A South Dakota bill that protects gender-confused children under 16 from life-changing surgery is facing opposition and accusations of hate and discrimination.
State Rep. Fred Deutsch introduced the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, or House Bill 1057, which prohibits the medical community from prescribing powerful drugs, or performing surgery, on transgender youths 16 or younger.
The bill passed the House 46-23 in a vote last month and is now in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Linda Harvey of Mission America tells OneNewsNow she has some concerns – not about the legislation but about the state’s governor, Kristi Noem.
"She's getting pressure from all kinds of quarters to not support this bill," Havey says of the governor.
Noem, a Republican serving her first term, told The Association Press she is concerned about legislation that is trying to “fill parenting gaps” with “more government.”
Any legislative issue over transgenders will catch the attention of LGBT activists, which means South Dakota lawmakers are likely getting pummeled by groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU that told the AP they oppose the measure.
Business groups routinely hear from those same groups, too, which warn about being viewed as intolerant and hence losing industries and jobs.
Right on cue, in fact, the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry told the AP it opposes policies that “discriminate” against LGBT people.
Rep. Jamie Smith, the House Minority Leader, told The Associated Press the state will be labeled as “not welcoming” and “not inclusive” if the bill becomes law.
Havey, however, says it’s ridiculous that Gov. Noem is citing parental rights.
"Parental rights has never supported something like that: the right for parents to allow their children to be severely harmed by supposedly the latest in medical intervention,” she says.