Right-wing media use Cass Report to justify violence against parents of trans youth

A person walking past the Tavistock Centre sign.

Right-wing pundits and fringe groups have begun using the results of the Cass Report to seemingly justify discrimination against trans people and their parents and guardians.

The report, published earlier this month, made upwards of 32 recommendations to restructure the way in which trans youth receive care in England.

Responding to the sharp rise in referrals to what was the country’s only youth gender clinic, NHS England commissioned Dr Hilary Cass, a paediatric expert, to lead the review in 2020.

As well as recommending a “holistic approach” to care, the report built upon recommendations made in a 2022 interim report which suggested The Tavistock, in North London, be closed in favour of regional hubs across the country.

The 400-page report has been scrutinised by experts and activists who say that it is either taking the wrong approach to trans healthcare or uses spurious research to justify its recommendations.

While the report has also received its fair share of criticism from right-wing anti-LGBTQ+ groups, it has also been used to further justify discrimination against the community, particularly young transgender people.

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Right-winger compares gender-affirming care to ‘genital mutilation’ in Cass Report rant

A collection of American pundits and publications highlighted by advocacy organisation Media Matters for America shows right-wing activists seemingly justifying violence against the parents of trans under-18s.

An article by American Spectator columnist and friend of former president Donald Trump’s son Eric, Scott McKay, who, according to MediaMatrters, once said that 9/11 was perpetrated by people “hiding under the religion of Judaism,” claimed that the British government is using taxpayers’ money to “sexually mutilate” children.

Scott McKay then compared “wayward, narcissistic, Munchausen-by-proxy parents” supporting their trans youngsters to “sexually molesting [a] child” and suggested that transgender parents would be better off dead.

“If, for example, a wife finds out her husband is sexually molesting her child and proceeds to shoot him dead, there’s a pretty broad consensus that she shouldn’t be punished for it,” McKay wrote. “She’s a hero for doing that, many would say.

“How do you recover from being sterilised and mutilated? And how is ‘transing’ a kid not an abuse worse than sexually molesting him or her?”

The Cass Report was also mentioned during Fox News panel show The Five, in which co-host Greg Gutfeld claimed that trans healthcare is a “proactive attack on vulnerable humans” and is based on “conscience.”

He then compared gender-affirming-care clinicians to “Nazi doctors who experimented on Jews during the Holocaust” and said they would “have their reckoning”, Media Matters reported.