A GOP congressman drafted an anti-trans bill based on YouTube videos about trans people

We knew Republicans were writing anti-transgender laws without knowing anything about trans people, but we didn’t expect them to just… admit it.

In a taped phone call that was leaked to the local ABC affiliate News 5 Cleveland and released on Tuesday, Ohio Representative Gary Click admitted that before introducing HB 454, titled “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act,” last year, he had never spoken to a trans person. Instead, he says he did “hours” of research on YouTube.

The bill, which is still pending in committee, would prohibit any doctor from administering “sex transition procedures” to a minor, including hormones and puberty blockers. Yet pressed by one of his constituents on the call, a trans woman named Cam Ogden, Click admitted he hadn’t consulted any trans people about the bill, even before testifying on his behalf. in February. News 5 Cleveland released the entire 100-minute conversation between Ogden and Click on Youtube.

When asked if lawmakers should reach out to communities affected by their legislation, Click told News 5, “Well, that’s how the legislative process works. It’s when you put that bill out there that you win those conversations. (Eagle-eyed readers will notice that this is not how the process works, and relevant legislators frequently seek community input before introducing legislation.)

Instead, Click explained, he had done all the research himself, gorging himself on conservative videos about trans people. The Center for Christian Virtue, which bills itself as Ohio’s largest Christian public policy organization, contacted Click last year to advocate for the bill. Subsequently, News 5 reports that Click got its information on trans issues from “1980s YouTube videos and articles,” as well as “disgruntled” parents of trans people and several detransitioners who regretted their initial transition. The Center for Christian Virtue was formerly known as Citizens for Community Values, a Focus on the Family affiliate which was classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center until 2017. Click is also a pastor in Sandusky, Ohio.

Apparently, he just eluded him talking to anyone else — probably because, as Click told News 5, lawmakers think being trans is the result of “grooming” and an agression.

Shirley K. Rosa