Kentucky Republicans voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to pass a sweeping anti-trans bill into law, overriding a veto from the state’s Democratic governor.
Senate Bill 150 was described as the “cruelest piece of anti-trans legislation in the nation” by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.
The new law criminalizes gender-affirming care for minors, bans classroom discussion about gender identity and sexual orientation, and prevents trans children from using bathrooms that match their gender identity.
“We are denying families, their physicians and their therapists the right to make medically informed decisions for their families,” Democratic Sen. Karen Berg said before her caucus was outvoted 29-8 in Kentucky’s upper house.
Minutes later, the Kentucky State House voted 76-23 to pass the bill, enough to overturn Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto.
“My faith teaches me that all children are children of God and Senate Bill 150 will endanger the children of Kentucky,” Beshear said when vetoing the bill.
The governor cited a survey that found that 45% of LGBTQ kids considered suicide in the past year. Protesters outside the Kentucky state capitol made similar points Wednesday, with one holding a sign that read, “Our blood is on your hands.”
“The restricted access to gender-affirming health care, I think trans kids will die because of that,” 17-year-old Sun Pacyga said.
The new Kentucky law is the latest in a series of legislation targeting trans children passed by state governments across the country. At least nine states have now banned gender-affirming care for kids, which was legal for years nationwide.
“To all the trans youth who may be affected by this legislation: we stand by you, and we will not stop fighting. You are cherished. You are loved. You belong,” the ACLU of Kentucky said. “To the commonwealth: we will see you in court.”
With News Wire Services
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