Hundreds of Nebraskans rally against proposed ban of gender-affirming health care for minors

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Hundreds showed up to a rally at the State Capitol on Wednesday in support of Nebraska’s transgender youth.

OutNebraska and the ACLU of Nebraska also held a press conference outlining their opposition to Legislative Bill 574.

Sen. Kathleen Kauth of Omaha introduced the controversial measure, also known as the Let Them Grow Act, which had a hearing before the Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday.

It prohibits gender-affirming health care for anyone under the age of 19.  That includes both surgeries and drugs.

The bill would allow civil action to be brought against violators.

At the rally, members of the clergy, doctors, the LGBTQ community and many more listened and cheered during each speaker’s remarks.

A father of a transgender child said there would be people on the other side talking about how transgender people and gender-affirming care goes against the Bible.

Clergy members at the rally do not agree with that.

They pointed to Jesus telling his disciples to love one another as he had loved them and said some parts of the Bible were translated with bias.

“I think that people interpret the Bible in a diversity of ways. And I think that that’s a cultural desire on their part more than it is biblical scholarship,” said the Rev. Debra McKnight, founding pastor of Urban Abbey in Omaha.

“If you look in the time and place, you have to understand the culture and the context deeply, like there’s Joseph and his dream coat, right. We translated it even as a ‘Technicolor Dreamcoat.’ But really, it’s the same word as princess dress. We just don’t translate it that way because people have made choices about how to translate it.”

There were doctors testifying on both sides of the bill.

Some said that it would help children and that sex-altering care actually harms them.

Doctors at the rally disagree with that.

Dr. Alex Dworak, associate medical director for family medicine at OneWorld Medical Center in Omaha, said gender-affirming care is the standard of care.

“I follow evidence-based guidelines,” he said. “Whether I’m treating diabetes, whether I’m treating heart disease when I was treating pneumonia in the hospital, when we’re doing well child exams and making sure kids are meeting their milestones, and this is no different.”

He said there is data showing that such care helps children, helps their family and leads to happier and healthier adults.

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