Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Mad Mat Staver has gone unhinged again

Mat Staver
Hate group leader Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel
Image via Fox News
Hate group leader Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel) has gone unhinged yet again. Mad Mat simply cannot accept the fact that school districts seek to keep transgender and gender nonconforming students safe. They also strive to provide gender diverse students with an opportunity to succeed. What is wrong with any of that?

According to Staver, in a Christian Newswire press release, it is: 'Transition' Without Parental Consent. As you might expect, Staver is wrong in every conceivable way. According to this fanciful treatise:
The school district of Haverford Township has a harmful policy that permits school staff to facilitate so-called "transition plans" for gender-confused students using taxpayer funds and without parental consent. Policy 259 was adopted by the Haverford Township School Board in 2017 and, as addressed in Liberty Counsel's letter to the school board, has violated the law.
The term “transition plans” is in quotes. I have reviewed the policy. The word transition is used six times, not to form policy but to define what transition means. The word transition never precedes the word plan or plans.

The press release continues:
Policy 259 and its administrative regulation permit school staff to create a social and medical "transition" plan for students who are gender-confused and want hormone drug injections and "gender reassignment" surgery. This policy permits the school to coordinate with health care providers and licensed professionals, seek Medicaid funding, and file "health insurance claims," all without informing parents until it is too late to reverse. School personnel are generally forbidden from disclosing information about a minor's asserted "gender identity" to the student's own parents/guardians, without the consent of the child.
I can visualize the foam coming from Mad Mat's mouth. The word transition is not used in that way within the policy. The word hormones is used only once in a definition of biological sex. The word surgery is never used. The term “gender confused” is bigoted church-speak. Transgender and gender nonconforming kids are not confused. Mat Staver, however, is profoundly confused.

The piece of the policy that has inflamed the crazy people at Liberty Counsel is this (I think):
With respect to student medical records, school nurses and other licensed professionals need accurate and reliable information to confirm a student’s identity. This information is needed in order to ensure that the student receives appropriate care and to enable the school nurse to coordinate care for the student with other health care providers or licensed professionals as well as to file health insurance claims with other organizations such as Medicaid. In the case of a GET [gender expansive or transgender] student, a school nurse should use the student’s chosen name and should use the student’s birth name only when necessary to ensure the student receives appropriate care and to enable the school nurse to coordinate care for the student with other health care providers or licensed professionals as well as to file health insurance claims.
Laws vary from state to state with regard to what treatments a minor may receive without parental consent. Pennsylvania law requires parental consent in almost all circumstances unless a minor is emancipated. The closest we get regarding trans youth is that their psychological care does not require parental consent. In that case, with respect to pharmaceuticals, the exception is limited to the administration of psychotropic medications.

Bottom lineUnemancipated minors cannot receive puberty blockers or hormones without parental consent. Surgery!? Not a chance in hell.

Clearly a student could socially transition without parental consent and the school is obligated to maintain the student's confidentiality. Being one gender in school and another at home would present significant challenges.

The best course of action for a minor whose parents are not supportive is for the child to seek psychological counseling at a clinic and then to have the clinic invite the parents in so that they can be deprogrammed from religious BS.

If that doesn't work then the youth needs to find a pro bono lawyer, starting with the Transgender Law Center at (415) 296-2029. Another resource is the local ACLU chapter. The National Center for Transgender Equality provides valuable information and legal referrals: (202) 642-4542.
Youth in crisis: The Trevor Project: 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).
The bottom line is that Staver, a lawyer, has not bothered to refer to state law. If he has referred to state law then he is not negligent — He is lying. In other words, this is another assemblage of bat guano by Liberty Counsel.

Speaking of aged bat guano, this produced a ten page letter to the school board from Liberty Counsel's Richard L. Mast. Apparently — somehow — Christians are being discriminated against.

To give you a sense of just how spectacularly bat guano crazy this all is, the final three pages of this opus are dedicated to the Weizmann Institute's finding that “Researchers Identify 6,500 Genes That Are Expressed Differently in Men and Women.” What is obvious to sane, rational people is that this has absolutely nothing to do with transgender or gender nonconforming youth.

I only want to quote one paragraph from Mast's letter:
At the outset, both Liberty Counsel and our local contacts love all people yet we believe in lovingly speaking the truth. Our local employee contacts love working with students and desire to assist in their positive development. They would never “discriminate” against a child identifying as the opposite sex, but would at all times treat them with kindness and respect.
Well, I can send email to the school board too. They now know that Liberty Counsel is a hate group and they have been provided with a link to the write-up at Southern Poverty Law Center.

In addition Mast is probably practicing law without a license again. He implies that he is representing parents and employees of the school district. However, he is not licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and Liberty Counsel is not authorized to conduct business in Pennsylvania. I am in the process of writing a letter to the bar association.

In addition to being wrong on the facts and outright nuts, this exercise in stupidity has the potential to create a vast waste of time. The good news is that, if you review the policy that Liberty Counsel objects to, it has been crafted by educational professionals who have taken the time to study the issues associated with transgender and gender nonconforming youth. A letter from some whacked out legal group is unlikely to make much of an impression.

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