I am pleased to report that as of this past Tuesday, June 6th, both chambers of the Louisiana legislature had passed HB648 by Rep. Gabe Firmin. This is the bill prohibiting the use of certain treatments (puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery) on children presenting to the medical community with gender dysphoria.
In my recent article in The Hayride, I had been careful to point out that support of HB648 had nothing to do with opposition to LGBTQ rights; rather, it was about employing the best treatment options for vulnerable children who typically presented with multiple mental health issues in addition to their claims of gender dysphoria.
Much to my sorrow, but not my surprise, I read last Friday morning in The Times-Picayune that our Democrat governor, John Bel Edwards, had precisely parroted the left’s false narrative that opposition to the use of irreversible and life-altering hormonal and surgical procedures on children was anti-gay and transphobic. The Governor accordingly advised that he planned to veto the bill.
Not content to stop there, John Bel blathered on into the stratosphere of sophistry by drawing a parallel between the civil rights movement and present-day advocates of hormone therapy and “gender-affirming” surgery. To leave you in no doubt that this amazing display of tomfoolery actually occurred, I will quote John Bel’s own words: “The judgment of history, I believe, will be very clear. It will be as clear as the judgment of history has been on those who didn’t want civil rights in the 50’s, for example.” I double checked, and yes, he really did make that comparison…
So what are these “gender-affirming” treatments that we are here discussing? By the way, this in itself is a term of art created by the left to obscure the ghoulish effects these therapies have on the human body. Well, they involve either (1) giving children what used to be called chemical castration drugs in non-surgical cases, or (2) in surgical cases removing children’s breasts, penises, ovaries, vaginas, and such, with the intent to create some workable facsimile of the genitalia of the opposite sex. (Some, including your author, prefer to simply call these procedures for what they are- child mutilation.)
For those of you who are left-leaning but not yet committed Progressive fanatics, you would do well to briefly pause from the culture war which is destroying our country, to consider some facts: None of these treatments are reversible, and there is no data on their long-term effects on the children receiving them. They are, obviously, life-altering, but they are also becoming increasingly controversial in every country which pioneered in their development.
And there are problems unique to the American medical establishment, which is increasingly falling out of step with advanced medical protocols and practice in Europe. Our doctors continue to treat children presenting with multiple mental health issues, including gender dysphoria, as though the root cause of all their problems were in every case gender dysphoria. This is an assumption based on what can only be called ideology- it is surely not science. This medical protocol essentially amounts to criminal negligence when you consider that the evidence indicates that for the great majority of children who now present with gender dysphoria, their condition will eventually resolve and they will accept their birth sex in the course of just growing up!
Furthermore, the American medical establishment cannot explain the ongoing explosion in the number of children claiming to suffer with gender dysphoria, which number has increased by several thousands of a percent over the last decade. Heretofore, all clinicians who dealt with gender dysphoria acknowledged that it was a vanishingly rare condition, so what has happened?
Well, social media has happened; peer group pressure has happened; a medical establishment which has become politicized and now ruthlessly suppresses dissent has happened; and educators who bring their personal views on sex and politics into the classroom have happened. The evidence is obvious: An increasingly high percentage of our most vulnerable children are being pressured by our society to report that they are suffering with gender dysphoria.
You certainly don’t have to accept my claims without reservation, but please spend a few hours on this critical subject reviewing the medical journals and related commentary coming out of Sweden, Finland, and the United Kingdom. This was an eye-opening experience for me. Thanks to the Internet, the articles are easily retrieved and read. (Check out the recent Louisiana Public Broadcasting video and the videos of UK Doctor Az Hakeem, for starters.)
Here in the United States, the slightest dissent from the official orthodoxies of the medical establishment can result in the destruction of one’s career. Nevertheless, whistleblowers are coming forward at an increasing rate to swear that they were pressured into administering treatments to children presenting with multiple other psychiatric issues which were not examined or treated before these life-altering treatments were administered.
And so where are we as a society headed on this issue? Well, as I’ve indicated, most of the countries which pioneered in the development of these treatments now have strong reservations about their use in the great majority of pediatric cases, and their national medical establishments are increasingly condemning and urgently reforming the medical culture which greatly over-promoted such treatments. Lawsuits are proliferating, and I expect that the longer these treatments continue to be inflicted on children who are vulnerable, confused, and obviously being pressured by doctors, psychologists, therapists, teachers, their peers, social media, etc., the greater will be the societal and legal whirlwind which follows.
But back to Louisiana and HB648: We have the medical evidence on our side. We also have sufficient numbers of legislators in both state chambers to override John Bel’s expected veto of this bill. Doubtless, he will make calls to personally threaten legislators and veto the projects in their districts, regardless of the pressing needs of millions of Louisianians. After all, that is how this governor plays the political game- mercilessly and without regard for the welfare of his fellow citizens. All that is important to him is that the legislators hostile to his agenda be punished.
But consider this: John Bel himself invoked the “judgment of history.“ Make no mistake- there certainly will be a judgment of history on the victimization of the vulnerable children who received these treatments, just not the one he was expecting. The task before us as citizens and legislators is to halt in its tracks an avoidable tragedy of immense proportions.
It is not now nor was it ever morally acceptable to trivialize the use of these treatments because of the left’s claims that only a small number of children were being affected. In the first place, not a single child should ever be subjected to any of these horrors, and second, we are no longer talking about small numbers of children because their numbers have grown exponentially. Every one of us must do everything we can to support HB648- this is a moral imperative!
Allow me to conclude with a special plea to our legislators, both Republicans and those Democrats who supported HB648: Overriding John Bel’s expected veto may have adverse consequences now, but that will be a short-term price which must if necessary be paid. Your conscience is not a moral light switch to be turned on and off at will, nor is it a bargaining tool which may assume more or less importance on any given issue. Just do what you know to be the right thing and all will ultimately be well.
LOUIS GURVICH, Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana
P.S.: Please contact your State Representative at 225-342-6945and your State Senator at 225-342-2040, and let them know that you strongly support HB648!