Sam Brownback’s son-in-law is continuing to defend a resolution that he proposed and was later approved by the Kansas Republican Party last month that opposes all efforts to validate transgender identity.
The defense from Eric Teetsel came in an op-ed published Monday on the Daily Signal website titled “Kansas Republicans Are Standing Up to Transgender Lies, Protecting Kids From Harm.”
In the piece, he criticizes the “media frenzy” that followed the resolution's passage on a voice vote by the party’s state committee during the Kansas GOP convention in February.
“For the majority of Kansans, it is stunning that basic biology is now debatable, much less that to defend it is considered 'undignified,' 'crass,' and 'hateful anti-science,' in the words of opponents of the resolution,” Teetsel writes.
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Teetsel is president of the Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, as well as a member of the state party committee.
He goes on to say that “fellow Kansans are suffering and dying because of the lie that one’s sex is whatever a person believes it to be” and that “transgenderism is sexual ideology spread through shame and intimidation.”
In the resolution, the party affirms "God’s design for gender as determined by biological sex and not by self-perception."
The document also opposes efforts to surgically or hormonally alter an individual’s body to conform with "perceived gender identity."
Teetsel earlier defended the resolution to McClatchy by saying it was motivated by love and pointed to a part of the resolution that includes language affirming the dignity of all people, including those who are LGBT.
The resolution attracted widespread attention after McClatchy first reported on it last month..
Teetsel’s new defense brought a rebuke from Tom Witt, executive director of the LGBT rights group Equality Kansas.
“It’s disheartening to see Sam Brownback’s son-in-law Eric Teetsel cite discredited junk science to justify continued discrimination,” Witt said in an email. “Teetsel’s recent statement doubles down on bigotry, and contrary to his claims of 'compassion and concern,' displays an utter disregard for the lives of transgender Kansans. If he wants to know why so many transgender people attempt suicide, he and his shrinking circle of allies need look no further than a mirror.”
The Wichita Eagle's Jonathan Shorman contributed to this report.