anti-discrimination law just as Colorado has, Massachusetts recently ordered its K-12 public schools to allow self-identified transgender students to use the facilities assigned to their chosen, not biological, sex.

Maryland is also considering adding gender identity to its anti-discrimination law.

At the federal level, the Obama administration's Department of Justice intervened against an Arkansas university for barring a 38-year-old man from using the women’s restrooms.

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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