On September 13, 2010, Gov. David Paterson signed the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) into law as Chapter 482 of the Laws of 2010.
Often described as an anti-bullying law,  DASA banned discrimination and harassment against public school students on the basis of a variety of criteria. Those criteria included the nebulous and problematic categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression.” While we stand against harassment and unjust treatment, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms fought DASA. Our organization opposes special legal protections based upon homosexuality and gender confusion. These characteristics are neither unchangeable (like race and sex) nor constitutionally protected (like religion), and they should not be placed alongside such characteristics in the laws of New York. Furthermore, protecting these categories in law treats sin as if it is something to be celebrated.
As we feared, DASA’s nondiscrimination provisions have since been used to force public schools to allow students that identify as “transgender” to use opposite-sex facilities. Things could be worse, however; at least DASA only applies to public schools. Section 17 of the law reads: “Nothing in this article shall apply to private, religious or denominational educational institutions.” But Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) wants to change that. Bill S.3696-Hoylman would expand the reach of DASA to all elementary and secondary schools—including Christian schools—in the State of New York.
What would Sen. Hoylman’s bill mean for Christian schools? Here’s a preview:
- Boys with gender dysphoria using girls’ locker rooms;
- Boys competing in girls’ sporting events;
- Students being allowed to crossdress at school;
- Students who identify as “LGBT” complaining to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) of “discrimination” by Christian schools whose policies ban sexually immoral conduct; and
- Investigations by the Commissioner of NYSED into schools that fail to comply with DASA.
In short, the provisions of Sen. Hoylman’s bill would effectively make it impossible for Christian schools to continue to exist in the State of New York. That outcome is unacceptable.
Bill S.3696-Hoylman hasn’t gained any traction in Albany—yet. Please help us keep it that way. Write your state senator today and urge him or her to oppose this bill.
 Thought questions: Has anyone checked to see if bullying in New York schools has ceased since the passage of DASA? Or whether bullying has been substantially reduced? Before this law is expanded, wouldn’t it make sense to evaluate its effectiveness? Does anyone in their right mind really believe that the passage of a state law will stop schoolchildren from bullying each other?