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American College of Pediatricians vs. transgender people

The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is a socially conservative organization of activist pediatricians. Members have consistently taken a stand against gender affirming models of care for trans and gender diverse youth. With only about 700 members, ACPeds are a conservative fringe group within pediatrics, only about 1% of the size of mainstream organization American Academy of Pediatrics. With about 67,000 members, the American Academy of Pediatrics remains supportive of gender affirming care for youth.

ACPeds is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center:

The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is a fringe anti-LGBTQ hate group that masquerades as the premier U.S. association of pediatricians to push anti-LGBTQ junk science, primarily via far-right conservative media and filing amicus briefs in cases related to gay adoption and marriage equality.​

SPLC (2023)

LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization GLAAD notes that the group:

  • opposes same-sex marriage
  • opposes same-sex adoption
  • opposes abortion
  • opposes gender-affirming care for youth
  • opposes LGBTQ youth access to sports
  • opposes drag queen story hours
  • supports non-affirming models of care for gender diverse youth, including conversion therapy
  • claims “transgenderism is a belief system that increasingly looks like a cultish religion”
  • claims LGBTQ activists “have pedophilia intrinsically woven into their agenda”

In 2023 ACPeds launched an anti-trans website called Biological Integrity. The site has misleading information about trans healthcare.

Key people


  • Michael Artigues
  • Jane Anderson
  • Tom Benton
  • Christina Chan
  • Scott S. Field
  • Salwa Gendi
  • Russell Gombosi
  • Mark Grubb
  • Patricia Lee June
  • J. Wells Logan
  • Renata Moon
  • David Olson
  • L. David Perry
  • Robin Pierucci
  • Richard Sandler
  • Jill Simons
  • Ron Smith .
  • William Stigall
  • Den A. Trumbull
  • Kimberly A. Vacca
  • Leah Willson
  • Nick Yates

2018 letter to Trump Administration

In 2018, a consortium of anti-transgender activists associated with ACPeds petitioned the Trump Administration with the goal of “upholding the scientific definition of sex in law and policy,” adding “an individual who identifies as transgender remains either a biological male or female.”


  • Michelle Cretella, M.D. Executive Director, American College of Pediatricians
  • Donna Harrison, M.D. Executive Director, American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • David Stevens, M.D. CEO, Christian Medical and Dental Associations
  • Peter Morrow, M.D. President, Catholic Medical Association
  • Stephen M. Krason, Ph.D. President, Society of Catholic Social Scientists
  • Paul McHugh, M.D. University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Michael K. Laidlaw, M.D. Endocrinologist and member of
  • Craig Stump M.D., Ph.D., FACE Endocrinologist, University of Arizona College of Medicine
  • Paul W. Hruz M.D., Ph.D. Pediatric Endocrinologist, Physician-Scientist, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Professor of Cellular Biology & Physiology
  • Angela Lanfranchi M.D. FACS Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Susan J. Bradley, M.D., FRCP(C) Professor Emerita, University of Toronto
  • J. Michael Bailey, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology Northwestern University
  • Marie T. Hilliard, MS, MA, JCL, Ph.D., RN The National Catholic Bioethics Center Mary Lou Singleton, MSN, FPC-BC
  • Christopher Doyle, LPC Co-Founder National Task Force for Therapy Equality
  • David Pickup, LMFT Co-Founder National Task Force for Therapy Equality
  • Laura Haynes, Ph.D., California Licensed Psychologist USA Representative, International Federation for Therapeutic and Counseling Choice (
  • Michael Farris, J.D. President, CEO, & General Counsel Alliance Defending Freedom
  • Matthew D. Staver, Esq. Founder and President, Liberty Council
  • Charles LiMandri, J.D. Founder and President, Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund
  • Robert J. Muise, Esq. Co-Founder, American Freedom Law Center
  • Gerard V. Bradley, J.D. Professor of Law University of Notre Dame
  • Steven D. Smith, J.D. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law University of San Diego
  • Maimon Schwarzschild, J.D. Professor of Law University of San Diego
  • Larry Alexander, LL.B. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law University of San Diego
  • Tony Perkins President Family Research Council
  • Frank Cannon President American Principles Project
  • Matthew J. Franck, Ph.D. Senior Fellow, Witherspoon Institute
  • Sharon Slater President, Family Watch International Austin Ruse President, Center for Family and Human Rights
  • Allan C. Carlson, Ph.D., Editor, The Natural Family: An International Journal of Research and Policy
  • Patrick Lee, Ph.D. McAleer Professor of Bioethics Center for Bioethics, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Christopher Wolfe, Ph.D. Distinguished Affiliate Professor, University of Dallas President, American Public Philosophy Institute
  • Rev. D. Paul Sullins, Ph.D. Research Professor of Sociology and Director, Leo Institute for Catholic Social Research, The Catholic University of America
  • Robert G Kennedy, Ph.D. Department of Catholic Studies University of St. Thomas
  • Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. Founder and President, The Ruth Institute

Cited works by

  • Colin Wright
  • Lawrence S. Mayer and Paul McHugh
  • Jiska Ristori and Thomas D. Steensma
  • Cecilia Dhejne, Paul Lichtenstein, Marcus Boman, Anna L. V. Johansson, Niklas Långström, Mikael Landén
  • Alliance Defending Freedom

2023 data leak

ACPeds inadvertently shared links to an unsecured Google Drive that contained 10,000 files, including membership information, financial data, and strategy. As of spring 2022, the College counted slightly more than 700 active members. An internal database listed 1,200 past and current members. Via WIRED:

Many of the College’s most radical views target transgender people, and in particular, transgender youth. The leak, which had been indexed by Google, includes volumes of literature crafted specifically to influence relationships between practicing pediatricians, parents, and their children. It includes reams of marketing material the College aims to distribute widely among public school officials.


Cameron, Dell; Mehrotra, Dhruv (May 2, 2023). An Anti-Trans Doctor Group Leaked 10,000 Confidential Files. WIRED

Stahl, Aviva (April 16, 2021). Meet The “Fringe Extremists” Pushing Flawed Science To Target Trans Kids Buzzfeed News

Cretella M et al. (December 4, 2018). [Letter to Matthew Whitaker, Alex Azar, and Betsy DeVos.]

Cretella, Michelle (2018). Gender Dysphoria in Children. ACPeds


Trans Data Library (



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