State Sen. Warren Hamilton has filed a measure to prohibit any person under the age of 21 from undergoing gender reassignment medical treatment in the state.
Senate Bill 676 would make it illegal for a person under the age of 21 to undergo gender reassignment chemical or surgical procedures; for a parent or guardian to pursue gender reassignment procedures for a person younger than 21; or for a health care professional to intentionally perform the gender reassignment procedures on anyone under 21.
The bill defines gender reassignment medical treatment as any health care to facilitate the transitioning of a patient’s assigned gender identity on the patient’s birth certificate, to the gender identity experienced and defined by the patient.
“Federal and state law prohibits consumption of alcohol or the purchase of tobacco by anyone under 21 years old,” said Hamilton, R-McCurtain. “If a person is not mature enough to make the decision to use alcohol or tobacco responsibly, they are certainly not mature enough to make the decision to undergo irreparable and irreversible chemical or surgical procedures.”
Under the measure, gender reassignment medical treatment would include medical procedures to suppress the development of endogenous secondary sex characteristics; medical procedures to align the patient’s appearance or physical body with the patient’s gender identity; or medical procedures to alleviate the symptoms of clinically significant distress resulting from gender dysphoria.
Any person violating the proposed legislation would be guilty of a felony punishable by three years to life in prison and a fine up to $20,000.
“So-called ‘gender reassignment’ is permanent and life-changing,” Hamilton said. “People who have made this decision have markedly higher suicide rates and often live with deep regret. The intent of this bill is to protect young people from making a decision that they will later regret.”
If signed into law, the measure would become effective on Nov. 1, 2021.