Confronting Boston's sex-change insurance proposal

source: http://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen2/14b/Boston-city-trans-health-ins/index.html

From: MassResistance <update@massresistance.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:37:58 -0400
To: <update@massresistance.org>
Subject: Confronting Boston's sex-change insurance proposal

April 17, 2014
MassResistance Update
Pro-family activism

"In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
- George Orwell

1. Boston City Council proposing to require city employee health insurance to pay for sex-change operations and other "transgender" treatments. MassResistance's reaction quoted in mainstream media.

Update on bill filed in Mass. Legislature to free Justina Pelletier: Keep calling and emailing!

1. Boston City Council proposing to require city employee health insurance to pay for sex-change operations and other "transgender" treatments. MassResistance's reaction quoted in mainstream media.

On Wednesday, April 16, two members of the Boston City Council introduced an ordinance to require that health insurance for city employees cover "transgender" sex-change procedures, including hormone treatments and "gender reassignment" surgery. This is the latest demand of the homosexual / transgender movement in many cities across the country.

Who would have ever imagined something like this even a decade ago?

It was introduced by City Councilors Michelle Wu and Ayanna Pressley, two of the most liberal on an already left-wing Boston City Council. They worked closely with local homosexual activists, according to press reports. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, an aggressive pro-homosexual advocate, told the press that he is "wholeheartedly in support" of it.

Supporting her constituency. Michelle Wu, co-sponsor of transgender insurance ordinance, marches in Boston Gay Pride Parade in 2013.
[MassResistance photo]

It was applauded by the usual crowd. "This ordinance is a pivotal step toward ensuring that transgender city workers have access to comprehensive healthcare coverage just like all other city workers," Kara Coredini, Executive Director of the LGBT lobbying group MassEquality told the press.

MassResistance reaction in the press

MassResistance gave its reaction -- which was covered in the Boston Globe and Channel 5 TV. And we didn't hold back for the liberal media.
Boston Globe coverage of ordinance featured MassResistance's uncompromising reaction.
As the Boston Globe reported on April 14:

Not everyone sees the proposed ordinance as positive, or agrees that hormones and surgery are proper treatment for those who identify as transgender. The leader of MassResistance, a nonprofit conservative advocacy group in Waltham, called the proposed ordinance "a sad example of science fiction over science."

"The medical community has always considered 'gender identity' confusion as a mental health issue," said Brian Camenker, executive director of MassResistance. "Attempting to 'treat' someone with sex hormones or body mutilating surgery may please the political activists but only makes things much worse for the individual."

That evening, Boston's WCVB Channel 5 also did a report also featuring MassResistance:

Ch. 5 TV News: "Giving people hormones and body mutilation surgery only makes it worse. This is being done to please a political agenda," Brian Camenker of MassResistance told Channel 5 News.

In other words: What other mental health issue is treated by amputating parts of the body?

Movement's goal: Sex-change insurance coverage mandatory nationwide!

According to a number of sources, this is part of an overall strategy to eventually make coverage of transgender hormone treatments and sex-change surgery mandatory for all health insurance nationwide. The national groups
"Human Rights Campaign" and "Lambda Legal"
are providing ammunition for this push.

The tactics are similar to those the homosexual movement used pushing "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" non-discrimination laws throughout America. In both cases, they started with private corporations, then some small cities and towns, then bigger cities in liberal areas, and eventually capturing entire states. In this case, they sometimes start with "lower level" mandates, such as hormone treatment, and then later push for full sex-change surgery coverage.

Mandating insurance support for sex "transitioning" is being seen across the country. As the Globe reported in its article:

Transgender city workers are guaranteed medical treatment by statutes in San Francisco; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; Washington, D.C.; and other US cities, according to Andrew Cray, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan educational institute in Washington, D.C . . . [R]egulators in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon, and Vermont have mandated that private insurance plans in those states cover transgender health services for residents.

Trying to keep Boston's "100% pro-LGBT" rating intact

As part of that push, the national radical LGBT group
Human Rights Campaign now requires cities to include sex-change operations to get their coveted 100-percent pro-LGBT rating, similar to the rating they give large corporations. And the local radical lobby will not settle for anything less, and clearly has the power to enforce that.

As the Globe reported:

An attorney for the Human Rights Campaign, a national civil rights organization, said the group this year will begin to include transgender treatment coverage for city employees as a criterion in its Municipal Equality Index, which rates cities on their inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents and visitors.

Last year, Boston scored a perfect 100 on the scale, but it could not do so again in 2014 without mandating that coverage, said Cathryn Oakley, the organization's legislative council for state and municipal advocacy.

Among other things, this policy would certainly attract some very disturbed people to work for the City of Boston. Is this really what the citizens want?

Is this the future? Men with hormone-induced breasts and women with hormone-induced beards march in downtown Northampton, Mass. in 2008.
[MassResistance photo]

Text of ordinance: false and misleading statements as justification

As usual for these kinds of political efforts by the sexual radical movement, the text of the ordinance includes as justification a number of statements presented as "fact" which are either grossly misleading or outright false -- cleverly woven together to give the sense of serious medical data. It is Orwellian in its inversion of truth. For example:

1. It uses the weak term "gender dysphoria." The older term, "gender identity disorder," was previously the standard medical description until the LGBT movement pressured the medical community to water it down to a "dysphoria".

2. It uses the transgender organization World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) as if it were a legitimate medical resource, but in fact it is a group of radical transgender activists and medical professionals who intimidate other medical associations into accepting their "findings" (in order to be seen as non-discriminatory).

3. It lists several prominent national professional associations (American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, etc.) that they say have "consensus" that hormones and body-mutilating surgeries are "appropriate" and "effective". But none of these groups' statements point to any legitimate studies. Instead, they just commit to non-discrimination in "treating" transgender patients. But the manner of treatment is left undefined.

4. It claims that the surgery and other treatment is "the only safe and effective medical treatment option" for some people. But is it? The phenomenon of hormone injections and surgeries is so new -- only done in the last few decades -- that it is virtually impossible to claim long-term positive health outcomes. In fact, the AMA and APA admit that transgender health care is still a "controversial" area.

5. It claims that not providing these treatments brings higher risk of suicide. Where are the studies confirming that? Some research suggests the opposite. In 2010 the
Journal of Homosexuality reported on a review of studies that suggest that people having "gender reassignment surgery" commit suicide at alarmingly higher rates than average. There is no question that people with gender identity disorders have a much higher suicide rate (as much as nine times higher) than the general population. Common sense would suggest that the best treatment is a mental health counseling approach, not a physical body change approach.

6. What it doesn't tell you: Over a decade ago, Johns Hopkins University Hospital completely disbanded its "sex-change" program. The program's director, Prof. Paul McHugh, wrote, "I have witnessed a great deal of damage from sex-reassignment . . . We have wasted scientific and technical resources and damaged our professional credibility by collaborating with madness rather than trying to study, cure, and ultimately prevent it." We couldn't agree more.

But will anyone in the Boston City Council challenge any of this nonsense? We don't think so.

The huge need to tell the truth

How do you fight this? As we have shown, there is at least one thing that everyone can do that makes a difference: Tell the truth without backing down.

This ordinance is an example of how the Left's world is built on lies and intimidation. They depend on the silence and fear of regular people to push their agenda. Any textbook on confronting a totalitarian environment always begins with the requirement of telling the truth without any compromise. If you just do that, you're having a positive effect! And not doing so gives their side a tighter grip on the public's perceived definition of reality.

There is a disturbing trend by pro-family groups around the country to be moderate and inoffensive when dealing with this issue, so as not to antagonize the LGBT movement and the media. They either (1) avoid the subject entirely; or (2) concede major points but quibble with a minor part of it, such as saying that transsexuals may "need" surgery but it ought not be paid for by the taxpayer; or (3) simply say that the whole thing is something they "disagree with" because of "religious freedom" or similar non-threatening reasoning. Thus, handing a victory for the other side.

Even in seemingly overwhelming circumstances like this, it is necessary to continue fighting harder than ever. We are convinced that in the long run it's worth it.

Potential (or current?) City of Boston employees marching in the Gay Pride Parade (left) and attending a transgender bill public hearing at the State House (right).
[MassResistance photos]

2. Update on bill filed in Mass. Legislature to free Justina Pelletier: Keep calling and emailing!

We wanted Justina to be home for Easter. And apparently she won't even be able to see her parents on Easter.

We have been told by people in the offices of the House Democrat leadership that they have been getting a flood of phone calls and emails from Massachusetts and around the country on bill
HD 4212, written by MassResistance, which would free Justina Pelletier from state custody.

We have definitely gotten their attention. Outrageously, the Democrat leaders in the Massachusetts House of Representatives are still blocking it. But we're just getting started!

Justina's health has seriously deteriorated since being
taken from her parents, who are only allowed 1-hr visits!

Bill ignored in Wednesday's formal session

On Tuesday, the bill was officially sent to the Rules Committee. It still is not posted on the State House website, but that delay is routine for late-filed bills.

Normally, a late-filed bill can linger in the Rules Committee for weeks, and then in a subsequent committee before seeing any floor action. But in fact, the House leadership can - if they desire -- instantly get it out of committee and bring it to the floor. It happens quite frequently.

On Wednesday there was a "formal session" of the House. Bill HD 4212 was not taken up, despite discussions we had earlier in the week with various staffers - who are almost unanimously supportive -- to try to get it on the fast track. But there will be more opportunities coming up.

The Massachusetts State House is where the battle is being fought now!

Shameful inaction from Democrat leadership continues

There's no question that there is a lot of "personal" compassion for Justina in the State House on both sides of the aisle. But there is still reluctance to take action. We believe it's due to the usual political arrogance, fear, and corruption. The Democrats don't want to oppose the Governor. The Republicans don't want to be viewed as "extreme." Neither wants to antagonize judges in the state, or cross the DCF special interests on this. But a loud outcry from citizens could overcome all that.

Nevertheless, the Democrats hold the power to make this happen but are holding it up. They can't blame the Republicans, who would probably vote for it, no matter what their rhetoric is at this point, if it came up for a vote.

What you can do: Keep up the pressure & spread the word!

The State House is open on Friday, though probably mostly staff will be there. But it's closed on Monday for Patriots Day and the Boston Marathon. So Tuesday is when the heavy action begins again.

Right now we are encouraging people to keep calling and emailing
the Democrat House leadership. They are the ones keeping the bill bottled up. We can't let up on them! Instead of a hundred calls a day -- let's make it thousands!

We also have some ideas on revving up our State House strategy even more. We won't let them get comfortable. Make sure to check our
Free Justina Action page
next week for more details.

We continue to believe wholeheartedly that this bill -- HD 4212 -- is the most direct way to get Justina freed. And it gives everyone across the country an opportunity to do something that makes a difference!

This protester outside the courthouse back in February pretty much says it for all of us.

Other actions going on to help Justina

Other groups are trying other ways to help free Justine. Two of the latest:

1. House Budget Item filed by Republicans. The House has released its preliminary budget, and amendments to the budget are now being considered. Last week two Republicans filed an amendment to the budget that (1) requires the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to prepare a report on the funds spent on this case; (2) to spend no more money on this case until the report is released; and (3) while the report is being prepared, "Justina Pelletier is to be remanded back to the custody of her family to receive proper medical and emotional care."

Will it work? Possibly. But it would have to go through the same Democrat leadership as HD 4212, and budget amendments are tricky without overwhelming support. Plus, the budget must also go through the same process in the Senate, and could take until July to get resolved. In other words, it can't happen fast.

2. Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Liberty Counsel. This is certainly a shrewd and bold move. We applaud them for doing it. In a normal place, it would be a no-brainer that Justina would be back home in ten minutes from that. But here, it could take weeks or months to work itself through the hostile Massachusetts court system, and who knows how it might end up?

We're also continuing to stay in touch with our contacts in Washington DC regarding national legislation and other activity that might be going on.

Let's all keep up this fight. Keep checking our Free Justina page!

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