Copy-paste hate: Bathroom bills proposed around the country all seem to be coming from the same group

The law firm Alliance Defending Freedom was labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center

By Matthew Rozsa
April 10, 2017 10:28PM (UTC)
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(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The anti-LGBT panic over transgender bathroom rights has led to bills being proposed throughout the country that would deny transgender individuals from being able to use the school bathrooms that corresponds with their gender identity. It turns out that, in at least seven states, those laws were inspired by a model piece of legislation written by a law firm that has also been classified as a hate group.

The Student Physical Privacy Act, which was drafted by Alliance Defending Freedom, was used verbatim in anti-transgender bathroom laws proposed in two states — Minnesota and Kansas — and influenced laws in at least five others, according to a report by NBC News.


The bill states that "parents have a reasonable expectation that public schools in this state will not allow their minor children to be viewed in various states of undress by members of the opposite sex, nor allow their minor children to view members of the opposite sex in various states of undress."

Kellie Fiedorek, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, told NBC News that "the bills protecting privacy are simply ensuring that when it comes to intimate facilities, they are simply limiting them to biological sex. We all have a right to privacy. Even if you believe you are a man, a woman shouldn't have to undress in front of you."

By contrast, the Southern Poverty Law Center describes Alliance Defending Freedom as "a legal advocacy and training group that specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage, and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Alliance Defending Freedom Lgbt Rights Student Physical Privacy Act Transgender Bathroom Bills