HRC Launches Site Debunking Anti-LGBTQ Junk Science

Today, the HRC Foundation launched McHugh Exposed, a website that pulls back the curtain on the anti-LGBTQ myths and junk science being peddled by Dr. Paul McHugh, the go-to ‘expert’ for anti-equality extremists. The resource includes a detailed timeline of how McHugh’s hateful and damaging essays have been used to target and attack LGBTQ people and a new video featuring renowned LGBTQ health expert, Dr. Tonia Poteat. It can be found at

McHugh’s false, non-scientific assertions have been used by anti-equality activists in state legislatures and courtrooms to defend discrimination against LGBTQ people. Recently, McHugh’s opinions were featured in an amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States opposing the rights of transgender students like Gavin Grimm, a Virginia teenager who filed suit against his school board alleging it violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by denying him use of the boy’s restroom. The case was recently sent back to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for a new hearing.

Additionally, anti-equality activists continue to reference McHugh’s specious claims in Congressional hearings and legislative debates — even making their way into the media.

“Paul McHugh’s writings continue to dangerously undermine the safety, security and wellbeing of LGBTQ people, and particularly transgender youth, across the country,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC Vice President for Research, Training, and Programs. “McHugh’s junk science is still being referenced in legislative and legal battles despite the fact that Paul McHugh has no academic expertise in either gender or sexual orientation, and actively avoids publishing any of his anti-LGBTQ pieces in peer-reviewed journals. Policy makers, informed citizens and parents deserve to know that this is junk science and personal opinion – not at all in the mainstream of current medical and academic research and not endorsed by Johns Hopkins regardless of how McHugh uses his title to suggest credibility or expertise.”

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