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An Australian university blocked a speaker who thinks being transgender is a 'delusional disorder'

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The University of Western Australia blocked American doctor Quentin Van Meter, the president of the American College of Paediatricians (ACPeds), from speaking on its campus.

UWA student doctor Thomas Drake-Brockman had started a petition to have the event cancelled, saying that the ACPeds "shamelessly promotes their ultra-conservative agenda at the expense of the health and well-being of trans kids." By the time it closed, the petition had attracted 9,042 supporters.

 Photograph by Greg O'Beirne - Wikimedia Commons

Van Meter had previously said that being trans was “a state of mind with no biologic basis for it that can be found,” while the ACPeds claims on its website that gender dysphoria “resolves in the vast majority of patients by late adolescence.”

PinkNews describes ACPeds as an "anti-LGBT+ hate group"; among other things, the organisation promotes "gay cure therapy" and urges parents not to validate the sexuality of children who do not identify as straight.

The UK is in the process of banning "gay cure therapy", which Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt has described as an "abhorrent practice", and the practice has been disavowed by a wide range of health organisations including the UK's NHS. However, despite legalising same-sex marriage in November 2017, Australia has yet to follow suit.

This assessment is backed up by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, an American anti-hate group organisation which says ACPeds is "a fringe anti-LGBT hate group that masquerades as the premier U.S. association of paediatricians to push anti-LGBT junk science."

Van Meter was on a tour of Australia sponsored by the Australian Family Association (AFA), another anti-LGBT+ hate group which has likened being transgender to having anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder.

The university initially defended its decision, but later voided the venue hire booking on the grounds that the AFA had failed to submit a risk assessment or detailed event management plan that addressed safety issues during the event.

“Due to an issue of non-compliance, the venue hire booking has been voided. The event organisers have been advised they have forfeited their booking rights for failure to meet the conditions of hire,” the institution said.

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