From Protecting Children’s Biological Integrity To Anti-discrimination Laws

On April 14, 2021, I attended public hearings in the Committee on Public Health of the Texas House of Representatives. The hearings lasted from 8AM to 10 AM, then from 2 PM to midnight. Between the two sessions, the members went to take care of some bills on the
The order in which the bills on the list of twenty were discussed was determined by the expected time needed, mainly based on the number of people registered to testify. The idea was to dispose of the “easy” cases first. There were three bills that I considered I had a stake in; they were all left for the end. Two affirmed the right of providers to recuse from performing procedures contradicting (I should say, violating) their moral or religious principles. The third meant to outlaw treatments and surgery altering the sex (“gender”) and natural sexual development of minors. I had been lobbying and gathering public support for the latter bill for two years. That was the last piece of legislation discussed; one of the other two was postponed, as the midnight came.
The discussions were, for the most part, passionate. Each side presented some medical professionals; the most telling depositions came from opposition witnesses introducing themselves as a gentleman physician (Witness A) and a lady endocrinologist (Witness B).
When a committee member pointed out that it is unconscionable to modify biologically a person irreversibly at an early age, when upon growing up in mind, that person might decide otherwise, both replied that puberty blocking is fully reversible, so the individual can go on with puberty later, if deciding that.
The development, however, is of the entire person, the body with its functions, and the mind. Puberty occurs when the whole person is developed for it; its occurrence earlier or later is damaging. Indeed, in a different context, Witness A stated that a person going into puberty too early is normally given puberty blockers. Conversely, a person with puberty occurring, naturally or chemically, at eighteen, will most likely be a physical and mental wreck.
A committee member posited that administration of puberty blockers has negative health effects on the patients. In reply, Witness A stated that on the contrary, puberty blockers are given to children going into puberty too early, whence the treatment can have no adverse effects. That is the same as saying that insulin can be given to someone with normal blood sugar level, because Type 1 diabetics take it regularly! (Or that blood pressure lowering drugs can be given to someone with normal or low blood pressure, because hypertensive patients take them daily!)
Some contradictory statements were uttered. To the concern that the patients/clients have their bodies irreversibly altered at an age when their thinking and understanding are not developed, Witness A explained that surgery is not essential; sometimes it might not be performed at all. (I would think so: after a person has been neutered chemically, surgery is only cosmetic.) Witness B, however, stated that early surgery may be necessary, as for instance when the appearance of breasts in someone who is “transitioning” from “she” to “he” might be embarrassing.
Witness B also stated that the term, “gender reassignment” has been abandoned in favor of “gender affirming.” Whereas the expression is, in fact, devoid of any meaning, it indicates that for its proponents the term gender has lost any biological sense and has only a psychological (or psychiatric) meaning.
Another notable witness was a lawyer from the ACLU, who stood up at each bill he objected to, promising to sue if the bill is adopted.
I offered the following written statement on the Committee’s web page and as a hard copy to the clerk of the committee. (I did not testify orally.)
I strongly support HB 1399.[1]
A first argument is that sexuality is not manifested or understood at an early age and the child is acted upon because of feelings of adults, oftentimes parents. Allowing children to grow into adulthood to sort out their condition (gender dysphoria, GD [2]) before acting on it is elementary. Indeed, the premise of the (attempted) ethical justification for Gender Reassignment (GR), is that “those seeking GRS are of legal adult age, competent, and seeking the treatment voluntarily.”[3]
Yet, opposing “gender reassignment” in children is not like opposing underage driving and marriage. Indeed, persons with GD deserve all compassion, but their case is most often misunderstood and misrepresented.
Dysphoria is a mental disorder manifested as profound psychological dissatisfaction with physical reality.[4] Besides gender dysphoria (GD)[2],[5] there are more than twenty other  types. GD is the only one for which the accepted treatment of a mental condition is the modification of the body and the alteration of social and legal norms to comply with a distorted mental perception.[6] It does not even try to address the origin of the problem.
The strongest argument for GR is that the GD sufferers show a sizable suicidal tendency.[3] The question, however, is not whether the condition should be treated, but whether GR is the proper treatment. The factual data are also incorrect. Among the conditions manifesting dysphoria, suicidal tendencies are rather common. Thus, two thirds of girls suffering from antisocial personality disorder have considered suicide and one third attempted it, more than 70% of multiple personality sufferers have attempted suicide, and so on.[7] Furthermore, it has been indicated that suicidal tendencies reappear within ten years following GR.[4],[8]
There is no reason to assert that addressing GD like all other mental conditions (including dysphorias) will not produce a treatment which will cure the mind, rather than alter (in fact, destroy) the body. The current approach deprives the patients of any sexual life and ability to procreate, forever.
A precedent exists in lobotomy; once considered a valid treatment, it brought its author the Nobel prize. It was replaced by nondestructive approaches.
It is remarkable that people who want to reorder our life on account of climate change are championing a hormonal-surgical approach giving patients enormous carbon footprints, whereas an alternative, psychiatric, approach is essentially carbon-neutral.
Postponing the sex alteration of today’s children may delay the irreversible destruction of the body until a physician worthy of that name develops a real treatment for this condition.
I note that the allowable interventions in HB 1399 affirm the genetic endowment of the individual (DSD patient),[9] rather than undermine it.
Additional factors in the development of the condition should be considered (although not within the scope of this legislation), such as:
– Correlation between growing in a broken or nonexisting family and incidence of GD in children.
– Effect of postponing childbearing from youth to maturity on the incidence of DSD in offspring.
– Effect of hormones released in the environment on sexual development of infants and children
– Alteration of the human brain by the use of marijuana; it is one of the causes of schizophrenia.
We also ask the legislators to defend our freedom of conscience and expression and our freedom of association[10](a) against the sustained efforts to make us, by intimidation or force, say that sickness is normalcy and mutilation is treatment.[1]
(For clarification, I hasten to note that I am a climate change sceptic.[11] My comment was meant to expose the hypocrisy of proponents of GR. Indeed, there is a Texas House Caucus on Climate Change, led by Rep. Erin Zwiener.[12] )

There were two women witnesses, each bringing along a boy in drag, of age eight and twelve, respectively, to say that the children could not be happy in their original state, whence they are “transitioning.” Another witness, twenty plus years old, in suit and tie, explained how the childhood unhappiness with being a girl has been solved by becoming a “trans-man”. (Alas, my scientifically trained eyes could not but notice that the posture and all body language of the individual, seen from the back, betrayed the genetic makeup.) The person complained loudly, however, about the “demeaning and dehumanizing” attitude of certain people, including some medical providers, who do not accept, nor respect sufficiently, the “affirmed “ (i.e., claimed) identity.
The complaints of the person ins suit and tie were most sympathetically received by Rep. Liz Campos who repeatedly told the witness something like: ”People should accept you for who you are,” which was consummate nonsense, the right phrase being “who you think you are.”
Another representative, Erin Zwiener, was constantly preoccupied with the effect the bill and all other bills, particularly those that asserted the right of medical providers not to participate in procedures violating their faith and principles, might have on the LGBT community, asking each witness to concur that the bill should have specific language prohibiting discrimination against LGBT individuals.
Taken together, the interventions of the two representatives have ominous implications. Let’s assume that the person in suit and tie goes to a physician with a complaint. How is the provider going to treat the ailment?
The question reminds me of the day when my mother-in-law, suffering of various ills and pains, told my wife of her dissatisfaction with her doctor. Contrasting her situation with mine, as my doctor was giving me a satisfactory treatment, she asked why she shouldn’t go to see my doctor. To which my wife replied: “-Because you don’t have a prostate.”
Likewise, a responsible doctor seeing the person in suit and tie, would observe that the ailment is that of an organism without a prostate and should be tackled accordingly. He’d have to explain: “You may have wrecked, even excised part of, your reproductive organs, bur each cell of your body has XX chromosomes.” The patient most likely would storm out of the office and complain of being “dehumanized.” Alternatively, to avoid such complications, the physician might refuse to see the patient. The latter would cry discrimination.
Either way, the ACLU lawyer would be in court next day. We have here a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
The analysis is, however, incomplete, because it considers only the provider’s side of the transaction. In this country, the patient has the legal right to choose (reject) providers; the insurers can, however, introduce limitations. When the medical care is nationalized, as some politicians want, the patients also lose the right to choose. Indeed, I grew up in such a system, where I had to see the physician of my medical district, even if that was professionally inept. I was not allowed to seek another one. Knowing what that means, I gladly accept that the physician refuses me on account of my nose, as long as I can reject him on account of his. Otherwise, I might be assigned to a specialist like Witness A at the hearings.
Another abrogation of the rights of a user of services occurs when, by conspiracy or government fiat, critical information about the provider is hidden. Thus, I and others that I know would definitely not board a plane with a “trans” pilot, or for that matter with a pilot suffering from certain other forms of dysphoria. Likewise, in choosing a surgeon, I would be concerned that a man who seeing himself in a mirror decided he is a woman might as well see me on the operating table, decide that I am a side of beef, and cut me into steaks.
The observations above lead, however, to a broader consideration of discrimination as a social phenomenon. The concept is seldom analyzed in its entirety and dispassionately.[10](b)
I came to examine it because of an incident in my youth. As a student, I had to fulfill a requirement of summer terms in industry. In one of those, I and my fellows were sent to a pharmaceutical plant in the main city of Transylvania. As that region had been for centuries under Austro-Hungarian administration, it had a significant Hungarian minority. One day, on our way to work, we passed through the market to buy tomatoes for our lunch. It happened that there was only one woman selling them, and she refused to sell to us because we could not speak Hungarian.
I was so incensed by such blatant discrimination that it took me years to start thinking of it in an even keeled manner. When I did so, I saw that the problem was not that the woman discriminated, but that there were no tomatoes (typical of a socialist economy). If the market were to burst of them, her nastiness notwithstanding, the woman might have asked to sell to us. Even if she preferred to risk not selling her merchandise, that would have not mattered to us.
Under any conditions, however, she had full right to do anything with her produce: sell to us, not sell to us, even throw them into a dumpster. Being forced to cultivate tomatoes for our benefit meant being forced into involuntary servitude. No government has the right to require that.
The value of free exchange is that it protects the freedom of choice of all sides and provides solutions to everyone’s problems. Thus, if in a town like that, Arpad, the Hungarian, would not sell to Romanians and Şerban, the Romanian, would not sell to Hungarians, there would come Agop, the Armenian, or Strul, the Jew, who would sell to everybody and make the highest profits. He might even drive the other two bankrupt.
The right to choose in economic transactions has lately been protected in the US when the right to practicing one’s religion was an added factor.  The dispute between the State of Colorado and a baker refusing to make a wedding cake for a “same sex marriage” is well known. The Supreme Court sided with the baker, because he had religious reasons.[13] It must also be noted that the couple’s (and the State’s) case was much weaker than our case against the tomato seller. Masterpiece Cakeshop was not the only cake maker available. Obviously, the request and the subsequent suit were meant to force the baker to trample on his principles. Even if there was no other supplier available, however, the buyers must not have been allowed to force the transaction. They should rather have had to make their own cake. Moreover, narrowing the protection to the exercise of religion clause is wrong. The freedom of choice should suffice by itself.[10](b) The baker must not be forced into involuntary servitude. Any laws that have such a consequence should be null.
Furthermore, if choosing (rejecting) buyers by the sellers is discriminatory, then, by equal protection arguments, choosing (rejecting) sellers by the buyers is discriminatory as well. Straightforward logic dictates that boycotts should be criminalized.
The picture may change, however, if one of the parties is granted monopoly for its transactions, or if it accepts subsidies from the government. In that case, the government can set conditions on the transactions entered into by the beneficiary, including nondiscrimination requirements. There is, of course, a slippery slope there. For example, subsidies may be provided to a newspaper on the condition that the writers forgo their freedom of speech and publish only government propaganda.
Thus, intervention of the government in private transactions is deleterious in many more ways than one.

[1] A more detailed discussion is found in: D. Fărcaşiu, The Present Day Significance of Wilhelm Tell;, 04/29/2019
[2] Gender dysphoria: (a) ;
[3] J. J. Go, Should Gender Reassignment Surgery be Publicly Funded? J. Bioethical Inquiry, 2018, 15 (4), 527;
[4] Presentation for the general public and references:
[5] See, for example: (a) Paul McHugh, Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution. A drastic physical change doesn’t address underlying psycho-social troubles, WSJ, 05/13/2016 (and earlier papers),
(b) Leonard Sax, How Common is Intersex? Journal of Sex Research, Aug 1, 2002
(c) Leonard Sax, Politicizing Pediatrics: How the AAP’s Transgender Guidelines Undermine Trust in Medical Authority 03/13/2019
[6]   D. Fărcaşiu, Four Commentaries on Healthcare  4. Sex-Change Surgery and The Case For Personalized Medical Insurance; \, 09/22/2012.
[7]  (a) K. Nenn, Kicking Heroin: Overcoming Suicidal Tendencies, Behavioral Health, Detox, Drug Abuse, Mental Health, 09/25/2015, ; (b) W.H.J. Martens, Suicidal Behavior as Essential Diagnostic Feature of Antisocial Personality Disorder, Psychopathology, 2001; 34:274–275 (c) :  (d) C.A. Ross, G.R. Norton, Suicide and parasuicide in multiple personality disorder, Psychiatry. 1989 52(3), 365,
[8] R. T. Anderson, Sex Reassignment Doesn’t Work. Here Is The Evidence.
[9] S. Lehrman, When a Person Is Neither XX nor XY: A Q&A with Geneticist Eric Vilain, Scientific American, 05/30/2007;
[10] Walter E. Williams, (a) Freedom of Association;  (b) The Right To Discriminate,
[11]  D. Fărcaşiu, Carbon Footprint and Carbon Cycle,, 08/08/2017.
[12] Erin Douglas,Texas House Democrats Launch Climate, Environment Caucus With One Goal: Talk About Climate Change In The Legislature, The Texas Tribune, Feb 10, 2021;
[13] Supreme Court of the United States, Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd et al, v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission et al,