Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Family Research Council uses work of phony medical group in new attack on transgender community

The Family Research Council was in a braggart's mood yesterday as it launched another attack against the transgender community:

Liberals like to say they're pushing these gender-neutral bills for the kids, but new research suggests they're doing it despite the kids. Every day, it seems like another city or school board is pushing a policy that tells children to ignore the anatomy that classrooms should be teaching! The waves of gender-neutral bathroom and athletic proposals keep coming, no matter how devastating it can be for students. Gender isn't a matter of self-determination, the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) is arguing, and suggesting otherwise can harm kids for life.

This isn't about helping children "find themselves" or accepting them for who they are, it's about glamorizing a disorder with life-long consequences. When legislatures or educators indulge and even encourage this confusion, ACP warns, it's child abuse. In a strong response to the transgender ideology marching across America, U.S. pediatricians are urging a complete and total rejection of these so-called "non-discrimination" bills. "Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse," they write in a statement released yesterday. In an eight-point dismantling of the trans-movement, they remind Americans that gender confusion is a "mental disorder" -- a fact, ACP points out, that has never been disproven.

I will spare you the rest of FRC's taunt. However, it cannot be ignored that yet again FRC is distorting information. Don't be fooled by the official sounding name of the organization. (The American College of Pediatricians) which crafted the  statement that FRC is pushing as legitimate.

To put it plainly, the American College of Pediatricians is a fraud, an organization which, while sounding credible, is actually a front for giving anti-lgbt propaganda a more respectable veneer. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Like NARTH, ACPeds was born from an ideological split within a profession. It was founded in 2002 as a protest against the much larger American Academy of Pediatrics’ support for LGBT adoption rights — and that opposition remains central to the group’s identity. ACPeds is believed to have no more than 200 members, a tiny fraction of the nearly 60,000 professionals who belong to the American Academy of Pediatrics. But thanks to its deceptive name — which makes it sound as if it is the mainstream professional organization for pediatricians — ACPeds often serves as a supposedly scientific source for groups pushing utter falsehoods about LGBT people.
 . . . Dr. Joseph Zanga, who heads ACPeds, described what he hoped his group would become: “essentially a Judeo-Christian, traditional-values organization ... open to membership for pediatric medical professionals of all religions who hold our core beliefs ... that life begins at conception and that the traditional family unit, headed by an opposite-sex couple, poses far fewer risk factors.

In 2010, the group sent letters to 14,000 school district superintendents asking that they peruse and use information from a webpage it created entitled Facts About Youth.   I said the following about it during that time:

Facts About Youth contains the same tired lies and misinformation about the gay community found on almost every religious right web page and repeated by almost every religious right talking head.

 The following are just a few bits of misinformation which I discovered

1.  Facts About Youth repeats the claim that Dr. Francis Collins stated that homosexuality is not hardwired by DNA. The truth is that Francis Collins never said that. In fact, Dr. Collins said his words were being distorted.

2. Facts About Youth repeats the lie that the Robert Spitzer study proves that homosexuality is changeable, excluding the fact that Spitzer has said on more than one occasion that his research was being distorted.

3. Facts About Youth mentions the term "gay bowel syndrome," even though it does not exist.

4. Facts About Youth repeats the lie that a Canadian study proves that gay men have a short life span, even though the researchers of the study said that their work was being distorted.

5.  Many of the studies cited by Facts About Youth are over 10 years old and some even go back to the seventies.

6. Many studies cited by Facts About Youth are convenience samples not meant to be indicative of the entire gay community in general.

One example of this is the citation of the 1979 book The Gay Report, which was the result of 2500 responses which came from a gay magazine questionnaire. The magazine, Blue Boy, was a softcore porn magazine which is now defunct. However, Facts About Youth cites this book on several occasions when claiming to give accurate details on gay sexual behavior.

7. Facts About Youth  falsely claimed that  gay men "sexualize human waste." In fact, the entire portion on the website about "Male Sexual Behavior" is taken almost word-for-word from a 2002 anti-gay paper The Health Risks of Gay Sex. That paper, ironically, used the same junk and cherry-picked science used by ACPeds.

8. Facts About Youth makes the claim that the lgbt orientation is indicative of negative health behaviors by cherry picking portions of pro-gay health pieces, such as what it says about lesbians:

Lesbians are also at higher risk for STDs and other health problems than heterosexuals
The web site received this claim from Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Press Release, “Ten Things Lesbians Should Discuss with Their Health Care Providers," but Facts About Youth omits the following:

Lesbians have been shown to experience chronic stress from homophobic discrimination. This stress is compounded by the need that some still have to hide their orientation from family and colleagues at work, and by the fact that many lesbians have lost the important emotional support most others get from their families due to alienation stemming from their sexual orientation.

It's nonsense like this which led the Southern Poverty Association to last year declare ACPeds to be a hate group. However, this designation hasn't kept a supposed legitimate professional from working with the group. John Hopkins University professor Paul McHugh helped ACPeds craft the statement FRC has been bragging about.

McHugh also has a reputation for anti-lgbt animus. According to The Advocate:

Dr. McHugh has a lot in common with these right-wing, religiously -motivated hate groups. He is a self-described orthodox Catholic whose radical views are well documented. In his role as part of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' review board, he pushed the idea that the Catholic sex-abuse scandal was not about pedophilia but about "homosexual predation on American Catholic youth." He filed an amicus brief arguing in favor of Proposition 8 on the basis that homosexuality is a "choice." Additionally, McHugh was in favor of forcing a pregnant 10-year-old girl to carry to term even though she had been raped by an adult relative.

His words and actions toward the transgender community are the most radical and egregious, however.  He has compared medical care for transgender people to “the practice of frontal lobotomy.” McHugh’s disdain for his own patients is evident, calling them “caricatures of women” and pushing the demeaning narrative that all transgender women are either self-hating gay men or perverted heterosexuals. Worse, the damage McHugh has done to transgender health care is incalculable. McHugh shut down one of the few gender clinics in the U.S. in 1979, and his lobbying in 1981 was instrumental in getting a national coverage decision forbidding the government from covering gender-affirming care. It wasn’t reversed until 2014. As a result of his outspoken desire to see transgender people shoved back into the closet, Dr. McHugh has become the go-to “expert” for right-wing organizations.

To this date, John Hopkins University has yet to call McHugh out or disavow his actions, even though in this particular situation, he included the university in the ACPeds statement by citing it by name.

Generally speaking, it seems that ACPeds is attempting to wipe off the grime and dirt of inaccuracy to establish itself as a reasonable, credible voice against the transgender community.

It may work for a while but people and organizations which peddle in lies and distortions always leave a paper trail of filth that no amount of years or subterfuge can wipe off.

Editor's note - Don't be fooled by any idea that the FRC didn't know any of this information about the ACPeds. According to SPLC:

 . . . on Nov. 29, 2010, . . Family Research Council President Tony Perkins cited ACPeds on MSNBC’s “Hardball With Chris Matthews” to “prove” that “the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a danger to children.” Perkins, who was debating Intelligence Report Editor Mark Potok at the time, was referring to bogus claims that gay men molest children at far higher rates than others. 

Matthews, on a future edition of "Hardball" had to address and clarify Perkins' distortion.

Related post -   Johns Hopkins Professor Endangers the Lives of Transgender Youth

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