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Women Flee Daughters Of The American Revolution After It Admits Men

‘It’s no longer the beautiful club that I thought it was,’ Liberty Bell Chapter Chaplain Debby McDermott told The Federalist.


Another wave of Daughters of the American Revolution members is contemplating leaving the national genealogical society after it doubled down on allowing men to infiltrate the formerly all-female organization.

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) national bylaws previously required applicants to be women who “prove lineal, bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence.” But national DAR leadership has quietly, for years now, without the knowledge of its members, allowed men with altered birth certificates to join DAR chapters across the United States.

“Right there, you’ve corrupted the lineage possibilities for true patriots because we always have to prove our lineage,” Debby McDermott, a decade-long DAR member and chaplain of Liberty Bell Chapter, told The Federalist.

The DAR officially amended its policies last year to include transgender members. After several attempts to reverse the change, 12 chapters suggested amendments that would require members to “have the biological characteristics of a female in the context of reproductive potential or capacity such as sex chromosomes and naturally occurring sex hormones.” They also asked the national organization to “remove all non-discrimination policy language” about potential members and require members to offer original birth certificate or DNA proof that they are females.

The proposal easily satisfied the national bylaw demands that at least 10 chapters from five states offer endorsements for the amendments to attain national review. Yet on Feb. 10, DAR’s National Board of Management rejected the endorsement in an almost unanimous vote.

The DAR was founded in 1890 because the 1889 Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) voted to exclude women from their patriotic organization. To this day, SAR limits its membership to males only.

According to the organization’s official introduction video, DAR’s founding mission was to create a society “that would harness a desire for service that would help usher in the progressive era in the United States and create a legacy for future generations of women.”

In a letter obtained by The Federalist, DAR claimed to the Nevada Sagebrush Chapter that limiting the female-centric organization to women is not “suitable subject matter for inclusion in the bylaws and is not in the best interests of the society.”

“They’re just lying and they’re deceitful in the way that they went about everything. The vote last year was done conveniently at a time when other major events were happening. They took off from the agenda one thing they knew was going to draw a big crowd, which was upping the annual dues… So that lessened the amount of people that were going to show up to hear the vote on the transgender thing,” McDermott said. “They’re just unwilling to hear anybody else’s opinion but their own.”

Hit Them Where It Hurts

When the DAR went public with the “additional non-discrimination language” amendment at its 132nd Continental Congress last year, several members decided to leave the society by either resigning or refusing to pay dues. The Nevada Sagebrush Chapter alone lost at least nine women, including its former secretary Brenda Becker. She estimates a DAR resignation increase across the United States between 15 and 18 percent since last year.

Becker stuck out her membership long enough to join a coalition of chapters that asked the National Bylaws Committee in October to revert the bylaw. But when DAR President General Pamela Rouse Wright confirmed, shortly before the board decided on the reversion proposal, that men masquerading as women could join the female society, Becker knew it was time to go.

“People are not as interested in the DAR in the big picture because they see us as being older women. We’re not like Riley Gaines out there with all the attention. But there are 190,000 or 185,000 members in DAR. I mean, that’s a lot of people,” Becker said.

Others, like McDermott, are contemplating whether to stay and fight DAR nationals over the policy shift or resign from the organization they’ve known and loved for years.

“I’m having a difficult time with my decision to stay or go. If I go, I can’t fight, but if I stay, I’m going against my beliefs,” McDermott said. “God created man and woman, and there’s only two, so being with an organization that is accepting multiple genders goes against my belief in God.”

McDermott said she loves spending time with her local chapter volunteering because it gives her community and support, especially after she became a widow. The problem with continuing membership, she said, is that most of her dues will go to support nationals and their policies.

Because of the DAR’s trickle-down system, McDermott’s Liberty Bell chapter will be forced to adopt the new bylaws and could be asked to accept male members soon.

“I think until it financially hits them, that they have really made a mistake, it’s not going to make a difference to them. If it hits them in the pocketbook, maybe that would make a difference. That’s the other reason I’d leave,” McDermott said

Becker said there is some talk of “having an informational picket or protests” during DAR’s Continental Congress this summer. Until then, ex-members and members with concerns about the society’s desire to become more “inclusive” will continue protesting the decision to allow males in an explicitly and historically female organization.

“It’s so discouraging that it’s something that I always was proud to be a member of because I am a patriot and that’s a very special thing. Now, it’s just soiled, it’s dirty. It’s no longer the beautiful club that I thought it was,” McDermott said.

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