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September 23, 2019 9:49 am
This week on Family Policy Matters, NC Family Communications Director Traci DeVette Griggs speaks with Dr. Allan Josephson, a former professor from the University of Louisville, who was removed from the university for his comments on gender dysphoria. Dr. Josephson is currently suing the university for violating his free speech rights, and he is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom. ADF senior counsel Travis Barham joins Dr. Josephson on Family Policy Matters this week.
Family policy not gauging radio show and podcast produced by this is John Rustin family with us for this program is encouraged and inspired by what you hear on family policy matters and that she will fold better equipped to be a voice of persuasion for family values in your community, state and nation.
Now here's our host family policy matters, tracing the veterans. Thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters.
The intent of most universities is to be beacons of intellectual freedom and diversity, but unfortunately at times are institutions of higher education had become increasingly tolerant and less intellectually diverse as more traditional and conservative perspectives are marginalized or sometimes silenced altogether.
Well, I guess today is a professor who is bearing the brunt of this cultural shift. His name is Dr. Alan Josephson. He joined the University of Louisville in 2003 as chief of the universities then struggling division of Child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology over the next 15 years.
The division by Dr. Josephson saw a remarkable turnaround earning the division and national reputation, and Dr. Josephson perfect marks in his 2014 2015 and 2016 personnel reviews in 2017. Dr. Josephson participated in a panel discussion at the heritage foundation regarding the treatment of youth experiencing gender dysphoria will as a result of outcry from several university staff and faculty who disagreed with Dr. Josephson's views. He was demoted from his long-held position and eventually the University declined to renew his contract will in March 2019. Dr. Josephson filed a federal lawsuit against the University of Louisville for violating his First Amendment rights and he's being represented by the alliance defending freedom today were pleased to be joined by Dr. Josephson and ADF senior counsel Travis Barra to talk about the case, gentlemen.
Welcome to family policy matters. Dr. Josephson let's start with you. Could you give us some insight into your academic and professional background, particularly your knowledge and work in the area of gender dysphoria or report card number, position, boots, proctors over 40 years.
My study is often involved family problems my patients.
The relationship of those problems through psychiatric disorders.
When I began this work 240 was extremely rare, almost unheard of, but was increasingly more work seeing families in distress been used sorely in need of treatment and help with her confusion in this regard.
What were the circumstances surrounding your participation in that heritage foundation panel will audio made a couple, and through different settings. I guess this was heard by the people at heritage. The leaders were very interested in what I had to say on insertable college were invited to a panel to speak to what they call the other side. It was clear that many researchers and clinicians have various biases in regard wanted it brought perspective on this. Whether particular things that you said that were considered so controversial or enraging you know struggle when I'm asked the question because I don't think there were three things that I would raise any questions about what I will call the transgender dogma consult with them. In actual fact or simply argue for existing research and my experience that when children have dysphoria medical professional should first seek to understand the psychological developmental issues that accompany this condition should explore things before an idea.
It is for this should be done before pursuing any more grocers work life altering treatments such as hormonal treatment for surgery to ask better questions that will accomplish.
So were you surprised that what happened after you participated in that panel supplies would be a mild word. I would say was stunning. Don't want to sound self-aggrandizing here, but I've been very successful and almost usually tissue and my leadership position. It was interesting about all this was just a universities rush to judgment.since both October and November University had moved to give him a chance to work through whatever issues had arisen rush to judgment and devoted him simply because a few people were upset at what it said so Dr. Josephson will you disappointed then in the way that the University reacted to this whole case I was gone by their administrative procedure did not even have a personal meeting with leaders about the decision to pursue the note in the mail, and Mr. Barton rush to judgment with very little consideration.
Theoretical level really are universities should be better meant to be a place where one can discuss these things, but in my experience was not possible and I was damaged in terms of my career.
By this very things away from me because I left the University. It wasn't able to report what he say goodbye to people or up my work recognize the way typically happens if you give your self to a career.
I just went away silently. My family worried and my wife in particular was undergoing instruction in them out.
Secondarily, trust me. So those things were all difficult, but I can say that the work of Mr. Bartman is calling for you nor Michelle came together to try to develop a plan to address my specific problem but also address problems of young faculty will face in the future. Will try to talk a little bit about that.
What is the legal questions at stake in this case. This case is about a very fundamental and very basic principle noted, the tolerance should be a two-way street of Dr. Joseph mentioned universities are supposed to be a marketplace of ideas where different viewpoints can be debated and discussed. They're not supposed to be an assembly line for one type of thought that's what happened here. Dr. loosen express an opinion on how to treat patients. That is the calling that is the hallmark of academic medicine is to debate different treatment plans for patients and find out what serves the interest of patients best in public colleges simply have no business trying to demote people trying to harass them simply because they hold different views and their colleagues would be administration listening to family policy matters weekly radio show and podcast of the North Carolina family policy Council. This is just one of the many ways and works to educate citizens across north Carolina about policy issues that impact families.
Our vision is to create a state or nation. God is on religious freedom versus families and life's cherished more information about his family and how you can help us to achieve this incredible vision for our state and nation. Visit our website and see family.org and see family.org and be sure to sign up to receive our email updates, action alerts, and of course our flagship publication family North Carolina magazine. We also love for you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and so just playing devils advocate does the University not have the freedom to decide whose contracts they will renew and whose contracts they will allowed to expire when they finally here. In some cases perhaps. But what happened was doctors is been serving for 15 years at the University and as soon as he said something that some people didn't like the University to disciplinary action. They demoted him.
They harassed and buried near the subjected him to a hostile and humiliating work environment and then they decided they were going to renew his contract. All of that is related to the fact that they didn't like what he said basic First Amendment principles at stake here. The notion that you can government cannot punish people simply because it doesn't like what they say in the academic context. Speaking with conservative groups are holding conservative views should not be a disqualification from academic service. For example, we had a case just a few years ago in North Carolina where a sociologist was denied a promotion because his colleagues didn't like what he said this to Dr. Adams over UNC Wilmington took seven years. During deliberate efforts through three hours and then issued a verdict in favor Dr. Adams saying that the University had no business denying him a promotion simply because he didn't like what he said. The same principle is at stake here, Prof. shouldn't have to fear for their careers when they accept speaking opportunities. They shouldn't have to fear for their careers simply because they hold views. Some people don't like so is this case specific to employees at universities or could it have an impact on students as well.
The case primarily focuses on professors in public universities, but it has implications more broadly. And what happened to Dr. Josephson broadly to students and others may think about it if is a professor of his seniority can be demoted, harassed, and then effectively fired simply because this is something that other people don't like chilling effect will that have on student just starting out. The lesson to that student is to produce yourself.
Don't express your views. That's not the function of the University. That's not why people go to university University or to be able to share other ideas made ideas question the consensus and come up with better alternatives University can punish a professor. This way, especially Prof. of Dr. Joseph seniority has a vast chilling effect both for the professors even for students so this is a free speech case, not a religious liberty case. What is the difference between those two. Sometimes I think we get on, tangled up the two are often related but he missed his Dr. Joe's spoke at a conference off-campus and he spoke about what is the best way of treating patients who are suffering from a particular medical condition and spoke about from a scientific perspective. So it wasn't a religious-based argument is from the scientific and psychiatric experience was the best way of treating patients with this condition in the First Amendment free-speech clause protects the professors ability to express those kinds of viewpoints without having to fear for his career with Dr. Joe's and spoke at the Heritage foundation. He spoke based on what he understood, a psychiatrist, as a clinician based on his years of research and experience counseling patients.
That is where the issue should be engaged. People should have the honesty to engage doctors based on what he said based on the scientific principles we articulated based on the common practices and psychiatric field.
Understanding what the patient is experiencing. Before you rush to prescribe treatment. Any effort to try to mischaracterize that question his motives is fundamentally dishonest and should just be recognized as such. Gender dysphoria is something that we hear in the news a lot that the discussion on this is being shut down.
Is this harmful human harmful to parents and children and lots and lots of people. The fact that it was shut down is of course the basis of your lawsuit and the University should not function this way. Universities increasingly are responding to other voices outside of academia. But what they should and should, and that's not how science proceeds received is not how higher education functions when when University silenced debate specifically limited target certain viewpoints and those who express them for disciplinary action or punitive actions. They filing a core principle of their function in society.
Core reason for their existence and they also First Amendment which departs on our case, but it also discusses against the entire ethos of public education. I wonder if I can ask Dr. Josephson be a little more specific about how the shutting down of this dialogue is hurting parents and children hurting in several ways. One is getting just one message from clinicians that when a child has a feeling that they are the gender officer to their biological sex. They must be affirmed. In this idea. That's the only thing they're hearing in the course of troubles. Many parents so after the heritage speech by the numerous calls from parents from throughout the country literally are saying help help me with my child because this doesn't make sense to me for the educated layperson very little of this makes sense to the and so I try to answer these questions specifically as I can and the parents just need informed information and so when University shut down doesn't provide a block to parents literally don't know where to turn just about out of time for this week.
But before we go, Travis, Miriam, where can I listeners go to learn more about this case. Certainly letting go to any freedoms website ADF legal.org L are also some details about that ADF legal.org Dr. Alan Josephson and Travis Baron you so much for being with us on family policy matters listing the family policy matters. We hope you will join the program and find a student again next to listen to the show online and to learn more about NC families work encourage and inspire families across a lot of our website NC family.that's NC family.org. Thanks again for listening and may God bless you and your friend