The PJ Tatler

Banning God in One Part of Texas, Going 'Gender-Free' In Another

In Midlothian, Texas (conservative Ellis County, south of Dallas), atheists have forced the local school district to remove plaques outside its schools that mention God.

Folks around Midlothian, Texas are raising a ruckus after the school district boarded up a pair of dedication plaques at two local elementary schools.

“Because of the plaque’s questionable constitutional nature, it has been covered,” said Jerome Stewart, the superintendent of the Midlothian Independent School District.

My goodness! I can’t imagine what was written on the plaques that would cause such a kerfuffle. Were the plaques adorned with naughty words or dancing girls?

No, my good readers – they were not.

It seems the questionable content to which the superintendent referred includes a pair of Latin crosses along with the words “God” and “Holy Christian Church.”

The plaques were erected in the dark ages of 1997. They were approved by school district attorneys at the time. They have been covered up and will be removed, under threat from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. TheFFRF didn’t even have to sue this time.

“FFRF believes that the district is in violation of the U.S. Constitution in its display of this plaque,” Stewart said. “Although MISD has not been threatened with a lawsuit, the school district’s attorney advised that it would not prevail in court if it refused FFRF’s request and a lawsuit followed.”

Midlothian’s residents were not consulted on any of this. It just happened, an outside agitation group imposing itself on a medium-sized, unsuspecting town. There was a prayer protest to save the plaques this morning.

In Austin, Texas, seat of the county that recently indicted the state’s governor for trying to get a drunk district attorney to leave and restore credibility to her office, there’s an ordinance under discussion that will create “gender-free” bathrooms in the city.

It’s good to see that the high-tax, road-needy city council has its priorities in order.

City Council today (Thursday, Aug. 28) could make Austin the first city in Texas to pass a resolution (Item 84) requiring single-stall public restrooms to be gender-neutral. Sponsored by Council Member Chris Rileyand co-sponsored by Bill Spelman and Sheryl Cole, the draft resolution directs the city manager to “process any necessary code amendments to require gender-neutral signage for single-occupancy restrooms, to create an implementation plan, and to report back to Council by September 25.”

The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT civil rights organization, has led the call for gender-neutral restroom requirements across the country. Members of the transgender community may face harassment and even violence when using gender-segregated restrooms, when suspicious onlookers decide they’ve entered the “wrong” restroom. According to a statement from Riley’s office, “Austin has demonstrated leadership on LGBTQ issues, and gender-free restrooms are one more way that we can lead. This change will make our city safer and more inclusive, which is better for all Austinites.”

That’s from the leftwing alt Austin Chronicle. KEYE-TV has a story about it as well.

The people we spoke to against the ordinance, wouldn’t go on camera, but raised the question: what’s next? Could this ordinance lead to unisex multi stall restrooms or unisex locker rooms?  We brought that question to Chris riley and to Lisa Scheps to get an answer.

“I haven’t been hearing an argument for that, so no.  I would have no idea what the future would bring but I have no reason to believe we would go down that road,” Riley said.

“We’re not talking about opening up places that have lots of people to be unisex, that’s not what this ordinance even suggests,” Scheps said.

Yet.