Helping Children Grow Up

While others are doing their best to ruin the lives of nine-year-olds, some folks are trying to help them grow up safely and with compassion. One of those is Fairfax school board member Ryan McElveen:

Fairfax school board member Ryan McElveen
Fairfax school board member Ryan McElveen

He’s the force behind the push to extend Fairfax schools’ existing anti-discrimination policy (which already protects everyone equally from discrimination based on sexual orientation) so that it protects everyone equally from discrimination based on gender identity. What he’s doing is not only laudable, it’s a reminder that, while we wait for our General Assembly to grow up and join the rest of us, there is more to government than what goes on in Richmond (an acute point, given what some of our delegates have had to say about this particular issue). We may not be able to pass any old law we want to at the county level (and a good thing, that), but the constitution still applies, even in a Dillon state like ours. Along those lines, I sent Ryan the note below:

Dear Mr. McElveen,

Five years ago, when I was a member of the Loudoun county board of
supervisors, I proposed an addition to the county's policy documents that
would forbid discrimination by county personnel based on sexual orientation
or gender identity. My proposal passed on a 6-2-1 vote.

Before passage, the proposal provoked the same tiresome "bathroom"
arguments, and a number of related nonsensical objections, that always
arise when equality for members of the LGBT community looms. However,
despite dire predictions that fairness in the workplace would lead to
predatory creeps terrorizing patrons of The Ladies Room, I believe the
reported number of such incidents continues to stand at zero.

I hope your proposal to extend equality in Fairfax schools to transgender
staff and students will pass. Please ignore the intrusions from Delegate
Marshall and Delegate LaRock. Mr. Marshall has no Fairfax precincts. He
used to have some Loudoun precincts, before redistricting, so, to some
extent, his presence in the house of delegates is our fault. Mr. LaRock,
with most of his constituents living in Loudoun today, is undeniably our
responsibility. I know them both and can tell you their brand of Tea will
not sell well in most of Fairfax.

AG Herring has weighed in and declared what you have proposed to be
constitutional in Virginia. For what it is worth, I agree. When we passed
our non-discrimination policy here, the sitting AG held the opposite
opinion. However, what all opponents have overlooked is that, even in a
Dillon state like ours, power to enforce the United States constitution is
inherent in every office of government, while the option to violate the
United States constitution is not available to any office of government. In
my view, that alone authorized the guarantee of equal protection that my
board passed, and yours seeks to enlarge.

Please keep up the fight. Reason is winning, because of people like you.

Stevens Miller
Broadlands, VA

He replied the next day, saying he does expect the measure to pass. Final vote will be May 7. Looking forward to another step towards adulthood, not only for our kids in school, but for their government, as well.

Mr. McElveen bears a striking resemblance to another man I admire, astronaut Story Musgrave:

Might be a clue here about what it takes to be a pioneer…

Author: FirewallNOVA Left

I'm the voice from left of center at FirewallNOVA. Sometimes pretty far left, sometimes pretty close to center. Sometimes maybe not left of center at all. But, mostly, I'm a bleeding-heart liberal or, if not, the crowd on the other side tends to think I am. I can live with that.

2 thoughts on “Helping Children Grow Up”

  1. A “Dillon state” is a state where the Dillon Rule prevails. The Dillon Rule states that local government derives all of its powers from state government; that state government is free to define and abridge the power of local government as it pleases. This contrasts with the Cooley Doctrine, which is a legal theory that local government is an inherent right that a state may not take away.

  2. Stevens Miller shows the value of having a lawyer on your side. Many state and local legislators here and around the country can do with the free legal advice he gives here, “power to enforce the United States constitution is inherent in every office of government, while the option to violate the
    United States constitution is not available to any office of government

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