Advertisement

Kentucky’s Republican lawmakers have successfully overridden Governor Andy Beshear’s veto of a bill widely criticised as the “most extreme anti-LGBTQ bill in America.”

The new law, which includes a ban on transgender medical treatment for minors, has led to heated protests at the statehouse, resulting in 19 arrests.

Supporters of LGBTQ+ rights gathered in large numbers outside the Frankfort, Kentucky statehouse, with many protestors inside the building chanting in solidarity. Several demonstrators were arrested on criminal trespassing charges after being warned by authorities.

Advertisement

The controversial bill, SB 150, not only bans transgender medical treatment for minors but also restricts discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. Additionally, it prevents transgender students from using bathrooms, locker rooms, or shower rooms that align with their gender identity, allows teachers to refuse to use students’ preferred pronouns, and requires doctors to discontinue treatment for patients already undergoing transgender medical care.

Governor Beshear, a Democrat, had vetoed the law because it took away parental freedom and would increase youth suicides. However, the Republican supermajority in Kentucky’s legislature overrode the veto with a 76-23 vote in the House and a 29-8 vote in the Senate.

Kentucky Senator Max Wise, a Republican and the bill’s sponsor argued that the law aimed to “strengthen parental engagement and communication in children’s education while protecting the safety of our children.”

Despite this claim, Kentucky’s new law is part of a broader trend in the US, with at least ten states passing similar laws targeting the transgender community.

As opponents of the bill vow to continue their fight in court, the ban on transgender medical treatment for minors is set to take effect 90 days after the Kentucky General Assembly adjourns. Meanwhile, other provisions of the bill, such as restrictions on bathroom use and teaching about gender identity, have taken immediate effect.

Advertisement