A proposed bill in the Idaho Legislature that would criminalize the chemical castration and bodily mutilation of children and teens is being opposed by a group of satanists.
Republican state Rep. Bruce Skaug introduced the “Vulnerable Child Protection Act” on Tuesday that would make the dispensing of experimental puberty blockers and performing sex-change operations on youth — both of which can lead to sterilization — a felony.
If the bill passes both chambers of the state Legislature and is signed into law by Gov. Brad Little, it would mean anyone convicted of performing such procedures could face up to 10 years in prison, according to the draft legislation, which is co-sponsored by Republican state Sen. Lori Den Hartog.
Skaug, a self-described “fiscal and social conservative” who chairs the Idaho House Judiciary, Rules and Administrative Committee, introduced a similar bill last year, which passed the House before failing in the Senate.
Conservative Christian advocacy group Idaho Family Policy Center is partnering with Skaug on the effort for the second consecutive year.
While the bill "protects children from harmful pharmaceutical and surgical interventions for the purpose of changing the appearance of a child's sex," the legislation would not interfere with any medically necessary treatments, such as for endometriosis, sex development disorders or some types of cancer, according to a fact sheet released by the Idaho Family Policy Center.
The group said in a statement: “Five other Republican-led states have enacted laws banning irreversible pharmaceutical and surgical interventions for children struggling with gender dysphoria. It’s time for Idaho to follow their lead and make sure we protect vulnerable children in our communities from radical gender ideology.”
The bill is still awaiting a hearing and must be voted on before moving forward in the Legislature.
In response to the draft legislation, a satanic group in Boise is announcing plans to hold a so-called “gender affirming ritual” at the State Capitol building as part of a protest against the bill.
A group calling itself “Satanic Idaho” is promoting the “Hail Yourself: Gender Affirmation Ritual” to “remind [Idahoans] that not everyone uses religion to condemn, but to accept,” according to a flyer on social media.
While the details of the ritual are unclear, a page on The Satanic Temple (TST) website describes such a ritual as a “religious practice” that is used to “dispel any shame or stigma surrounding one’s gender identity due to religious discrimination or cultural ignorance.”
Idaho is among some 26 states where more than 80 bills have been introduced to limit or criminalize body-disfiguring sex-change surgery and other procedures for minors.
In 2021, Idaho adopted a new law defunding abortion providers and banning them from receiving contracts to teach sex education in public schools, ensuring that no state or local taxpayer dollars are allocated to promote or perform abortion.
House Bill 220, known as the “No Public Funds For Abortion Act,” defunds outfits such as Planned Parenthood but exempts publicly-funded hospitals and allows Medicaid to be used to pay for abortions.
The measure also bars school districts and public colleges from entering into contracts for abortion organizations to teach sex education and also stops public colleges and universities from providing drugs to end a pregnancy after conception.
Ian M. Giatti is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: email@example.com.