Texas Republicans Talk Child Sex Alteration


"Child gender modification" panel | Image by Karin Dyer / The Dallas Express

Several Republican members of the Texas Legislature recently participated in a panel discussion titled “child gender modification.”

Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-Greenville), and Rep. Nate Schatzline (R-Fort Worth) gathered at the 88th Session Kickoff hosted by The Texan on January 24.

The issue of sex alteration surgeries has become a hotly debated issue, with proponents, like Paul Castillo with Lambda Legal, suggesting Texas “Parents who love their transgender children and work with healthcare providers to support and affirm their well-being should be celebrated, rather than investigated as criminals as the state sought to do here.”

However, Republican lawmakers in the Texas legislature are considering passing legislation that would restrict, penalize, or punish those involved in providing sex realignment surgeries.

“I will never support something that undermines the sovereign will of our Creator,” Sen. Perry said, opening the discussion. “It’s just common sense and science.”

Perry had been appointed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick the day prior as the chair of the Committee on Water, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs and the vice chair for the Committee on Health and Human Services.

“We are beginning to see that science is starting to catch up with the narrative that maybe this isn’t the best idea,” Perry continued. “I think we have to stand up with those who have no voice.”

“The state of Texas has a record of protecting the innocent,” Perry later added. “We have a vested interest in making sure our kids are not subjected to something like gender mutilation.”

A staunch opponent of sex-altering surgeries, Perry said, “It’s a slippery slope that has no end except for heartbreak.”

Ultimately, he asserted, “We can’t allow the action of a parent to harm children. … Texas is going to protect our kids, plain and simple.”

“We are destroying our country one child at a time,” Perry claimed, suggesting also that the education system has contributed to the expansion of the prevalence of “gender modification” surgeries.

“We need to put people in jail,” Perry said. “I am sickened and heartbroken for the child and for the parent.”

When asked if there was a chance of legislation restricting sex reassignment surgeries, Perry said, “I think there is an appetite to pass a bill … I’m confident.”

If passed, the Texas law would likely receive pushback from the Biden administration.

In March of last year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a warning letter to the state attorney generals claiming that the agency, “is committed to ensuring that transgender youth, like all youth, are treated fairly and with dignity in accordance with federal law. This includes ensuring that such youth are not subjected to unlawful discrimination based on their gender identity, including when seeking gender-affirming care.” The reference to gender-affirming care typically indicates support for sex alteration surgeries and transgender hormone usage for youth.

“Intentionally erecting discriminatory barriers to prevent individuals from receiving gender-affirming care implicates a number of federal legal guarantees,” the DOJ continued. “State laws and policies that prevent parents or guardians from following the advice of a healthcare professional.”

Back in Austin, from the lower chamber, Schatzline aligned substantially with the other panelists against sex reassignment surgery.

“I’m going to say a noncontroversial statement,” Schatzline opened, “there are only two genders in America and the world.”

“It’s labeled gender modification but really what it should be called is gender mutilation,” he continued.

When discussing objections that banning child sex alteration surgeries would conflict with parental rights, Schatzline responded, “I’m all about parent rights … but parental rights end when a child is in danger of being harmed.”

“Culture should not dictate the way we treat our children,” he continued, calling sex reassignment a “fad.”

Schatzline recently filed a bill that would prohibit “gender transitioning and gender reassignment procedures and treatments” for minors if it is not “appropriate and medically necessary,” such as in the case of a “genetic disorder of sex development.”

“There’s an appetite for this in the House,” Schatzline said when asked about the chances of it or similar legislation passing. “If we’re not protecting kids, what are we even doing here?”

However, a fact sheet released by the White House last year argued that such bills are “dangerous anti-transgender legislative attacks.”

“The evidence is clear that these types of bills stigmatize and worsen the well-being and mental health of transgender kids, and they put loving and supportive families across the country at risk of discrimination and harassment,” the Biden administration stated, adding, “these bills are government overreach at its worst, they are un-American, and they must stop.”

Still, Slaton emphasized his belief that performing these procedures on children constitutes abuse.

“You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat children,” he suggested. “A lot of what we are doing to children is barbaric.”

“It’s irreversible barbaric surgery,” Slaton continued. “I believe it’s child abuse. … It’s completely destructive, it’s irreversible, and it destroys people’s lives. … No child should ever go through this.”

“The support is there,” Slaton said, addressing whether or not he thought there was a chance to pass legislation limiting sex alteration.

“We will pass a bill if Speaker Phelan wants to,” Slaton said. “But I’m not sure where our leadership is.”

Slaton had participated in a failed attempt to unseat the speaker of the House, Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), by supporting a challenge from Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington), as previously covered by The Dallas Express.

The 88th session of the Texas legislature is sure to have several debates on the issue as lawmakers have filed an assortment of related bills. Specifically, Rep. Schatzline introduced legislation to include sex realignment surgery as child abuse, and Rep. Brian Harrison (R-Waxahachie) filed a bill to prevent taxpayer funds from being used to pay for the surgeries.

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Elizabeth Noble
Elizabeth Noble
1 month ago

Thank God that Rick Perry is against Child Mutilation! Parents who would agree or support that must be crazy. They cannot believe in God. He made us all and doesn’t make mistakes.

1 month ago

How can parents believe a youngster who has yet to reach puberty, has the biological knowledge to understand what gender really means? This is all part of Bill Gates eugenics, to prevent reproduction and reduce the planet’s population, by rendering people sterile. Children must have a real voice that prevents mutilation of their natural gender.

1 month ago

The government should have no say in what happens within the family circle. This is a private decision that only a family should make. I am not for it or against it. I just know that the government needs to back off and not stick their nose into something that isn’t any of their business.

Reply to  Lanie
1 month ago

Should the government intervene if a parent allows the child to commit suicide?

Reply to  AAM
1 month ago

Should the government intervene if a parent allows a child to carry a weapon?

John White
John White
1 month ago

I am a member of the 2022 Texas State GOP Platform Committee. Multiple personal testimonies of people who were sexually mutilated and received drugs that forever altered their bodies. There were zero testimonies from transgender victims that had anything whatsoever positive to sat about their experience.

According to Medical News Today,

“Suicide is the fourth-largest cause of death among 15- to 19-year-olds worldwide.

Within that age group, past research has shown that LGBT teens have a higher risk of thinking about and attempting suicide compared to heterosexual peers. However, the evidence relating to trans individuals has been very limited, to date.

Now, researchers from the University of Ottawa report that Canadian teens who are transgender or nonbinary are at a higher risk of both suicidal thoughts and attempts compared to cisgender, heterosexual teens.”