Editor: The draft LCPS policy 8040 “Rights of Transgender and Gender-Expansive Students” has created ugly divisions between the LGBTQ+ community and those more concerned with religious rights, threatening Loudoun’s unity, happiness, and flourishing.
However, the landscape does not have to remain so full of anger, despondency, indignation, demands, winners and losers.
Rather, we believe that the “fairness for all” approach first modeled by the state of Utah in 2015 is a valid and powerful way forward, which takes the apparent conflict and allows for cooperation and collaboration between feuding parties.The premise in the original Utah legislation is that, through good faith negotiations and compromise, religious freedoms and the freedoms of the LGBTQ+ community can be linked together and preserved.This creates unity and forward progress for groups that otherwise would be doing battle.
Given the chance, these principles of compromise have a high probability of success here in Loudoun County in our current circumstance.We have submitted a “fairness for all” proposal to LCPS, which we hope they consider before 8040 is put to a vote next week. As it stands right now, the draft policy does not addressthe concerns of those who find themselves on the opposite side of the very issue it seeks to resolve.
We firmly believe that all sides need to be heard, and that through empathy, listening, hard work and compromise a solution can be found, which can bind us together, fighting those forces that would drive us apart.
Chris Stevenson, Purcellville
President,The Community Levee Association of Loudoun County