Kentucky has passed an archaic new bill banning gender-affirming care for trans youth.
Over the last few years, Republican lawmakers have ruthlessly targeted the rights of trans individuals across the United States.
Since the start of 2023, over 300 anti-trans bills have been introduced across 43 states.
According to Track Trans Legislation, Arkansas, West Virginia, Utah and Wyoming have already passed laws banning trans people from life-saving health care, sports participation, and using bathrooms aligned with their gender identity.
On 17 March, Kentucky joined the aforementioned states after passing Senate Bill 150 – which LGBTQ+ activists have labelled as the “worst anti-trans bill” in the US.
Under the horrific legislation, gender-affirming care for trans youth, including hormone therapy and surgical procedures, would be banned.
The law would also require doctors and healthcare providers to effectively detransition trans youth who are currently receiving gender-affirming care.
Lastly, Senate Bill 150 also features language from House Bill 177 – which Republican lawmakers tacked on last minute – that would allow teachers and school officials to misgender trans and non-binary students.
It would also prohibit the teaching or discussing of topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity, similar to Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.
Despite emotional testimonies from LGBTQ+ activists and Democratic allies, the bill was passed in the House with a 75 to 22 vote and in the Senate with a 30 to 7 vote.
With the terrible bill officially passed in both the upper and lower chambers, it now heads to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear – who has actively opposed the archaic legislation (per CNN).
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) March 6, 2023
While a potential veto could come from Beshear, there’s a high chance of it being overruled due to Republican lawmakers holding the majority in the State Senate and House.
Since the chilling news was announced, an array of LGBTQ+ activists and organisations have spoken out against Kentucky and Senate Bill 150.
Amber Duke, the interim executive director at ACLU Kentucky, called out the bill and its supporters for trying to score political points.
“This dangerous bill and others like it across the country are nothing more than a desperate attempt to score political points by targeting people who simply want to live their lives,” she said.
“True democracy requires meaningful and informed debate and engagement from the public. The shameful process on display in Kentucky House undermines the public trust in government.”
The Trevor Project’s Director of State Advocacy Campaigns, Troy Stevenson, echoed similar sentiments in his own statement.
“The Kentucky Legislature should not be inserting itself into critical decisions best left to parents and doctors by imposing a blanket ban on best-practice medical care,” he said.
“They should be working to increase access to essential care and creating safer, more affirming spaces for LGBTQ Kentuckians, not further stigmatising or endangering an already marginalised group of young people.”
Even Kentucky House Republican Kim Banta – who was one of three Republicans to vote against the bill – called out the legislation’s despicable attack on trans individuals.
“I felt like we were singling out a very fragile group who already struggle for acceptance and belonging, and I just honestly, I said, ‘this is mean, and I can’t do this,” Banta told WKYT on 17 March.