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Within hours, Republican lawmakers in Kentucky passed an anti-transgender law Thursday that would allow teachers to falsely gender-bias their students and ban gender-affirming tutoring of transgender youth. Transgender Legislation.
Not only does the new law ban transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming care, a practice that medical professional groups have found it safe and effective for children with gender dysphoria, but are taking it a step further by directing physicians to schedule a detransition schedule for children who are already taking puberty blockers or are undergoing hormone therapy.
By law, teachers are not allowed to discuss sexual orientation or gender identity with students of any age. School districts would also be required to develop policies prohibiting transgender students from using the toilet tied to their gender identity.
The law, which looked as good as dead a day earlier, was revived Thursday and both the House and Senate passed it with some minor changes.
New state laws restrict health care for transgender people – for adults
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D), who is running for re-election this year, now has 10 days to either veto or sign Senate Bill 150. Even if he were to veto it, Kentucky’s legislature would be able to overrule his decision.
When asked Friday whether the governor would veto the law, his spokeswoman referred the Washington Post to his comments at a March 2 news conference.
“I can’t support anything that would take the life of one of our Kentucky teenagers,” Beshear said at the time, referring to medical studies that suggest bills like these are linked to an increase in suicides among transgender youth.
Those who oppose the law, including the ACLU of Kentucky and the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth, have called it out unconstitutional, dangerous, and one of “the most extreme anti-trans laws in the nation.”
“At the last minute, the Kentucky legislature turned SB150 into an extreme anti-transgender omnibus law that contained a number of anti-trans policies, one of the most egregious of which was a ban on medical care for transgender and non-binary young people.” Troy Stevenson, director of state advocacy campaigns for the Trevor Project, who urged Beshear to veto the bill, said in an email to The Post late Friday.
Gillian Branstetter, communications strategist for the ACLU’s LGBTQ and HIV project, told The Post that the bill, which is similar to those proposed in other states, is part of a coordinated bill right-wing efforts “against the safety and dignity of transgender people across the country”.
The time of his death was also no coincidence, said Branstetter.
“I find it particularly abhorrent that many politicians in the Kentucky Legislature would enact this measure because of the fears and heartache of Kentucky State Senator Karen Berg,” Branstetter said, referring to Berg’s transgender son, Henry Berg, 24, who died by suicide in December. “It suggests to me that this measure was not proposed and adopted out of concern for the well-being of a vulnerable group of young people or out of sympathy for the rights and fears of parents.”
Sen. Berg (D) entered on Thursday impassioned speech denounce and vote against the bill.
“This is absolutely willful hatred for a small group of people who are the weakest and most vulnerable,” she said.