Kentucky governor Andy Beshear has vetoed the Republican-backed bill banning gender-affirming care for trans youth.
On 17 March, conservative lawmakers passed Senate Bill 150 in the House with a 75 to 22 vote and in the Senate with a 30 to 7 vote.
Under the horrific legislation, all forms of gender-affirming care for trans minors would be banned – including hormone therapy and surgical procedures.
The bill would also require doctors and healthcare providers to detransition trans youth who are currently receiving gender-affirming care.
Lastly, Senate Bill 150 would ban school discussions regarding LGBTQ+ topics and allow teachers to misgender trans and non-binary students.
After a week of outcry from LGBTQ+ activists, Beshear announced his veto of the bill in a written statement on 24 March.
“Senate Bill 150 allows too much government interference in personal healthcare issues and rips away the freedom of parents to make medical decisions for their children,” he explained.
“Senate Bill 150 further strips freedom from parents to make personal family decisions on the names their children are called and how people should refer to them.”
Towards the end of his statement, Beshear cited eye-opening statics from the 2022 National Survey and The Medical Association regarding the suicide rates amongst trans youth.
Here’s Beshear’s full veto message on SB 150 pic.twitter.com/xDXYvhl83J
— Olivia Krauth 🐝 (@oliviakrauth) March 24, 2023
“Improving access to gender-affirming care is an important means of improving health outcomes for the transgender population. Senate Bill 150 will cause an increase in suicide among Kentucky’s youth,” he added.
Despite Beshear’s insightful and powerful statement, Republican lawmakers will most likely override his veto when they return for the final two 2023 sessions on 29 March and 30 March.
Shortly after Beshear’s announcement, LGBTQ+ activists and organisations praised the Democrat official for his trans-inclusive decision – including Human Rights Campaign’s State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel, Cathryn Oakley.
“We sincerely thank Gov. Beshear for rejecting this discriminatory legislation that was snuck through the legislature in the final hours of sessions,” Oakley said.
“This bill is nothing but a desperate and cruel effort by extremist politicians in Kentucky to stigmatise, marginalise and erase the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender youth.
“Gov. Beshear heard the voices of transgender kids, their families, and medical experts and chose to treat transgender children with dignity and respect.”