Kentucky Governor Vetos Bill That Would Prevent Minors From ‘Accessing Life-Altering Sex Change Surgery and Drugs’

Caden Pearson
By Caden Pearson
March 25, 2023US News
Kentucky Governor Vetos Bill That Would Prevent Minors From ‘Accessing Life-Altering Sex Change Surgery and Drugs’
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks onstage during the 2022 Concordia Lexington Summit in Lexington, Ky., on April 8, 2022. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images for Concordia)

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Friday vetoed a bill that the state GOP said would have “protected our children by preventing minors from accessing life-altering sex change surgery and drugs.”

The Republican-backed measure “allows too much government interference in personal health care issues and rips away the freedom of parents to make medical decisions for their children,” the Democratic governor said in a veto letter.

Beshear noted that Senate Bill 150 also “strips freedom” from parents to make “personal family decisions” around what names their children should be called “and how people should refer to them.”

“SB 150 also turns educators and administrators into investigators that must listen in on student conversations and then knock on doors to confront and question parents and families about how students behave and/or refer to themselves or others,” Beshear wrote (pdf).

The Democratic governor went on to cite his “faith” as another reason he vetoed the bill, saying it “teaches me that all children are children of God” and the proposed law would “endanger the children of Kentucky.”

Beshear cited suicide rates amongst LGBT youth in expressing his concern for the state’s minors suffering from gender dysphoria.

“For these reasons, I am vetoing Senate Bill 150,” Beshear wrote.

According to regretful “destransitioners,” i.e. people who sought to reverse their gender reassignment treatments, suicide rates are a common argument proffered by health care providers and transgender advocates to parents whose children fit certain characteristics that suggest gender dysphoria.

The vetoed bill sailed through the Republican-controlled state legislature and is expected to return and potentially be overridden.

The Bill

The bill sought to make children wait until they’re 18 to undergo life-altering treatments, such as puberty blockers, hormone therapies, surgeries that slice off healthy body parts, and inpatient and outpatient gender-affirming hospital services.

The measure would also ban sex-based discussion in schools, such as topics centered around LGBT orientation and gender identity, with students of any age. It also would have allowed teachers to refuse to use a student’s preferred pronouns.

Under the proposed law, doctors would be required to set a timeline to safely “detransition” children who’ve already started taking puberty blockers or hormone therapy. This would include weaning them off the drugs if immediately stopping could cause harm.

Some young people who now regret undergoing the treatment have spoken out against the health care provided to them. Some have said they now live with pain and decried the “lies” they say they were told by health care providers and LGBT advocates to convince them to “transition.”

Republicans Respond

Republicans criticized the veto, with the state GOP declaring Beshear as out of touch with the people.

“It’s obvious more than ever, that Beshear is NOT the moderate he pretends to be but is instead a left-wing Radical,” the Kentucky Republican Party stated on Twitter.

The original bill moved swiftly through the state legislature prior to a legislative break on March 16.

After signing the veto, Beshear told reporters he had been contacted by transgender children and their parents who believe this bill is “picking on them” and asking “why?”

“I told them that I was going to show them that there is at least one person in Frankfort that cares for all of our children in the commonwealth, no matter what,” he said.

Beshear’s move to veto the bill comes in an election year, where he plans to seek reelection for a second term as governor.

Some of the governor’s supporters have suggested that the veto will form part of the GOP’s narrative in attacking Beshear in a gubernatorial election year.

In fact, the Kentucky GOP shared a political video ad showing the state’s education commissioner, Jason Glass, saying teachers may need to find other jobs if they “cannot execute the policies of the district,” such as using a student’s preferred pronouns.

From The Epoch Times