President Trump has appointed anti-transgender activist Bethany Kozma to serve as senior advisor to the Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the US Agency for International Development. Kozma’s title is senior adviser for women’s empowerment and through this appointment, the Trump administration has added yet another anti-LGBTQ activist to what has already been the most anti-LGBTQ administration in recent memory.
“When you google the name Bethany Kozma the first hit is a screed against transgender youth, but that’s not surprising since President Trump has been recruiting from a pool of the most vehemently anti-LGBTQ activists to run our great nation,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “At a time when transgender women are facing rising levels of violence and income inequality, appointing someone to this post who has dedicated their life to harming transgender youth is a slap in the face to LGBTQ Americans and a huge leap in the wrong direction which could place some of the most marginalized Americans directly in harm’s way.”
Bethany Kozma has a history of peddling false and defamatory myths about transgender people. Her anti-LGBTQ activist work includes published work at the Daily Signal, a publication managed by the Heritage Foundation, and partnerships with anti-LGBTQ hate groups such as the Family Research Council. Kozma was one of the most visible leaders in a campaign to bar transgender students access to bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity at school.
Austin Ruse of the Center for Family and Human Rights, which opposes promoting LGBT and abortion rights in foreign policy, said he did not think the appointment represented a reversal from Obama administration policy, reports BuzzFeed.
“Bethany Kozma is a lovely, sweet woman who just happens to believe that girls with penises just ought not to be showering next to girls without penises,” Ruse said.
Check out more of Kozma’s anti-LGBTQ record below as well as the anti-LGBTQ records of the entire Trump Administration by visiting GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project.
— Testified to her local school board that there is a direct link between sexual predators and trans access to facilities. “Imagine how predators will be emboldened and enabled, endangering other young girls if they are allowed to enter girls facilities and protected under your current policy.” (Begins at 17:10)
— Informed her school board that the next superintendent must “not violate Title IX, not just in the female sports by allowing males to unfairly compete and possibly severely injure the girls, but also not allow males to take over bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms and push out females, denying them their right for privacy and safety.” (Begins at 53:55)
— Warned another Virginia school board that fair bathroom policy “allows the man who identifies as the woman” into facilities and “tells young girls who are students that you don’t care how they feel and you will be discriminating against your own students, potentially opening them up to sexual harassment…sexual assault or rape.” (Begins at 8:50)
— Response to a gender services clinic in Seattle: “This is horrible- a place where our children will be sterilized
— Attempted to discredit the identities of transgender youth by referring to trans kids as “gender confused children.”