Chloe Cole, an ex-transgender teen, speaks as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) looks on outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 20, 2022. (Terri Wu/The Epoch Times)
By September 20, 2022 Updated: September 20, 2022. Media: The Epoch Times.
WASHINGTON—Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and 10 other Republican legislators called for support of the Protect Children’s Innocence Act—a bill prohibiting gender transition surgeries on minors—outside the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 20.
If enacted, the legislation would make it a felony to perform “gender-affirming care”—operations, medication, or other procedures to change a minor’s biological sex. The penalty is up to 25 years in prison, or a maximum $250,000 fine. The Act, introduced by Greene on Aug. 19, would also prohibit the use of any federal funds or facilities for gender-affirming care.
The bill is about “protecting them [children] from … being fast-tracked into permanent harm to their bodies before they’re old enough to vote, get a tattoo, buy tobacco, join the military, often drive a car, and go see an R-rated movie,” Greene told the press.
She said the bill will have more sponsors and pass in the next Congress, citing “massive support among Republican voters.” The current number of sponsors is 35, all Republicans. Ten of the co-sponsors attended today’s event.
“This [gender-affirming care for minors] should never happen in the United States of America. As a matter of fact, it should never happen anywhere in the world,” said Greene at the event. “But there’s an ideology that is sexualizing children and pushing this among the most innocent kids, the most vulnerable, and all of our society. And it has to end.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) with Republican legislators outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Sept. 20, 2022. (Terri Wu/The Epoch Times)
Pro-transgender groups have strongly objected to the Protect Children’s Innocence Act.
“All people, including transgender young people, deserve access to health care that helps them live safe and healthy lives,” said a statement issued by Dr. Kellan E. Baker, executive director of the Whitman-Walker Institute, an advocacy group for gender-affirming care based in Washington.
“There’s a lot of misinformation out there, but the reality is that the only form of gender-affirming care for children is social support that helps kids understand and explore their gender as they grow up. Bills attacking health-care providers and patients are dangerous political stunts,” Baker added in the statement issued to the Advocate, an LGBT magazine owned by Pride Media.
Ex-Transgender Teen Speaks Up
Chloe Cole, an 18-year-old ex-transgender teen who became an activist, spoke in support of the bill.
When she was 12, she said, she told her parents she was a boy. Then, she began testosterone therapy and puberty blockers at 13. And at 15, she had a double mastectomy.
In her speech, she described having her healthy breasts cut off as “a decision forced under extreme duress.”
“The gender clinic presented my parents with the classic false dichotomy regarding children with gender dysphoria. Would you rather have a dead daughter, or a living son?
“Given these options, what loving parent wouldn’t choose to transition their child? Scared for my life, my parents were prepared to sign anything the doctors asked.”
As a shy person who didn’t socialize easily, Cole said she believed that if she subscribed to the transgender ideology, she would be “an accepted, celebrated, and valued member of the most talked-about community on Earth.” Being a transgender girl gained her “celebrity” status, she said.
But that status evaporated after she decided to de-transition, Cole said. She lost her friends, and even the medical professionals who helped with her transition didn’t know what to do.
“The big question remains ‘how was a 12-year-old introduced to the idea that they could do something as ridiculous as changing their sex?’” asked Cole. She called transgenderism and gender identity “gender ideology.” She questioned how it “went from being a relatively benign social oddity to a doctrine that has invaded nearly every academic, medical, and educational institution, seemingly overnight.”
“Up until now, the media has been parroting the same ideologically driven talking points—’affirm, affirm, affirm,’” she said.
Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) thanked Cole for calling out the “disturbing trend.” In her speech, Miller called gender transition procedures “child abuse” and added, “I think it says a lot about where we are as a country by how we treat our children.”
Cole kept her head high and smiled often during the one-hour event.
“It’s hard to find the words, but I’m really proud of myself,” Cole told The Epoch Times about speaking out as she left the event.
Chloe Cole, an ex-transgender teen, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Sept. 20, 2022. (Terri Wu/The Epoch Times)
Need for Federal Law
Greene said different laws in various states called for a federal law. She expressed concern that Democrat-controlled states were “taking away parents’ rights to protect their kids from these horrific surgeries.”
On Aug. 31, California passed legislation to protect those who travel to the Golden State for gender-affirming care from their home state’s legal actions. New York has a similar bill currently sitting with the Judiciary Committee in the state Senate.
Some Republican-controlled states tried to introduce laws banning gender-affirming care, to various degrees of success. On April 8, Alabama enacted the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act that makes extending gender-affirming care to minors a felony. Days later, parents of transgender children sued the state Attorney General. On May 13, a federal judge granted the plaintiffs a partial injunction to continue receiving transitioning medication.
Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) declared in his speech, “Whether you’re a medical professional, a teaching professional, [or] a counselor, if you participated in this, I advise you to prepare your lives for incarceration because we’re going to pass this bill next year, and it’s going to have teeth.”
Greene said she had the Republican leadership’s support on this bill and that her committee assignment would not be an issue in January, alluding to the possibility that she would win reelection and the Republican Party would gain a majority in the House after the November midterms. She lost her House committee assignments in February 2021.
Other Republican legislators present included Reps. Bob Good (R-Va.), Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.), Lance Gooden (R-Texas), and Barry Moore (R-Ala.).