Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Andrea Lafferty spins lies against transgender teachers to hurt ENDA

In the latest attack on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Traditional Values Coalition's Andrea Lafferty again spins the phony claim that ENDA will force children to be trapped in classroom with "drag queen teachers."

She goes into even more offensive detail in a One News Now article:

Every state will be forced to make cross-dressers, drag queens, transsexuals, and she-males* (male-female hybrids) into protected classes. Therefore, every school district in America will be forbidden by law to reassign any she-male teacher because this would be considered "discrimination." Thus, children will be trapped in classes taught by men who dress as women, and students will be indoctrinated to affirm that this is normal behavior.

To prove this theory, Lafferty pulls out three instances in which she claims that transitioning teachers were allowed to continue teaching over the objections of parent, thereby endangering children.

Lafferty tries to use these three examples as proof of her point. However, she only proves that one must never take the words of religious right spokespeople as fact without investigation.

Lafferty's first claim:

• In 2008, students and parents were outraged to learn that a female music teacher at California's Foxboro Elementary School underwent surgery to become a man. Parents were not informed about this so-called sex change in advance so they could remove their children from her class. In addition, the kids were required to refer to her as "Mister." The school district refused to notify parents about this she-male's so-called sex change because of "privacy laws" – that is, federal HIPPA laws.

Truth - According to this article on the ABC news site, some parents were upset about not being informed, but for the most part, many of the parents allowed their children to remain in the class. Furthermore, the children did not seem to have a problem with it.

Lafferty's second claim:

• In 2006, students in New York's Batavia High School were forced to remain in the class of a male teacher who was undergoing so-called surgical transition to female.  Parents were refused the right to opt their children out of his class because he claimed protection under New York's disability laws, and, therefore, had to be accommodated by the school district.

Truth - According to this article in the New York Times, parents objecting to the teacher were in the minority. Of the more than 100 students assigned to the teacher, only the parents of five objected. Furthermore, some students were very supportive of the teacher.

Lafferty's third claim:

• In 1999, Minnesota music teacher Alyssa Williams underwent a so-called sex change operation from male to female while teaching at a Middle School in the Anoka-Hennepin School District.  Parents were angered when their children were subjected to this man's bizarre sexual transformation. The school superintendent said they could not reassign the man to another position because it would have violated state law which gave special protected rights to transgendered individuals.

Truth - There was a lot of controversy involving Williams (seeing that it was over 10 years ago) which possibly led her to eventually resign. But according to this article, much of it didn't come from students, but outside interests:

After she (Williams) voluntarily disclosed her transgender status, parents staged student walk-outs, TV news trucks took up residence in front of Blaine's Roosevelt Middle School, The American Center for Law and Justice threatened legal action, and a group of about three dozen parents - several who had no children in the district - became fixtures at monthly school board meetings.

And yet the numbers were always in Williams' favor. Of the roughly 445 sixth- and seventh-graders who passed through Williams' music classes, the parents of only 25 of them took advantage of the district's offer to transfer their children out of her classes.

The article goes on to say that some in the community were furious that the attention led Williams to resign.

So basically, Lafferty's claim that ENDA (and transgender teachers for that matter) would endanger children is a bunch of nonsense.

In all of these cases (which Lafferty outrighted distorted), it was the children who probably acted more mature than the adults.

But again, I guess some consider  truth and integrity as honorable casualties when one is trying to stop those "evil homosexuals."

Related posts:

The 30 Dirty? Why can't the religious right stop lying about ENDA?

Religious right groups can't make up their minds when lying about ENDA

No wonder the Traditional Values Coalition is considered a hate group

Family Research Council exploiting Amanda Simpson's appointment to stop ENDA
Family Research Council head misrepresents credible information to hurt ENDA

Bathrooms, Church Exemptions, and Lies: Five ways the religious right misrepresents ENDA

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Focus on the Family flip flops on openly lgbt Supreme Court nominee and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Their Focus on the Family is firm -- unless Peter LaBarbera wishes to adjust it - Sooo Focus on the Family backtracks and says that they will oppose an openly lgbt Supreme Court nominee. Why does this remind me of the historical time when the insane head of the Spanish Inquisition Torquemada convinced the Queen Isabella of Spain to not allow the Jews living in the country to live in peace. Call me a historical buff.

Gainesville, Fla. elects gay man mayor - Don't pull out the champagne yet. The low number of victory (by 35 votes) will cause a recount.

Christian Star Knapp Is Gay - Good for her!

Maine's Mike Heath, Self-Appointed and Newly Anointed Head of AFA-ME, Now Running For Governor? - Just what we need. Another nut in public office.

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Phony medical group receives numerous rebukes for anti-gay web page

Yesterday, I posted that University of Minnesota researcher Dr. Gary Remafedi, M.D., M.P.H. accused the American College of Pediatricians of distorting his work on its anti-gay web page, Facts About Youth.

Today, the group is facing another rebuke for its site and this time it's from a more legitimate medical group, the American Academy of Pediatrics.

According to Truth Wins Out, the group released a statement which said:

In 2008, a diverse coalition of 13 national organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) joined in a renewed effort to protect the safety and emotional well-being of students, including those who are at higher risk because of their sexual orientation. This group of education, health, mental health and religious organizations developed and endorsed Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel and sent the resource to public school superintendents across the US.

On or around March 31, 2010, school superintendents may have received another letter from the American College of Pediatricians, which is in no way affiliated with the American Academy of Pediatrics. The letter promotes another campaign titled “Facts About Youth,” which professes to offer guidance to educators on “approaches to students experiencing sexual orientation and gender identity confusion.” Their campaign does not acknowledge the scientific and medical evidence regarding sexual orientation, sexual identity, sexual health, or effective health education.

The AAP encourages school administrators and officials, teachers, parents, and youth to become familiar with and utilize the AAP developed and endorsed resources on this issue for reliable, sound, scientific, medical advice:

Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel – A guide for employees who confront sensitive issues involving gay, lesbian and bisexual students. It is intended to help school administrators foster safe and healthy school environments, in which all students can achieve to the best of their ability. “Just the Facts” includes the most recent information from professional health organizations, as well as up-to-date information on the legal responsibility of school officials to protect students from anti-gay harassment.

Sexual Orientation and Adolescents – A clinical report from the AAP Committee on Adolescence.

Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens: Information for Teens and Parents – Questions and answers from the AAP for teens and parents about sexual orientation.

Gay and Lesbian Teens – Information on sexual orientation from the AAP’s Caring for Your Teenager.

Gender Identity and Gender Confusion in Children – Information on gender identity, sexual stereotypes, gender confusion, and sexual orientation from the AAP’s Caring for Your School Aged Child: Ages 5-12.

While not as full of fire as I had hoped, the statement, coupled with Remafedi's complaint (and a blistering review from professor Warren Throckmorton of Grove City College, a conservative Christian) does more than enough to expose the holes and faulty research of Facts About Youth and the American College of Pediatricians in general.

However, as Truth Wins Out points out, the ACP has not corrected its site and religious right groups continue to push the site's research as if it's credible.

Why should anyone be surprised? I guess they figure when one is fighting for God, truth and integrity are expendable casualties.

Hat tip to Truth Wins Out

Related posts:

American College of Pediatricians, NARTH pushes new site featuring old anti-gay lies

The American College of Pediatricians and the Laundering of Junk Science

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