Parent of Trans Child Accused of ‘Conflict of Interest’ for Opposing Anti-Trans Bill
On Wednesday, Nebraska state senator Megan Hunt tweeted that she’s under investigation for a potential conflict of interest—for supporting trans rights as a parent of a trans child.
Hunt voted against LB574, a bill that would restrict gender-affirming care for minors. Hunt is in a position to know the effects of LB574, since she herself is raising a trans child. However, an Omaha attorney named David Begley filed a conflict of interest complaint against Hunt, arguing that if gender-affirming care were ever to be covered by medicaid, Hunt would benefit financially.
“This, colleagues, is not serious,” Hunt said on the senate floor. “This is harassment. This is using the legal system that we have in our state to stop corruption, to increase transparency, to hold governments accountable, and using it to harass a member of the legislature who you all know is trying to do the right thing, is trying to parent her child in a way that keeps that child alive.”
One colleague, Democratic state senator Wendy DeBoer, pointed out the blatant hypocrisy. “Every time we have a tax bill, I’m a taxpayer, so I may be involved in that every time,” DeBoer said on the floor. “We have a bill that involves families, well, I have a family. So I may be involved.”
In fact, one can point to endless examples of legislators voting on bills that affect them personally. How would people like Begley feel if parents of cis athletes couldn’t vote on restrictions on trans athletes? After all, their child getting a sports scholarship could benefit them financially. Or how about gun owners being barred from voting on gun control measures, just in case they ever decide to sell one of their guns? When you think about it, no human being should ever be allowed to vote on any healthcare bill at all, since someday they might need to pay for the healthcare in question.
But Hunt, of course, is right: Begley’s complaint doesn’t come from a genuine concern for financial transparency. It’s naked harassment. It’s a cynical attempt to punish the parent of a trans child for doing what she knows is right, and it stems from a broader culture of trying to silence the very people who are impacted the most by bigotry. Oppression thrives on silence and erasure, and that’s exactly what people like Begley are trying to accomplish.
(featured image: Ted Eytan/Flickr, CC BY-SA)
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