A sweeping anti-trans bill was nearly dead in Kentucky. Then it happened the next day.

Wednesday evening, a massive anti-trans bill appeared dead in Kentucky as lawmakers debated whether it was going too far. So it came as a surprise to Democrats, transgender activists and their allies when Republicans managed to stage a vote in committee and then rush approval of the bill in both the State House and the Senate the next day.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear is not expected to sign the bill, which passed mostly along party lines, but the GOP has enough of a majority to override his veto.

The people in the gallery were furious when the measure passed and shouted, “You’re all fucking shit!” to the legislators on the floor, according to Courier Journal reporter Joe Sonka.

Democratic state senator Karen Berg, whose transgender son killed himself in December, wept after the vote, Sonka reported. Berg had delivered powerful testimony as the bill was debated.

“(This bill) is considered the worst anti-LGBTQ legislation to come out of any state house in this country,” she said. said during a debate on the floor.

“It’s absolutely deliberate hatred for a small group of people who are the weakest and most vulnerable,” she added.

The bill that was passed this week expands the one that Kentucky Republicans were first introduced in February, which allegedly allowed students to abuse transgender students despite the detrimental impact it would have on trans youth.

THE new version of the bill still allows trans students to be abused. But it goes much further: it also prohibits gender-affirming care, such as puberty blockers or hormone therapy, for trans children and requires doctors to begin detransitioning all of their trans patients who are children. It forces schools to create policies that won’t allow trans students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. It does not allow educators to discuss sexual orientation or gender identity at any level and prohibits discussing human sexuality until sixth grade. After that, parental consent is required.

Kentucky GOP’s last-minute push to move bill forward follows a disturbing national trend. Hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced this year in Republican-dominated states as part of the broader culture war against trans Americans and the push for “parental rights” — a catch-all term that centers the wishes of conservative white parents when developing policy in public schools.

Gender-affirming care for minors is suitable and non-hazardous, according to the American Medical Association. And the real mental health risks come with widespread discrimination and health care bans: transgender youth are at higher risk of depression and suicide.

Instead of serving the most vulnerable among us, Berg said his fellow lawmakers ignored the science behind gender-affirming care for trans children and only rushed this bill for one reason.

“My child came here 10 years ago,” she says. said Thursdayreferring to her testimony of his son in 2015 for a bathroom bill in the Kentucky Statehouse. “You’ve had time to understand the science…this is absolute, willful and intentional hate.”


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