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The Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TennesseeUniversity of College/Shutterstock

(LifeSiteNews) – In response to recent revelations from Matt Walsh at The Daily Wire, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has called for an investigation into mutilating surgeries on minors at Vanderbilt Hospital as part of its transgender clinic.

But what Vanderbilt is doing may not even violate Tennessee law. Here’s why.

On May 18, 2021, Lee signed into law a one-page bill (SB126) which addressed the issue of so-called gender-change procedures on minors, but merely prohibits “hormone treatment for gender dysphoric or gender incongruent prepubertal minors.” SB126 protects virtually no one over the age of 13, because most children begin puberty by then. Moreover, by explicitly prohibiting cross-sex hormones for prepubertal minors, but not specifying any other prohibitions, this law may tacitly condone sex-change procedures for adolescents.

Regarding SB126, the Tennessee Equality Project (a pro-LGBT organization) observed: “It’s not a ban on gender-affirming care [sic] for trans youth who have entered puberty. It bans that health care before puberty, which health care providers are not doing.”

Speaking for the conservative outlet Tennessee Stands, Gary Humble explained the problem with the 2021 law: “So, we’re not saying that you can’t do mastectomies on a 14-year old; we’re not saying you can’t do hysterectomies on a 16-year old. See? We’re just saying you can’t give hormone treatments to an 8-year old.”

In 2022, the Tennessee legislature had an opportunity to outlaw all gender-mutilation procedures on minors, but the bills never made it out of committee.

This year, Senator Janice Bowling and Representative John Ragan introduced the Youth Health Protection Act (SB2696/HB2835) in their respective chambers to impose civil penalties on those who commit gender-mutilation procedures on minors in Tennessee.

The Youth Health Protection Act would have outlawed all common medical procedures intended to “facilitate the minor’s desire to present or appear in a manner that is inconsistent with the minor’s sex,” including puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and any surgery that removed “an otherwise healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue.”

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UPDATE (26th January 2023):

Enoch Burke is facing severe fines of €5000 per week if he backs down in his stand for the truth about gender ideology.

SIGN: We stand with this brave Christian in his defense of the truth 

Burke is facing a daily fine of €700 if he does not obey a court order barring him from attending the school he was fired from. 

Having spent 108 days in jail last year for his refusal to abide by the court order, he was officially fired last week by the Church of Ireland (Anglican) Wilson’s Hospital School in Co. Westmeath, Ireland. 

Responding to High Court Justice Brian O’Moore’s decision to fine the teacher €700 per day from Friday unless purges his contempt of the court order, Burke told reporters that the judge “wants to fine me for the profession of my religious beliefs.” 

“What has become of us as a nation, to fine somebody for their religious beliefs?,” Burke asked. “We’re at a time in this country where people are at their wit’s end, with the cost of everything as we know...and Brian O’Moore, a judge of the High Court, has sat down and said to himself that not only will you have to pay for all those things, but you now have to pay for your religious belief.”  

“He’ll make you a pauper for the profession of your religious belief,” Burke added.  


The teacher declined to answer questions on whether he would continue to attend the school and face significant fines, or purge his contempt of court.  

An Evangelical Christian who taught German, history and politics at the school for four years, Burke has consistently maintained that to use transgender pronouns would violate his religious beliefs and that his subsequent suspension by the school, and the court orders against him, were therefore unjust. 

Jailed on September 5, 2022, Mr. Justice Brian O’Moore released Burke on December 21st, despite the teacher’s unwillingness to purge his contempt of the court order barring him from the school’s property. 

Mr. Justice O’Moore said today that he hoped the prospect of paying almost €5000 in fines every week would “end his (Burke’s) utterly pointless attendance at a school which does not want him on its property”. 

The judge warned however that the fines could be increased if they do not have the desired effect.  

Burke was fired by the school last Friday and has shown up at the school grounds for work each day this week, despite being arrested and released on Tuesday. 

He has until 2pm GMT on Friday to officially purge his contempt before the court or the €700 daily fines will begin to be applied. 

Mr. Justice O’Moore admitted today that it was not “immediately attractive” to jail the Christian conscientious objector again as he theorized that Burke had exploited media attention surrounding his imprisonment last year for his own ends, while the judge also considered the schools suggestion to sequester the teacher’s assets to be futile. 

Prior to his imprisonment, Burke told the High Court that “transgenderism is against my Christian belief.” 

“It is contrary to the Scriptures, contrary to the ethos of the Church of Ireland and of my school,” the teacher added. “I love my school, with its motto Res Non Verba, actions not words, but I am here today because I said I would not call a boy a girl.” 

“It is insanity that I will be led from this courtroom to a place of incarceration, but I will not give up my Christian beliefs,” he insisted. 

Burke also promised Mr. Justice Max Barrett on September 7th that he would “never leave Mountjoy Prison if in leaving that prison I must violate my well-informed conscience and my religious beliefs and deny my God. I consider it commendable that I chose to obey God rather than man.”


Irish teacher Enoch Burke has been arrested and jailed after refusing to use a transgender student's preferred pronoun, "they", in the classroom.

This insane step by Irish authorities must be called out for what it is: the unhinged intimidation of an educator by demented ideologues.

Please add your name to our urgent message to the High Court today.

SIGN: Enoch Burke must be freed immediately as an educator who upheld the truth

Burke was suspended by his school for refusing to use the transgender pronouns of a student, even confronting his principal about the irrationality of the situation, and defying a subsequent court injunction barring him from performing his teaching duties.

He is now in Mountjoy Prison, Dublin after being brought before a judge on 5 September who found Burke to be in contempt of the injunction by attending work after his suspension.

Burke, who told the High Court “I am here today because I would not call a boy a girl”, made clear that he would not abide by the injunction because it would violate his conscience as a Christian.

“Were I to obey the order of the board of management and the order of the court, I would have to accept that sticking by my belief in male and female is wrong,” he said. “It is not something I will do. It is in violation of my conscience."

“Were I to go into the school and bow to something I know to be manifestly wrong, it would be a shame and a disgrace on my part,” he added.

This defiant attitude has now prompted Burke's arrest and imprisonment in an Orwellian debacle that should send warning signals to the watching world.

Mr. Justice Burke ordered Burke be "committed to Mountjoy Prison and remain therein until he purges his contempt or until further order of this court.”

Defending himself, Burke replied: “I cannot purge my contempt by holding my Christian beliefs in contempt."

Burke hugged his father and brother before being taken away by Gardaí to Mountjoy Prison.

Please share this petition with as many people as possible - it's clear that leftists will not tolerate dissent on this absurd issue unless we all push back.

SIGN: Enoch Burke must be freed immediately as an educator who upheld the truth

Thank you.


Irish teacher jailed after refusing to use transgender pronouns - LifeSiteNews

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The Youth Health Protection Act, which has been endorsed by the American Academy of Medical Ethics, provides that, “A minor injured by a practice prohibited under this part may bring an action during their minority through a parent, or guardian, and may bring an action in their own name upon reaching majority at any time from that date until twenty (20) years from the date the minor attained the age of majority.”

Had it passed, the legislation also would have guarded parents’ rights to keep their own children safe from such procedures, and it would have protected counselors who provide faith-based counseling.

On March 9, 2022, Senator Bowling reluctantly allowed the chairman of the Health and Welfare Committee, Senator Rusty Crowe, to assign the bill to the General Subcommittee, because there were “still some questions that need to be answered.” This move effectively killed the bill in the senate.

Tennessee Senator Richard Briggs, the senate’s only physician, told LifeSiteNews that although he supports outlawing gender-change procedures for minors, he was unaware of the disposition of SB2696, because he was not on the Health and Welfare Committee.

Representative John Ragan, whose district includes Oak Ridge, carried the bill on the house side. Upon learning that the senate bill had been retired, Ragan took the bill off notice on March 22. Ragan told LifeSiteNews, “I had the votes to pass it in committee and in the house, but I didn’t want to put my colleagues in a position of having to vote on a dead bill.”

Lamenting the failure to pass SB2696 in 2022, Gary Humble of Tennessee Stands said, “Had they passed Senator Bowling’s bill, game over. You can’t do any of it. But they didn’t do that. Now you need to ask yourself, Why?”