We are now living in a bizarre world in which children barely old enough to pick what clothes to wear to school are allowed to make life-altering decisions.
The state of South Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill that would prevent physicians from giving puberty blockers to children under 16 years of age in order to help them transition to a new gender, but it was not to be.
Unfortunately, the state Senate essentially killed the bill with a 5-2 vote in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, sending it to what is called the 41st day.
The Senate only has 40 working days, so sending something to the 41st day would effectively kill the bill, NBC News reported.
“It’s gone,” transgender 17-year-old Quinncy Parke, who lobbied against the bill, said. “I don’t have to worry about it until next year.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota was also against the bill and celebrated the decision in a statement.
“Though supporters claimed House Bill 1057 was aimed at protecting vulnerable youth, it was clearly fueled by a fear and misunderstanding of transgender South Dakotans,” policy director Libby Skarin said.
“It’s time we stop these attacks and the very real harm they cause to transgender youth across our state. Let this be a signal to the South Dakota Legislature that discrimination against a marginalized group is a distraction from the needs of the state and hurts us all.”
ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio also celebrated the committee’s vote.
“A warning: nothing is ever dead in a legislative session. Stay vigilant on HB 1057. We celebrate and we thank those who fought with us and we stay vigilant so they don’t try to bring it back,” Strangio said.
A warning: nothing is ever dead in a legislative session. Stay vigilant on HB 1057. We celebrate and we thank those who fought with us and we stay vigilant so they don’t try to bring it back. #NoHB1057
— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) February 10, 2020
Republican state Sen. Wayne Steinhauer led the move to kill the bill, calling it a “gut-wrenching” issue, the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls reported.
“I believe the building block of society is the family,” Steinhauer said. But not all of his Republican colleagues sided with his position.
“I don’t see this as paternalistic on the part of the government,” GOP Sen. Lance Russell said.
He’s right: Parents should have the right to raise their children as they see fit, but when talking about decisions that will change the child’s life forever, it is absurd to allow it to continue.
If these children want to be transgender, they can wait until they are 18 to make that decision for themselves.
But what they cannot do is reverse the damage done by these drugs if they decide, when they are older, that they made a mistake.
If they are too young to decide to smoke or drink or vote, then they are too young to decide to chemically alter their existence.
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