Biden did not endorse 'transgender surgery' for kids at town hall event | Fact check

The claim: Joe Biden said he supports allowing kids to have ‘transgender surgery’ at town hall event

A May 21 Instagram post (direct link, archive link) includes a video of President Joe Biden speaking in a town hall-style event.

“Joe Biden Believes 8- & 10-Year-Old Children Should Be Allowed To be mutilated by undergoing ‘Transgender’ Surgery,” the post reads in part.

The post was liked more than 1,000 times in a week.

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Our rating: False

Biden never addressed the idea of gender-affirming surgery for children in these remarks. He was responding to a question about protecting the rights and lives of transgender individuals.

Biden’s remarks removed from context

The claim revolves around comments Biden made Oct. 15, 2020, at a town hall broadcast by ABC. The post presents only part of Biden’s answer to an audience question, omitting the entire question and leaving out much of his response.

But the entire exchange contained no mention of gender-affirming surgery for transgender youth of any age.

The fuller clip shows a mother of 8- and 10-year-old daughters, the younger of whom was transgender. She asked Biden how he would protect the rights and lives of LGBTQ people and focused on rollbacks of non-discrimination protections and the right of transgender people to serve in the military during then-President Donald Trump’s administration.

Biden gave a long response, beginning with a statement that he would eliminate executive orders that made such changes. He followed with an unverified anecdote about seeing two men kiss when he was a teenager and his father telling him that “they love each other.”

He then pivoted to more directly addressing the woman’s family, and that portion of his remarks was used in the social media post:

“The idea that an 8-year-old child, or a 10-year-old child, decides, ‘you know, 'I decided I want to be transgender. That's what I think I'd like to be. It'd make my life a lot easier.

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Video of the full event also shows that Biden made no comments about gender-affirming surgery for children at any point.

USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the claim for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Snopes also debunked a version of the claim.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden did not say he support surgery for transgender kids | Fact check