The Blinken memo: Gender ideology and U.S. foreign policy

Special to, September 7, 2022

Team Biden is set to begin putting pressure on other nations to push vulnerable children into gender transition hormones and surgeries, an analyst wrote, citing a leaked State Department internal memo.

This calls to mind the phrase that remains in Google’s code of conduct: “Don’t be evil.”

Writing for the City-Journal on Aug. 31, Leor Sapir said the memo, which was leaked to him by an officer in the State Department’s Foreign Service, represents an effort by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to carry out Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14075 from last June which instructs U.S. federal agencies to do what they can to stop “conversion therapy” for “LGBTQI+” people.

Regarded by critics as tantamount to child abuse, potentially enabling pedophilia, the Biden order and the Blinken memo would be given teeth by U.S. embassy submissions for their host countries’ annual UN Human Rights reports.

“The Blinken memo cites as an authority the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, an organization that, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, has fallen victim to capture by a small but vocal and well-organized group of ideologues, among them Jack Turban,” Sapir noted.

Team Biden defines “conversion therapy” as any effort to “suppress or change an individual’s . . . gender identity.” But what does “conversion” mean?

“The memo relies on the United Nations Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, to clarify that ‘conversion’ means only efforts to change a transgender identity into a ‘cisgender one.’ Thus, a hypothetical scenario in which a child is put under intense pressure to become trans, even if this means medicalization, would technically not count as ‘conversion.’ At the first signs of a child’s gender distress or confusion, the only legitimate, ‘human rights’-respecting outcome of treatment, according to the Biden administration, is social transition followed, in most cases, by body modification.”

The Blinken directive, Sapir writes, “effectively turns American consulates and embassies into global ‘gender affirming’ spies. Embassies are instructed to ‘submit robust information on the so-called ‘conversion therapy’ practices’ of host countries ‘as part of the annual Human Rights Reports.’ Jessica Stern’s office will then devise an ‘action plan to combat the practice across foreign policy and foreign assistance lines of effort.’ ”

After signing Executive Order 14075, Biden appointed Stern as Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons, a position created by the Obama administration but left unfilled under President Donald Trump.

Sapir points out: “Stern, who goes by ‘all pronouns,’ had previously served as executive director at OutRight Action International, an advocacy organization with a permanent presence at United Nations headquarters in New York. OutRight has borrowed arguments against ‘conversion therapy’ for sexual orientation (where the evidence against the practice is strong) and applied them, unscientifically, to ‘gender identity’ (where studies have consistently shown that cross-gender identification in children is, for the vast majority of those who experience it, a passing phase). This strategy of piggybacking off public ignorance about the difference between homosexuality and transgenderism is by now familiar. And lest it be thought that politicians know better, Biden himself seems unable to differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Sapir continues: “Ominously, the Blinken memo defines ‘conversion therapy’ to include not only ‘electric shock’ and ‘corrective rape’ but also ‘talk therapy.’ That’s right: using psychotherapy to help a child in distress about her changing body feel more comfortable in it rather than undergo expensive, risky, and irreversible hormonal and surgical interventions is, according to the State Department, no different from electrocuting gays and lesbians in order to ‘liberate’ them from their innate sexual attractions.”

For countries like Sweden, Finland, and the UK, Sapir noted, “the medical authorities in these places have concluded over the past two years that the evidence for pediatric ‘gender affirming care’ is extremely weak and that, as a result, hormonal and surgical interventions are (as Finland’s COHERE put it) ‘experimental.’ Sweden and Finland are now instructing clinicians who deal with minors to utilize an approach that emphasizes talk therapy as the first line of defense and ‘affirming’ drugs only in extreme situations, if ever. Sweden has banned gender surgeries for minors — surgeries that are practiced in the United States, notwithstanding the repeated gaslighting of gender clinics and left-of-center media outlets.”

Sapir added: “What happens when an impoverished Sudanese teenager begins hormone therapy or gets a mastectomy and serious complications arise, as they so often do for these procedures? Medical services in many developing countries are notoriously subpar, and if risk of serious complications from specialized and as-yet experimental hormonal and surgical interventions is high in the United States, that risk is compounded where transitioned minors have no access to specially trained doctors with adequate medical equipment. It’s hard to see how rushing kids to experimental gender transition in countries without proper medical infrastructure serves their health needs.”T

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