FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL: New House Speaker Mike Johnson sharply criticized experimental surgeries on children as he discussed the “destructive” effects that such experimentation, dubbed “gender-affirming care” by gender ideologists, has upon young people.

“We had some hearings on the subject when I was in [the Judiciary Committee],” the Louisiana Republican said in a Tuesday interview with The Daily Signal, referring to a high-profile hearing that he led in July. “Some of the evidence that the expert witnesses brought forward was just alarming, in terms of some of these experimental surgeries that they’re performing on young children.”

His great concern is whether some of this has been done without parental consent, Johnson said.

“All of it just seems terribly destructive,” he said.

Johnson went on to discuss detransitioners, such as activist Chloe Cole, who attempted to change their gender and then realized that that was impossible. Cole testified emotionally at the July hearing about how attempting to transition has irrevocably changed her life.

“We had also witnesses who had gone through a gender transition and were transitioning back, and they gave very compelling testimony about how damaging this was to their physiology, their physical body, as well as their mental and spiritual health,” he recalled.

U.S. U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks to reporters before a House Republican candidates forum where congressmen who are running for Speaker of the House will present their platforms in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill on Oct. 24, the day before he was elected as House speaker by his colleagues. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“I think it’s a very, very serious issue that demands the attention of lawmakers at the state and federal level,” Johnson continued. “I don’t know that there is a consensus yet on exactly what Congress should do about that, but we wanted to put the advocates of that on notice that we’re deeply concerned about it.”

Though lawmakers are still discussing what role Congress might play in protecting children, Johnson emphasized that they are “watching [the matter] closely.”

“Mostly, it is being handled at the state level, and we’ll have to continue to have dialogue here about what role Congress should play,” he said.

He called the plight of detransitioners “tragic, vastly tragic,” condemning gender ideology advocates for overlooking vital components—such as parental consent—“because they’re pursuing an agenda.”

“It just breaks your heart what these young people have been through,” he said. “When you’re an adolescent or a young child, obviously, you’re in no position to be making life-altering decisions. And that’s why parental consent on everything is so critically important.”


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