Three States Want to Strip Parents of Their Right to Consent for or Even Know About Medical Treatment for Their LGBTQ Children

By Nancy Flory Published on April 20, 2023

Washington, Oregon and California have bills that will take away parents’ rights to consent for treatment of their LGBTQ children; specifically, those children seeking harmful puberty blockers, hormones, or surgical mutilations, according to a press release by Liberty Counsel. Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver spoke with The Stream’s Nancy Flory Wednesday about the harmful legislation. 

Nancy Flory: Talk to me a little bit about three states — Washington, Oregon and California — taking away parents’ rights. Can you give me a sense of background on that? 

Mat Staver: Yes. These states are moving forward with not only pushing the gender ideology on children and the rest of the citizens of those states, but actually cutting parents out of the decision making process for their children.

In Washington state, the [bill] there only needs the governor’s signature to become law. [It] proposes that host shelters can house children who are seeking this irreversible and damaging gender-related medical interventions such as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and mutilating surgeries. And rather than contacting the parents, the bill requires that the shelters notify the Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families instead.

So they’re literally cutting the parents out of the process. That means that your son or daughter could be admitted to one of these shelters. They could be administered puberty blockers that would permanently sterilize them, cross-sex hormones and even go through mutilating surgeries or other kinds of indoctrination without the parents’ knowledge at all. 

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In Oregon and California, you have something very similar where they’re essentially making this a sanctuary state, if you will, for this gender ideology and eliminating parental involvement in their children. It’s very dangerous.

So, what I think you’ll ultimately see in some of these states, and with some of these providers, including some of the pharmaceutical companies, that there will be a rash of lawsuits that will be coming down the pipe and already we’re beginning to see some of these lawsuits developing.

Nancy Flory: Can you tell me how this legislation will affect our culture, or do you see it as the culture affecting the legislation? 

Mat Staver: I think this legislation will affect the culture. Certainly the culture affects the legislation, but I think what happens here is the majority of people in these states are not supportive of this kind of ideology. They’re not supportive, for example, of boys competing in girls sports, or boys going into girls private dressing rooms, locker rooms, changing facilities. They’re not in favor, and I think they’ll be less in favor the more these stories come out of adolescents, some minors, young people getting puberty blockers.

They’ll frankly not only sterilize and permanently damage these children, but do other things to them that have physical and mental and emotional consequences that these children have no idea how to address this. They’re not mature enough to be able to do so.

So, I think what’s happening is you’ve got a radical group of legislators that are pushing an agenda that is adrift of science, and frankly, science is running against this issue globally. Consequently they’re trying to cut out the parents so that they have no dissenting and frankly, not even a dissenting voice. They have no informed voice that the child can go to for help and for guidance. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of children that are being mutilated and permanently harmed as a result of this LGBTQ ideology. 

Nancy Flory: How quickly could we see these laws on the books? 

Mat Staver: I think for these three states that we’re talking about, fairly soon. At the same time that we’re seeing these three states go off the rails, we’re seeing about 31 total states that have legislation passed and or pending that addresses the puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, mutilating surgeries, and also boys in girls sports. So, they are moving in the right direction, the majority of states, and it really is breaking down right now between red states, Republican-controlled states versus blue states, Democrat-controlled states. 

Nancy Flory: What is Liberty Counsel doing in these or similar cases? 

Mat Staver: Well, we are involved in helping parents, as well as young people, address these issues when they’re confronted by them. We’re involved in providing counsel to school districts and others, and we’re also involved with legislators — providing counseling guidance with regards to legislation. 

Nancy Flory: Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you think readers would want to know?

Mat Staver: What I would say is that, despite these three states, I don’t believe that the constituency of those states, and certainly not the people of the United States, support this radical gender ideology. And the longer we go down this road, the more transparent it’s going to be that this is very dangerous and damaging.

And the more people like Chloe [Cole], who detransitioned, come forth, who express regret and they describe what they experienced, I think those stories will begin to resonate with people. And this tide will clearly turn and, woe to those institutions, doctors, counselors and pharmaceutical companies that were complicit in harming these people because they will be held accountable. 

Editor’s Note: This article has been lightly edited for clarity.


Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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