Southern States Lead Effort Against Trans Procedures On Children

As leftist politicians and activists push for the right to perform irreversible procedures and surgeries on young children under the guise of “gender-affirming care,” a growing number of Republican-led states — particularly across the South — are responding with legal prohibitions on such controversial acts.

Thus far, a dozen Southern states have already enacted laws that ban surgery, puberty blockers, and certain other types of therapy on minors. Only four states in the region have not passed similar laws; however, GOP lawmakers in South Carolina and Virginia are actively pushing for the passage of similar legislation.

That leaves only the two northeasternmost Southern states — Maryland and Delaware — without any protections either on the books or in the works.

In three states with Democratic governors, these bills were initially vetoed. GOP majorities in the North Carolina, Kentucky, and Louisiana legislatures, however, were able to overturn the governors’ actions and implement new laws.

Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is now pursuing a long-shot bid for the 2024 presidential nomination, similarly vetoed a bill that landed on his desk in 2021. Republican lawmakers overturned that veto to enact the nation’s first ban on transgender procedures on children.

Legislators in Florida and Missouri have gone farther than other states in the region by placing bans on many types of gender treatment on adults.

Activists in these states and elsewhere across the nation have attempted to reverse these bans in court, but so far they have had little success. In recent weeks, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals panel has heard three separate cases, ultimately deciding to allow the bans to stay in place in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama.

As the judges wrote in one ruling: “The use of these medications in general — let alone for children — almost certainly is not ‘deeply rooted; in our nation’s history and tradition.”

Critics of these largely Southern bans have also attempted to fight the trend in the court of public opinion by asserting that prohibiting doctors from performing these procedures on children is not only discriminatory but dangerous.

“We’ve seen a long history of the South being used as a laboratory for anti-LGBT legislation,” claimed Campaign for Southern Equality spokesperson Adam Polanski.

That strategy also appears to be backfiring, with surveys showing that a majority of Americans oppose the notion of permanently altering a child’s appearance and hormones because he or she identifies as the opposite gender.