In one of the most blatantly biased headlines to grace the pages of the internet in the last...well, probably five minutes, CNN published a piece entitled, "Parents want custody to block trans teen from hormone treatment."
Correction: “State wants to strip parents of their rights for not conforming to their own child’s mental illness.”
There, CNN. Fixed your headline.
Here’s what’s going on. A family in Ohio is fighting for custody over a 17-year-old girl who says she identifies as a boy. Her parents, however, don’t accept this arrangement, and have continued to address their daughter as a girl, including using her birth name and keeping her enrolled in a Catholic school where girls wear dresses.
In response, this young lady has reportedly developed anxiety, depression and is at risk of suicide, according to medical “experts” brought in by the prosecution.
Hamilton County Job and Family Services have already handed temporary custody of the child to her maternal grandparents, who are apparently totally O.K. with her preferred gender identity. Now, they’re threatening to strip her parents of their parental rights and hand full custody over to the grandparents, because they’re more “open minded.”
The grandparents’ lawyer argues that granting them custody of their grandchild will allow the teen to start hormone treatment therapy immediately, which her doctors say is critical to keep her from killing herself.
“We think the grandparents are the ones who have an open mind and will ...make this sort of decision best for the child," argued attorney Paul Hunt, who represents the guardian ad litem, or the child's court-appointed guardian. "The parents have clearly indicated that they're not open to it."
Her parents, however, say they have a right to retain custody of their own child until she turns 18, which means they’d be able to make medical decisions including denying her body-altering hormone treatment. They’ve even stated that they’d allow their daughter to continue living with her grandparents if she prefers, but that any transgender medical stuff would have to wait until she’s legally able to decide that on her own.
That’s not good enough for the state, though. Donald Clancy of the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office argued that the parents are simply religious bigots and are therefore unfit to care for their own child. They even, apparently, committed the cardinal sin of seeking Christian therapy for their daughter’s mental illness.
"[The] father testified that any kind of transition at all would go against his core beliefs and allowing the child to transition would be akin to him taking his heart out of his chest and placing it on the table," Clancy argued.
Lawyers for the state argue that being treated like a female has put the girl under so much stress that she had to be hospitalized for anxiety, and that even seeing her own birth name on her birth certificate causes her “trauma.”
So here’s a summary, in a nutshell: the government is considering stripping a couple of their parental rights to their own child because they won’t sign off on her mutilating herself because of a mental illness.
It doesn’t matter that she’s their child.
It doesn’t matter that there’s been no evidence of abuse.
It doesn't matter that she's less than a year away from turning 18.
It doesn’t matter that their daughter has a diagnosable mental illness that requires psychiatric help.
The state knows better.