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August 6, 2015 12:00 pm
In part two of this two-part series, NC Family president John Rustin continues a discussion with Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, about the dangers of the Transgender Movement, and how Christians should respond.
This is family policy matter programs produced by the North Carolina family policy Council of profamily research and education organization dedicated to strengthening and preserving the family and from the studio here is John Rustin, Pres. North Carolina family policy Council, thank you for joining us this week for family policy matters. It is my pleasure to have Peter back with us on the program. Peter is a senior fellow for policy studies at the family research Council in Washington DC is research and writing focuses on the issues of marriage and family as well as human sexuality and religion in public life.
Peter is the author of the book outrage. How gay activists and liberal judges are trashing democracy redefine marriage and I would say after the recent Supreme Court ruling. They have certainly done just that Peter is with us to continue an important discussion we started last week about a new issue brief that he cowrote with Dale O'Leary, entitled understanding and responding to the transgender movement were to be talking with Peter today about some of the important issues addressed in this paper. Thanks much for joining us again on family policy matters. Thank you very much for having the fun for us if you would what you mean in your recent issue brief by the term transgender movement while as we point out in the introduction to our our paper. There's really been an assault on the sexes.
What I call on us all on the sexes underway for a number of decades now. By that I mean an assault on the idea of male and female as being distinct and separate and the idea that that there are certain distinctives about males and females that make them different from one another. The transgender movement is attacking the idea that man have to remain men or women have to remain women to love the important points that you discussed in the paper is how the American psychiatric Association, change the term for transgender is him which was previously called gender identity disorder but is now referred to as gender dysphoria to explain what happened there. And while the shift in this terminology to gender dysphoria is so significant. Well, let me first review the history of what happened with that topic of homosexuality in the American psychiatric Association and in the yet what's called the DSM the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders way back in 1973. Prior to 1973, homosexuality had been listed as a mental disorder in this it in this in a very prominent book published by the APA, and in 1973. Homosexual activist one really one of their first major cultural victories when they managed to persuade the APA to remove homosexuality from their list of mental disorders. Now that's another whole story. They actually what they did was not they did this not on the basis of new findings about homosexuality, but by basically redefining what what the term mental disorder met in a way to support student who don't affect reality from the definition, but that about. This is considered a a a very real sort of a pioneering victory for the homosexual rights movement while the transgender movement has been concern for a long time about the classification of gender identity disorder and that the you know the implication that if you have a psychological gender identity that differs from the biological sex. That's that you are suffering from a disorder or disordered condition and so in the most recent edition of this DSM which came out in 2013.
They persuaded them to change this diagnosis from gender identity disorder to gender dysphoria and what is implied by the term dysphoria is that this is only a disorder, to the extent that it causes subjective distress for the person who feels it so if you believe that if you're biologically male and you feel that in your psychologically that you are female and you live as a female entered. None. And it doesn't bother you, then you're considered not to have any disorder at all, you do that you don't have gender dysphoria because you're not experiencing a subjective level of distress about this conflict, but if you are experiencing subjective distress than your then you still have gender dysphoria. Now one question some big black as well, why not get a eliminated altogether from from the DSM. Like the homosexuals did.
But the problem is that the transgender people need a medical diagnosis in order to get insurance companies to pay for their treatment. Now we would say that the appropriate treatment for gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder however you want to call it is psychotherapy to help a person become comfortable with their biological sex. From the perspective of the transgender movement. The treatment that they seek is gender reassignment surgery which will alter the anatomy of their bodies to make it resemble the sex that they want to be instead of the sex that they actually are. But in any case, they they still need a diagnosis code that the doctor can put down in order to justify having insurance reimburse for that type of surgery so that's why we haven't seen them completely eliminated from the DSM altogether. I want to talk more about the public policy implications of this transgender ideology.
One issue that you address in the paper is whether the government should accept and recognize changes to someone's biological sexual identity in terms of national, state and local level laws and policies. How important is this issue and what are some of the problems with the government recognizing transgender identity changes yes probably the first thing that that transgender people often fit to do is to actually change the designation of their facts on government identification documents. For example, on their driver's license or on their passport Avenue and many state governments, and now the federal government under the Obama administration have agreed to allow this kind of gender change. Some states even allow a change to be made on the person's birth certificate and I find that disturbing because the birth certificate is essentially an historical records and and you're basically falsifying a historical record just for the sake of appeasing somebody psychological concern about their gender identity so that we at family research Council don't believe that government should recognize anything other than a person biological sex at birth as being there being there sex for for purpose for identification purposes. What about the government's role in potentially forcing private organizations to recognize and accept transgender identity through the nondiscrimination laws or policies you mentioned so-called baffling bills or bathroom policies which are really becoming a huge issue for many localities, including schools here in North Carolina. We recently had a battle over such a policy in the city of Charlotte, which was thankfully defeated, but tell us more about local bathroom access policies and why they are so problematic a lot of states and localities have adopted nondiscrimination laws, which include gender identity is one of the protected categories where discrimination is outlawed on the basis of gender identity, gender identity is a reference not to person fact, not whether they actually are male or female.
Biologically, but a reference to the transgender issue to what how they identify themselves, and that whether they identify themselves in a way differently from their biological sex. When you pass a law outlawing discrimination based on gender identity. Whether it's involving employment or public accommodations or housing and so forth. Essentially what you're doing is having the government force private organizations private employers private landlords and private businesses to recognize and accept this change of gender identity not again in defiance of reality in defiance of biological reality that we don't believe that that that should happen in any case.
Now, the issue of bathroom access is only one aspect of this but it is.
It's perhaps the one that's most alarming, are but most shocking once when it's considered by people with traditional viewpoints and ironically, these bills would probably be a lot easier to pass. In a lot of places, if they were willing to just include a caveat saying this is not apply to access to facilities where it's customary to have segregation of the biological sex or something like that. But the transgender activists are so militant that they are not willing to accept that in some cases not even willing to accept being provided the accommodation of having a gender-neutral facilities that are where where you have a separate bath and that's just one person at a time can go in there can be a person of either sex.
They insist on being able to use the sex segregated facilities that correspond with their professed gender identity and this results in situations with with children and women, particularly where their place in a very uncomfortable position by having to share those facilities with adult males and those in the women's room, for example, and that's an implication that I think everyone should should consider what actually was just became most controversial with the Charlotte proposal. There was plenty of misguided proposed policy changes in the ordinance changes that they were looking at. But this was one that really caught people's attention.
It was shocking to a lot of people that I got policy would be adopted in the city's largest Charlotte and in any city across the state of Dr. Lana for that matter that would allow men to go into the women's restrooms and women to go into the men's restrooms just based on how they felt that their gender should be identified at that particular time and unfortunately Peter, this seems to be a growing issue for the benefit of our listeners.
How do you believe that Christians can most effectively respond to the transgender ideology and activism that is taking place across our nation or culture stated in our local communities but to do so in a way that truly promotes God's love and his truth. As with the homosexual issue. It's very certain that we always treat any any individual with it with dignity and respect.
No one but should be subjected to violence or to verbal harassment of any kind, because they have a transgender identity, but at the same time we have to stand firm for the truth which means opposing this public policy agenda and trying to help educate people to the reality that that biological sex is an immutable characteristic that is present at birth and unchangeable and from a theological perspective. For Christians, we have to understand that our sex is part of the created order that as it says in in Genesis, we are created male and female. This is part of God's intention for us that we should fulfill the male and female sexual roles that God assigned to us from the from the time of creation and so certainly we would hope that many transgender people suffer. What are called comorbid psychological conditions actually have psychological problems of other other other types of pain anything from depression to schizophrenia which accompanies and in some cases may be a contributing factor to their gender identity issues.
We should be encouraging people to have psychological counseling to address gender identity issues rather than trying to mutilate the body that God has given them in a in a vain effort to change their sex will appreciate it so important for listeners to really take heed of that while this but again may be a challenging issue for us that we really need to seek to speak God's truth in love, and to do so in a way that is compassionate and caring, but does just that speaks God's truth. Peter unfortunately we are out of time for this week I want to give you an opportunity. However, to let our listeners know where they can go to learn more about the family research Council and to get a copy of the paper on transgender ideology that you have altered and that we've been discussing today certainly well. Our website is www.frcforfamilyresearchcouncil.org so F RC.org and Bill O'Leary, incidentally, is there is a freelance writer who co-authored the paper with me, who has written on it previously and she authored that it was the principal author of the portions on the medical and psychological aspects of this issue and I was the principal author of the public policy aspects and I want to thank you so much for all that you do. Thanks much for taking time out of what we know is a very busy schedule to be with us today on family policy matters. You're welcome.
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