South Carolina state Rep. Cezar McKnight said during an interview on Tuesday night that he has received support from Democrats, Republicans, and even members of the transgender community over legislation he recently introduced that would prohibit transgender surgeries and treatments for minors.
“I’m not anti-transgender, I’m not anti-gay, I’m not a homophobe,” McKnight told Fox News. “And I resent people suggesting such. It was just this last week that I fought to put in protections in our new hate crime bill legislation that would protect gay people, transgender and lesbians. I fought to put that in there. So when I hear people suggest to me that I’m a homophobe, I resent that.”
“I don’t hate anyone. What I’m about is protecting children,” he added. “And I think that in South Carolina, you have to be 18-years-old to get a tattoo. So how is it that you can get an irrevocable procedure performed on you at any age during your adolescence? It’s ridiculous.”
When asked if anyone on his side of the aisle has actually debated him or if they just dismiss him “as a hater,” McKnight responded that they have used what he calls “sign language.”
“It’s shame, assault, guilt, and the need to be right,” McKnight said. “But the one thing that they say is, ‘oh, it should be a procedure that’s left between the patient and the doctor.’ Well, I understand that and they don’t want government regulation between a doctor and a patient. Well, we do have regulations between doctors and patients, because it protects public safety. The government regulates the disbursement of medications, the government regulates what things people can get when it comes to medicine.”
McKnight said that while he was afraid of the backlash at first, he has heard from gay and transgender people who support his bill.
“And one thing that I think my party needs to understand is African American Democrats are very much more conservative than their than their white, Caucasian counterparts,” McKnight continued. “They need to understand that.”
McKnight’s bill states in part:
…no person shall engage in, counsel, make a referral for, or cause any of the following practices to be performed upon a minor if the practice is performed for the purpose of attempting to alter the appearance of or affirm the minor’s perception of the minor’s gender or sex, if that perception is inconsistent with the minor’s sex as defined in this chapter:
(1) prescribing, dispensing, administering, or otherwise supplying puberty-blocking medication to stop or delay normal puberty;
(2) prescribing, dispensing, administering, or otherwise supplying supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or other androgens to females;
(3) prescribing, dispensing, administering, or otherwise supplying supraphysiologic doses of estrogen to males;
(4) performing surgeries that sterilize, including castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, and penectomy;
(5) performing surgeries that artificially construct tissue with the appearance of genitalia that differs from the individual’s sex, including metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, and vaginoplasty; or
(6) removing any healthy or nondiseased body part or tissue.
The bill would make it a felony for any medical professional to perform surgeries or give treatments to minors that would alter gender or delay puberty and would carry up to a 20-year prison sentence.
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