Bias Watch

Anti-trans organizations Genspect & SEGM are now listed as hate groups by the SPLC

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On Tuesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) classified Genspect and the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine (SEGM) as anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups, journalist Erin Reed reports.

The classification comes in this year’s rendition of the anti-hate organization’s annual report, The Year in Hate & Extremism. The listing for both groups comes after the SPLC identified them as key organizations in spreading anti-LGBTQ+ pseudoscience, especially regarding transgender healthcare.

Genspect and SEGM have been classified as hate groups based on the information identified within SPLC’s CAPTAIN report, which tracked the exact actions of anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups within the United States and how they relate to one another.

The two groups are intrinsically linked, sharing many board members, such as therapists Stella O’Malley, Sasha Ayad, and Lisa Marchiano. All of them have been prominent figures in trying to persuade healthcare providers, legal professionals, and the broader public to oppose transgender rights.

Genspect stated on social media that they oppose the hate group designation, calling it a “baseless accusation” that suppresses debate.

Genspect has played a key role in opposing transgender healthcare, such as hosting mass gatherings for key players in anti-LGBTQ+ pseudoscience to gather and campaigning against bills that will benefit transgender individuals.

A notable bill that Genspect led a push against is California’s S.B. 107, which aimed to make it a refuge state for transgender individuals fleeing persecution across the country. Other campaigning Genspect includes opposing Drag Queen Story Hour.

SEGM board member Julia Mason claims the decision to classify her organization as a hate group is “silly” and that SPLC has “lost the plot.”

SEGM is primarily composed of therapists, healthcare providers, and academics who oppose transgender healthcare and, as such, has served as expert witnesses for numerous anti-trans bills.

They played a role in passing Idaho’s H.B. 509, which removed the ability for trans people to get their birth certificate changed but was later shot down in court. They also provided backing for Texas Gov. Greg Abbot’s (R) attacks on gender-affirming care, something he has likened to child abuse.

Members of SEGM were also advisors to the Cass Review, a report that has led to a shutdown of puberty blocker access in Great Britain.

SEGM and Genspect are now among several other anti-LGBTQ+ groups that have been designated as hate groups by the SPLC. These include the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the American Family Association (AFA), and the Family Research Council (FRC).

ADF is a legal organization involved in numerous “religious freedom” lawsuits that often involve only the religious right to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. It’s known for its affiliation with the book “The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today, which was written by former ADF CEO Alan Sears and ADF member Craig Osten, who also notably support bans on LGBTQ+ individuals from the military and from the Boy Scouts of America.

The Family Research Council is notable for pioneering the pseudoscientific association of LGBTQ+ individuals with pedophilia. They have helped draft prominent anti-trans legislation, such as the gender-affirming care ban Save Adolescents from Experimentation, and have opposed landmark advances in LGBTQ+ rights like the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed the right to same-sex marriage.

Rachel Carroll Rivas, interim director of the SPLC’s Intelligence, said in a statement for the full report, “Despite an alarming spike in hard-right groups and actions, we are encouraged by communities who have joined together to push back against voices that are preaching division and hate.”

“In the face of hate and bigotry, we can — and we will — remain hopeful and safeguard our multiracial, inclusive democracy for generations to come.”

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