Delegate Cox faces criticism over Holocaust comparison during mental health bill discussion

Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — During a discussion of a mental health bill, Maryland Lawmakers denounced Delegate Daniel L. Cox’s comparison of children seeking mental health services to Jewish children who experienced torturing in concentration camps.

House Bill 132 would lower the age of consent for minors to seek care for certain health services without parental permission to as young as 12 years old. Cox said the legislation interferes with parental rights and puts children at risk, similar to how medical professionals did in the Nuremberg Trials following World War II.

Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington expressed their frustration with Cox saying he trivialized the Holocaust and showed his ignorance of history.

Minutes after his speech, Cox provided an apology and clarification on the floor after Delegate Pendergrass’s condemned his comment.

Delegate Shane E. Pendergrass said, “I am enormously affronted as a Jew when you in any way compare this bill to the Holocaust. Especially today, shame on you.”

Cox further apologized. When speaking with WDVM, he said, “It was not something that I had intended to correlate in any way. I should have not brought that subject up and the universal human rights discussion was a separate issue. And it was unfortunate, but because I am solemnly remembering the day it was on my mind, and I should have been a little more thoughtful.”

Cox also said he respects his colleagues’ concerns, such as Delegate Anne R. Kaiser who wrote on Twitter “shame on him.” The bill passed 92 to 44 and is headed to Governor Larry Hogan’s desk.

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