July 25, 2019
"It's a parent's worst nightmare." That's putting the case of Anmarie Calgaro lightly. No mother should have to find out from someone else that her own son, a bright 17-year-old, had undergone a devastating, life-changing surgery. But that is Anmarie's reality, thanks to a radically liberal legal team who decided to do everything they could to keep her in the dark about her son's gender transition.
Now, three years into this horror, Anmarie is still trying to cope. "The news that county agencies and health service providers, the school, and other county and state offices were completely bypassing me came as a total shock," she's told reporters. "Not only was I robbed of the opportunity to help my son make good decisions," she said emotionally, "but I also feel he was robbed of a key advocate in his life, his mother."
To make sure no other parent would ever have to experience what she has, Anmarie decided to sue, arguing that the government completely violated her rights as a mother when it gave her son dangerous hormones and, eventually, transition surgery without her permission. "Anmarie Calgaro's child, while a minor, was steered through a life-changing, permanent body altering process," her attorneys at Thomas More Society insisted, "becoming a pawn in someone else's sociopolitical agenda and being influenced by those who have no legal or moral right to usurp the role of a parent."
Since 2016, the case has wormed its way through the courts, last landing in the Eighth Circuit this past March, where judges, incredibly, sided against Anmarie. Minnesota's St. Louis County explains, LifeSiteNews notes, "without any basis that Calgaro's son was emancipated and could receive government benefits, even though Calgaro was a 'fit parent' who objected to their actions." "This is an unacceptable situation for any parent and a serious violation of parental and due process rights," Thomas More's Erick Kaardal said.
For now, Anmarie has one last hope: the U.S. Supreme Court, who her attorneys are petitioning to take the case. The justices, who are adjourned for the summer, would be wise to listen to medical experts like Dr. Michelle Cretella, who told "Washington Watch" listeners Tuesday that no child is safe in a world of politicized science. "Sixty-one to 98 percent of children struggling with their gender, she points out, will outgrow it "if allowed to progress through natural puberty." But instead of letting kids progress naturally, they're being co-opted by a movement that doesn't care about the wellbeing of anything but their agenda. As a result, teenagers like Anmarie's are being offered as sacrificial lambs.
"We have physicians and drug companies profiting off of the suffering of children," Dr. Cretella laments, "... [when what they really need is] therapy and sound counseling to get at any sort of underlying issue." Before this "wholesale promotion of transgenderism," she points out, doctors were cautious. "But again, that was before all the transgender propaganda." Now, there are actually whistleblowers in clinics as far away as the U.K. "who are aghast at what's being done to these children. They've come out and said, 'Look, we have evidence that these children are suffering harm,' but that evidence is being suppressed."
At least in some parts of the world, like northeastern Italy, leaders are taking these warnings seriously. "Puberty is not a disease," the local council insists in a motion that would ban hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgery for children. This isn't about ideology, Mauro Bordin insisted, "but a proposal of common sense in the exclusive interest of the health of children throughout Italy."
It may be too late for parents like Anmarie, but it's not too late for other moms and dads to get involved in stopping devastating agenda from hurting their kids. For help, check out FRC's "A Parent's Guide to the Transgender Movement in Education."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.