I ask the question because of a resolution on which the Arkansas House will vote today, nominally in support of children’s welfare.
It’s a thinly disguised vehicle for condemning abortion, sexual orientation other than heterosexual and, particularly, any protection, much less comfort, for transgender children.
You’d think all the laws already passed to discriminate against them would be enough, including a denial of medical services that experts have said is already contributing to a rise in suicidal thoughts among children.
Do we really need a resolution that says three-fourths of Arkansas, if the House is representative, are ready to declare state sovereignty over federal laws about gender and sexual orientation? Probably. We’ve done so on guns and abortion too.
Why don’t we just secede and be done with it? Maybe because the feds have nukes and we don’t. Although under the proposed state sovereignty statutes I don’t see why we couldn’t override federal weapons limitations too.
One of the many whereases on the resolution up for a vote today:
WHEREAS, every child deserves an education suited for his or her specific needs and development as guided by his or her parents, including one free of graphic sexual curricula or content, the promotion of abortion, and politicized ideas about sexual orientation and gender identity; and
Locker rooms and sports are also covered in other whereaases.
The ultimate whereas:
WHEREAS, the State of Arkansas should to the fullest extent possible under the law resist every attempt or mandate by the federal government to force anyone in Arkansas to violate the principles set forth in this resolution,
Every public agency is urged to be guided by the directive and it is to be given to all state agency heads for distribution to all employees.
I’d ask they be sent the full testimony of Dr. Michele Hutchinson the Children’s Hospital pediatric endocrinologist, who testified against denial of medical services to children she works with. She said in part, as The New Republic recounted:
“We need to correct the record,” said Dr. Michele Hutchinson in one recent hearing, “because the folks that spoke before got an awful lot of time to tell you a lot of inaccuracies.” She went on to cite the standards of care for trans youth, which are recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Pediatric Endocrine Society, among others. But underneath her appeals to the evidence, Dr. Hutchinson was upset, and she said so. “I’m doing everything I can to maintain my sanity here … just after this bill passed the house, these kids heard about it. I’ve had multiple kids in our emergency room because of an attempted suicide. Just in the last week.” If this bill passes, she said, children will die. “And I will call you guys every single time one does.”
The Family Council’s leader, Jerry Cox, who testified for the resolution in the House today, says he is pro-life.
UPDATE: The House debated the resolution. Among the speakers, Rep. Cindy Crawford (R-Fort Smith) said she loved kids and, referencing Rep. Tippi McCullough, the lesbian Democrat from Little Rock, she said she loved her too and that her children even had gay friends. “This is a weird way to show that you love,” McCullough said later. She said this would contribute to how people look at Arkansas. Rep. Jim Wooten said sexual orientation was not a civil right but a choice. And he also said it was unfair to blame suicides on the legislature, that these were a result of individual mental problems. “Don’t make me feel guilty because you made a choice to follow a different path. …. Don’t put a guilt trip on me.”
The resolution was approved on a voice vote.