Kentucky’s Democrat Governor Andy Beshear has vetoed a bill banning minors from receiving sex change surgeries and hormones.
Doctors who have already prescribed children puberty blockers or hormones will have to cease doing so or taper them off if stopping abruptly could harm them.
The legislation, SB 150, bans discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, requires students to use bathrooms intended for their biological sex, and dictates that educators must notify students’ parents when and if they receive any mental health services related to sexuality.
Fortunately, the bill had passed the state’s Republican-led House with a veto-proof majority, so the governor will likely be overridden next week.
“In Kentucky, the expanded version that reached Beshear’s desk was rushed through both legislative chambers in a matter of hours March 16 before lawmakers began an extended break. The fast-track work enabled lawmakers to retain their ability to override the governor’s veto. The action triggered outrage among opponents unable to stop the legislation,” CBS News reports.
In his statement about the veto, Beshear said that the legislation allows “too much government interference in personal healthcare issues and rips away the freedom of parents to make medical decisions for their children.”
The governor also claimed that not sterilizing or mutilating physically healthy minors could cause an uptick in suicide.
“My faith teaches me that all children are children of God and Senate Bill 150 will endanger the children of Kentucky,” Beshear said.
“Andy Beshear thinks it’s okay for children to have access to life-altering sex change surgery and drugs before they turn 18,” said Sean Southard, a spokesman for the Kentucky Republican Party, according to a report from ABC News. “Today, he revealed how radical he truly is.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky has already threatened a lawsuit when the bill becomes law.
“Governor Beshear has demonstrated his commitments to protect Kentucky parents’ rights to raise their children as they see fit, and to keep medical decisions where they belong: between providers and patients,” wrote the ACLU Kentucky in a statement. “The adults in the General Assembly should focus on what students, teachers, and schools really need, rather than single out vulnerable children to score cheap political points. ”