Matthew Walsh, a right-wing commentator for the right-wing news outlet "The Daily Wire", speaks during a rally against gender-affirming care in Nashville, Tennessee at the War Memorial Plaza on October 21,2022. (Photo by SETH HERALD / AFP) (Photo by SETH HERALD/AFP via Getty Images)
SETH HERALD/AFP via Getty Images

Opinion

Team Sanity Wins A Major Victory Over The Gender Ideology Cult

DailyWire.com

Last night marked the single most crushing legal defeat that trans activists, corrupt “civil liberties” organizations, big law firms, and Big Pharma have suffered in years. Less than 24 hours ago, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals — which has jurisdiction over Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee — issued a point-by-point refutation of every substantive argument that proponents of transgenderism have made over the past decade. This was not a ruling on technicalities. This was a well-articulated takedown of their claims in every dimension: medical, legal, and logical. And given the makeup of the Supreme Court, we can be pretty confident that this ruling is going to cause major problems for trans activists for the indefinite future. The upshot is that the bans on child gender transitions in both Tennessee and Kentucky will stand. Both can go into effect. When our ban was passed in Tennessee, trans activists gloated that they would easily get it overturned in court. But they failed. We beat them.

In a moment I’m going to get into specific detail about this ruling, what exactly it says, and the context for it. But one of the first takeaways is this: No matter how often you’re smeared as a bigot, no matter how often you’re told to believe a lie and to “trust the experts,” you need to maintain your convictions. If you do that, eventually you will win. And the lives of millions of children will be better off because of it.

You might remember that it was just about a year ago that we ran a series of video clips from Vanderbilt Medical Center in Tennessee. These clips showed that medical professionals at Vanderbilt were pushing experimental operations on young people, including children, who claimed they were transgender and born in the wrong body. In one case that we uncovered, a physician at Vanderbilt admitted that operations like this were a big money maker for the hospital.

This footage, and many other clips and news reports along these lines, spurred lawmakers in Tennessee to take action. In March of this year, the state of Tennessee enacted a, “Prohibition on Medical Procedures Performed on Minors Related to Sexual Identity.” This law banned healthcare providers from “administering or offering to administer” any “medical procedure” to a minor “for the purpose of either “[e]nabling a minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor’s sex” or “[t]reating purported discomfort or distress from a discordance between the minor’s sex and asserted identity.” Basically, this bans cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers.

Among the procedures that were outlawed in Tennessee were operations that involved “[s]urgically removing, modifying, altering, or entering into tissues, cavities, or organs” and “[p]rescribing, administering, dispensing any puberty blocker or hormone.” In effect, this was a total ban on what the media loves to call “gender-affirming care for minors,” which is really a form of castration and mutilation. Kentucky passed a similar law.

WATCH: The Matt Walsh Show

Shortly after this bill was signed into law in Tennessee, a judge by the name of Eli Richardson — appointed by Donald Trump — blocked it. Richardson held that the voters of Tennessee don’t have a right to overrule the “medical experts” who say that minors need cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers. There is a constitutional right, Richardson ruled, for parents to dictate the medical “treatment” of children, as long as major medical associations concur that the treatment is necessary.

This was a bizarre decision, as I outlined on Twitter at the time. There were a lot of obvious holes in Richardon’s reasoning. He cited cases that didn’t support his argument, for example. And he put a lot of faith in activist doctors and quacks, like the ghouls working at WPATH, who constantly change their minds about the so-called “standards of care” of trans patients. But the end result was that Richardson issued an injunction against the state of Tennessee. He prevented the law prohibiting childhood castration, which was passed by democratically elected politicians, from taking effect.

Within days, in an extraordinary move, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals put out a preliminary opinion that rejected Richardson’s opinion and overturned his injunction. The Sixth Circuit allowed the Tennessee law to go into effect, and promised to issue a final ruling on the injunction by September. Last night, that ruling arrived. And it’s everything that parents — and anyone else who cares about children — could have possibly hoped for. It goes far beyond the tepid, wishy-washy down-the-middle approach that we see so often in so many courts. 

For one thing, the Sixth Circuit completely rejects the argument from the ACLU and trans activists that “experts,” “medical associations,” and Big Pharma should be able to overrule the will of the people. You hear this argument often from these activists. They tell you to ignore common sense, and celebrate the butchery of children because the “experts know best.” But last night, the appellate court ruled that if a majority of voters in Tennessee — or any state — think that kids shouldn’t be castrated, then their judgment is what matters. That’s the whole point of living in a democracy, after all. As the decision states: “As long as it acts reasonably, a state may ban even longstanding and non-experimental treatments for children.” In other words, unless voters are doing something that’s clearly going to kill children, then they get to override the “experts.” 

But the Sixth Circuit didn’t stop there. They noted that the “experts” haven’t even come close to proving that these “gender-affirming” treatments do anything productive. Again, from the decision: “European countries that pioneered these treatments now express caution about them and have pulled back on their use. How in this setting can one maintain that long-term studies support their use—and that the Constitution requires it? Until more time has passed, it is difficult to gauge the risks to children.”

The court continues: “The relevant medical and regulatory authorities are not of one mind about the cost-benefit tradeoffs of this care. Consider the work of the Food and Drug Administration, an agency whose existence is premised on a form of medical expertise of its own.  … Gender-transitioning procedures often employ FDA-approved drugs for non-approved, off-label uses.”

The court was particularly harsh on the quacks at WPATH — the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. This is the group that creates the “standards of care” for trans-identifying patients that pretty much every major hospital relies on. The court noted that WPATH first said puberty blockers and hormones should be used on children about a decade ago. Before that, the court noted, “its guidance documents from 1979 to 2000 generally disfavored using puberty blockers or hormones for minors, and only in 2012 did it abandon age limits for cross-sex hormones.” Even now, the court observed, WPATH concedes that data on the long-term consequences of these hormones are “limited.”

Indeed, just before this ruling from the Sixth Circuit came out, we learned that a lot of the key data on puberty blockers — which has been cited by trans activists and doctors for years — is extremely misleading to the point that it’s useless. First, some background. For many years, trans activists and medical associations have said that these puberty blockers are completely harmless. They say they’re a “pause button” on puberty. Here’s one propaganda video on YouTube from one activist group that targets kids, for instance:

Typical trans propaganda. Which is to say, deceptive and absurdly misleading. There’s no discussion in that clip of the potential harms that puberty blockers might cause. Those harms are immense and widespread. And among the harms, is the psychological damage they can cause. Data on this point has been out there for more than a decade, but scientists and researchers didn’t disclose it. Here’s what happened. Back in 2011, researchers in Britain published a highly influential study claiming that, “Overall patient experience of changes on [puberty blocker] treatment was positive. We identified no changes in psychological function.”

Those findings, and similar reports, became gospel among trans activists. The idea was that, on average, puberty blockers either help kids or at least don’t harm them. No peer-reviewed paper was allowed to contest those findings or the data they referenced. But a couple of weeks ago, a retired scientist by the name of Susan McPherson decided to double check that data. She uploaded her research to a “pre-print” website, which doesn’t require peer review and therefore wasn’t censored. McPherson found that the original research from the U.K. was highly misleading. 

Specifically, McPherson determined the research methodology obscured the fact that the mental health of many children on puberty blockers had deteriorated in just 12 months. By relying on group averages, instead of individual data, the researchers in the U.K. had managed to hide this fact.

Essentially McPherson estimated that in reality, the number of children who suffered adverse mental health responses to puberty blockers could have been as high as one-third of children who were on these blockers. And of course, that number would have likely grown, if the researchers had continued monitoring these children past one year. 

Think about that. A third of children on these puberty blockers suffered from deteriorating mental health — in the first year. A failure rate of over 30%in the first year is astonishingly high, and it doesn’t even tell anything close to the whole story. The whole point of drugging the kids after, and altering the natural development of their bodies, was allegedly to improve their mental health. This is supposedly the reason doctors were reducing the bone density of young children, giving many of them early-onset osteoporosis. And yet for roughly a third of these children, it failed. It didn’t just fail to help; it made their mental state worse. And the researchers failed to mention that. They chose to use a method of data analysis which allowed them to simply claim that, overall, the treatments were helpful.

This proves, once again, that there’s no data that actually justifies giving children puberty blockers, much less cross-sex hormones or administering surgeries. It also proves that doctors and “experts” have been lying about the data, as well. Thanks to the Sixth Circuit’s ruling, these experts can say what they want, and it really doesn’t matter anymore. None of their half-baked studies provide any legal justification to overturn the will of the voters, as the court ruled. And if the Sixth Circuit had stopped here, that would be a major win for children. 

But the appellate court didn’t simply reject the bunk science behind puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. They also went after other common arguments from trans activists, including this idea that they’re a “marginalized” group that deserves special legal protections. Here’s how the court responded to that claim: “The President of the United States and the Department of Justice support the plaintiffs …. The major medical organizations support the plaintiffs. And the only large law firms to make an appearance in the case all entered the controversy in support of the plaintiffs. These are not the hallmarks of a skewed or unfair political process.”

In other words, when every lawyer, medical organization, and government agency is on your side, you’re not marginalized. This is an obvious point to make, but as far as we can tell, this is the first time that any appeals court in this country has made it. Trans activists and politicians get a lot of mileage out of their false claims of victimhood, while they’re busy punching everyone else in the face. They’ve been using that tactic in the courts, too. Now it’s been rejected.

For good measure, the Sixth Circuit went on to reject the argument from trans activists that we should always defer to what parents want. You often hear trans activists and many Democrats trot this line out. Half the time they’re saying kids should be able to hide their alleged “sexuality” from their parents, and the other half of the time they’re saying parents know best and we should always defer to their judgment, even if they want to castrate their kids. Here’s how the court responded to that latter argument: “Parents usually do know what’s best for their children and in most matters (where to live, how to live, what to eat, how to learn, when to be exposed to mature subject matter) their decisions govern until the child reaches 18. But becoming a parent does not create a right to reject democratically enacted laws.”

So trans activists, the ACLU, and the politicians need to go back to the drawing board at this point. There’s going to be more litigation in this case, and in many other cases like it around the country. But every single one of their major arguments has just been forcefully rejected in a federal appellate court. For a long time now, courts have been cowed by the lies of “experts” and the false claims of victimhood by these activists. Finally, an appellate court has stepped up and said that none of their claims matter. Principles of self-governance matter. Protecting children matters. What voters want matters — not what Big Pharma wants.

Trans activists and the ghouls who profit from butchering children will regroup. But what happened last night is the clearest sign yet that they will not win. Last night, Americans who believe in self-representation and the well-being of children prevailed over demagogues pushing oligarchy and child butchery. This is a win that trans activists didn’t see coming. It’s a win that many on the Right didn’t see coming. And many more victories like this are on the way. 

As the Sixth Circuit noted in its decision last night, 19 states have passed similar laws. What we need now is for appellate courts in those states to uphold all of those laws. And if they don’t, we need to take it to the Supreme Court. The Sixth Circuit’s ruling is a clear sign — maybe the best sign yet — that our work is paying off. All that’s left to do is to take this work to its conclusion and ban this barbarism nationwide. 

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