Opinion

SCHILLING: First, They Came for Mario Lopez — And Parents May Be Next

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Terry Schilling American Principles Project
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Former actor and current host of “Extra” Mario Lopez is the latest target of the woke mob for comments he made on “The Candace Owens Show.” Lopez said:

I’m never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids, obviously, and I think if you come from a place of love, you really can’t go wrong, but at the same time, my God, if you’re 3 years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way or you think you’re a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be, I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination.

What Lopez expressed would no doubt be accepted as common sense by a healthy majority of Americans. No competent parent would allow their toddler complete control over the food they eat for each meal or the clothing (or lack thereof) they wear each day — let alone let their child choose which gender they prefer to be. And while gender dysphoria in young children is certainly a real psychological issue, research has shown a high percentage of children with this condition ultimately desist and go on to identify with their biological sex. To act otherwise is, as Lopez said, truly “dangerous.”

Yet, to publicly articulate even this commonsense point of view is now apparently outside the bounds of what our progressive elites are willing to allow in polite conversation. It’s incredible to think that, in 2019, one can now be publicly shamed for merely arguing that a young child may be mistaken in believing he or she is the opposite gender. Even worse, however, is that public shaming is likely only the beginning. The consequences for daring to disagree with our progressive elite overlords are about to become much more serious.

Today, a parent may be chastised by the woke mob for hesitating to allow their toddler to transition genders. But tomorrow? If the leftists get their way, that parent may be accused of abuse and lose custody of their child. Indeed, some parents are already facing this plight. In Ohio last year, a judge revoked the custody rights of a mother and father over their daughter after they declined to allow their daughter to “change” her gender. And just last month, a Minnesota mother appealed her case to the Supreme Court after her son was “emancipated” from her by state agencies in order to undergo sex change procedures.

Fortunately, such cases are still relatively rare, though they are growing more frequent. But one thing is certain: if Mario Lopez’s comments are now truly unacceptable and unspeakable in American society, then no parent’s rights are safe. The woke mob is coming for your children.

This is why it is critical that all concerned Americans speak up against this ideological insanity. We must insist that children not be rushed into life-changing medical interventions to address a condition which will likely resolve itself over time. We must allow doctors and therapists the freedom to treat these children according to their real needs. And most importantly, we must urge our political leaders act to protect the rights of parents to pursue the true best interests of their children in the face of militant activists who would deny those rights.

The reaction to Lopez made the stakes clear. If we do nothing — if we avoid this issue because it is impolite to discuss at parties — we can be assured that many more will face the same fate as Lopez or worse in the months and years ahead.

Terry Schilling (@Schilling1776) is the executive director at American Principles Project, a conservative nonprofit dedicated to putting human dignity at the heart of public policy.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.