FRANKFORT, Ky. — On the final day of the legislative session before the veto period, lawmakers in Frankfort passed a modified version of Senate Bill 150, which would effectively ban gender transition services for youth. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Andy Beshear, who has indicated he will veto the bill.
Since 1991, the Fairness Campaign has been fighting for LGBTQ rights in Kentucky. Executive Director Chris Hartman said the modified bill is one of the most harmful pieces of legislation he’s seen in the state.
“This is the most shameful thing I have seen Kentucky state lawmakers do in my 15 legislative sessions,” Hartman said.
Among modified provisions, the bill states that the Kentucky Board of Education cannot require policies or procedures for “the use of pronouns that do not conform to a student’s biological sex.” It would restrict what schools can teach about sexual orientation and gender identity.
It also restricts students from using bathrooms that are “reserved for students of a different biological sex” according to the language of the bill, which Hartman believes is in violation of Title IX.
“This is the type of draconian censorship that we expect to see out of fascist regimes and not the commonwealth of Kentucky. It’s going to have a chilling effect all across the board and what is it they want to do? They want to erase trans kids from existence,” Hartman said.
Another part of the bill bans the prescription of puberty-blocking hormones, gender reassignment surgery and inpatient and outpatient gender transition services for Kentucky minors.
“We need to ensure that surgery or drugs that completely alter their life and alter their body is not something we should be allowing until they are adults that can choose that for themselves,” said State Rep. David Meade, R-Stanford, when presenting the bill.
“They all went lock-step to deny trans kids every level of gender-affirming health care, once again sealing the final nail in these kids coffins,” Hartman admonished.
He said that even if the governor vetoes the bill, with super majorities in both chambers, state lawmakers could still override his veto. Hartman said his group will be ready if they do.
“You know I’ve never seen my people more activated, more energized, more engaged in the legislative process than this year. And they’re not going to forget. It’s not as if they’re going to abandon the knowledge they’ve gained,” he said.
Hartman believes this kind of bill will further impact how people vote in future elections and could also impact people wanting to live in the Kentucky.
Lawmakers will reconvene at the end of the month to review any bills that Beshear might veto.