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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Sunshine State has recently introduced a multitude of bills that would protect children from gender confusion, but the one that has caused "trans" activists the most panic is Senate Bill 254, which would potentially strip custody from parents who subject their kids to genital mutilation surgery.
Along with many other child protective bills introduced by Florida lawmakers, SB254 prompted hundreds of drag performers to protest at the state capitol Tuesday.
These bills are, according to a drag queen who helped organize the rally, "cruel, unjust [and] full of hypocrisy."
It would be classified as "serious physical harm," according to SB254, if an adolescent were "subjected to sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures," and, as such, the guardians could be stripped of "physical custody of a child."
A parent of a so-called trans child said of the bill, "It violates my parental rights." The legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union lamented, "It is shameful." And former Democratic Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith stated, "This is fascist."
Although other states are beginning to follow Florida's lead in opposing trans threats to children, at the beginning of this year, Florida was the only state to have a total ban on genital mutilation surgery for adolescents.
As of today, there are eight other states (Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah) with a complete ban for people under 18. Four states (Arizona, Georgia, Missouri and West Virginia) currently have partial bans.
Happening today: Over a hundred drag queens and allies in Florida stand in the rotunda and chant, "drag is not a crime."— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) April 25, 2023
Gov. DeSantis law intended to target drag has resulted in Pride parades being cancelled in the state and even a travel advisory. pic.twitter.com/bRNmG7MqMX
According to the ACLU, Florida has 10 bills "targeting LGBTQ rights," which "all cause harm for LGBTQ people."
Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, doesn't see it that way. He told reporter Benny Johnson just over a week ago:
But I think there's also just the issue of, are we going to be a society based on truth? Or are we going to be a society based on deceit? And if you take a man and they dress up as a woman, and you tell me, I have to accept that they're a woman, then you're asking me to be complicit in a lie, and I just refuse to do that. So we've got to tell the truth. I think the truth will set you free.
"If you take a man and they dress up as a woman and you tell me I have to accept that they're a woman, then you're asking me to be complicit in a lie," @RonDeSantisFL tells @bennyjohnson.— DeSantis War Room �� (@DeSantisWarRoom) April 18, 2023
"I refuse to do that."
The family is "the original cell of social life," according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), and it is the community in which "one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom."
On this point, Pope Pius XI stated in his 1929 encyclical Divini Illius Magistri, "The family therefore immediately receives from the Creator the mission and therefore the right to educate the offspring: an inalienable right."
In the section regarding children, the Catechism teaches that parents "have the first responsibility for the education of their children," and if they abuse their God-ordained authority and, instead, scandalize and harm their children, there is an obligation on the part of society to step in and protect the one(s) being abused.
The Catechism notes that when families are not fulfilling their responsibilities, "other social bodies have the duty of helping them," and that "[t]he family must be helped and defended by appropriate social measures."
And more specifically, the Catechism explains, the only occasion wherein a larger community can justly intervene in the affairs of the sacrosanct family is when there is abuse involved — be that abuse physical, mental or spiritual.
In the instance of a parent subjecting his or her child to genital mutilation surgery, which is a case of physical, mental and spiritual abuse all in one, Catholic teaching holds that the larger community has a moral obligation to save the child from that grave injustice.
Saving children from truly abusive parents, as Florida is trying to do with SB254, would be in accord with natural and divine justice.
The Pontifical Council for the Family stated in 2000 that "marriage and the family are of public interest," for "they are the fundamental nucleus of society."