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Government & Politics

GOP Lawmakers Say their Bill Would Protect Parental Rights over Transgender Children

Photo of Tom Brinkman
Brinkman says parents should retain control until their child turns 18.

Two Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill that they say would protect the rights of parents who oppose efforts to help their transgender children transition.

Rep. Tom Brinkman says his bill was inspired by a Cincinnati case where a juvenile court judge turned custody of a 17-year-old over to the teen’s grandparents, who supported the child’s gender identity. The teen’s parents wanted to try Christian counseling.

Brinkman says parents have the right to decide whether they want their minor child to undergo treatment or to transition.

“They should have that responsibility. And if somebody doesn't like it, you're emancipated at age 18 and you can go do whatever the heck you want.”

The bill, jointly sponsored by Rep. Paul Zeltwanger, also requires teachers, counselors and other public employees to notify parents in writing if their child’s expressed gender identity doesn’t match their biological gender. And it requires written parental consent for any medical, psychological or other treatment related to gender dysphoria.