Minnesota-based attorney Robert Roby appeared on Fox News this week to warn that HF 146, the so-called “trans refuge” bill passed by the state House last week, may result in parents losing custody of their children if they do not consent to mutilating their bodies.
“The insidious thing about this bill is it puts children who are being denied these treatments that are permanent and will sterilize the child for life … they’re now in the same category as kids who are being abused or neglected,” Roby told Fox News.
HF 146 was passed by the House in a 68-62 party-line vote on Friday, March 24. It now moves to the Senate, where the DFL has a one seat, 34-33, majority.
Advocates of the widely-criticized proposal argue that administering “gender-affirming care” to children is necessary to prevent suicide and other mental issues later in life.
“We have a responsibility to create more space for our community to live their fullest, authentic lives without fear of violence, rejection, abuse, or political attack,” state Rep. Leigh Finke, the bill’s sponsor, said.
Finke, 41, is a man but identifies as a woman. He is the first “transgender” person ever elected to the state legislature.
Roby has worked in the juvenile family court system for 30 years. He told Fox that lawmakers were uninterested in hearing about the potential legal drawbacks that may arise if HF 146 is signed into law.
“They’re anticipating that people will bring kids into the state for this kind of treatment. The only way that they could do that without interference by the parents is to create this ‘emergency custody’ situation,” he said.
“When they take emergency custody, nobody else’s rights — parental rights — matter. They’re (the children) identified as at risk of being harmed, and the mechanism of the courts is designed to intervene decisively,” he added.
As Alpha News previously reported, Republican lawmakers expressed strong opposition to the bill.
“It allows children, regardless of age, to seek and receive radical medical treatments that can cause sterilization, bone loss, loss of sexual function and interference with brain development, all without their parents’ guidance and love,” Rep. Peggy Scott from Andover said.
On Thursday, March 23, a peaceful crowd of protesters gathered outside the House chamber to express concerns with the proposal. Only one Democrat, Rep. Gene Pelowski from Winona, voted against it.
Stephen Kokx, M.A., is a journalist for LifeSiteNews. He previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago under the late Francis Cardinal George. A former community college instructor, Stephen has written and spoken extensively about Catholic social teaching and politics. His essays have appeared in such outlets as Catholic Family News and CatholicVote.org.