ACLU Official Resigns Over Transgenders in Women’s Restroom


ACRU Staff


June 7, 2016

This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published June 7, 2016 by the ACRU.

Maya Dillard Smith, an African-American woman who led the Georgia state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), resigned recently, citing her young daughters’ fright when biological males dressed as women came into the women’s restroom.

The interim director turned in her resignation in late May over the ACLU’s transgender legal agenda, according to, whose account follows:

“I have shared my personal experience of having taken my elementary school age daughters into a women’s restroom when shortly after three transgender young adults, over six feet [tall] with deep voices, entered,” she wrote.

“My children were visibly frightened, concerned about their safety and left asking lots of questions for which I, like many parents, was ill-prepared to answer,” she continued.

In a statement, she said that the ACLU has become “a special interest organization that promotes not all, but certain progressive rights.”

The “hierarchy of rights” the ACLU chooses to defend or ignore, she wrote, is “based on who is funding the organization’s lobbying activities.” She did not elaborate on the group’s funding. Dillard Smith is no conservative. She earned a degree in economics from Berkeley and a master’s degree at Harvard, while working for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court.

She is a 2003 graduate of the program Emerge America, which states its “goal is clear: to increase the number of Democratic women in public office.”

But this self-described “progressive” who called herself “unapologetically black” cannot go along with the ACLU’s transgender legal agenda.

Georgia was one of first 11 states suing the Obama administration over its controversial federal guidance requiring public schools and universities to allow transgender students to use the restrooms, showers, and overnight accommodations of the opposite biological sex.

The ACLU’s North Carolina chapter is suing Gov. Pat McCrory for signing H.B. 2, which requires individuals use the restroom of the biological sex noted on their birth certificates in the lawsuit Carcano v. McCrory.

“I found myself principally and philosophically unaligned with the organization,” Dillard Smith said.

In a post on, the liberal-leaning fact-checking site, writer Kim LaCapria reported no inaccuracies, but noted, “It was unclear when, where, or under which circumstances Smith experienced the events she described.”

On Fox News’ Kelly File on June 2, Ms. Dillard Smith told host Megyn Kelly that the incident had occurred in California before she had been recruited to head the Georgia ACLU.

According to LaCapria, a spokesperson at the national ACLU “was unable to discuss the controversy, saying only that it was a personnel matter. The organization hasn’t yet directly addressed Smith’s story.” Editor Thomas Lifson opined that hard reality had turned Ms. Smith’s views around:

“Dillard Smith is responding to a biological imperative: the protection of her children,” he wrote in a June 2 blogpost. “This is what pierced the veil of ideology that had blinded her to the realities obscured by the fine rhetoric and shiny ideals the ACLU purports to uphold. As the old greenie bumper sticker from the ’70s put it, ‘Nature Bats Last.’”



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