A controversial bill that would prevent Maine law enforcement from cooperating with other states if out-of-state minors have come to Maine seeking sex-change procedures or medical treatments drew closer to passage Friday.
Supporters of LD 1735, “An Act to Safeguard Gender Affirming Healthcare,” believe the measure will protect minors who come to Maine from states that have banned child sex-change surgeries and hormone therapies, like puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.
In theory, minors who live in Kentucky, Mississippi, or other states that have prohibited minors from undergoing sex-change surgeries or receiving puberty blockers would be able to come to Maine to get those services.
If one or both of the child’s parents disagreed with the decision to seek those treatments and wanted their state law enforcement agencies to help them return their child, Maine’s officials would be barred from doing so, regardless of the child’s age or who brought them to Maine.
Were LD 1735 to pass, Maine would be allowed to take temporary emergency jurisdiction over minors from other states — but only if the minor was in Maine to receive sex-change surgery or hormone therapy and had come from a state where those services are banned for minors.
Opponents see the bill as state-sanctioned kidnapping, a radical proposal that will require Maine law enforcement to become complicit in the trafficking of children. If the bill becomes law, an adult who is not related to a child could bring that child to Maine to undergo sex-change surgeries or treatments — and Maine’s cops would be unable to intervene to reunite the child with their parents.
Rep. Laurie Osher (D-Orono), the bill’s sponsor, was asked to introduce the bill by LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, a national advocacy group, and she instructed legislative staffers to model the bill on similar legislation that recently passed in California.
On Friday, advocates opposed to LD 1735 turned up to rally against the bill at the State House.
One of those advocates was Prisha Mosley. Mosley began a social gender transition at age 15, started hormones at 17, and underwent an elective double mastectomy surgery to remove both breasts at 18.
Now at age 25, Mosley does not live as a transgender man but has detransitioned and lives as a woman.
She was in Augusta with a warning for other young people who might follow her down the path of medicalization and experimental treatments.
“We need to affirm the feelings but not affirm the delusions,” Mosley said.
She said minors should not be allowed to make a life-altering decision on their own.
According to Mosley, her doctors ignored other mental health problems, including anorexia disorder, but affirmed her gender dysphoria and later mutilated her body.
Detransitioners like Mosley are controversial figures in the ongoing cultural debate over so-called “gender affirming” medical procedures.
Those who support sex-changes as a treatment for gender dysphoria tend to ignore or downplay individuals who have reversed their decision to transition genders.
While they are celebrated — in Mosely’s words “love bombed” — for their decision to undergo a sex change, they are often ostracized when they detransition.
Several detransitioners have become prominent critics of transgenderism and the burgeoning medical industry that provides surgeries and hormones to minors and adults.
Many activists affiliated with nonprofit organizations like MaineTrans.Net, GLAD, ACLU, and the taxpayer-funded Out Maine spoke in support of the proposal.
During testimony, Rep. Rachel Henderson (R-Rumford) asked Out Maine speaker Mary Bonauto if a health care provider can identify whether the person coming in is a result of a social contagion from the LGBT community or is in need of sincere gender transition.
Bonauto said Henderson would need to address professionals for her specific questions.
Henderson’s unanswered questions shoots to the core of the debate of rising levels of transgender-identifying young people in Maine.
Advocates for “gender affirming” health care typically deny the role of social contagion or the existence of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD), insisting instead that discomfort or dysphoria with one’s biological sex is a sign that an individual needs to undergo sex-reassignment treatments.
The bill is scheduled for a work session on Wednesday.