By a huge margin, the Tennessee House has passed a bill prohibiting drugs, hormones, and mutilation surgery for minors who want to change genders. David Fowler of the Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT) tells AFN once Governor Bill Lee (R) signs it into law, anyone involved in the business of gender manipulation needs to beware.
"The attorney general can go after the doctor through an administrative proceeding," Fowler explains. "The minor can sue the healthcare providers for civil damages for any emotional trauma, harm, [and/or] multiple surgeries up to I believe it's 20 years after they've reached adulthood."
As the Associated Press points out, the legislation has some exceptions, including allowing doctors to perform these medical services if the patient's care had begun prior to July 1, 2023 — which is when the ban is proposed to go into effect. The bill then states that such procedures must end by March 31, 2024.
Another bill that was approved by a wide margin involves sexually charged drag queen shows performed in the presence of minors.
"This is where you are trying to simulate activities that would, in the eyes of the local community, be harmful to minors, and that then becomes a criminal act," the FACT president notes. "You cannot do them on public property — period — and you cannot perform them in a cabaret or a club … if minors are present."
Violators could face a first offense misdemeanor charge, which is punishable by a fine and up to a year in jail. Subsequent violations are upgraded to a felony.
In bordering Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves (R) plans to sign a bill today that bans what he calls "gender reassignment procedures" for minors.
Reeves has been on board with the Regulate Experimental Adolescent Procedures (REAP) Act (HB 1125) for weeks.
"Mississippi must do everything in our power to counter those who want to push their experiments on our kids," he said in his recent State of the State Address.
It passed 33-15 in the state Senate last week. Legislators in the state House approved it 78-30 in late January.
In addition to banning gender reassignment procedures in The Magnolia State, the measure prohibits public funds or tax deductions for such procedures, places enforcement procedures on the State Board of Medical Licensure, and stops Medicaid from covering so-called gender transition-related care in Mississippi.
Liberal groups in Mississippi have urged Gov. Reeves to veto HB 1125, saying it will keep children from being their true selves. But House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) maintains that surgeries and other so-called "affirming" treatments are decisions that affect children for the rest of their lives. Meanwhile, minors are not legally allowed to do a number of other things based on their age.
"We put an age before they can buy alcohol or smoke cigarettes, when they get married, enter into contracts, drive a car, getting a tattoo," lists Gunn. "There are a lot of decisions that we do not allow children to make until they are of age and able to make more mature decisions, and I don't know of anything that has a more lifelong, lasting impact than a decision to change one's sex."
Gov. Reeves made the same point in his State of the State Address.
"We set age restrictions on driving a car and on getting a tattoo. We don't let 11-year-olds enter an R-rated movie alone, yet some would have us believe that we should push permanent, body-altering surgeries on them at such a young age," he said.
Similar legislation has been approved in Utah, South Dakota, Alabama, and Arkansas.
Today's bill signing is set for 1:30pm in Jackson.