September 14, 2011 2:39 pm ET - by Carlos Maza
Fox News has a long history of promoting some of the country’s most vile and aggressive anti-LGBT hate groups. Now, it appears the synergy is growing.
Yesterday, American Family Association (AFA) spokesman Bryan Fischer joined the chorus of right-wingers outraged by ABC’s decision to invite Chaz Bono to participate in this season of Dancing with the Stars (DWTS).
ABC executives are unashamedly preying on her mental illness, cannibalizing her psychologically disturbed soul for ratings and profiting handsomely in the process. This is immoral, uncaring, greedy and just plain wrong.
If "hate" is the opposite of "love," then the producers of "Dancing With the Stars" are the true haters here. ABC is helping to forge the chains that will imprison Chaz Bono for the rest of her life in a dark dungeon of confusion and despair.
This is the same Bryan Fischer who, among other things, has called for the criminalization of homosexuality, deemed homosexuality a health risk, argued that gay people should be disqualified from public office, labeled gay sex a form of “domestic terrorism,” and written that “gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.”
Fischer’s argument rests on the premise that Bono suffers from “gender identity disorder,” according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Fischer writes that ABC should be encouraging him to seek “restorative therapy”:
The bottom line here is that, according to America's mental-health professionals, Chaz Bono is a mentally disturbed individual.
Chaz Bono needs to be helped, not lionized. She needs restorative therapy rather than stardom. She needs to become a patient, not a celebrity.
Anyone who cares genuinely about people will want that for her. No one who loves people would want anyone to be stuck in the swamp of pathologies that accompany such a disorder. When individuals are so mentally unsettled that they start cutting body parts off themselves, it's time to get them some help.
And it is possible for an individual like Chaz to reconcile her psychological identity with her biological identity.
Fischer fails to mention that the APA is also strongly opposed to any effort to discriminate against or stigmatize transgender people and “recognizes the efficacy, benefit and medical necessity of gender transition treatments.” In fact, John Oldham, president of the APA, has explicitly rejected concerns about Bono’s appearance on DWTS, stating that “the APA opposes all forms of discrimination against persons with GID.”
So which medical authority is Fischer relying on to assert that transgender people should undergo so-called “restorative therapy” to escape their “swamp of pathologies?”
None other than Fox News contributor and “Fox News Medical A-Team” expert Dr. Keith Ablow:
As Dr. Keith Ablow of the Fox News Medical A-Team wrote, "It would be wrong to think that gender dysphoria -- discomfort with one's gender -- must always end either in misery or sexual reassignment surgery. It can end with coming to terms with deep psychological conflicts that are fueling the gender dysphoria." Help is possible, and change is possible.
As Equality Matters has noted before, Fox’s Ablow has been leading the charge to target Bono with a laundry list of transphobic misinformation. Ablow has claimed that children watching DWTS might be convinced to become transgender and has accused Bono of suffering from a “psychotic delusion.” As the APA’s Dr. Jack Drescher wrote yesterday, Ablow has been trying to sell his “opinions, scare tactics and inflammatory language” as accurate scientific information, even when he’s clearly at odds with the overwhelming consensus of the medical community.
This is exactly what happens when a “news” network like Fox News tries to pass off an anti-LGBT zealot as some kind of medical expert. Ablow’s membership in Fox’s “Medical A-Team” creates an illusion of credibility that ends up legitimizing his anti-LGBT misinformation and those, like Fischer, who agree with it.
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