It pains me when I encounter the stories now too often being told by parents who are dealing with a child who has “come out” as transgendered. I can’t imagine the extreme anguish this tragedy must create for their families and other loved ones. And I sympathize with responsible legislators and policy-makers at every level who are dealing with the highly contentious implications for public policy.
In Washington, the so-called Equality Act, twice approved by the House, is waiting action by the Senate. This bill would essentially codify in law the Supreme Court’s decision in the Bostock case by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected characteristics under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and also redefine “sex” to include gender identity for all purposes. Various initiatives on this and related issues, both pro and con, are pending in a number of state legislatures.
As I have previously written, aside from the sympathy I have for the families involved, to me the transgender issue is all about human chromosomes. And while I am fully aware that a predisposition to identify with a gender other than biological can be in evidence as early as age three, to my knowledge there is no “transgender gene”. Human genetic sex is determined at the time of conception. That is a reality that must be dealt with in common sense, particularly when puberty inevitably intervenes.
But I also realize that it must also be dealt with in public policy, and to that point I thought the Arkansas legislature recently had it right, and so did National Review. The Arkansas legislature overrode Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto to enact a law banning the use of drugs and surgeries on children as part of “gender reassignment” therapy. National Review’s commentary applauded the decision and suggested that other states follow suit, then added “if states have an interest in protecting children from those who would sell them drugs and alcohol, as they do, certainly they have the same interest in halting therapies that can result in irreversible damage to their minds and bodies”. Amen to that.