Nebraska’s State slogan used to be, “The Good Life”. Since then we have tried “Nebraska Nice” and with a bit more humor, “Honestly, it’s not for everyone”. Our temperatures dipped into the negative figures last night, which takes some of the humor out of the most recent slogan.
If newly elected State Senator Megan Hunt has her way, the new state slogan may be accurate with regard to Christians. Senator Hunt has quickly become a messenger for LGBT advocates, introducing bills which would cause irreparable harm to parent/child relationships. One of her bills (LB168) would turn parents into criminals if a parent elected to send his or her child to a counselor to work toward overcoming same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria. LB168 classified this crime as equivalent to child sex trafficking and child sexual assault. This means that a parent would lose custody of his or her child for nothing more than sending the child to a counselor, a minister, a priest, or possibly even a friend, in order to help the child resist unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria.
Same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria are not physical conditions, they are feelings and behaviors. The American Psychological Association (notably not a conservative organization) writes the following:
“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”
With gender dysphoria, a boy “feels” like a girl or a girl “feels” like a boy. The American Psychological Association states: “Some embrace their transgender feelings, while others struggle with feelings of shame or confusion.”In reality, can any boy know what a girl “feels” like? Can any female truly know what a male “feels’ like? On top of all of this, many LGBT advocates and activists claim that there are dozens of genders, not just male and female.
Meanwhile, mental health treatment which promotes or encourages same-sex attraction and/or gender dysphoria is perfectly legal and likely highly recommended by many of Senator Hunt’s supporters.
A person who violates the provisions of LB168, including a parent, would be charged with a Class IIIA felony. A Class IIIA felony carries a possible sentence of 5 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine.
Fortunately, and apparently unbeknownst to Senator Hunt, such legislation is not very likely in Nebraska because the Nebraska Supreme Court has already decided that a parent’s natural right to the custody of his or her child trumps the interests of strangers, including the interests of the State. This is called the Parental Preference Doctrine, and it is recognized as a constitutional right.
Ah, Nebraska: The Good Life. An enormous part of the “Good” of Nebraska, is our respect and appreciation of family. Because of the law, but even more importantly, because of Nebraska’s Christian culture, Nebraska’s parents have long enjoyed a fundamental right to parent their own children and Nebraska’s children have long enjoyed a stability which is essential in healthy child development.
In essence, LGBT advocates and activists, know what is best for your children, even if you, your child, and your doctor or your licensed mental health professional agree that your child’s same-sex attraction and/or gender dysphoria is unwanted. This is ironic when one of the most common slogans used for the liberal progressive promotion of abortion is: “A choice which should be between a woman and her doctor”. LB168 says that parents and children are not allowed to make this decision with the input of their doctor or their licensed mental health provider. Yet many liberal progressives want laws which allow teenage girls to obtain abortions without any obligation to notify their parents of their pregnancy much less their intent to obtain an abortion.
If a parent fails to cooperate with the provisions of LB168, they run the risk of losing their children. I realize that this would be unlikely to happen, but it was not long ago when most Americans thought same-sex “marriage” was unlikely to be legalized. Parents in Ohio have already lost custody of their child under these circumstances, and another father and son are dealing with a similar scenario in Texas, as I write this letter. Do we really want to invite this type of imprudence to Nebraska?
In essence, supporters of LB168 are empowering the State to sentence some children to a childhood of unwanted but untreatable desires and feelings. One has to wonder if this is simply misguided compassion, or if it is really an effort to instill a lifetime of same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria into those who struggle with these feelings in their youth. Since a child would be forced to wait until adulthood before obtaining treatment for unwanted and very troubling feelings, the delay in treatment could certainly lead to more difficulty in overcoming the feelings once they reach the age of majority.
It is important to note that there are cases in which parents have encouraged same-sex attraction, cross dressing, and the child’s gender dysphoria to the accolades of many people who should know better. If you do not know the cautionary tale (though nonfiction) of Desmond Napoles, you should become fully informed about his tragic situation.
Some liberal progressives consider it good to encourage a child to think they are a homosexual or that they are transgendered long before they actually become sexually active. LB168 would make it a crime to accompany a child while they are likely going through a temporary condition. Many people believe that Desmond Napoles’ parents should be charged with child abuse, but instead of facing charges for sexualizing their young son, the parents have made his desires their career. This is even more troubling when studies show that without treatment, over 80% of children who suffer from gender dysphoria, no longer experience the dysphoria by the time they are an adult. How is it right or good to perpetuate the belief that a 10-year-old is transgendered, when the vast majority of 10-year-olds who suffer from gender dysphoria will naturally outgrow the dysphoria within the next decade? Is it no longer acceptable to raise your child to live in a way which is consistent to their biological (genetic) physiology? Must a parent assist their child in rejecting reality if their child feels like they want to live in a way which is contrary to scientific reality?
The fact is, by reinforcing Desmond’s gender dysphoria and by presuming, by age 3, that he was a homosexual, his parents have likely nurtured him into a lifetime of the feelings and behaviors he exhibits today. I expect that Desmond’s future is not hopeful nor will it be happy, but liberal progressive LGBT advocates are not willing to slow down. It appears that they demand the passage of laws regardless of the best interests of the children these laws will impact.
This is an extreme case of a double standard. And it is a double standard which jeopardizes a parent’s right to raise their child and a child’s right to be raised by loving and caring parents. This would be a vast departure from the current and longstanding doctrine of Parental Preference in Nebraska.
LB168 is inconsistent with the desires of the majority of Nebraskans. They also conflict with the longstanding laws of Nebraska and can only destabilize Nebraska’s marriages and families in the future. These destructive bills should not receive a vote from any Nebraska lawmaker, and they should never see debate on the floor of the Legislature.
Apparently Senator Hunt cares little about Nebraska’s tradition of honoring and respecting the importance of family. Her disrespect for marriage and family is only reinforced by Senator Adam Morfeld, who has tried to champion LGBT-friendly legislation for four years so far. Senator Morfeld’s contempt for Christian parents is obvious:
Maybe it was Senator Morfeld who came up with our new state slogan. If so, his original draft probably read something like this:
Honestly, it’s not for deluded and insecure parents.
I proposed an alternative to simply passing LB168 into law. I proposed an amendment which would guarantee protection for the right to offer and receive counseling and therapy for children and adults who experience unwanted same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria. I doubt that suggestion was agreeable to Senator Hunt’s supporters.
Someone must have decided that LB168 was simply too radical or too unconstitutional to fight the battle to make it Nebraska law right now. Just before the Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill, Senator Hunt withdrew it.
However, Senator Hunt has other bills which are equally hostile to Christianity and Christians, so I’ll post more on her legislative work in weeks to come.