Dale O’Leary

LGBTQIA: the expanding gender agenda

Dale O’Leary
By Dale O'Leary
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February 6, 2013 (Mercatornet.com) - Last month The New York Times published an article on the latest expansion of sexual identity among students at progressive universities in the United States. LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) no longer covers it, according to a handful of students who seem to have nothing better to do than reinvent themselves. “Generation LGBTQIA” want recognition for queer, intersex and asexual proclivities as well. According to the Times, this list by no means is final but continually being added to as students “move beyond the binary of male/female”, heterosexual/homosexual and reject the normal.

Most people are unaware of the inroads made by gender theory -- the ideology that has produced “Generation LBGTQIA” -- or of the dangers it presents. Part of the confusion lies in the fact that there are several different theories of gender each of which is based on a false understanding of the human person. The various theories -- the gender perspective, gender identity and expression, and gender queer -- are not logically consistent and are continually changing, making it difficult for those who try to critique them.

The term “gender” has become ubiquitous. The forms we routinely fill out, which previously asked for our sex, now asked for our gender. Most people assumed that gender was simply a polite synonym for sex – preferable since sex has a secondary meaning, namely as a shortened form for sexual intercourse. But those pushing the use of “gender” did not do so out of an over-scrupulous sense of propriety, for them gender and sex are not synonyms.

In the past, sex referred to the totality of what it meant to be a man or a woman, and gender was a grammatical term – some words had gender – masculine, feminine, or neuter. However, in the 1950s, John Money, who was on the staff at Johns Hopkins University, promoted the idea that sexual identity could be broken down into its constituent parts: DNA, hormones, internal and external sexual organs -- and gender, the sex that the person identified with. He argued that a person could be one sex physically, but identify with the other. Money promoted so-called sex change operations, in which men who believed they had the brain of a woman were surgically altered to resemble women. When Dr. Paul McHugh took over at Johns Hopkins, he commissioned a study into the outcome of these supposed sex changes and, finding that they did not address the underlying psychopathology of the clients, discontinued the practice. Unfortunately, other hospitals continued to perform this mutilating surgery.

Money also pushed the idea that if a baby boy were born with deformed genitals, he could be castrated and raised as a girl and he would never know the difference. In other words, one’s sense that one was a man or a woman was socially constructed by the way people treated you. However, studies done on these boys raised as girls found that many of them rejected the reassignment and demanded the right to live as males, even without intact genitals. In 2006 a book by John Colapinto, As nature Made Him, exposed Money as a fraud who covered up the failure of his most famous case and abused the boys brought to him for help.

The rest of this article describes some of the main developments in gender theory.

Mainstreaming the gender perspective

Before Money’s theories had been publicly discredited however, Marxist-influenced feminists combined his concept of gender as socially constructed roles with the idea that all history is the history of class struggle. According to their theory, the first class struggle was between men and women, and women were the first oppressed class. If Money were correct and the differences between men and women were not natural, but the result of socially constructed gender roles imposed by an oppressive patriarchy, then the way to eliminate the oppression of women was to eliminate all differences between men and men. This would be achieved by mainstreaming a gender perspective under which every societal recognition of the difference between men and women would be eradicated, and quotas imposed so that men and women would participate in every social activity in statistically equal numbers and receive statistically equal power and rewards. Any deviation from absolute statistical equality would be regarded as evidence of sexist discrimination.

While equality of rights, equal treatment under the law, equal opportunity, equal education, and equal access to social goods are admirable goals, men and women do differ. If allowed to act freely, they will not arrive at absolute equality. Given freedom, a percentage of women will choose to make motherhood their primary vocation, either leaving the workforce to devote themselves to their children or choosing jobs which allow them more time with their families. Thus, fewer women will participate in the paid work and a percentage of those who do will work shorter hours in less demanding fields and in the aggregate receive lower wages. Gender feminists were well aware of this and pressured governments to institute policies which would force women out of the home and into the workforce. Behind the gender perspective are anti-motherhood policies that are fundamentally anti-woman, anti-child, and anti-family.

Gender feminism has been strongly influenced by women involved in same-sex relationships. The denial of the natural differences between men and women leads to a redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples and the promotion of adoption by same-sex couples. If, as the these radicals argue, all differences between men and women are artificial constructs, imposed by an oppressive patriarchal society then why should same-sex relationships be treated differently? However, if men and women are different, if motherhood is fundamentally different from fatherhood, if children need a mother and a father, then a multitude of reasons exist to privilege marriage between a man and a woman.

Gender expression and gender identity

Recently, those pushing the gender agenda have pressured governments to add the concepts of “gender identity” and “gender expression” to anti-discrimination laws. They argue that while sex is “assigned” to a baby on the basis of observation of its genitals, some people do not accept this designation. For example, a biologically male may argue that, while he has a man’s body, he believes he has a woman’s brain. He may want his body surgically altered to resemble that of a woman or simply to dress as a woman. He may demand that his birth certificate and other documents be changed and that he be allowed to marry a man. Things are more complex, however. Some of the men who have been surgically altered to resemble women are still sexually attracted to women and claim to be lesbians. Some of the “transgendered” may want to be accepted as the other sex even without surgical alterations

In the past, persons who wanted to be or thought they actually were the other sex, or who rejected the clothing and interests of their own sex and adopted that of the other sex, were considered to be suffering from gender identity disorder (GID). Recently, this designation has been dropped by the American Psychiatric Association in favor of “gender dysphoria”, reflecting the idea that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be the other sex so long as it doesn’t make you unhappy, and that if society’s refusal to pretend you are the other sex makes you unhappy then society has to change. Including gender identity and expression language in anti-discrimination laws would essentially prohibit people from refusing to pretend that people have changed their sex.

While the gender feminists fought to eliminate everything they considered a stereotype, the transgendered frequently adopt clothing and behavior which reflects narrow stereotypical concepts, almost caricatures, of what it means to be a man or a woman. Some of those who go through so-called sex changes try to wipe out their pasts and pretend they have always been the sex they want to be. However, many find this continual deception difficult to sustain. Rejection of the reality of one’s sexual identity and the pursuit of mutilating surgery suggests a severe psychological disorder. It is neither charitable nor required for others to go along with the pretence of sex change.

GenderQueer

“GenderQueer” is an ideology founded on a rebellion against all restrictions on identity, behavior, and sexual activity. The GenderQueer claim a right to present themselves as male, female, or neither and to change their identity at any time and to have sex with persons of either sex. Riki Wilchins, author of GenderQueer: Voices from beyond the sexual binary, “Gender is the new frontier: the place to rebel, to create new individuality and uniqueness, to defy old, tired, outdated social norms, and, yes, to occasionally drive their parents and sundry other authority figures crazy.” According to the New York Times article cited earlier, the progressive universities are catering to this rebellion. For example, Jack (born Judith) Halberstam a transgender professor at University of Southern California, is the author of Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal. Society is under no obligation to encourage such rebellion against reality.

Sexual orientation

While those promoting gender theory insist that gender identity is different from sexual orientation, the two are linked. Sexual orientation describes persons based on whom they are sexually attracted  to -- their own sex, the other sex, or both (bisexual). Persons with same sex attraction (SSA) are among the most outspoken spokesmen for the various theories of gender. Many, but not all persons with SSA experienced gender identity disorder as children and many continue to imitate the other sex in clothing or behavior. They feel that they have been discriminated against because they do not conform to gender norms. They also oppose “heteronormality” -- the belief that heterosexuality is the norm and any other combination is abnormal.

A small percentage of persons with SSA decide to pursue so-called sex change surgery. For example, a growing number of masculine-identifying women in same-sex relationships have opted for breast removal and male hormone injections. This and the increase in men who, after being surgically altered to resemble women, are still sexually attracted to women and therefore claim that they are lesbians, has lead to conflict within feminist ranks. Some of their events are limited to women, born as women and living as women.

Gender theory in whatever form it takes is a denial of the reality of sexual difference. Those who have adopted the theory into their lives are in rebellion against their own nature, which leads to feelings of alienation. Rather than recognize that their theory is fatally flawed, they denounced anyone who defends reality as a “homophobe”, “heterosexist” or a “bigot”. They demand that those who speak the truth about marriage, family, motherhood and the needs of children be silenced.

We need not surrender to this bullying. We have a right to point out the inadequacies and inconsistencies in their theory of gender. A first step towards exposing its errors is never to say “gender” when we mean “sex”.

Dale O’Leary is a US writer with a special interest in psychosexual issues and is the author of two books: One Man, One Woman and The Gender AgendaShe blogs at What Does The Research really Say?


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Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." Shutterstock
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‘Sick and twisted’: Down’s advocates, pro-life leaders slam Richard Dawkins’ abortion remarks

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By Dustin Siggins

Advocates on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as pro-life leaders, are slamming famed atheist Richard Dawkins’ statements made on Twitter earlier today that parents have a moral responsibility to abort babies diagnosed in utero with Down’s.

During a shocking Twitter rant, Dawkins responded to questioners saying that it was "civilised" to abort Down Syndrome babies, and that it would be "immoral" to choose not to abort babies diagnosed with the condition.

He said that his goal is to "reduce suffering wherever you can," indicating that unborn children cannot suffer, and that unborn children don't "have human feelings."

In addition to being scientifically challenged - unborn children can feel both pain and emotions - Dawkins' comments drew criticism for his callousness towards children with disabilities.  

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus"

"It's sick and twisted for anyone to advocate for the killing of children with disabilities," Live Action President Lila Rose told LifeSiteNews. "Dawkins's ignorant comments serve only to further stigmatize people with Down syndrome.

"While many people with Down syndrome, their families, and advocacy groups are fighting discrimination on a daily basis, Dawkins calls for their murder before they are even born," she said. "Those with Down syndrome are human beings, with innate human dignity, and they, along with the whole human family, deserve our respect and protection."

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, told MailOnline that, contrary to Dawkins’ assertion, "People with Down’s syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society."

A spokesperson for the UK disabilities charity Scope lamented that during the "difficult and confusing time" when parents find out they are expecting a child with disabilities, they often experience "negative attitudes."

"What parents really need at this time is sensitive and thorough advice and information," the spokesperson said.

Charlotte Lozier Institute president Chuck Donovan agreed with Rose’s assessment. "Advocates of abortion for those 'weaker' than others, or of less physical or intellectual dexterity, should remember that each of us is 'lesser' in some or most respects," he said.

According to Donovan, "we deliver a death sentence on all of humanity by such cruel logic."

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus" he said.

One family who has a child with Down syndrome said Dawkins was far from the mark when he suggested that aborting babies with Down syndrome is a good way to eliminate suffering.

Jan Lucas, whose son Kevin has Down syndrome, said that far from suffering, Kevin has brought enormous joy to the family, and "is so loving. He just has a million hugs."

She described how Kevin was asked to be an honorary deacon at the church they attend in New Jersey, "because he is so encouraging to everyone. At church, he asks people how their families are, says he'll pray for them, and follows up to let them know that he has been praying for them."

It's not just strangers for whom Kevin prays. "My husband and I were separated for a time, and Kevin kept asking people to pray for his dad," said Jan. "They didn't believe that Kevin's prayers would be answered. Kevin didn't lose hope, and asking people, and our marriage now is better than ever before. We attribute it to Kevin's prayers, and how he drew on the prayers of everyone."

"I don't know what we'd do without him," said Jan.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Kevin said that his favorite things to do are "spending time with my family, and keeping God in prayer." He said that he "always knows God," which helps him to "always keep praying for my friends."

"I love my church," said Kevin.

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey , 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child.

Despite this, it is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 

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President George Bush takes the ice bucket challenge in a video released this week.
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What’s wrong with the viral ‘ice bucket challenge’? A lot, say pro-life leaders

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By Dustin Siggins

Pro-life leaders in the U.S. are warning about ethical problems with the viral "Ice Bucket Challenge" that has raised over $15 million for research into Lou Gehrig’s Disease since late July, making its way to the top of American politics, and the entertainment and business worlds in the process.

In recent days, former president George W. Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, TV hosts Oprah Winfrey and Jimmy Fallon, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have all had ice-cold water dumped on their heads in support of the effort.

They have been joined by many thousands of everyday Americans eager to do their part to raise funds to find a cure for the fatal neurodegenerative disease.

However, pro-life leaders from Patheos blogger Father Michael Duffy to the American Life League (ALL) are all pointing out that the ALS Association, which is behind the wildly popular fundraising effort, funds and otherwise supports embryonic stem cell research.

Instead, they are urging that pro-life people who want to participate in the ice bucket challenge send their donations to other charities that don't have similar ethical issues.

Embryonic stem cell research requires the destruction of an unborn child. This is unlike adult and umbilical cord stem cell research, which are considered ethical.

A spokesperson from the ALS Association admitted to American Life League in an e-mail that while the organization "primarily funds adult stem cell research," they are "funding one study using embryonic stem cells (ESC)..."

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"It is noble to combat a deadly disease," Live Action president Lila Rose said in a statement provided to LifeSiteNews, but added that "it's such a shame that the ALS Association...chooses to support research that thrives from experimenting on and killing tiny, innocent human beings."

"Embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of pre-born people, is inherently unethical and a violation of fundamental human rights, and even materialists must admit that promises of its benefits have failed to deliver," continued Rose. "There is no good reason to condone this practice; in fact, all it does is taint the ALS Association, whom I'd otherwise be happy to support."

In the email to American Life League, ALS Assocation Spokesperson Carrie Munk defended the organization, saying that the embryonic stem cell research is being funded by an outside donor, and "the stem cell line was established many years ago."

She added that "under very strict guidelines, The Association may fund embryonic stem cell research in the future," and that currently "donors may stipulate that their funds not be invested in this study or any stem cell project."

At least one Catholic archdiocese has spoken up about the problematic relationship between ALS Assocation and unethical research.

"We appreciate the compassion that has caused so many people to engage in the ice bucket challenge," said a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. "But it's a well established moral principle that a good end is not enough. The means to that ends must be morally licit."

Both Fr. Duffy and the archdiocese have recommended money be sent to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City, Iowa. It is an organization that exclusively researches with adult stem cells. 

One D.C.-area Catholic, Robert Vega, wrote on Facebook that "in light of the absolute dignity of human life and necessity to defend it...I have taken down my Ice Bucket video, untagged myself from my nomination video, and encourage anyone to whom I may have spread the Challenge to do the same."

Embryonic stem cell research, which was a major controversy throughout the presidency of George W. Bush, has quietly, although decidedly, become less popular after many of the exalted promises of its proponents failed to materialize. As LifeSiteNews reported, in 2012 California and Maryland funded a fraction of the embryonic stem cell research projects that they did in 2007. Likewise, Maryland funded nearly twice as many stem cell research projects in 2012 as it had in the prior year -- but only one of the grants was done for an embryonic research project.

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Catholic couple fined $13,000 for refusing to host same-sex ‘wedding’ at their farm

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Robert and Cynthia Gifford

The New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) has ruled that the Roman Catholic owners of an Albany-area farm violated the civil rights of a lesbian couple when they declined to host the couple’s same-sex “marriage” ceremony in 2012.

Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who own and operate Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, were ordered by DHR Judge Migdalia Pares and Commissioner Helen Diane Foster to pay $10,000 in fines to the state and an additional $3,000 in damages to the lesbian couple, Jennie McCarthy and Melissa Erwin for “mental pain and suffering.” 

Additionally, the Giffords must provide sensitivity training to their staff, and prominently display a poster highlighting state anti-discrimination laws.

The Giffords’ attorney, Jim Trainor, told LifeSiteNews that the two-year-legal drama and resulting fines all stemmed from a single brief phone call in 2012 that caught his clients off guard.

“The entire interaction between the Complainants and the Giffords transpired during a two to three minute telephone conversation which, unknown to Mrs. Gifford, was being tape recorded,” Trainor said.

“After communicating the fact that they chose not to hold same-sex marriage ceremonies at the farm because to do so would violate the Giffords’ sincerely held beliefs (that God intended marriage to be between a man a woman only), Mrs. Gifford invited the couple to visit the farm to discuss handling their wedding reception, which the couple refused.” 

The Giffords draw a line, Trainor explained, between a ceremony that solemnizes a homosexual relationship and a reception that celebrates the union after the fact.  To participate in the former, they argue, would be a violation of their own religious beliefs, especially because marriage ceremonies on the farm typically take place in and around the couple’s home, where they live full-time and are raising their two children. 

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But the Giffords are willing to serve gay couples in other ways – for example, they allowed another lesbian couple to throw a birthday party for their adopted child on the farm.

Trainor said he believes the decision by DHR goes too far in that it seeks to regulate what the Giffords can or cannot do in their own private home, even though state law only requires “places of public accommodation” to adhere to anti-discrimination laws.

“They consider the farm their home,” Trainor said. “They live there, they work there, they raise their kids there.”

Trainor also said that the Judge and Commissioner should have taken into account the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling, which came down weeks before the DHR notified the Giffords of their decision.

“We're disappointed that neither the Administrative Law Judge nor the Commissioner considered the Gifford's Constitutional (1st Amendment) rights, including the right not to be compelled to participate in a ‘marriage’ ceremony which violates their own religious beliefs,” Trainor said. 

Trainor said he and the Giffords are evaluating their options for further legal action.

The Giffords could simply ask the DHR to reconsider their decision, but Trainor said he doubts that approach would be successful. In order to formally appeal the ruling the couple would have to go to the New York State Supreme Court. 

But there is another option: The Giffords could file a fresh lawsuit in either state or federal court challenging the constitutionality of the DHR ruling.

While religious liberty has been a hot topic in federal court lately, Trainor said New York’s state constitution “actually offers a lot” of protection when it comes to religious freedom. “Many people view it as more expansive than the U.S. Constitution in terms of religious freedoms.”

However, Trainor emphasized that the Giffords have not yet decided which avenue, if any, they are planning to take in terms of pursuing further legal action.

In the meantime, the Giffords will continue hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions at the farm, Trainor said. However, they are considering hiring a dedicated employee to handle the ceremonies in order to avoid having to directly participate in any future same-sex “weddings.”

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