Fox News contributor and radio host Laura Ingraham still doesn't understand the most basic facts about gender identity in young children, but that isn't stopping her from giving terrible advice to parents and school administrators working to protect transgender youth.
During the May 30 edition of her radio show, Ingraham discussed an Associated Press story about a gender variant 10-year-old, Ryan, who is biologically male but identifies as female. After several failed attempts to get Ryan more interested in "traditional boy things," Ryan's parents decided to abide by their child's request to refer to her as a female.
Ingraham cited the story as evidence of a "new gender-bending phenomenon," suggesting that parents are "pushing kids" to identify as transgender and peddling a number of common misconceptions and children and gender identity:
INGRAHAM: 10 years old. This is an AP report. And it's part of our examination of this new gender-bending phenomenon, which clearly is facilitated and encouraged by a popular culture that seems to have concluded that, you know, traditional gender roles are yesterday's news. It's all very antiquated. That we have to have an evolving view of gender. Just because you were born a girl or a boy, so what? Get past it if you want to. And if you want to we'll encourage you. Not just encourage you, we may actually encourage you to go to a hospital as a prepubescent and start undergoing medical procedures and hormone treatments that delay the natural.
It's got to be confusing for kids. I mean I am just a throwback I guess. All of this stuff just seems wild to me. But this what has not only been pushed in the film world and the world of literature. We are always pushing, pushing, pushing. And kids really can't be kids any longer. They have to be sexual beings at age 6 -- 5 even.
[T]his pushing kids into a box -- you are transgender, you are this, you are that. How about they're just kids first. And provides no time for them to grow and maybe grow past their current fascination with -- whether it's trucks for a girl or fairy princesses for a boy.
So that's -- it's normal for kids to experiment. They wear different things. But now it becomes their identity. And I am not saying some of these kids don't end up sexually in different places, I don't know. But I know when they're kids, their brains have not developed. You don't have your -- your sexual being even if you can have sex, your sexual being, from everything I have read from all the accomplished psychotherapists and everyone who has examined this, your sexual, quote, identity is really not solidified until much later on.
I just think of friends of mine who have large families and would be like, get the dress off. Take the dress off, we are going to go out and play some football. Paint. Whatever we want to do. But you're not wearing the dress. But instead it's, 'wear the dress.' And 'we're validating you.' And again, this is not a 17 year old, this is a 10 year old. And other stories that we have shared with you, as young as 5 and 6 years old.
This isn't the first time Ingraham has attempted to shame parents for supporting their transgender children, so it's naturally not the first time she's been dead wrong about the best way to treat gender variant youth. But her ideas aren't just "throwback," as she puts it. They're dangerous, and they're totally inconsistent with the views of experts who've studied gender identity in children:
WND has published a series of unhinged and flagrantly homophobic columns in response to the vote to allow openly gay youth into the Boy Scouts of America.
In the week following the Boy Scouts' May 23 decision to accept openly gay youth into the organization, WND has published responses from some of America's most notorious anti-LGBT activists, each peddling the myth that the BSA's decision will increase rates of pedophilia and other forms of sexual abuse.
In a May 24 column, Liberty Counsel spokesman Matt Barber claimed that the BSA's decision was "rooted in pure evil" and joked that camping trips would have to include a disco ball to accommodate gay scouts:
Ultimately, this decision had nothing to do with "tolerance" or "inclusivity." Neither did it concern the best interests of the boys who make up Boy Scouting. Instead, this decision was rooted in pure evil. It had everything to do with money. "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Timothy 6:10).
And wandered from the faith they have.
Now come the many griefs.
What a camping trip! Imagine the pup tent. Your son and Jimmy - who's got a crush on him - along with Billy and Billy's boyfriend Bobby, all snuggly warm in the middle of nowhere. But make room for Sammy (formerly Suzie) and Sammy's boyfriend Gary (formerly Gertrude).
Don't forget to hang the disco ball.
In a May 27 column, conservative commentator Mychal Massie warned that boys would be "brainwashed" into accepting homosexuality and claimed that boys would be "coerced into homosexual behavior" because of their hormones:
Why should we be spending money fighting lawsuits and/or endangering our children by knowingly giving predators and the deluded access to our boys? Sensitivity is about not picking on someone who is different. Sensitivity is not synonymous with having our children brainwashed into accepting that which is aberrant as normal.
Let me also point out there is a reason boys and girls are separated in organizations such as this. Amongst other reasons, it has to do with hormones. Are we now supposed to believe that some of our boys will not be coerced into homosexual behavior?
In a May 26 column titled "Texas Boy Scout Massacre," Linda Harvey, founder of the anti-gay hate group Mission America, claimed that the BSA would actively cover up instances of sexual abuse by scouts in order to defend their gay-inclusive membership policy:
They have power now, they will use it and it won't be done responsibly. It won't be child-friendly and it will cost the families of America.
As time rolls on, there will be incidents of abuse. Will the Boy Scout organization report these? Let's not kid ourselves. They just showed how compromised/intimidated/clueless they are. Expect cover-up upon cover-up in the future, eventually resembling the Catholic Church scandal.
And sadly, many parents have no clue, thinking, what's the harm? Where's the threat? An openly homosexual 12 year old in my son's troop - what's the big deal? They don't know the possible risks, because compromised churches have bought the lie and are too sheltered to know what they are dealing with.
Notoriously homophobic WND columnist Les Kinsolving recycled his go-to anti-gay talking point, that accepting gay youth had paved the way for the Boy Scouts to accept other "sexual orientations," including bestiality:
This 60 percent actually approved a measure that said no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts "on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone."
Can you believe this?
Believe it - and realize that this statement inevitably proclaims that the Boy Scouts will not reject any boy who has engaged in coprophilia, pedophilia, bestiality or any of the many other alternative sexual orientations.
854 adults stamped a "bull's eye" on the Boy Scouts as pederast targets.
Now, bigger and/or more manipulative lads, with cell phones and other pornography resources stirring their sinews, will greedily entrap any and all boys who seem easy prey.
Eroticize the campsite and you eroticize boys to one another and to their leaders. "Gay Scoutmasters" will arrive soon to "help" "their" lads, to train and encourage them - to believe they are naturally "that way."
The recent brutal slaying of a gay man in New York City had all the trappings of a national news story, so why was it ignored by major cable news outlets?
On May 17, Mark Carson was shot in the face and killed while walking home in New York's Greenwich Village by a man who pelted him with anti-gay slurs and asked, "You want to die tonight?" Carson's alleged killer, Elliot Morales, reportedly laughed as he was arrested by police, bragging about what he had done.
The incident highlights a recent spike in anti-gay hate crimes both in New York City and across the country. Days after Carson's death, community members staged a massive rally against anti-gay violence featuring several city mayoral candidates.
Carson's death was also symbolically significant. The shooting took place just blocks away from the Stonewall Inn, considered by many to be the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement. And the brutal hate crime comes in the wake of growing acceptance of LGBT people, with three more states adopting marriage equality just in the past several weeks.
But despite the significance of Carson's death, cable news outlets largely ignored the incident, opting instead to continue obsessively reporting on the trial against Jodi Arias, a woman who has been convicted of murdering her boyfriend.
According to an Equality Matters analysis, while all three major cable news networks extensively covered Arias' trial and her plea to jurors to avoid the death penalty, CNN spent less than one minute discussing Carson's murder, and Fox News ignored the story completely:
Fox News ignored the brutal murder of a gay man in New York City, which has been labeled a hate crime by local police, while CNN underreported the story. Even though the attack is part of a disturbing spike in anti-gay violence in New York, the cable networks instead focused on covering the proceedings in the trial against Jodi Arias.
As the Boy Scouts prepare to vote on whether to change the organization's ban on openly gay members, news outlets should resist the urge to let anti-gay activists frame the debate around concerns about pedophilia and sexual abuse.
On May 23, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will vote on a proposal that would rescind the organization's ban on openly gay scouts but maintain a ban on gay adults serving in leadership positions.
The "compromise" proposal is clearly meant to assuage right-wing fears that openly gay scout leaders might engage in pedophilia - a fear that was given plenty of airtime in February when the BSA first considered changing its policy:
But the compromise proposal hasn't silenced anti-gay groups like the American Family Association (AFA) and Family Research Council (FRC), which continue to warn that allowing gay people into the BSA would increase the risk of inappropriate sexual behavior and sexual abuse. OnMyHonor.net, one of the groups leading the effort against the compromise proposal, lists sexual abuse as one of its primary concerns about accepting gay scouts (emphasis in original):
Based upon personal and candid conversations with BSA officials at the highest levels, the BSA is fully aware that this proposed resolution will absolutely increase the risk of boy-on-boy sexual contact in Scouting... Enacting this resolution will result in more ugly litigation and will further the public scandal to the BSA, not to mention the tragedy of countless boys who will experience sexual, physical and psychological abuse.
The "gays are pedophiles" talking point, of course, has been widely debunked by child welfare experts and has no basis in reality. Even the BSA acknowledges that the threat of sexual abuse by gay members is a myth, stating:
[T]he BSA makes no connection between the sexual abuse or victimization of a child and homosexuality. The BSA takes strong exception to this assertion. Some of the nation's leading experts reinforce this position.
The BSA has stringent polices that protect the safety and privacy of youth and adult members and has always worked to ensure that it is a supportive and safe environment for young people.
But this consensus from child welfare experts apparently wasn't enough to stop mainstream media outlets from obsessively debating the homosexuality-pedophilia connection in February. On Fox News, for example, discussions of pedophilia tainted more than two-thirds of the network's coverage of the Boy Scouts' ban:
When the BSA votes on its compromise proposal, media outlets should refuse to allow anti-gay activists - many of whom have histories of extreme anti-gay commentary - to hijack their coverage in order to peddle damaging and discredited smears about gay people.
Fox News chose to ignore the historic passage of marriage equality in Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota, opting instead to promote a handful of asinine horror stories about same-sex marriage.
Fox News viewers are likely unaware that three states - Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota -voted to legalize same-sex marriage over the past three weeks. That's because Fox News spent a total of one minute covering the stories, according to an Equality Matters analysis:
While CNN and MSNBC both covered the developments, Fox News made only three mentions of the passage of marriage equality in Rhode Island, entirely ignoring the new law in Delaware.
Fox News spent one minute covering the historic legalization of same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota over the past several weeks. According to an Equality Matters analysis, the network completely ignored the passage of marriage equality legislation in Delaware and made only passing mentions of Rhode Island and Minnesota's new marriage laws.
The crew at Fox & Friends can't handle the fact that government documents are beginning to acknowledge same-sex couples, blaming the "P.C. Police" for new, gay-inclusive language on federal student aid forms.
In April, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it would be making minor changes to the language used on its Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to recognize families headed by same-sex couples, including replacing the terms "Mother/Stepmother" and "Father/Stepfather" with the terms "Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent)" and "Parent 2 (father/mother/stepparent)."
During the May 10 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy criticized the change, warning that "the P.C. police are loose in the federal government":
As the Fox & Friends crew struggled to think of reasons to criticize the language change - like co-host Gretchen Carlson's concern that parents will "start fighting over which one is 1 and which one is 2" -- Fox's chyron displayed several headlines suggesting that the new language somehow punished heterosexual parents:
Later in the show, the Fox & Friends crew returned to the subject, again displaying a "P.C. police" graphic and airing viewer complaints about the language change, including one comment that a couple is "now having a domestic dispute" because they can't agree on which parent should be deemed "#1":
In reality, the minor change in FAFSA language is a "fair, effective, and efficient" way to reduce bias that discriminates against students raised in same-sex households who seek financial aid to fund their college education. Fox's outrage over such a common sense change is just the latest example of the network's inability (or unwillingness) to accept and recognize same-sex relationships.
Breitbart.com is promoting the theory that Hitler was secretly gay, playing into one of the most extreme and damaging anti-gay smears in right-wing politics: that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust.
In a May 9 post, Breitbart.com touted "new evidence" that Hitler was gay, citing a Washington Examiner article that highlighted notes taken from interviews with several of Hitler's doctors. The "evidence" of Hitler's alleged homosexuality includes the claims that Hitler took female hormones and did not sleep in the same bedroom as his girlfriend and eventual wife, Eva Braun:
There is new evidence that Adolph Hitler was gay. Doctors who treated Hitler were interviewed by the U.S. Army after World War II, and the notes from those interviews have now been made public.
Army interrogator Herman Merl, who was a medical technician who interviewed Hitler's doctors, Karl Brandt and Hitler's primary physician, Theodor Morell, wrote "Homosex" in the space provided for Hitler's sexuality. The doctors told Merl that Hitler did not sleep with girlfriend Eva Braun in her bedroom, and he himself received female hormones. Merl wrote, "Eva Braun = separate rooms" and "female hormone - injection 50,000 units." He added, "His sexual life and intercourse with Eva Braun was told to me."
The theory that Hitler was secretly gay isn't new in right-wing circles - anti-gay extremists like Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association have been making similar claims for years. In fact, the "Hitler was gay" claim is part of a broader anti-gay smear which posits that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust and that Hitler intentionally sought out homosexuals for his "inner circle" because their "unusual brutality" made them well-suited to carry out mass genocide.
That myth has been widely debunked, of course, and the reality is that gay people were the victims, not the perpetrators, of the Holocaust.
Breitbart.com's post, with its blaring headline and ominous picture, continues a long tradition in right-wing media of grasping at straws to suggest some link between homosexuality and one of worst human rights atrocities in history.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones went on a rambling, transphobic rant during his radio show, warning that protecting the rights of transgender people will cause them to start "vomiting and crapping all over the place."
During the April 30 edition of his radio show, Jones launched a screed against the "globalist mafia," which he blamed for efforts to reduce discrimination against transgender people. After claiming that he isn't bothered by transgender people - but that their "fake rights" don't exist - Jones warned that "transvestites" would "throw up all over the walls" in public bathrooms. He continued by peddling a number of outrageous, damaging stereotypes about transgender people:
JONES: They're saying in high schools, in junior highs now, they're going to have - men can decide to be in the women's bathroom if they want. You're like 'well big deal, that's their gender.' It's all about these fake rights that don't exist versus my basic liberty being taken. It's not that I'm against people that think they're a woman or a man or whatever. I don't even care. Give me a break. It's not even on my radar screen. I could care less. I care about people.
I dealt at Access TV with a famous Austin transvestite, who died a few years ago, who they're talking about building a statue to, going in the bathroom, men and women, and vomiting all over the walls when they would do whatever they were doing in there. I mean, I'm talking about several transvestites cramming their way into the men's bathroom, the women's bathroom. You'd go in there to comb your hair before you went on air, there they were. And they finally got thrown out of there because of it and said it was because of discrimination because they were transvestites. No. It was because whatever they were injecting in there made them throw up all over - I mean imagine every week throw up all over the walls. And then I had an office by this guy. The bad luck is I had an office where we would look down, turned out he lived around the block, and I would have to watch him every day in the cheerleader outfit, through my office window, on the air, doing deals and stuff in cars and stumbling around everywhere. And then I'm not a trendy because I don't bow down. I had to go in there store, there was a grocery store next door... you know with crap dripping down his leg, stinking. And I'm supposed to just go 'oh, you're a trendy with rotten teeth hanging out of your head, and a weird bald head, you're in a dress. Here, here, here, here, please, please more diarrhea running down your leg.
I don't want my daughters growing up in a country where some transvestite comes walking into the thing hopped out of their brain on drugs vomiting and crapping all over the place. [emphasis added]