Vote NO on HB578 on March 24
Please, vote NO on HB578 when it comes before the House Criminal Justice Committee on March 24.
This bill is bad for youth and it is bad for healthcare providers.
This bill is a significant change to the recommended standard of care for children questioning their gender identity. Institutions including the Endocrine Society, American Medical Society, American Psychological Society, American Psychiatric Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics all advocate for supporting children as they navigate gender identity concerns. And they all agree that safely guided gender transition in children (in collaboration with parents and medical providers) is not a criminal offense, but standard and ethical practice.
Denying best practices in medical care and support to transgender youth can be life-threatening. It has been shown to contribute to depression, social isolation, self-hatred, risk of self-harm, and suicidal behavior. Research shows that transgender youth whose families support their gender identity have a 52% decrease in suicidal thoughts, a 48% decrease in suicide attempts, and significant increases in self-esteem and overall health.
Even if the criminal penalties are amended out of the bill, it is still wrong to discipline doctors for providing ethical care. The law should not drive a wedge between doctors and patients.
Additionally, this bill will paint a huge target on Tennessee as we try to reopen our economy to tourism, business, and conventions. That's a risk we don't need to take.
Thank you for considering my views.