NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – Two rallies surrounding gender-affirming care merged into one in downtown Nashville on Friday night.
This all comes after conservative blogger Matt Walsh challenged gender-affirming care procedures at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Walsh – a conservative Daily Wire commentator who questions LGBTQ rights – said he considers care to be that of castration and mutilation of minors and adults.
On average, five a year occur, hospital officials said, and none were genital procedures. The under-18s were also at least 16, VUMC officials said.
“If we don’t stand up for them, then who will? People who are screaming, they won’t stand up for the kids. That’s on us,” Walsh said. “One of the biggest lies they tell is to affirm the kids.”
The rallies – one sponsored by Walsh and the other against his principles on transgender care – took place in Legislative Square outside the capital. The Tennessee Highway Patrol estimated that 2,500 to 3,000 people were in the plaza.
“We want every child to be protected from this madness,” Walsh said. “The other side may scream. But it’s a battle of good versus evil. We’re fighting for what’s true, and we’re fighting for people who can’t fight for themselves. It’s not is just the beginning.”
Rep. Williams Lamberth, R-Portland and Sen. Jack Johnson — said they would work on a bill to fix the problem, but VUMC said they did not violate state laws. Johnson is expected to speak this afternoon with Senator Marsha Blackburn.
“Children first and families first,” Blackburn said. “The radical left is trying to impose its woke agenda on every family in this state. Since the pandemic began, the left has been trying to tell you how to take care of your children. We won’t let them do that here in Tennessee. C It was appalling and shocking to hear a medical professional say that he would put the profits before the children. Let your voice be heard on this issue. I will do everything I can at the federal level to make sure we protect our children.
Blackburn said she wanted to end the practices.
VUMC said they require parental consent to treat minors who are seen for issues with those receiving gender-affirming care and never withhold parental involvement for those under 18. VUMC officials said they started their transgender health clinic because “transgender people are the population for mental and physical health issues and have historically been underserved by the American healthcare system.”
In a letter to a Tennessee lawmaker, Vanderbilt University Medical Center officials announced that they had stopped permanent gender-affirming surgeries on minors.
The letter to R-Knox County Rep. Jason Zachary said VUMC would pause transitioning surgeries while the gender affirmation clinic reviews new research that has just been published on the topic.
They noted the issue would likely be addressed in the next legislative session, and the medical center said it would follow any proposed new laws on the subject.