To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, June 12, 2024


Trans Families As Targets


Do families with trans kids need to move out of red states?

In the last week, legislatures in three more states targeted trans kids, expanding the political effort to use transgender issues as the latest wedge in right-wing politics. Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota joined two dozen states in considering legislation that would prohibit gender-affirming medical care for young people.

That would mean that doctors would be prohibited from prescribing drugs or hormones to block puberty even though such treatments have been endorsed by major medical associations. Depending on the state, the bans generally block such treatment until age 19 [in Nebraska] or even age 21.

The bills carry tough penalties for those who disobey. In Oklahoma, violation of the law would be punishable as a felony subject to 10 years in prison, and a fine of $100,000 as well as civil liability and loss of a doctor’s license to practice medicine – all for prescribing medicine that he or she and the patient and the patient’s parents believe to be in their best interest.

As one of the bill’s opponents put it, “Oklahoma is currently positioning itself to be the most dangerous state for trans people in the country.” Not an easy crown to win.


Do these legislators know something that the major medical associations do not?

Do they know better than the parents, the patient, the physician?

And what gives a state legislator – or the government, ultimately – the right to substitute its judgment for the judgment of the individual?

This is not a conservative position.

It is certainly not a libertarian position.

It is the essence of Big Government, making decisions that are not its business to make, making decisions that fall squarely within the zone of personal privacy that, were it not for the blinders of Roe v. Wade, conservatives would be free to recognize and embrace.

Transgender issues have become a popular political set piece in the culture wars that dominate the political landscape. No surprise that the same states that are considering bans on treatment are also legislating against allowing trans girls and women to play on sports teams or use bathrooms.

I don’t know how to raise a trans child; how would I? I know only what I read and try to understand. And respect. I do recognize that there are individual decisions to be made and that parenting matters and that the last people on earth to be deciding what’s best are some crusading legislators with an agenda of their own.

Isn’t facing puberty hard enough without politicians looking over your shoulder as you do? These children have enough challenges without being drawn into extremist politics as a convenient wedge to score some points.

For politicians, these are symbolic issues. They go around giving speeches and grandstanding. They go home, presumably to their non-trans children, to practice medicine to non-trans-patients. But that’s not true for everyone.

For some people, this is not a symbolic issue, but a real-life issue to be grappled with, where the doctor can lose her license for doing what’s best for her patient, the parent can go to jail for finding medicine for her child, where anyone who counsels the family faces liability for that role.

What is a family supposed to do? Move? We thought it was bad enough when you had to travel for abortion. That’s an overnight trip, not a lifetime change.

Do families with trans kids now have to move out of red states?

Is this what it is coming to? Why punish these families?

Why pretend you know better?

All in the name of big government?

All at the expense of children and their parents. No one is forcing treatment on anyone.

Families should not be uprooted. So much for family values.

Editor’s Note: The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday [Feb. 15] approved Republican Sen. Julie Daniels’ disgusting SB 613 on a straight party-line vote, 40-8. As Senate Democratic Leader Kay Floyd noted: “The rights of Oklahoma parents were diminished in the state Senate today. Oklahoma parents love their children, and they have the right to choose the medical treatment they need. Best practice medical care saves lives. Senate Bill 613 is government intrusion that subverts the parent/guardian decision-making process. This legislation is anti-parental choice and will cost Oklahoma medical talent and lives. We should have more faith in Oklahoma parents.” The hate measure now goes to the Oklahoma House for considerartion.

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Susan Estrich
Susan Estrich
Estrich served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1988, she was the campaign manager for Michael Dukakis' 1988 presidential run, even though she had never before managed a political campaign. She was the first female campaign manager of a major presidential campaign, and the first female campaign manager of the modern era. [5] [6] Estrich appears frequently on Fox News as a legal and political analyst, and has also substituted for Alan Colmes on the debate show Hannity & Colmes. She writes regular articles for the conservative website NewsMax, for which she is a pundit.[7] She is also on the Board of Editorial Contributors for USA Today.[8] She is currently a law professor at the University of Southern California Law School and a political science professor at its affiliated undergraduate school. Before joining the USC faculty in 1989, she was Professor of Law at Harvard University, where she was the youngest woman to receive tenure.[9] On January 10, 2008, Estrich joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, a law firm based in Los Angeles, where she chairs their Public Strategy in High Profile Litigation: Media Relations practice area. [10][11] She writes a nationally syndicated print column distributed through Creators Syndicate.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.