I met "Charlie" when he was 12. He was lying on my exam table in the fetal position, sucking his thumb. He had been born intersexual, having genitalia identifiable as neither male nor female. A medical team assigned Charlie the female gender as a newborn, and a surgeon made him look like a girl.
Teams are not smarter than individuals, and coins sometimes fall unfavorably. Charlie grew up hating dresses and dolls and, when he was old enough to understand what had happened, he wanted to know why his parents had let doctors remove his parts.
Having genitalia that do not match one's sexual identity is psychologically devastating, The suffering is immense. Depression and suicide are common. While I have cared for many Charlies as a reconstructive genital surgeon, most of these patients are born with normal anatomy. Termed transsexuals, these patients now interest some nonmedical individuals.
One of these individuals is Sen, C.B. Embry Jr. of Morgantown. He has amended House Bill 236 to include language that instructs Kentucky's schools how to handle transsexuals' bathroom needs. Sen. Albert Robinson of London has also amended the bill to promote religious freedom of speech at schools.
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HB 236 is the bill written by a bipartisan group of high school students who seek to change the state law that outlines the composition of school superintendent search committees. The bill seeks to include a student on search committees. The two amendments have killed its chances of passage.
Politicians should not pick fights with people who buy ink in bulk, and they should not pick fights with kids with cellphones. The students are now fighting back through social media, and the story has been picked up by the national press, always interested in religious, legislative goofiness in backward states.
Subsidiarity is the principle that the person closest to a problem is best able to solve it. It is one of the founding concepts of this country. It promotes personal responsibility, engages people in civic life and reinforces the social fabric. Violation of the principle of subsidiarity tears at the social fabric, which is evident in nearly everything centralized government touches.
Christians practice subsidiarity, and Republicans claim it politically. Christian Republican lawmakers should consider the Sermon on the Mount, which begins: "Blessed are the poor in spirit ... ." That includes most transsexuals. It then admonishes public displays of piety, like amending bills to mollify one's political base, and being judgmental.
Repeated Republican violation of the principle of subsidiarity created the Tea Party and has swelled the ranks of freedom-loving independents stuck between two parties of statists — one increasingly Marxist and the other obsessed with using central government to impose its versions of morality.
Corrupt institutions eat their young, and the kids who wrote HB 236 now find themselves on the menu. They know their schools should be better. They realize the system primarily feeds the adults working it. They just want superintendents who will advocate for students.
Like infant Charlie's doctors, Embry and Robinson have botched the case of HB 236 and have left the kids feeling betrayed and hopeless. They should pull their amendments and let the kids of this state have a voice in improving a deeply flawed public education system.