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Will Fairfax GOP Reject Transphobia of “No Boys in the Girls’ Bathroom” Fairfax County School Board Candidate Tom Pafford?

Pafford also calls minorities "those people" and says GOP can win "Oriental," Black families with anti-trans messaging.

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by Robert Norris Rigby of FCPS Pride

Will the Fairfax County Republican-endorsed candidates for School Board reject the transphobia that Mason District Candidate Tom Pafford spews on their behalf? Among other things, Pafford just posted a five-part series, which I will refrain from linking to, on a right-wing Virginia political blog, regarding what he calls “The Transgender Wars.” It’s as crazy and anti-LGBT as you’d think; among other things, Pafford offers that, “For a $25 donation, I will mail you a yard sign, No Boys in the Girl’s Bathroom, that will arouse your neighborhood.” Seriously. Pafford also warns against “accepting Transgender identity as normal.”

By the way, Pafford engages in some serious misdirection about his political leanings; he was originally recommended for endorsement by the Mason District Republican Committee, but the larger Fairfax County Republican Committee declined to endorse him, probably because he is too extreme even for them. So now Pafford is claiming to be a “Blue Dog Democrat.” But is he really?

In fact, Pafford is a member of the Tea Party and uses phrases like “I and the ten other conservative candidates [the Republican-endorsed candidates]” and “we, the GOP, the conservatives.” He encourages people throughout Virginia to reach out to the 500,000 voters in Fairfax to get them to vote for him and these other ten conservatives (meaning the Republicans).

Pafford certainly isn’t shy about his anti-transgender views. Recently, on an episode of the Rob Schilling Show (on WINA, Charlottesville’s conservative talk radio, like our WMAL), he explained current policy in Fairfax County this way:

Pafford: “If your child was selected in school by a teacher or administrator, if they thought that he or she was a trans person, they would have the right to go ahead and test him, provide counseling to him, and do anything really they wanted to do as far as transgender discrimination and as a parent you could not say anything to stop them. In fact, you could be fined or even jailed under the Equality Act that was just passed by the House…or your child could be taken away from you for the child’s protection. Well, that is what we’re facing here in Fairfax County.”

Quick fact check—not a single part of this sentence is true.

Pafford: “Right now in Fairfax County…they’re trying to put an agenda together, they had passed it 10-0 [in 2018] to have trans discrimination policies…which would allow them to do that [have boys shower with girls] if it passes. And that is why I and 10 other conservative candidates are running for the School Board of Fairfax County to make sure that that does not happen.”

Schilling: “OK, so it’s not quite there yet. Who is behind this push? And what, ultimately, is the purpose of all this?”

Pafford:  “Well, that requires a little bit of a backstory that you won’t find in any of the online news outlets or even on…conservative blogs. What’s happened is that the Democrats do this very quietly. They will put forward a trans discrimination policy, very few people know about it, they will pass it and put it into action. And then after it’s all done and said, *then* they send out a letter to the parents saying, well we have this policy in place, it is now effective, we’re going to let the boys go in the girls locker room, we’re going to let the girls go to the boys locker room. And if the parents start to complain, it’s already policy.”

Pafford, who is white, also claims to understand how people of color think:

Pafford: “There is about 46%-50% minorities living in Northern Virginia. And the conservatives don’t do well connecting with those people. But this here is an issue that we can connect with many, many families – Latino, Black, Oriental [sic], Asian – these families are also on this side; this gives us a chance to go in and really really connect again with these people…[that is] what I and the other 10 people that are with me running, what we’re trying to do.”

“Those people?” “Oriental?” Really? Alrighty.

By the way, Pafford’s pretense of being a “blue-dog Democrat” is obviously a deliberate misdirection. In fact, Pafford allies himself with and appeals to the Republican Party and its candidates. In his Schilling Show interview, he even says “the other 10 people that are with me running,” clearly referring the GOP-endorsed Fairfax County School Board candidates.  Those candidates and that party should reject Pafford, lest his extremism taint their campaign. If they really disagree with him, that is, which clearly some of them (e.g., anti-LGBT School Board incumbent Elizabeth Schultz) don’t.

Begins at 9:58

I call upon the Republican-endorsed candidates for school board in Fairfax County to publicly disown Pafford and reject his anti-trans and racist ideas, and to repudiate his campaigning on their behalf.