Republican lawmakers override veto on Kentucky transgender bill
Nineteen people were arrested and charged with third-degree criminal trespassing, Kentucky State Police said. Officers gave each person “the option to leave without any enforcement action or be placed under arrest,” said police spokesman Capt. Paul Blanton.
Republican House Speaker David Osborne later said it was a decision by state police to evict and arrest the protesters.
“I think it’s unfortunate that it got to that level and they certainly had, as I’ve been told since then, multiple opportunities to silence their chants or voluntarily leave,” Osborne said. .
Opponents of the bill framed the issue as a civil rights struggle. Democratic Rep. Sarah Stalker said “Kentucky will be on the wrong side of history” by passing the measure.
Debate over the transgender bill will likely spill over into this year’s gubernatorial campaign, with Beshear’s veto drawing condemnation from the GOP as he seeks re-election to a second term. A legal battle is also brewing. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky has reaffirmed its intention to “take this fight to court” in an attempt to preserve access to health care options for transgender youth.
“While we lost the battle in the legislature, our defeat is temporary. We will not lose in court,” said Chris Hartman, executive director of the Fairness Campaign, an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization.
Praising the overriding of the veto, David Walls, executive director of The Family Foundation, said the bill brings “policy into line with the truth that every child is created as male or female and deserves to be loved, treated with dignity and accepted for who they really are.
Activists on both sides of the heated debate gathered at the Statehouse to make competing calls before lawmakers pass the transgender bill after an extended recess.
At a rally that drew hundreds of transgender rights supporters, trans teenager Sun Pacyga held up a sign summarizing a grim overhaul of Republican legislation. The sign read: “Our blood is on your hands”.
“If this passes, the restricted access to gender-affirming health care, I think trans children will die because of this,” the 17-year-old student said, expressing lingering concern among critics of the bill. that the restrictions could lead to an increase in teenage suicides.
Supporters of the bill have rallied to defend the measure, saying it prevents trans children from undertaking gender-affirming treatments they may regret as adults. Research shows that such regret is rare, however.
“We can’t allow people to continue down the fantasy road, until they end up in 10, 20, 30 years and end up miserable because of the decisions they made when they were young” , said the Republican representative. Shane Baker at a rally.