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Transphobic professor to speak at Australian uni, despite calls for ban

Written by gaytourism

University of Western Australia’s most prominent landmark, Winthrop Hall | Photo: Wikipedia/Greg O’Beirne

A professor who says gender dysphoria is a ‘delusional disorder’ will speak at the University of Western Australia (UWA), despite moves to have him disinvited.

Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Quentin Van Meter is on a national speaking tour, which is being sponsored by the conservative political group The Australian Family Association.

Students have been pressuring the organizers to disinvite Van Meter’s since his announcement to speak at the university, the Guardian reported.

A petition set up by the students to ban the controversial professor has since gained over 6,000 signatures.

Van Meter is known for his controversial views on gender dysphoria and transgenderism.

‘Transgender is actually a delusional disorder,’ Van Meter has said in the past. ‘It’s a state of mind with no biologic basis for it that can be found.’

The American professor has said that giving treatment to children with gender dysphoria, such as prescribing puberty blockers, was akin to child abuse.

He is also the president of the American College of Paediatricians, an organization which is opposed to marriage equality, abortion, and gender reassignment therapy or surgery.

‘UWA does not endorse Van Meter’

The UWA released a statement saying that the university does not endorse Van Meter’s opinions.

However, the university said that canceling the event would ‘create an undesirable precedent for the exclusion of objectionable views’ from the university.

‘The views which have been expressed by the speakers in the past, particularly with respect to transgender people, are at odds with the university’s values of respect for human dignity and diversity,’ the university’s statement said.

‘That respect, in relation to LGBTIQA+ people generally, has been evidenced by the Rainbow Flag, which has flown for some months at the front of the UWA campus.’

In 2016, the UWA launched an ‘LBGTI Inclusion Plan‘ which sets out goals to make the university an ‘establishment of a safe and inclusive campus culture for both staff and a predominantly younger student cohort, many of whom are still negotiating their sexual and gender identity.’

This is not the first time students in Western Australia have taken a stance against speakers opposed to LGBTI rights. Several years ago, students in Perth picketed a speech given by ‘anti-gay’ Oxford law professor John Finnis after he was invited to speak at Perth Notre Dame University in 2013.

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