Right-wing broadcaster Laura Ingraham played her part in the Religious Right’s relentless campaign against transgender people by devoting Wednesday’s edition of her podcast to warning that “the Left has been on the cultural warpath to gender bend our kids into submission.”
There’s a long history of gay-rights activists being smeared as threats to children, and Ingraham joined right in, portraying LGBTQ-affirming activities in public schools and libraries as “going after” kids. “They need the kids…without indoctrinating children on a whole variety of issues…the movement kind of dies out,” she said. And Ingraham took this claim one step further, saying, “I think a lot of this is geared toward lowering the age of consent for children, too.”
Ingraham dismissed the idea that public libraries hosting “drag queen story hour” are promoting tolerance; they are, she said, “foisting San Francisco values on the rest of the country.”
“This is agenda-driven cultural politics here,” she said. She warned that parents who oppose this agenda will be portrayed as “troglodytes” and as part of “the intolerant Christian Right.”
Without any sense of irony, Ingraham welcomed Bill Donohue, a prominent member of the intolerant Christian Right and head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, where his M.O. is to aggressively portrays critics of the Catholic Church as anti-Catholic bigots.
Donohue told Ingraham that trans activists “want to get their hands on the kids.” He called the promotion of acceptance of trans people “an assault on nature and nature’s God.” In a column praising a new Vatican document on gender, Donohue applied the same phrase to Catholics who disagree with the Vatican, saying any such person “is at odds with nature, and nature’s God.”
Donohue told Ingraham he’s launching a campaign against late-night comedian Trevor Noah, who joked about the church’s pedophilia scandal this week while criticizing that new Vatican document, which promotes traditionalist ideas about the “complementary” nature of the sexes and criticizes “the ideologies of gender.” Donohue has called that document “the most brilliant and authoritative document on the sexes that is currently available.” (Not surprisingly, advocates for LGBTQ equality, including the Catholics at New Ways Ministry, disagree; New Ways called the Vatican document “a harmful tool that will be used to oppress and harm not only transgender people, but lesbian, gay, bisexual people, too.)
Donohue was followed on Ingraham’s podcast by Walt Heyer, an anti-trans author who tells the story of his own unhappy gender transition and “detransition.” Heyer pitches his books at Religious Right events and was cited in Intercessors for America’s recent “report” on the “transgendering” of America.
Heyer said that the “explosion” in the number of young people identifying as trans is evidence of “social contagion.” Heyer asserted that claiming a trans identity is a way for an unhappy young person to make themselves the center of positive attention. But there’s nothing good about transitioning, he said, declaring, “It’s child abuse to affirm a child in a cross-gender identity.” Asked by Ingraham about trans people who are living happy lives, Heyer insisted that such happiness is only temporary. Last year, The Rainbow Times’ Nicole Lashomb challenged the credibility of Heyer’s claim to speak for the trans community.