Savannah Maddox is drafting legislation to ban potentially life-saving puberty blockers for transgender children (Facebook)
A Kentucky Republican is drafting legislation that will make it illegal for trans children to receive crucial gender-affirming hormone blockers.
Savannah Maddox was motivated to begin working on the bill after hearing of a custody battle over a seven-year-old Texan transgender girl named Luna, whose estranged father tried to force her to live as a boy.
The court ultimately sided with Luna’s mother, who allowed the girl to safely transition, and ordered the whole family to attend family therapy.
In a public Facebook post, Maddox wrote: “I am a strong advocate for parent’s rights – but it is not the right of a parent to permanently alter a child’s gender or identity, even when based upon certain behaviours or the perceptions of a child’s mind which has not yet had time to fully develop.”
Puberty blockers can temporarily prevent the development of secondary sexual characteristics, such as an Adam’s apple or facial hair.
They are critical in reducing the significant risks of self-harm and suicide in transgender teens, and mean they can potentially avoid some gender-affirming surgeries later in life.
Gillian Branstetter, a spokesperson for the National Center for Transgender Equality, told LGBTQ Nation that Maddox’s bill will endanger the lives of trans people and also be emulated in other conservative state legislatures.
In Georgia, Republican Ginny Ehrhart is preparing a bill that would make it a felony for medical professionals to assist with a minor’s transition in any way.
“We are talking about children who have not reached the legal age of consent yet are being subjected to life-altering, irreversible surgeries and drug treatments that render them sterile and permanently disfigured,” she claimed.
But LGBT+ advocates have called the proposed legislation “shameful.”
Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, told the Journal-Constitution: “This legislation would criminalise decisions that are made carefully within families in consultation with medical professionals and mental health professionals.
“Supporting children in recognising their gender identity is not only humane, it saves lives and strengthens families.”