An influential ACLU lawyer named Chase Strangio declared “100%” determination to block the distribution of a book about girls’ health, marking another lurch away from the group’s claimed commitment to free speech.
Strangio, who claims to be a transgender man, posted two November 13 tweets against free speech after the Target chain announced it would stop selling Abigail Shrier’s book about the danger of the transgender ideology to young girls.
Abigail Schrier’s book is a dangerous polemic with a goal of making people not trans. I think of all the times & ways I was told my transness wasn’t real & the daily to that still takes. We have to fight these ideas which are leading to the criminalization of trans life again.
Also stopping the circulation of this book and ideas is 100% a hill I will die on.
The book is titled Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.
The ACLU lawyer’s opposition to free speech comes as male transgender activists work with progressives in Congress to strip women of their rights to single-sex spaces, of female identity based on biology, of women’s sports and merit competitions, and of their free speech to oppose the aggressive transgender ideology.
Here is an ACLU lawyer saying their goal is to stop the circulation of books and ideas…
In case you were wondering how free speech is doing. pic.twitter.com/jIGhCSEAbZ
— Wokal DistΔnce (@wokal_distance) November 13, 2020
Left-wing author Glenn Greenwald described the ACLU’s drift from the defense of free speech:
Numerous ACLU staffers told me that one of the most vocal and effective advocates for a more “nuanced” free speech approach was Chase Strangio, the ACLU’s Deputy Director for Transgender Justice of its LGBT & HIV Project …
It is nothing short of horrifying, but sadly also completely unsurprising, to see an ACLU lawyer proclaim his devotion to “stopping the circulation of [a] book” because he regards its ideas as wrong and dangerous. There are, always have been, and always will be people who want to stop books from being circulated: by banning them, burning them, pressuring publishing houses to rescind publishing contracts or demanding corporations refuse to sell them. But why would someone with such censorious attitudes, with a goal of suppressing ideas with which they disagree, choose to go to work for the ACLU of all places?
Strangio emphasized that “I am not speaking for the ACLU nor do I have the ACLU in my Twitter bio” and, despite this tweet, insists that he “never advocated with an entity to ban a book.” (My full exchange with Strangio, including his full comments, is here).
It is important to note that Strangio’s views are mostly definitely not shared by everyone at the ACLU. Many of the group’s more traditional free speech advocates still prioritize its civil liberties principles over liberal politics and liberal political causes.
Independent of the Strangio tweet, and amid rising public protest, Target announced it would restart selling Shrier’s book. Target also announced it was reversing its short-lived decision to stop selling Debra Soh’s book against the transgender ideology.
— Dr. Debra Soh – THE END OF GENDER is anti-woke (@DrDebraSoh) November 14, 2020
Pro-transgender activists want the federal government to subordinate the recognition of biology to instead favor each person’s self-selected “gender,” or undefinable feeling of maleness or femaleness.
Under their policy, the federal government would force Americans to treat a man or woman as a member of the opposite sex whenever they claim to have an unverifiable “Gender identity” of the opposite sex — even though fewer than one in a hundred people claim to be transgender.
“Trans people are forced into prisons of their birth sex,” tweeted one transgender activist. “The true American dream we all know is pure freedom, no matter who or what you are,” said Paulo Batista, who wants the government to provide an official declaration of male status.
“You can’t just pretend that biology can be ignored, and someone can change their sex just by saying that ‘I’m something other than what I really am,’” said Elaine Donnely, founder of the Center for Military Readiness. Advocates for the transgender ideology are “biology deniers,” she said.
“To be called a bigot for simply acknowledging scientific fact is both tragic and hilarious,” Republican lawyer Jenna Ellis told Breitbart News in August. “The truth of biology shows that human beings are created immutably male and female. Yet in our post-truth society, the progressive leftists not only demand that we affirm patently false facts, but also demand we not offend people who insist on speaking their lies. Otherwise, we are called insensitive bigots and required to apologize.”