By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com August 12 2013 2:52 PM ET
Fox News once again highlighted the network's ongoing transphobia Friday when reporters and pundits grossly mischaracterized a California antidiscrimination bill that allows transgender students to play on sports teams and use school facilities that correspond with their gender identity. Fox's reporter also repeatedly referred to a trans high schooler in Arcadia, Calif., who recently won the right to access gender-specific facilities in his school, by the wrong gender, according to Media Matters.
Friday's segment on Happening Now featured reporter Adam Housley, who broadly mischaracterized the bill, which affirms existing nondiscrimination protections for trans students at public elementary and secondary schools to access the sports teams, activities, locker rooms, and bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. The bill passed the full California legislature last month, and Gov. Jerry Brown signed it into law on Monday.
Fox's report was headlined "Transgender 'Bathroom' Bill, Allows Kids to Choose Restroom They Like," perpetuating the myth that equal accommodation for trans students would allow youth to arbitrarily use whatever bathroom they want, regardless of what gender with which they identify.
In testimony before the state Senate when the bill was passed in July, the bill's coauthor noted that not a single instance of misconduct has been reported around trans students accessing the programs and facilities associated with their gender.
But "those opposed say we're going too far with students and actually hurts the general population as a whole," said Fox's Housley. "They say that kids potentially could take advantage of this and parents will have to start worrying about boys showering with girls and vice versa."
While the Fox report did include an interview with gay Democratic state senator Mark Leno, who cosponsored the bill, the segment also included a counterpoint from Brad Dacus, president of the anti-LGBT Pacific Justice Institute, who stoked unfounded fears that allowing trans students to use the facilities and participate in events that fit with their gender would open other students to harassment and assault.
Fox's Housely also routinely misgendered a male transgender student in Arcadia when discussing a recent ruling from the Department of Justice that determined the student's high school was required to provide access to the bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with the teen's gender identity.
Watch Fox's report below.