A proposed bill in North Carolina would ban treatment for minors under the age of 21 who wish to undergo gender identity-affirming medical treatment or procedures.
The bill was introduced by three GOP lawmakers last week and goes further than a similar bill recently passed in the state of Arkansas.
Senate Bill 514, aka the An Act To Protect Minors From Administration of Puberty Blockers and Cross-Sex Hormones and Other Related Actions, Procedures, and Treatments, would subject doctors who engage in such treatment to anyone under the age of 21 to hefty fines and possible professional repercussions.
“Medical professionals who facilitate a transgender person’s desire to present themselves or appear in a way that is inconsistent with their biological sex could have their license revoked and face civil fines of up to $1,000 per occurrence. The measure bars doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery,” NBC News explains.
The bill goes a step further than Arkansas’ comparable legislation in both including those between the ages of 18-21 under the ban and also requiring state employees to inform a child’s parent if they appear to be displaying indications of gender confusion.
“Senate Bill 514 would also compel state employees to immediately notify parents in writing if their child displays ‘gender nonconformity’ or expresses a desire to be treated in a way that is incompatible with the gender they were assigned at birth. LGBTQ advocates fear the bill would out people under 21 who tell state workers that they may be transgender,” NBC News explains.
The outlet notes that the bill has little chance of success, despite a Republican majority in both chambers of the state legislature.
In response to the proposed legislation from their GOP counterparts, North Carolina Democrats introduced competing measures to expand protections for transgender individuals.
Included is a full repeal of the controversial House Bill 2, aka the “bathroom bill” which was passed in 2016 and partially repealed the following year.
State Democratic lawmakers are also seeking to prohibit so-called “conversion therapy.” While conversion therapy itself is a highly questionable form of counseling which many are right to question.
However, religious freedom advocates often voice concern that the term “conversion therapy,” when banned, can be used to include non-conversion therapy counseling, such as religious guidance that merely affirms a biblical perspective on gender.
The GOP’s bill, meanwhile, would also provide protections for those who provide therapy consistent with their personal conscience or religious beliefs.
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