Prominent anti-marriage equality campaigner Dr David van Gend is under investigation by the Medical Board of Australia for sharing Lyle Shelton’s tweets.
van Gend could be found guilty by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) of “presenting as a medical practitioner and providing information that is ‘clearly not medically, psychologically, nor scientifically based’ and not promoting public health.”
van Gend, who is President of the anti-marriage equality group The Australian Marriage Forum, has come under investigation for “discriminatory conduct” over his sharing two of Australian Conservatives candidate Lyle Shelton’s tweets.
In one, Shelton shared a photo of himself with Ryan T. Anderson, a researcher with the right-wing Heritage Foundation, at an event to promote Anderson’s book – which was widely condemned as transphobic – When Harry Became Sally.
“A must read for anyone trying to understand how to push back on radical gender indoctrination of our children,” Shelton tweeted alongside the photo.
In another instance, also shared in April, van Gend retweeted Shelton’s post of an anti-trans Miranda Devine opinion piece entitled ‘SSM Has Led Exactly Where We Were Warned it Would’.
Shelton slammed the AHPRA for its decision to cite his tweets.
“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,” he said in a statement on his website.
“If the Medical Board is so confident that children’s gender is fluid, why doesn’t it allow discussion and debate?” Shelton said.
“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.”
Shelton went on to label van Gend a “hero” for “exposing” Safe Schools and cited van Gend’s book, Stealing from a Child – the Injustice of Marriage Equality, as evidence in his favour, somehow.
Shelton’s replacement at the Australian Christian Lobby, Martyn Iles, labelled the move “professional groupthink”.
“Through complaints like this, the proposed Code will effectively thought-police the medical profession,” he said.
The Medical Board of Australia has proposed revisions to its Code of Conduct which would mean doctors would have to more strictly distinguish their professional and personal views.
“As a doctor, you need to acknowledge and consider the effect of your comments and actions outside work, including online, on your professional standing and on the reputation of the profession,” the revised Code reads.
“If making public comment, you should acknowledge the profession’s generally accepted views and indicate when your personal opinion differs.
“Behavior which could undermine community trust in the profession is at odds with good medical practice and may be considered unprofessional.”
Responding to her column being implicated in the investigation, Devine cited Dr John Whitehall, who has compared the medical consensus to treat gender dysphoria humanely to practices like lobotomies and eugenics.
Public consultation on the revised Code has been extended until August 17.
In June, the Australian Medical Association-owed The Medical Journal of Australia published standards of care and treatment guidelines for trans and gender diverse youth.