Dakota Kern

This is a sickening story. On August 16, 18-year-old Dakota Kern, who has been transgender for five years, was invited to a pool party. It was possibly a setup. After hearing some taunts, Kern and a friend attempted to leave. Someone shouted “get it” and Kern was assaulted by as many as 20 people. Those very brave perpetrators of gratuitous violence were so proud of their work that they circulated a video of the assault that was captured on a cell phone.

During the assault, Kern was shoved to the ground and kicked repeatedly. Kern told medical personnel that she hit her head on the pavement and passed out. None of her injuries proved serious. However a hate crime — which is what this was — sends a message that transgender people are potential victims of violence.

Monday, Phoenix police announced that they have arrested one suspect. They have released no details about the individual because he or she is a juvenile. There is little wonder why people feel that they have license to violate transgender folks.

Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBT hate group is based in neighboring Scottsdale, AZ. They have claimed that “Transgenderism Hurts Women’s Progress and Can’t Survive Its Own Logic.” Other hate groups like Liberty Counsel, Family Research Council, American College of Pediatricians and American Family Association have perpetrated the notion that transgender people are dangerous to others. Their further claims about transgender kids are based on flawed studies published as long ago as 40 years.

They do this, not out of concern for people with gender dysphoria. Rather it is an effort to conform religious dogma to science. Indeed, the amateur psychiatrist better known as Pope Francis crazily asserts that transgender is an ideology.

Every day trans people are assaulted or murdered in this country. Hate groups have blood on their hands. Yet they continue to demonize trans people. They devote considerable energy in an attempt to marginalize SPLC and deflect from their designation as hate groups with naked sanctimony. Hate group leader Mat Staver has even directed Liberty Counsel to sue organizations that correctly identify his operation as a hate group.

These are the organizations that Southern Poverty Law Center considers anti-LGBT hate groups:

  • Abiding Truth Ministries

    Springfield, MA

  • Alliance Defending Freedom


    Scottsdale, AZ

  • American College
    of Pediatricians


    Gainesville, FL

  • American Family Association


    Tupelo, MS
    Franklin, PA

  • Americans for Truth
    About Homosexuality

    Naperville, IL

  • American Vision


    Powder Springs, GA

  • ATLAH World Missionary Church (All The Land Anointed Holy)

    New York, NY

  • Campus Ministry USA, The


    Terre Haute, IN

  • Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM)


    Washington, DC

    New York, NY

  • Chalcedon Foundation


    Vallecito, CA

  • Citizens for Community Values


    Cincinnati, OH

  • Conservative Republicans of Texas


    Houston, TX

  • D. James Kennedy Ministries (formerly Truth in Action)


    Fort Lauderdale, FL

  • Faith Baptist Church (formerly Sons of Thunder)


    Greenville, GA

  • Faith2Action

    North Royalton, OH

  • Faithful Word Baptist Church


    Tempe, AZ

  • Family Research Council


    Washington, DC

  • Family Research Institute


    Colorado Springs, CO

  • Family Watch International


    Gilbert, AZ

  • Generations With Vision


    Elizabeth, CO

  • Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment (H.O.M.E.)


    Downers Grove, IL

  • Illinois Family Institute


    Carol Stream, IL

  • Illinois Family Institute
    Tri-County chapter


    Peoria, IL

  • Liberty Counsel


    Orlando, FL

  • Mass Resistance


    Waltham, MA
    Torrance, CA

    Lewiston, ME

    St. Louis, MO

    Yorktown, VA

  • Mission: America


    Columbus, OH

  • Pacific Justice Institute


    Sacramento, CA

  • Pass the Salt Ministries


    Hebron, OH

  • Pilgrims Covenant Church


    Monroe, WI

  • Pray in Jesus Name Project
    Colorado Springs, CO
  • Probe Ministries


    Plano, TX

  • Providence Road
    Baptist Church


    Maiden, NC

  • Public Advocate of
    the United States


    Falls Church, VA

  • Ruth Institute


    San Marcos, CA

  • Save California
    Sacramento, CA
  • Stedfast Baptist Church


    Fort Worth, TX

  • TC Family (Traverse
    City Family)


    Traverse City, MI

  • Tom Brown Ministries


    El Paso, TX

  • Traditional Values Coalition


    Washington, DC
    Anaheim, CA

  • True Light Pentecost Church


    Spartanburg, SC

  • United Families International


    Gilbert, AZ

  • Verity Baptist Church


    Sacramento, CA

  • Westboro Baptist Church


    Topeka, KS

  • Windsor Hills Baptist Church


    Oklahoma City, OK

  • World Congress of Families/International Organization for the Family


    Rockford, IL

Related content:

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.