Michael P. Farris, president of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom
Michael P. Farris, president of Alliance Defending Freedom, is responsible for the organizational culture that rewards bigotry and dishonesty.

A new email from Alliance Defending Freedom has me questioning their sanity and their ability to make logical arguments.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an anti-LGBTQ hate group comprised of radical religious zealots. Perhaps irrational religious fervor obliterates any notion of logical — let alone critical — thinking on their part. The extreme zealotry demolishes intellectual honesty.

The subject line of the email reads: BREAKING: New lawsuit filed against Biden administration. I recognized this as a reference to American College of Pediatricians v. Becerra. I pointed out on Monday that this case makes no sense whatsoever. People object to being required to do something that they are not required to do. Taxpayers get the bill for court costs and the time required by government personnel to respond to frivolous litigation which is likely to go on for years.

I thought it impossible but ADF has managed to render the matter more senseless.

Exactly what is the connection of the following to the litigation? Beats the hell out of me:

A few years ago, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine recounted a harrowing—and tragic—story.

A patient suffering from hours of abdominal pain was rushed to the hospital. The patient, identified as a male in medical records, had recently stopped taking medication for high blood pressure. With that being the case, the nurse classified the patient as a non-emergency.

But it was an emergency, because the patient wasn’t actually male. The patient was female, but identified as transgender. That’s why the patient was listed as male in the medical records.

The patient was pregnant—and in labor.

Unfortunately, the baby didn’t survive. And the mother was devastated.

“… the triage nurse did not listen and made a bad decision.”

Not surprisingly the article tells a different story. I will get to that in a moment. However, even if ADF had been truthful, this has no relevance to the litigation which is supposedly ADF’s subject.

Now, per the article:

“Sam [the patient] told the nurse that he was a transgender man. His electronic medical record (EMR) indicated that he was male. He had previously used testosterone, as well as antihypertensives, both of which he had discontinued because he’d lost his insurance coverage.”

So, while ADF would have you believe that a problem was created because of being deemed male in the medical records, the triage nurse was properly informed.

The article includes:

He had taken a home pregnancy test that morning and got a positive result, but he wondered whether it was a false positive. He added that he had “peed himself” that morning.

Thus — in contrast to ADF’s narrative — the man knew that he might be pregnant and the triage nurse was correctly informed.

The bottom line is that the triage nurse did not listen and made a bad decision:

The triage nurse assessed him to be a man with abdominal pain who had not taken his prescribed blood-pressure medications. Determining that his condition was stable, she triaged him to nonurgent assessment.

“Several hours later” an emergency physician arrived at the correct diagnosis. The reason that the baby was stillborn was umbilical cord prolapse.

Returning to the article:

“Even if ADF’s tale were accurate (it is not), it has nothing to do with HHS nondiscrimination rules.”

In Sam’s evaluation, the triage nurse did not fully absorb the fact that he did not fit clearly into a binary classification system with mutually exclusive male and female categories. Though she had respectful intentions and nominally acknowledged the possibility of pregnancy by ordering a serum hCG test, she did not incorporate that possibility into the differential diagnosis in a way that would affect ensuing classifications and triage decision making. Despite communicating that he was transgender, Sam was not evaluated using pregnancy algorithms.
Even if ADF’s tale were accurate (it is not), it has nothing to do with HHS nondiscrimination rules.

ADF attempts to tie it all together. It is a massive failure:

This was a tragedy. And tragedies like this could become more common because of an anti-science policy from the Biden administration.

Here’s the legalese.

Under this administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reinterpreted non-discrimination on the basis of sex in the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) to include gender identity.

Half-truths are lies. Nondiscrimination protections based on gender identity have nothing to do with transgender medicine. Furthermore, trans medicine is the province of trained specialists who choose to offer the associated services.

The notion that nondiscrimination creates medical malpractice is absurd. Moreover, nondiscrimination protections are unrelated to the science regarding gender identity. The overwhelming consensus is that gender is a construct independent of natal sex.

The refusal to accept the settled science creates the discriminatory conditions that the rules are intended to solve. In fact, those protections could prevent fewer cases like Sam’s.

In this case an OB/GYN cannot refuse to treat a patient on the basis of their status as a transgender male. Whatever services the doctor provides to cisgender women must be provided to trans men. This has nothing to do with transgender medicine.

“… The responsible party is … Michael P. Farris who is the president of Alliance Defending Freedom. Mr. Farris is, thus, full of shit

The grand lie

This radical reinterpretation requires that doctors act against their medical judgment, religious beliefs, and conscience in performing controversial and often dangerous “gender transition” procedures on all patients … including children.

No it does not! Again, the only doctors required to offer trans medical care are those who choose to provide transgender medical care.

The email is unsigned. The responsible party is, therefore, is Michael P. Farris who is the president of Alliance Defending Freedom. Mr. Farris is, thus, full of shit.

One more passage from this dishonest tirade:

The mandate coerces physicians to use pronouns that affirm a patient’s gender of choice. And it compels them to enter inaccurate information about the patient’s sex into medical charts and records—creating the very scenario described above that ended in the tragic loss of life.

The rules do not cover gender-appropriate pronouns. Furthermore, “gender of choice” is a lie. Gender is not a choice. Furthermore, nothing in the rules prevents a doctor from indicating that a patient is transgender.

Moreover, providing patients with the dignity of using gender-appropriate pronouns should not require coercion. ADF undermines their own argument by suggesting that there is some legitimate rational for misgendering patients.

“… gender-affirming care provides the basis for the clinical practice standards of the American Academy of Pediatrics.”

One more dose of bullshit:

Doctors who inform their patients about the potential risks of “gender transition” procedures could be penalized for creating a hostile environment. This means physicians can’t talk about the potential physical dangers or the regret that many of those who “transition” feel.

The above is wrong on multiple levels. First of all it is a lie. Secondly, the only clinicians who discuss transition processes are those who elect to offer those interventions. An endocrinologist, for example, is obligated to discuss the potential adverse consequences of puberty blockers and hormones.

Furthermore, ADF is claiming that “many” people “regret” transitioning. That is another lie. For example, children who are supported in their gender identity have rates of depression and anxiety at or near the levels of their cisgender peers.

That is just one of the reasons (and I will repeat this in every post) that gender-affirming care provides the basis for the clinical practice standards of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Does Mr. Farris have access to some research that the AAP ignored? Probably not.

ADF employs a strategy of publicly promoting their cases in the hopes of influencing judges and magistrates. Judge Katherine A. Crytzer has been assigned to the case. She is a Trump appointee who was confirmed by a single solitary vote. Moreover, the case is being heard in Tennessee.

ADF’s dishonesty goes beyond robust advocacy. Alliance Defending Freedom is promoting bigotry based on mendacious rhetoric.

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.