National Review columnist: Letting trans kids be themselves is ‘child abuse’

By David Ferguson
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 13:54 EDT
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Mona Charen via Facebook
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National Review columnist Mona Charen published a column Tuesday in which she passionately defended anti-LGBT bigotry.

The arch conservative author and pundit wondered why there are no laws protecting straight people from therapists who will turn them gay. She rained scorn and condemnation on a transgender man who wanted to have a child and then flatly labeled any parent’s decision to acknowledge their transgender child’s identity as “child abuse.”

In the column, titled “Our Crazed Sexuality Standards,” Charen assumes the mantle of aggrieved moral scold, lamenting the proliferation of LGBT support groups at colleges and universities. She can think of so many other things that people should call themselves before they identify as LGBT.

“There are limitless identities that students could be encouraged to cultivate as they mature,” she wrote. “A handful that leap immediately to mind: American, humorist, musician, athlete, debater, nature-lover.”

“Instead,” she said, “our universities fall all over themselves to encourage unusual sexual identities, from homosexuality and lesbianism to transgender, bisexual, transsexual, and other.”

“It’s all done in the name of ‘inclusion’ and non-discrimination, but, let’s face it, there’s an element of fashion in it,” she tutted. “Non-traditional sexual behavior is ‘in.’”

Charen expressed a kind of guarded support for the discredited practice of “reparative therapy,” in which Christian counselors attempt to change the sexual orientation and expression of LGBT people, a practice that has been outlawed in California and other U.S. states.

Charen’s complaint is that the laws only forbid people from attempting to coerce patients in one direction. Where are the protections, she asked, for a straight person who “wants to become gay and consults a therapist who wishes to help him make that transition?”

Why, she asked, hasn’t that been outlawed as well?

Charen is also deeply disturbed over the story of a female to male transgender man who took the time to preserve some eggs before transitioning, then decided to have children with his partner.

“I never thought I’d see the words ‘he gave birth to a daughter’ outside of science fiction,” she wrote, “and at the risk of seeming insensitive,” she said, she supports one fertility clinic’s decision to deny the couple assistance with in-vitro fertilization.

She reserved particular scorn, however, for parents who allow their children to “style their hair, wear the clothing, and use the bathrooms of the other sex when they express the urge.”

She is aghast at the state of California’s program allowing transgender students to use the locker rooms and restrooms of their expressed gender, a word that Charen uses in quotes when describing trans youth.

“The state of California requires that students from kindergarten through grade 12 be permitted to choose which ‘gender’ to be associated with (Connecticut and Massachusetts have similar rules),” she wrote incredulously.

To listen to these children and to treat their expressed gender as valid, Charen charged, is “child abuse.”

“This is child abuse,” she stated. “Children pass through phases. Nothing permanent should to be done to any child that is not medically necessary. Suppose a child decided that he wanted to be an amputee or a one-eyed pirate? We’ve lost all common sense in the face of this mania for sexual mutability.”

Luke Brinker at Media Matters wrote, “If Charen is truly interested in rectifying cases of child abuse, she could start by confronting the damage done when parents and family members aren’t accepting of their LGBT children and try to ignore their gender or sexual identities. Inconveniently for Charen, that might require discarding her rabidly anti-LGBT views.”

The National Review was founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley, Jr. with money he inherited from his oil baron father. Since then, the magazine has served as house organ to some of the most retrogressive voices in American conservatism.

National Review writers have argued variously against ending racial segregation in the southern U.S., that Hitler was a left-wing radical and that people of color are inherently more violent, less intelligent and less morally upright than whites.

[image of Mona Charen via Facebook]

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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