The state of Illinois will not tolerate “exposing” the vulnerable children in its care to people who believe human beings are either male or female and cannot “become” the other. No matter that sexual difference is a scientific fact, or that billions of sane people across the world acknowledge it.
The science-deniers are running the LGBTQ show over at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and dissenters will not be tolerated.
The department’s new “enhanced” policies promoting the “well-being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) children and youth in the Department’s care” ratchet in one direction only: encouraging children towards LGBTQ identities. DCFS has drawn a rainbow-colored line in the sand, announcing it “will not tolerate exposing LGBTQ children and youth to staff/providers who are not supportive of children and youths’ right to self-determination of sexual/gender identity.”
Let’s repeat that: the state of Illinois will not tolerate “exposing” the vulnerable children in its care to people who believe human beings are either male or female and cannot “become” the other. No matter that sexual difference is a scientific fact, or that billions of sane people across the world acknowledge it.
Illinois has decreed its own “truth” about the human person and served notice that it will muzzle the speech and religious beliefs of employees, caregivers, professionals, and cooperating agencies who think otherwise. Here’s the story.
Let’s Look at the Policies In Detail
On May 6, 2017, the director of Illinois’ child welfare agency (DCFS), George Sheldon, “signed enhanced department procedures” setting “mandatory minimum standards for LGBTQ children under its authority (See Appendix K in this May 11, 2017 document. Quoted passages in this article are from Appendix K unless otherwise specified).
Of course, everyone supports ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all children, but the devil is in the details. The new DCFS policies are less about safety and wellbeing and more about using state power to “overrule” basic, empirical (and common sense) truths about human beings and to replace them with ideological assertions that validate adult feelings rather than benefit children.
Designed with American Civil Liberties Union assistance, the policies are problematic not only for the vulnerable children in state care but also for the kin, foster families, caseworkers, volunteers, and others trying to assist them. Consider the effects on staff and volunteers, who must pass an ideological test—to see if they are sufficiently “LGBTQ-affirming”— to mentor, serve, or care for the state’s most vulnerable children.
According to the gender guardians at DCFS, all children have a “right to self-determination of gender and sexual orientation,” and individual choices about “sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression” should be viewed as “developmental milestones, not problematic behavior.” The role of adults is simply to “facilitate exploration of any LGBTQ matters through an affirming approach…by being open, non-judgmental, and empathic.”
Thus, when children or adolescents “explore/express a sexual orientation other than heterosexual and/or a gender identity that is different from the child/youth’s sex assigned at birth,” DCFS “staff, providers, and foster parents” must “support and respect” the child’s exploration “without any effort to direct or guide them to any specific outcome for their exploration.”
In other words, all DCFS staff and volunteers must communicate a uniform message to the children and adolescents in their care: it’s perfectly normal to identify as transgender or gender non-conforming, and just as conducive to a child’s wellbeing to be transgender as to identify with one’s actual sex.
For the true believers behind Illinois’ new child welfare policies, the state’s sacred task is to “facilitate” children’s “exploration” of the rainbow-colored, imaginary world of gender-as-you-like-it. Names, pronouns, and body parts are tried on or swapped out like fashion accessories to match the shifting feelings of “gender-fluid” (otherwise known as “confused”) children.
It’s a fantasyland, where gender explorers are championed as brave and authentic, adults genuflect before the mythical wisdom of “trans” children expressing their “true gender selves,” and “transitioning” always brings peace and happiness. If only it were true. The DCFS, however, has kicked truth to the curb in blind fealty to the demands of the LGBTQ adult community.
Human beings are, in fact, either male or female; we differ in reproductive function, bodily structure, and in differential gene expression (for thousands of genes, according to a 2017 Israeli study). One of the great advances in modern medicine has been the development of sex-specific protocols for disease diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. Sexual difference matters. It’s real. And it’s permanent—painful, conflicted feelings notwithstanding.
Tolerance Is So ‘90s
Dissenting voices, such as employees, volunteers, and foster parents who rely on science and common sense, are not welcome in trans utopia. The new DCFS policies warn staff members that they must “[p]rovide supportive and affirming care regardless of one’s personal attitudes, beliefs, preconceptions and/or judgments, if any, surrounding matters of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.”
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