UPDATE Jan. 25, 2024 5:45 p.m.:
A joint standing legislative committee between the Maine House of Representatives and the Maine Senate voted that the transgender custody bill LD 1735 “ought not to pass” Thursday.
According to footage of the committee posted online, the motion that the bill “ought not to pass” passed 12-0.
Rep. Katrina Smith, a Republican on the committee, also confirmed to The Daily Signal that the bill had died in committee.
“Today we won a victory for our children who have been fooled into thinking they are not perfect the way God made them,” Smith told The Daily Signal. “With the death of LD 1735 we have proven that when evil is brought out of the darkness and exposed in the light, it can be vanquished. The people spoke loudly and it mattered.”
“My team and I are so incredibly grateful for every single person who wrote emails and shared it with their family and friends,” Alvin Lui, president of the parental rights organization Courage Is a Habit, told The Daily Signal in a statement Thursday.
“This 12-0 defeat of this transgender trafficking bill was done in a blue state that allows 9-month abortions and 16-year-olds to obtain transgender drugs and surgeries without parental consent,” Lui said. “This absolute win is only a glimpse of what can happen when Americans take action.”
The Maine House of Representatives is considering a bill that would protect anyone who takes a child who identifies as transgender away from “non-affirming” parents in order to subject that minor to experimental transgender medical interventions. The legislation also would counteract laws protecting minors from such “treatment” in other states.
The Maine bill, LD 1735, would prioritize “gender-affirming care” in custody disputes. It would prohibit courts from considering that a person applying for custody had taken a child from someone else with legal custody—such as parents—if that person removed the child “for the purposes of obtaining gender-affirming health care… for the child” from a state that restricts this experimental “care.”
This means judges in custody cases would have to look favorably on anyone who removes a child from parents, so long as that person does so to help the child receive experimental transgender “treatments” that may leave him or her stunted, scarred, and infertile.
Gender activists and their allies who have infiltrated health care organizations often insist that these interventions—which often amount to chemical castration—are essential to prevent gender-confused children from committing suicide. This twisted logic enables activists to claim that a parent’s disagreement on gender identity constitutes a form of “mental harm” to a child.
The idea that a father’s refusing to sign up his daughter for a path leading to the removal of healthy breasts and a healthy womb constitutes child abuse is so absurd, it requires multiple levels of doublespeak to justify. False terms such as “gender-affirming care” are necessary to cloak the truth of what is going on.
Yet the Maine bill goes all-in on this deceptive phrase, from the title (“An Act to Safeguard Gender-Affirming Health Care”) to the definition framing these interventions as “medically necessary health care that respects the gender identity of the patient, as experienced and defined by the patient.” Note that the definition doesn’t say that a medical doctor has to sign off on a diagnosis.
The bill’s framing around “gender-affirming care” overlooks the testimony of doctors who warn that even the “social transition” of encouraging a boy to present as a girl “is a powerful psychotherapeutic intervention that radically changes outcomes.” Doctors also warn that children can’t possibly give informed consent for procedures that may sterilize them and put them at risk of long-term side effects such as decreased bone density and cardiovascular disease.
Yet LD 1735 would make these interventions sacrosanct by treating any refusal of them as tantamount to child abuse. The bill would grant Maine courts “temporary emergency jurisdiction” in cases where the child must be protected “because the child has been unable to obtain gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care.”
This “temporary emergency jurisdiction” in custody cases already applies to child abandonment and to situations where “it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child or a sibling or parent of the child is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.” The bill merely would add the inability to receive “gender-affirming health care” to this list of emergency conditions.
LD 1735 also would prevent law enforcement in the Pine Tree State from arresting or helping to extradite a person for violating “another state’s law against providing, receiving or allowing a child to receive gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care in this state.” It would bar law enforcement from providing information to an out-of-state agency regarding any such “care” performed in Maine.
The bill also states that “an out-of-state arrest warrant for an individual based on violating another state’s law against providing, receiving, or allowing a child to receive gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care is the lowest law enforcement priority.”
The bill might enable situations such as the child sex trafficking of Sage, a girl who was encouraged to hide her transgender identity from her grandmother.
According to her grandmother, Sage ran away after she was victimized in a boys’ bathroom at school, then ended up getting abducted, raped, and beaten.
Sage had been taken across state lines from Virginia to Maryland, and a Maryland lawyer fought to keep Sage away from her grandmother. Last February, a Virginia bill aimed at preventing Sage’s tragedy from happening again died in the Old Dominion’s Democratic-majority Senate.
“This bill would, in effect, make Maine a party to the trafficking of minors from other states,” Jay Richards, director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in a statement Wednesday. (The Daily Signal is The Heritage Foundation’s news outlet.)
The Maine bill “would draw troubled teens from other states that have protected them from receiving ghoulish sex trait-modification drugs and surgery,” Richards said. “There is no good evidence that such medical interventions help minors, and plenty of evidence of their harms.”
Alvin Lui, president of the parental rights group Courage Is a Habit, also opposes the bill.
“LD 1735 is a transgender trafficking bill that would permit the state of Maine to receive minors from other states seeking transgender treatments, such as breast binding, penis tucking, irreversible puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or mutilation surgeries,” Lui told The Daily Signal in a written statement Wednesday.
Courage Is a Habit has encouraged Americans to contact Maine legislators about the bill, whether they live in Maine or not.
The Maine House Judiciary Committee plans to consider the bill Thursday. According to the pro-transgender Movement Advancement Project, 14 states have laws or executive orders to “shield” people who perform experimental transgender medical interventions from laws in other states.
These laws may include the same sort of custody provisions that could protect kidnappers.
Editor’s Note: This article has been corrected to clarify the nature of the committee that killed the bill.
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