ACLU Director Quits Organization Over Transgender Bathroom Controversy

Robert Jonathan

The interim executive director of the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has reportedly left her position because of the organization's monolithic support of transgender bathroom rights at the potential expense of women's rights.

Maya Dillard Smith cited an incident involving her family as motivating her to step down.

A self-described progressive, Dillard Smith indicated that she has become "philosophically unaligned" with the ACLU in the context of the national group's role as a co-plaintiff in a high-visibility transgender rights lawsuit against North Carolina.

She moved from California to Georgia about a year ago to take the ACLU job in Atlanta.

North Carolina passed a bill known as HB2 that requires individuals to use the restroom in state-operated facilities that corresponds to the gender set forth in their birth certificate. The ACLU has gone to court to try to overturn the law, which has ignited a nationwide controversy and calls for a boycott of that state.

"The liberal legal group's opposition to the bill – which otherwise leaves restroom policies up to business owners – proved the ACLU holds a legal philosophy Dillard Smith says she can no longer support," LifeSite News claimed.

According to Dillard Smith, the ACLU picks and chooses which progressive causes to champion, in part based on who is picking up the tab for the lobbying or litigation.

"I have shared my personal experience of having taken my elementary school age daughters into a women's restroom when shortly after three transgender young adults over six feet with deep voices entered. My children were visibly frightened, concerned about their safety and left asking lots of questions for which I, like many parents, was ill-prepared to answer. Despite additional learning I still have to do, I believe there are solutions that provide can provide accommodations for transgender people and balance the need to ensure women and girls are safe from those who might have malicious intent."

While the ACLU supports the Obama initiative issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, the state of Georgia is one of 11 states suing the DOJ over the regulatory guidance.

"Smith says she wasn't well-versed in transgender issues and wanted to learn more. But, she says there was no room for dialogue at the ACLU," the Atlanta NPR affiliate detailed.

The ex-ACLU executive has reportedly launched the Finding Middle Ground website that seeks to create a safe space for dialogue from all points of view about transgender issues and to extend civil rights to all persons.

The site content at the moment is limited to this video in which a young girl, among other things, says that "boys in the girls bathroom -- I don't know about that...I think we can come up with solutions that create safe spaces for everybody. Everyone just wants a safe space; I just want a safe space."

"Dillard Smith's departure will leave the ACLU shorthanded in the state and even shorter on diversity nationwide. As of last November, she was one of the youngest ACLU directors in the nation, and one of only three African-Americans employed in that role in the progressive organization," LifeSite News asserted..

[Photo by Robert Jonathan]