By Rep. John Bear, guest columnist
Rep. Bear represents House District 31 in Gillette
When something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Recent Wyoming headlines have claimed that the Wyoming Freedom Caucus killed SF0144, otherwise known as Chloe’s Law, a bill aimed at preventing surgical and hormonal treatments for minors suffering from gender dysphoria- treatments banned by multiple European countries and which are in the process of being banned by multiple U.S. States.
Efforts to prevent the mutilation of children in our state has been a clear priority of the Wyoming Freedom Caucus, and after reports of two attempts to keep SF0144 alive, most followers of the Wyoming Legislature would find it to be unbelievable that the Wyoming Freedom Caucus would then kill the bill.
They’d be right not to believe it.
When the Wyoming House of Representatives adjourned on the evening of Monday February 27, nine bills were left unheard, missing the Legislature’s deadline to be moved forward, including SF0144.
It is crucial to understand the following five truths:
First, despite the fact that it did not contain an appropriation, SF0144 was referred to the Appropriations Committee by Speaker Sommers.
Second, the Wyoming Freedom Caucus supported a motion to re-refer SF0144 to the Labor Health & Social Services Committee, a panel including a health care professional and other experts in the field. This motion failed 22-39 (and remember, there are only 5 Democrats in the House).
Third, as expected, the Appropriations Committee gutted SF0144, removing the bill’s only two enforcement mechanisms, stripping out the prohibition against chemical castration treatments on minors, and deleting a prohibition against the removal of healthy body parts from a child.
Fourth, after gutting the bill, Appropriations returned it to the House with a “do not pass” recommendation, sending it to the bottom of the list of bills to be considered by the body.
Fifth, the members of the Wyoming Freedom Caucus do not seek to pat themselves on the back for voting AYE on do-nothing bills with great titles. The Wyoming House was provided an opportunity to support SF0144, and it chose not to do so. Now, many members seek an “attaboy” for supporting a bill that does nothing to protect our children.
After repeatedly revealing substitute bills with no notice to the sponsor or the public, slipping gun control provisions into seemingly innocuous civil rights legislation, and blocking attempts to bring widely supported legislation to the floor, the uniparty machine cannot honestly claim that the Wyoming Freedom Caucus stood in the way of banning the butchery of children.