By: Rachel del Guidice – dailysignal.com – November 13, 2018
A 20-year-old student senator at the University of California Berkeley says she didn’t expect the intense opposition she received for voicing her Christian beliefs on sexual identity and gender.
Although Isabella Chow, a junior, has the support of the school’s College Republicans chapter, her own student party cut ties with her and other students and organizations are demanding that she resign from the Senate or face a recall.
“I didn’t expect it at all, I’ll just put it that way,” Chow told The Daily Signal in a phone interview Tuesday.
“I expected there to be opposition, I expected there to be disagreement,” she said, “but I didn’t expect that a place that claimed to be so inclusive and tolerant would turn its back on me so quickly.”
Her offense? Chow chose not to vote Oct. 31 on a measure decrying consideration by the Trump administration of a legal definition that says a person’s gender is what his or her sex was at birth. She was the only one of 20 senators to abstain on the measure, which also backed organizations that promote the LGBT agenda.
Student-run CalTV and school publications Chow represented also abandoned or “disaffiliated with” her, she said.
In a statement on Facebook explaining why she abstained, Chow first said discrimination “is never, ever OK.”
But, she said, “where this bill crosses the line for me is that I am asked to promote a choice of identities that I do not agree with to be right or best for an individual, and to promote certain organizations that uphold values contrary to those of my community.”
Chow, who is from Gilroy, California, about two hours outside of San Francisco, told The Daily Signal that she fears funding for Christian groups on campus is threatened. A piano recital where she was supposed to play was cancelled because professors said, “You can’t perform when we are all afraid of protesters showing up at the door.”
At a protest Wednesday, Chow said, people yelled at her for three hours, swearing and demanding that she resign.
Through that experience, she told The Daily Signal, “a big part of me was reminded that as a Christian, I needed to stand by what I said.”
That means not only standing by her beliefs about gender and sexuality, she said, but “loving the LGBTQ community and accepting all of them as valid and significant and loved.”
Chow was elected to the student Senate as a candidate running with the party Associated Students of the University of California. She had support from fellow Christian students and the “publications and media” crowd involved in journals, magazines, and CalTV, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Over 1,000 persons have signed a petition demanding that Chow resign from student government or face a recall. She also has faced pushback on social media.
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