The University of Western Australia canceled a Friday speaking engagement by a medical expert who claims identifying as transgender is a “delusional disorder” after thousands of students signed a petition demanding the school ban him from speaking.
Dr. Quentin Van Meter, American College of Pediatricians president, was set to speak at the university as part of a national tour sponsored by the Australian Family Association (AFA). The American doctor is a pediatric endocrinologist and professor.
“Transgender is actually a delusional disorder,” Van Meter said, according to The Guardian. “It’s a state of mind with no biologic basis for it that can be found.”
UWA claims it canceled the event because the AFA did not comply with the university’s venue hiring policy, The Australian reported Friday.
“The event hirers could not meet their obligations of the venue hire contract, providing no confidence that UWA could ensure safety on campus,” the university said in a statement, according to The Australian.
University of Western Australia cancels the Australian Family Association event on their campus because the hirers were unable to meet the terms of hire @uwanews
— Rebekah Robertson (@RebeRobbo) August 17, 2018
The cancellation comes after more than 9,000 students signed a petition demanding that the school cancel the speaking engagement.
UWA responded to those demands Wednesday, saying that canceling the event would “create an undesirable precedent for the exclusion of objectionable views,” The Guardian reported.
The university also noted, however, that Van Meter’s beliefs might not be in line with the university’s values.
“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 university said in a statement, according to The Guardian. (RELATED: Why Are Colleges Obsessed With ‘Free Speech Vs. Hate Speech’ Workshops?)
“It’s a sad fact that we now live in a world where universities are denying free speech and opinion,” Australian Christian Lobby’s state director Peter Abetz said, The Australian reported. “Dr. Van Meter is an international expert on transgenderism who should be allowed the freedom to speak just like anyone else.”
The university did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time for publication.
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