South Carolina state Rep. Cezar McKnight, a Democrat, is a vocal opponent of woke efforts to allow minors to obtain gender reassignment surgery. He is now pushing back on members of his own party and progressive activists, amidst the backlash over a bill he introduced to protect children.
The bill McKnight sponsored, called the “South Carolina Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act,” bans minors from receiving puberty blockers, and charges any medical professional who violates the law with a felony with up to 20 years in prison.
The bill reads, in part:
…no person shall engage in, counsel, make a referral for, or cause any of the following practices to be performed upon a minor if the practice is performed for the purpose of attempting to alter the appearance of or affirm the minor’s perception of the minor’s gender or sex, if that perception is inconsistent with the minor’s sex as defined in this chapter:
(1) prescribing, dispensing, administering, or otherwise supplying puberty-blocking medication to stop or delay normal puberty;
(2) prescribing, dispensing, administering, or otherwise supplying supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or other androgens to females;
(3) prescribing, dispensing, administering, or otherwise supplying supraphysiologic doses of estrogen to males;
(4) performing surgeries that sterilize, including castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, and penectomy;
(5) performing surgeries that artificially construct tissue with the appearance of genitalia that differs from the individual’s sex, including metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, and vaginoplasty; or
(6) removing any healthy or nondiseased body part or tissue.
McKnight introduced the bill in early March, and was subsequently attacked by members of his own party and progressive activists who accused him of “bigotry.”
In a statement, the South Carolina Democratic Party condemned the bill as an “ill-founded, unscientific, and apt to result in death and other negative outcomes for transgender citizens of all ages.”
“Bigotry will find no quarter among South Carolina Democrats, and those who embrace bigotry of any kind will face broad opposition and our most vigorous condemnation,” the party said.
The party condemned McKnight and his supporters “in the strongest possible terms.”
McKnight responded to the attacks by thanking his supporters and pushing back on his opponents, stating “I will not be bullied.”
“Black Democrats tend to be more conservative than white progressives,” McKnight said in an interview with the Associated Press. “I would not have ever put this bill forward if I didn’t think the people in my district wouldn’t be receptive, and they are. Pastors, young parents, older parents, they all tell me the same thing: if you want to do this, wait until you’re 18.”
“This bill isn’t anti-trans,” McKnight said. “I just don’t think to make a sex change during the teen years is something someone should do.”