Tennessee trans law is constitutional and necessary. The left can’t handle the truth
Opinion by Jeremy Faison
The federal courts have spoken. Tennessee’s law protecting children from transgender treatments is constitutional, according to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals late September. As the primary author of Tennessee’s law, I’m glad to have the judiciary’s approval. But this isn’t just a legal issue. It’s a basic matter of truth.
My colleagues and I championed this reform out of a profound conviction that Tennessee should enshrine the truth in law. Modern society tells us that everyone can have their own truth, and that your truth and my truth can not only differ, but directly contradict each other. That’s not how truth works. There are scientific and moral truths that are timeless and eternal. The earth is round. Stealing is wrong. Biology is real.
Literally everyone understood this last truth until a few years ago. Since then, a small, yet-powerful group of activists have spread the opposite message in the media, in schools, and even in health care. Medical organizations have endorsed dangerous transgender treatments for children, even while admitting that the evidence supporting them is slim to non-existent.
And as the medical non-profit Do No Harm has shown, the most liberal countries in Europe are increasingly blocking these treatments based on the science. What does it say when hyper-liberal Europe has more respect for the truth than America?
The good thing about truth is that it’s hard to hide. We know from research that children who believe they’re transgender struggle with mental illness at staggering rates. We also know that the overwhelming majority of these children – nearly 90% – ultimately stick with their biological gender as adults. Finally, we know that children’s brains are still developing, meaning they need guidance and guardrails to make the best decisions.
Given all these truths, why on earth would we let children as young as 8 years old (if not younger) try to change their genders? Why on earth would we let teens and even pre-teens subject themselves to medical procedures that are usually irreversible and lead to other medical problems for the rest of their lives?
You don’t have to think hard to realize how insane it is to let children go down this road. It’s little different from dealing with a daughter who struggles with anorexia, something I’ve seen in a close family friend. Imagine if her parents had encouraged her disorder, telling her that she’s overweight. Imagine if they went a step further, allowing her to get a gastric bypass surgery.
Those parents would be endangering her health, and even her life. Society would revolt if we let that happen. So why should we give in to activist demands to let a young boy or girl do something similar with their gender?
The threat to mental and physical health could hardly be more clear. And we know for a fact that many children who’ve tried to change genders end up committing suicide. Once you cross the bridge of invasive and irreversible transgender treatments, you don’t cross back. Even if you regret your decision, you’re stuck. That’s what happens when the truth gives way to lies. It ruins your life.
Tennessee’s law protects children and families from this unscientific agenda. The activists who oppose our law accuse us of enforcing some religious dogma. But this isn’t about religion, it’s about reality. Atheists, agnostic people, and a diversity of people from all walks of life recognize the truth about gender.
Besides, is it “religious dogma” to oppose that gastric bypass for an anorexic 16-year-old girl? Of course not. It’s common sense. It’s a medical necessity. It’s ultimately a fundamental respect for the truth. The same is true for ending transgender treatments for children.
Tennessee will continue to defend this truth, now enshrined in law. We’ve already been vindicated in the courts. Now it’s time to consistently and clearly defend the truth in the public square, so that no more children are hurt by lies.