NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Child gender transitioning has quickly turned from a boiling pot to a powder keg in Tennessee. On both sides of the aisle, people are passionate.
“Transgender care meets people where they are, meets folks as they are,” Dahron Johnson said.
Johnson is transgender.
“Why is it so important that you would perform something that is so potentially detrimental, irreversible, mutilation, potentially, before they reach the age of 18?” Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) said, on the opposite side of the debate.
A conservative commentator posted a series of tweets Tuesday accusing Vanderbilt University Medical Center of opening its transgender clinic as a money-making scheme.
He also tweeted that he met with Majority Leaders William Lamberth (R-Portland) and Johnson to discuss potential legislation to ban gender transitioning for children.
“We’re still in the process of looking at options in terms of what the legislation might look like,” Leader Johnson said. “We certainly want to talk to medical providers, we want to talk to people who are dealing with these kinds of issues. We want input.”
The whole process, from the commentator’s tweets to the legislation being drafted, has drawn criticism from people on the other side of the issue.
“Care that supports the well-being and health of any of us is vital care, good care, necessary care,” Dahron Johnson said.
Leader Johnson tweeted support for said investigation, so News 2 asked what law he thought was broken.
“The expose that was released by the Daily Wire, it uncovered a number of things,” Leader Johnson said. “Not just that we have a prominent medical facility here in the Nashville area that’s performing these irreversible procedures on minor children, it also exposed that they were proudly doing so in the interest of profit.”
The potential legislation he and Lamberth are planning on putting forward can’t be voted on until at least the next session, which begins in early 2023.
Several other parties have released statements in the wake of the controversy. The ACLU condemned Lee and lawmakers for targeting people who are already at risk for depression and mental health issues.
On the other side, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) applauded Lee’s efforts and released a statement saying she sent a letter to the FDA, ‘asking them for immediate answers on the harmful use of puberty blockers on children.’