RFI Urges Maryland Lawmakers to Protect Parental Rights Surrounding “Gender Transition” Procedures

February 23, 2024

During a hearing this week in the Maryland House of Delegates, RFI’s Ismail Royer spoke to key principles underlying House Bill 722, which would impose criminal penalties on doctors who perform “gender transition” interventions on children without their parents’ consent. 

Royer, Director of RFI’s Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team, told the Maryland legislature’s Health and Government Operations Committee that “it is the duty of the physician to heal and not harm the patient,” and that “physicians harm children when they perform medical intervention by destroying their healthy tissue or disrupting their natural process of sexual maturity.”

The bill applies only to children ages 16 and 17 and aims to close a loophole in current law that prohibits such medical procedures without parental consent for children ages 15 and younger. Maryland law permits 18 year olds to undergo “gender transition” procedures without their parents’ consent. 

“In fact, doctors should be prohibited from performing ‘gender transition’ procedures on anyone, much less children, because it amounts to the destruction of healthy human beings without medical necessity,” Royer commented after the hearing. “But this bill, by mandating parental consent, meets the urgent need to protect the right of parents to intervene before any harmful procedures are performed on their children. For religious parents with traditional faith convictions, not only does this bill protect their right to direct the welfare of their children, but it also further secures their right to religious free exercise,” Royer added.  

Before the hearing, the bill’s sponsor, Delegate Lauren Arikan, held a press conference with Royer and other members of the house panel. 

Last week, Royer testified before the Maryland House of Delegates regarding House Bill 553, which aims to set a clear boundary against governmental infringement on parental rights, except when a child’s welfare is directly at risk. 

Read Royer’s testimony here and watch the hearing here.