The Texas Conservative Liberty Forum, in its mission to represent the citizens of Texas who believe in the conservative values of limited government and personal responsibility, and in the freedom of conscience and full equality under constitutional law for all citizens, has undertaken the review of key bills before our state legislature that are of consequence to major issues of contention in our state, and across the country. Over the next few days, we will be announcing our assessments of these bills.
As we perform this review, we do so under our stated commitment to uphold the rights and privileges, and lawful security of every citizen, regardless of religious or other beliefs, walks of life, or demographic category. In our review, we will determine that we either support, not support, or oppose a bill.
We will respond to objections or questions frequently raised, and we will post our answers on our FAQs on our website at texaslibertyforum.org
The Texas Conservative Liberty Forum SUPPORTS Senate Bill 14 & House Bill 1686
Senate Bill 14/House Bill 1686 - Relating to prohibitions on the provision to certain children of procedures and treatments for gender transitioning, gender (sex) reassignment, or gender dysphoria and on the use of public money or public assistance to provide those procedures and treatments.
There are few issues of greater controversy than the growing concern of the application of highly consequential medical procedures on minors. Ranging from the administration of puberty blockers and hormone therapy to major surgery, these procedures are performed for the purpose of anatomical alteration of the body so that it more closely corresponds with a minor’s self-declared identification with the opposite sex. The plain fact of the matter is that to date, there is no clear scientific understanding of the cause of gender dysphoria or transsexuality, nor the value of current drastic procedures as applied to minors – notwithstanding the claims made by Gender Ideology activists, and regardless of the media’s uncritical repetition of those claims. To be absolutely clear: there are no proper scientific studies that confirm the value of the medical transitioning of minors, nor the effect of such care on the rates of suicide among minors self-diagnosing as needing this type of medical care – period. Any examination of such claims will reveal advocacy groups with stated lobbying goals conducting surveys or studies in which little is done beyond simply having individuals voluntarily self-report, with no control groups or other standard scientific protocols in place to justify their claims.
Meanwhile, the scientific evidence is beginning to show three things: 1) the dramatic and alarming increase of minors self-diagnosing as needing these medical procedures; 2) the reality of irreversible and often damaging effects resulting from these procedures; and 3) the growing numbers of individuals reaching adulthood regretting their childhood decision to transition. Many of these are young persons reporting they were led by caregivers to conclude they were ‘trans’ only to later conclude they were simply not heterosexual, or merely not conforming to gender or sex stereotypes of behavior or appearance.
In several major advanced liberal democracies, such as Sweden, Norway, Finland, and the United Kingdom, these developments have led key institutions, that until recently had been the leaders in gender (sex) reassignment procedures, to stop and even reverse policies that affirmed minors in their self-identifications as members of the opposite sex. In the United States, only last summer, under the Biden Administration, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its first warning of serious side effects regarding the use of puberty blockers on minors.
The concept of “affirmative care” has been a development in medicine unlike any other in history. There is no other area of medicine where the patient, let alone a child, is given full discretion to self-diagnose, and to then prescribe his or her own treatment. In fact, “affirmative care” is literally the replacement of what should properly be “diagnostic care.” Yet, we have seen not just the evidence of this practice, but the public admission that “affirmation” is what is being demanded. That many professionals in the medical profession have embraced this notion of “affirmative” care does not change the fact that there is no science to support “affirmative” care, or that it is unique and unprecedented in medicine.
It is, however, an alarming development that such professionals are willing to make claims not based on scientific evidence. At a 2021 meeting of the European Professional Association for Transgender Health (EPATH) - the European version of the World Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), when Gender Ideology activists delivered remarks advocating for the medical profession to focus more on “transphobia” and less on the negative side-effects of treatments, the attending professionals loudly applauded, a clear manifestation of favoring ideological concerns over scientific ones.
Even more alarming is the willingness to apply the concept of “affirmative” care on young children, even in some cases as young as six, as if a child would be able to consent to a path that will lead to drastic surgical procedures replacing otherwise healthy sex organs with functionally inferior ones, infertility, bones loss, increased risk for cancer, permanent dependency on hormones, limitations to travel, loss of sexual function and intimacy, and very often added complications. On its face, these are decisions only a well-diagnosed adult can make, and there are many transgender adults who agree. It is also worth noting that young gay people are at the greatest risk of being “affirmed” into a path they may deeply regret later.
Even, Marci Bowers, president of WPATH, who is also transgender and has been a strong advocate for the benefits of sex-transition procedures including for minors, has admitted with concern that medical providers adopting “the gender-affirmative” approach are “simply taking what the children say and running with it.”
The question before the legislature is not one about discrimination. It is about true informed consent and our obligation to protect children from the consequences of things they cannot understand or account for. For that reason, the Texas Conservative Liberty Forum SUPPORTS the passage of Texas Senate Bill 14 and House Bill 1686.
Recommendations (not dependent on support):
Remove/revise Section 2, Sec 161.702,
SUBCHAPTER X. GENDER TRANSITIONING AND GENDER REASSIGNMENT
PROCEDURES AND TREATMENTS FOR CERTAIN CHILDREN
SUBCHAPTER X. GENDER OR SEX TRANSITIONING AND SEX-REASSIGNMENT
PROCEDURES AND TREATMENTS FOR CERTAIN CHILDREN
Reason: “Gender” is word that only has a recent history (35 years) of application to persons, with variable meanings, and has very little record in statutes defining the term, as opposed to ‘sex,’ which is more clearly defined in federal and state law.
Marco A. Roberts, Chairman
Texas Conservative Liberty Forum