Kathleen Gilbert

‘We can do wonders if we get them early’: young twin boy undergoes sex change into ‘Nicole’

Kathleen Gilbert
Kathleen Gilbert

BOSTON, December 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A front-page story on the Boston Globe’s Sunday edition highlighted the work of a prestigious Massachusetts hospital which blocked and altered the development of one young boy’s body to match his self-identification as a girl.

Wyatt Maines, now 14 years old, is the identical twin of brother Jonas - but thanks to powerful hormone blocking drugs, he is now five inches shorter and several pounds lighter than Jonas, sports more feminine features, and goes by the name “Nicole.” “The thought of being a boy makes me cringe,’’ said Maines. “I just couldn’t do it.’’

Soon, Maines plans to begin taking estrogen to develop hips and grow breasts, an irreversible change that will cause permanent sterility. The last stage - what the Globe calls Maines’ “final step on her journey to womanhood” - will be surgery to remove Maines’ penis and create a vagina-like structure.

The Maines family said they opted for the treatment to remedy young Wyatt’s gender identity disorder (GID), recognized as a psychiatric condition by the American Psychiatric Association. The APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual states that only a very small number of children with GID maintain the symptoms into later adolescence or adulthood.

Endocrinologist Norman Spack, co-founder of the Gender Management Services Clinic at Children’s Hospital in Boston, began blocking Wyatt’s development at age 11 to ensure no masculine features arose. When children are still young, he noted, gender perception is more pliable: “I bet I could go to any fourth or fifth-grade class, cut the hair of the boys, put earrings on various kids, change their clothing, and we could send all those kids off to the opposite-gender bathrooms and nobody would say boo.’’

“We can do wonders if we can get them early,” he said.

Spack also played an important role reassuring the twins’ parents, particularly their father, who said he was anguished at the loss of his son. Wayne Maines noted that Spack was particularly helpful at getting him used to the idea, having had long experience with “dads who are just freaking out.”

“I wasn’t always on board,’’ he said. “Kelly and I were not on the same page. My question was, what is this doctor doing? It scared me. I was grieving. I was losing my son.” At first Wayne said he struggled to accept the identity change, but eventually learned to call Wyatt “Nicole.” “Once you get past that, I realize I never had a son,’’ he said.

Sex reassignment therapy remains a highly controversial practice among the psychiatric community. Paul McHugh, the chairman of the Johns Hopkins psychiatric department at Johns Hopkins University, concluded that to perform such changes on a gender-confused individual was to “cooperate with a mental illness rather than try to cure it.” Johns Hopkins closed its gender clinic after McHugh found in follow-up evaluations that most transgender patients’ psychological functioning had not improved.

Walt Heyer, a former transsexual who embraced his male identity after years of attempting to live as a woman, said the attempts to change Wyatt’s body was only a temporary fix that didn’t have the child’s best interests in mind.

“They are only looking at the short term ‘solution.’ But in ten, fifteen, twenty years out there is tremendous regret, invariably accompanied by alcoholism, drug addiction, and even suicide attempts,” Heyer, who attempted suicide after his own gender-reassignment surgery, told Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance.

Sarah Allis Yang of Los Angeles, another former transsexual, testified to the Massachusetts Legislature earlier this year with Mass Resistance that she learned to embrace her femininity after 19 years feeling like a man - even though she says her first words as a child were, “I’m a boy.”

“If anyone could claim that they were ‘born this way,’ it was me,” said Yang, who now says she is happily married to a man. “I thought I had no choice but to either get surgery or continue dating women as a man trapped in a girl’s body.

“I became suicidal not because of societal pressures or lack of understanding or acceptance from others, but because I personally didn’t want to live this way, because it was a detrimental and painful lifestyle and no one offered me any other choice or option but to be this way.”

Researcher Dr. Michael L. Brown, author of “A Queer Thing Happened to America,” told LifeSiteNews,  “We certainly need great compassion as Christians addressing these issues, but in this case, there surely must be a better way than tampering with the life of a child in such a significant way and then preparing this boy for a future in which he will no longer be fully male and will never be fully female.

“Is this the best we can do?”

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Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website, www.babycaust.de, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon / Shutterstock.com
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” Katholisch.de editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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