The American Family Association has started a petition against National Geographic magazine's decision to feature a 9-year-old transgender child on the cover of its January issue, which they say isn't helping people who suffer from gender dysphoria.
"Advocates for sexual deviancy have quickly moved from using adults to promote their agenda to exploiting children as the face of their cause," the AFA states in its petition.
"Susan Goldberg, the National Geographic editor, should be ashamed of herself for using a young child in such an abusive manner. The overwhelming majority of doctors and psychiatrists label what this child is going through as 'gender dysphoria' and National Geographic is lauding it as 'beautiful,'" it added.
The controversy stems from the magazine's decision to feature its first ever transgender person on an issue cover in the face of Avery Jackson, who was born male but is transitioning to look like a girl.
"The best thing about being a girl is, now I don't have to pretend to be a boy," Jackson says in the magazine.
Goldberg admitted in an editor's note that the January cover has received heavily polarizing feedback.
"Since we shared photos of the cover of our special issue on gender on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, tens of thousands of people have weighed in with opinions, from expressions of pride and gratitude to utter fury. More than a few have vowed to cancel their subscriptions," the editor revealed.
Goldberg insisted that National Geographic is only trying to shed a light on the challenges transgender people face, and to promote discussions.
"We hope these stories about gender will spark thoughtful conversations about how far we have come on this topic — and how far we have left to go," she wrote.
The AFA, which has spoken out on a number of occasions against LGBT activist campaigns, argued that National Geographic has "abandoned what it does best" to "foist a lifestyle in the American public that the medical community identifies as unhealthy."
"Imagine the pain and psychological trauma gender dysphoria causes children and adults. Rather than abandoning geography to shame Americans into embracing such a lifestyle, we should be helping individuals who struggle with this disorder. That is, helping confused individuals accept their wonderfully crafted and God-given biology," the conservative group added, claiming in a previous post that the magazine is "shaking a fist at God and biblical authority."
Other conservative evangelicals, such as Michael Brown, host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program, suggested that the magazine might be committing "child abuse" by "making a confused young child into an international celebrity."
"I can only rue their celebration of the 'gender revolution' and pray for God's best for Avery," Brown wrote in an op-ed published in The Christian Post.