The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Thursday that judges in the state can force parents to provide counseling, therapy, and other services or a child who identifies as a different gender than their biological sex.
The decision partially strikes down a 2018 Appeals Court ruling which gave more deference to parents. The case in question involved a divorced couple in a dispute over how to raise their biologically male child who “demonstrated a preference for female items,” according to a report in the Arizona Republic.
The Arizona Supreme Court ruling was unanimous, but does state that the parents cannot be required to provide services for their kids unless they are “at risk of physical danger or significantly impaired emotionally.”
LGBT activists are cheering the decision, asserting that children who are not “affirmed” in their preferred gender identity suffer far more depression and are more likely to harm themselves than those who do not meet parental resistance.
But Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver says the court got this one wrong.
“I think the Supreme Court of Arizona is wrong and I think that the Arizona Court of Appeals did get it right, when last year it ultimately ruled that courts could not take sides between parents over these kinds of issues,” said Staver.
He also contends this is pure activism from the justices.
“The Arizona Supreme Court simply gerrymandered this case. There is no law that would allow the courts to interfere between the parents in this kind of a situation,” said Staver.
He says the government has no business getting involved in these sorts of disputes.
“When a child is going through gender confusion, there is no reason to go down the road – especially at a child’s early age – for hormone-blocking treatment, hormones of a different gender, and even counseling to go through surgical intervention. Essentially, they’ve opened up the door to do just that, which is going to cause both short and long-term harm to the children.
“They should leave those decisions to the parents, even if the parents cannot agree,” said Staver.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Staver explain why he rejects the American Association of Pediatrics recommendations of “comprehensive, gender-affirming, and developmentally appropriate health care” for children struggling with gender dysphoria and why such advice is contrary to the basics of most counseling.