Twelve New Hampshire state House Democrats voted with Republicans to pass a bill banning sex change surgeries for children.
The bill, HB 619, was originally designed to ban all transgender medical procedures on minors but was amended to only focus on barring sex change surgeries for kids.
New Hampshire Democrat Rep. Jonah Wheeler was one of the 12 members of his party to vote for the bill, giving a floor speech on Thursday, citing the “irreversible surgeries” at the heart of the issue.
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“I rise today, despite the uncomfortability of this vote, because, for me, it comes down to whether or not kids should be able to get these surgeries,” Wheeler, who is 20-years-old, said.
“And despite the fact that I am a liberal, despite the fact that I believe in nondiscrimination for trans people, for gay people, for queer people . . . the question before us is whether or not children under the age of 18 should be able to get these surgeries,” he continued.
“And I, despite being a liberal who believes in those human rights, do not think that is the case,” he added.
Wheeler noted that he spoke to several entities, including lobbyists, stakeholders, and “people with first-hand experience, lived experience,” but that the only argument he’s heard against the “amendment, specifically, opens the door to other bad trans bills.”
“But folks, the slippery slope fallacy I don’t think applies here,” Wheeler said. “We’re talking about whether kids should get these surgeries, and they should not.”
“These are irreversible surgeries,” Wheeler said, noting the “medical exceptions” in the bill.
“But when we’re talking about whether or not kids should get these surgeries, I think that goes a bridge too far,” he added. “And I will not be signing onto that.”
Wheeler said the question at hand was “not whether or not you’re with the trans community” but rather “a question on whether or not you believe children should be able to get these irreversible surgeries.”
“So, again, despite being a Democrat, despite being a liberal who believes in human rights, I don’t think that children should be able to get these irreversible surgeries,” Wheeler said. “So I’ll take all the heat that comes from this.”
Wheeler added that he hopes his Democratic colleagues “who definitely believe in human rights” and “protecting nondiscrimination would consider the irreversible surgeries that kids are going to be getting if this bill does not pass.”
Fox News Digital reached out to Wheeler for comment.
The New Hampshire House passed HB 619 Thursday in a vote of 199-175.
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The Granite State Democrats were not the only ones to see defections on the bill.
Two Republicans broke with their party to vote against the bill banning child sex change surgeries in the state.