Gender-affirming rallies happening in downtown Nashville

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Posted at 4:59 PM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-21 16:59:30-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two rallies surrounding gender-affirming care are happeningin downtown Nashville on Friday evening.

This all comes after conservative blogger Matt Walsh took issue with gender-affirmation care procedures at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Walsh — a Daily Wire conservative commentator who questions LGBTQ rights — said he considered the care to be that of castration and mutilation to minors and adults.

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The rallies — one sponsored by Walsh and the other standing up against his principles about transgender care — are on the legislative plaza outside the capitol.

Rep. Williams Lamberth, R-Portland and Sen. Jack Johnson — have said they would work on a bill to address the issue, but VUMC said they haven't broken state laws. Johnson is expected to speak this afternoon with Sen. Marsha Blackburn.

VUMC said they require parental consent to treat minors who are being seen for issues to those receiving gender-affirming care and never refuse parental involvement for those under 18. VUMC officials said they began their Transgender Health Clinic because "transgender individuals are a high-risk population for mental and physical health issues and have been consistently underserved by the U.S. health system."

In a letter to a Tennessee legislator, Vanderbilt University Medical Center officials announced they stopped permanent gender-affirming surgeries on minors.

The letter addressed to Rep. Jason Zachary, R-Knox County, stated that VUMC would pause the transitional surgeries while the gender affirmation clinic looked into new research just published on the subject. They noted the issue would likely be taken up in the next legislation session, and the medical center said it would follow any new laws put forth on the subject.

An average of five per year happen, hospital officials said, and none were genital procedures. Those under 18 were also at least 16 years of age, VUMC officials said.

This story was originally published by News Channel 5 in Nashville, Tennessee.