Hate group leader Tony Perkins believes the government’s ban on using the term “transgender” in CDC budget reports is “bringing the country back to reality.”
Perkins, president of the anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council, applauded the administration’s decision in a press release sent to members of the media on Tuesday. Last Thursday, The Washington Post reported that the Centers for Disease Control, the government’s leading health experts, were presented with a list of verboten words in a 90-minute meeting with the White House.
Also among the stricken language was “diversity,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based.”
“This is the return to normalcy Americans voted fora change in how we view the world that’s in line with most people’s core values,” Perkins said of the policy mandate.
LGBTQ advocates saw it very differently, universally condemning the White House’s edict as yet another attack on queer and transgender people by the current president. Mara Keisling, executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, called it “unprecedented.”
“To pretend and insist that transgender people do not exist, and to allow this lie to infect public health research and prevention is irrational and very dangerous, and not just to transgender people,” she said in a statement. “That they have banned the phrases ‘evidence-based’ and ‘science-based’ tells us all we need to know: The Trump Administration is full of dangerous science deniers who have no business near American public health systems like the CDC.”
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis added that the CDC must not “allow hateful ideology, bigotry, and personal bias to determine the [health care and] wellness of the transgender community.”
But Perkins described the backlash as left-wing fake news.
“As usual, the liberal media ginned up plenty of outrage over the changes, despite the fact that this is a standard practice of every administration,” he said.
“President Obama understood better than anyone that if you control the language, you control the debate,” Perkins continued. “In fact, we’ve watched the far Left use this strategy for years on everything from religious liberty to life. ‘Abortion’ became a ‘choice.’ ‘Liberals’ are ‘progressives.’ And suddenly, it’s not ‘same-sex marriage’ but ‘marriage equality.’”
“Obama chose his rhetoric carefully, enlisting the politically-correct media to help,” he added. “And ironically, no one batted an eye.”
The Trump administration has taken the same line of defense in regards to its policies, which it has claimed are business as usual. A spokesperson with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said the backlash is a “complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process.”
Despite the White House playing damage control, reports indicate the mandate didn’t go over smoothly with the CDC. As an unnamed source told the Post, the reaction to the administration’s order was: “Are you serious? Are you kidding?”
“Our subject matter experts will not lay down quietly,” the CDC official said.
Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images