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The New York Times’ newest columnist has an ugly past demonizing LGBTQ+ people

Author: Daniel Villarreal

The New York Times recently announced its hiring of anti-LGBTQ+ attorney David French as an opinion columnist.

But while the Times praised French’s “spirit of generosity toward others and humility,” calling him an “expert on the law, faith, and politics,” it didn’t mention his longtime work with the rabidly anti-LGBTQ+ legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

GLAAD said French’s hiring showed the publication’s “willful disregard of LGBTQ community voices and the concerns so many have shared about their inaccurate, exclusionary, often ridiculous pieces.”

He served as an ADF attorney

French served as a senior counsel for ADF, a legal advocacy group that has opposed any expansion of LGBTQ+ civil rights as an attack on so-called “religious freedom.” ADF has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

During his time as an ADF counsel, he defended a Georgia graduate student who sued her university after being told that her anti-gay “Christian beliefs” were incompatible with the standards of her desired profession as a psychological counselor. The student considered homosexuality an “immoral” “lifestyle choice.”

He co-signed the “Nashville Statement”

French signed onto a 2017 religious right document called the “Nashville Statement,” which said God designed marriage to be only between a man and a woman. The document also stated “it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism,” and called transgender identity and homosexuality a sin and “at odds with God.”

He thinks gender-affirming healthcare means “mutilating” one’s genitals

In a May 2016 column, French lamented a BBC Three documentary called Young, Trans, and Looking for Love. In the documentary, a young trans woman named Claire expresses sadness about cisgender men becoming disinterested in her upon learning of her trans identity.

French said of Claire, “[She’s a] deeply confused teenager is on the verge of mutilating himself … for the sake of hoping to find love with straight men.”

French’s characterization of gender-affirming healthcare as “mutilation” echoes other far-right conservatives who call such care a form of “abuse” and demonize gender-affirming medical professionals as “mutilating children.” These attacks have led state legislatures to ban such healthcare and resulted in death threats against medical providers.

He considers conversion therapy a form of “free speech”

When openly gay California state Assemblyman Evan Low (D) introduced a bill that would classify so-called conversion therapy as “consumer fraud,” opponents of Assembly Bill 2943 claimed the legislation would “prohibit the sale of the Bible” if made law.

French, who was then a writer at National Review, called the bill “extreme” and “extraordinarily radical,” referring to it as “another attack on free speech” by progressives.

The bill ended up dying due to conservative opposition and fearmongering, even though every significant American medical and psychological association has disavowed conversion therapy as a pseudoscientific form of psychological torture.

He said transgender soldiers are evidence of a government “thought control” experiment

French defended former President Donald Trump’s (R) ban on transgender military service members, writing, “This move isn’t about national security, it’s about social engineering. Many members of the military will spend their entire careers without encountering a single transgender soldier, but they will endure hour upon hour of diversity training … thought control… [and] radical LGBT theology.”

Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: Daniel Villarreal

My name is David but my online nick almost everywhere is Altabear. I'm a web developer, graphic artist and outspoken human rights (and by extension, mens rights) advocate. Married to my gorgeous husband for 12 years, together for 25 and living with our partner of 4 years, in beautiful Edmonton, Canada.

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