Kentucky GOP lawmakers override veto of extreme anti-transgender legislation
The Republican-led Kentucky Legislature voted on Wednesday to override the governor’s veto of a bill that would restrict the lives of transgender youth, including barring access to health care and school restrooms they feel safe.
The law project SB150considered by many to be one of the most extreme anti-transgender legislation, ban gender-affirming healthcare for transgender minors under the age of 18, ban discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in K-12 schools, and prevent transgender students from using restrooms that correspond to their gender identity. Teachers would also be allowed to refuse to use a student’s preferred pronouns.
The Republicans’ decision effectively allowed the bill to become state law on Wednesday.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) vetoed the bill on Friday, indicating that it allows too much government interference in personal health care matters while depriving parents of the freedom to make medical decisions for their children.
“The SB 150 also turns educators and administrators into investigators who must listen to student conversations, then knock on doors to confront and interview parents and families about how students behave and/or relate to them- themselves or others,” Beshear said in his official declaration of veto Friday.
But his veto was encountered a pushback Republican lawmakers in Kentucky, who hold a majority in both legislative chambers. Sen. Max Wise (R), the sponsor of the bill, said parents should view the veto as “a slap in the face”.
“It’s no surprise that Governor Beshear put his party politics above the people of Kentucky, as he has done his entire political career,” Wise said, according to the Louisville Mail Journal.
With a Republican majority in both Kentucky legislative houses, many feared the possibility of lawmakers overriding the governor’s veto, prompting hundreds of young people and LGBTQIA+ allies to protest at the state Capitol on Wednesday..
But the Kentucky Senate and House voted to override the governor’s veto on the bill, solidifying it as state law. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky pointed out in a statement that the bill’s health care prohibition provisions will not go into effect until the end of June – 90 days after the legislature adjourns. during which the organization and others will likely take legal action. against the invoice.
“Trans youth can still receive care until this part of the bill comes into force. And we intend to take this fight to court to ensure that Kentuckians’ right to this care will continue,” Amber Duke, executive director of the ACLU of Kentucky, said in a statement. statement Wednesday in response to the overriding of the bill’s veto.
State legislation meets the 435 anti-transgender bills and the continued efforts of lawmakers nationwide to restrict the rights of transgender and LGBTQ+ people by banning gender-affirming grooming, drag shows and more. Beshear pointed out in his veto Friday that the bill would “endanger Kentucky’s children” and lead to an increase in suicides among transgender youth in the state.
According to Trevor Project National Survey45% of LGBTQ youth have considered suicide and 14% have attempted suicide in 2022. Recent data has also show that anti-trans bills have had a negative impact on the mental health of transgender and non-binary youth in the United States. Experts predict that as more anti-transgender policies are enacted in states, transgender and LGBTQ youth will have limited resources to deal with their deteriorating mental health.