“The messaging does have an effect”

The Guardian on the Polish presidential election:

[The party] has often hit out at gay rights and what it calls “LGBT ideology”, in rhetoric that is popular with parts of its base and the Catholic church.

Among other things, Duda’s new charter pledges no support for gay marriage or adoption by gay couples, with Duda describing the latter as part of “a foreign ideology”. It also seeks to “ban the propagation of LGBT ideology” in schools and public institutions – language reminiscent of a notorious Russian law targeting so-called “gay propaganda”.

…The messaging does have an effect. In a survey last year, when asked to name the biggest threat to Poland, the most popular answer among men under 40 was “the LGBT movement and gender ideology”.

The messaging does have an effect. And yet the Guardian, and many other UK papers, happily and frequently platforms the very same arguments about trans people that the Polish far right perpetuate about the wider LGBT+ community. It’s usually worded more diplomatically than in Poland, but the message is the same: we need to protect our children from dangerous predators who do not deserve human rights.

The messaging does have an effect. In the US, the hitherto uncontroversial existence of trans people has been weaponised by the Christian Right and its supporters in the Republican Party. Yesterday, to mark the 4th anniversary of the most lethal massacre of LGBT+ people in US history, the US government formalised a new rule that removes anti-discrimination protection from LGBT people in healthcare. Unless state laws say otherwise, it is now perfectly legal for doctors to refuse to provide any medical treatment to LGBT+ people and women who have had abortions. Not just transition-related treatment, or abortions. Any medical treatment. 

This began with scaremongering about trans women in toilets. It does not end there.

The messaging does have an effect.