A bus painted with anti-transgender propaganda was vandalized in front of the United Nations on Thursday as a hate group began its LGBT opposition tour.
The propaganda tour is organized by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the International Organization for the Family (IOF), two Washington D.C. groups created by Brian S. Brown, a social conservative most known for 2012’s “Dump Starbucks” campaign that protested the coffee chain’s support for same sex marriage. This time he has turned his sights on the transgender community.
“Free speech is a constitutional right, but language has consequences that must be considered.”
The orange bus, dubbed the “Free Speech Bus” by its organizers, is painted with anti-transgender propaganda that reads: “It’s Biology: Boys are boys … and always will be. Girls are girls … and always will be. You can’t change sex. Respect all.” It also has two human figures painted on it with “XX” and “XY” to represent their views of biology. Apparently, the group is unaware of the existence of “XXY” and “XXXY” individuals, not to mention “XY” females and “XX” males when it comes to chromosomes.
The tour began on Thursday in front of the United Nations in New York City, where it was immediately vandalized. According to Brown, two people approached the bus, scratched it with a key, cracked its windows with a hammer and painted “Trans Liberation” slogans on it. The driver of the bus was not hurt during the incident and its passengers were inside the UN. New York City police are currently investigating the matter.
Once repaired, the bus plans to also visit Trump Tower before continuing to New Haven Connecticut, Yale University, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The appearance of the bus has prompted a response from many LGBTQIA organizations in New York, including Jessica Stern of OutRight Action, who released the following statement:
“Free speech is a constitutional right, but language has consequences that must be considered. Trans youth already have an extremely high risk for violence, discrimination, and suicide. Broadcasting a message that erases and denies the reality that transgender and intersex children and youth exist is irresponsible, factually misleading, disrespectful, and dangerous. This vehicle is part of the reason trans youth are driven to suicide.”
Kimberly Zieselman, JD, Executive Director of interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, also commented:
“This isn’t biology—this is hatred rooted in an entirely false understanding of the human body. Being a girl or a boy isn’t about biology, it is about gender. The reality is that biological sex is on a spectrum, and no amount of argument will prove otherwise. Approximately 2% of children are born intersex, meaning they transcend typical notions of what the “FreeSpeechBus” says is “boy” and “girl.” This bus attempts to erase the lived realities of the incredibly brave young people I work with every day who do not fit into this binary. In the same way that gender is not limited to strict male and female categories, neither is our biological sex.”
A similar stunt with an anti-transgender bus was organized in Spain earlier this year, but it was banned because it was deemed discriminatory and that it would incite hate crimes in Madrid. It even prompted a response from Chelsea Clinton on twitter:
Please don’t bring these buses to the U.S. (or anywhere). https://t.co/WEvIIptmxf
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) March 1, 2017
The hate groups have targeted New York City as the first stop on their tour in response to the city’s pro LGBTQIA policies.