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The Transgender Movement Is Not Just Intolerant. It’s Barbaric and Violent, And It’s Coming for Your Children


BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON | AUGUST 19, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/19/the-transgender-movement-is-not-just-intolerant-its-barbaric-and-violent-and-its-coming-for-your-children/

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Hardly a day goes by now that we don’t see another appalling example of transgender ideology’s aggressive intolerance in the public square. Recently, the target of that intolerance was an 80-year-old woman in the small town of Port Townsend, Washington, who was permanently banned from her local YMCA pool after she objected to a “trans woman” — a man — in the women’s locker room.

And for daring to speak out about that in public, she and her supporters were attacked this week in broad daylight by a mob of trans activists and Antifa thugs. 

According a recent report in the New York Post, the woman, Julie Jaman, confronted a YMCA employee, a “trans woman” named Clementine Adams, in the locker room after Jaman observed that Adams was clearly a man. To Jaman’s credit, she did not mince words.

“I saw a man in a woman’s bathing suit watching maybe four or five little girls pulling down their suits in order to use the toilet,” Jaman told the Post. “I asked if he had a penis and he said it was none of my business. I told that man to ‘get out right now.’”

For exercising what would have been universally praised not long ago as guts and common sense — confronting a man trespassing in a women’s locker room to watch little girls undress — Jaman was accused of “being discriminatory” by the YMCA manager, threatened with the police, and ordered to leave. A member of the YMCA for 35 years, she was subsequently banned from the pool permanently.

Jaman’s ordeal wasn’t over, though. On Monday, Jaman and others gathered to speak out about the local YMCA’s dangerous policy of allowing men into the women’s locker room. As Jaman was speaking, a mob of Antifa militants, including burly, tattooed men, converged on the rally, screaming, “Trans women are women,” in an attempt to intimidate and drown her out. They ripped down the suffragette flags on display behind Jaman, who was visibly shaken and asked, “Are we going to get beat up here?” and asked supporters in the crowd to call the police.

Eventually, the Antifa mob surrounded Jaman, whose supporters, most of them middle-aged and elderly women, had to form a protective circle around her. Some women were thrown to the ground. Others had their shoes ripped off. Just as black-shirted Antifa men were beginning to tussle with Jaman’s supporters, the police showed up. 

It wasn’t enough, though, simply to terrorize and physically assault women exercising their First Amendment rights. The mayor of Port Townsend, a self-described “pervert and deviant” named David J. Faber, praised the mob that went after Jaman and her supporters, calling it an “incredible night” that was “beautiful” and falsely claiming that “Trans and cis-allies alike spoke love & support.”

As copious video evidence posted on Twitter shows, they did no such thing. They engaged in the thuggish intolerance, simmering violence, and blind rage characteristic of the far left — and then they reveled in it, with the likes of Faber praising the mob for their brutality toward an 80-year-old woman who dared to speak up.

Mobs like the one in Port Townsend on Monday, however, are merely the blunt instrument, the Brown Shirts of a much larger effort on the part of the left to sever the relationship between parent and child and reshape society in a way that allows adults, especially adult men, to fulfill their every desire — often at the expense of children.

But that effort isn’t being led by black-shirted Antifa thugs, it’s being led by medical professionals at some of the most prestigious hospitals in the country. In recent weeks, Libs of TikTok, Matt Walsh, Chris Elston (Billboard Chris), and others have been posting publicly available promotional videos and other information from Boston Children’s Hospital touting so-called “gender-affirming care,” which includes chemical castration, mastectomies, hysterectomies, and genital mutilation performed on minors. 

Boston Children’s Hospital responded by removing all its videos and information about “gender-affirming care” from its YouTube channel and quietly updating its website to claim (falsely) that gender-related surgeries are only for those over 18.

Meanwhile, Big Tech and the corporate press predictably came to the defense of the hospital. Facebook banned Libs of Tik Tok this week, and NBC News’s Brandy Zadrozny spread misinformation by claiming BCH doesn’t perform genital surgeries on minors. Almost all media coverage of the BCH affair has been framed as far-right activists threatening the hospital and engaging in “stochastic terrorism” when in fact all that Libs of Tik Tok and others have done is post the hospital’s own materials. 

The videos are genuinely horrifying. A buttoned-up surgeon calmly explaining phalloplasty to the camera over whimsical music can’t hide the horrifying fact that what’s being described is the cutting off of forearm flesh from a healthy girl to fashion a non-functioning penis. It is barbaric in the extreme, and the attempt to make it sound mundane and palatable in these videos somehow only highlights the barbarity and cruelty of it.

And it’s not just Boston Children’s Hospital. Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, has amputated the breasts of a 12-year-old girl and castrated a 16-year-old boy in the name of “gender-affirming care.” Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh promotes puberty blockers for children. The pediatric gender program director at Yale has admitted on camera she believes children as young as 2 or 3 can be eligible for medical intervention and treatment on their “gender journey.”

In other words, the people and institutions behind this movement are not fringe, they are not the pink-haired youths and black-clad Antifa thugs screaming at old ladies in the streets. They occupy the elite heights of American society. They have real power and influence.

And they are not just angling to get between parents and their children, they are angling to get healthy girls and boys onto the operating table. They are angling to get grown men into women’s locker rooms, bathrooms, shelters, and dormitories. They are angling to get Child Protective Services to remove children from parents who refuse to go along with transgenderism.

And if you object or protest in any way, they are angling to get you labeled a bigot, a threat to child safety, a terrorist. And you know what that means.


John Daniel Davidson is a senior editor at The Federalist. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Claremont Review of Books, The New York Post, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter, @johnddavidson.

‘Gender-Affirming Care’ Is the Opposite of Gender-Affirming and Caring

BY: NATHANAEL BLAKE | AUGUST 19, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/19/gender-affirming-care-is-the-opposite-of-gender-affirming-and-caring/

transgender youth

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People don’t like hospitals that hurt children instead of healing them. Boston Children’s Hospital has been deluged with criticism after conservative activists highlighted its own materials promoting medical transition for minors. The hospital has tried to cover up its deeds, but it cannot escape the truth that so-called gender-affirming care isn’t. The euphemistic phrase conceals the brutal realities of medical transition, but these procedures — including puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and various surgeries — do not affirm patients’ gender, let alone care for them. Gender-affirming care is a lie and we must stop it.

The tide may be turning against the transgender craze. Across the pond, the United Kingdom’s infamous Tavistock pediatric gender clinic has been shut down, and a massive medical malpractice action has begun against those responsible for rushing children into transition. Here in the U.S., Republican politicians are increasingly willing to stand up against the radical transgender agenda, as even the spineless are realizing that this is a winning issue. And it seems only a matter of time until trial lawyers target America’s aggressive and unregulated gender clinic industry.

Thus, there is hope that regulations and lawsuits will curb the craze for rushing people, especially children, into medical transition. It is even possible to imagine a quiet climb-down in which the political left, and the institutions it controls, realize that radical gender ideology is a loser and sidle away from it. There have been a few signs that this is happening, such as New York Times articles questioning transgender orthodoxy.

Will Proponents Back Down?

But there are no guarantees of victory, in large part because many people may be in too deep to back down. Democrats in general, and the Biden administration in particular, have embraced transgender ideology. They have done everything from putting men in women’s shelters to using school lunch programs for poor children as leverage to force schools to adopt the rainbow agenda, including letting males into girls’ locker rooms. And, of course, pretty much every major left-wing group has followed the LGBT lobby into pushing a radical transgender agenda.

Nor is it only politicians and activists who have staked their credibility on the trans agenda. From education to entertainment to Big Business, a lot of people have embraced transgender ideology, including medically transitioning children. The medical industry in particular has a lot to lose, both in credibility and cash, if the transition train slows down. This may explain why pro-trans research is routinely published even though the studies are mostly low quality, with some being demonstrably terrible. The goal isn’t to publish good research, but to provide cover for an ideology that is chemically and surgically sterilizing children.

And, of course, there is pride — no, not the rainbow celebrations sponsored by big business, but actual personal pride. Will parents who bought into gender transition admit the harm they have done to their children? Will liberals admit not only that they were wrong, but that Christian conservatives were right? These and similar truths may be too hard for many to accept.

Consequently, we opponents of the transgender agenda must keep the pressure on. We must make sure that those in thrall to transgender ideology — from politicians to academia to the media to Big Tech and Big Business — either abandon it or are defeated. In doing so, it will help to show how the horrifying harms inflicted by gender transition are the result of denying the truth of sex and gender.

Gender-Affirming Care Is a Lie

Gender-affirming care is a lie because gender is not a free-floating metaphysical substance. Gender becomes nonsensical when disconnected from sex, because gender is the social expression of the biological realities of human sex. As Matt Walsh’s recent documentary “What is a Woman?” demonstrates, gender makes no sense without reference to biological sex — it either goes around in circles (e.g. a woman is anyone who identifies as a woman) or descends into crude stereotypes (e.g. a boy who likes pink must be a girl).

We are a sexually dimorphic species; the difference between male and female is essential to the continuation of humanity. Thus, though there is variation in gender expression between individuals, and gender expectations between cultures, gender always has to refer back to our embodied realities as male or female. Thus, there cannot be a gender identity that is deeper, more essential, or more immutable than our sex. And so it is impossible to have “gender-affirming” medical care that attempts to efface the reality of bodily sex.

There are people who are unhappy with their bodies and wish that they were the other sex. But they are not, nor can they become, the other sex — at most they can be chemically and surgically altered to resemble the other sex and attempt to socially live that role. These people need compassion and help in accepting their healthy natural bodies, not chemicals and surgery to contort their bodies into facsimiles of the other sex. Transition is never medically necessary, which is why activists encourage suicide threats from those who identify as transgender — they have to take themselves hostage because they are in no medical danger.

The ugly truth hidden behind the lying promises of “gender-affirming care” is that medical transition always inflicts physical harm for no physical benefit; it damages a patient’s body, rather than healing it.

Gender-affirming care isn’t, and it must be stopped.


Nathanael Blake is a senior contributor to The Federalist and a postdoctoral fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Gov. DeSantis Is Right To Attack Disney. Republicans Everywhere Should Follow His Lead


WRITTEN BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON | APRIL 21, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/04/21/gov-desantis-is-right-to-attack-disney-republicans-everywhere-should-follow-his-lead/

Gov. Ron DeSantis

Woke corporations that wage war on families and target children should expect to be targeted in turn by GOP lawmakers.

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News broke Wednesday the Florida Senate had passed a bill to dismantle Walt Disney World’s half-century-old “independent special district” status, an arrangement whereby Disney has been allowed, since 1968, essentially to govern itself. Gov. Ron DeSantis says Disney’s self-governing status should be subject to review, to ensure that it is still “appropriately serving the public interest.”

Good. Disney is reaping its just reward for inserting itself into the political debate about Florida’s parental rights bill, which Disney lost in spectacular fashion. Republican governors and lawmakers across the country should be taking notes. This is how you deal with big corporations that try to throw around their weight and force woke policies on voters and families. You punish them, not just because they deserve it, but also, as Voltaire famously put it, pour encourager les autres.

Disney was no doubt betting that DeSantis and Florida Republicans would do what Republicans have almost always done in the face of woke corporate pressure: simply back down. That’s what South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem did last year when at the behest of the NCAA she vetoed a bill that would have protected girls’ sports from trans ideologues.

Same with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who vetoed a measure banning genital mutilation and hormone treatments for minors (he was subsequently overridden by the state legislature). Same goes for then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who in 2015 infamously caved to corporate pressure and gutted his state’s religious freedom law.

Indeed, at any other time and place, with almost any other Republican governor and legislature, Disney would almost certainly not have faced any consequences for wading into the debate over the parental rights bill. After all, since when do Republicans actually wield power against the enemies of their voters and defend ordinary families from powerful woke corporations? Almost never.

By breaking that mold, DeSantis has set a clear example that other GOP governors and state lawmakers should follow. If a corporation like Disney wants to insert itself in a political battle that has nothing to do with its business — in this case, a fight over whether to prohibit classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity to children in kindergarten through the third grade — then it should be prepared to pay a heavy cost. Simply put, corporations that do what Disney did, publicly lobbying against the rights of parents to have a say in whether their young children are exposed to sexually explicit subject matter, have marked themselves out as enemies of a free people and should be treated as such. If Disney wants to make war on families in Florida, then the proper role of a democratically elected government is to go after Disney with every power at its disposal. Maybe that means they lose tax breaks that were once justified for purely economic reasons. Same for the special status Walt Disney World has enjoyed all these years, governing a 40-square-mile area in central Florida as it sees fit.

This isn’t about the economic arguments, not anymore. Whatever merit there was to the notion that Disney “serves the public interest” before the fight over parental rights has completely vanished. Now that Disney has taken a stand against families and parents, there can be no doubt: Disney does not serve the public interest in Florida, and Floridians owe it nothing.

Conservatives should understand this, but not all of them do. Over at National Review, Charles Cooke has decided to stand athwart history, as it were, and yell: “Independent special district status is complicated!” His complaint with DeSantis is that there was no need to punish Disney over its opposition to the parental rights bill because the bill passed. Disney lost, DeSantis and Republicans won. Moreover, he adds, until a month ago, “Walt Disney World’s legal status was not even a blip on the GOP’s radar. No Republicans were calling for it to be revisited, nor did they have any reason to.”

Did they not? What changed in the last month that might have prompted them to revisit the issue? Could it be that Disney came out publicly as a very real threat to Florida parents who don’t want their second-graders instructed about sexual orientation and gender identity? Could it be that the fight over the parental rights bill revealed Disney as something other than an entertainment brand and Walt Disney World as something other than a beloved family theme park? Could it be, in fact, that this entire affair has exposed Disney as a malign force in Florida’s civic life?

That Cooke can’t grasp this, and instead attacks DeSantis by tediously explicating the particulars of Florida’s independent special districts, shows the naiveté of conservatives in general and Republican politicians in particular on woke corporations pushing extremist agendas. Cooke argues there are lots of independent special districts in Florida, and that Walt Disney World “is unique not in its type but only in its particulars.” Orlando International Airport and the Daytona International Speedway, he notes, have a similar independent status. Why single out Disney?

To ask is to answer. Did the Orlando International Airport or the Daytona International Speedway wage a public campaign against the parental rights bill, and while doing so commit to pushing a “queer” agenda on children? No, they didn’t. Disney did. That makes all the difference.

If the airport and the speedway had behaved the way Disney did then yes, Florida lawmakers should have absolutely punished them. (Thanks to the impending revocation of Walt Disney World’s special status, it’s unlikely the airport or speedway or any other entity in Florida with a similar status will decide to follow in Disney’s footsteps, which is part of the point.)

Cooke further laments that singling out Disney is a mistake because, “Walt Disney World is deeply rooted in Florida’s soil, as a result of agreements the Florida legislature made with it in good faith. To poison that soil over a temporary spat would be absurd.”

But here again Cooke — and really, it’s not about Cooke, it’s about the accommodationist strain on the right that he and NR represent — misunderstands the nature of the fight. This is not a “temporary spat,” as Disney itself has made clear. It’s an ideological and cultural war that corporations like Disney will never stop waging.

For many years now, only one side in this war has been crying “no quarter” before every battle. The other side has pretended not to believe it and surrendered time and again, with predictable results. Finally, DeSantis and Florida Republicans have taken the enemy at their word and responded in kind. Republicans everywhere should go and do likewise.


John Daniel Davidson is a senior editor at The Federalist. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Claremont Review of Books, The New York Post, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter, @johnddavidson.

Senator Mike Lee Op-ed: Big Tech Insists They’re Protecting Americans From China While Importing Chinese-Style Social Controls


Mike Lee

Commentary By Mike Lee | OCTOBER 22, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/22/big-tech-insists-theyre-protecting-americans-from-china-while-importing-chinese-style-social-controls/

If you need evidence that Big Tech firms are starting to worry about the growing movement to diffuse their immense market power, look no further than their newest scare tactic: using China as an excuse to avoid antitrust scrutiny.

Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and the nonprofit proxies they pay to defend them have put a lot of effort into trying to convince America that subjecting Big Tech to more stringent antitrust enforcement or regulation would have dire consequences. They’ve warned that innovation would suffer, but that rings hollow when so many of the new innovative companies are already being bought up (and then often shut down) by Big Tech.

They’ve suggested that antitrust action might result in the loss of the free services we’ve come to depend upon. But how do they call their services “free” when we pay for them by giving them all of our personal data, which they store and monetize, and when they rely on our content to make their platforms valuable in the first place?

Big Tech firms have told us we should be grateful for the superior quality of their services, which could suffer if they were broken up. But then again, one could argue that Google Search was better before it was filled with ads.

YouTube was better before its algorithms tried to corrupt our children and amplify the reach of terrorists. Facebook was better before it censored people of faith and conservatives, while protecting those who post revenge porn. Instagram was better before it drove our teenagers to anxiety and depression. Amazon was better before it silenced conservative authors and raised questions about its influence on a multibillion-dollar defense contract.

Having failed with each of those claims, Big Tech has turned to a new bogeyman: China. Antitrust enforcement actions against Big Tech—or legislation aimed at restoring and protecting competition in Big Tech markets—would risk crippling America’s ability to combat the growing threat from Communist China, or so the line goes. The cynicism would be offensive if the argument weren’t so laughable.

It’s not just lobbyists bringing these arguments to my office and others on Capitol Hill. Earlier this summer, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in an interview, “These gross proposals like breaking them up and so forth, it’s not going to be helpful because it’s going to set us back against China.”

Last month, the National Security Institute began a series “examining the national security implications of antitrust challenges at home and abroad.” The first panel featured Big Tech defenders suggesting the antitrust laws were written for late-19th-century monopolists and are too outdated to deal with Big Tech, and that Big Tech is a driver for research that is essential to national security. Antitrust scrutiny, they implied, might hinder the companies’ ability to compete with China, who won’t be imposing the same restraints on their own companies.

Like every other excuse Big Tech has made, this too rings hollow and we should flatly reject it. That doesn’t mean the antitrust laws should be enforced in the absence of actual anticompetitive harm. Nor does it mean that we should radically alter our antitrust laws to embrace a “big is bad” philosophy. But the idea that Big Tech should be treated with kid gloves makes no sense. The fact is, American ingenuity is strong enough to compete and win on the merits without coddling or amnesty from our antitrust laws.

Competition, and the innovation and disruption that facilitate it, are what made these companies American success stories. That same competition, innovation, and disruption are what will keep them at their best or make way for the next great American success story. You see, competition in Big Tech doesn’t threaten American, it threatens the monopolists—and that makes America stronger.

Insulating American companies from competition out of a fear of foreign competitors will do the opposite of what Big Tech claims to want: we will be stuck with stagnant monopolists too complacent either to benefit American consumers or to protect us from foreign threats.

In fact, it is Big Tech companies themselves that pose the greatest threat when it comes to China. They not only can’t protect us from foreign threats, but in some cases actively cooperate with them.

Google has been accused of working with the Chinese military, and has acknowledged developing a filtered version of its search engine to satisfy Chinese censors. Amazon has been working with a Chinese partner to expand its web-hosting services in the highly censored country.

The New York Times revealed earlier this year that Apple—which assembles nearly all of its products in China— has stored data on Chinese government servers, shared customer data with the Chinese government, removed apps from its App Store to appease the Chinese government, and banned apps from a critic of the Chinese Communist Party. The Times also alleged that Facebook was courting the Chinese government in 2016 by developing a censorship tool. Facebook has admitted to sharing data with Chinese state-owned companies, and last year it undertook to expand its Chinese ad business.

These are the benevolent corporate heroes who are going to save us from the Chinese threat? Give me a break.

Far from saving us, it seems like the habits of their new Chinese friends are rubbing off on our Big Tech big brothers. In a way, Silicon Valley is helping America keep up with China: now we too have censored speech on the internet, constant surveillance, and tightly controlled marketplaces.

Instead of embracing the very crony capitalism that has been so destructive to American prosperity in the past, American firms should spend more energy competing on the merits for Americans’ business, and less time cozying up to Chinese bureaucrats. The free market should pick winners and losers, not Communist apparatchiks.

This whole episode leads me to only one conclusion: insisting that antitrust enforcers pull their punches or risk impairing our ability to face the threats from China is nothing short of corporate extortion, a protection racket at a global scale. What we need is more competition, and less protectionism. The only way we will defeat the economic threat of communist China is by empowering American businesses to challenge and disrupt the would-be Chinese collaborators that make up Big Tech.

The hypocrisy is glaring: Big Tech wants to assist Communist China in exchange for access to its economy, while pointing to the Chinese threat as an excuse for anticompetitive and monopolistic conduct in the United States. Americans deserve better, and we should refuse to entertain this disingenuous and insulting excuse.

Mike Lee is a U.S. Senator from Utah and author of “Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document.”

Big Business Sides With Leftists In Pushing Highly Destructive ‘Equality Act’ AND Medical, legal experts warn of Equality Act’s impact on parents, kids and religious freedom


Big Business Sides With Leftists In Pushing Highly Destructive ‘Equality Act’

The country’s most powerful business interests are openly collaborating with a radical advocacy group to push sweeping legislation that would set women back decades at the expense of an extreme, elite agenda. The left’s historic skepticism of corporate power has morphed into a demand for more of it.

The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT activist group with far-left interests, has assembled a coalition of the world’s most powerful corporations to support the Equality Act. Scroll through the incredible list and you’ll find massive corporations from Amazon to Bain to Best Buy aligned with HRC’s radical mission.

The Equality Act, passed by the House on Thursday, is a deeply radical bill that would put women in danger, erode free speech and religious rights, and destroy Title IX gains for girls’ sports. These claims about its potential consequences are not a cartoonish right-wing intimidation campaign — they are agreed upon by conservatives and honest progressive, feminist experts alike.

Republicans and Democrats should not be intimidated by the far-left’s false advertising of the bill as a commonsense measure to protect oppressed and vulnerable members of the public. There are ways to protect transgender Americans that do not involve putting women in danger while quashing free speech, girls’ sports, and religious freedom.

Corporate America, along with the media, is now run by extremists who’ve brought radical cultural leftism from academia into the corridors of power. They now share the very same cultural priorities as far-left groups like HRC. The effect of this shared cultural consensus is that businesses use their corporate power to push radical cultural leftism on the rest of the country because the media demands and cheerleads such efforts, eliminating the risk of bad press.

The strain of elite leftism that dominates our corporate institutions operates on a firm progressive-or-bigot binary, meaning even a pro-trans leftist like J.K. Rowling faces intense charges of bigotry because she’s skeptical of extreme aspects of the trans agenda. That means baby boomer bosses are intimidated into signing onto efforts like HRC’s Equality Act push and millennial executives and journalists demand it.

Because this progressive-or-bigot binary has such a chilling effect on free expression, extreme elements of the trans agenda like undermining Title IX, hormone treatments for children, and men in women’s shelters are enforced without robust debate. The cost of speaking up far outweighs the benefit for most people.

As a consequence, corporate elites are rendering everyday Americans powerless, colluding to enforce new, radical cultural norms by disempowering the working class to speak up, earn scholarships, or sleep soundly in a shelter for victims of domestic violence. It’s the very reason Abigail Shrier had to write “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters” — the normalization of radical new standards for sex and gender are having dangerous real-world consequences, especially for young women.

HRC and its “Business Coalition” are proud of immense corporate power. Here’s how the group describes the campaign on its website: “Launched in March 2016, the 364 member companies of HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act have operations in all 50 states, headquarters spanning 33 states and a combined $6 trillion in revenue, and employ over 13.1 million people in the United States.”

This is a leftist group bragging that it represents Big Business to the tune of a combined $6 trillion in revenue and control over the livelihoods of 13 million people. This is Big Business bragging that it supports the agenda of cultural extremists.

Certainly, HRC’s effort is more evidence of the dissolving marriage between economic leftists and cultural ones. Capitalists are now cultural leftists.

More importantly, however, it’s evidence of an elite effort to wield corporate power over working people in the interest of an extreme cultural agenda. The Equality Act is a plaything of the elites that will disempower working people, and lawmakers should not be intimidated into believing the legislation is anything else.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Emily Jashinsky is culture editor at The Federalist. You can follow her on Twitter @emilyjashinsky .

Medical, legal experts warn of Equality Act’s impact on parents, kids and religious freedom

LGBT activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, in New York City, October 24, 2018. | Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Legal and medical experts and concerned parents have warned that the Equality Act, which passed in the House Thursday, will have lasting implications on children, parental rights, and religious freedom if it becomes law.  The 500-plus page bill, which passed by a vote of 224-206 adds sex, gender identity and sexual orientation to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The measure was reintroduced in the House where it was first passed in 2019 before it stalled in the Senate. It adds sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories in nondiscrimination law. The measure also strips away key religious liberty provisions and conscience protections in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Its effects would be far-reaching because it redefines “public accommodation” to include “any establishment” that provides a service, including churches, shelters operated by religious groups, faith-based adoption agencies, and educational institutions associated with religious denominations and associations.

The three Republicans who joined Democrats in voting for the measure included Reps. Tom Reed and John Katko, both of New York, and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.

During a virtual event hosted by the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday, Rep. Vicki Hartzler, R-Mo., and Autumn Leva of the Family Policy Alliance, detailed various concerns they have about the Equality Act and its implications for Americans if it’s passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Joe Biden.

Other speakers at the Heritage event were Maria Keffler of Partners for Ethical Care, Dr. Michelle Cretella of the American College of Pediatricians, and Greg Baylor of Alliance Defending Freedom.

Hartzler, a former teacher and track coach, explained that the bill, if enacted, would erase all the gains that women have made in athletics by allowing trans-identified males to compete in girls’ sports. Thus far, 20 states have introduced legislation intended to keep sports sex-segregated.

If the bill becomes law “we won’t have women’s sports that are fair,” added Hartzler, who derided it as the “Inequality Act.” 

Parental rights are also in serious jeopardy with this potential law, she continued. If the Act passes in the Senate it will filter down to what is taught in public school classrooms and parents won’t be able to object to content because it will be seen as a discrimination issue. 

Similarly, parents’ rights to make healthcare decisions for their children would erode with the Act, according to Hartzler, referencing a 2018 case where a judge removed custody from the parents because they objected to their 17-year-old child being prescribed experimental cross-sex hormones. 

“If this passes nationwide we could see parents facing a similar situation all over the country,” she said.

Hartzler is supporting the Heritage Foundation’s Promise To America’s Children, a national movement the think-tank has put forward to oppose the Equality Act and, more broadly, the imposition of gender ideology on children in the public sphere. The Promise, as Heritage states, aims to “create and support laws that will protect children’s health, safety, and families — especially their relationships with their parents, who have the primary responsibility to love, protect, and educate them.”

During the 90-minute House debate over the bill on Thursday, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., claimed the Equality Act posed no threat to religious freedom and that such concerns being raised by Republicans were “ridiculous.” Maloney then accused the bill’s opponents of using religious freedom as a ruse to conceal their “pro-discrimination against gay people.”

In response to Maloney’s accusations, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, declared: “Here it is, on page 25. It says specifically, ‘The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 shall not provide a legal basis for a claim’ [against a religious discrimination charge].

“The founders said in the first right, in the First Amendment to the Constitution, you can practice your religion as you see fit. But right here in their bill today, the Democrats say ‘No you can’t,’” Jordan asserted.

Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., also derided Republicans’ religious freedom arguments as nothing more than “transphobia,” “homophobia,” and “hate,” The Epoch Times reported.

PLEASE SEE: Rand Paul likens child sex-change procedures to ‘genital mutilation’ while grilling Biden’s transgender HHS nominee | What Did You Say?

During the Heritage Foundation’s panel Tuesday, Cretella of the American College of Pediatricians noted how the issue of gender dysphoria in children has become politicized. It’s this politicization that she says has corrupted the entire profession of medicine. The vast majority of medical professionals, therapists, and counselors believe that the best course of treatment for the condition is to first take a very thorough psychological assessment of the child in pursuit of underlying factors, she explained.

“Those in authority over the medical education system and directives to practicing physicians now recommend that all children, regardless of their age, be affirmed in their gender confusion. We are essentially gaslighting children into the lie that they could be born in the wrong body, Cretella said in her remarks.

This, then, will put them on a medical pathway in which their normal puberty will be chemically arrested and will be followed up by opposite-sex hormones, she added. The combination of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones yields potentially lifelong sterility.

“We already have physically healthy girls as young as 13 being referred for double mastectomies. This is institutionalized child abuse,” she asserted. “We are taking emotionally troubled youth, psychologically abusing them by reinforcing their gender-sexual confusion, and then experimenting on them with toxic drugs and mutilating surgeries.”

Cretella has been contacted by doctors both domestically and internationally who say that it is now “career-ending” for them to suggest to a family or to their colleagues in a professional setting that these dysphoric children need a psychological assessment.

“Cancel culture has arrived in medicine and psychology and it’s very frightening,” she said.

Asked what she thinks could happen in 10 years should the Equality Act become law, Cretella said medical professionals who object to gender-transitioning of children and believe in the principle of “first do no harm” will be eliminated from practice. The ones you’ll be left with are the ones who believe in “experiment first, ask questions later.”

Maria Keffler noted that among the most concerning aspects of radical gender ideology that is all the rage in culture is how young schoolchildren are being instructed by teachers using curricula that is not factual or rooted in science. 

“And we’re teaching this to our children en masse. It’s shocking when you see what’s being done in the schools … and where it’s coming from. … It’s about making money. It’s about furthering an agenda. 

“Children are being taught from kindergarten upward that some boys have a vagina, some girls have a penis, and that kids can be any gender they want to be, she continued. 

Keffler recounted that she has heard stories of elementary school children being asked to stand up in class to tell everyone about their “gender identity.” She added that she can no longer, in good conscience, say that public schools are safe places for children. Many people still don’t realize how dire the situation has become, she asserted, especially as some school officials advise teachers to deceive parents by allowing students to lead double lives by portraying an opposite-gender identity while at school.

The Equality Act will exacerbate this highly politicized approach within medicine, psychology, education, and other professional fields, according to Greg Baylor of Alliance Defending Freedom. Because of the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in nondiscrimination provisions, any entity that receives federal taxpayer dollars is subject to such policies. Among the largest recipients of taxpayer funds are public schools.

When asked whether religious freedom protections outlined in federal law would be preserved if the Equality Act becomes law, the ADF attorney noted the lack of religious exemptions in the bill. At the state and local level where similar statutes have been adopted, such carve-outs are present.

“But with the Equality Act you have none of that, there is no exemption for religious employers, there is no exemption for religious foster care providers, there is no exemption for religious schools.”

It is debated whether existing legal provisions can protect certain religious entities from discrimination claims, such as Title VII in the Civil Rights Act, the section pertaining to employment and section in the Fair Housing Act, the provisions of which would likely apply to religious colleges that have sex-segregated dormitories.

But the most destructive feature is how the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is impacted, he said, a law that was passed on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis and signed into law by former President Bill Clinton. The Equality Act expressly forbids invoking RFRA from the portions of the civil rights laws that it amends. 

This previous approach to religious liberty is “gone, I’m afraid,” he said, “and it’s even to the point of essentially repealing large chunks of RFRA.”

When a federal law conflicts with state law, federal law wins, he said. Thus, if a state statute establishes that males who identify as female cannot participate in girls’ scholastic sports, the Equality Act’s revisions to Title XI would trump the state law.

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