Over the past decade, views on gay rights have evolved swiftly throughout our great nation. We’ve seen support spiking across all demographics. Polls show that Americans of all ages, races, and political affiliations now solidly support loving relationships between same-sex partners. This is, of course, a very positive change for our society and something that the Log Cabin Republicans, the country’s largest organization of gay Republicans, has long fought for.
However, with this positive change in the overall views on gay rights, we’ve also seen a very radical shift from some political activists trying to piggyback on this support – specifically when it comes to radical gender theory/trans ideology. There has been a concerted effort among some to try to propel this radical, extreme view of the traditional role of gender in society as a continuation of the gay rights struggle and to suggest that the gay community is unified in support of some of their most extreme stances.
This is simply untrue. Much like society as a whole, members of the gay community are diverse in thought and belief and, in many cases, strongly divided on these controversial issues.
Take, for example, gender-affirming care among minors. Gender-affirming care is the phrase used to refer to everything from hormone therapy to sex reassignment surgery. If you were to believe its advocates, the gay community is strongly in favor of unrestricted access to these procedures. However, many within our community do not believe that minors under the age of 18 should be given medical procedures to permanently alter their gender while they are still in their formative adolescent years. These are most commonly irreversible procedures and can have long-term health implications, such as sterilization.
The Log Cabin Republicans have taken the position that minors should not receive these treatments, and we have been encouraged by several states that have made efforts to prohibit these procedures.
In New Hampshire, the House of Representatives recently passed HB 619, prohibiting gender transition procedures for minors relative to sex and gender in public schools and relative to the definition of conversion therapy. This is the type of common-sense legislation that the Log Cabin Republicans fully support.
It is important to note that HB 619 was a bipartisan bill that was supported by more than a dozen Democratic House members. As one Democratic member stated on the House floor, “The question before us is whether or not children under the age of 18 should be able to get these surgeries. And despite being a liberal who believes in [trans] rights, I don’t think that is the case. These are irreversible surgeries. This is not a question of whether you’re with the trans community. It’s a question of whether or not you believe children should be able to get these irreversible surgeries.”
This bill, paired with another bill coming out of New Hampshire, HB 396, permitting the classification of individuals based on biological sex under certain limited circumstances, follows the trend that we’ve seen in other parts of the country. After a number of court and electoral setbacks, the tide is turning toward balanced, common-sense legislation, and the need to protect children has broken through the political chaos echoed by the far left and far right. Legislators around the country are finally fighting back against the false narrative that these are anti-gay bills. They most certainly are not.
Childhood, especially our teenage years, is a confusing and difficult time, especially for those who feel “different” from their peers. It is our job as lawmakers, caregivers, and parents to protect our children and help them develop into healthy adults. Gender-affirming care is the opposite of this, and New Hampshire is right to prohibit it.
It is very important to understand that despite what some extremists might tell you, one can support gay rights while still believing that young children and minors should not be receiving these types of life-altering medical procedures before they are old enough to fully appreciate the consequences. This should not be a controversial position for one to take, and we cannot allow the extreme politics of division to change what we have long known to be right and wrong. Supporting LGBT equality does not have to come at the expense of protecting our kids against radical ideology.