Kentucky lawmakers pass ban on gender-affirming care for youth
CNN —Republican lawmakers in Kentucky have passed a bill that prohibits transgender minors from receiving gender-affirming care, allows educators to misgender students and would not allow schools to discuss sexual orientation or gender identity with students of any age.
The bill, if enforced, would prohibit gender-affirming care for minors, such as surgical procedures or the use of certain hormones, and calls for healthcare providers to terminate or set a timeline to end treatment for patients already undergoing such care.
The emotional debate over gender-affirming care for transgender students has become a political flashpoint – especially among conservatives – at a time legislators across the country are advancing measures to restrict LGBTQ rights.
Senate Bill 150 has been delivered to the office of Gov.
Andy Beshear, a Democrat who has expressed his opposition to the measure.
Republican lawmakers, however, hold a majority and could override a veto from the governor.
Beshear cited polls showing that a majority of Kentuckians believe medical decisions about their children should be left to parents and their families.
The Kentucky ACLU said it “stands ready” to fight the ban in court should it become law.
The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people, noted the prevalence of deaths by suicide among LGBTQ youth.
“It is appalling to see Kentucky lawmakers work so hastily on dangerous legislation that will only put young LGBTQ Kentuckians in harm’s way,” said Troy Stevenson, director of state advocacy campaigns for the Trevor Project.
“In the last year, nearly half of LGBTQ youth in Kentucky seriously considered suicide – alarmingly, nearly 1 in 4 transgender and nonbinary youth in the state made a suicide attempt.
Our leaders are pushing political wedge issues and sidestepping the real challenges like addressing the youth mental health crisis.”