Letter: Sen. Kennedy’s hypocrisy on parental choice and gender-affirming care is particularly noxious

(Rick Bowmer | AP) Sen. Mike Kennedy, second from left, speaks with reporters on the opening day of the Utah Legislative Session at the Utah State Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Salt Lake City.

After reading the Jan. 20 article titled, “Utah step closer to banning gender-affirming care for transgender minors,” I was struck by the position of the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, when he stated, with slippery salesman’s ease, “I do trust parents and taking care of their children” after introducing legislation that takes decisioning away from the parents of transgender youth.

Kennedy’s statement regarding parental support and his sponsored legislation, which hamstrings parents, is particularly noxious as it’s from the same mouth of the same politician who authored a 2021 letter published by The Salt Lake Tribune wherein Kennedy argued that government should not take decisioning away from parents when he was referring to the divisive COVID masking issue.

When asked by a reporter about his contradictory position, Kennedy’s pretzel-shaped response began with, “When it comes to that…”

Well, when it comes to that, Kennedy has not paved new ground with his tongue-twisting hypocrisy as politicians have been double-speaking illogical means to justify their ends since the dawn of sophistry.

Just as Kennedy advocates parental choice for pandemic vaccinations and masking, so too Kennedy should remain consistent and let parents choose what is best for their transgender child. Unfortunately, Kennedy’s vituperative logic and his callous reasoning will have dire impacts on many vulnerable transgender children throughout Utah.

Stripping parental choice in one instance but granting it in another instance is a particularly fetid position to hold, especially for a medical doctor who is taught the Hippocratic oath in their early training.

A transgender child’s transition decisioning is a contemplative choice best left for parents and child, and a decision made with careful consultation with their spiritual, mental and physical health professionals. There is no room for Kennedy and his ilk to join these family conversations.

Timothy M. Reilly, Sandy

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