A Christian doctor retweets a post by a conservative politician and finds himself in trouble for it. Australian conservative politician Lyle Shelton calls it "persecution of a family doctor," saying it's a "warning to parents to shut up."
Dr. David van Gend is a general practitioner from Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia. He reposted tweets by Shelton, both with comments critical of the transgender indoctrination of children and of "gender fluidity" classes in Australian schools.
Months later he was informed a complaint was filed against him with The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and that he was under investigation.
One of the retweeted posts by Shelton included a picture of him with the Heritage Foundation's Ryan Anderson who wrote the book When Harry Becomes Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.
"Not long ago, most Americans had never heard of transgender identity, but within the space of a year it became a cause claiming the mantle of civil rights," Anderson says in his book. "A discordant gender identity is said to represent who the person really is, by contrast with the sex 'assigned at birth,' and therefore any failure to accept and support a transgender identity amounts to bigotry. We are told that not treating people as the gender they claim to be is discriminatory."
That sort of alleged discrimination is what the AHPRA is investigating. The doctor must explain his actions in writing to the health regulatory agency and argue how his retweets "promote the 'health of the community' and 'advances the health and wellbeing of individual patients.'"
Shelton is coming to van Gend's defense.
"If the Medical Board can punish a medical professional for questioning that children's gender is fluid, God help the parents who try and protect their kids from being indoctrinated at school," Shelton said in a statement. "If the Medical Board is so confident that children's gender is fluid, why doesn't it allow discussion and debate? Why must it use its power to crush even the questioning of contested science? It is much easier to shut people up than to have a proper discussion but sadly free speech is not the way of modern politically correct elites."
Miranda Devine, a conservative columnist and blogger with The Daily Telegraph is writing in his defense as well.
"Van Gend, a conservative Christian, retweeted these tweets without comment. That is the sum total of his offending," said Devine.
"AHPRA is a mighty body with powers to prosecute, involve police and apply criminal sanctions to doctors who transgress medical ethics and the law. It was designed to stop killers, incompetents and charlatans who endanger lives, not to stop private citizens with medical degrees from expressing their opinions," she wrote.
"What makes this case all the more sinister is the fact the Board now wants to apply even more repressive speech controls on medicos," she warned. "It is drafting an Orwellian revision to its code of conduct which would use the threat of deregistration to silence dissenting doctors who speak out — or even silently retweet — on contentious topics from euthanasia to gender reassignment in children."