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300+ Parents of Transgender Kids Urge Senate to Reject Judicial Nominees Who Said Being Trans is a “Delusion”

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Ash Orr (they/he)

Today, the National Center for Transgender Equality shared with Senators a letter from over 300 parents of transgender children across the country, urging them to oppose federal judicial nominees Kyle Duncan and Matthew Kacsmaryk based on their disparaging statements regarding transgender children and adults. Both were re-nominated today by President Trump.

Like recently withdrawn nominee Jeff Mateer (who called transgender children proof of “Satan’s plan”), each of these nominees has devoted a substantial part of their legal career to opposing any form of protection from discrimination for the nearly 2 million Americans who are transgender.

The letter notes how, in their efforts to oppose transgender equality, both Duncan and Kacsmaryk have promoted fringe, junk-science ideas about transgender people that have been rejected by every major medical and mental health association. Notably, each has promoted statements that being transgender is a “delusion.”

The parents’ letter explains:

Claiming that our children don’t exist is scarcely better than calling them part of ‘Satan’s plan.’ Our children are not a delusion, and neither is our love and support for them. … Unfortunately, we continue to fear for our children as we see more nominees for lifetime federal judgeships with long histories of extreme and demeaning rhetoric toward people who are transgender, like our kids … Confirming these nominees as federal judges would send a damaging and dangerous message that the dignity of children like ours does not count in the courts, or in the U.S. Senate. Please, stand up for our children.

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said the following:

Attacking children is never, ever acceptable. There is simply no excuse for it. Just like Jeff Mateer, these nominees are unfit to be judges because the families of transgender people could never expect a fair hearing from them. These re-nominations are another slap in the face to the hundreds of thousands of families around the country whose children are transgender. This White House seems to think that demeaning large groups of Americans is a qualification to be a federal judge. The Senate should just say no this kind of meanness.

In late 2017 Jeff Mateer was among three withdrawn Trump nominees, based on his demeaning comments about transgender children. Nominee Stephen Schwartz, whose anti-transgender record is nearly identical to Duncan’s, was also not re-nominated today.

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