"Fairness for All" is Dangerous for Many

Dear Members of Congress,

We are writing to inform you about the dangerous medical implications if the Fairness for All Act of 2019 (FFA, H.R. 5331) were to become law.

FFA may be a well-intentioned compromise to preserve religious freedom and protect civil rights. However, enshrining “gender identity” into the Civil Rights Act (while exempting religious institutions) poses the same medical harms and dangers as the Equality Act (H.R.2282, S.1006). The compromise to the Equality Act should be to remove "gender identity" from the bill.

“Gender identity” is an individual’s self-perceived or desired status as female, male, both, or neither. It refers to how people choose to identify themselves based on their feelings. There is no test to determine one’s gender identity; it is simply asserted. There is no science to prove its existence.

Enshrining "gender identity" into the Civil Rights Act forecloses healthy discussion and debate within the medical community about the nature of gender identity and the bounds of ethical treatment related to gender identity, including for children.

Countries around the world are reporting exponential increases in the number of young people identifying as transgender or nonbinary. Clinicians are engaging in unprecedented medical experimentation by treating these children with drugs, hormones, and surgeries. Children as young as eight years old are given powerful puberty-blocking drugs, adolescents are prescribed cross-sex hormones for lifetime usage, and “gender-confirming” surgeries (such as mastectomies, hysterectomies, penectomies (removal of penis), orchiectomies (removal of testicle), and vaginoplasties (construction of pseudo-vagina) are performed on teenagers.

There are no rigorous long-term studies that provide medical justification for these interventions in young people. Meanwhile, many adults are expressing profound regret for the irreversible lifelong consequences of these invasive medical procedures and are now seeking legal remedies.

By requiring any “establishment that provides health care” to accept “gender identity” as a protected class, Fairness for All puts therapists and medical providers at risk of lawsuits if they do not automatically affirm a child’s asserted “gender identity.” Therapists and physicians would be legally prohibited from exploring other causal factors for a child’s identity claims. When therapists and medical providers are legally compelled to affirm a child’s asserted identity, then children will be unable to explore underlying reasons why they want to appear as the opposite sex. And if “gender identity” becomes a protected class, nearly all sex-based protected public spaces will disappear.

Please consider the serious medical and safety implications if Fairness for All were to become law. All people should be protected from harassment and harm, no matter how they identify. All therapists should be allowed to help children who are confused about their sex. All physicians should be allowed to recognize and consider important biological sex differences when diagnosing and treating their patients. And all sex-protected spaces -- secular as well as religious -- must remain protected.


Members of the Kelsey Coalition

We are a non-partisan, unfunded, volunteer-run organization whose singular mission is to promote policies and laws that protect transgender-identifying young people from medical and psychological harms.