Isabella Chow is now the object of community disapproval. It is comparable to the disapproval that she would expose LGBT students to.

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute – Unknown date

Image: Interframe Media

Laurie Higgins is the lead propagandist for Illinois Family Institute, an anti-LGBT hate group. Wednesday, Higgins was defending Isabella Chow. Chow is a member of the UC Berkeley student senate and abstained from a vote condemning the Trump administration’s initiative to make gender synonymous with sex.

Efforts by conservative Christians to make Chow some sort of hero and, at the same time, a victim of dreaded LGBT “activists” are the only reason that I know about the existence of Ms. Chow. According to Higgins:
LGBT Indoctrination Leads to Ignorance and Tyranny. Tyranny, mind you. Higgins attempts to obscure her mediocre intellect with verbosity.

The moving parts

The New York Times has a draft memorandum that was apparently written by, or at the direction of, Roger Severino, the conservative Catholic lawyer who is the director of the Office of Civil Rights at HHS. The venerable NY Times probably has the draft because Severino wanted them to have the draft knowing that they would expose it. At the time (October 22) I thought that it might have been an effort to affect the midterms. Who knows? According to the Times:

The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.

What the administration might be proposing is conclusively at odds with established medical science. Gender and natal sex are separate and independent constructs. Were that not the case then there would be no people with gender dysphoria (to the astonishment of medical science) which means that there would be no transgender people.

The only reason that people are transgender in the first place is that their gender and sex are incongruent. Emotionally, gender prevails over sex. Medical science has understood this for the better part of the last hundred years.

Early in his papacy Pope Francis’ favorite hobby was playing doctor and assailing “gender theory” which morphed into “gender ideology” which is theological gibberish. Conservative evangelical Christians were already on board. Apparently their god is insulted by the proposition that gender and sex lack the binary simplicity expressed in scripture. This is the intellectual equivalent of forcefully arguing in favor of geocentrism, based on scripture of course.

Enter Ms. Chow

The Berkeley student senate was voting on a bill to condemn the administration’s proposed efforts to strip transgender people of their very legal existence. I am unable to fathom what effect this bill will have on UC Berkeley. It passed 17-0 with Isabella Chow abstaining.

Higgins quotes Chow at length. Chow starts with an explanation of all the love that Jesus exudes. Love somehow gets us to this (again, Higgins quoting Chow):

I cannot vote for this bill without compromising my values and my responsibility to the community that elected me to represent them. As a Christian, I personally do believe that certain acts and lifestyles conflict with what is good, right, and true. I believe that God created male and female …

I have cut it short because we have heard all this bigotry before in precisely the same terms. If nothing else, Ms. Chow should avoid using the word “lifestyle” which usually refers to a sexual orientation or gender identity that a religious conservative disapproves of. It is also profoundly dishonest.

While being a conservative Christian might be a lifestyle, being gay or trans is not. The use of the term originated with religious demagoguery, possibly from Focus on the Family: Gay is a lifestyle. A simple change in lifestyle and, voila, these people can choose to be straight. Sure.

What strikes me is that Ms. Chow claims to have responsibilities to the community that elected her and then asserts that she is voting on a measure because of her religion. Those are contradictions. I doubt that she was elected to impose scripture on student senate measures. That is a choice that she is making. Chow probably represents a diverse constituency.

Ms. Chow has faced some on-campus opprobrium. Some of it due and some of it gratuitous. Ms. Chow chose to be a student representative. In that role, every decision that she makes is subject to scrutiny. That is the price for being on the student senate. The criticism of her vote (actually non-vote) does not make her a victim.

Isabella Chow is now the object of community disapproval. It is comparable to the disapproval that she would expose LGBT students to. I doubt that Chow will appreciate the irony or gain perspective.

Consider that every single day across the United States, LGBT students, at all levels of education, are subjected to rejection, opprobrium, discrimination and persecution. Just the other day we learned of a professor in an Ohio university who called a trans woman “sir” and he is claiming victimhood. He does not understand that he has done violence to a transgender student while havinabberentg power over her.

Personally I do not care if people believe in the sanctity of Atmos. They are free to believe anything they like. But if I live above that individual and the volume of his reflex speakers causes my dishes to rattle, we are going to have a problem. If he is like Laurie Higgins he will claim that I am persecuting him because of his religious beliefs. In contrast, I do not want him to impose his beliefs on me. I never intended for my recliner to vibrate.

In other words, I am indifferent to the belief. If the conduct affects me I become interested.

Ms. Higgins

Later on in this lengthy polemic, Higgins displays her servitude to religious dogma:

Homosexual and “trans” activists are not centrally concerned about ensuring the accomplishments of Sally Ride, James Baldwin, and Oscar Wilde are included in curricula; they already are. Homosexual and “trans” activists are centrally concerned about ensuring that students know that Ride, Baldwin and Wilde were sexually and romantically attracted to persons of the same sex. Homosexual and “trans” activists seek to transfer the good feelings children and teens have about accomplishments to homosexuality and opposite-sex impersonation. It’s a ploy to render disordered feelings and immoral actions innocent by association with accomplishment.

According to Higgins, gays are disordered and transgender people are opposite-sex impersonators. LGBT people are immoral. It’s right out of the catechism of the Catholic Church and it, the dogma, is objectively disordered. We are fortunate that most Catholics are able to maintain a sense of perspective. The overwhelming majority of Catholics do not believe that gay people are disordered. They also realize that transgender people are not adherents of an ideology and not impersonators.

I happen to believe that it is important to know that Sally Ride was gay. I hope that every kid in America knows that the CEO of the world’s largest company (Tim Cook) is gay. Eventually we will have some transgender heroes. When LGBT people succeed it contradicts the “disordered” idiocy. LGBT kids need to know that anything is possible. Personally I am of a different age and never knew that freedom. Laurie Higgins is heavily invested in portraying and understanding LGBT people as sick perverts. It is a smear that she continues to spread.

Higgins is free to believe anything that she likes. She works for a hate group and she writes bigoted treatises. Her conduct has at least the potential to negatively affect others. People she does not know, nor care to know. She is promoting hate.

Higgins continues:

But the quasi-religious ontological and moral dogma of the homosexual and “trans” communities regarding biological sex, “gender,” and “gender identity” are not facts and are not neutral. They are articles of faith—arguable beliefs—that government schools have no right to propagate either explicitly or implicitly. Taxpayers should no more be forced to subsidize material based on the quasi-religious beliefs of homosexual and “trans” activists than they should be forced to subsidize material based on the beliefs of, for example, the polyamorous community.

The individual who wrote that gibberish claims that LGBT people are guilty of “indoctrination.” It is truly amazing. There is nothing religious, philosophical or dogmatic about being LGBT. Sexuality is not a doctrine. Claiming that gender and gender identity are not facts is absurd and contrary to medical science. Being LGBT is not a faith or something that subjects others to “arguable beliefs.” The argument that sexuality constitutes “quasi-religious beliefs” is preposterous. It is inarguable that gender and sexual orientation are separate continua. We have no control over where we are in the spectrum.

Laurie Higgins might then argue that we do have choices over conduct. We do not have to have gay sex, adopt children or become transgender. Diminishing our quality of life because of ancient religious beliefs might make sense to Higgins. It makes no sense at all to LGBT people as well as their friends and family.

Ms. Higgins is obviously confused and projecting. Her every action is based on religious dogma which is based on faith — not fact. There is nothing wrong with that. However, science is based on evidence. Higgins’ claims that faith overrides evidence-based medical science are irrational. Higgins has crossed the line that separates faith from superstition and then posits that the superstitions are fact while the science is an article of faith. Upisdownism.

This is the kind of “thinking” that enabled and motivated people to fly airplanes into buildings in the service of their god. I do not care that Laurie Higgins is irrational. I care that her illogicality has the potential to negatively affect LGBT people, particularly children. Nevertheless I maintain optimism that most parents will accept medical science over religious dogma when it comes to the care of their kids. At least I hope so.

The title of Laurie Higgins’ polemic — LGBT Indoctrination Leads to Ignorance and Tyranny — is not just idiotic. It is crazy! Higgins is no stranger to derangement. She has, for example, advocated that libraries should have books about kids who happily celebrate the death of their gay parents. Higgins is a purveyor of aberrant incoherence.

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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.