Not content with pushing life-altering hormonal and surgical procedures on the children of America, the Biden administration will now be using its foreign embassies and consulates to shove its so-called “gender-affirming” policies down the throats of other nations by pressuring them to ban “conversion therapy” for transgender youths.
An internal memo from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, leaked to the City Journal “by an officer in the department’s Foreign Service,” details efforts by Blinken to enforce President Biden’s June Executive Order instructing federal government agencies to “safeguard LGBTQI+ youth from dangerous practices like so-called ‘conversion therapy.'”
“The Blinken directive effectively turns American consulates and embassies into global ‘gender affirming’ spies,” reports Manhattan Institute fellow Leor Sapir for the City Journal. “Embassies are instructed to ‘submit robust information on the so-called “conversion therapy” practices’ of host countries ‘as part of the annual Human Rights Reports.'”
As with so many phrases the left doesn’t like, the term “conversion therapy” has been redefined by the Biden administration to include any “efforts to suppress or change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,” according to the Executive Order.
College of Pediatricians rebukes transgender health secretary’s claim about gender affirming care for kids https://t.co/4yQs7umB9V
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) June 23, 2022
Traditionally, “conversion therapy” referred to sexual orientation. Phrases such as “pray the gay away” have for years sparked controversy and, as Sapir notes, “the evidence against the practice is strong.” Under the new definition, arguments against “conversion therapy” are also applied to “gender identity,” where, Sapir writes, “studies have consistently shown that cross-gender identification in children is, for the vast majority of those who experience it, a passing phase.”
“This strategy of piggybacking off public ignorance about the difference between homosexuality and transgenderism is by now familiar,” Sapir writes. “And lest it be thought that politicians know better, Biden himself seems unable to differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity.”
To carry out is EO, Biden appointed Jessica Stern as Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons. According to Blinken’s memo, Stern will use the information gathered for the Human Rights Report to “devise an ‘action plan to combat the practice across foreign policy and foreign assistance lines of effort.'”
This presents a problem for countries like Sweden, Finland, and the United Kingdom, whose medical authorities have been pushing back against the “extremely weak” evidence supporting “gender-affirming care” for still-developing children. Finland’s COHERE called hormonal and surgical interventions “experimental,” and the nation, along with Sweden, is “now instructing clinicians who deal with minors to utilize an approach that emphasizes talk therapy as the first line of defense and ‘affirming’ drugs only in extreme situations, if ever,” Sapir reports.
“Sweden has banned gender surgeries for minors—surgeries that are practiced in the United States, notwithstanding the repeated gaslighting of gender clinics and left-of-center media outlets,” he writes.
Make no mistake, “the harms from the new policy will be tangible,” Sapir warns.
Tulsi Gabbard blasts Biden admin for ‘dangerously promoting child abuse’ over gender-affirming care https://t.co/TpMyytlyfq
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 1, 2022
“First, bullying countries into not providing talk therapy to youth in distress over their developing bodies will, if successful, harm gay youth,” he explains. “Gender nonconformity and associated distress are very common phases of gay and lesbian youth development, as confirmed by research, clinical experience, and many firsthand accounts. If not allowed to talk about their feelings, these teenagers will be pumped full of synthetic hormones; some will find themselves under the surgeon’s knife.”
“Second,” he continues, “making ‘gender affirming care’ a foreign policy requirement will dilute the moral authority of America’s broader commitment to human rights.”
“Are foreign leaders now to believe that China’s persecution of its Uyghur minority, Venezuela’s use of arbitrary detentions and torture against regime dissidents, and the Taliban’s systematic oppression of women and girls are all on par with, say, Sweden urging its psychologists to help kids feel comfortable in their own bodies?” he asks.
Sapir notes that the new directive is unlikely to promote “the wellbeing of transgender-identified people,” especially in developing countries where medical services are “subpar.”
“Will the United States use its long financial arm to pressure Sweden, Finland, and the U.K. to restore ‘affirmative care,’ against the judgment of experts in those countries that—unlike here—have conducted systemic evidentiary reviews?” Sapir asks. “Or will the harm be largely symbolic and reputational, underscoring the extent to which American elites are willing to sacrifice reason and common sense to the ever-proliferating and increasingly destructive demands of wokeness?”
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