Bait and Switch

The “Focus on the Family” website recently published a “news story” concerning the recent HRC report that discusses the increasing number of major corporations adding gender identity and expression into workplace non-discrimination policies. This supposed “news” piece starts out by saying

“At first, it sounds reasonable – workplace equality for homosexuals. But prying under the veneer of tolerance reveals an agenda that goes way beyond equality.”

The article goes on to quote Margaret Stumpp, a senior vice president at Prudential who said:

“‘We’re not clowns in a dress,’ she said. ‘We’re not mentally disturbed. We are simply ordinary people who desire to align our sense of self with our physical presentation.'”

Gender identity and expression has NOTHING to do with sexual orientation. Apparently the folks over at Focus on the Family are ignorant of the fact that homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) 32 years ago. On the other hand, gender identity disorder (GID) IS in the DSM-IV.

The distinction is important because the accepted standards of care state that:

“In persons diagnosed with transsexualism or profound GID, sex reassignment surgery, along with hormone therapy and real-life experience, is a treatment that has proven to be effective. Such a therapeutic regimen, when prescribed or recommended by qualified practitioners, is medically indicated and medically necessary. Sex reassignment is not ‘experimental,’ ‘investigational,’ ‘elective,’ ‘cosmetic,’ or optional in any meaningful sense. It constitutes very effective and appropriate treatment for transsexualism or profound GID.”

This technique of “bait and switch” used by the Religious Right (to portray transsexuals as homosexuals) is subtle word play intended to link transsexuality to homosexuality in an effort to deny medical treatment. It’s supposedly done on “moral grounds,” but is it moral to deny treatment to a person with a mental disorder?

This ploy smacks of the persecution that the Catholic Church engaged in to persecute Galileo for saying that the earth was not at center of the solar system. It’s an illogical and unscientific opinion based on bigotry and hatred.

One wonders if it will take the Religious Right 350 years (the Catholic Church didn’t admit that Galileo was correct until 1992) to figure out what the scientific community already knows.


Lord, I hope not.

Thank you to Jenn Burke over at Transcending Gender for the heads up!

Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor. Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist. She's been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday. As an advocate she's previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She's taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana's Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana - 3/2005). In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee. Abernathey currently hosts the Youtube Channel "The T-Party with Marti Abernathey."


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