Sunday Commentary: Moms for Liberty Have Already Lost the War – At Least in Davis

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – The big news this week was the announcement of the filing of a federal lawsuit by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Moms for Liberty and others involved in the August 2023 incident in which a talk was shut down by library officials.

Given the state of the laws, they may well win this battle, but ultimately they will lose the war—at least in Davis.

The lawsuit acknowledged that the views by the plaintiffs are at least for now “unpopular in Yolo County”: “Plaintiffs Yolo M4L, Bourne, and Snyder also intend to continue reserving meeting rooms at Yolo County public libraries to disseminate their views on sex, gender, and other controversial topics—views that are (for now) unpopular in Yolo County and which are unlikely to be aligned with Defendants’ political preferences.”

I would argue that the views are not only unpopular in Yolo County and especially in Davis, but the tactics used by Moms for Liberty have further alienated themselves from the political mainstream.

One exhibit of that was the long list of elected officials—many of them relative moderates who are unlikely to put themselves out on a limb, and yet pretty much every elected official Davis and a vast majority of them in Yolo County—who signed onto the letter in support of Yolo being for everyone, a proxy for pushing back against the Moms for Liberty position.

Some will maintain that there is a silent majority, but this is a community where only about 15 percent cast their vote for Trump in the last election, in the secrecy of a voting booth or from the comfort of their living room.

I would submit if a candidate emerged in Davis backed by Moms for Liberty, they would be very soundly defeated.

It is not just viewpoints expressed of course, but also the tactics.  The shutting down of the library was linked to six bomb threats disrupting the lives of students and district staff, families and law enforcement.

Social media posts became fodder for a potential restraining order—and while that was always going to be a difficult stretch, the district backed out primarily because the threat receded.

In short, whatever sympathy that might have existed before for some of the positions taken by Moms for Liberty have been drowned out in the tactics employed.

Even more concerning at this point is whom they have linked up with.

A steady barrage of far-right groups have been brought into this very liberal community.  The latest is Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF.

Didn’t know much about this group.  But they filed and are bankrolling the litigation.

The group, founded in 1994 in Scottsdale, Arizona, is designated as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Founded by some 30 leaders of the Christian Right, the Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal advocacy and training group that has “supported the recriminalization of sexual acts between consenting LGBTQ adults in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has contended that LGBTQ people are more likely to engage in pedophilia; and claims that a ‘homosexual agenda’ will destroy Christianity and society.”

According to SPLC, “Since the election of President Trump, ADF has become one of the most influential groups informing the administration’s attack on LGBTQ rights.”

The group interposed itself into the Lawerence v. Texas, Supreme Court decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that a Texas statute that banned consenting same sex adults from engaging in sexual acts violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause.

In an amicus brief filed in 2003 by ADF attorney Glen Lavy, he argued, “The issue under rational-basis review is not whether Texas should be concerned about opposite-sex sodomy, but whether it is reasonable to believe that same-sex sodomy is a distinct public health problem. It clearly is.”

Lawrence is one of those landmark decisions.  It overturned a fairly recent one where anti-sodomy laws were allowed to remain on the books.  But finally in 2003, the US Supreme Court ruled that anti-sodomy laws which criminalize consensual sex acts between LGBTQ adults was unconstitutional.

ADF argued otherwise.  They were in support of anti-sodomy laws.

And you can argue that 2003 was a long time ago.  I don’t tend to think 2003 was that long ago.  But more importantly, we know that, a decade later, the group supported the recriminalization of consensual sex between adults of the same sex in India.

“When given the same choice the Supreme Court of the United States had in Lawrence vs. Texas, the Indian Court did the right thing. India chose to protect society at large rather than give in to a vocal minority of homosexual advocates. … America needs to take note that a country of 1.2 billion people has rejected the road towards same-sex marriage, and understood that these kinds of bad decisions in the long run will harm society,” said Benjamin Bull, former executive director of ADF Global.

Moms for Liberty want to tell you that they aren’t anti-LGBTQ, they just have concerns with issues like trans-athletes and parental consent.  Beth Bourne still starts off her talks about how she has been a lifetime liberal Democrat.

But then she links up with ADF and that tends throw all of that out the window.

On free speech grounds, I think it is possible that Moms for Liberty could win this lawsuit.  However, as I have argued many times, they have lost the overall war, at least in Davis.

The question I think the community is going to have is whether public access means that groups like Moms for Liberty and the Proud Boys and others get access to public facilities.

I asked the city for example, what would happen if the Proud Boys wanted to rent the Vets Memorial and was told they would be able to.

I can only imagine the community reaction.

Will that ultimately mean that the community decides to shut down some of those public facilities in order to prevent spread of what many consider hate and intolerance?

That would be unfortunate, but at least a distinct possibility.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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91 Comments

  1. Ron Glick

    In  2022 every Moms for Liberty candidate for public office lost nationwide. So I think its not only a Davis thing that they are losing tactically. Still I don’t think the plaintiffs care much about how they are perceived locally. They are playing to a larger audience and in that respect they are getting the attention they seek in taking on what they see as something wrong with how the medical industry treats trans youth.

    Personally, I find suing the library reprehensible, but  I’m generally not litigious. Be that as it may, as Steinbeck wrote in In Dubious Battle, “A good organizer uses whatever he has.” That is what the plaintiffs are doing, using whatever they have, and they will likely get some sort of resolution that is beneficial to protecting free speech generally and lots of publicity for their cause.

    The part I find nauseating is that the library is likely to end up paying the plaintiffs lawyers a bunch of money in legal fees. Money that would otherwise go to buying books or funding reading programs for kids or hiring librarians or any of the many things the library does for the community.

    1. David Greenwald

      The library is probably not directly going to pay. The funding would come from the county. I would assume a good portion would be covered from their risk management pool.

    2. Keith Olsen

      The part I find nauseating is that the library is likely to end up paying the plaintiffs lawyers a bunch of money in legal fees.

      I find it nauseating that the library shut down an event about a subject that most of the country agrees with the presenter’s views on trans women competing in women’s sports.

      1. Matt Williams

        Keith, that is not why they shut it down.  The librarian never mentioned sports at all … not even once.  That issue was not on thhe table.  The issue was calling “women” by the term “men” and being unwilling to refrain from doing so.  That is not an issue that “most of the country agrees with the presenter’s views on”

        1. Keith Olsen

          he issue was calling “women” by the term “men” and being unwilling to refrain from doing so.  That is not an issue that “most of the country agrees with the presenter’s views on”

          Proof please, do you have a poll?  And the term wasn’t men, it was another term that the Vanguard won’t allow commenters to post.

          1. David Greenwald

            Matt’s correct – the speaker could have made the point without being intentionally confrontational. She chose not to.

        2. Keith Olsen

          “Washington Post poll finds most Americans oppose b………l men competing in women’s sports”

           poll by the Washington Post and the University of Maryland found that most Americans oppose biological men competing against women in sports. The poll, conducted in May of 2022, asked respondents if “transgender women and girls should or should not be allowed to compete in sports with other women and girls.”
          At all levels, from youth to professional sports, respondents overwhelmingly chose the option that biological men “should not be allowed” to compete in sports against women and girls. While opposition to biological men competing against women has been represented as a Republican sentiment, most of the respondents self-identified as either “Democrat” or “Independent.”

          https://thepostmillennial.com/washington-post-poll-americans-oppose-biological-men-womens-sports

           

           

        3. Matt Williams

          Keith, you need to get the wax out of your ears.  You are disputing something that is not in dispute.  To the best of my knowledge, that poll regarding sports participation is correct.  I personally have no reason to dispute the poll.  But it is important to remember that Sports participation is a discretionary activity, and as a result the opportunity to participate in Sports is a privilege, not a right.

          Theproblem with the term “biological man” is that genetics with all its myriad of geneticv combinations is Biology.  So the terms “biological male” and “biological female” are incredibly subjective.  For example how do you characterize into those two terms a person born with Klinefelter syndrome (two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome)?  And that is just at the chromosomal level.  Things get much more complicated when the genes that make up an X or Y chromosome are considered.  And the fact that there are at least 46 chromosomes, and X and Y are only two of the 46.  

          All of that is Biology.  So “biological male” and “biological female” are terms that are fatally flawed.  

        4. Keith Olsen

          Keith, you need to get the wax out of your ears.

          Matt, it’s you that needs to remove the wax.

          You claimed that “The issue was calling “women” by the term “men” and being unwilling to refrain from doing so.  That is not an issue that “most of the country agrees with the presenter’s views on”.

          I say you’re wrong.  Prove that most of the country is against using the term “bio……l male or female”.

        5. Walter Shwe

          Hatewatch

          Davis, California, faces bomb threats, harassment from anti-trans extremists

          As Libs of TikTok, Raichik’s posts about LGBTQ+ people have preceded threats of violence in places like TulsaBoston, and Highland Park, among other locales, so the situation in Davis follows a bit of an established pattern. In June 2022, Raichik used her Libs of TikTok persona to draw attention to a small Pride event in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, which preceded members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front showing up to intimidate LGBTQ+ people in person. The attempted disruption of the Pride event led to police arresting 31 members of the embattled racist group.

          https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2023/10/30/davis-california-faces-bomb-threats-harassment-anti-trans-extremists

        6. Matt Williams

          Keith Olsen said … “I say you’re wrong.  Prove that most of the country is against using the term “bio……l male or female”.”

          .

          Keith, neither you nor I can prove that our opinion is correct.  They are simply mour individual opinions.  You say I have no polls (to support my opinion).  I in return say that you have no polls to support your opinion.  Opinions are like perforations in a derriere … we all have one.

          The filed lawsuit is about free speech, but nowhere in any of the meeting announcement/marketing material was “free speech” ever mentioned.  The actions of the librarian put that issue on the table ex post facto to the calling of the meeting and the actions of the various parties in the meeting.  You need to separate the two in your waxy head.

          For the most part I agree with you on the free speech issues.  That is why I have called for the Library to end the use of its meeting rooms for all “outside” meetings.  I say that knowing full well that the local Davis chapter of the League of Women Voters, of which I am the Treasurer, will have to find another place to hold its monthly meetings. Closing down the meeting rooms to all “outside” meetings is good risk mitigation on the part of the Library.

          With that said, I find it hard to understand what financial damage was done to the plaintiffs of the law suit when their free speech was (allegedly) abrogated.  They will more than likely win the court case, but the only winners in any judgment will likely be the lawyers who will get their legal fees paid. If the plaintiffs simply approached the Library and came to a voluntary mutually-acceptable agreement about how free speech would be handled going forward, the issue could have been solved without lining the lawyers’ pockets.  Unfortunately that didn’t happen.

           

        7. Keith Olsen

          With that said, I find it hard to understand what financial damage was done to the plaintiffs of the law suit when their free speech was (allegedly) abrogated.

          Matt in many cases there doesn’t appear to have to be financial damage in order to get a monetary settlement.  The Internet is ripe with examples of free speech cash settlements.

          Google is your friend.

          Here’a a case that somewhat mirrors the library case:

          Filed February 2019, settled April 2022: A Christian professor sued Shawnee State University after the university punished the professor for refusing to use female pronouns for a gender dysphoric male student. The lawsuit was settled for $400,000 after a favorable ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Professor Nicholas Meriwether, as a result, can never be forced to use someone’s pronouns that do not correspond to their actual sex.

          https://www.thecollegefix.com/legal-group-wins-1668200-in-campus-speech-lawsuits-changes-seven-policies/

          1. David Greenwald

            That’s not a similar case, the one you cited is an employer-employee disciplinary issue rather than the issue of public access.

        8. Keith Olsen

          It’s similar in that the professor was told that he had to use certain pronouns which he refused to do and he won a big cash settlement.  Very much like the library speakers were being told that they had to use certain gender terms.  Plus it was ADF that that was involved in the lawsuit.

          So David, I’m not a lawyer but being that you’re around courts a lot do you think a cash settlement is possible in the library case?

          1. David Greenwald

            The issue is similar but the situations are very different which is why the settlement was fairly high.

            In terms of your question, a cash settlement is possible if both sides agree to it. The defendants often would rather just pay something rather than incur litigation expenses, and usually the money is paid out from risk management, so the pool can kind of dictate. Not sure what the goal is for the litigant.

          2. Don Shor

            ADF is not in this for the money. Their budget exceeds $100 million per year, and their assets are about $80 million. I assume they’ve taken this case pro bono.

        9. Matt Williams

          So David, I’m not a lawyer but being that you’re around courts a lot do you think a cash settlement is possible in the library case?

          .

          I agree with David that a cash settlement is always possible, if either of the parties perceive that their legal costs of pursuing the case through to trial are going to be greater than the settlement costs.  The inteesting thing about settlements is that they do not establish legal precedent.  If the lawyers are essentially being ambulance chasers looking for a payday, then they will be very happy with a settement.  There are layers here in town who have made a very good living filing lawsuits that end up being settled.

          The challenge that M4L wil have in this case is showing actual dmage.  The employer to employee case you provided Keith has very different characteristics than the arms length between M4L and the Library.  The Library’s financial liability may be limtied to the amount of the room rental, which is probably no more than $35.00.

        10. Keith Olsen

          ADF is not in this for the money. Their budget exceeds $100 million per year, and their assets are about $80 million. I assume they’ve taken this case pro bono.

          I’m talking a cash settlement for the aggrieved parties, not ADF.

          1. David Greenwald

            Don has a point however, I’m sure ADF did not get involved in this for a cash settlement for M4L Yolo.

        11. Matt Williams

          Keith, the liklihood that the aggrieved parties are going to get a settlement payment are miniscule. As Don correctly pointed out, the driving force behind this suit is ADF.  ny settlement wil be decided by them and for them.  Given that they are trying to use this to achive a larger goal, and any settlement will not establish any legal precedent, the chances of them ageeing to a settlement would appear to be very, very slight.  They will almost surely want to have an actual “day in court.”

        12. Richard McCann

          Keith

          You’re blatantly and purposefully misusing information. The poll you cite says NOTHING about views on gender preferences. Sports participation is one narrow slice of the issue that affects a tiny minority of the individuals involved. You made a challenge of proof. Since your proof isn’t relevant to the question, we don’t need to prove you wrong because you have ZERO evidence for your broad incorrect generalization. Come back with real evidence before you try to advance your argument further.

          On the free speech issue, a government is allowed to shut down speech if they have reason to believe that the speech will lead to harm to others. That’s why fascist marches call for death to Jews can be interpreted as being physically threatening and be stopped. The M4L meeting may have been doing this, and the doxing that led to physical threats to individuals is evidence of that outcome that justifies closing the meeting. On the other hand, I have yet to see the LWV inspiring death threats.

      2. Richard McCann

        Keith

        The M4L meeting was only peripherally about trans athletes. It was about intervening in DJUSD policies on interacting with ALL students (not just athletes) who feel they are transgender in some way. You have not data on how people feel about that particular issue.

        1. Matt Williams

          Keith, you are smarter than that.  How many newspaper stories or Internet stories have you read where the headline and the story itself were wildly out of alignment?

        2. Keith Olsen

          The actual title of the event was “Forum on Fair and Safe Sport for GIRLS”.

          They even had female athletes presenting about their experiences competing against trans women.

          So you two need to quit projecting about what you think it was about.

          Prove that wasn’t the subject matter.

        3. Matt Williams

          Keith, as we often see happen here in the Vanguard, the titular subject of an article (or talk when the Vanguard has an in person event) frequently gets abandoned when an off-topic dialogue emerges.  In the case of the library event, the myriad of eyewitness reports say that is exactly what happened.  The off-topic content had nothing to do with sports or girls in sport or transgender participation in sports, and was spoken by the presenter. Just like on the Vanguard, once that spark was struck, flames quickly erupted.

          Are you disputing the reports of what transpired?

  2. Don Shor

    Because of the potential outcome of this litigation, and the likelihood that the public’s safety cannot be guaranteed, the Blanchard Room needs to be closed to public events other than those sponsored directly by the library.

      1. Don Shor

        Library officials would “provide adequate security” and “promptly remove any attendee(s) that attempts to disrupt the event in any way, including but not limited to, shouting down or interrupting the speakers, making sounds that interfere with the speakers’ ability to be heard, blocking entrances or exits, or obstructing views”

        Emphasis added. The library cannot accept these terms. Shutting the room will be an unfortunate consequence of all of this, but in my opinion it is unavoidable.

        Engagement/escalation/confrontation is the strategy they’re using. It will get worse, not better, if the library accedes or is ordered to accept those terms. There will be protests and counterprotests at any scheduled events, spilling out onto the public sidewalk and lawn where the rights of protesters have been established by the Supreme Court. So if this goes forward we will face more and more of these events with very predictable outcomes.

        They need to close the Blanchard Room to outside groups.

        1. Ron Glick

          Reminds me of the pools that were closed in the South rather than allow them to integrate. I don’t think shutting down the Blanchard room is the answer. It will be interesting to see what the courts say about providing security at library events. I imagine that rental rates would go up if the library becomes obligated to provide security.

        2. Matt Williams

          When the League of Women Voters “rents” Council Chambers for a candidates forum there is no actual fee for the room, but we do pay for a staff person to be on site fronm half an hour before the meeting starts until half an hour after the meeting is over.  Tyhe cost or that “staffing/security” has historically been $123.50.  The “skills” and “duties” of the staff person in those cases did not include providing any security for the meeting itself, only security for the City’s building and contents.

  3. Sharla Cheney

    Beth Bourne, Moms for Liberty – Yolo has gone on record opposing the renewal of the school tax that pays for enrichment (music, art, 7th period for Jr High, etc.)

    1. Kendra Smith

      This is why it is ridiculous when people like Keith claim that M4L are predominantly interested in the transwomen sports issue.

      It’s a load of bunk.

      They started off protesting masking in schools and COVID shutdowns of schools.

      They proceeded to try to get rid of Socio-Emotional Learning curricula across the country (can’t have children learning compassion and empathy for those different from them, right?)

      They then moved on to attacking books in public schools and libraries (books that have anything to do with the Black experience or LGBTQ+ experience, and let’s be clear: none of the books they are pearl clutching about meet the standards of “pornography” or “sexualizing children”).

      And don’t ever forget the M4L have strong and proven ties to white nationalist violent groups like the Proud Boys and the III%ers.

      Then they started in on this trans sports issue and the trans issue in general.

      They somewhere in that timeline also started attacking the science curricula in schools.

      It doesn’t surprise me that a neo-fascist organization would also want to shut down enrichment programs (good heavens! The arts may lead to more gay people!!!!!! /s).

      This is why the M4L are being trounced nationwide and people like the local M4L Chair are being turned into outcast pariah dogs in their own communities.

      This stuff may play well for the national Fox news/Breitbart/extremist right wing and neo-fascist crowd that pretty much fueled by their overgrown amygdalae, but it doesn’t play well for the *majority* of reasonable, intelligent, educated, decent human beings in this country. Which is all the rest of us, who outnumber them by a considerable margin (despite their abject howling to the contrary that they are the “silent (*snorts with laughter*) majority.”

      In the end, such groups want to remove *your* choice and *your* rights and they will do so by any means necessary. It’s all part and parcel of the right wing surge that is happening across the globe right now.

       

      1. Keith Olsen

        This is why it is ridiculous when people like Keith claim that M4L are predominantly interested in the transwomen sports issue.

        I hesitant to respond to you because I don’t want to get you going.  That’s why I hardly ever respond to Walter.  You’re not worth my time.

        But I’ve never said that’s what M4L is predominately interested in.  They have many concerns and contentions. That just happens to be one of them.

         

        1. Kendra Smith

          This is beyond laughable.

          When people have no substantive response, they stoop to an ad hominem.

          Responding to someone has zero bearing on how “worthy” they are of a response.

          If you think I’m responding to the baloney you peddle here because I think you are “worthy” of my time or a response, you are mistaken.

          Rather, I find this country and the vast majority of the people in it worthy of my time and response, because I want to make it a better place for everyone in it.

          And I can’t say the same for you, the M4L and their ilk, who seem to be all in on authoritarianism, provided it’s their guy who gets to be in charge of it all.

          You will not shut me or others like me up with your little trollish comments meant to silence us and put us in our place.

          Whether right wingers find us “worth their time” or not, we will continue to speak out in the service of American democracy.

          So sorry that hurts your fee fees and you seem to have no substantive evidence to support any of your claims. That has been proven time and time again on this forum (and in your “pick a little, talk a little” behavior on the other blog).

        2. Keith Olsen

          And I can’t say the same for you, the M4L and their ilk, who seem to be all in on authoritarianism, provided it’s their guy who gets to be in charge of it all.

          The true authoritarianism is coming from the far left these days and their ilk.

        3. Walter Shwe

          I hesitant to respond to you because I don’t want to get you going.  That’s why I hardly ever respond to Walter.  You’re not worth my time.

          How utterly dismissive of the views of the majority of actual Davis residents. We all know Keith has never been a Davis resident. As they say Keith, have it your way, but don’t be surprised if it comes back to bite you.

        4. Walter Shwe

          The true authoritarianism is coming from the far left these days and their ilk.

          Nope. The sole reason that the right falsely asserts that the left is authoritarian is because the left was first in correctly calling out the right for being authoritarian. Trump said it publicly and Project 2025 puts it in writing.

        5. Matt Williams

          We all know Keith has never been a Davis resident.

          .

          Walter, this is the second time you have made the completely false statement above.  I personally have had a discussion with Keith on his front stoop here in Davis … to the north of Covell.  You owe Keith an apology and owe all Vanguard readers a formal retraction of your willful misinformation.  You are channeling your inner Donald Trump.

        6. Walter Shwe

          Walter, this is the second time you have made the completely false statement above.  I personally have had a discussion with Keith on his front stoop here in Davis … to the north of Covell.  You owe Keith an apology and owe all Vanguard readers a formal retraction of your willful misinformation. 

          Since Keith has never apologized or retracted any of his own lies or misinformation, I do nothing of the sort. 

        7. Matt Williams

          Since Keith has never apologized or retracted any of his own lies or misinformation, I do nothing of the sort.

          Walter, the level of moral character in your response above is appalling.  You are saying that two wrongs do make a “right.”  You have coined a whole new acronym “NIMMC.”

        8. Richard McCann

          Walter

          While I sharply criticized a Woodland resident for trying to have his way in Davis on these pages, I’ve known that Keith is a Davis resident and I have considered him a stakeholder in these discussions. He misuses information and uses sloppy reasoning but he has right to be here.

        9. Keith Olsen

          He misuses information and uses sloppy reasoning but he has right to be here.

          Says Richard, who never misuses information and has crystal clear reasoning, LOL

           

      2. Walter Shwe

        Matt, why are you speaking for Keith? I thought Keith was allegedly an adult. In any care, there are many people in Davis and California that find that the moral character of Keith Olsen, the Moms for Liberty and the Libs of TikTok to be beyond low. Bomb threats targeted at areas all over this nation from unaccountable and dangerous right wing characters are beyond appalling.

        Right-Wing Harassment Led to Bomb Threats Against 3 Elementary Schools and Libraries This Week

        A library was targeted for kicking out Moms for Liberty, while schools in Oklahoma and California received threats after being singled out by Libs of TikTok.

        https://jezebel.com/right-wing-harassment-led-to-bomb-threats-against-3-ele-1850787741

        Book Bans, Library Bomb Threats, and the Absurdly Broad Impact of a Fringe Few

        Book Riot reported last week about seven libraries in the Chicago suburbs receiving bomb threats, as well as two bomb threats at an Oklahoma school district and a threat against a Davis, California, public library.

        “Several of those libraries received not just one bomb threat, but several over the course of the week,” Book Riot notes.

        This week: more threats – Iowa City Public Library; the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire, Illinois; the Wilmette Public Library and the Park Ridge Public Library each reported a second bomb threat in a week. In Davis, California, the FBI is now investigating after the public library received its third bomb threat in a week that included anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and began when the library determined that a Moms for Liberty chapter could not use the library’s facilities for a speaker program because it would not comply with the library’s code of conduct.

        Bomb threats are a tactic used by extremists and encouraged by extremist social media, including campaigns last year that targeted 24 children’s hospitals and providers in 21 states.

        https://glaad.org/book-bans-library-bomb-threats-and-the-absurdly-broad-impact-of-a-fringe-few/

        1. Matt Williams

          Walter, I am not speaking for Keith.  I am speaking for myself, and speaking directly to you.

          Keith is indeed an adult.  He has been an adult long enough to be one of our community’s “elders.”

          Your opinion that “there are many people in Davis and California that find that the moral character of Keith Olsen, the Moms for Liberty and the Libs of TikTok to be beyond low” doesn’t change the fact that you have purposefully, willfully, and knowing lied about Keith in an attempt to assassinate/denigrate his character. Lying by accident is evidence of a mistake.  Lying on purpose, as you have repeatedly done, is a sign of low moral character.

          When you say “Bomb threats targeted at areas all over this nation from unaccountable and dangerous right wing characters are beyond appalling” you are again stating an opinion, not a fact,  Since we do not know who made the bomb threats.  There is a very real possibility that some of the threats have come from individuals who are using the threat as a way to discredit various right-wing characters.

          With regard to Keith, you ae your own worst enemy because your comments are consistently autocratic, giving him crystal clear, tangible evidence of the autocratic leanings of the far left.

  4. Ron Glick

    “Beth Bourne, Moms for Liberty – Yolo has gone on record opposing the renewal of the school tax that pays for enrichment (music, art, 7th period for Jr High, etc.)”

    So much for the claim of being a liberal Democrat. The liberals I know tend to support funding the schools.

    1. Keith Olsen

      So much for the claim of being a liberal Democrat.

      Not to speak for Beth but I’m pretty sure she says she used to be a liberal Democrat.

      Why would she advocate for school taxes when she doesn’t like many of their policies?

  5. beth

    Hi David, I really appreciate the Vanguard writing another story about my concerns and Moms for Liberty, Yolo county.
    First let me say that I am surprised that many in this town support (1) medical transition of minors (hormones, puberty blockers, surgeries) , (2) allowing trans athletes (males that identify as trans girl, nonbinary or other ‘gender’) in girls sports and locker rooms, and (3) public school teachers and counselors socially transitioning kids at school without parental notification. If you look at the polls, the majority of people in CA, both left and right, oppose all 3 of these issues.
    My question for Vanguard readers: Would you support DJUSD hosting a community “special study session on DJUSD gender identity policies and curriculum” in the coming weeks before Measure N is before the voters?
    I heard Superintendent Matt Best say at the last board meeting they wanted to hold a special study session on the dismal budget forecast for DJUSD so perhaps it could be a two-part study session?
    I welcome folks to view my Public Records Request responses from DJUSD, Yolo County Library, and City of Davis on my Facebook page, everything is set to public. I have also posted an uncut video of the library event that was shut down.
    Thank you! Beth

    1. Matt Williams

      Beth, post them all here in the Vanguard.  There are lots of people who don’t go on Facebook.

      Regarding your question (1) that is a decision that on a case by case basis is up to the person considering the transition and that person’s medical professionals.  Each case is different and unique, so any broad policy is far too crude an approach.

      Regarding your question (2) the issue for med many others in sports is actually competing for DJUSD teams against the teams of other schools. I have yet to see any evidence that that s happening at DJUSD. So I believe you re making an issue out of a non-issue.

      Regarding your question (3) are the teachers and/or counselors transitioning the kids or are the kids transitioning themselves?

      Please provide us with links to those polls. That would be very useful input to solid critical thinking

      1. Matt Williams

        FWIW, Beth’s post caused me to do a bit of internet searching.  Here is what I found

        This survey, 2023 Transgender Legislation and Policies, is the second in a series of five surveys to be examined by a collaboration of researchers at the UH Hobby School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University, Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West, and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). The series kicked off with the June 22 release of a survey examining the three states’ changing attitudes on abortion.

        “In our current study, which examines transgender issues, we focused on three main controversies: bathroom choice, transgender women and girls’ place in sports, and whether gender-affirming medical treatment should be available to persons younger than 18”

        The 2023 Transgender Legislation and Policies survey was conducted between May 31 and June 6 among respondents 18 and older: 1,051 were in Arizona; 1,045 in California; and 1,067 in Texas. The margin of error is +/-3%.

        Among the survey findings:

        Bathroom access —  In California, the population showed the following divide (45% for choice, 35% opposing).
        Women’s sports — The survey found strong support for barring transgender females from playing women’s sports. Divided by state: Four times as many Texans (68% vs. 16%), three times as many Arizonans (63% vs. 20%) and two times as many Californians (53% vs. 26%) said no on the issue.
        Gender-affirming medical care — When it comes to banning gender-affirming medical care available for children under the age of 18, in California there was a narrow plurality (41% vs. 35%) in favor of the ban.
        Religion — Across Texas, Arizona and California, residents who regularly attend religious services are significantly more likely than residents who never attend religious services to favor restrictions on the rights of transgender people to choose which bathroom to use, participate in women’s sporting events and receive gender-affirming medical treatment for children.

         

         

      2. Richard McCann

        Beth

        You’re conflating the issue of allowing trans athletes to compete in girls’ sports, which directly impacts other people, and the issue of allowing or supporting transition. In the latter case, there is no direct effect whatsoever on anyone else (not any more than accepting one’s sexual preference which we generally agree is an individual choice) and little justification for government intervention. I agree that sports access should be restricted or banned, just as steroids and other performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) are banned. Allowing these individuals to compete with a distinct advantage created medically undermines the objectives of Title IX. (From what I’ve seen, none of the people who try to assert that this isn’t an advantage or that it won’t adversely impact female athletes’ experiences have been highly competitive athletes.)

        That said, the issue you raise is extremely narrow and impacts only a tiny number of the people who are considering or in transition. In my experience with many high school students, I can’t think of a single one who was oriented towards sports. Perhaps its cultural, but most of these people pursue other creative endeavors where gender doesn’t matter at all.

        You’re projecting from your highly personal experience onto society in general and that’s never a good place to start from for developing public policy.

        Matt

        I discussed with a sports coach about a DHS athlete who had competed and had a notable advantage the first year of their transition before regressing toward female performance levels.

        1. Matt Williams

          Thank you Richard for sharing that piece of information.  I personally believe the issue is cut and dried with respect to transgender identifying individuals.  Until they have fully transitioned their anatomy to the opposite sex, they should not compete.  Since many intramural and other non-competitive sports already have coeducational offerings, restrictions based on gender would be much less of an issue, if any issue at all.

          Once an individual has fully transitioned, I would think the number of years where the mix of their bodily hormones was male rather than female would be a guiding fact as to whether competitive participation should be allowed.

          In your DJUSD example, do you know whether the individual had completed the surgical portions of the journey of transition?

  6. Sharla Cheney

    Moms for Liberty -Yolo is being represented by lawyers from ADF. Note that ADF just lost their U.S. Supreme Court case attempting to overturn the State’s ban on “conversion therapy.”  As long as this lawsuit threatens our community, I don’t recommend that our public employees be involved in any event planning or staffing of any events with this group.

      1. David Greenwald

        There is a financial risk and there is the possibility that the library and other facilities shut down their access to public meeting rooms. Those are two looming threats to the community.

          1. David Greenwald

            In addition, I think it’s important to note with respect to your questioning about standing up for free speech – if free speech is really the outcome you are most concerned about, it may be the the lawsuit will actually work against that. If the library ends up ending public events, that shuts down free speech altogether which is the worst possible outcome. In which case, the cure is worse than the disease. And the approach of the lawsuit ends up becoming the nuclear option. From that perspective, a better approach would have been to have reached some sort of agreement.

        1. Keith Olsen

          So David when your blog reports on lawsuits for what sometimes results in huge payouts for justice related issues against cities and counties do you consider that a threat to those communities?

          1. David Greenwald

            In general, I think lawsuits are not the best approach for policy issues. Unfortunately, in the case of police shootings, section 1983 which is accessed by lawsuit is the only avenue for redress. Do I think they work? Not very well. Do they punish the actual perpetrators? Rarely.

          1. David Greenwald

            Did you consider the possibility that there are unique issues involved in this particular lawsuit which presents a greater threat to the community than other lawsuits?

        2. Keith Olsen

          In addition, I think it’s important to note with respect to your questioning about standing up for free speech – if free speech is really the outcome you are most concerned about, it may be the the lawsuit will actually work against that. If the library ends up ending public events, that shuts down free speech altogether which is the worst possible outcome.

          So the library shuts down free speech and it’s the lawsuit’s fault if the library shuts down public events further shutting down free speech?  I think that would be the library’s fault.

          From that perspective, a better approach would have been to have reached some sort of agreement.

          How do you know that isn’t going to happen?

           

          1. David Greenwald

            You’re not thinking this through. If your problem is free speech, and your remedy leads to LESS free speech, there is a problem in the approach.

            “How do you know that isn’t going to happen?”

            Wouldn’t need a lawsuit to do that. To put this another way, the issue involved here was the use of a term – was that term – btw, a side point – really the hill to die on here?

        3. Keith Olsen

          You’re not thinking this through. If your problem is free speech, and your remedy leads to LESS free speech, there is a problem in the approach.

          That would be the library’s decision for them denying free speech in the first place.

          was that term – btw, a side point – really the hill to die on here?

          Maybe you should be asking the library that?

           

          1. David Greenwald

            Each side has agency. Both sides I think erred in how things were handled in August. There should have and could have been other ways to approach this. But filing the lawsuit now threatens to shut down a venue and if that happens, everyone loses.

        4. Keith Olsen

          Once again, the lawsuit isn’t threatening to shut down a venue.  In fact the lawsuit is arguing for it to be accommodating to all people and their constitutional free speech.

        5. Matt Williams

          Keith, I agree with you that the lawsuit isn’t shutting down the Library’s venue, but the Library won’t be shutting it down either.

          If the venue, and many others like it across our community, is closed to “outside” meetings it will be because of the polarized and politically charged environment that we all live in.  The lawsuit presents a certain set of conditions that they expect the Library to ensure happen at future meetings.  The problem with those conditions is that the Library can not control the polarized and politically charged actions and reactions of the people participating in any individual meeting.  There will be legal and financial liability for the Library and Yolo County for any actions that escalate in any meeting to the level of violence and harm.  The confrontations that took place in Charlottesville Virginia started with shouting and then escalated to the point of one death and more than a dozen others injured.  The County’s insurance carrier will want to have no part of providing coverage if that is a possible outcome of every “outside” meeting that happens in the venue.

  7. beth

    Hi Matt, I know of at least 5 males who identify as transgender in Davis competing in 7 different sports, including 3 CIF sports. I don’t want to give more information publicly to protect these minors.

    I wish their parents and coaches would encourage these athletes to compete in the category that matches their sex. Sports are competed with bodies and not gender identities.

    Girls’ rights to fairness and safety in sports here in Davis should be at the same or higher level than trans-identifying athletes’ rights for inclusion.

    Why can’t the boys teams be called “boys-open” teams and then all biological male athletes could compete in that category? CIF already allows girls to compete on any boy’s sports team when the high school doesn’t offer that sports for girls.

    1. Keith Y Echols

      Has this been an issue for any girls competing with these trans boys/girls?  I mean does anyone really care?   What if no competitor can lift more than the top contender in a division or conference?  Or run faster than the top contender?  What if we handicap the transathletes and have them tie their Y chromosome behind their back?

      I mean I get the issue.  It was beautifully described in an episode of South Park.   Randy “The Macho Man” Savage can’t be allowed to compete against women.  So yes, I agree that Hulk Hogan, The Iron Sheik and Andre the Giant shouldn’t be allowed to compete against girls as well.

    2. Keith Y Echols

      In all seriousness, people even of the same gender have varying bodies and natural athletic skills.

      My kid is on a 14 and Under soccer team.  He’s a medium height kid…just under 5’…. who weighs a little under 100 lbs.  He’s actually built pretty well athletically (he’s relatively strong and fast).  But he has 2 teammates that are 6’+ and over 160-170+ lbs.  I imagine he’ll have to play against some kids that may be a similar size.  And there are going to be kids that are my son’s size that have to play against his big teammates.  So we all have to deal with teammates and opponents of all different sizes and natural skills.  When I played high school football; one of our opponents had a kid that was 6’5″ and 250+ lbs.  He’d eventually go play for Bill Walsh at Stanford and then had a cup of coffee in the NFL.  But the point is that I (and anyone that knows me, knows I don’t come close to meeting those measurements) competed against him….we (me and a friend of mine that played in front of me on the line) did pretty well against him.  Later in the school year he’d blow me away at shotput (like almost double my distance).

      In some sports, if a kid is obviously too big, strong…etc.. than the rest, then if it’s a safety issue, they bump them up a level of competition.  Or in some cases, you just suck it up and take the L.  My point is that I think things can be worked out without all the big political circus in the community.

      1. Richard McCann

        Keith E

        You’re missing the point of Title IX to give physically female athletes an opportunity to compete at a high level. This is one space where gender transition adversely impacts other individuals. Perhaps when we end all social engagements and networks centered around sport participation it won’t be so important, but Congress recognized this problem 50 years ago and gave us the solution that has to date worked pretty well.

    3. Matt Williams

      Beth, you have only addressed one part of my three-part reply to you … ironically the one which I had already stated that we were pretty much in agreement.  Aren’t you comfortable addressing the other two?

      For the purposes of continuity and clarity, here is my response copied and pasted from above

      Beth, post them all here in the Vanguard.  There are lots of people who don’t go on Facebook.

      Regarding your question (1) that is a decision that on a case by case basis is up to the person considering the transition and that person’s medical professionals.  Each case is different and unique, so any broad policy is far too crude an approach.

      Regarding your question (2) the issue for med many others in sports is actually competing for DJUSD teams against the teams of other schools. I have yet to see any evidence that that s happening at DJUSD. So I believe you re making an issue out of a non-issue.

      Regarding your question (3) are the teachers and/or counselors transitioning the kids or are the kids transitioning themselves?

      Please provide us with links to those polls. That would be very useful input to solid critical thinking

      And here is your comment which I was addressing

      First let me say that I am surprised that many in this town support (1) medical transition of minors (hormones, puberty blockers, surgeries) , (2) allowing trans athletes (males that identify as trans girl, nonbinary or other ‘gender’) in girls sports and locker rooms, and (3) public school teachers and counselors socially transitioning kids at school without parental notification. If you look at the polls, the majority of people in CA, both left and right, oppose all 3 of these issues.

      I look forward to seeing a complete response from you to all three points.

       

      1. Don Shor

        Generally the advice from experts, in dealing with extremist organizations that seek to amplify their message on social media and online media, is that you not engage with them.

        1. Keith Olsen

          Generally the advice from experts, in dealing with extremist organizations that seek to amplify their message on social media and online media, is that you not engage with them.

          Except that the local Davis chapter of M4L is not an extremist organization,

        2. Richard McCann

          Coming from someone who tied the local Black Lives Matter chapter to the national organization, that’s pretty blatant hypocrisy. And we don’t have evidence that the local M4L chapter is much different. The ensuing bomb threats indicate otherwise.

          As for the national organization, the hypocrisy also has come to roost. A key founder has now admitted to a bisexual relationship that is blowing up as I write: https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2023/12/14/bridget-ziegler-sarasota-school-board-suarez-ac360-vpx.cnn

        3. Keith Olsen

          And we don’t have evidence that the local M4L chapter is much different. The ensuing bomb threats indicate otherwise.

          You have no evidence the the local Yolo M4L is responsible for any bomb threats.

        4. Matt Williams

          Keith, there i no evidence that the local Yolo M4L is NOT responsible for any bomb threats.

          There also isn’t any evidence that left wing actors have NOT been responsible for any bomb threats … in order to create an environment of accusation and blame that causes damage to the local M4L.

          But we also do not have any evidence that left wing actors have been responsible for any bomb threats … in order to create an environment of accusation and blame that auses damage to the local M4L.

          What we DO HAVE is a whole lot of subjective speculation.

        5. Keith Olsen

          Keith, there i no evidence that the local Yolo M4L is NOT responsible for any bomb threats.

          Matt, I have no evidence that Santa Claus is NOT responsible for any bomb threats.

  8. Walter Shwe

    Bravo!

    Gay student rips into hate group co-founder to her face: “You deserve to be fired”

    Zander Moricz didn’t mince words when telling anti-LGBTQ+ school board member Bridget Ziegler she’s “terrible” at her job.

    Youth activist Zander Moricz – a 2022 LGBTQ Nation Hero of the Year – made an epic speech against Moms for Liberty co-founder and Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler in which he explained to her face why he believes she is awful at her job.

    Calls for Ziegler’s resignation from the school board have mounted in the wake of rape allegations against her husband, Florida GOP chair Christian Ziegler. Bridget Ziegler has since admitted that she, her husband, and her husband’s accuser engaged in a consensual threesome over a year ago. The admission angered many due to Ziegler’s vendetta against LGBTQ+ issues being taught in schools.

    Wearing a sweatshirt stating, You Give Me The Ick, Moricz opened his speech by speaking directly to Bridget Ziegler and telling her their first interaction was when she retweeted a hate article about him while he was still a Sarasota County student. “You are a reminder that some people view politics as a service to others while some view it as an opportunity for themselves,” he said.

    He called her out for using her position on the board to spend public funds that could have gone to raising teacher salaries to “change our district lines for political gain, remove books from schools, target trans and queer children, erase Black history, and elevate your political career – all while sending your children to private schools because you don’t believe in the public school system that you’ve been leading.”

    https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/12/gay-student-rips-into-hate-group-co-founder-to-her-face-you-deserve-to-be-fired/

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