- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Radio host and father of three Mario Lopez is facing criticism for comments he made about young transgender children and the emotional “repercussions” they could face later on in life.

Mr. Lopez made the comments during an interview with former Turning Point USA director Candace Owens on her eponymous radio show for PragerU in June, but the comments are just now making the rounds on social media. Mr. Lopez’s name became a top trending topic on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

During the interview, Ms. Owens criticized the “weird” trend out of Hollywood where celebrities are supposedly raising their children genderless or allowing them to “pick” their gender. Ms. Owens called it a kind of “narcissism” among Hollywood parents that sees them competing to see who can be the most tolerant.

“I am trying to understand this new Hollywood mentality where they just think their children now have the mental authority and clarity” to identify as transgender, Ms. Owens said.

“I am trying to understand it myself, and please don’t lump me into that,” Mr. Lopez responded. “I’m kind of blown away, too.

“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,” he continued. “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 then, ‘Well, OK, then you’re going to a boy or a girl,’ whatever the case may be. It’s sort of alarming and my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on.

“You don’t know anything about sexuality yet. You’re just a kid,” he added. “I think parents need to allow their kids to be kids but at the same time, you gotta be the adult in the situation. Pause with that and — I think the formative years is when you start having those discussions and really start making these declarations.”

Mr. Lopez’s comments sparked a wave of backlash from the trans community, but conservatives are arguing that the “Saved by the Bell” actor should be entitled to his opinions without threats of being canceled.

Mr. Lopez apologized for his comments in a statement to People magazine Wednesday afternoon, saying he realized how insensitive they were after further education on the matter.

“The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were,” he said. “I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself. Moving forward I will be more informed and thoughtful.”

PragerU, a conservative nonprofit founded by Dennis Prager and Allen Estrin, jumped into the fray Wednesday morning by promoting the month-old interview and tweeting, “Evidently it’s now *scandalous* to say that a child probably shouldn’t be making their own life-altering decisions at 3 years old.”

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