ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A new proposed policy designed to protect transgender students from discrimination has been getting a lot of attention lately.
So much so that the pastor of one of New Mexico’s largest churches has taken to social media to make his opinions known and it’s getting tens of thousands of views.
People are talking about this video:
“People have a right to believe what they want to be believe but they can’t push it on everybody else,” said Legacy Pastor Steve Smothermon in his Facebook video.
It’s been seen by more than 45,000 people.
“The school system allowing transgender students to be able to go into the bathroom of their choice is taking the rights of 99.9 percent of us,” continued Pastor Smothermon in the video.
The proposed APS transgender bathroom is a hot topic with very strong opinions on both sides of the issue.
Instead of attending recent school board meetings, Pastor Smothermon went to social media to voice his view.
“We all know that social media is a good medium to spread a message. I just felt strong enough about this as a dad and a grandparent that I’m thinking with all the issues that APS has that this is the thing they’re going to do, put more pressure on our kids,” said Pastor Smothermon.
Pastor Smothermon is worried that a boy, for example, might walk into the same bathroom as Smothermon’s daughter, and make her feel uncomfortable or even scared.
“These are babies these are children. Why should they ever have to deal with this?”
Albuquerque Public Schools says it’s important to move the district forward by supporting and protecting each and every kid.
“We have students that we really need to pay attention to that we need to be educated about informed about and we need to figure out the best way to serve the students and that is not to replace our commitment to every student in the school district,” said Barbara Petersen, APS School Board member.
School Board members say the policy is largely to inform staff and set up procedures but most importantly, to comply with federal law.
But, Pastor Smothermon says he still believes Albuquerque residents should have the right to vote on this.
The interim superintendent and her staff will make the final decision about transgender bathrooms.