An attempt by Idaho’s Senate to criminalize parents seeking trans-medical treatment for their children has been stopped by a group of Republicans.
The Republicans do not support gender reassignment for transgender minors. Instead, these Republicans are sincere and serious in their belief that it is best for parents and physicians to make this choice, and not Idaho legislators.
H.B. The H.B. 675 amendment would add a ban on minors receiving medical trans treatment to the state’s anti-female genital mutilation law. This ban doesn’t just forbid medical surgeries—something trans people typically don’t or cannot get until adulthood—it also forbids doctors from prescribing other medical treatments like puberty-blocking drugs.
In a letter released last week, Idaho state Sen. Mark Harris (R–Soda Springs), who chairs the majority caucus, opposed the bill together with the other caucus members. All of these senators are members of the State Affairs Committee where H.B. Hearing 675 will be possible. It passed through the House but was opposed by state officials.
“H.B. Harris wrote, “H.B. We believe in parental rights. Parents make the best medical decisions for their children, and we support them with the help of our doctors.
The letter also notes that the broad language of the bill could—whether intentionally or not—criminalize other types of gender-oriented treatments that have nothing to do with a child being trans. Although the bill allows for certain medical exceptions based on genetic evidence of abnormalities in some cases, not all medical conditions can be treated that way.
Kudos Harris, these Republican leaders and others for refusing to abandon conservative limits to government authority to gain points in the culture conflict. I will repeat this again, as it is necessary to do so every time that we discuss these bans: the focus on surgical bans in an attempt to divert attention from the less intrusive transmedical treatments ban. Harris points out in the letter that Idaho’s proposed ban on surgery for minors does not apply to Idaho. However, other hormonal treatments exist and are administered with parental consent, children, and professional support.
It Idaho Capital SunIt should be noted that the Senate Republican leaders are also skeptical of H.B. A bill, H.B. 666 was passed by the House. It would subject librarians to criminal sanctions for providing books or works that have nudity and sexual content. Idaho state Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder (R–Boise) described some of the bills coming from the House this session as “craziness” and said that H.B. 666 will probably be rejected by the Senate. Winder described it as “mischief and something that shouldn’t happen.”
Winder should be applauded for realizing that librarians do not seek to use children’s porn as an excuse. It’s actually happening that some very loud social conservatives still view LGBT issues as being inherently about sex, and are trying to convert children.