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Pacific Justice Institute

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The Pacific Justice Institute is an American right-wing organisation which claims to be "defending religious freedom, parental rights and other religious liberties". Amongst its claims to fame is its effective job of smearing a transgender teenager, who was later revealed to be on suicide watch.

In October 2013 the organisation sent a complaint to a Colorado high school claiming that the transgender student was "harassing" girls in the bathrooms. The story was picked up by the Christian Broadcasting Network, which stated that "A male student at Florence High School who claims to be a transgender has been harassing girls in the bathroom. When parents complained, school officials said the boy's rights as a transgender trumped their daughters' privacy rights."[1] The Daily Mail subsequently ran an article based entirely around CBN's version of events, which likewise referred to the transgender student as "male" and "the boy".[2]

However, the school's superintendent Rhonda Vendetti later clarified matters: the case is the result of a single parent objecting to a male-to-female transgender student using female restrooms, and no harassment has been reported. The Daily Mail removed the article from its site, but by then the story had reached Fox Nation.[3] A good number of commentators on the Fox article concluded that the transgender girl (referred to as "him/her", a "freak" and "it") deserved to be brutally assaulted.[4]

The website Transadvocate subsequently revealed that the transgender student (whom it refers to as Jane Doe, for reasons of privacy) had been placed on suicide watch, and made a call for letters and e-mails of support to be sent to her.[5]

In November the PJI, in a futile attempt to make itself look sensitive, released a fundraising video in which one of its supporters claims to "feel sorry for this little boy", while concluding that she needs to be taught to "respect others".[6]

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