Two anti-trans organisations listed as ‘hate groups’ by civil rights charity

Two anti-trans movements have been classified as “hate groups” by a civil rights not-for-profit organisation.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) classified “gender-critical” groups Genspect and the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM) as anti-LGBTQ+ “hate groups”, on Tuesday (4 June).

The two organisations, both of which oppose gender-affirming healthcare for trans people, were labelled as “key hubs of anti-LGBTQ+ pseudoscience” by the SPLC.

SPLC defines a hate group as “an organisation or collection of individuals that – based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities – has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”

It also notes that an organisation “does not need to have engaged in criminal conduct” to be classified as hate groups and that it does not list individuals as hate groups, only organisations.

In an article, the SPLC said organisations such as SEGM and Genspect are used to “manufacture debate over the efficacy of gender-affirming care around the world.”

SEGM specifically has taken out a “global media and public policy blitz” in an attempt to “advocate against gender-affirming care,” the charity said.

Everyone deserves the right to safe, affirming and inclusive environments in which to learn or work.

The SPLC is dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights, dignity and freedom of the LGBTQ community in the Deep South and beyond. #LGBTQRights #SPLCPride

— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) June 5, 2024

“The group’s endeavours are helped largely by its scientific façade, a general lack of information about its political activities and its members’ affiliations with the anti-LGBTQ+ far right,” the article says. “SEGM has helped foster resistance to the idea that adolescents can be capable of exerting agency over their own care.”

SEGM primarily consists of medical professionals and academics who oppose trans people’s right to gender-affirming care such as hormones, puberty blockers and surgery.

Founded in 2020, it describes itself as an “evidence-informed” not-for-profit organisation that promotes “healthcare for children, adolescents and young adults with gender dysphoria”.

SPLC claims the organisation has “substantial personnel overlap” with Genspect, a UK group with similar goals.

The two groups were listed in the SPLC alongside anti-trans groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Family Association and the Family Research Council.

Responding to the designation, Genspect alleged that the SPLC was pushing “a dangerous misrepresentation, designed to silence debate”, going on to say: “At Genspect, we campaign for high-quality, evidence-based care for those experiencing gender-related issues, free from any ideological gender.

“We, along with our director, Stella O’Malley, proudly participated in the Cass Review’s open consultation, demonstrating our commitment to open dialogue and rigorous research as the foundation for best practices.”

SEGM has similarly rejected the SPLC’s board member and pediatrician Julia Mason called the move “silly,” writing in a post on X/Twitter that the SPLC “lost the plot quite a while ago”.

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