Feminist & lesbian groups join with ACL against trans kids

trans kids acl feminist
Image: ACL/Facebook

At Queensland’s Parliament House last night representatives of both a feminist and a lesbian group joined forces with the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL). An event billed as about ‘gay conversion therapy’ in fact focused almost entirely on trans kids.

— gay conversion therapy dismissed as ‘misguided’ thing of the past

— no mention of former gay conversion pastor charged with child abuse this week

— lobotomies used as argument against hormone blockers

The ACL promoted the event as “unpacking ‘gay conversion therapy’.”

However, ‘gay conversion therapy’ received scant mention with speakers focused on hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones for teenagers.

The ACL promoted the event as hosted by Fiona Simpson MP. Simpson caused controversy in 2002 when she promoted Exodus, the controversial and discredited ex-gay movement that previously offered conversion therapy.

However, the organiser of the event turned out to be Wendy Francis, Queensland and Northern Territory director of the ACL.

ACL silence on drag storytime petition and Israel Folau

Francis made no mention of her recent petition to ban drag storytime and the resounding success of the competing petition in support of drag storytime. Discussion of the offensive nature of two anti drag storytime petitions, including hers, led to heated scenes in a Brisbane City Council meeting earlier this week.

Francis also continued the ACL’s deafening silence on Israel Folau’s departure for France. The announcement of Folau’s signing with Catalans Dragons happened over a week ago. Yet still, no comment has been forthcoming from the ACL. The organisation previously raised over $2 million for Folau’s legal stoush with Rugby Australia.

‘Gay conversion therapy’ cover for tirade against trans kids

Despite the promotion of the event as unpacking ‘gay conversion therapy’, the speakers relentlessly focused on trans kids.

Indeed, speakers dismissed gay conversion therapy as a thing of the past. Professor Patrick Parkinson, the head of the University of Queensland’s TC Beirne School of Law said the government proposed the legislation with the best of motives.

“Well-meaning but misguided people have sought to change other’s same-sex orientation in ways which were ineffective, didn’t last and there’s a broad consensus now that that is unethical. ”

However, he claimed that gay conversion therapy was no longer an issue. He described the bill as about “things which happened 20, 30, 40 years ago.”

Elephant in the room

But in dismissing gay conversion therapy as something from the past, the speakers ignored a current news story. On Tuesday this week, a Sydney pastor and former leader of a conversion therapy group faced court on a charge of child abuse. That pastor only stopped offering conversion therapy in 2014, not forty years ago.

Maureen Young, IWD Brisbane/Meanjin

Maureen Young described her organisation as “not the fun kind of feminists.

“We describe ourselves as radical feminists, and in today’s climate, as gender critical feminists.”

Ms. Young made some rather strange claims regarding what she described as ‘transgender ideology’.

“Transgender ideology says the midwife who says of the newborn ‘It’s a girl’ is engaging in some kind of discrimination against that baby. That only once she can express a preference for the color pink do we really know she’s a girl.”

“If a girl wants to study STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths] subjects, according to gender ideology, she may, in fact, have been born in the wrong body. Although assigned a female at birth, she’s probably really a trans man.”

“This is the twisted logic of the transgender belief system. That the preference for the behaviors that are stereotypically associated with the other sex such as playing with trucks in kindergarten or excelling at physics at high school mean you are in fact the other sex.”

“Why should we believe that for a minority of us this gender nonconformity requires medicalisation to the extent that treatment must be mandated by law?”

Young seems to suggest that the gay conversion legislation would make transition compulsory for both tomboys and academically gifted female students.

Attributing blame for ridiculous stereotypes to transgender people is disingenuous at best. The idea that girls should wear pink and that children should prefer certain toys and activities based on their gender is surely a traditional heterosexual construct.

Dr. Helen Waite, Coalition of Activist Lesbians

(The website for the Coalition of Activist Lesbians is inactive. The group appears not to maintain a social media or other online presence. QNews has no way of ascertaining if the group in fact retains an active membership.)

Dr. Waite expressed scepticism of treatments “based on medical consensus and not clinical evidence.”

She spoke of the “grave danger” of treating “children with off label drugs and cross-sex hormones that will render them infertile, chemically sterile.”

She explained her scepticism came about because the mother of a friend once asked a doctor to perform an ice-pick lobotomy on the friend who was unconscious following a car accident.

Waite went on to explain ice-pick lobotomies.

“Frontal lobe lobotomy with an icepick was considered a cure for homosexuality in both men and women. The person who perfected this procedure and taught it throughout the States and other countries was awarded a Nobel Prize for that procedure.”

Unfortunately, for an academic insistent on clinical evidence, Dr. Waite’s anecdote was factually incorrect.

Portuguese neurologist António Egas Moniz received the 1949 Nobel Prize for the ‘discovery of the therapeutic value of leucotomy’.

Moniz never performed the surgery himself and his procedure never involved an ice-pick.

Waite mistakes Moniz for the American doctor Walter Freeman. Freeman performed up to 4,000 lobotomies, many using an ice-pick from his kitchen and despite possessing no formal surgical training. Freeman never received a Nobel Prize.

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