Jennifer Roback Morse

Jennifer Roback Morse has done a great deal of whining lately about her Ruth Institute being designated a hate group by Southern Poverty Law Center. Rather than addressing the issue, Morse seeks to delegitimize SPLC’s designation. She certainly has not modified her hateful behavior as evidenced by an email from her today with the subject: Growing up with a trans dad. She cannot help herself:

When I was at Mass Resistance’s “Teens4Truth” conference in Texas this past November, I met Denise Schick and learned her heart-breaking story of growing up with a transgender father.

In early October I wrote about Teens4Truth and the collection of anti-LGBT misfits that a rabid Texas hate group had assembled. If Morse is just a misunderstood religious advocate, as she claims, what is she doing at a Mass Resistance event?

Denise Shick
Denise Shick

The defining characteristic of a hate group is their marginalization of a minority group. Denise Shick (not Schick) is not representative of anything. She has bizarrely written things like: “Just Because Your Transgender Parent Isn’t Messing With You Doesn’t Mean It Doesn’t Happen.” Shick also claims to be an expert on human sexuality and is utterly clueless. Is there no one more credible for Morse to cite? Even Shick’s Kentucky nonprofit seems to be lifeless. In 2016 it reported no revenues and ended the year assetless.

Morse continues:

Despite what the liberal media may tell you, it DOES matter what gender your parents are and what gender they pretend to be.

Morse is not informed through so-called liberal media which is fine. However, she is also not informed through medical science which is not fine if she is going to posture herself as having expertise. The notion that transgender people are pretending to be something that they are not is nonsensical babble. In point of fact transgender people are conforming to their gender which is incongruent with their natal sex. In real life gender prevails over sex.

If Morse would prepend her statements with something like “The Catholic Church teaches us” she would probably not find herself described as a hate group leader. Morse attempts to pass off her bigotry as something steeped in secular logic. Her spew is neither secular nor logical.

What follows is a link to a Shick’s podcast which I have not listened to (hey, I’m only human). I will take it as a given that Shick’s father was a crappy parent, although that is not necessarily the case. Just as there are very good parents among cisgender heterosexuals there are very good transgender parents. There are legions of terrible, simply awful, parents who are married cisgender heterosexuals.

Among those horrid parents are fundamentalist Christians who treat their LGBT children as if they are demon-possessed monsters. The odd irony is that Morse is encouraging such child abuse. It contributes to kids getting kicked out when they come out. Morse advocates the kind of seductive tough-love gibberish that has never turned a single gay kid straight or remedied a case of gender dysphoria.

Morse is stereotyping the entire transgender community based upon one person’s unsubstantiated anecdotes. She is willing to do this because Shick is saying what she wants to hear.

In the final analysis Morse is intentionally confusing causation and correlation to denigrate a group of people that she disapproves of. That makes her a hate group leader not to mention someone who is intellectually dishonest. If Shick’s father was not a good parent it was not because she was transgender. She was an irresponsible parent who happened to be transgender. Chances are pretty good that he would have been a poor parent regardless of sexuality (I am doing my best with pronouns).

I will not deny the reality that transgender parenting creates challenges for parent and child. However the adversity is certainly not insurmountable. Let us start with the good faith premise that most parents are going to try to do what is in the best interests of their children regardless of their sexuality.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.