Monday, April 19, 2010

Warning issued about American College of Pediatricians membership

One good thing that has come out of the controversy regarding the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) is the attention now focused on how religious right organizations create shell groups in order to spread their homophobic garbage.

Groups and individuals such as Dr. Francis Collins, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Dr. Gary Remafedi have gone public denouncing the ACP. And now, more critical information about ACP comes from the group TransActive, a group which provides support to improve the quality of life of transgender and gender non-conforming children, youth and their families through education, services, advocacy and research:

The American College of Pediatricians is a fringe organization that promotes social conservatism primarily by distributing misinterpreted and misrepresented information from reputable medical and research sources and discredited and highly questionable "facts" from other fringe individuals, organizations and resources such as the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).

The primary goal of the American College of Pediatricians, despite claims to the contrary, is the continued marginalization, isolation, denial of equal rights and mutual respect for transgender children, youth, their families and other members of the greater LGBT population.

These lists are taken from both the American College of Pediatricians and NARTH websites. We include background information on some of those listed below where we feel that information might be helpful or useful to families and others visiting this page.

If you are the parent, caregiver, friend or advisor to a transgender or gender non-conforming child or youth, TransActive recommends AVOIDING these individuals as caregivers and to contact us if you become aware of their involvement as so-called "expert witnesses" in legal cases, policy development or other actions involving transgender identity in children and adolescents.

The list is extremely comprehensive and some of the names include

Diamond, Eugene M.D., Chicago, IllinoisEugene Diamond is a member of the Catholic Medical Association. He is on record as being opposed to providing female rape victims access to so-called "morning after" pills to prevent pregnancy as a result of the rape. In his own words, " all likelihood the woman is not going to become pregnant in the first place. Thus, what reasons could be given for taking any risk of [aborting a fetus]?"

Quick, Sharon M.D., Bonney Lake, Washington
Dr. Quick serves on the "Scientific Advisory Committee" of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). She has also testified in Washington state in opposition to ESSB 5297 on the grounds that "programs to prevent discrimination... will likely result in normalizing homosexuality in sexuality education." She included in her testimony the statement that, "Consistent play with traditionally opposite gender toys is one of the factors used to diagnose gender identity disorder or childhood, a condition that is associated with later [homosexuality]." To the best of our knowledge, she is no longer a practicing physician.

Ironically, Dr. Quick authored a medical ethics paper entitled "The Stones Cry Out". In this paper she decries, in defense of the unborn, that "Throughout history, people have been discriminated against because of race, religion, nationality, etc."
[Apparently, LGBT youth do NOT fall into her definition of "etc."]

 Dean Byrd, PhD, Salt Lake City, Utah
Dean Byrd is the Vice President of NARTH and an Adjunct Professor of Family Studies at the University of Utah. He is the former Director of Clinical Training at LDS Social Services and a former Clinical Professor at Brigham Young University. His training is in genetics, biochemistry and neurochemistry. He is the author of a book published in 2001 entitled "Homosexuality and the Church of Jesus Christ". In the book Dr. Byrd outlines and defends the position of the Mormon church regarding homosexual "behavior". One of the chapters of this book is entitled: "The Degree of Sin That Homosexual Behavior Represents".

Rick Fitzgibbons, MD, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons is the director of the Institute for Marital Healing and a consultant to the Congregation for Clergy at the Vatican. He is also a member of NARTH's "Scientific Advisory Committee" and a member of the Catholic Medical Association. As stated on the NARTH website, Dr. Fitzgibbons is critical of many programs in the public schools that portray the gay lifestyle as healthy: "Many of these educational programs attempt to mask their true goals by the use of names such as diversity, tolerance or 'no name-calling weeks' when, in fact, they attempt to undermine the Church's teaching on marriage, human sexuality and, now child-rearing."

Arthur Goldberg, JD, CRS, BCPC, Jersey City, New Jersey
Arthur Goldberg serves as co-director of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Homosexuality). Red Heifer Press in Los Angeles published his recent text on homosexuality, psychology, and biblical principles entitled "Light in the Closet! Torah, Homosexuality and the Power to Change"

Trayce Hansen, PhD, San Marcos, California
Dr. Hansen consults on legal cases and has testified in both deposition and court hearings related to her professional expertise. She authored an article entitled "Children Raised by Openly Homosexual Parents More Likely to Engage in Homosexuality" that was featured on the Anglican Mainstream website. In that article she states: "No one knows for sure by what complex mechanisms homosexual parents disproportionately rear homosexual children. But regardless of how, it appears they do. The public needs to be made aware of the findings of these studies so that when courts adjudicate and citizens vote on issues related to homosexuality, they're fully informed as to the possible consequences of those decisions on children."

The full list is here.

Hat tip to Truth Wins Out.

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Has Sen. Lindsey Graham been outed by his own people? and other Monday midday news briefs

Greenville, SC Tea Party rally calls out GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham for being gay - Has Senator Lindsey Graham been outed?

Wayne Went to the Gatherin’ O’ the Crazies at Liberty University; Peter LaBarbera Reports! - Wayne Besen attended that crazy conference held at Liberty University last week. And he did it without the courtesy of holy water.

Duke College Republicans chairman claims he was ousted over sexual orientation - Whoops!

FRC Calls for Impeachment Over National Day of Prayer Ruling - Cue the violins.

Focus on the Family's ME outpost: Gay tolerance will destroy America, just like it did the World Trade Center - Tastless. just pure tasteless.

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Elderly gay couple robbed of companionship, possessions, and dignity

In spite of their platitudes about how gay marriage could unfairly define the word "marriage" and thereby ruin the concept of the term for so many people, neither Maggie Gallagher, the denizens at the National Organization for Marriage or Mike Huckabee can point to a case where gay marriage led to the dehumanization and destruction of a family.

And no I am not talking about hypothetical distortions about how gay marriage in the Netherlands led to more out-of-birth wedlocks.

On the other hand, the lgbt community can point to a myriad of cases where a lack of marriage protection for the couple involved spelled disaster,  such as this sad case in Califona courtesy of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place—wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

What happened next is even more chilling: without authority, without determining the value of Clay and Harold’s possessions accumulated over the course of their 20 years together or making any effort to determine which items belonged to whom, the county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned off all of their belongings. Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Clay from his home and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county workers then terminated Clay and Harold's lease and surrendered the home they had shared for many years to the landlord.

Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home. Because of the county’s actions, Clay missed the final months he should have had with his partner of 20 years. Compounding this tragedy, Clay has literally nothing left of the home he had shared with Harold or the life he was living up until the day that Harold fell, because he has been unable to recover any of his property. The only memento Clay has is a photo album that Harold painstakingly put together for Clay during the last three months of his life.

With the help of a dedicated and persistent court-appointed attorney, Anne Dennis of Santa Rosa, Clay was finally released from the nursing home. Ms. Dennis, along with Stephen O'Neill and Margaret Flynn of Tarkington, O'Neill, Barrack & Chong, now represent Clay in a lawsuit against the county, the auction company, and the nursing home, with technical assistance from NCLR. A trial date has been set for July 16, 2010 in the Superior Court for the County of Sonoma.

People can ruminate about God and the religious views of homosexuality all they want. But I dare any decent Christian to justify what happened to Harold and Clay.

Marriage equality is not a Machivellian concept introduced to "force acceptance." It's a way to ensure that lgbt couples are afforded the rights and dignity they deserve as American citizens.

You probably won' t see Harold and Clay on any news shows. They most likely won't be appearing in columns or right-wing town hall meetings and conferences with a throng of people praying over them, but you know what?

Who cares.

We are still talking two humans whose lives have value and whose happiness have been attacked through the plots of people who obviously don't care to see them as human beings.

What happened to Harold and Clay was a travesty and has no business happenning again. We all deserve respect and decency for ourselves and our loved ones.

One would hope that  respectable Christians would agree.

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