Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Parents’ Custody of Teenager Stripped Because They Oppose Her Gender Change

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An Ohio couple has lost custody of their teenage daughter because they refused to accede to her desire to become a transgendered boy, CNN reports.

On Friday, Hamilton County Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon awarded custody of the 17-year-old to her maternal grandparents, who support her gender decisions. (Hendon ordered that the names of the family members involved in the case be withheld.)

Prosecutors argued that the child needed to be allowed to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible to prevent her from committing suicide, an opinion seconded by personnel from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where the child has been receiving treatment.

Prosecutors further claimed that the child was being traumatized by her parents’ unwillingness to call her by a male name. According to an earlier CNN story, the grandparents’ attorney, Jeffrey Cutcher, told the court that “even seeing [her] birth name on documents has caused trauma.”

Perhaps worst of all — from the county’s perspective — the parents had the audacity to base at least some of their opposition to their daughter’s desires on their religious beliefs. “The teen’s lawyer, Thomas Mellott, said [her] parents had [her] enrolled at a Catholic school where [she] was made to wear dresses and answer to [her] birth name,” wrote CNN. The girl herself alleged that she felt unsafe in her parents’ home, saying her father had told her to kill herself because she was “going to hell anyway,” and that she was forced to attend “Christian” therapy that consisted of listening to Bible verses for hours on end.

The parents’ attorney, Karen Brinkman, denied the allegations and said the parents’ objections were not solely based on their religious beliefs. She maintained that they “have done their due diligence contacting medical professionals, collecting thousands of hours of research and relying on ... their observation of their own child ... that led them to the conclusion that this is not in their child’s best interest.” In fact, they believe hormone therapy “would do more harm than good,” she said.

“It does not appear that this child is even close to being able to make such a life-altering decision at this time,” Brinkman further argued. She added that granting custody to the grandparents “would simply be a way for the child to circumvent the necessity of parents’ consent.”

The teenager had been living with her grandparents while under the legal custody of Hamilton County Job and Family Services. Her court-appointed guardian sided with the grandparents. “We think the grandparents are the ones who have an open mind and will ... make this sort of decision best for the child,” attorney Paul Hunt, who represents the guardian, told the court. “The parents have clearly indicated that they’re not open to it.”

In other words, those in tune with the transgender movement are the wise, enlightened ones, while those clinging to traditional — not to mention scientific — definitions of male and female are closed-minded bigots who should be stripped of their parental rights.

Under the terms of Hendon’s decision, the grandparents may immediately begin the process of having the child’s name legally changed, though hormone therapy will have to wait until the girl is “evaluated by a psychologist who is not affiliated with the current facility where [she] is receiving treatment, on ‘the issue of consistency in the child’s gender presentation, and feelings of non-conformity,’” noted CNN. The parents will have visitation rights.

Hendon urged Ohio lawmakers to pass legislation addressing the issues raised in the case. “What is clear from the testimony presented in this case and the increasing worldwide interest in transgender care is that there is certainly a reasonable expectation that circumstances similar to the one at bar are likely to repeat themselves,” she wrote. “That type of legislation would give a voice and a pathway to youth similarly situated as [the child] without attributing fault to the parents and involving them in protracted litigation which can and does destroy a family unit.”

In short, in Hendon’s opinion, government should make it easier for children who have been indoctrinated into the transgender zeitgeist to buck their parents’ authority.

The last word on this story goes to transgenderism opponent Kaeley Triller, who tweeted: “This is insane.”

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