A US professor of paediatric medicine, who says the transgender movement is based on ideology rather than science, will speak at the University of Western Australia despite pressure to ban him.
A student petition with more than 6,000 signatures is protesting against the appearance on Friday of the paediatric endocrinologist Dr Quentin Van Meter, who is on a national tour sponsored by The Australian Family Association.
Van Meter has said that using puberty blockers for children with gender dysphoria was akin to child abuse.
“Transgender is actually a delusional disorder,” he said. “It’s a state of mind with no biologic basis for it that can be found.”
Van Meter is president of the American College of Paediatricians, which is known for its opposition to marriage equality, gender reassignment and abortion.
A UWA statement said on Wednesday that while the university did not endorse the opinions of its speakers, cancelling the event would “create an undesirable precedent for the exclusion of objectionable views” from the university.
“The views which have been expressed by the speakers in the past, particularly with respect to transgender people, are at odds with the university’s values of respect for human dignity and diversity,” the statement said.
“That respect, in relation to LGBTIQA+ people generally, has been evidenced by the Rainbow Flag, which has flown for some months at the front of the UWA campus.