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Hopkins under fire for anti-LGBT report

Petition demands public disavowal



Johns Hopkins, gay news, Washington Blade

The George Peabody Library of Johns Hopkins (Photo by Matthew Petroff; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

A petition signed by 670 people has demanded that Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine publicly disavow the recent report by Dr. Paul McHugh and Dr. Lawrence Mayer that amounts to a “misguided, misinformed attack on LGBT communities.” The petition was signed by 264 alumni of Johns Hopkins institutions, 200 current students, 30 faculty members, and more than 100 staff, interns, residents and fellows.

The “special report,” which appeared in August in The New Atlantis, a conservative bioethics magazine, “falsely implies that children ‘are encouraged to become transgender’ and that young transgender children undergo medical interventions as part of affirming their gender identities,” says Tari Hanneman, director of the Health Equality Project at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in a blog for HRC.

Furthermore, the report contends that being LGBT is caused by childhood sexual abuse; LGBT people have inherent psychological difficulties; and sexual orientation is a choice and can be changed.

HRC asserts that neither McHugh, a former psychiatrist-in-chief at Hopkins Hospital nor Mayer, a biostatistician, has conducted original research on LGBT people and neither has ever written about sexual orientation or gender identity in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

“This misguided, misinformed attack on LGBT communities under the protection of the Hopkins name must stop,” the petition states. “McHugh is acting against the recommendations of the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association and, as such, is acting on his own personal agenda and not one rooted in evidence. McHugh is tarnishing Hopkins and causing significant harm to LGBT communities within Hopkins and beyond. McHugh’s actions are an embarrassment to those within Hopkins and who have trained here.”

While the 116-page report attacks the broader LGBT community, it specifically targets transgender individuals.

“McHugh’s history reflects particular animus toward transgender people, collaborating with an organization deemed a ‘hate group’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center and penning opinion articles mocking people who transition as ‘caricatures,’ ‘counterfeits,’ ‘impersonators,’ ‘confused’ and ‘mad,’” says Hanneman.

Mayer served as a $400-an-hour expert witness for defending North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 law in a federal civil rights lawsuit.

“If Hopkins leadership ignore their community’s call to correct the record—clarifying that McHugh and Mayer’s opinions do not represent it, and that its healthcare services reflect the scientific consensus on LGBTQ health and well-being—its [HRC] Healthcare Equality Index score will be reduced substantially,” says Hanneman.

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  1. Inkpen

    October 13, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Instead of throwing a temper tantrum, HRC could commission an independent scientific study to refute the report.

    • lnm3921

      October 13, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      Yes, but not as fun as taking a tantrum. If Donald Trump can take constant tantrums, why can’t everyone else?

      • Inkpen

        October 13, 2016 at 8:47 pm


  2. Leslie Gray

    October 13, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    It’s about time McHugh and his organ of misinformation got shut down.

    • dlampo

      October 14, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Got shut down? You sound like a fascist.

      • Leslie Gray

        October 14, 2016 at 5:27 pm

        The conservative religious community are the fascists, with their demands for special rights to be able to inflict their current fashion belief system on literally everyone else including people that are not of the same beliefs as they are.

        NO, I am not a fascist. I am merely tired of the lies, twisted truths and other intentional misinformation that the bigot Paul McHugh and his friends keep promoting. Johns Hopkins needs to have the fortitude to denounce a liar whose actions a damaging to both the reputation of that institution and causing serious harm to transgender people merely because McHugh is a fundamentalist catholic.

      • uhhuhh

        October 17, 2016 at 8:17 am

        You sound like the vacuous, gay Republican apologist for bigotry that you are.

        • dlampo

          October 18, 2016 at 2:57 pm

          I haven’t had a good laugh like that in a while. Too bad you’ve lost all capacity for rational thought, but thanks for your insights.

      • Katrina Rose

        October 18, 2016 at 2:52 pm

        “Got shut down? You sound like a fascist.”

        You sound like someone who believes Bernie Madoff and Enron should have been allowed to operate unimpeded.

        • dlampo

          October 18, 2016 at 2:55 pm

          Yep, that makes a lot of sense.

  3. LesbianTippingHabits

    October 14, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    McHugh and Mayer are also parsimonious tippers – only the wait staff knows for sure.

    Remember, tips are good karma. And karma never lies. Thank you.

  4. old married lady

    October 16, 2016 at 1:55 am

    This is not the first instance of a doctor associated with this hospital acting in a biased fashion toward sexual/gender minorities.JH was the origin of the tragic “twins study” . It’s time this sort of thing stops.

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Comings & Goings

Umana named associate with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol



Wolfgang Umana (Photo courtesy of Umana)

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: [email protected]

Congratulations to Wolfgang Umana on being named an associate with Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN). He has been with them for more than five years and is currently its D.C. studio’s office manager. 

“I am honored to become GGN’s newest Associate,” Umana said.I have the glorious privilege of supporting GGN’s continuing dedication to progress, inclusion, social justice, sustainability, and beautification of the world we live in.”

Umana also works with NBR Computer Consulting as an LLC Computer Technician consultant. He has experience in social media, communications, outreach, and technical services, and provides a dynamic approach to the fast-changing world of technology. NBR Computer Consulting, LLC is a gay-owned business. 

Umana has also served as D.C. Army National Guard Director of Environmental Affairs and with EMS Consultation Services. 

He has his bachelor’s in Environmental Science & Public Policy, Human and Ecosystem Response to Climate Change, from George Mason University. 

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Capital Pride bids for D.C. to host World Pride 2025

International event draws thousands of visitors



Confetti rained down in New York’s Times Square at Stonewall 50 WorldPride New York’s closing ceremony two years ago. D.C. organizers hope to host the event in 2025. (Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

The Capital Pride Alliance, the group that organizes D.C.’s annual LGBTQ Pride events, announced on Sept. 21 that it has submitted a bid to host 2025 World Pride, the international Pride event that draws thousands of participants from throughout the world to the host city.

The announcement by Capital Pride says its bid to host the event in D.C. notes that the event, among other things, would commemorate the 50th anniversary of D.C.’s first LGBTQ Pride event in 1975, which began as a block party near Dupont Circle.

World Pride is licensed and administered by the international LGBTQ organization InterPride. The World Pride events themselves, which usually take place every other year, are organized by InterPride’s member organizations such as Capital Pride Alliance.

The Capital Pride announcement notes that World Pride “promotes visibility and awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) issues on a global level.” The announcement adds, “World Pride events include parades, marches, festivals and other cultural activities often enjoyed at Pride celebrations, along with other components such as a human rights conference and large-scale opening and closing ceremonies.”

The InterPride website says the deadline for submitting a bid for the 2025 World Pride has passed. It says D.C.’s Capital Pride and Kaohsiung Pride, located in the large Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung, are the only two remaining cities in competition for hosting the 2025 World Pride.

Ryan Bos, Capital Pride’s executive director, said InterPride was expected to make its decision on which of the two cities to select sometime in November of this year.

“A recent study conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton revealed that the annual Capital Pride Celebrations, during normal years, result in approximately $371 million in positive economic impacts to the region, a number that may be doubled if the organization is awarded the prestigious event,” the Capital Pride statement says.

The 2021 World Pride took place earlier this year in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 2019 World Pride was held in New York City to commemorate the 50th anniversary of New York’s Stonewall riots, which many activists consider the start of the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

InterPride says the 2023 World Pride will take place in Sydney, Australia.

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Va. county supervisors back resolution against ‘required’ pronoun questions

Unanimous vote in Stafford County allows school defunding



What's Your Pronoun? review, gay news, Washington Blade
(Image courtesy of Liveright Publishing)

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution that gives it the authority to deny funds to schools that require students to give their pronouns and teach the 1619 Project and critical race theory.

The resolution denounces “the teaching of the 1619 Project and critical race theory (CRT) and related principles in Stafford County Public Schools,” and states the board does not support Stafford County Public School students “being required to identify their chosen pronouns.”

The approved document had been updated to change “requested” to give pronouns to “required.”

Republican Supervisor Gary Snellings told the board he brought the resolution forward, which passed by a 6-0 vote margin, in response to communication from parents. One supervisor was not present.

Snellings called critical race theory “racism.” He also called the New York Times’ 1619 Project published on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to the Virginia colony a “theory.”

Critical race theory is not taught in Virginia public schools, but a state law passed in 2020 requires local school boards to adopt policies that are more inclusive for transgender and non-binary students that follow, or exceed, guidelines from the state’s Department of Education.

Snellings said the problem with preferred pronouns was in requiring students to give them. He said that was not in the governing Virginia law.

“This (resolution) does not eliminate anything. It just follows state law,” Snellings said.

A Virginia court in July dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the Department of Education’s guidelines for trans and non-binary students. Equality Virginia and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia were parties to the amicus brief in support of the protections.

“We are deeply disappointed that these adults made such a hateful decision for kids in the community,” tweeted the ACLU of Virginia in response to the board’s vote.

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