J.K. Rowling returning human rights award to group that now condemns her trans views
Author J.K. Rowling's newest way of proving she stands firm in her stance on transgender rights is returning a human rights award that was given to her last year by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights group.
At the beginning of August, Kerry Kennedy, the president of the organization, put out a statement that firmly declared: "From her own words, I take Rowling’s position to be that the sex one is assigned at birth is the primary and determinative factor of one’s gender, regardless of one’s gender identity —a position that I categorically reject. The science is clear and conclusive: Sex is not binary."
The statement points out that Rowling's tweets about trans women were posted during LGBTQ Pride Month, and includes inflammatory quotes from the Harry Potter author's essay in response to the controversy, like when she wrote "I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman — and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones — then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.”
Kennedy mentions she already spoke to Rowling about her "profound disappointment that she has chosen to use her remarkable gifts to create a narrative that diminishes the identity of trans and nonbinary people," and notes that Rowling's viewpoint detracts from the work the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights group does fighting transphobic and homophobic laws and policies in countries like Uganda, Honduras, and the United States.
While the organization's statement does not outright recall Rowling's award, given to her for her charity Lumos, which works to pair orphans with families worldwide, the author did take the group's stance as a sign she should return the award.
Rowling writes on her website, "In solidarity with those who have contacted me but who are struggling to make their voices heard, and because of the very serious conflict of views between myself and RFKHR, I feel I have no option but to return the Ripple of Hope Award bestowed upon me last year. I am deeply saddened that RFKHR has felt compelled to adopt this stance, but no award or honour, no matter my admiration for the person for whom it was named, means so much to me that I would forfeit the right to follow the dictates of my own conscience."
Despite the explanation RFKHR gave on why her statements have been incendiary, Rowling proclaims "I absolutely refute the accusation that I hate trans people or wish them ill, or that standing up for the rights of women is wrong, discriminatory, or incites harm or violence to the trans community."