‘The Australian’ says Hunt needs to explain his position on transgender kids

The Australian newspaper says federal Health Minister Greg Hunt needs to clearly explain his position on the treatment of transgender youth.

Last month Hunt spoke to rival news organisation Nine, telling the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, that he did not support calls for a national inquiry into the treatment of transgender youth.

The Minister’s comments followed an announcement from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) who had looked into the issue at Hunt’s request over several months. Hunt’s inquiry to the college was triggered by widespread coverage of the issue by The Australian and letters from doctors who had petitioned the minister.

After looking into the issue, the college said it did not support a national inquiry into the issue but did suggest that there would be a benefit in providing more funding for research in the area, and the development of more resources to assist transgender people in decision making and access to information.

“A national inquiry would not increase the scientific evidence available regarding gender dysphoria but would further harm vulnerable patients and their families through increased media and public attention.” the RACP said.

Bernard Lane, the reporter at The Australian who has focused on the issue over the last 12 months, has reported that when he spoke to Hunt’s office a spokesman said the Minister was not endorsing the current approach to treating transgender youth, but neither was he calling for a further inquiry into the issue.

Lane said that the Minister was ignoring the calls from local doctors for an inquiry, describing it as a call being echoed by international clinicians, while also ignoring requests for comment from The Australian. 

In an editorial published earlier this week The Australian accused the RACP of suggesting the media would cause harm to transgender youth without any evidence, and said they were relying on an “activist caricature of The Australian’s coverage”.

Appearing on the Sky News program Credlin, Lane said Hunt has not been clear about his stance on the issue.

“The Minister’s position is difficult to follow. I sought to clarify it with his office, but the result it seems to me is still confused and contradictory.” Lane told host Peta Credlin.

“He confirmed that he had indeed ruled out a national inquiry, but he wouldn’t confirm that harm to transgender kids was the reason, and his office didn’t given any other reason.”

Lane said a comment from Hunt’s office that said a government initiated inquiry was not going to happen, but it did not rule out a senate inquiry being initiated or other bodies investigating the issue.

The reporter from The Australian suggested that more attention needed to be given to the growing number of reports in the UK media about people who were detransitioning and sharing concern that they had been “waved through” the gender treatment process without enough attention being paid to other mental health issues.

“There has been virtually no coverage of this phenomenon in Australia, it may be that there are fewer detransitioners in Australia, but we don’t know.” Lane said.    

Australian Christian Lobby and Binary call on Greg Hunt to reverse his decision

Calls for Hunt to reverse his decision on an inquiry have been echoed by lobby groups including the Australian Christian Lobby and anti-transgender body, Binary.

The Australian Christian Lobby’s Victorian spokesman Dan Flynn said his organisation attributed the significant increase in young people seeking treatment to changes to the education curriculum, and from Drag Queens reading stories to children.

“This harmful trend is largely a social contagion arising from LGBTI promotion of gender confusion in schools and initiatives like ‘Drag Queen Story Time’.” Flynn said.

“The ACL maintains its call for a full parliamentary inquiry into the causes and treatment of gender dysphoria in children. If the Minister won’t investigate this serious trend, parliament should.” Flynn said.

Kirralie Smith, CEO of Binary said Health Minister has succumbed to a “radical gender agenda” and took to social media to label the minister “pathetic” and a “gutless wonder”

Smith said the government was wrong to rely on advice from doctors who specialise in the field transgender health because they had vested interests.

“The lives of young people are at stake here. Where is the accountability? Academics and doctors who challenge the agenda are threatened, silenced and de-funded.

“Now the federal government is refusing to hear from independent sources and instead rely only on those who have vested interests. The appeal has been based on emotive arguments instead of factual, evidence-based data.”

“Let’s hope the next steps include a wide range of experts otherwise it will be akin to Coke-a-Cola [sic] undertaking research into the affects of sugar and caffeine on consumers. The government must take responsibility for the immense harm that will potentially be done to children as victims of the radical gender agenda.” Smith said.

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QLife: 1800 184 527 and www.qlife.org.au
QLife are a counselling and referral service for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.

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